Tag Archives: comedy

Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley on “too soon,” censorship and political correctness.

This whole thing, all day every day. Thank you thank you thank you.

“The idea of people being, ‘Oh, political correctness is ruining the world.’ No, it’s people not understanding what political correctness is. And I think political correctness is basically having a fundamental knowledge of what you’re talking about, and fundamental human empathy.”

Sam Raimi on his signature blend of horror and comedy

“I have found that when the audience is set up for a sequence of suspense, and they expect a scare, oftentimes you can give them a punchline instead, and the buildup to that punchline can work as a suspense sequence.

“The construction of a suspense sequence is very similar to the construction of a joke. And in a horror film, that suspense sequence is capped with a scare, and in a joke, it’s capped with an unexpected punchline, and I find the two can be interchangeable.”

Sam Raimi interviewed by Obsessed With Film

Martyn Conterio catches up with DRAG ME TO HELL director Sam Raimi.

“I’m not saying white people don’t get to complain. But I am saying black people get to complain more.” —Louis CK

No Title

Louis CK explains historical context to Jay Leno IGNORE Experience Walkthrough Gametrailers posted a Xbox 360 Dashboard Walkthrough Hacking GamerTag Suspened PayPal Free Xbox Live Generator HALO 3 General Instantly Easy 50 boosting Service free money Recon Armor PS3 Microsoft ELITE Master Chief machinima THE NEW XBOX DASHBOARD COMING END OF SEPTEMBER.

This got me a little verklempt. In a forever-empty, at-once-alone-and-connected, utopian-performative/saudade Lacanian kind of way.

This got me a little verklempt. In a forever-empty, at-once-alone-and-connected, utopian-performative/saudade Lacanian kind of way.
“You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that thing, that empty—forever empty. That knowledge that it’s all for nothing and that you’re alone. It’s down there.
“And sometimes when things clear away, you’re not watching anything, you’re in your car, and you start going, ‘oh no, here it comes. That I’m alone.’ It’s starts to visit on you. Just this sadness. Life is tremendously sad, just by being in it…
“That’s why we text and drive. I look around, pretty much 100 percent of the people driving are texting. And they’re killing, everybody’s murdering each other with their cars. But people are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard.”…
“And I go, ‘oh, I’m getting sad, gotta get the phone and write “hi” to like 50 people’… then I said, ‘you know what, don’t. Just be sad. Just let the sadness, stand in the way of it, and let it hit you like a truck.’
“And I let it come, and I just started to feel ‘oh my God,’ and I pulled over and I just cried like a bitch. I cried so much. And it was beautiful. Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live sad moments.
“And then I had happy feelings. Because when you let yourself feel sad, your body has antibodies, it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness. So I was grateful to feel sad, and then I met it with true, profound happiness. It was such a trip.
“The thing is, because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away with a little phone or a jack-off or the food. You never feel completely sad or completely happy, you just feel kinda satisfied with your product, and then you die. So that’s why I don’t want to get a phone for my kids.”

“I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred (1991)

Oh man this song takes me back. It was very important to my 10-year-old self. I knew all the lyrics in Spanish, too. Because I had the single on a tape and the other side was the Spanish version. I wish this would go all retro-viral.

Looking back, this could have sparked, or at least reified, my love for self-referential, self-parodic humor. It is clearly a joke (disguised as or including a wider critique), and yet there’s an honesty here, too. Like a megalomaniac admitting they’re a little self-centered, or making fun of self-centered people in general. Do they say it out of truth or is it a bluff? Some of both? It really blurs the line between joke and truth–showing us that that line doesn’t always exist.

Am I being jokingly overly-academic about this or am I truly this pedantic? (Or both?)

upstagers:

For our first bit of comedy to appreciate: a slice of the legendary “Kids in the Hall” TV show, which ran from 1989–1995. This sketch is from season 3, 1991–92 (see also kithfan.org).

But first, to cite myself, from our manifesto: “The Kids [in the Hall] are a great inspiration to me because, though they are considered comedians, they are not always funny in the ‘ha-ha’ sense of the word. Not only do they fly in the face of conventional sketch standards, their style allows the discomfort many comedic forms do, but without all the catharsis of the punchline laugh.”

Reasons this sketch is great:

  1. Dave Foley: Always hot as a woman, particularly smokin’ here.
  2. Bruce McCulloch: The classic sleazeball.
  3. The twist at the end: Both because it’s a twist and because of the content of the twist (which I desperately want to list as a reason, as #1, but I won’t spoil it for you).
  4. Cajun music: It warms my soul.
  5. Gratuitous violence: Utilizing the ever-controversial rule of 1,000.
  6. Questioning the (sanctimonious) sanctity of marriage as a necessarily heterosexual, lifelong commitment with absurdity, through the tiresome repetition of the ritual of the marriage itself, juxtaposed with the surrounding scenes.
  7. Twins!

—Vanessa

National Hug Day is rapidly coming upon us. In commemoration of the 2-year anniversary of the study it inspired–“Awkward Hugs: An Investigative Report”–we have something special in store. In the meantime, watch the report here. If you haven’t already seen it, you will be blown away by its truth; if you have, an additional viewing will reinforce its lessons.

[I] am suspicious of belly laughs as entirely happy experiences. The only way to get a belly laugh, I’ve found, is to undermine a surface joke with more unhappiness than most mortals can bear.

Kurt Vonnegut, “Oversexed In Indianapolis”, Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons

All of [Sarah] Silverman’s controversies are essentially large-scale pieces of PC performance art—but instead of settling anything about race and humor in America, they just expose the incoherence of the debate. If her humor does have a larger purpose, it is that it maps the outer limits of our tolerance; it exposes ambiguities in the discussion that we don’t like to acknowledge; it taps into our giant unspoken mass of assumptions, tensions, fears, and hatreds—not to resolve them, but to remind us that they’re there.

[T]here was a stack of like 300 kids’ headshots, just these little kids, like 5 years old. I started looking at it, and I started laughing so hard. Because when you see the headshot of a child, they’re so filled with wonder and joy and optimism; they have no idea of the shame and humiliation that awaits them in life. And it just made me laugh so hard.

Why you should read Nick Hornby’s “Juliet, Naked”

Nick Hornby: Juliet, NakedI am not much of a reviewer. My reviews tend to entail saying “That was awesome” or “That was ok”. I’m pretty good at rating things, x out of 5 stars or whatever. Unless there’s some ambivalence or caveat, which there often is. I guess I’m not so good at rating things.

When I do come across something I loved and want to share, I tend to cite quotes and passages as a way to tell people why they need to read/watch the intended work. Because I prize comedy above all else, funny, stand-alone, microcosmic passages are often enough.

Not always, though. Like right now. I am faced with a dilemma. I have just read an amazing book by a writer who apparently only writes amazing things that I think everyone should read. And in this case, stand-alone passages won’t do, because it’s the intricacies of the text, all the things in it that interlace, that create its best moments.

On several occasions while reading Nick Hornby’s new novel, Juliet, Naked, I was compulsed to stop reading and laugh “with inappropriate volume and vigor, and at preposterous length” (as a character in the book once did). Sometimes I had to put the book down for fear of laughing it out of my grasp. Then I would pause, compose myself, read the bit again, and laugh again, slightly less vigorously. Then I would continue reading.

It was these moments, these moments of sheer beauty, that I wanted to share, that I want everyone to experience. But the thing is, they cannot be captured, explained outside of their context. These moments are developed upon and developed upon throughout the course of the story, so subtly you don’t notice until you’re dropping the book from laughing. These moments are so joyously experienced because of everything else that you read up to that point.

So you see, a mere passage would invariably fail in trying to convince you–yes YOU–why you need to read this book. There are passages that stand on their own just fine, of course; e.g.:

He put the hot dogs in the shopping cart and then took them out again. What percentage of smart girls were vegetarian? It couldn’t be as high as fifty, right? So the chances were that she ate meat. He put them back in the cart. The trouble was that even young female carnivores wouldn’t eat red meat. Well, hot dogs were pinky orange. Did pinky orange count as red? He was pretty sure the strange hue was chemical rather than sanguine. Vegetarians could eat chemicals, right?

I guess I should qualify, for those of you who don’t prize comedy above all else, that this was not your average mere laughing at a joke kind of laughter, nor was laughter my only physical/verbal/visceral response to the novel. It is the kind of laughter and response you are rewarded with when you let a writer take you down a path they made, and you follow them unquestioningly, and you might get lost, but you trust them, and they show you so many things about art and life and humanity that are funny and absurd and beautiful and obnoxious and real. And they pull you along, and you follow, and you listen to every word they say and look at every sight they point out, until they have you wrapped around their fingers and their brains and their pens. You lose your will you follow them so strong, and then it all pays off, because they show you the most artsy and alive and human thing you can imagine. And you laugh, you laugh a whole lot, and any nervousness about following them is gone, because you’ve been rewarded, and your soul pulses in a rush of ripe elan, and you love it, and you love it, and you keep following, because you know they’ll give you even more. And they do.

That is why you–yes, YOU–should read Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. It’s Not A Book; It’s An Experience. 5 out of 5 stars.

“I was seeing this young lady, she was originally from Ireland. She’s an illegal alien over here, she’s not registered or anything. And I don’t know what happened, but she broke up with me, so I reported her to immigration. I said, I’m sorry sweetie, but if we can’t be together, you gotta get the fuck out of my country.” (8:30)