Category Archives: comedy

Now you know

I can see a couple of my more fashion high-minded friends doing this to someone before those friends have had their coffee. 

Stone Mountain, Ga. and “30 Rock”


Every time I drive by this place (above) in Lakeview I think of the show “30 Rock” and Kenneth’s hometown of Stone Mountain (GA), where you could find the Chuckle Hut.

“Is that a comedy club?” asks Mr. Donaghy when Kenneth mentions the name. 

“Oh, no, sir, It’s a Chuckle Hut,” replies Kenneth. “You see, the chuckle is the part of the pig between the tail and the anus. But at night, the Chuckle Hut becomes the Laugh Factory. And that’s a comedy club.”

One of the best episodes of that show. You should watch it if you’ve not seen it. 

Inspired lunacy. 

McCarthy was back as Sean Spicer

SNL is on fire. And good thing, too. Because we need this kind of stuff to drive Donald over the edge and speak truth to dumb power.

Some times The Onion is so spot on

Actually I think Pence would offer his own child as a sacrifice to God, but then secretly switch-in a poor child at the last second and take credit for sacrificing his own child.

Because that’s what kind of guy he is. 

Even the people of Indiana were ready to toss him out and they tolerate some crazy shit.

 

 

McCarthy is Spicer’s doppelganger

The real Sean Spicer (left) and Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer.

The resemblance is uncanny.

Imagine if you were the first person to say to Melissa McCarthy, “Ya know. Sean Spicer actually looks like you. He even sounds like you.”

You might have noticed at the beginning of the SNL skit with McCarthy that much of the audience starts laughing from the beginning at how much McCarthy has taken on the annoying look and feel of Spicer. 

If Trump thought he could bully a bunch of New Yorkers into backing down he is learning how foolish that really is.

The biggest miscalculation that Trump and his minions may have made is to believe on some level that they don’t need all the networks and television show and actors and musicians and comedians who make up American pop culture.

They do.

Steve Bannon has spent too much time in the bubble that is Breitbart and the wacky online right-wing. He thinks he is more powerful than American pop culture.

He is not and never will be.

There are good reasons why so many totalitarian regimes are scared of American pop culture. For better or worse, it is everywhere. And once it turns against you, you have lost in ways from which you will likely never recover.

Meanwhile, Sean Spicer The Original is none too happy about all of this SNL fun at his expense in one of the most talked about skits in a very long time:

SNL had Melissa McCarthy on this weekend to lampoon tSean Spicer, though it would seem that the White House Press Secretary isn’t exactly enraptured by how the comedy show portrays the Trump Administration.

McCarthy depicted Spicer during the White House Press Briefings, and she attracted critical acclaim for replicating Spicer’s contentious engagements with the press corps. Extra asked Spicer for his thoughts on the sketch, and his reaction was that McCarthy “could dial back” with her impression and she “needs to slow down on the gum chewing; way too many pieces in there.”

Spicer eventually turned his attention to Alec Baldwin, who returned this weekend with his impression of Trump making phone calls to foreign world leaders. Trump has complained about SNL‘s mockery of him before, and Spicer more or less said he agrees with the president’s opinion.

“Alec has gone from funny to mean, and that’s unfortunate,” Spicer said. “SNL used to be really funny. There’s a streak of meanness now that they’ve crossed over to mean.”

Awwww. For all the insults conservatives love to lob toward progressives about “poor little snowflakes needing safe spaces,” it strikes me that conservatives — especially Trump himself — continue to be the hypersensitive ones.

But we knew that already.

(Note: OK. It’s Doppelganger not Doppleganger. Corrected. Thanks for pointing out my mistake.)

Mary Tyler Moore is no more

Mary Tyler Moore is dead. 

The video above is, of course, one of the most famous episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (MTM) sitcom   — “Chuckles Bites The Dust” — that sits as but one testament to the brilliance of one of television comedy’s first ensemble casts. And certainly the first the be headlined not only by a woman, but one who played a capable single working woman.

MTM was the first comedy where a woman was not an extension of her husband and family, but rather was a fully formed individual in her own right.

It’s hard today to understand for many people how groundbreaking — and controversial — the show was for its time. 

It also had clearly adult — and sometimes sexual — edge to it which was rarely seen prior in a sitcom, and which was most prominently on display with the Happy Homemaker Sue Ann Nivens, a character given life by current fan favorite Betty White. 

Sue Ann was a sexually voracious man chaser, given to popping off with lines like, “Mary, I was lying in bed last night, and I couldn’t sleep, and I got the most wonderful idea. So I went right home and wrote it down.”

That seems tame today, but it was daring stuff in the 1970’s because Sue Ann was like a man in the way she treated men and sexual conquest. Many gay men of the era felt they had a spirit animal in Sue Ann.

As upwardly mobile TV news producer Mary Richards, Moore was the perfect straight face for much of this naughtiness. She almost never ran with any of the blue material, but it was clear that her character got the jokes and liked them. She was no libertine, nor was she a prude, either. That women could laugh at such things was also new as adult humor became the province of more than just the men without the blue humor coming at the expense of the women. Women could make and laugh at jokes about something other than housework and raising kids.

The show ran from 1970-1977. From when I was 10 years old until I was 17. It informs much of my sense of humor.

I learned how to laugh and much of what was funny from MTM and Mary, Sue Ann, Lou Grant, Rhoda Morgenstern and Phyllis Lindstrom — the latter played by the brilliant Cloris Leachman.

The show even managed to sneak in a gay reference here and there. 

Oh, Mary, Mary, Mary. 

I’m so sad you are gone. But you live on for me in a show I still watch as a kind of television comfort food when I am down.

Especially that episode about Chuckles the Clown which blog visitors can watch above.

The show seems dated now in some of its references, but the sets are fabulous kitsch that is costing people fortunes to reproduce today.

(Note also that Moore was able to prove her dramatic chops in “Ordinary People” in which she played to pitch perfection an emotionally constricted suburban mother grieving so completely over the death of a favored son that she has no more love to give the surviving tortured son played by budding actor Timothy Hutton.)

In the Chuckles episode, Chuckles the Clown, a beloved television station kiddie show institution in the Twin Cities, has died. He was leading the circus parade in downtown Minneapolis dressed as Peter Peanut and a rogue elephant tried to shell him.

From that bit of comedic genius this episode takes off and highlights what made this series and its perfectly cast actors part of television history.

I was going to just link to the part of the episode during the Chuckles funeral itself, but you really have to watch all the craziness that builds up to that to truly appreciate Mary Tyler Moore’s legendary performance at the funeral.

Enjoy.

“Mary Tyler Moore: Lou and That Woman (#5.4)” (1974)

Mary Richards: Did you crash the men’s room?
Sue Ann Nivens: Of course not. I went as somebody’s guest.

“Mary Tyler Moore: What Are Friends For? (#5.10)” (1974)

Lou Grant: [Lou hasn’t announced who from the newsroom will go on the Chicago junket. Sue Ann comes into his office, and tells Lou she’s going, and wants him to go as well] I didn’t know you were going.
Sue Ann Nivens: I wouldn’t miss a chance like this! 3 days… and nights, in the city where I had my first program. It was a cooking show , called; ‘Let’s Talk About Meat.’

Triumph goes to the inauguration

So many good lines here.

“And here we have the Trump sons, also known as the less motivated Menendez brothers.”

“Look at all these white people, It looks like a Walmart threw up.”

“I have a lot in common with Trump, actually – the only difference is the hand up my ass isn’t Vladimir Putin’s”

Jon Stewart reminded us on Nov. 1 why Trump is such a blithering idiot

donald-trump-fuckface-von-clownstick-jon-stewart

Former host of The Daily Show Jon Stewart has told this story before about his Twitter fight with Donald Trump, but somehow it never gets old.

John Oliver perfectly roasts Trump, 3rd debate and Al Smith dinner

john-oliver-last-week-tonight-trump-al-smith

One of the best lines: “‘You’re the puppet’ sounds like something a teenage Pinocchio would yell at Geppetto.”

Oliver spares nobody in this, not even the Catholic Church.