Tag: Comedy

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The American Zeal for Punching Up

 

Red-blooded, real Americans are sick of America’s elites punching down on them. Authentic American politics, like authentic American comedy, roots for the underdog and punches up, not down. The problem with today’s elites is their down is up and their up is down: Our elites believe they’re signaling their superior virtue by “punching up” when they ridicule heartland America, but of course what they’re really doing is using their privileged social status to punch down on heartland America instead. Or that’s how it seems to many of us. For those unfamiliar with this punchy lingo, comedian Ben Schwartz explains,

“Punching up” and “punching down” are relatively new pop-political terms, often found not far from words like “mansplaining,” “problematic,” and “trolling.”

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Norm MacDonald, #MeToo, and the Fatal Flaw in the New Morality

 

Twitter is a cesspool. As if we needed more evidence, legendary comedian and acclaimed author Norm MacDonald was targeted for saying words to a reporter that a microscopic minority of humorless scolds didn’t care for. That’s all the pretext needed to subject a person, famous or not, to Twitter’s two-hour hate.

The Hollywood Reporter interviewed MacDonald on Tuesday to preview his upcoming Netflix show. The affable Canadian politely spoke his mind. For better or worse, his mind works differently than the rest of ours, which is one of the reasons he’s so funny.

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The Left Gives Up on Comedy

 

Four years ago, progressives were riding high. Obama was president, healthcare was fixed forever, and the reset-button Ruskies were our best pals. But even in that golden age, there was a growing sense that comedy was … well … problematic.

The 2014 Netroots Nation conference lectured attendees on the systematic oppression of the Humor Industrial Complex while insisting they were far funnier than those evil conservatives. “When the right says we have no sense of humor,” panelist Katie Halper said, “it’s a great way for racist/sexist/homophobic men to make themselves seem funny.”

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Left-Wing Clowns Aren’t Funny

 

Like 99.6% of America, I had much better things to do than pay any attention to the White House Correspondents Dinner. PDT also did, holding a rally in Michigan with the common folk rather than go to an event where a bunch of snotty elitist media operatives who hate him (and the people at his […]

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Love, Simon

 

Direction by Greg Berlanti Elizabeth Berger & Isaac Aptaker More

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Game Night

 

Direction by John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein More

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

 

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A Futile and Stupid Gesture

 

Direction by David Wain More

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When It Hurts Inside, I Just Think of My Favorite Memes

 

When the dog bites and the bee stings and it hurts inside, I just think of my favorite memes and you know what? I don’t feel so bad.

So, what makes a great political meme? For me there are four kinds: the flat-out hilarious, those which exhibit uncanny prescience, those which knock down a peg those people and institutions which richly deserve it, and those which relentlessly mock hypocrisy or false narratives.

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Why Louis?

 

According to Kyle Smith at NRO, Louis C.K.’s film I Love You, Daddy is pretty good. It has, nonetheless, been dumped in the aftermath of the comedian’s admission that he did some disgusting sexual stuff to/for/at insufficiently-empowered women.

“…HBO announced it was removing his standup-comedy specials and his series ‘Lucky Louie’ from its on-demand service. I’m not aware of anything like this kind of burn-the-evidence tactic being previously deployed in modern times, nor is it obvious why C.K. should be treated as a uniquely malign transgressor…”

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In Defense of Steve Martin’s “King Tut”

 

On the latest Ricochet podcast, Minnesotan segue-master @jameslileks impugned Steve Martin’s classic “Saturday Night Live” performance of “King Tut” thusly:

“It’s not a funny song, it just isn’t. It’s not a funny bit, there’s nothing really to it that requires anybody to look at it now. Only, sort of, their late Boomer betters saying, ‘oh, Steve Martin is the bomb, you must watch this, this is brilliant,’ but it’s not. You were stoned in college when you watched that and you thought it was funny but it isn’t.”

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Life’s Embarrassing Moments

 

Today’s news has been very tough to take, so much sadness, but I just had a spontaneous laugh and so I thought I’d share. I’m on the HOA Board in my neighborhood and have been encouraging neighbors to pitch in and volunteer on small projects instead of hiring a contractor to save the dues for […]

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Every Laugh Is a Little Miracle

 

Reflect for a moment about all that is required for a comedian to get a laugh onstage.

It begins offstage with a barely-conscious “blip” passing through the comic’s mind: an inchoate connection between two things not normally thought connected. Recorded then promptly forgotten, the comedian’s subconscious begins to work its special brand of magic determining if there’s any “there” there. (The comedian usually needn’t check back with her subconscious as her subconscious will, when the time is right, check back with her.)

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David Deeble Returns! The Fire Inside

 

With the recent political news, on this week’s Whiskey Politics we take time for a drink, to breathe and exhale while focusing on what’s really important… friends, family, and laughter. We welcome back @DavidDeeble who talks about comedy in the age of Trump, Jimmy Fallon, crazy travel locations, his wife’s naturalization and “tax cut porn” (we do get a little political about the Republican health care plan). David also shares how he reinvented himself after a tragedy that impacted both his career and life; A lesson showing how our fire inside can propel us forward when facing monumental challenges. You have seen David on the Tonight Show, The Late Show with James Cordon, America’s Got Talent, Last Comic Standing, CBS This Morning and also appears regularly at The Comedy & Magic Club, emcees the Magic Castle and is a popular writer at Ricochet.com. Follow David at DavidDeeble.comFacebook and Twitter.

Please subscribe to Whiskey Politics at YouTube and our audio podcasts at iTunes, Stitcher or GooglePlay where your 5-star rating would be appreciated!

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Carson & Colbert

 

On NRO, Dennis Prager writes: To anyone, liberal or conservative, who grew up watching Johnny Carson on late night TV, the descent from Carson to Colbert is as breathtaking as it is heartbreaking. More

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Technology + Comedy = Machiavelli

 

In my other haunt, over at The Federalist, I’ve been writing about “Silicon Valley,” the laughingest comedy on TV. I’m talking about Mike Judge, the creator of “Silicon Valley,” and Peter Thiel, the mysterious prophet-billionaire. Well, I’ve got more things to say! I’m moving here from writing on spectacles in the direction of political philosophy–to put some suggestions to that secret teaching I have made into my title.

Everyone knows, the biggest new enterprises are in Silicon Valley. The names of America’s founder-CEOs, princes of our technological future, are household names. But who are these people? Almost nobody knows, although we all vaguely expect that, if there’s any future, that’s where it is going to be made. Views of the future abound at the movies, on TV, and in books, and they are almost always depressive, if not apocalyptic. How about the people by whom the future is supposed to come? Who will give us a good look at them? There’s hardly anything to mention on that subject, let alone something worth mentioning. There’s no Tom Wolfe novel about Silicon Valley.

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The New Mystery Science Theater 3000

 

Last night I watched part of the first episode of Netflix’s revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000, starring Jonah Ray as Jonah Heston, Hampton Yount as Crow T. Robot, and Baron Vaughn as Tom Servo. Here is a clip of the opening credits: More

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Why I Quit College Comedy Shows

 

“I got married “old school” — to a woman.” It was my first college show and I didn’t want it to be my last. I had heard the war stories from my fellow comedians: preternaturally sensitive college students, indoctrinated by academic and administrative lifers who are liable to faint at the sight of a sombrero. American colleges, it seemed, comprised a continent-wide archipelago of young people with the kind of ideological fealty to authority one associates with North Koreans.

I got lucky, though, in that my college debut was at West Chester University’s Freshmen Orientation Day. Instead of being surrounded by note-taking faculty, these freshmen were seated with their parents and siblings, lending the show a relative air of fun and freedom. Everything, it seemed, has been turned upside down. Gone are the days when you monitored what you laugh at in the presence of your parents: Thanks to the fevered political climate that prevails on American campuses, the presence of parents was actually liberating.

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