Wednesday, July 23, 2014


This is the oh-so-funny Stephen Colbert. Oooh, he raised his EYEBROW...

You really want to see THIS guy every night instead of David Letterman?

You do if you think anyone named Sedaris is funny. If you listen to NPR a lot. Still go to James Taylor concerts. Miss Jim Croce a lot. Have dust ruffles on your bed. Consider Bareburger to be healthy food. Care if your socks match your tie. Make a six figure salary. Solemnly believe Tavis Smiley is keepin' the faith. Have your maid or handyman go down to be YOU and serve on jury duty. Refuse to eat an apricot if it isn't organic....

Colbert, who is not likely to get as good ratings as Letterman did, was making rumbling noises about taking his show out of New York City. So what did Governor Cuomo do? He began trembling like Al Pacino in "Dog Day Afternoon," and in that hoarse, high-pitched voice of his, shrieked "All right, all right," and came up with bonuses and PAY CBS to stay.

Nobody does this for you. What if you told your City Council member, "Guess what, I'm leaving Manhattan. What do you offer for me to stay?"

Broadway theaters are all packed. There's no shortage of sexually peculiar rich people waiting to lose their money in a flop, just for the glory of having a loved one, or hooker, cast in a small part in the second act. The Ed Sullivan Theater doesn't need Colbert in it. But Cuomo (who did get donation money from CBS) anxiously offered the so-called Tiffany network some bucks to stay. And gee, a few union handymen will be able to charge overtime for "renovating" some part of the place. I think Dave would tell you the place ain't falling apart. But yeah, let's make sure it's just right for Colbert. Maybe some dust ruffles on every seat.

PS, Governor Cuomo, why not pay off the Daily News so they can hire some proofreaders? They are pigging out over there. Pig, as in sow...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

JASON BIGGS: Comedy Is Hard. Being a dick is easy

If you don't know who Jason Biggs is...most of the planet doesn't know, either.

His great claim to fame, apparently, is acting in a few of the tasteless "American Pie" movies. A fair actor, he played a Jew even though he isn't one.

Tasteless or "sick" humor has a place in this often tasteless and "sick" world. At its best, it's a healthy reflex to most any horrible event. Tell a "sick" joke and you're saying, in essence, "I'm immune. It doesn't hurt. I'm not going to cry."

It verges on cruelty and most sick jokes aren't funny, but if humor helps heal, maybe it's not so bad. This assumes that the joke is being told by somebody known for abrasive humor (a Gilbert Gottfried perhaps) and done with some wit.

Biggs was witless today.

Lenny Bruce, after the Kennedy assassination, was expected to make some kind of flippant, irreverent remark the next time he took the stage. The audience waited. He finally said, "Poor Vaughn Meader!"

And the audience laughed. Yeah, what about the famous JFK impersonator who had scored a million selling "First Family" album??

Enter Jason Biggs, and today's news about a plane shot down by terrorists in the Ukraine. His instant Twitter joke:

"Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Arlines frequent flier miles?"

Anything funny about that?

No. Biggs may be able to recite stupid lines in some smelly movie where everyone's waiting for the next dopey bad-taste joke. But can he write a funny line?

When he instantly got the scorn he deserved, he flipped out and blamed the audience:

"Hey all you too soon assholes, it's a fucking joke. You don't have to think it's funny, or even be on my twitter page at all."

A fucking joke is, most important, supposed to be funny. That's where Jason failed.

I asked Steve Allen once, in referring to a line in a Poe story, 'Is there really a subject "of which no jest can be made?'"

And he said, "No, you can make a joke about anything. The question is whether you should." And, I might add, whether it's a joke in the first place.

Jason merely continued to get redder and redder in the ass, sulking and raging about how he had empathy for the victims (as if that was obvious from his crappy ad-lib?).

The bottom line IS that comedy is hard. Every day real stand-up comics, real comedy writers, make choices involving self-censorship. Sometimes they go for a line that's over the edge...and it works. Sometimes it gets silence or even boos. They are pro enough to know that they just might've made a mistake. Amateurs just keep on ranting as the flop sweat puddles the floor. They make themselves look more desperate and delusional. Biggs could've said, "Sorry...I knocked out a line a little too fast and should've bounced it off a few people first..." But his ego got the better of him. In other words, sometimes fucking an apple pie can be funny...but more likely if it's up on a screen in a film and not at the next table at Applebee's. And some actors are best when they read what's on the cue card and don't try to ad-lib.

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Killing Archie" for Fun and Profit

The big news in the world of Comic Conjobs, is that beloved dork Archie dead.

That's what happens when you're a white guy living in the slowly deteriorating Riverdale section? No no no, let's not go there, girlfriend. Archie, who failed as a radio show and never really blossomed into a hit TV show or movie, is being killed off for a much more fashionable reason:

He took a BULLET for a GAY friend.

Killing blacks? Doesn't happen anymore. Killing Latinos? Doesn't happen anymore. Killing some little old Chinese or some guy from New Delhi who looks like he could be Muslim? No. Assassins target GAYS. So now the corporate owners of "Archie" want to "make a statement."

The statement is really: "Nobody's buying Archie anymore." Followed by: "Let's goose sales, like when they turned Green Lantern queer..."

I have no idea if this is actually the end of Archie (a comic book I only read at a doctor's office or barber shop when all the good stuff was stolen). Is this just a cynical trick, and he'll be brought back in a few months via "Retro Archie," his adventures B.C. (before crassness?). Or will they pull the old "he didn't really die, it was a dream" game? Frankly, I don't care that much. I outgrew comics long ago (after a brief fling with Zap and Insect Fear and the rest of the underground stuff). But it's interesting to see how cynical and cutthroat the world of "Comic Con" has become.

I'm in the minority. I don't buy "graphic novels" or comic books. I almost never take a nostalgic look at the small box of them I still have. It seems most people don't grow up. They refuse to leave their childhood crap behind. The only movies that seem to make money in this age of piracy and cynicism involve super heroes or ridiculous sword-and-sandal fantasy. Listen, I'm such a minority that Archie could've died taking a bullet for ME.

I was surprised to know they were still making Archie comics. But I also haven't kept up with Superman's problems. I lost touch after it was announced he was no longer allergic to kryptonite. You might as well tell me "Green Arrow is secretly married to Green Lantern." You could tell me The Metal Men are still around, but Tin had a sex change and went Platinum.

The "creators" (who didn't create Archie but just inherited him) insist they wanted to do something with social relevance (!) and "impact." And what better thing to do than play the GAY CARD. Why, for example, make a statement about women? NO NO NO NO, we can't have Archie take a bullet because Betty was slipped a drug and about to be date-raped by Jughead.

What next? The Fantastic Four's "Thing" moves from orange to the new BLACK and tells the world he was African all along? When will somebody decide that Batman and Robin are an item, and that we must understand that teenage boys have needs and NAMBLA is a fine organization? How about Superman literally blows Israel off the map because a) nobody in comic book land is Jewish anymore and b) Comic Con wants to have a convention in Dubai next year?

Times change. They get worse. Once upon a time, a failing comic strip, comic book or magazine put out a "goodbye" issue and gracefully died. Not so in the comic book world. Here, if you're aging and frail, you're injected with "relevance" and your death becomes a "statement." Sort of like if grandpa is terminal at the put a "Let's End Elderly Abuse" t-shirt on him and throw him out a window. You puts the guy out of his misery, makes a "statement" and gets LOTS of publicity.

So long, Archie. And don't be surprised to see a new comic book series, "Betty and Veronica Get Married And Adopt Jughead."

Saturday, July 5, 2014

No, Joan Rivers, YOU Shut up!

It's hard to tell these days of Joan Rivers is being obnoxious just to promote herself as "the mad diva," (to paraphrase the title of her latest book).

Within 48 hours, she's trashed the president, the first lady, and anyone against cruelty toward animals.

Worse, she's done all of it without any sense of humor. I love Joan, I admire her, and it's sad to see her not just bombing with ad-libs but crossing over the line to where, at their worst, Rush Limbaugh, Morton Downey Jr. and Little Richard have all flatulated.

Not that I would ever expect her to apologize. Lenny Bruce told her years ago, "They're wrong and you're right." Lately, she's been wrong. Even so, I don't like to see comics grovel. I don't like to see them apologize for anything they think was a real attempt to get a laugh. I just hope she does better. At 81, she's a youngster compared to Don Rickles. Then again, Rickles not only underlines "that's a JOKE," it's been a long time since he's said anything really stupid in public.

After fielding a few predictable questions about how she loves to insult celebrities, she was asked about why she wears fur.

Her ad-lib: "Are you wearing leather shoes? THEN SHUT UP!"

If there's anything that pisses off an animal rights activist or a vegetarian, it's that obnoxious, snotty, witless comeback: "Are you wearing leather shoes?"

First off, the argument is about fur. There's no excuse to wear fur. We're talking about trapping and mutilating rabbits, foxes, ocelots, leopards, endangered species and species important for ecological balance. What's this have to do with leather? Listen, you want to torture a cow with a prod up its ass and then eat it? Save me the skin. There hasn't yet been a good substitute for leather when it comes to shoes. But you don't eat fox, ocelot, leopard and almost nobody eats rabbit. Fur is vanity. Fake fur looks damn real. So spare me the "you wear leather shoes" snottiness.

Now about that squelch at the end: "THEN SHUT UP!"

No, Joan. Can we talk? Let's keep talking. You're not Little Richard, and "SHUT UP" is not funny.

Saying "Shut Up" fortunately doesn't end any debate on the cruelty and stupidity of wearing fur or of hunting and killing animals for sport.

We're not talking about hurt feelings, Joan. Bo Derek is so dumb she saw the sign "Wet Floor" and did. That doesn't really hurt Bo Derek. Putting a bullet into a rabbit, knocking a bird out of the sky, or firing a can't-miss rifle at a leopard to have a trophy...that hurts. You ever see an animal cry out and writhe in agony, Joan? Take a look at some PETA videos and THEN put on your fucking fur coat.

Next, 24 hours earlier, Joan made waves for a witless ad-lib against the President and his wife.

I think Joan is a Republican. I don't think she likes Obama anyway. So that immediately takes the "joke" from iconoclasm (remember Mort Sahl?) to one-sided spitballing.

Reveling in her self-proclaimed "fag hag" identity, she "officiated" at a gay Barnes & Noble. Jackie Mason (ordained rabbi) she is not. A day after this non-event, as Joan was rushing to some other non-event (she's on a more voice-damaging never-ending tour than Dylan), some amateur reporter with a camcorder asked her a question. The goon, probably with TMZ on his t-shirt, asked her about gay marriage, and her little stunt at the bookstore.

Unable to remember a good one-liner, and probably bored with the question, she shot some line about how being gay is no big deal: "The President is gay..." and his wife "is a tranny."

The reporter said, "Tranny??"

Maybe he didn't know the word. Or maybe he just wondered why she was using an expression that (we must keep up with the PC times) some people in that community now have decided is offensive. Joan hoarsely shouted, "Transgender!"


Oh, please. Or, "Shut Up!"

This wasn't respectful, but more importantly, it just wasn't funny. I hate to see a comic bomb. It's almost as disturbing as seeing a comic interrupted by some righteous idiot complaining (see her last televised comedy special...Joan wasn't happy either). Again, I love Joan. I also was a fan of Sam Kinison. I don't think it's fair to bitch about 1 joke in 100 that goes over the line. But it's getting to be a habit with Joan.

The undercurrent with this "President is gay" and his wife's a "tranny" that she thinks Obama is weak and unmanly in his politics (probably Joan would single out his handling of Israel) and that Michelle isn't feminine. Which puts her in Limbaugh-land. Rush could say such things...the difference is, we all know Rush is no comedian. His job is to be an asshole. Joan shouldn't be trying to take his job away.

I hope that the problem was that she was just over-tired from her hectic schedule (the Obama unfunny line) and over-wired at CNN because the interviewer had apparently showed a great indifference to her by asking her some tough questions (hence, "SHUT UP!")

Either way, it hasn't been a good July 4th Weekend for Joan Rivers, and I hope she gets some rest and takes a page out of some old Steve Allen book. I once asked Steve if there was any subject that was beyond joking about. He said, " can joke about anything. The question is whether you should." In other words, you can think up a hilariously tasteless remark at a funeral...but it might be wise to keep it to yourself.

Maybe Joan can come up with some hilarious reason for wearing dead animals, but "Are you wearing leather shoes? Then Shut Up" ain't it.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Facebook Makes Fools Of Us All

FACEBOOK is a dangerous place. Most anything you write can get trolls, angry comments and abuse.

The best thing is to admit, as a kind of caveat, that you're entitled to your opinion, and you might be stupid.

A typo can help...

7pm Is When You Turn Into a Celebrity

Usually strange things happen at midnight.

In "Cinderella," that's when her carriage turned into a pumpkin.

According to the Daily News, 7pm is when someone magically transforms into a star.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I was gonna get Professor Little Oldman after him, or the 2000 Year-Old Man, or some other Mel Brooks invention, but...GARY OLDMAN has apologized. And rightly so.

What he said about Jews running Hollywood could be taken as fuel for antisemitism? It has been. I've seen Forum and Facebook threads the last few days praising Oldman and sneering "Of course they run Hollywood, the Jew bastards...and Jew is NOT a bad name so don't bitch at me for what I say!" Here's a good 'un: "Hollywood takes all the Jewish holidays off! That's proof!" And other chazerei.

First thing people need to understand is Jews do NOT run Hollywood. Aside from Jewish American Prince Harvey Weinstein, it's more likely JAPS of a different type: the CEO of Warners is: Kevin Tsujihara. SONY runs Columbia, not any descendant of Harry Cohn. Aside from actual Japanese, there's Jim Gianopulos at 20th Century Fox, and a wide variety of other Christian types at all the major movie and TV studios.

Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith…think they're taking off Jewish holidays to build a Sukkot behind their mansions? Mel Gibson was hired because he was a rugged, handsome guy, like James Garner and other Gentiles. If Jews did run Hollywood, they didn't discriminate, did they? They didn't say "If you don't believe in our religion we'll kill you."

Going back to when Jews actually owned some studios...what was so bad about that? Hollywood's Golden Age meant: Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Cecil B. DeMille and Walt Disney. The stars were Boris Karloff, Henry Fonda, Humphrey Bogart, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Sidney Poitier, Cary Grant, Boris Karloff, Bette Davis, Ronald Colman, Leslie Howard, John Wayne…Jew notice a Star of David on any of 'em?

Antisemitism is absolutely virulent these days...with people blaming the Jews (and Israel) for all the Muslim violence in the world...even in Jew-less places like Nigeria and Syria. Oldman's rant about Jews running Hollywood only adds to scapegoating and stereotyping. It was a classic example of why actors need scripts. They just can't ad-lib worth a damn.