We were a lot of things in 2012, but deep down, in the sewers of our souls, weren’t we all just Louis CK, flailing like goofs, desperately trying to amuse a not-easily-impressed David Lynch?
From last year: 2011 Was Walter White’s Mad Cackle
Posted in Humor, Language, Non-Fiction, Satire, TV, tagged Arrested Development, Bob Odenkirk, Daniel Tosh, David Cross, Jason Bateman, Jay Johnston, Jessica Walter, Louis CK, Mr Show, Rape Jokes, Ricky Gervais, The Daily Show, The Office (UK), Tony Hale on July 13, 2012| 1 Comment »
Lately a lot of people have been saying “rape jokes are never funny,” and since that’s an awfully broad statement, I wonder how exactly those people define “rape jokes.”
If they mean, “Jokes which exist primarily to trivialize the gravity of rape, and/or to ridicule victims of rape, are never funny,” then OK. That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to say.
Or if they mean “Daniel Tosh’s rape jokes are never funny,” that’s also OK, because it’s true that Daniel Tosh is never funny.
But if any of those people mean to say that “Any joke which involves rape as a subject is never funny,” then something’s wrong. There are so many hilarious jokes which involve rape.
Jokes which ridicule rapists- again, without trivializing rape or also ridiculing the victim- can be very funny. They’re also necessary. Rapists need to be ridiculed, at least until they’ve finished serving an appropriate prison sentence. This sketch from Mr. Show shall elaborate:
Of course, rape is a powerful subject, so there’s a lot of humor we can milk from the different ways people use, discuss, or react to the topic. The Daily Show found a lot of great “rape jokes” during that Duke Lacrosse scandal. Arrested Development made some funny “rape jokes” while poking fun at Lucille Bluth’s manipulative narcissism and Buster’s childish ignorance.
On the UK version of The Office, Ricky Gervais delivers one of his best-ever line readings with a “rape joke”:
Louis CK has a few great “rape jokes” in his routine about a woman who makes some peculiar assumptions:
I often wonder if the kind of people who say things like “rape jokes are never funny” and mean exactly that, with no room for nuance or further elaboration, have ever laughed at, say, a “death joke,” or a “violence joke,” or a “disease joke.” If they have, then they’re being awfully hypocritical. And if they haven’t laughed at any jokes about any sort of horrible topic whatsoever, then they have no sense of humor anyway, and must be far more miserable than most of us, and thus we should make numerous jokes at their expense.
Posted in Humor, Movies, TV, tagged 1970s Film, 21st Century TV, 30 Rock, Alan Pakula, American Horror Story, Arrested Development, Arthur Hiller, Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad, Brian DePalma, Carnivale, Community, Dario Argento, David Lynch, Deadliest Catch, Deadwood, Flavor Of Love, Francis Ford Coppola, Friday Night Lights, George Lucas, George Romero, Hal Ashby, Heroes, Homeland, How I Met Your Mother, Ice Road Truckers, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Jersey Shore, John Carpenter, John Cassavetes, John Landis, John Waters, LOST, Louie, Louis CK, Love Story, Mad Men, Martin Scorsese, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Neil Simon, Parks And Recreation, Planet Earth, Robert Altman, Rubicon, Sam Peckinpah, Sidney Lumet, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Terrence Malick, The Office (UK), The Office (US), The Sopranos, The Wire, Tobe Hooper, Walking Dead, Walter Hill, Werner Herzog, Wes Craven, Woody Allen on February 11, 2012| Leave a Comment »
The Sopranos is Francis Ford Coppola, duh. Martin Scorsese‘s a little too flashy for The Sopranos so he gets to be Breaking Bad, with all the shovel-POV shots and such.
Steven Spielberg has to be LOST: heaps of gee-whiz! with a dollop of schmaltz.
I’ve never seen Battlestar Galactica, but I want to say that one’s George Lucas. Of the shows I have seen, the closest George Lucas might be Heroes– though in fairness to Lucas, Heroes started sucking in way less time.
Friday Night Lights is Robert Altman, particularly Nashville, where country music is high school football and the acting is unbelievably natural.
Louie is obviously Woody Allen, only I think I could actually hang out with Louie’s alter ego without wanting to slap the neuroses out of him.
Mad Men is Stanley Kubrick, I think. Clinically sterile on the surface, but still very human at its core. Also because they both feel like Americans who love America but wish they were British so they could see America from a British perspective.
If all those Discovery & History Channel reality shows about dangerous, nature-battling jobs (Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers) procreated with all those A&E and TLC reality shows about mentally-disturbed weirdos (Hoarders, My Strange Addiction), the offspring would be Werner Herzog.
If all those tacky, tasteless MTV & VH1 reality shows (Jersey Shore, Flavor Of Love) fucked each other, the offspring would be John Waters. (This is meant as a compliment to John Waters, and as an insult to the reality shows. I’m not sure how that works, but that’s how it is.)
If Wes Craven and John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper and Brian DePalma and Dario Argento had an orgy and the offspring got mostly recessive genes, that offspring would be American Horror Story.
Carnivale is David Lynch, because of the genuinely eerie Americana and all the unanswered questions.
The Walking Dead is George Romero if he took his sweet, sweet time a la Terrence Malick. Though of course Terrence Malick is more Planet Earth.
30 Rock might have to be Mike Nichols, though of course it has plenty of Mel Brooks too. But with all the genre-spoofing, Mel Brooks should probably be Community. And I guess that would mean Arrested Development is John Landis. The Office (US Version) is Hal Ashby (unless Parks And Recreation is Hal Ashby). The Office (UK Version) is more realistic and uncomfortable to watch, so that’s John Cassavetes. How I Met Your Mother is meta-Arthur Hiller (the guy who directed Love Story as well as a couple of Neil Simon scripts). I can’t think of who It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia would be. Who’s the most mean-spirited and irredeemably obnoxious 1970s filmmaker?
I have yet to see Homeland or Rubicon, but they’re Alan Pakula, right? Because conspiracies and shit?
The Wire would have to be Sidney Lumet, with the criminals and the scathing social commentary of modern urban…OK, I’m just guessing on this one too, since I’ve only seen like 4 episodes of The Wire, and I’m ashamed to admit this.
Deadwood is either Walter Hill or Sam Peckinpah, since it takes the brutality inherent in early-20th Century Westerns and reconfigures it through modern…
…all right, I’ve seen zero episodes of Deadwood.
The older I get, the more I appreciate these riffs on the often-infuriating ritual of waiting on line behind other humans. CK’s bit is fairly straightforward, while Brautigan’s very short story is much more surreal, but both perfectly capture a kindred sort of gleefully silly misanthropy that I can’t help but embrace:
I have a bank account because I grew tired of burying my money in the back yard and something else happened. I was burying some money a few years ago when I came across a human skeleton.
The skeleton had the remains of a shovel in one hand and a half-dissolved coffee can in the other hand. The coffee can was filled with a kind of rustdust material that I think was once money, so now I have a bank account.
But most of the time that doesn’t work out very well either. When I wait in line there are almost always people in front of me who have complicated banking problems. I have to stand there and endure the financial cartoon crucifixions of America.
It goes something like this: There are three people in front of me. I have a little check to cash. My banking will only take a minute. The check is already endorsed. I have it in my hand, pointed in the direction of the teller.
The person just being waited on now is a woman fifty years old. She is wearing a long black coat, though it is a hot day. She appears to be very comfortable in the coat and there is a strange smell coming from her. I think about it for a few seconds and realize that this is the first sign of a complicated banking problem.
Then she reaches into the folds of her coat and removes the shadow of a refrigerator filled with sour milk and year-old carrots. She wants to put the shadow in her savings account. She’s already made out the slip.
I look up at the ceiling of the bank and pretend that it is the Sistine Chapel.
The old woman puts up quite a struggle before she’s taken away. There’s a lot of blood on the floor. She bit an ear off one of the guards.
I guess you have to admire her spunk.
The check in my hand is for ten dollars.
The next two people in line are actually one person. They are a pair of Siamese twins, but they each have their own bank books.
One of them is putting eighty-two dollars in his savings account and the other one is closing his savings account. The teller counts out 3,574 dollars for him and he puts it away in the pocket on his side of the pants.
All of this takes time. I look up at the ceiling of the bank again but I cannot pretend that it is the Sistine Chapel any more. My check is sweaty as if it had been written in 1929.
The last person between me and the teller is totally anonymous looking. He is so anonymous that he’s barely there.
He puts 237 checks down on the counter that he wants to deposit in his checking account. They are for a total of 489,000 dollars. He also has 611 checks that he wants to deposit in his savings account. They are for a total of 1,754,961 dollars.
His checks completely cover the counter like a success snow storm. The teller starts on his banking as if she were a long distance runner while I stand there thinking that the skeleton in the back yard had made the right decision after all.