Category Archives: comedy

Save it for your therapist, Chris

by Guest Contributor Tami, originally published at What Tami Said

I was excited to watch Chris Rock’s fifth HBO special, “Kill the Messenger,” which aired last night. But by the end of the 90-minute show, I was disappointed, as I was at the end of “Never Scared,” the comedian’s last cable effort. When Rock is stalking the stage and talking about race, politics and social issues, he is at his best: insightful, creative, and most importantly: funny as hell. But when he jokes about women and relationships, he comes off as pathological and bitter. Worse (since Rock is a comedian), the women/dating/marriage schtick is hackneyed and unfunny.

First, let me say, I’m not humorless. I’m not so wrapped up in political correctness about race or gender, that I can’t find humor in the taboo. My bias is toward nuanced, layered and dry comedy. I like comics who hide message and social critique and pokes at life’s absurdities among the punchlines. I like the off-kilter and the edgy. I hate broad comedy and don’t get slapstick. And while I find “clean” comedy boring, I lose patience with jokes that simply parrot stereotypes or offend simply for the sake of offending. And here’s a confession: I saw “Tropic Thunder” and loved it, even though I noticed all the things about it that people have found so offensive. So see, I laugh at stuff.

Back in the day, Chris Rock was one of my favorite comedians. The Chris Rock I like is the one who last night pointed out that while the handful of black people living in his tony New Jersey neighborhood (Eddie Murphy, Mary J. Blige) have exceptional careers, his white neighbor is a…dentist. Rock jokes that for a black dentist to make his way into that neighborhood, he’d have to invent teeth.

Another highlight of last night’s special was Rock’s thoughts on the 2008 presidential election. Barack Obama is so cool and calm, Rock says, you’d think he believes a black man getting the most votes is going to mean something. After all, society has been known to change the rules when black folks are playing the game. “Good you got the most votes. Too bad you lost. We don’t do it that way anymore.” Rock remains one of the few comedians who can kill with observations about race that move beyond the “white people do this; black people do that” tropes. Continue reading

Bobby Lee as John McCain

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

I really don’t know what to make of this. It’s crazy… but I like it! In a weird twist of racial casting, comedian Bobby Lee will play Senator John McCain on the season premiere of MADtv this Saturday night: Bobby Lee to Play McCain on MADtv.

I kid you not. The proof is in the picture. The segment, “So You Think You Can Dance: President’s Edition,” features Bobby and Arden Myrin as Cindy McCain and Keegan-Michael Key and Erica Ash as Barack and Michelle Obama.

I don’t think Bobby makes a very convincing McCain. More like a John McKang. But I honestly don’t care. I look at that photo, and I laugh. It’s such a weird image. Whiteface, I know. I know. But when was the last time the tables were turned?


UPDATE:
Oh snap. Here’s the video of Bobby Lee as John McCain in MADtv‘s “So You Think You Can Dance: President’s Edition” sketch. Not a very good impression of McCain, but does anyone really care?

Quoted: Kate Rigg on Racism and Comedy

Excerpted by Latoya Peterson

Warning: Explicit Language

Is there stuff either of you won’t make comedy about? Is there anything you think will always be off-limits?

Kate Rigg: Not to me. [...] That’s a very personal question, though. Do I think that people should get up on stage and wantonly use racist language? No, I do not. However, I do not think that racist language should be banned from a comedy stage, and I’ll tell you why: Because a word is not really the problem. It’s hatred, and it is oppression, and it is racism that is the fucking problem – and you [can't] hide the fact that racism exists by going, “You can never ever say this word on stage, it’s bad!” Continue reading

Helloooooo, Cho!: Margaret Cho’s new reality show

by Special Correspondent Fatemeh Fakhraie

I finally caught a rerun of The Cho Show, Margaret Cho’s VH1 reality sitcom-y show.

And I really enjoyed it. Not because I like Cho’s comedy. Not because she’s a woman of color on TV (one more for the team!). But because I can identify with her.

How can a twenty-something heterosexual Iranian-American identify with a thirty-something bisexual Korean-American? We’re both misfits.

Cho’s first episode revolves around her struggle with accepting an award from the KoreAm magazine for the Korean of the Year. She says herself that she’s felt a very cool reception from Koreans in the U.S. and feels at odds with the community because of past experiences. “They want me to perform, and they’re gonna hate me. I don’t play golf, and I’m not a good Korean that way,” Cho tells her parents about her nervousness regarding the award. She states that her biggest fear is “bombing in front of a room full of Koreans,” highlighting perhaps a desire to be accepted by her community for who she is at the same time that she expresses her anger over the lack of acceptance they’ve given her in the past. Continue reading

Bitch Slapped by Satire

by Guest Contributor Marisol LeBron, originally published at Post Pomo Nuyorican Homo

A friend of mine from college recently sent me a link to an AfterEllen.com article about the movie Bitch Slap coming out in December 2008. She asked me for my thoughts and here they are…

I think I might be the wrong person to ask.

Reason being I love gratuitous sex and violence in movies, within reason of course. I loved Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse movies. A woman with a gun for a leg killing military created zombies – count me in! Sexy ladies exacting revenge on a psychopathic-misogynistic-vehicular-homicide-loving Kurt Russell – more please! I loved these films so much that after returning them to Netflix I promptly ran out and purchased them, and then made all my friends watch the films with me repeatedly.

I know what you’re thinking that I’m a horrible queer feminist of color, right? Well, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. And here’s why…

While I hate the way that closet racist and annoying hipster elitist try to use satire to reinforce their supposed superiority and avoid being called bigoted while doing it, I think satire when it’s done right, or at least when it’s read in a critical way, can be extremely subversive. Smart satire can often effectively challenge concepts of power, race, sex, and gender among other things. Continue reading