Category Archives: comedy

Wednesday Video Potpourri

Just a few videos to start our journey toward the weekend.

David Neptune and Ken Tanaka’s “What Kind of Asian Are You?” has amassed nearly 3 million views since debuting during YouTube’s “Comedy Week” event last week, as a woman (Stella Choe) turns the table on a fellow jogger (Scott Beehner) who insists on finding out where she’s “really from”:

Last year, our own Kendra James reviewed Andre Robert Lee’s documentary Prep School Negro, which follows black students at a Philadelphia prep school. On Monday, Lance Reddick (The Wire, Fringe) released a video in support of the film’s Kickstarter campaign.

“I’m not in the film. I’m not a producer of the film. I’m not an investor in the film,” Reddick explains. “I’m asking you to do this because I feel it’s an extremely, extremely important film.”

The film’s next scheduled screening will be June 4 at the International Institute of Education in New York City.

Speaking of Kickstarter, the sketch comedy group The Bilderbergers released this clever commercial spoof, “iNotRacist,” a satirical pitch for an app allowing well-meaning folks to tally up non-racist scores for everything from voting for candidates of color to “friending the Latino guy from lunch.”

Race + TV: Four Summer Shows From Across The Pond

By Kendra James

I'm not luring you in here to tell you to watch Doctor Who or Sherlock. You have my word.

I’m not luring you in here to tell you to watch Doctor Who or Sherlock. You have my word.

Upfronts are done, premiere schedules are set; Stefon and Seth ran off into the sunset; and, even though it’s only May, it feels like we’re already halfway through the summer blockbuster set list…so what’s a pop culture junkie to do?  I humbly suggest using this hiatus season to catch up on a few British shows you may have missed while our gladiators were white-hatting.

At no more than six episodes per season, I promise you’ll be done before Olivia Pope’s return. Just give us a moment to close our eyes and turn around, so we don’t have to witness whatever it is you have to do to get your hands on the four shows underneath the cut.

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On Wayne Brady’s Rebuking of Bill Maher

By Arturo R. García

I want to keep rooting for Wayne Brady. But while (rightly) defending himself against Bill Maher’s lazy accusations on Monday on HuffPost Live on Monday, Brady chose to travel an equally low road.
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Muslim Women, YouTube, And Third Space

By Guest Contributor Deonna Kelli Sayed, cross-posted from Muslimah Media Watch

Muslim YouTube broadcaster Sister Randomina.

Media technology and the Muslim world are interesting collaborators.  Cassette-tape propagation of Ayatollah Khomeini’s sermons provided important precursors for the Iranian Revolution. Likewise, Facebook and Twitter offered political leverage in the Arab Spring developments. For observers, social media, in particular, is potentially changing the dynamics of the public sphere in the Muslim world.

New media technology provides a “third space” where some Muslims who are using social media to contest gender assumptions, normative aspects of religious practice, and cultural experience. In this context, YouTube offers such a space as an informal meeting place to create community and to express new identities.

Muslims around the world are familiar with YouTube as a source of religious information from well-known Islamic personalities. Now, rather than YouTubing for religious instruction from Dr. Zakir Naik, for example, some are uploading for creative expression, a small number of Muslims are contributing to a new aesthetic of Muslim videography to express personal creativity and observations–mostly through satire or parody–on issues they face in daily life.

One of the more interesting dynamics is the emergence of Muslim women taking to YouTube to “talk back” on issues of identity and Western assumptions concerning the female experience.
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The Racialicious TV Roundup: 2.26-3.3

By Arturo R. García and Kendra James

Kevin Hart greets the crowd before his opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live.”

Kevin Hart hosts SNL: Not only did Kevin Hart get to host a funnier than usual Saturday Night Live this week, he got NBC to play an ad for his BET parody show, Real Husbands of Hollywood, during the broadcast. Miracles really do happen.

The gems of the evening included Hart’s opening monologue (these are always better when the show’s writers have nothing to do with them), “The Z Shirt” (90s nostalgia rarely fails), and Really? With Seth and Kevin (commentary on the Voting Rights Act debate stuck between some less funny “Weekend Update” material).
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Apparently, People Have Beef With Quvenzhané Wallis

By Arturo R. García

We are not running The Onion’s tweet involving the misogynist slur about Quvenzhané Wallis here. Because she’s a nine-year-old girl and we’re not reprinting that language. (A screencap of the tweet can be found here.)

But for many fans and supporters of the Best Actress nominee, Sunday’s Academy Awards turned into a horror show.

Update: The Onion has posted an apology for its actions Sunday night. A transcript is available under the cut.

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The Least Happy Jamaican: On Volkswagen’s Super Bowl Commercial

By Guest Contributor Suzanne Persard

Am I the last Jamaican to miss the happiness train?

After millions of hits on YouTube and a whirl of international attention, arguably the most popular commercial Volkswagen has ever aired, has been approved by “100 Jamaicans,” hailed as humorous by hundreds of other Jamaicans, and endorsed by the Jamaican Minister of Tourism.

The ad features a white man from Minnesota speaking exaggeratedly in patois, urging his unhappy coworkers to become happier with phrases like, “Yuh know what dis room needs? A smile!”  Clearly, this is Volkswagen’s way of telling you, Jamaicans are happy! You should be happy, too! Buy a 2013 Volkswagen Beetle and get happy!
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Entertainment Roundup 1.18-24.13

by Arturo Garcia and Joseph Lamour

(Note: NSFW language in the clip above)

R.I.P. Robert F. Chew: Just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of Mr. Chew, best known for playing Proposition Joe on The Wire. But in the wake of his passing, his work off-camera training young actors in Baltimore is also coming to light:

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Chew graduated from Patterson High School and attended Morgan State University where he sang in the school’s world-renown choir. He was working full time in Baltimore area theater since the early 1980s. He continued to teach in the Arena Players Youth Theatre after “The Wire” ended production here in 2007.

“He was a triple threat,” said Catherine Orange, director of Baltimore’s Arena Players youth theater. “He could act, he could dance and he could sing. He was an extraordinary teacher and director for us. He believed in our kids and was a task master.”

In 2006, Mr. Chew helped 22 of his students land parts in Simon’s landmark series.

“Whenever I had to dig deep and find kids who not only had the talent but the reality and the belief, kids who didn’t look like the ones in a Jell-O commercial, I called Robert,” Moran said Friday.

Also recommended is Kevin Van Valkenburg’s tribute to Chew:

He was a teacher who worked really hard to give kids growing up in the inner city exposure to the arts, which no an easy task, especially when you consider that art is always first on the chopping block when people criticize the school system and insist we need to trim the budget to get rid of “waste.”

–AG

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