Tag Archives: comedy

Michael Richards on Letterman: “I’m not a racist”

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

kramer racist tirade n-bombUpdate: TheThink has the video of Michael Richards on Letterman. Check it out.

So Michael Richards, who played Kramer on Seinfeld, was on Letterman last night to apologize for his racist-ass rant on Friday at Los Angeles’s Laugh Factory. (See our previous post on this.)

I’m always amazed when these racial outbursts happen, and the apology is something along the lines of “I’m shouldn’t have said that” or “those words were very offensive.”

What the perpetrators of these racist statements don’t get is that it’s not the words themselves that are shocking or offensive. It’s what the words reveal about the person’s values and true beliefs.

The fact that Richards, when provoked by a black man, immediately reminded him that it wasn’t so long ago that he could have been lynched and made a public spectacle of, to me indicates that he is resentful of having to tolerate blacks being equal to him, and longs for the days when he could exercise his “god-given” superiority. Kinda makes you wonder what dinner-table conversations are like at the Richards house, no? If you didn’t believe this stuff, it wouldn’t be the first thing that came to mind.

Anyway, Defamer has some behind-the-scenes scoop on how insincere Richards’ apology is:

As he was walking out, he said to the women accompanying him, “…so you go on these shows and apologize and apologize but it’s never good enough.” One of the women murmured something about him having a PR person to handle this kind of thing and he replied, “I don’t have anyone handling this. If I did, I wouldn’t have gotten into trouble in the first place.”

Right, not having a PR person is why everyone thinks you’re a racist.

I found the transcript of the Letterman show and pasted it below. Interesting that he talks about pushing the envelope, about trash talking, about rage, about free association, about passion – everything except the big R word: racism.


“Why don’t you explain exactly what happened for the folks who may not know.”


“I lost my temper on stage. I was at a comedy club trying to do my act and I got heckled and I took it badly and went into a rage and said some pretty nasty things to some Afro-Americans, a lot of trash talk, and uh…” Continue reading

MadTV spoofs Korean dramas

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Hat tip to Angry Asian Man and Mike Kang for this one! Apparently MadTV did this spoof of Korean dramas awhile back. Even as someone who hasn’t watched any (though I’ve seen plenty of Hong Kong and Japanese dramas, and I have a feeling they are somewhat similar stylistically) this is pretty damn funny. Love the long subtitles whizzing by. :) And Bobby Lee and Sung Kang are hilarious.

[If you’re reading this post in your RSS reader and can’t view the video please click on the post title to see.]

Sacha Baron Cohen comes clean about Borat in Rolling Stone magazine

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

borat rolling stoneThe latest issue of Rolling Stone includes an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen — the only interview he’s done out of character. It’s our first time hearing — in his own words — what he was trying to accomplish with Borat. Here are some excerpts from the partial story they’ve posted online here:

When Baron Cohen first heard that the Kazakh government was thinking of suing him and placing a full-page ad promoting the country in The New York Times, he was editing his movie in Los Angeles. His reaction: “I was surprised, because I always had faith in the audience that they would realize that this was a fictitious country and the mere purpose of it was to allow people to bring out their own prejudices. And the reason we chose Kazakhstan was because it was a country that no one had heard anything about, so we could essentially play on stereotypes they might have about this ex-Soviet backwater. The joke is not on Kazakhstan. I think the joke is on people who can believe that the Kazakhstan that I describe can exist — who believe that there’s a country where homosexuals wear blue hats and the women live in cages and they drink fermented horse urine and the age of consent has been raised to nine years old.”…

“I think part of the movie shows the absurdity of holding any form of racial prejudice, whether it’s hatred of African-Americans or of Jews,” Baron Cohen says…

“Borat essentially works as a tool,” Baron Cohen says. “By himself being anti-Semitic, he lets people lower their guard and expose their own prejudice, whether it’s anti-Semitism or an acceptance of anti-Semitism. ‘Throw the Jew Down the Well’ [a song performed at a country & western bar during Da Ali G Show] was a very controversial sketch, and some members of the Jewish community thought that it was actually going to encourage anti-Semitism. But to me it revealed something about that bar in Tucson. And the question is: Did it reveal that they were anti-Semitic? Perhaps. But maybe it just revealed that they were indifferent to anti-Semitism.

“I remember, when I was in university I studied history, and there was this one major historian of the Third Reich, Ian Kershaw. And his quote was, ‘The path to Auschwitz was paved with indifference.’ I know it’s not very funny being a comedian talking about the Holocaust, but I think it’s an interesting idea that not everyone in Germany had to be a raving anti-Semite. They just had to be apathetic.”…

The Office: are you on Team Karen or Team Pam?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

the office team pam team karen t-shirtsHehe… The Best Week Ever blog is fanning the flames of a war between The Office fans who want Jim to get with Pam, and those who want him to get with Karen (played by Rashida Jones). You can even buy a T-shirt to declare your allegiance!

Now that the midterm elections are over it’s time to start making some very serious decisions. Namely, who are you rooting for Jim from The Office to get with: Pam or Karen?

Lindsay Robertson and Claire Zulkey have chosen sides (Lindsay = Pam, Claire = Karen) and have posed arguments on each others’ blogs. They’ve even made T-shirts. We already know which one we’re ordering… Sorry Pam.

I have to say, The Office is probably one of the smartest shows on TV right now in terms of the way they handle race. All those painfully awkward moments… and I absolutely adore that ditzy Kelly, a character who would probably traditionally have been a dumb blonde, is played by the brilliant (and desi) Mindy Kaling. Take that, model minority myth!

I’m also curious to see how the race thing is going to work out with Rashida Jones’ character. Like, is she basically playing white in this role? Or will she turn out to be black and/or mixed?

Borat: just plain funny? or racist and xenophobic?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

boratQuite a few of you have brought up the upcoming movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan to us lately. I’ve watched the Ali G Show on HBO and am familiar with the character, but to be honest I don’t know a whole lot about the premise of the movie.

So I thought I’d make this an open thread and pose a question to all of you. What do you think of the Borat movie? Is it just silly and funny? Or do you think Sacha Baron Cohen is tapping into a racist and/or xenophobic vein in the United States?

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