Filtering by Tag: comedy

The Sideshow Is Now the Audience

Added on by C. Maoxian.

There’s a new season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I watched the episode with Melissa Villaseñor, whom I’ve never heard of, but thought was funny (despite her annoying laugh, and the false hilarity that fills most episodes). Anyway, Jerry said the following, which I loved:

"People in the circus sideshow, huge, fat, tattooed ... these are the people in the audience now. What used to be the sideshow is just regular people now."

Here’s a YouTube thing that Villaseñor did called “Bjork’s Vlog,” which made me fall off my chair laughing:

Margaret Smith -- Just Say Yes

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Love this bit from Margaret Smith, the comedian:

Parents are drugging their kids now too. You've heard about this drug Ritalin? They give it to kids for hyperactivity. And the teacher recommends it. They send the note home, "just say yes!" Hyperactivity? When I was growing up, we were all hyperactive. We lived on wax lips and pixie sticks. Difference was to cope our parents did the drugs, as it should be. Now it's like, "Here honey, you take this, Mommy's sober. C'mon, down the hatch."

You Can't Make Comedy a Rubber Doll

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From an AP story in May 1981:

An interview with Jonathan Winters is an odyssey, a tour through a strange and childlike region peopled by the many facets of this pot-bellied original.
His Reds cap perched squarely on his head, his ample belly sparring with the edge of the formica table in the NBC publicity conference room, the characters living in Winters' head interrupt incessantly, turning the interview into a performance.
You don't interview Winters, you become an audience.
''You know, you get labels in this business, a wild person, 'Jonathan Winters is a wild person. How do you get a net over him? Was he really in a crazy house?'
''But I enjoy my insanity. And I say 'insanity' because when people say to me, 'There's nothing the matter with me,' that's the person who puts the telescopic sight here (he levels an imaginary rifle out the window, aiming into the NBC parking lot) and says, 'Let's see how many we can get before we lose light. There's one (he pulls the trigger).' That's the sort of person who says there's nothing wrong with him.''
That kind of craziness, that senselessness, alienation and blind brutality of modern life, crashes into the conversation relentlessly. There's reason for this. Winters has said that it's the child in him that's funny, and it's the child in us that laughs. The times are tough for all his children.
''It's harder to reach that little boy now. When I was growing up, the little boy saw six cars in the high school lot. Now, in some cases, there's no high school, just cars. We were confused, too, but we were confused in a wonderful way.
''That was the world of imagination. Now, times have changed. It was one thing to live when there was no atomic bomb, another thing to live with the atomic bomb. And a completely different thing to live in a time when you wonder whether there will be total holocaust by Friday at 12:30."
''We've got used to assassinations, we've got used to guys in the Dallas towers, we've got used to guys taking shots at our leaders. I think the hardest thing, for the little boy in me to break through to the little boy out there, is this terrible paranoia we're all in. My little boy has to work 200 per cent harder.''
Another character, 8-year-old Tommy Brichton, comes forth to demonstrate the point.
Man: ''You're little Tommy Brichton.''
''Yes I am.''
''Tommy, how are you doing in school?''
''Well, it's difficult to know what's going on from one day to the next. I watched a man on television who said the school situation is going to turn around by July. But we're going to be out of school by July, so what does he mean?''
''You're talking about busing . . ."
''Yes. I'd like to ride a bus.''
''Why not walk to school?''
''No waaaay. Eddie Terrell was stabbed to death by a 91-year-old man. He couldn't see. Thought it was a dog, that's what he said. C'mon, he killed him.
''That's terrible. How did you feel?
''Eddie was bad. He would have died before he got to high school because he was bad news. He passed out gum balls with stuff in them.''
Point taken. It's kind of strange to find so much grim in a fellow so thoroughly comic. Maybe not so strange, come to think of it.
Winters shrugs and says: ''These are the things that are happening, in Atlanta, everywhere. It's tough to take. But you can't make comedy a rubber doll. Then you've got nothing. You have to go with a piece of reality."
''The key is, somehow we've got to slip in a little more truth and still keep the world a fantasy.''
If such is possible, Winters can work it.

JW a fascinating guy ... an American original.

Performing Open-soul Surgery

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From a David Kleinberg profile of Robin Williams in September 1985 (SF Chronicle):

Williams ... was born in Chicago in 1951. He grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, and he moved to Marin county with his family when he was 16. He doesn't think it's that unusual to be a comedian coming from what he defines as ``the middle-upper class.'' His father was an executive for Ford Motor Co. who retired to Tiburon.
Though he had older stepbrothers, Williams considered himself an only child, and spent a lot of time playing ventriloquist to hundreds of toy soldiers in his bedroom.
In Marin, he attended Redwood High School in Larkspur, Claremont Men's College in Southern California for a year, returned for a brief period to College of Marin, and spent three very important years at the Theater Center of New York's prestigious Juilliard School. ``My father said, `Do whatever you want, but be ready to have a second profession.' ''
In 1976, the first profession started to pan out. In San Francisco's first Comedy Competition, Williams finished second to Bill Farley, a man who unfortunately will have to live with the stigma of being the answer to the ultimate San Francisco comedy trivia question, ``Who finished first the year Robin Williams finished second in the comedy competition?''
Williams feels it was no surprise that he came in as runner-up. He wasn't a good comedian then. In fact, he referred to a 1976 review of his work by the late Chronicle critic John Wasserman, who stated that Williams' material had yet to reach curb level. ``John was right. It was all pee-pee, ca-ca. Everyone starts off at a certain level . . . Usually you imitate someone's style that you admire . . . Then you break away.''
Jonathan Winters' style is the one that Williams' initially grabbed; he and Richard Pryor are the two names Williams mentions as his favorite comics. ``Jonathan . . . just because he's a gentle soul with a madness and wild, out-there vision. It comes from a very sensitive man who talks about things that are very painful but makes them funny.
``As whimsical as Jonathan is, Pryor is deep. He's not afraid to perform open-soul surgery at any moment. Deep, deep stuff.''
As far as new comics go, Williams likes Steven Wright, whom he compares with Woody Allen. And, as he told GQ magazine recently, ``Bob Goldthwait, very high energy, does a kind of nervous breakdown on stage. Wow, there's Whoopi Goldberg! There's Paula Poundstone, Sandra Bernhard, Elayne Boosler. There's Jay Leno . . . Rick Overton, Charlie Fleischer, A. Whitney Brown, a young guy named Dana Carvey - all of them doing different things.''

George Carlin's Thing To Watch Out For

Added on by C. Maoxian.

anal rape
body lice
evil spirits
acid rain
continental drift
labor violence
flash floods
bad luck
calcium deficiency
falling rocks
cattle stampedes
bank failure
evil neighbors
killer bees
organ rejection
toxic waste
unstable dynamite
religious fanatics
prickly heat
price fixing
moral decay
hotel fires
loss of face
stink bombs
bubonic plague
cereal weevils
failure of will
chain reactions
soil erosion
mail fraud
dry rot
voodoo curses
broken glass
snake bites
white slavery
public ridicule
faithless friends
random violence
breach of contract
family scandals
transverse myelitis
structural defects
race riots
sun spots
rogue elephants
wax buildup
killer frost
jealous coworkers
root canals
metal fatigue
corporal punishment
sneak attacks
peer pressure 
birth defects
false advertising
ungrateful children
financial ruin
loss of privileges
bad drugs
ill-fitting shoes
widespread chaos
Lou Gehrig's Disease
stray bullets
runaway trains
chemical spills
airline food
bathtub accidents
faulty merchandise
wrongful cremation
carbon deposits
beef tapeworm
taxation without representation
escaped maniacs
threatening letters
nine-mile fever 
poor workmanship
absentee landlords
solitary confinement
depletion of the ozone layer
intestinal bleeding
defrocked priests
loss of equilibrium
disgruntled employees
global warming
card sharps
poisoned meat
nuclear accidents
broken promises
contamination of the water supply
obscene phone calls
nuclear winter
wayward girls
mutually assured destruction
rampaging moose
the greenhouse effect
cluster headaches
social isolation
Dutch elm disease
the contraction of the universe
paper cuts
eternal damnation
the wrath of God and


Additional suggestions:

detached corneas

prolapsed rectums

high-frequency traders