Posts Tagged ‘funny business’

Music Moment and Hot Man Bein’ Hot of the Day: The Song Remains the Same, Jim Carrey — “I Am the Walrus” edition

April 28, 2011

From the album In My Life, compiled by Sir George Martin, 1998, this is a shockingly good cover of the Beatles’ cryptic classic by a dude who holds a special place in my heart.

Jim Carrey — I Am the Walrus (Lennon/McCartney, 1967).

I do not care one whit about the Ace Ventura movies or Dumb and Dumber: I’ve never even seen them. That’s deliberately due to the fact that I really, really like everything else about Jim Carrey. I just think he’s an excellent, sensitive, even somewhat tragic human being. A real person.

Not long ago, someone started that old, “If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead–” question, and I immediately blurted out, “Jim Carrey!” Then I felt bad for not saying Jesus.

I guess I just want to see if I’m right about him. He seems like such a levelly cool guy.

Listen for Jim on both vox and keyboard in this cover.


I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly.
I’m crying.

Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday.
Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.


Girls Like A Boy Who Plays Music.

Mister City Policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row.
See how they fly like Lucy in the Sky, see how they run.
I’m crying, I’m crying.
I’m crying, I’m crying.

Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.


Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun.
If the sun don’t come, you get a tan
From standing in the English rain.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob.

Expert textpert choking smokers,
Don’t you think the joker laughs at you?
See how they smile like pigs in a sty,
See how they snied.
I’m crying.


Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower.
Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna.
Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob.

Goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob g’goo…

And finally —

— because it’s extremely true. (I do not number among the nameless hordes of diehard Titanic haters, I simply disagree with many of the characters’ choices.)

Talk nerdy to me: You and me and everyone we’ve ever fucked is a Tusken Raider

February 12, 2011


via.

Stumbled over this picture and it really tickled me. “I don’t care what you say, Daddy! I love my Tusken Raider!” [Cue: “He’s A Rebel (And he’ll never, ever be any good)”.] It inspired me to share a little sad personal Funny Business.

I have a lengthy sketch I’ve written about a woman who’s dating a Tusken Raider. She’s not dating him because she’s a sand-person-perv or because she’s particularly desperate, per se. She just is. Everyone with whom she interacts stands in as the audience’s interlocutor, recognizing the bizarre fruitlessness of what she’s doing in various situations involving her dating a Tusken Raider, but to her this is all perfectly normal.

In developing this idea, I had to ask myself some questions along the way, which is the way I prefer to work — I think of something I think is funny and then ask myself questions that will help me expand on the kernel of (usually weird) humor. In this case the one question that truly lit the lamp which shed light over the whole bit was, “Can they talk to each other?” It shed light because of this:

First, I tried to picture them sitting in the Olive Garden and her saying, “This is nice. I’m glad we came, I haven’t been here for awhile.” And him hooting and waving his walking/beatdown staff around (yes, he always has the gaderffii, including at his job as an accounts payable clerk for a cafeteria supplies vendor), his bellows unintelligible.

Would she then nod and say, “Of course, they’ve changed the decor. New sconces! You’re right”? Mm. No. Not funny enough. Not right.

How about he hoots and waves the gaderffii and she pretends to understand him? “Wawawarr! Baahh! Garghh!” “My day? How sweet of you to ask. Pretty good. How about yours?” Deluded and a little funnier, but no. Still not right.


“I can’t believe you let me get two desserts! I have to go to the gym.”

Finally, I made a writing choice: No, they absolutely cannot talk to each other. At all. Their words are totally meaningless to one another’s ears. Everything they do together is a case of tandem solitude, parallel behavior uncouched in any deeper meaning, more like comfortable coincidence than love.

“This is nice. I’m glad we came, I haven’t been to the Olive Garden for awhile.” “Bluloodoomarr! Grah! Waahh!” “Do you want to split an appetizer?” “Barrgh. [stamps gaderffii] Aroo!”

You know why that was just right on my funny meter? Because it demonstrates the frustrating absurdity of attempts at human connection. In the same place at the same time and full of totally different thoughts, dreams, and ideas of what it means? Just noising at each other in context but taking no notice of the content? That’s dating.*

You and me and everyone we’ve ever fucked is a Tusken Raider.

Unpleasant truths: now that’s Funny Business. Barrgh. Aroo.






*Unless you find that special someone, blah blah blah. Not knocking those who’ve made, or think they’ve made, it work. Just observing.

Teevee Time: George Carlin’s pet peeves

February 1, 2011


via littleredhead on the tumblr.

George Carlin, ‘You Are All Diseased.’ (Rocco Urbisci). February 6, 1999. Beacon Theater, Manhattan.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Steve Martin’s tour ideas leaked

September 30, 2010

Girls like a boy who plays music.


via buzzfeed. Click to enlarge.

If you love Steve Martin and you know it, clap your hands. An O.G. Unlikely G from Way Back.

Sharon Tate Month, Day 13: A painfully shy girl with pigtails

August 13, 2010


via geminichilde on the tumblr.

Just three years ago, Sharon was a “painfully shy girl of 20 with blonde pigtails,” according to her own recollection. The Dallas-born youngster had never acted or had a smidgen of dramatic training.

Now that Sharon is an actress in the technical sense of the word, anyhow, she has set her goal on becoming “a light comedienne in the Carol Lombard style.”


“I’ll give up acting the second I’m married,” says Sharon, which leads many observers to believe it won’t happen for some time.

Most actresses would rather shed a husband than a career, but Sharon is an unusual girl. What actress, for example, would go out her way to point up the scars on her face? Sharon has a noticeable diagonal scar under her left eye. She also has a small one to the side of the left eye, and another one–“caused by chicken pox”–on her forehead.


“I suffered the big scar,” says Sharon, “when I fell on a piece of corrugated tin when I was five. I wouldn’t dream of having the scar removed. I am very proud of it. It’s me.”

(“Sharon Tate is on a crash program to get to the top.” New York Sunday News. December 18, 1966.)

So many thanks again to TheSensationalSharonTate blog for the transcript of the full and charming interview.

Daily Batman: Joker sez “Eat spaghetti” and the nature of funny business

July 22, 2010

EAT SPAGHETTI.


via

A caricature is putting the face of a joke on the body of a truth.

(Joseph Conrad.)

Music Moment: Nobody Expects a Ukulele! Adorable Kate Micucci redux feat. William H. Macy

July 2, 2010

Nobody expects a ukulele! Kate Micucci and William H. Macy sing “It’s Time to Get Laid” in uke-strumming duet-y glory. I said goddamn, Kate “Gooch” Micucci — you are just too big a bowl of awesomesauce to even take in.


Brain asplosions.

The short, sexually encouraging video was intended to promote Bart Got A Room (Brian Hecker, 2008), in which both Kate and Mr. Macy were featured. The movie also stars Cheryl Hines of Curb Your Enthusiasm and the gorgeously spatterfaced and at-long-last-legal-to-ply-with-long-islands Alia “Maeby” Shawkat (ow!) from Arrested Development and Whip It. Previously, I featured Kate singing “Screw You” in a duet with Ted from Scrubs. The cute-as-a-button comic genius is one half of the singing comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates — and I’m glad to add that youtube is chockful of her videos — and she is such a brain-asplodingly adorable uke hero that I may have to give her her own category, soon!

Bonus picture of Alia Shawkat for, um, … Science.


I have just blinded you. With Science.

You’re welcome.

The Girls of Summer: China Lee, Miss August 1964

June 17, 2010

Dazzle your friends with correct pronunciation! Say “China” so it rhymes with “Tina,” not the clinical term for bajango.


Photographed by Pompeo Posar.

During Spring Fever!, in the post on Gwen Wong, I mentioned Ms. Lee and promised to give her a post all her own in the future. Happy to say that the future is now.

Ms. Lee is a real trailblazer and true intellect. She was the first Asian-American Playmate of the Month. Not lovely Gwen Wong, and not PR (name removed at model’s request).

Extremely athletic, bright, witty, and outspoken, China (née Margaret) was totally busting up stereotypes well before it was chic to do so. Get it, girl!

Like past-spotlighted comic genius Laura Misch Owens, China Lee began as a Bunny in New Orleans before winding up at the original Chicago Playboy Club. Due to her winning combination of unique looks, well-above-average intelligence, and friendly, talkative nature, she quickly worked her way up to Training Bunny.


As the Playboy empire expanded and Hef opened Clubs in other cities across America, China got to travel and show new Bunnies — and club managers — the ropes all around the country.

Her teaching duties take her to a different location with every new Playboy Club opening — a job which suits her peripatetic nature to a T.

“If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be ‘active,'” China says. “I love to roam, and I love to keep busy!”

(“China Doll.” Payboy, August 1964.)


“Despite the fact that I’m always on the go, success has come to me without my seeking it. I didn’t even apply for my Bunny job — I was discovered in a New Orleans hairdresser’s shop.”

(Ibid.)

Ms. Lee was quite the jock at this time, enthusiastically describing the various sports she participated in:

High on her sports agenda is softball: Last season she pitched and won 12 games (“My windmill pitch is unhittable”), leading the New York Bunny softball team to the Broadway Show League championship.

(Ibid.)

Screeeee. What?! The NYC Club Bunnies had a softball team in a league?! And they were champions? Anyone with more info and especially pictures needs to be my hero and send it along, stat! That sounds wonderful and fun beyond anything the imagination can conjure.

Like icy-eyed Finnish novelist Kata Kärkkäinen, Miss December 1988, China Lee cheerfully reported in her interview that she traversed traditional gender/sports lines not only with that killer windmill pitch but also by handily mopping the floor with the competition at bowling.

“Miss August is also a pin-toppling bowler (she ran up a 217 at the age of 13), prize-winning equestrienne and jumper, expert swimmer and ping-pong player, as well as champion twister of all Bunnydom.

(Ibid.)

Twister like the party game or twister like “Shake it up, baby, now, etc,” with lots of cheerful shimmying around a dance floor? I’m guessing the latter. Seems more her speed!

Very little is made in the “China Doll” article of the fact that Ms. Lee was not exactly your garden variety gatefold WASP model. There is no deliberate, faux-innocent oversight of her heritage in some effort to prove super-open-mindedness, either, which I also consider a point in the magazine’s favor. A good balance is struck.


A native of New Orleans and the only member of her family of 11 not now in the Oriental restaurant line, China says: “Though I was born in America, my folks still follow Oriental ways: They speak the old language, read the old books, and follow the old customs. In this sort of environment, the men dominate and females are forced into the background. I rebelled, and I’m glad I did.”

(Ibid.)

Ms. Lee does not denigrate “Oriental”* tradition, merely comments on the aspect of that traditional environment that displeased her and from which she walked away. It’s done in a respectful and confident way. Very cool.

*When people use this word now it kind of makes my eyes itch for a second. I feel like it’s so high-handed and colonial. It’s like when people say “colored.” The original word meant no offense and is way better than a racial epithet, but we have even better ways of expressing that now, you know? It is a long-running joke with me, Paolo, and Miss D because we all lived in the Bay Area in the ’80’s when “Oriental” and “Hispanic” were leaving the vogue vocab in favor of more specific, group-elected terms. So when we see “Oriental” restaurant or “Hispanic” lawyer on a sign, we all eagerly point it out to each other the way hillbillies’ kids laugh at their grandparents for saying “Worsh.” (I can say that because I am one.)

After her Playboy appearance, Ms. Lee kept her ebullience and poise and continued to make friends and influence people. She is the dancer in the credits of Woody Allen’s first film, What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, a part which she supposedly lobbied very hard for with Allen, who was a friend of hers. The film itself is a farcical redubbing of the Japanese movie International Secret Police: Key of Keys; in Allen’s version, the intrigue surrounds the case of an egg salad recipe. China performs a striptease at the end credits for Allen, who plays himself, several dubbed voices, and the projectioner screening the film.

Here is a link to the clip of her dance on the youtube.

Ms. Lee also appeared on television series such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and alongside Tony Curtis and Sharon Tate in 1967’s beach movie Don’t Make Waves. The publicity campaign for Don’t Make Waves was of unprecedented size and ubiquity — though the film failed to live up to MGM’s box office expectations, the cultural impact was still very lasting.

As an example, the character Malibu, played by sunny and curvy Ms. Tate, is generally cited as the inspiration for Mattel’s world-famous “Malibu” Barbie, and several Coppertone tie-in ads for the film are still reproduced in text books for marketing classes. I will go deeper in to Don’t Make Waves in August, during Sharon Tate’s ACTUAL LIFE Awareness Month.

Ms. Lee dated Robert Plant for a while, but ultimately she settled with political comedian, activist, occasional Kennedy joke-penner, and all around cramazing dude, one of the Comedy Greats, Mort Sahl.

Sahl’s influence on aspects of comedy from modern stand-up to The Daily Show is basically immeasurable. You have probably seen Fred Armisen on SNL perform a political comedian character he created named Nicholas Fehn who is not a send-up of Sahl, himself, but rather a send-up of Sahl’s admirers who can never quite touch the master. It’s the guy with the pullover sweater and Armisen’s own glasses, an army surplus coat and a light brown longish wig, who shows up on the Weekend Update with a newspaper in his hand and tries to make jokes of the headlines but can never quite finish his sentences: this using the newspaper as a jumping-off point for humorous discourse was a trademark move of Sahl’s.

China and Mort Sahl married in 1967 and remained together until their divorce in 1991. They had a son, Mort Sahl, Jr., who passed away in 1996. R.I.P. to him and condolences to both of them. I’m glad I got to share about some really cool, interesting people in this post. I’m feeling more upbeat than I was. Thanks for coming along!

I suspect that cover is another Beth Hyatt/Pompeo Posar pairing. Note how the pose and her dress make the trademark, cocked-ear bunny silhouette, mirrored by the small logo sketched in the sand by her right hand. It’s similar, though not as racily sexy, to the rear shot one they did where her dress was open at the back and the straps snaking around her shoulders formed the ears. This time it’s her legs and kicked-off shoes. See it?

Flashback Friday — Music Moment: Gilda Radner, “Let’s Talk Dirty to the Animals”

June 11, 2010

This entry was originally posted on November 3, 2009 at 3:57 pm. It’s been slightly altered, but not much.

Gilda Radner. Love. Patron saint. Heroine. Gar. I can’t talk about it.

Gilda as Roseanne Rosannadanna, the colorful news anchor with aggressive speech patterns.

If the name only faintly rings a bell for you, Gilda is the late great funny lady who was the queen of comedy in the early years of SNL. She was the first Not Quite Ready For Primetime player officially cast on the show. Noteworthy character creations that have had lasting cultural impact were Roseanne Rosannadanna and Emily Litella.


With Chevy Chase in her Emily “Nevermind” Litella character, who had comic malapropisms and bad hearing.

This Music Moment comes from her 1979 special “Gilda Live!,” a one-woman Broadway musical and comedy revue. Song starts around :35, because it was the opening number and she gets such a huge standing o that she can’t even calm people down enough to be heard until then.

A rooster says, “Good morning”
With a, “Cock-a-doodle-doo” – “Good morning!”
A horse’s neigh is just his way
Of saying, “How are you?”
A lion growls, “Hello!”
And owls ask “Why?” and “Where?” and “Who?”

May I suggest you get undressed
And show them your wazoo? – Ohhhh,

The animals, the animals,
Let’s talk dirty to the animals.
Fuck you, Mister Bunny.
Eat shit, Mister Bear.
If they don’t love it, they can shove it.
Frankly, I don’t care! – Ohhhhh,

The animals, the animals,
Let’s talk dirty to the animals.
Up yours, Mister Hippo!
Piss off, Mister Fox.
Go tell a chicken, “Suck my dick,” and
Give him chicken pox. – Ohhhhhh,

The animals, the animals,
Let’s talk dirty to the animals
From birds in the treetops
To snakes in the grass – But,
Never tell an alligator, “Bite my…” (No!)
Never tell an alligator, “Bite my…” (Yes!)

Never tell an alligator, “Bite my snatch!”


“I’m not so funny. Gilda was funny. I’m funny on camera sometimes. In life, once in a while. Once in a while. But she was funny.” — Gene Wilder

Official site of Gilda’s Club, a “community meeting place for people living with cancer, their families and friends. There are 22 open clubhouses and nine in development in North America. Gilda’s Club was founded by Joanna Bull, Gilda Radner’s cancer psychotherapist during the time she had cancer; Radner’s husband, Gene Wilder; and broadcaster Joel Siegel. … The organization takes its name from Radner’s comment that cancer gave her ‘membership to an elite club I’d rather not belong to’ ” (the wiki).

You can make financial donations into an earmarked fund so people have a place to stay while their loved ones are getting treated, or you could send blankets and books and toys for kids to play with in the waiting room. Maybe old ipods and stuff, even, actually. Or think about donating time and creativity. Draw a comic book, cross-stitch “I’m sorry your wife is going to be bald for a while” on a tea towel with a sad face; you know, do something Gilda would approve of. Think outside the box!


“It is so hard for us little human beings to accept this deal that we get. It’s really crazy, isn’t it? We get to live, then we have to die. What we put into every moment is all we have.” — Gilda.

There is hella dust in here right now.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: RIP, AK edition

May 25, 2010


via yawp barbarian on the flickr.

Cheez-balls — May 16th totally snuck past me. I’ve had a lot on my mindgrapes but I’d planned to throw some things up about Andy Kaufman because he died that day in ’84. Yes, he did. Up there is some referential liberated negative space in his honor to at least partially atone for the oversight.


Screencap of Andy Kaufman taken by me.

And here he is selectively lip-synching the theme song to “Mighty Mouse” on the premiere of SNL, October 11, 1975.

RIP, A.K.

Hot Man Bein’ Hot of the Day: Paul Rudd edition

September 28, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, the handsome and talented Mr. Paul Rudd!


“It’s insane but it’s a great insane.” –Paul Rudd


“I was more interested in acting than just doing stand-up comedy. And then my interests in stand-up started getting really weird. I was into a very anti-comedian thing, a very, kind of, Andy Kaufman performance-art type thing, and I thought, “Well, if I were ever to do comedy, it would so not work, because it wouldn’t be funny.” [Laughs.] I think there are guys like Zack Galifianakis, I just think he’s like the best out there, so good. There are so many really good comedians, and I would never be as good as they are. It’s not my calling. What’s funny is, all the comics want to be musicians. Like Tom Waits or Elvis Costello. Same with actors. A lot of people say, “What’s the worst part about being an actor?” And the worst part is that you’re not a musician.” –Paul Rudd


“There’s a very specific thing you can do to get in magazines. I’m much happier to just show up and do the job. I haven’t taken the active approach to making myself a star. I haven’t been in a blockbuster.” –Paul Rudd

Pfft. You are a blockbuster, kiddo! Hot shit.