comedy


Comedian George Carlin Dies at 71

Comedian George Carlin Dies at 71 | The Underwire from Wired.com

Just after I hit the publish button, I saw this page and I nearly cried. And then I laughed. Please click the link for the quick bio and a YouTube performance clip of “Seven Words” which holds up to this day (except that fart and turd are now OK to say on TV).

My parents gave me the FM/AM and Class Clown LPs when I was 16. I was going through a profanity phase at the time and they listened to these albums with me and said that if I wanted to use this language, I have to be as creative and interesting as George Carlin. I wasn’t up to it.

George, I love you and I hope you get to say everything you want to the big guy (if he exists and we know he probably doesn’t).

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Mel Brooks Blazes Wacky Trail : NPR
Yeah – Another great NPR podcast. This one is an interview with one of the funniest people on the planet — Mel Brooks. The link has a tiny amount of text but listen to the 13-minute podcast audio – it’s well worth your time.

I would like to comment on the passing of Sydney Pollack, too. What a great director and actor! He was only 73 – the same age as my dad when he died in 1999. NPR has a 2005 interview with him for the release of his film The Interpreter. Here is the link.

Sydney Pollack in Tootsie

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DCist: Colbert Portrait Hanging in National Portrait Gallery

The Colbert Report has been blissfully, if not nearly at full speed without its striking writers, back for a little more than a week now on Comedy Central. For three nights straight they’ve been running a series showing Stephen traipsing all over Washington with a portrait of himself strapped to his back, trying to convince one of the Smithsonian museums to actually hang it up. Without dwelling on how we managed to miss out on catching this spectacle up close and personal, the real news is that as of last night, Stephen Colbert was successful in his quest. The National Portrait Gallery confirmed this morning that Colbert’s portrait is in fact now hanging above the bathroom on the 2nd floor, just outside of the America’s Presidents exhibit.

The portrait will be hanging in the museum, which is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., for the next six weeks.

It’s true – Stephen Colbert was at the National Portrait Gallery. While I didn’t see the filming, I did get to typeset the label for the digital image on canvas. Just one little bit of “behind-the-scenes” info: the hacky sack wasn’t his – he borrowed it from one of the art handlers (and graciously autographed it for him, too).

Does getting on the Colbert Report make us a little more hip? Not really, but it’s great to see more people in the gallery.

Here are some other links to sites commenting on the Colbert portrait:

Associated Press
Washington Post Reliable Source
Washington Examiner
Philadelphia Inquirer
MSNBC
NBC 4 news

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NPR : Crumpet the Elf Reads from Santaland Diaries

If you haven’t read or heard David Sedaris, get ready for a real treat. Please (I beg you), click on the link and listen to the excerpt from his 1992 “Santaland Diaries”. The adventures of Crumpet the Elf (Sedaris) is a complete scream. Hearing him sing “Away In A Manger” in the style of Billie Holiday is priceless.

I read “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” this summer – mostly while walking the cat outside – and I nearly fell down a few times while reading it.

Below is a clip of a reading on David Letterman on the “Stadium Pal” accessory for men.

Enjoy!

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Offensive, angry and ginger – Simpsons’ Willie defines US image of the Scot – Times Online

Despite all the money, the glossy adverts and the brand marketing, Scotland’s international image is personified by the execrable Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons cartoon series.

Groundskeeper Willie, should you be unfamilar with him, is possibly the most offensive, angry, feral, fictional Scotsman ever invented. Think of the worst possible stereotype of the Scot; double it, and you have got Willie — a red-haired, bearded, foul-tempered, incompetent, haggis-eating, testosterone-filled boor who spends his private time secretly videotaping couples in their cars.

Lighten up. It’s a cartoon, for cryin’ out loud!

I think most American’s look to Sean Connery or Star Trek‘s Scotty for their Scottish image. Personally, I favor Craig Ferguson who hosts The Late Late Show.

Click the link for the full article

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The Guys Who Go With the ‘D’oh!’ – washingtonpost.com

Here is a fun article from today’s Washington Post talking about the Simpsons.

On the campaign trail in 1992, George H.W. Bush promised voters that if he were reelected president, “we’re going to strengthen the American family to make it more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons.”

The Simpsons won. Good night, John Boy.

“When Bush said he wanted us to be the Waltons, we thought, what? He wants us to be poor and sleep in the same bed?” This is Al Jean, one of the founding writers for “The Simpsons,” which has been a pop culture trademark for 18 years and 400 episodes on the Fox network.

“We also wondered, why the Waltons? Weren’t they, you know, set in the Depression?” This is David Silverman, one of the original animators for the show and now director of “The Simpsons Movie,” opening nationwide on Friday.

It’s a fun article with info about the early Simpson development on the Tracy Ullman show and some teaser info on the movie. Give it a read.

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iWon News – `Hairspray’ Returns to Baltimore

The original Hairspray (1988) is one of my favorite movies and not because it stars a lovely fat girl (Rikki Lake) or because it takes place and is filmed in my hometown of Baltimore. It was released when I was living in Brussels and really missing home. To hear all the great Baltimore accents and see all the locations was wonderful for a homesick American.

I’m sure John Travolta makes a great Edna Turnblad, but Divine was the thing! No one will replace Divine in my estimation. Big hearted and big bosomed, worn but warm, Divine’s Edna is a great mom.

Will I go see the new Hairspray? Probably. But I know it was filmed in Toronto and I bet very few of the actors will do that accent.

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