16 items from 2017
The Best of George Carlin: Ranking Every Special »
Eddie Vedder, Bill Murray, Steve Martin and Jimmy Kimmel will be among the artists, comedians and actors on hand to pay tribute to David Letterman when the former Late Show host receives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this October.
Sarah Silverman, Martin Short, John Mulaney and Letterman's Late Show band leader Paul Shaffer will also help celebrate the late-night host at the October 22nd ceremony at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center. The event will be broadcast a month later, November 20th, on PBS.
Vedder's appearance at the »
A quarter-century ago, Lenny Bruce was jailed for using obscene language in his standup act, but in the decades that followed, comedians have built careers around material that is considered taboo in most other mainstream media forms. Richard Pryor and George Carlin, whose “Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television” spawned a Supreme Court decision regarding the federal government’s regulation of speech on television and radio, helped to open the door for comics to tackle more controversial topics, and performers ranging from Bill Hicks and Andrew Dice Clay to Sarah Silverman and Amy Schumer have all pushed taboo material to their furthest limits.
But subjects once considered untouchable by the mainstream now form the basis for films and television — see “Shameless,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Weeds” and the upcoming “Deuce” for HBO — which begs the question: can comedians still push the envelope on issues of acceptability and good taste in their standup acts, or »
- Paul Gaita
Warning: This post contains graphic language.
“Bill Maher’s comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless,” the networks said in a statement to People. “We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show.” (Maher’s rep did not respond to a request for comment.)
During the interview on Friday Maher, 61, sparked outrage when he responded to Sasse’s question, “Would you like to come »
- Alexia Fernandez and Jodi Guglielmi
Warning: This post contains graphic language.
Another comedian is causing headlines for a less than funny “joke.”
Bill Maher is out here feeling way too comfortable and just used the N-word on his show. pic.twitter.com/JAojuSqn4j
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) June 3, 2017
Maher, 61, responded to Sasse’s question, “Would you like to come work in the field with us?” with the N-word.
“Work in the fields?” Maher asked. “Senator, I’m a house n–.”
- Alexia Fernandez
David Letterman has won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, The New York Times reports. The former Late Show host will accept the award during a ceremony to be held October 22nd and broadcast at a later date.
"This is an exciting honor," Letterman said, before quipping: "For 33 years, there was no better guest, no greater friend of the show, than Mark Twain. The guy could really tell a story."
In a statement, Deborah F. Rutter, the president of the Kennedy Center, which gives out the Twain Prize each year, »
You know, I don't hate the first Cars. It isn't great (and is basically Doc Hollywood with sentient cars - and yes, I'm the first person to ever make that comparison, no need to Google), but it had George Carlin, Cheech Marin, and a soulful performance by Paul Newman, and was also just a fun, light romp. I mean, there are some disturbing questions (where are the people, how do the... Read More »
- Damion Damaske
The benefits of practicing inclusive hiring practices and increasing the diversity of the media world should be obvious by now. Opening up the talent pool to women, Lgbtq and people of color leads to better, richer stories and – despite a history of racist tendencies among some financiers – also can lead to financial returns.
But there’s one benefit that often gets overlooked, even as it has become painfully obvious over the past few weeks: Diversity in the creative ranks can stop smart, well-intentioned people from producing really stupid and sometimes offensive material.
Read More: Rejecting ‘The Lie’: Why Racist Financing is Sending Filmmakers to a Colorful Television Landscape
On the latest episode of “Saturday Night Live,” the show illustrated just how easily these kind of stumbles can occur.
The Pepsi Ad
The digital short spoofing the ill-advised Pepsi ad that caused such an uproar last week perfectly captures how »
- Chris O'Falt
As someone who loves stand up comedy and has performed numerous times in clubs throughout NYC, I can honestly say that Louis C.K is the best stand up comedian I’ve ever seen. I first saw him 23 years ago at Caroline’s Comedy Club and realized I came upon a once in a lifetime comic. Since then I’ve seen him another three times and honestly I’m in stitches every time I see this guy. Don’t get me wrong, I think Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor completely rule, but C.K. is in a
Now Louis C.K. Is Doing a Netflix Comedy Special and It’s Going to Rule »
- Nat Berman
Fans of the late comedic master George Carlin are in for a vintage TV treat tonight as getTV features one of his classic comedy sets as part of the 1977 variety special Mac Davis: Sounds Like Home. I was fortunate to see George Carlin on tour in 1978, as he wielded his intellect and wit deconstructing the English language and riffing on oxymorons. Now those who weren’t around or lucky enough to see Carlin live can revisit the trailblazing comic in the getTV special appearance. The variety show, Mac Davis: Sounds Like Home, is part of getTV’s Monday Night Variety Block. A...read more »
- April Neale
Fred Weintraub, producer of the Bruce Lee cult classic Enter the Dragon, has died. He was 88. His daughter Sandra confirmed that he died March 5 at his Pacific Palisades home of Parkinson's complications. In the early '60s, Weintraub opened the Bitter End coffee house in New York and helped launch the careers of notables such as Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Barbara Streisand, Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin, George Carlin, Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Joan Rivers… »
Weintraub began his career in the entertainment business in the late 1950s when he started a jazz club in Cuba shortly before Fidel Castro came to power. In the early 1960s, he opened the Bitter End coffee house in Greenwich Village and booked such notables as Bob Dylan, Richard Pryor, Neil Diamond, Woody Allen, Frank Zappa, Lily Tomlin, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, George Carlin, Barbara Streisand, Joan Rivers, and Cheech and Chong.
The goateed and pony-tailed Weintraub hosted a live weekly television show, “Live At The Bitter End,” with his St. Bernard dog at his feet.
Weintraub became the VP of Creative Services at Warner Bros. in the late 1960s and served on the studio’s board of directors. He was involved »
- Dave McNary
George Carlin had a famously controversial stand-up routine, in which he attempted to prove rape can be funny. Taken at face value, and especially if you aren’t familiar with Carlin, this sounds like it could be a shock-value gag. In delivery, it is not, and by the end of the act – which is a thinly veiled rant against political correctness — his point resonates.
But are some topics truly off limits? This is the compelling question of Ferne Pearlstein’s The Last Laugh, a documentary that questions whether the Holocaust is something that can ever be a source of humor.
Pearlstein interviews many noteworthy figures from the comedy world — Mel Brooks, Gilbert Gottfried, Sarah Silverman, David Cross, Rob Reiner and Carl Reiner, to name but a few – and what’s surprising is the disparity in their opinions on the subject. For example, one might be surprised to hear Brooks opine »
- Jordan Raup
Once again, we seem to be having the problem of defining what we mean when we use the terms “free speech,” “censorship” and “political correctness.” The problem is embodied by alt-right critic, Milo Yiannopoulos. My pal, Mindy Newell, alluded to it here. Since she wrote that, there have been some new wrinkles to the story.
Mr. Yiannopoulos is the latest in a long line of bitchy queens. This homophobic stereotype is one of my favorites, and has been since before I knew what homosexuality was. Paul Lynde was my first exposure. Later, I would enjoy the (now terribly dated) film The Boys in the Band, feeling really daring and bold to attend such a movie in 1970 Youngstown Ohio. By the time I actually met out-of-the-closet queer people, I was predisposed to think them all brilliant… which, I think, is a form of homophobia, but more well-intentioned than most.
Milo takes »
- Martha Thomases
Over the past several years, filmmaker Kevin Smith has been talking about making sequels to his first two films, with Clerks III and Mallrats 2 both being developed extensively. At one point, the Mallrats sequel was going to become a TV show, but today the filmmaker announced that his next project will actually be a remake of his 2001 comedy Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. The filmmaker announced the news with a lengthy statement on Instagram. Here's the first half of that statement below, where he reveals what happened to both the Clerks III and Mallrats 2 projects.
"This is not a drill! This is an actual image from my laptop! Yes, Kids - @jayandsilentbob are coming back! Here's the story: Sadly, Clerks III can't happen (one of our four leads opted out of the flick). So I worked on a #Mallrats movie instead... which also didn't happen because it turned into a #Mallrats series. »
Exclusive: In yet another instance in which F. Scott Fitzgerald is proved decidedly wrong, enter the members of the 70s rock band Gunhill Road. Best known for their 1973 single “Back When My Hair Was Short,” they were a sought after live act who opened for some of the biggest acts of the era, including George Carlin, Carly Simon, Lily Tomlin, Kris Kristofferson, Cheech & Chong, Robert Klein, Jim Croce, and Bette Midler among others. The group ceased activity in 1976 and… »
16 items from 2017
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