Kathy Griffin vs. Dick Clark In NYE Hell-Off

Hamilton Nolan · 01/02/09 10:43AM

Which New Year's Eve TV experience was more painful: Kathy Griffin screaming about knocking "dicks outta your mouth" on CNN, or Dick Clark's stroke-ravaged Frankenstein muttering on ABC? Click to watch and choose.

Saturday Night Live May Hire Jordan Carlos For Obama Gig!

Hamilton Nolan · 11/21/08 02:51PM

Big news on the Saturday Night Live Obama comedy crisis front: the show is auditioning several comedians who may take the Obama impersonation role from the workmanlike but not-so-funny Fred Armisen. And these new comedians are black, like Obama himself, coincidentally! And even more importantly, one of the contenders is reportedly our close personal friend Jordan Carlos, who already made his case for the role directly to Gawker readers! Three others are also in the running. But we really hope Jordan Carlos gets it, because then we are totally going to demand some free tickets for ourselves! And, of course, for you as well. We totally called it. Maybe. [Daily Beast]

Jordan Carlos Tackles The Obama Comedy Crisis!

Hamilton Nolan · 11/07/08 12:53PM

Now that our nation has gone and elected a popular black man with no clear signs of dementia as president, it's obvious that our Crisis Of Comedy is a most vital public issue. Nerdy white comedians have no idea how to make fun of Obama! Never fear. We reached out to Jordan Carlos—professional comedian, Stephen Colbert's black friend, and a guy we once tried to assert (unsuccessfully) would be a better Saturday Night Live Obama impersonator than Fred Armisen—for his take on the future of Obama comedy. Exclusive Jordan Carlos Analytical Comedic Essay Below! Barack: This Dude Even Changed Comedy Tuesday By Jordan Carlos The political balance of power may not have been the only thing that shifted Tuesday. The world of comedy got a bit of a shake up too. Though it's difficult to predict the misty future with any certainty, Obama's win does beg a couple of obvious questions; namely, "Do Black comedians have much to complain about anymore?" Now before you tear my nuts off for asking this, let me say I'm just raising this extreme question for the sake of argument. I don't actually think Black people don't have anything to complain about anymore, though cabs were remarkably easier to come by yesterday in the city. But things have changed—and who are many comedians of color, if not people who point to the old saw of differences between white and Black and all the hi-larious inequalities surrounding those differences? Remove that brand of humor from the mix, and what's left for Black comedians to fall back on? Plenty, of course. The world is full of comedic opportunity. But it will be intriguing to see how audiences will respond when a Black comic moans about the everyday racial politics he or she faces when a Black person holds the highest office in the land. For anyone who can do an impression of Obama, congrats! Your stock just went through the friggin roof! Bush impersonators, report to your local soup kitchen or shanty town. Obama impersonators are guaranteed at least 4 years of career opportunity. For me, a fairer-skinned black dude with newly close-cropped hair and larger-than-average ears, things are looking up. I've already been able to do my impression for TV (once on Headline News and once on a Japanese morning TV show – Yeah, I know. What the F?) and I look forward to at least four more years of it. Though I was asked by the folks at Gawker to give my take on Fred Armisen's impression of Obama, I'm gonna have to pass. Other art forms encourage a lover's quarrel among artists – boisterous roundtables and bustling salons, etc. — comedy, not so much. Take it from me, comics are a sensitive bunch – me more than most (we're not talking Kanye West levels here, but you get where I'm going with this). We want to be liked (obveeez!!!). Did I dance around that enough? You can watch my Obama impression here, OK? [Ed.: And also here] I think the existential question of what comedians can complain about now is shared by not only Black comedians, but also the good folks at The Daily Show and Real Time with Bill Maher. They got what they wanted, right? So now what? Feast on Obama like they did Bush? That would be kinda weird. Recently on his show Bill Maher declared a new rule: that President-elect "Obama must give comedians something to work with." When questioned about this statement by America's favorite old man, Larry King, Maher said, "But look, [Obama]'s going to be the president and we're going to have to get over our nervousness about making fun of a Black person. He's not a black person. He's the president." OK, Maher lost me at the whole, "he's not a black person" bit, but you get what he's trying to say. Eventually ALL comedians are going to have to take off the kid gloves and skewer the newly anointed commander in chief. How they do it will be something that I, for one, am interested to see. To me there's plenty you can make fun of when it comes to Obama: — Because of him the high concept movie about a jazzy black dude being president is dead and over. —People maybe just maybe expect too much from him. —He's got huge, honking ears. —You can make fun of the fact that it's hard to make fun of him. —You kind of have to do a lot of self-deceiving to back the guy (doesn't believe in gay marriage, tough on immigration, tosses friends when they become political liabilities – Rev. Wright, Ayers). —He may kinda owe Oprah a place in his cabinet. —Does Jesse Jackson still want to cut his nuts off like he said? And why the hell was he front-row Chicago victory rally after saying something like that? Obama must have known he said that. Where's my front row seat? I didn't call for castration. You could make sketches out of all that stuff and more if you've got the salt. You should always be able to laugh at your leaders – even if they're awesome people who happen to be Black. Click to view

Oh Tracy

Hamilton Nolan · 10/03/08 12:32PM

So Tracy Morgan, does your 30 Rock colleague Tina Fey do Palin impersonations around the set? "'I don't know. I don't hang out with her,' he said. 'She's a married mother. She don't hang out with Tracy Morgan. I don't know what she do in her spare time.'" They're obviously in love. [Us]

"How Many Models Does It Take To Screw In A Lightbulb?"

Hamilton Nolan · 09/22/08 03:47PM

Dave Hill is a legitimate funnyman who got famous on the internet with his Black Metal Dialogues, and continues to float around New York being funny in various funny places. The latest of those places: Fashion Week. Dave digs for the answers to questions like, "What does Anna Wintour put behind her ears to be more attractive?" and "Have you heard of that new designer Trig Palin?" The answers will shock and amaze you. This is the best fashion show-related comedy (yes, it's an easy target) since Ali G's Bruno. Japery!:

Smack Talk

Hamilton Nolan · 08/24/08 02:25PM

Comedian Margaret Cho to recent Radar draftee Choire Sicha: "I don't do drugs, but to me it's just funny to talk about doing drugs all the time." It's so true. [LAT]

Dane Cook Pleads For A More Manly Movie Poster

Hamilton Nolan · 08/12/08 03:13PM

Dane Cook doesn't like the poster for his new movie! And to be fair to the unfunny and petulant comedian, it is terrible. The average heterosexual male would decline to see this movie based solely on the poster, even without knowing Dane Cook was in it. But the average heterosexual male who found themselves living Dane Cook's life would probably let it slide, secure in the thought that despite being (probably) Tucker Max's favorite entertainer, he was starring in movies with Kate Hudson and had a stable of college groupies. Dane Cook, however, took to his MySpace page with a 10-point letter of complaint about how the poster makes him look. Dude, you're totally making yourself sound like a metrosexual:

T Magazine Makes Will Ferrell Stop Clowning Around

Hamilton Nolan · 07/21/08 04:19PM

Oh, New York Times "T" fashion magazine: we will never understand you. We know the glossy mag brings in a ton of advertising dollars for the paper. But beyond that, its editorial mission is too rarefied for us to grasp. There's the odd indie rock fashion spread or child porn dustup, but what for? Today we were informed by a marketing person that the magazine has launched a series of celebrity "screen test" videos on its website. As far as we can tell, they're the first people to succeed in editing a five-minute long Will Ferrell interview in such a way that it is not funny at all. Beyond that, we're not sure what they were trying to accomplish. Watch the clip below, and take your own guess:

Dave Chappelle Fundraiser Turns Out Even Worse Than You Could Imagine

Hamilton Nolan · 07/10/08 09:48AM

Bad news for Real World cast member-turned Congressional candidate (D-Pop Culture) Kevin Powell: Dave Chappelle totally spaced out on Powell's fundraiser in Brooklyn last night, costing him the crucial Chappelle-fan vote! The comedian was supposed to headline the fundraising show, but never appeared, possibly because he is crazy. Then Chris Rock refused to go on too, in solidarity! And it only got worse for Powell: a drunk journalist, for chrissake, tried to grab the mic and steal the show [UPDATE: And there's a video!]:

The Real World: Congress

Hamilton Nolan · 07/09/08 08:26AM

Is America ready for a Real World cast member to serve in Congress? Don't worry, it's just Kevin, from season one! Back then Kevin Powell was sporting a high top and being the serious guy in the New York house with Heather B and the southern girl and the model guy and the other guy. Now, Powell has shaved his head and declared his candidacy for Congress from Brooklyn. And if young people can't relate to this guy, all hope for political engagement is lost. Observe Powell's stellar set of pop culture credentials:

Billionaire Financial Firms Losing PR Battle To The Poors

Hamilton Nolan · 06/04/08 08:35AM

Super-rich guys who work in private equity may be the masters of the universe, but it's remarkably easy to get under their skin. All it takes is some crappy "street theater" mocking them as mean, heartless wealthy elites, and they run back into their corner offices and cry into their monogrammed handkerchiefs. The huge union SEIU has, for the last year, been staging little theatrical protests of the private equity industry's greed, featuring puppets and megaphones and whatnot. Which you would think would be as effective as sitting across the street from the White House with a "No Nukes" sign. But it really gets the rich guys worked up! Now the SEIU is taking their campaign international, with help from grumpy comedian Lewis Black, and it's making the titans of finance so upset they want to run out and buy the Kleenex Corporation. It's not fair!

Jordan Carlos Wants A Real Job

Hamilton Nolan · 05/06/08 01:51PM

Jordan Carlos, the comedian we once touted as a possible candidate for the Saturday Night Live Barack Obama impersonation position (Lorne Michaels didn't agree, obviously), is getting tired of being pigeonholed as a black comedian without a steady job in television. Although he does have that gig playing Stephen Colbert's black friend. He's been on the NYC comedy scene for years now, and he feels he's not getting the respect he deserves. Specifically, he's a little peeved that the NBC show 30 Rock ripped off his own character idea, and that the Daily Show is one big exclusive white person club!

Chris Farley Returns To Earth For Yankees Game

Hamilton Nolan · 04/02/08 08:11AM

Some AP photographer was roaming around Yankee stadium during the rain delay, and who did he stumble upon but overweight deceased SNL comedic maniac Chris Farley! Farley, who passed away in 1997, apparently assumed human form once again in order to take in the historic final opening day in the classic ballpark. The identity of his female companion remains unknown. Click to enlarge the pic, via the WSJ.

Paul Fetch Is The New Andy Kaufman. Unless He's Just Really Really Unfunny.

Nick Douglas · 01/29/08 08:28PM

I want to believe Paul Fetch is the most cunning comedian of our time. If the videos by this YouTube user are parodies, and his entire online persona is a character, then we must all bow down to the new king; Zach Galifianakis, Tim and Eric, and David Cross must commit ritual suicide in front of him. But chances are he's just a terribly unfunny douche. Examine these three examples of remotely possible genius.