Has the death of Harold Ramis left the world a less funny place? MSNBC's "Morning Joe" explored the issue this morning, as NBC News political director Chuck Todd led the show in a discussion of how grievously unfunny the New York Times obituary of Ramis was. Chuck Todd is an expert on what is and is not funny. Here, for devoted students of comic technique, is a transcript of Todd's remarks:
A video of Jonah Hill and Maroon 5 performing a song about handjobs has been making the rounds, apparently from before Hill made Superbad. And while the clip all together is super bad, the song turns out to be so bad that it's kind of good.
Jerry Seinfeld, the most successful comedian in the world and maker of comedy for and about white people, isn't interested in trying to include non-white anything in his work.
"Twitter writer" Kelly Oxford just sold a TV comedy. Hope it's more original than her past stuff?
Sassy-television-detective-turned-action-hero Bruce Willis just hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time since 1989, with musical guest Katy Perry. One of the episode's highlights was this amusing digital short about the secret manly society of boy dance parties, a stress-relieving breakdown of herky-jerky man-cave moves that're "not homoerotic, just a call for brotherly unity." This is a rare instance where a twerking joke still really works.
Jack Handey has written "Deep Thoughts" for Saturday Night Live, "Shouts and Murmurs" for The New Yorker, and last week published his first novel, The Stench of Honolulu. He is one of the funniest living writers in the world today. He spoke to us via email about comedy, the perils of notoriety, and the best nut.
Did you know: in 2010, someone uploaded a clip of Kanye West's improv sitcom HBO pilot to YouTube, and nobody noticed? Three full years and four Kanye albums have passed, and we haven't made fun of him for this. Let's do that riii-iiight now.
In my experience, the Hangover movies are mildly amusing when they aren't despicable. They are founded on a clever premise (retracing the steps of the blackout night before). They relish the joy and profound weirdness that stupidity can produce. They touch on relevant cultural practices and obsessions like eternal adolescence, bro culture, the mispronunciation of words and asshole-spotting.
In the most recent episode of Inside Amy Schumer, comedian Amy Schumer’s new show on Comedy Central, there is a sketch about not taking a compliment. A group of women greets each other by doling out kind words and then immediately dismissing the accolade. Oh I look pretty? No I actually look like Susan Boyle's toothbrush.
GQ has published an amazing interview with comedian/smirking beet Ricky Gervais, in which writer Chris Heath calls him on his arrogant shit, Gervais faintly protests and then backs right into confirming the accusations of assholery anyway. This happens again and again. If self-awareness is the string, Gervais is a yo-yo.
Jonathan Winters, the comedian who helped make "improv" a household term and kept audiences laughing for over half a century, died last night of natural causes at his home in Montecito, California. He was 87.