Greg Giraldo – RIP, you funny bastard

If you followed the news, Greg Giraldo overdosed last weekend, and has been in a New Jersey hospital since then. Earlier today, a tweet from Jim Norton informed us that Greg has died. Not a joke, not another black humour stab, this one was sadly for real. It immediately got confirmed, and the condolences have been pouring in. Who is Greg Giraldo? He’s a comedian you wish you saw live, on stage. Continue reading “Greg Giraldo – RIP, you funny bastard”

George Carlin RIP – catch TV specials

We knew it was coming, and his last few appearances on TV have been pretty telling. The guy’s been on stage, entertaining us, our parents, our grandparents for decades. That heart can only take so much, you know. How appropriate – heart failure. My guess is George just got tired. And can you blame him – fighting idiocy, and observing the morons who surround him every day. There are no others like you, George. I’m sorry you got tired of all of us. We should have tried harder to be decent beings.
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For Your Consideration (2006)

When this film premiered at the Toronto Film Fest, the director brought out the cast on stage. After Christopher Guest announced the last person to appear, he proceeded to talk about the film, how it was made, and who inspired it. Suddenly, from back stage, Eugene Levy appeared, shuffling quietly and slowly, as if he got lost on a school trip. There they were – about 15 people on stage, right in the spotlight, and in the darkness – Eugene, slowly wobbling towards the light. Christopher Guest stopped for a second, did a double take, and quickly announced “and here’s Eugene Levy, the co-writer of the movie”. By that time, the audience was roaring with laughter. Sure, it was a prepared bit, but it looked natural, unrehearsed. Funny as hell. Right at that moment, instead of joining the cast at the center of the stage, Eugene ran back behind the curtains, a second later a new spotlight hit that curtain, and he emerged again, this time waving his hands, smiling, and walking with confident big strides. The audience was in tears of laughter. We may have expected a bit from Guest and company, but to make a good punchline, and within seconds, to deliver another guaranteed laugh – that was class. And that set the tone for the entire film.
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Last Comic Standing Finale

Congratulations, America! Your most popular comedian (voted by you) is a cripple. How telling, how sadly ironic. Please don’t bash me over the head with your political correctness, or call me a bigot. Try to understand this simple comedy concept – the audience should be laughing with the comedian. As soon as they’re laughing AT the comedian, s/he becomes a joke, a fool. That’s not comedy – that’s circus. Just ask Carrot Top. A comedian is a performer before anything else. S/he has content, acting skills, timing, a rich back story or environment to draw material from. Josh Blue – the latest winner of NBC’s reality show – has cerebral palsy. When he’s not making fun of himself intentionally (via palsy-related jokes), he does it unintentionally (body language and verbal slips). That’s our laughter at his expense, our uncomfortable laughter, despite how comfortable he is with it. The remaining time he recycles 3 jokes that have nothing to do with his disability (thank god), but it’s the SAME THREE JOKES!
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Lucky Louie (Sundays on HBO)

I like crude humour. Well, perhaps I like comedians who can be very good at it. Jim Norton (from Opie and Anthony show) is a good example – his material is so filthy, and delivered so well that you can’t help but think that Jim is a filthy, disgusting man. And, laughing at such a man is so much easier. Jerry Seinfeld, on the other hand, is “acting” when he delivers his material – you can see a persona on stage, but a completely different person (who’s not even comfortable with some of this material) behind the curtains. But Jim Norton can do no wrong – every quip – no matter how inappropriate, how groan-inducing – gets at the very least a smile, but usually, a laugh.
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Rescue Me (Tuesdays on FX)

After two breathtaking seasons, Rescue Me is back on FX. If you missed it, or dismissed it as a one-note firefighter drama, you missed out. You have no excuse – tune in every Tuesday and you won’t regret it. Rescue me is about a team of firefighters, dealing with all kinds of crap in their personal lives. It’s not the sugar-coated stuff of Alias, or the politically-correct morals of The Unit. This is the real deal – people who play with life and death on daily basis, unable to cope with their own lives – drinking, abuse, separations, infidelity, gambling, mortgages, extended family, drugs… Each and every firefighter in the show has his own tragic story, and deals with it on is own terms, or with the help of a friend – not always successful, not even rational sometimes. What sets this show apart is its realism – from language to how they relate to each other – these are people you know, people who are surrounded by stress all day, and then some – at home.
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