John and Bob were very close with the great Don Rickles so they came by to pay tribute to him and share some of the very funny and touching moments they had together. (h/t Sheila O’Malley)
Some of my favorite Don Rickles appearances. Late Show with David Letterman, Martin Scorsese AFI, Frank Sinatra on the Tonight Show, Bob Hope Honors.
[VIDEO] ‘Can We Take a Joke?’ Official Trailer HD, Featuring Adam Carolla, Lisa Lampanelli, Gilbert Gottfried, Penn JillettePosted: June 7, 2016
In the age of social media, nearly every day brings a new eruption of outrage. While people have always found something to be offended by, their ability to organize a groundswell of opposition to—and public censure of—their offender has never been more powerful. Today we’re all one clumsy joke away from public ruin. Can We Take A Joke? offers a thought-provoking and wry exploration of outrage culture through the lens of stand-up comedy, with notables like Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli, and Adam Carolla detailing its stifling impact on comedy and the exchange of ideas. What will future will be like if we can’t learn how to take a joke?
The latest from Louis CK, and a rather unique opinion on politics and Trump.
Horace and Pete is a pretty unique show. Funny, dramatic, great cast. I recommend it. Anyway, here’s what Louis wrote below:
Hello there. Your name is “there” isn’t it? Anyway hello. I’m writing, of course, to let you know that Horace and Pete episode 6 is available for streaming and download.
This week begins act two. Our guest star is the terrific Hannah Dunne. I think doing this show is the most fun I’ve ever had.
I’d like to also thank everyone in the rest of the world for supporting the show. The show is selling well in England, France, Germany, Denmark, Australia, India, Israel and more. I wish I had the resources to create a subtitled version of the show in every language but it’s already a challenge to shoot the show and get it up on the site so quickly every week.
Also, as the show is not being advertised and promoted anywhere, please share it with your friends and people you think would like it. Please don’t show it to anyone you think would hate it. Although I do believe a show needs to be hated. It’s part of the life of any show to have some people who devote energy to ripping it apart. It’s healthy. Anyway it continues to be very interesting to watch a show spread and grow strictly on word of mouth. And you are the mouths. I mean your mouths are the mouths that… Make words. So please… Word… About it. The show.
To other mouths. I mean don’t talk into people’s mouths though.
Okay. I’m going back to bed. My kids don’t get here for another hour.
P.S. Please stop it with voting for Trump. It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the 30s. Do you think they saw the shit coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.
And I’m not advocating for Hillary or Bernie. I like them both but frankly I wish the next president was a conservative only because we had Obama for eight years and we need balance. And not because I particularly enjoy the conservative agenda. I just think the government should reflect the people. And we are about 40 percent conservative and 40 percent liberal. When I was growing up and when I was a younger man, liberals and conservatives were friends with differences. They weren’t enemies. And it always made sense that everyone gets a president they like for a while and then hates the president for a while. But it only works if the conservatives put up a good candidate. A good smart conservative to face the liberal candidate so they can have a good argument and the country can decide which way to go this time.
Trump is not that. He’s an insane bigot. He is dangerous.
He already said he would expand libel laws to sue anyone who “writes a negative hit piece” about him. He says “I would open up the libel laws so we can sue them and win lots of money. Not like now. These guys are totally protected.” He said that. He has promised to decimate the first amendment. (If you think he’s going to keep the second amendment intact you’re delusional.) And he said that Paul Ryan, speaker of the house will “pay” for criticizing him. So I’m saying this now because if he gets in there we won’t be able to criticize him anymore.
Please pick someone else. Like John Kasich. I mean that guy seems okay. I don’t like any of them myself but if you’re that kind of voter please go for a guy like that. It feels like between him and either democrat we’d have a decent choice. It feels like a healthier choice. We shouldn’t have to vote for someone because they’re not a shocking cunt billionaire liar.
We should choose based on what direction the country should go.
I get that all these people sound like bullshit soft criminal opportunists. The whole game feels rigged and it’s not going anywhere but down anymore. I feel that way sometimes.
And that voting for Trump is a way of saying “fuck it. Fuck them all”. I really get it. It’s a version of national Suicide. Or it’s like a big hit off of a crack pipe. Somehow we can’t help it. Or we know that if we vote for Trump our phones will be a reliable source of dopamine for the next four years. I mean I can’t wait to read about Trump every day. It’s a rush. But you have to know this is not healthy.
If you are a true conservative. Don’t vote for Trump. He is not one of you. He is one of him. Everything you have heard him say that you liked, if you look hard enough you will see that he one day said the exact opposite. He is playing you. Read the rest of this entry »
Does heckling let the real comedian stand up and shine, or does it trample a punchline and mangle a routine?
Lary Wallace writes: Probably the closest thing you can compare it to is the fighting in ice hockey. Think about it: an activity somehow both integral and non-essential that many in the audience consider more entertaining than those parts of the performance that require actual talent. But here’s the difference between fighting in hockey and heckling in stand-up comedy, and it’s an essential one: the former is all about the players, while the latter is all about the fans trying to be the players.
That’s why it drives comedians nuts when it’s asserted – as it was at length in the Chicago Tribune a couple of years ago – that heckling is often not only the best part of stand-up but often, indeed, the only memorable part of stand-up. Chris Borrelli – who, with another writer at the paper, Nina Metz, engaged in a forum-type discussion on the subject – went so far as to write: ‘I have seen countless comedians and theatre performances and live events in general, and forgotten most of them. But I remember each and every time I have witnessed a performer get into it with an obnoxious audience.’
The article got noticed in the comedy community, where it was regarded with contempt. The US stand-up Patton Oswalt wrote a post on his personal blog expressing ‘disgust’ with the two writers, characterising the piece as ‘an asinine, pro-heckling space-filler article’, before specifying: ‘hecklers don’t make a show memorable. They prevent a show from being a fucking show. Comedians do not love hecklers. They love doing the original material they wrote and connecting with an entire audience, not verbally sparring with one cretin while the rest of the audience whoops and screams, disconnecting from the comedian….’
An even more elaborate rebuttal to the article was provided by the comedian and journalist Steve Heisler, who wrote: ‘Hecklers make comedy memorable in the same way vacations are made memorable when you get mugged on them. You’re forced to make lemonade out of lemons. But make no mistake: there are fucking lemons.
‘This is a vibrant… art form,’ he continued, ‘that benefits from a deep understanding of what it takes to craft a set. What it takes to hone a joke. What it takes to devote your life to a career that is 99.99 per cent rejection, and STILL keep going….’
All of which is capable of making you feel pretty guilty if, like me, you’re a fan of stand-up who’s sometimes entertained by what happens when somebody heckles.
It’s not like this whole idea of heckling-is-good-for-comedy is some imaginary construct of journalists and other outsiders. It has very earnest proponents among stand-ups themselves. Billy Crystal – the furthest thing imaginable from a comedy outsider – made and starred in a movie, Mr. Saturday Night(1992), in which the fictional comedian Buddy Young Jr finds his voice as a comic precisely because of a heckler. He’s a young kid, up there on the big stage doing his shticky routine, and bombing terribly. A guy starts coming at him from the crowd with insults, and the insults Buddy volleys back are what bolster his material and his confidence, and put the crowd on his side. A career is born.
It’s not just in the movies, either. The comedian Franklyn Ajaye has written a terrific book called Comic Insights: The Art of Stand-Up Comedy (2002), in which the following words appear: ‘Sometimes a heckler can be good for your show, particularly if you’re at a point where you don’t have any new material and you’re a little bored with your act. Dealing with a heckler can be a chance for you to play around and see how your mind handles fresh stimuli.’
It’s worth emphasising that what Ajaye says here isn’t that heckling is good for comedians because it helps them prepare for dealing with other hecklers; what he says is that heckling is good for comedians because it helps improve their actual comedy.
The Canadian-born comedian Harland Williams, who is interviewed in the documentary Heckler (2007), says: ‘I just like the challenge of a heckler. I like it when people yell out, because basically they’re just shooting a bullet at you – it’s like a verbal bullet. You’re in the middle of something, and all of a sudden – pshoo-oooww – and you can either, like, do a Matrix [leaning away from and underneath the bullet], or you can catch it [catching the bullet with one hand] and go: “Let’s go buddy – it’s party time!”’
And we shouldn’t ignore the undeniable fact that comedians have been known to sometimes hire hecklers, planting them in the audience because of the frisson of danger they can give a show. Granted, these plants are working from scripted material, entirely on the comedian’s own terms, often written by the comedian himself. Two examples from Richard Zoglin’s biography Hope: Entertainer of the Century (2014) illustrate perfectly what I mean. Read the rest of this entry »