Saturday, August 06, 2005

Three Free Laughs

Just got back from The Aristocrats with a Q & A by the very-funny-in-person Larry Miller. Good movie. Needed an edit.

Interesting they included only two black people, almost no funny women, and no asians or latinos or Others. (Roseanne, Margaret Cho, George Lopez, Rosie O'Donnell, Wanda Sykes, Bill Cosby, Paula Poundstone, Carol Burnett, Cher, Ellen Degerneres, Brett Butler, Janeane Garafolo, Joan Rivers, Andrea Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Kathy Griffin, Catherine O'Hara...Not in the rolodex? Or not funny because they're not white men?)

Hmmm. Not that comedy is an old white guy fraternity. No...(Thank you Whoopi, Carrie, Phyllis and Sarah for representing...)

Actually, my favorite thing about the movie was that sophisticate Eddie Izzard (funniest man alive) couldn't even bring himself to outline the joke. He should have just done it in French:
Le singe est sur la branche manger merde...Très bien. Les membre de l'aristocratie!

I'm pretty sure he was the only gay comedian. Interesting.

If you need a preview, here's your Free Glimpse. Très bien. Kyle's reaction to the joke was mine as well, though the documentary is fascinating as a history of class/race/gender and joke structure. And of course, a lovely demonstration of free speech.

And here's a subjective list of Important Comedy Moments.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is surprising -- a movie about the "dirtiest joke ever", and hardly any estrogen on the celluloid?

Shoot -- the first dirty jokes I heard as a kid were FROM the high school girls I met via family/ relatives' parties.

Odd.

OK, going to bed now.

MIM

PS -- See your schnoz thread below. YOU WERE A CHEERLEADER?!?

MIM

Kid Sis said...

I KNOW, right? I mean, doesn't everyone know by now NOBODY'S dirtier than women? I think it's the whole childbirth/monthly bleeding/taking it up the ass from society thing...we just need to let steam off.

Anonymous said...

OK -- following "childbirth/ monthly bleeding/ taking it up the ass from society thing" with the prhase "letting the steam off"...

Ewww.

Maybe I'm just a little narrow-minded, but if I ever find out someone I know is going through that and STEAM issues forth... I'm going to need a stiff drink.

MIM

Kid Sis said...

Tsk tsk...WAY too sensitive to see The Aristocrats then. Do yourself a favor and avoid the corn diareah fest. Huh. That can't be the right spelling of Diahreah. but I'm not going to websters.com to find out...

Warren said...

Perhaps splitting hairs, but I believe Eddie Izzard isn't gay. He's a transvestite, but as he puts it, likes sleeping with girls. And of course, as we all know, he's an "executive transvestite," not a weird transvestite, more like a male tomboy... I do agree that he's absolutely the funniest person alive.

Ciao! WHL

Kid Sis said...

Glad to hear it. He spent a lot of time in "Unrepeatable" discussing coming out to his parents as a gay man. Glad he's changed his mind in the last 11 years! Ha. We turned another fabulous man.

John Donald Carlucci said...
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John Donald Carlucci said...
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Kid Sis said...

Yeah, but come on...no gays, only two blacks and a handful of women out of 75 comedians??????

That's no accident.

Kid Sis said...

The sexism and racism that is unintentional is the most deadly.

John Donald Carlucci said...
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Anonymous said...

"Can’t we just enjoy the work without bringing in politics?"

Hm. Sentences like these always frighten me. It's like my freshmen students whining, why do we have to think so hard about art? Why can't we just, like, totally enjoy it or whatever? It's the mark of a lazy mind, in my opinion. Too many of them in one society and we'd get Bush for a president. (Oh, wait. That already happened. Twice.)

But sure, we don't have to talk about politics -- though I don't see how any one of us should be offended (or even threatened) by the idea of *others* discussing politics freely on a blog.

Just my opinion.

NN

Kid Sis said...

JDC, channels like Lifetime exist because the WGA and DGA female membership is at 5%. Less than 9% of the films released every year have a female protagonist.

If you can't see how the selection process itself of who to include in a film might include inherent sexism and racism, we have nothing more to discuss. Next topic.

NN, isn't interesting the only hostile comments I've ever had here about how my OPINIONS are wrong are from men? Huh. And I don't recall asking for any reader's opinions on this...two higher degrees in media studies from the top universities in the country qualifies me to discuss my reaction to a film without having a stranger lob "harsh allegations" at me.

John Donald Carlucci said...
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Kid Sis said...
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Anonymous said...

It is interesting. I wonder why anyone would think they have the right to tell you what you should or shouldn't be able to talk about on your own blog. It's not as if you're forcing your opinions on any unwilling soul -- they came to your site of their own volition.

Oh well. I agree with you, anyway, that the demographics on the film are peculiarly skewed to the white male population, and that this is a travesty. And that you have a right to say so.

NN

Kid Sis said...

DUH! Thank you.

What can I tell you? We're very threatening to men. All my life, this BS...

You doll, I would never delete.

Lynne said...

some people just have nothing better to do than tell other people they are wrong

I don't know what they said, but I'm glad you removed the remarks, since they were obviously inappropriate in this forum, and glad you told them to go blog elsewhere.

American Knight said...

I think you raised a good point in this post, not only about the under-representation of women and minorities in this particular film but the entertainment industry in general. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Ok, checking back in since yesterday afternoon. Anything catch fire while I was out?

;-)

MIM

The Awful Writer said...

I'm bummed that you're not interested in debating this issue with JDC. I think it could have made for a good read. Oh well.

My take on this is that only an investigation into the making of the film could settle the question of whether the under-representation was intentional (because the makers are a**holes) vs an unconscious act (because the makers are clueless) vs comic demographics (more male comics agreed to do the movie) vs something else I haven’t thought of.

One thing is for sure, the film makers didn't address this issue and therefore have left themselves open to criticism.

Meg said...
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TN_Dreamer said...

First, I am a woman and a minority.

Second, I only got here through moviequill, then constipated writer, then jdc.

Third, bc I got here through those channels I have read everything jdc said.

Fourth, I don't think his point was to tell you what you should & should not believe or say on your own blog. From what I read, my opinion is that he was just trying to bring up another viewpoint.

Fifth, I love arguing so my POV may be different than yours.

After all that, I think the awful writer put it best. You never know what the circumstances were for this particular movie. No, I do not "think all's level on the race-and-gender playing field". I've had enough experiences to know better. But from what JDC said, I don't think that was his point either.

The actual ratio of male comedians to female comedians, male DGAs ro female DGAs, & male WGAs to female WGAs, to me, only serves to highlight why the filmakers might have unknowingly skewed WASP. But I do plan on watching "The Aristocrats" now & my opinion may change. (Feel free to delete if this offends.)

Meg said...

Sorry, I wanted to amend my post and couldn't figure out how to do it without trashing the whole thing...here's the original with additions at the end...

If it makes you feel any better, I used to freelance for a youth section at the Seattle Times - the one time I wrote about how the image-conscious culture is affecting women's self esteem, I had a reader call me an unwashed hippie lesbian. I don't know why things like that press people's buttons so much, but it always makes me feel like I'm right: if you think all's level on the race-and-gender playing field, try being a woman or a minority for a day. Then tell me it's really equal out there.

Nevertheless, we did run his letter and I did try to respond. Handling inflammatory and/or distasteful remarks was the hardest thing I ever had to do as an opinion writer, but I figured that I needed to at least consider his point, regardless of how skewed it seemed to me -- because he probably felt the same way about what I said. I'm not sure what JDC said, so I don't know where his comments fall on the appropriate-inappropriate line, but sometimes the internet makes it hard to discern someone's intentions. Anyway, whether you respond or don't respond, trust me when I say it's not worth the lingering frustration. - I steamed over some readers' comments for days and eventually burned out on writing the column. In retrospect, all I got out of that reaction was a lot of pointless stress. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I just wanted to let you know that a lot of us have been through similar issues.

Anonymous said...

WOW, Leia -- storm of hammers coming down.

MIM

Anonymous said...

Yeah, storm of hammers. Weird.

There must be something going on with the planets. Or people are getting itchy for the dog days o' summer to be over. Something. All the internet posting sites I follow have either inherited trolls or otherwise gone haywire, and all at once.

Really. It's just plain weird.

NN

Kid Sis said...

Thanks everyone. I appreciate it.

The last think I need in my life is to come here and be attacked because someone's had a nerve touched.

This is just a diary. It's not meant to be a democracy or a place where everyone's voice is heard. That's why you all have your own online diaries. This is my voice, and if you're going to tell me I need to quantify it, I'm going to tell you to eff off.

Look, there's nothing to debate (not that there was a debate going on...there was a troll happening).

Reread my post. I stated FACTS. Case closed. It's not like I said there were aliens in the movie and there weren't...this isn't a matter of wrong facts, or even opinion. Go count who they interviewed and how many are white men.

For whatever reason (and I didn't even say what I thought those reasons could be, though I have opinions about it as well) women, minorities, and gays were excluded from an important movie that the filmmakers themselves have said is ABOUT FREE SPEECH and the behind the stage history of the last one hundred years of stand up comedy (a field which MOST DEFINITELY includes the afore mentioned groups of people). Paul and Larry both said the joke itself didn't matter at all...

Tim Conway and Tommy and Dick, but no Carol or Vicki. Interesting. Carrot Top but no Judy Tenuta. Paul Reiser, but no Roseanne. Plenty of other hacks, but no Ant.

It doesn't have to do with age or skill or whether you think they're funny...they weren't there, and the filmmakers never said why. If they had, maybe I could have elevated my opinion higher than my incredibly harsh and sexist declaration "good movie." Boy, that's really going to bury it at the box office this weekend.

TN_Dreamer, you didn't read everything JDC wrote because I deleted his hostile entries. He was flinging sexist accusations at me and NN, and it's not appreciated. I don't need someone telling me I'm too PC, to lighten up because it's just a joke movie, and that women are more sexist than men on Lifetime anyway, and that I'm destroying the reputations of two fine filmmakers. None of that makes sense or is relevant to what I wrote in my post. Reread it. I said nothing deserving the mean, accusatory comments I received.

That's not a debate, that's flaming. I'm not going to delete you because you have a differing opinion from me. I am going to delete you if you insult me or any of my readers, especially when we weren't saying anything in the least bit controversial or offensive. If you've been here for awhile, you should know that already.

I've been extremely upfront about my politics. I am a neo-feminist, highly trained in media studies and in the film industry to CHANGE THE MEDIA. IT IS MY JOB to point out where filmmakers go wrong and could do a better job next time.

And until our media and our elected government reflects the colored, gay, and or female faces back at us that over 52% of the country sees every day in the mirror, I WILL CALL FOUL.

So new topic: does anyone know if Eddie Izzard is bi or straight or what? i checked on what WHL said and it would appear Eddie is now interviewing as a straight man. I'm so confused. But it certainly fits the usual transvestite mode.

American Knight said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Izzard

According to Wikipedia he's either a male lesbian or a straight transvestite.

Kid Sis said...

I...huh? Okay, I get it.

I'm going to have to go rent that one show again, cuz I swear he was talking about coming out to his parents. I remember being severely disappointed as a woman, and because he's such a great ambassador for the regular ol' tranvestites. I know, real pain in the ass, having to watch the funniest man alive again.

Thanks for looking it up!

Anonymous said...

Uh. Oh.

I think I'm getting how this went down... slowly... with the meds trickling through my addled brain...

Can I just say I'm sorry if I had a hand in making this situation worse? I saw the negative comments, I responded honestly, and I can see now how that might've been a bad idea.

Crimony. I know this is the last freaking thing you need right now.

But it has to be said: you certainly do know how to get people interested in a topic. That's the mark of a good writer -- a relevant writer -- one that matters to others, even if in disagreement. The worst case scenario for any writer is that people will be disaffected by the work, put it down, never get interested, never read it. An inky pen scratching in the forest kind of thing. This, m'Lady, will never happen to you!

NN

Patrick said...

Elizabeth,

Could there be a few comics who were left out of the film due to length? Could more footage be included within the extras section of the DVD?

Patrick

American Knight said...

My research "skills" are available to you anytime. Now you've got my curiosity piqued, let me (us) know what you find.

Kid Sis said...

Thanks guys.

I'm disabling this post now. Nothing you did wrong. Just don't want your words abused by someone I've banned. Let him dig his own hole alone.