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Tag: Comedy (61-70 of 342)

Patton Oswalt rethinks his stance on rape jokes in thoughtful essay

Sorry, Daniel Tosh: You just lost an ally. In a treatise of over 6,000 words, comedian Patton Oswalt Friday spoke out on the rape joke controversy, pointedly retracting his support of Tosh’s stance to make jokes about anything, regardless of subject matter.

But first, let’s rewind. Last summer, the host of Tosh.0 found himself in a sticky situation after a spectator complained about the way she was treated at one of his shows. Specifically: As Tosh was allegedly riffing about how hilarious rape jokes are at an open mike, the spectator felt moved to shout out, “Actually, rape is never funny!” By her account, Tosh paused, then said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, five guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…?”

While Tosh issued an apology for the incident — “all the out of context misquotes aside” — it sparked a long-simmering conversation about feminism, the male-dominated comedy community, and what is and isn’t acceptable in making light of horrific and tragic topics. Tosh’s opponents argued that there’s a difference between jokes that lampoon the absurdity of rape culture — an attitude that normalizes, excuses, and tolerates sexual assault — and jokes that mock the victims of that assault. Tosh’s supporters, by contrast, accused his opponents of censorship, saying that there should be no limits on what comedians should be able to joke about.

Among the people in that second camp: Patton Oswalt, who told EW at Comic-Con that while he didn’t agree with what Tosh said, he thought it was “very dangerous to create an atmosphere where people can’t f— up,” since open mikes are meant as safe spaces for comedians to try out new material.
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Jerry Seinfeld's 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' returns with Sarah Silverman, David Letterman, and lots of caffeine

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Back in the summer of 2012, one of comedy’s biggest names found a new home for himself: the Internet. And now he’s back for more.

On Thursday afternoon, Jerry Seinfeld — the man synonymous with sponge-worthiness, close talkers, and pretty much any television comedy catchphrase in the late ’90s — will unveil the first episode of the new season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The show’s title is very literal: Each episode pairs Seinfeld with another comedian, puts them in a cool old car, and features a conversation over caffeinated beverages.

The concept is simple, but the results are often thrilling. (And also award-winning.) The first season saw episodes featuring Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Mel Brooks, Colin Quinn, and Michael Richards, and each one featured revelatory chats about the nature of comedy, a subject Seinfeld finds endlessly fascinating. “Comedians never fail to get to this subject of, ‘How do you do this?’ or ‘What’s it like for you?’ or ‘What are you dealing with?’” Seinfeld told EW in a recent conversation. “So in almost every one of these shows, in fact I have to eventually say every single one at some point, these two people get to that.”

This season’s premiere, which will be available on Crackle and on the show’s official website at noon Thursday, features Sarah Silverman. Other guests this time around include David Letterman, Chris Rock, and Seth Meyers. Check out the preview of the new season below.
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Point/counterpoint: Can Dan Harmon's return save 'Community'?

The good news: Dan Harmon is probably coming back to Community! The bad news, possibly: Dan Harmon is probably coming back to Community. Will this move revive NBC’s crazy college-based show — or could it spell certain doom? Here’s how two EW writers see things.

DARREN FRANICH: I really enjoyed the first three seasons of Community. The show wasn’t perfect by any means, but what I liked about it was the total go-for-broke spirit, the sense that every episode took a concept that could’ve been gimmicky — Law & Order spoof! Spaghetti western! Alternate-universe chaos theory! — and then rapaciously attacked it from every angle

I credit that spirit entirely to Dan Harmon, who is by all accounts an insane person who pours everything of himself into his work and desperately wants to make great television. When Harmon was fired from his post as showrunner, he immediately became a sanctified Great Man Of Television, because everyone loves a martyr.

But martyrs are boring. I was worried that Harmon would spend his post-Community career playing the martyr — which, much as I love him, is basically what Conan O’Brien did post-Tonight Show. Without Harmon, Community was pretty boring too: Even when it was funny, it never felt insane the way that old Community could.

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Jonah Hill, Serious Actor, didn't come here to talk about farting

When it comes to passing gas, This Is the End star James Franco takes a covert approach: “I don’t do it in public, but when I’m at home in bed, I’ll fart! And on a plane, I’ll let it go,” he enthuses to Rolling Stone in the magazine’s latest cover story featuring the apocalyptic comedy’s cast. After all, adds Franco, “on a plane, nobody can hear you fart.” (Remind us never to travel with James Franco.)

Franco’s costar Seth Rogen is even more open about his habits. “I will say I’m a pretty bad farter from time to time,” he confesses. “I have a Japanese toilet at home that cleans my ass for me — it’s great. I only like to sh– at home, so I get some pretty bad farts during the day.”

But one This Is the End cast member is too reserved — or maybe just too self-important — to discuss his farting habits: Jonah Hill, whose eyes “nearly jumped out of their sockets” when Rolling Stone asked how often he lets ‘em rip. “I’m not answering that dumb question!” Hill complained to the magazine. “I’m not that kind of person! Being in a funny movie doesn’t make me have to answer dumb questions. It has nothing to do with who I am.”

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Ricky Gervais on 'Learn Guitar With David Brent': Write about what you DON'T know -- VIDEO

David Brent has really done well for himself since being made redundant at Wernham Hogg back in 2002. He’s got a fulfilling day job (selling cleaning products!) and a promising night job (acting as the “local Simon Cowell” for an aspiring musician), he’s had a chance to visit the U.S.… and he’s even moonlighting as a guitar teacher on YouTube. Yep, there’s no reason to feel sorry for good ol’ David Brent. None at all.

In this second episode of “Learn Guitar with David Brent,” the teacher breezes past boring instruction to deliver words of wisdom — “Dreams. Dreams are real. Dreams are realer than reality, in a way, because reality changes! Dreams do as well, but…” — and play a song about selling his (nonexistent) shack in Memphis and heading down to Mexico (on a trip he hasn’t actually taken).

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Ben Affleck hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live' finale: Talk about it here!

There are so many talking points for SNL‘s 38th season finale that I hardly know where to begin! Maybe it’ll help to organize them as a list:

1. Tonight marks Ben Affleck’s fifth time hosting Saturday Night Live, which grants him membership to SNL‘s storied Five-Timers Club. Usually, a moment like this would occasion a big, cameo-stuffed sketch featuring veteran hosts like Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. But SNL just gave us a cameo-stuffed Five Timer’s Club sketch when Justin Timberlake hosted in March — and it’s way too soon to repeat that same conceit. So how will the show acknowledge Affleck’s milestone? Maybe Timberlake will show up to induct him?

2. As you may already know, Stefon’s very first SNL appearance wasn’t a Weekend Update visit. It was this little-remembered sketch from the last time Affleck hosted the show in 2008, which casts Bill Hader and the host as brothers pitching a movie together. (According to the clip, Stefon’s last name is Zolesky — who knew?) This has to mean that Stefon and Affleck’s David are going to appear together again tonight, right?

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'Saturday Night Live': A full directory of Stefon's favorite clubs. (This post has EVERYTHING.)

[Update: Find Stefon's very last club -- sob! -- at the end of the post.]

Here’s what we know about tweaky club kid Stefon Zelesky, by far Bill Hader’s most popular SNL character: He used to write for Smash. His dad is David Bowie. His brother is Ben Affleck (a.k.a. “David”). He lives in a trash can near the Radio Shack on 23rd St. and 7th Ave. He’s in love with Seth Meyers. And he’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of New York’s hottest clubs, from Scampi (“illegally parked behind the Statue of Liberty”) to SPICY (“the creation of club owner/rabbi Jew Diamond Phillips”) to Selfieee! (“based on the novel Push by Sapphire”).

But just like Booooooooof’s round-the-clock puke party, all good things must come to an end. And since this Saturday marks Hader’s last show as an SNL cast member, it may also be the last time we see Stefon horrify and amuse Seth — and himself — by rattling off facts about his favorite city hot spots.

So before he goes, let’s celebrate Stefon’s legacy by remembering all 31 of the crazy, improbable, disgusting, hilarious clubs he’s described over the past four seasons. And don’t worry — if the list makes you feel a bit misty, just reach down and grab yourself a human tissue. (It’s that thing of where a jacked midget wears a white shirt, and you blow your nose on it.)

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Adam Sandler's sage advice to Jay Leno: 'Go to Fox!' -- VIDEO

NBC’s coming late-night shakeup affects three-fourths of the the network’s post-11:30 p.m. programming. (Enjoy stability while it lasts, Last Call with Carson Daly.) Saturday Night Live has to find a new Weekend Update anchor… because Seth Meyers is moving to host Late Night… because Jimmy Fallon is moving to host The Tonight Show… because Jay Leno is getting forced out, just three years after NBC reinstated him as Tonight‘s host. Phew!

So while everyone else at the network is movin’ on up, what should Jay’s next move be?

His pal Adam Sandler — who stopped by last night to talk Grown Ups 2 The Streets — has a few ideas. Namely: “Don’t you think he should just take it easy, enjoy, breathe… maybe go to Fox, do a show at 11:00?” he asked Tonight‘s audience, to cheers and applause. Leno laughed off the suggestion genially, as is his wont — but you’ve got to wonder if he might consider it seriously come 2014.

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'The Office' series finale: When did you start crying?

For anyone who’s stuck with The Office through thick and thin, fat years and lean years, the slow disintegration of Jan Levenson’s sanity and stern rule of Charles Miner and the misguided creepiness of Robert California — or even those who tuned in after a long break just to see how everything turned out — last night’s 75-minute-long finale was pretty much perfect.

Basically everybody got what they wanted: Dwight and Angela wed in appropriately weird Schrute fashion. Andy revealed that he’d moved back to Ithaca to work at his beloved alma mater (Cornell — ever heard of it?). Nellie stumbled into motherhood in the most random way possible. Erin found her parents, played adorably by Joan Cusack and Ed Begley Jr. Oscar worked on a campaign for state senate, while Kevin discovered that bartending suited him much better than accounting. Ryan and Kelly returned to Scranton separately, only to run off together (and, most likely, immediately break up again offscreen). Jim and Pam decided to move to Austin, where Jim will rejoin Athlead — sorry, Athleap — and Pam will, I don’t know, eat tacos or something.

And then there’s Michael Scott, whose “surprise” appearance wasn’t really much of a surprise. Even so, though, it was pretty great — especially when we learned that he had at least two kids and two phones, because “he’s just so happy to have a family plan.” Excuse me, but I think there’s something in my eye. (That’s what she said.)

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'Saturday Night Live': This week's Ben Affleck-hosted finale will be 'Argo'-rific -- VIDEO

Hey — you still like Argo jokes, right? Because if these promos are any indication, they’ll make up about 80 percent of the material on this week’s Saturday Night Live — or at least host Ben Affleck’s monologue.

Honestly, though, I’m totally fine with that — so long as the bulk of them are delivered by departing cast member/national treasure Bill Hader, who gets a rare co-starring role in Affleck’s promos. Think the Oscar-winner resents that he’s essentially billed second for Saturday’s show?

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