The titular character in John Warner’s debut novel, The Funny Man (out tomorrow on Soho Press), just wants to make people laugh. Everyone can relate to that.
Yes, he’s narcissistic, irresponsible, drug-addled and a bad father, but all that is a byproduct of his intense desire to elicit laughter from everyone he encounters. He’s just more committed than the rest of us, loses focus elsewhere, and eventually becomes a victim of his own success.
It’s clear after reading The Funny Man that Warner is an author who spends a lot of time reflecting about comedy and its place in our culture. That’s self-evident to those familiar with Warner’s previous [...]
There’s been a lot of talk this weekend about what kind of comedy Bridesmaids is — who it’s for, what it’s trying to do. Most of the buzz I’ve heard revolves around the comedy non-revelation that, holy shit, girls can be funny too, and look at these funny girls who are already millionaires for being funny be so funny even though girls are never funny. It’s ridiculous. And although I understand why comparisons will be drawn, over and over, to the “guy versions” of Bridesmaids, I really wish they didn’t have to be. Because Bridesmaids is, objectively, a fucking terrific comedy, independent of the gender discussions that people who [...]
This is a review of a book entitled This is a Book by Demetri Martin. The book was written by Demetri Martin, of course. The title is not the only reason, however, why it could not have possibly been written by anyone else.
There has always been a matter-of-fact post-modernism to the way Demetri Martin packages himself, and his literary debut is a remarkable translation of that unique aesthetic into book form. (That the author designed the jacket and cover artwork himself suggests that this process was a labor of love.) Several self-aware touches adorn the book, poking fun at the medium: a sly mock-tutorial, “How to read [...]
If you enjoyed Norm MacDonald’s perpetually-grinning, surprisingly-understated stint on SNL’s Weekend Update in the mid-90’s, it's a safe bet that you’ll love Sports Show with Norm MacDonald. In his recent interview with A.V. Club, MacDonald commented on his time in that anchor chair this way: So on Update, the only real original thing was trying to take away the cleverness of the punchline and make it as blunt as possible. And then I tried to make the punchline as close to the setup as I could. And I thought that was the perfect thing. If I could make the setup and the punchline identical to each other, I would [...]
Good news comedy nerds (and just nerds): Paul is funny! Don’t be fooled by the marketing campaign and weak trailers; this is not simply a buddy comedy with wacky CGI’d aliens and weed jokes. It’s a Simon Pegg and Nick Frost movie through and through. Like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Pegg and Frost co-wrote a script that embraces, not mocks, the genre film.
Parody movies rarely work, and thanks to the sometimes alarming rate in which they’re churned out (Scary Movie, Epic Movie, Date Movie, etc.), quality seems to suffer. But there are a few very noteworth exceptions. Christopher Guest has mastered the mockumentary, and [...]