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Posts tagged as international affairs

Conan O'Brien Spent the Weekend Shooting a Remote 'Conan' Segment in Cuba

TBS's Conan will make history with its next remote segment. According to THR, Conan O'Brien and his Conan crew traveled to Cuba over the weekend to tape an upcoming segment for the show, making it the first time an American late night host filmed in the country since the embargo in 1962 — Jack Paar last visited to interview Fidel Castro for The Tonight Show in 1959. O'Brien is no stranger to filming remote segments in other countries — see his trips to Toronto, Ireland, Germany, and Amsterdam — so there's no better late night ambassador out there. The segment is set to air [...]

'The Onion' Responds to the 'Charlie Hebdo' Terrorist Attack

The Onion has responded to today's tragic terrorist attack at the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo with a new article titled "It Sadly Unclear Whether This Article Will Put Lives At Risk." The post echoes much of what former Onion editor Joe Randazzo wrote at MSNBC earlier today, and while it's way too honest and heartbreaking to be funny, it serves as both a strange read and powerful display of solidarity from one humor publication to another. Here's an excerpt:

Those familiar with the situation told reporters that if someone were to read the very words written here and be offended by them, it would [...]

'Los Angeles Times' Profiles Iraqi Comedy Show Creator/Writer Thair Chiad

"Making a comedy about Islamic State is like trying to defuse a bomb. One mistake and you die. Somehow, we've managed to avoid blowing ourselves up, thanks to God."

- The Los Angeles Times has a fascinating interview out today with Thair Chiad, creator and writer for new Iraqi half-hour sketch comedy show State of Superstition, which has aired multiple sketches mocking ISIS despite receiving death threats in the process.

Science Confirms the Decline of the Hollywood Comedy

Via Quartz, a recent study on Hollywood films has confirmed the obvious: As more and more non-US moviegoers are accounting for the industry's yearly profits (70% in 2013), comedy — the least translatable movie genre — is on the decline as a result. From the article:

But the emerging world enthusiasm for Hollywood films does not extend to comedies, or at least not relative to its love of action movies and animated films. In China, for example, US comedies account for only 10% of box office spending, compared to 25% in the US … By contrast, Hollywood action films are 44% of the box office in China (the latest [...]

Swedish TV Renews Greg and Amy Poehler's 'Welcome to Sweden' for Season 2

Welcome to Sweden, the Swedish sitcom Amy Poehler is producing that was created by and stars her brother Greg, was renewed  for a second season by Swedish broadcaster TV4 today, Digital Spy reports. The show was such a big hit over there that it was renewed after just two episodes. Season two will consist of 10 episodes, just like the first season.

Welcome to Sweden will make its US premiere on NBC July 10th, airing as a summer series. Depending on how the show does in the ratings in the US, NBC could end up acquiring broadcast rights to the second season, as well. Welcome to Sweden is [...]

'Charlie Hebdo' Will Print an Additional Two Million Copies of This Week's Issue

The latest issue of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo hit the stands today, and the three million copies sold out within minutes. The Guardian reports that the publication will print an additional two million copies of the issue to meet the high demand, and Animal New York has embedded the full issue online and begun to translate the cartoons into English. Here's a translation of Charlie columnist Zineb El Rhazoui's parting message to her colleagues who were killed during last week's terrorist attack via The Daily Beast:

“The pain will be long, will recur, and stretch out over time… But we will take a long time, [...]

Former 'Onion' Editor on the 'Charlie Hebdo' Attack: "We Cannot Police Our Own Thoughts"

"They cannot kill everyone who disagrees with them. There are not enough bullets in the world for that. The most responsible thing we can do is be aware that the most likely threat to freedom will now come from within. We cannot, should not, police our own thoughts – or the thoughts of our fellow citizens. Because the First Amendment does not just protect our free speech; it protects all expression, including religion."

- In a piece for MSNBC, former Onion editor Joe Randazzo reflects on today's horrific terrorist attack at the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which killed 12 people including editor-in-chief Stéphane Charbonnier.

Sony Is Making Alterations to Seth Rogen's 'The Interview' Before Its Christmas Release

It turns out that North Korea's missiles and complaints about Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's newest assassination comedy The Interview being "an act of war" that "shows the desperation of the US government and American society" have been taken seriously by Sony, because THR reports today that the film will undergo a bunch of changes prior to its release on December 25th. According to the report, the studio is not only "digitally altering thousands of buttons worn by characters … because they depict the actual hardware worn by the North Korean military" that honor Kim Jong-un and his father Kim Jong-il, but they're also reconsidering [...]

Iran's 'Modern Family' Ripoff Is an Exact Copy of the Original (Minus One Thing)

Via Time, here's a clip compilation comparing ABC's Modern Family with its Iranian knockoff Haft Sang. Aside from the obvious shot-for-shot resemblance, Haft Sang isn't quite modern enough to feature rebellious teen girls or gay couples yet, instead replacing Cameron with a woman and switching the daughters to sons.

Here's a Trailer for Greg and Amy Poehler's 'Welcome to Sweden' Featuring Will Ferrell

Nearly a year ago it was announced that Amy Poehler and her brother Greg sold a show to the Swedish television network TV4 called Welcome to Sweden starring Greg as an American accountant who falls in love with a Swedish woman and follows her back to Stockholm. The series premiered in Sweden on Friday, and above is the trailer featuring special guest Will Ferrell speaking both English and Swedish. NBC bought the rights to Welcome to Sweden back in October, so if the series does well across the pond then hopefully we can watch Swedish Ferrell in the near future. Click through for a clip from the season [...]

This Week's 'Charlie Hebdo' Will Feature Prophet Muhammad Cartoons

In the wake of last week's tragic terrorist attack, the surviving writers and artists of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo are back at work in full force. The New York Times profiled the first day back at the temporary Charlie Hebdo offices, where editor Gérard Biard revealed what readers can expect from Wednesday's issue, which will print three million copies (up from the usual 60,000) in 16 languages:

While the editors were keeping the content under wraps, it seemed likely that the cover might explore the paradox of their newfound friends. Another idea was clear: keeping the staff members’ memories alive by publishing past work. The [...]

'The Interview' Screenwriter Dan Sterling: "Comedians Shouldn't Be Held Accountable for Acts of Violence"

"Comedians shouldn't be held accountable for acts of violence – and those we satirize shouldn't be silenced. Sarah Palin is hilarious, and I would never want her silenced. It informs the debate. The problem is the people who make the threats. If Iran made a comedy titled Eat Shit and Die, America, I’d be the first guy in line – but then again I have a Pollyanna view. If all countries made satirical movies about each other, and that was the only way we all fought – what a great world we'd live in."

- Former Daily Show co-executive producer and The Interview screenwriter Dan Sterling comments on the recent [...]

Thailand's Military Government Is Not a Fan of 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver'

Thailand's military government apparently caught wind of a segment Last Week Tonight with John Oliver did on their Crown Prince last month, and they're not taking his satire lightly. VICE News recently got ahold of a "highly confidential" official document from Thailand's National Council of Peace and Order responding to, among other things, Oliver's June 22 segment on Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in which he mocked the coup leader and his ridiculous "happiness campaign" and called him "buffoonish" and "an idiot." From the document, which focuses on Oliver and other "overseas activities that the junta regards as 'undermining the royal institution'":

Mr. John William Oliver, a comedy actor [...]

North Korea Condemns Rogen/Franco Movie 'The Interview' But Kim Jong-un Will Probably Watch It Anyway

The recently released trailer for Seth Rogen's new movie The Interview (due out October 10th) has already made waves with its main plot and joke target North Korea in the form of an official condemnation of the film. According to Variety, the executive director of the Centre for North Korea-U.S. Peace was "dismissive" in an interview with the Telegraph about the movie: "There is a special irony in this storyline," he said, "as it shows the desperation of the US government and American society." He added, however, that dictator Kim Jong-un — who is played in the film by Randall Park — would "probably watch the [...]