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Posts tagged as politics

Watch Aasif Mandvi's Fantastic Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner Speech

On Wednesday night The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi gave a speech at the 2015 Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner, and the whole thing is now online in full. Mandvi's speech has pretty much everything, from improvement advice for C-SPAN ("C-SPAN needs to be more like CNN and just forget about the news"), thoughts on Netanyahu’s recent speech to Congress ("It took a black president to make Republicans finally wish for a Jewish one"), and insight about what it's like being a Muslim in America today: "Listen, I don’t care how this goes tonight, because tomorrow it’s gonna say 'Muslim Bombs' or 'Muslim Kills.' It’s bad for me either way."

Chris Rock Talks 'SNL,' Standup, Politics, and More with 'New York' Magazine

New York magazine recently conducted a lengthy interview with Chris Rock to promote his latest film Top Five, and it's loaded with great insight on everything from standup and SNL to political correctness, President Obama, and current events like Ferguson and Bill Cosby's demise. Here are Rock's thoughts on how cell phones and social media have driven comedians' self-censorship when developing material:

It is scary, because the thing about comedians is that you’re the only ones who practice in front of a crowd. Prince doesn’t run a demo on the radio. But in stand-up, the demo gets out. There are a few guys good enough [...]

The Real Israeli-Palestinian Crisis is My Lack of Knowledge About it, by Evan Waite

My ignorance of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shows no signs of stopping, and is from all indications worse than ever. It’s time to take a good, hard look at how uninformed I am.

Just this week, I heard someone say that the death toll rose in Gaza after Israel escalated its air assault. Whatever side of this conflict you find yourself on, I think we can all agree it is truly heartbreaking that I don’t understand what the term “Gaza” means.

Is it some sort of army base? Or a mythical mountain where the gold is hidden? I’m pretty sure it’s not underwater.

Left unchecked, the repercussions of this ignorance [...]

Frank Rich Dives Deep Into the Current State of Conservative Comedy

"Anyone who believes in free markets, as American conservatives profess to, should understand that few markets are as ruthless as show business. It is the customers, not some shadowy conspiratorial gatekeepers, who give comedians the hook—or catapult them into the capitalist nirvana of the one percent."

-Frank Rich, in an excellent piece for The New York Times called "Can Conservatives Be Funny?," which dives deep into the current state of conservative comedians and asks why there aren't more of them and why they aren't more successful.

White House Press Secretary Says Jon Stewart Was Obama's Toughest Interview in 2012

Barack Obama's press secretary Jay Carney told students at Georgetown that Jon Stewart was actually the president's "most substantive, challenging interview" in 2012, instead of, you know, any interviews with real journalists. Here's what Carney said (via The Wrap):

I remember we had some discussion during 2012 about 'Well, is it appropriate for the president, the sitting president and candidate, to give interviews with Jon Stewart and others?' And the answer was yes, again, because young voters we were trying to reach are more likely to watch The Daily Show than some other news shows.

But also, I think if you look back at 2012 and the series [...]

Can 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Ever Accurately Portray the NYPD?

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a fun, wacky, well-cast sitcom set in a Brooklyn police precinct. Since 2004, approximately seven unarmed people of color have been killed by real cops in real Brooklyn. It stands to reason that a network sitcom would be uncomfortable addressing something so horrifying. What, then, should a sitcom about police officers in New York City be, when the world outside of that sitcom is one of fear and violence?

Not all sitcoms will address their contemporary world; arguably, that's nowhere close to the point of sitcoms. For every show like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which includes a few contemporary stories every season, there's [...]

Cecily Strong to Headline 2015's White House Correspondents' Dinner

SNL's Cecily Strong just set a fancy gig for next year. USA Today reports that Strong has signed on to headline as the guest comedian at next year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 25th. Strong will make the fourth woman to headline the event in its 82-year history following Paula Poundstone, Elayne Boosler, and Wanda Sykes.

Nick Offerman Jokes About the Time Warner-Comcast Merger and Gun Control in His Correspondents Dinner Speech

Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman hosted the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, D.C. yesterday night, and here's his speech from it, in which a mustache-less Offerman makes a bunch of jokes about Eric Cantor, gun control, and his hatred for Time Warner and Comcast.

Check out the second half of his speech below:

Watch Joel McHale's White House Correspondents Dinner Speech

Community star and The Soup host Joel McHale hosted the 2014 White House Correspondents Dinner over the weekend, and you can watch his entire speech above, in which he mocks everyone from Chris Christie to CNN to the Secret Service. Click through to watch Obama's speech as well as four pre-taped segments with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer from Veep with Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, and more.

Rush Limbaugh Sure Is Unhappy That Stephen Colbert Got 'Late Show'

America's racist uncle, Rush Limbaugh, weighed in on the Colbert Late Show news on his show yesterday, and – surprise! – he is none too pleased that a guy who's spent the last few years dismantling everything Rush stands for is getting a bigger stage. Here's his reasoned and hyperbole-free take on it: CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America. No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatism. Now it's just wide out in the open. What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny, and a redefinition of what is comedy. They're blowing up the [...]

Trevor Potter Looks Back on Setting Up Stephen Colbert's Super PAC

Stephen Colbert's former lawyer Trevor Potter wrote a piece for The Washington Post this week to mark the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court Citizens United decision, and it's a great look back at the brilliance and lasting influence of Stephen Colbert's super PAC "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow." Potter appeared on The Colbert Report several times during the Colbert Super PAC saga and was tasked with drafting up all legal documents and assisting Colbert in the purely legal financial venture, and in the Washington Post article he outlines some his most notable lessons learned from the whole process. Here's an excerpt:

When the Colbert Super [...]

A Politician Applies For a Job at McDonald's, by Ben Godar

I am here to announce my application for the position of line cook at this McDonald’s location. You don’t know me, so let me take a moment to introduce myself. There are a few things that set me apart from the other candidates hovering in the lobby and sipping complimentary fountain drinks.

First and foremost, I am a fast food outsider. I did not graduate from McDonald’s University. I have never set foot in one of these places, or any fast food restaurant for that matter. What that means is, I won’t just come in here and accept business-as-usual. I will ask questions. Why do we need to empty [...]

A Documentary Was Made About Roseanne Barr's 2012 Presidential Bid

It seems so long ago at this point, but Roseanne Barr did run for President of the United States in 2012 and apparently, somebody filmed a documentary about her campaign. THR reports today that longtime Michael Moore collaborator Eric Weinrib made a documentary called Roseanne for President!, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at Barr's campaign. A year and a half after the election, the movie is currently in post-production and is expected to be finished sometime this year.

Roseanne for President! "followed Barr's gonzo campaign from its inception and gained access to her home, friends and family … [and] aims to illuminate how the system works by highlighting [...]

James Adomian Plays Jesse Ventura in a Campaign Ad That May Not Actually Be a Campaign Ad

Here's a video comedian James Adomian made for Funny Or Die, in which he brings the impression of former Minnesota governor/pro wrestler Jesse Ventura he's popularized on Comedy Bang! Bang! and other podcasts, to the screen for a campaign ad, even though he hasn't decided whether he wants to run or not.