GQ: You've often said one reason the character of David Brent worked so well is because he has a blind spot about how people see him. Ricky Gervais: Yeah. That's exactly what we're laughing at.
GQ: Do you ever worry that could be true about yourself? Ricky Gervais: This will sound arrogant: I don't worry about it at all. I think I'm pretty self-aware. I think I know what I'm doing. You know when you've been a prat, you know when you're being a prat, you know when something sounds pretentious. But you're right—by definition you don't know. It's funny, Christopher Guest said to me—we were talking about comedians we used to like and if people go off the boil—and he was basically saying: "What if we become the people we don't rate anymore? What if we lose it and we don't know it?" And I went [grins], "Who cares?"
GQ: Surely you've already heard people saying that you've lost it? Ricky Gervais: Yeah. But then I sell 30,000 tickets in an hour. So what have I lost?
The interviewer, Chris Heath, asks all sorts of great questions about what it means to portray a vain, narcissistic character for so long that people start to believe you're that vain, narcissistic character. And Gervais mostly blows off the questions, which is maybe a telling way of answering those questions.
Are you working late in an office tonight? Are you waiting to "follow your bliss" until after your shitty commute? Well, The Onion is here for you with some serious life advice:
My advice? Just find the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else, your one true passion, and do it for the rest of your life on nights and weekends when you’re exhausted and cranky and just want to go to bed.
It could be anything—music, writing, drawing, acting, teaching—it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it’s far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you’re stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life.
Today, State Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson called for a thorough review of three mega transportation projects commissioned across the state—including Seattle's very own deep-bore tunnel project—to ensure the projects meet their deadlines and billion-dollar price points.
Who's heading those reviews, you ask? Ron Paananen, the former director of the deep-bore tunnel project. (Soon after securing the tunnel deal, Paananen retired to the private sector and left the state.)
“Ron’s experience managing large-scale projects and his reputation across the state and country is second to none,” gushes Secretary Peterson over here.
Perhaps Paananen is a deep-bore tunnel savant or perhaps this is a case of cronyism. Regardless, I wouldn't think that the former director of a highly contentious project would be the best person to deliver a thorough, objective review of his own project.
On the bright side, if things go horribly, horribly wrong with the project, Paananen's new position should put him within easy reach of a pitchfork.
Remember this one from 2010? Remember "the most hilarious dick move in the history of tumescence"? Remember "Much like cheap sheet cake and Jeremy Piven, this one seemed like an okay dude at first"? Hahahahaha.
I wrote a preview piece for Jennifer Jasper's solo show last summer, soon after which I saw the show and loved it. Simply put, it's a collection of stories about Jasper's kooky but highly relatable family, told by an improv master who assembles the show fresh every night (i.e. no fixed script). What I remember most about the show (besides a transcendent story about homemade marital aids) is the sweetness of it all, even when it gets ugly. In an age of boundary-pushing shock comedy, Jasper traffics in old-school humanistic comedy, and watching the show, I kept thinking of the classic comedy of Carol Burnett, given a 21st-century lesbian twist. It's terrific, and if it sounds like something you'd like, it is.Full info here.
All the homosexuals in the building are so frantic getting A&P, our quarterly arts magazine, off to the printer that no one remembered to put up the news: Jinkx Monsoon killed it last night. Gawker called it "the best-ever impression of Little Edie Bouvier Beale," and they have a highlight reel right here. But whatever with highlights, you ought to watch the whole thing. The alternate headline for this post was "Hometown Hero Outsmarts a Pack of Wolves."
On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.
No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.
The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again.
In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible.
Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.
Sincerely, Steve Hannah CEO
What do you think about all this?
Should The Onion Have Apologized to Quvenzhané Wallis?
David Cameron has defended his decision to stop short of delivering a formal British apology for the Amritsar massacre in 1919, in which at least 379 innocent Indians were killed. As relatives of the victims expressed disappointment, the prime minister said it would be wrong to "reach back into history" and apologise for the wrongs of British colonialism...
...Cameron said Britain could still be proud of its former empire – while acknowledging the mistakes – as he rejected demands to return the Koh-i-Noor diamond to India from the British crown jewels.
Asked whether Britain should return the diamond, he said: "I don't think that is the right approach. It is the same question with the Elgin marbles," he said. "It is for the British Museum and other cultural centres to do exactly what they do do, which is link up with museums all over the world to make sure that the things we have, and are looked after so well, are properly shared with people around the world. No, I certainly don't believe in returnism."
And here are Hari Kondabolu's extremely funny and biting thoughts on that big-ass diamond:
Still looking for the perfect V-day gift for the scarred woman in your life? Check out this Funny of Die vid in which Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi, comedian/actor Brian Huskey (Children's Hospital), and Padma Laksmi's arm scar attempt to sell you the latest in romantic scar-flaunting fashions! Because... VALENTINE'S DAY! And... SCAR!
Verrrrrrry funny comedian Bill Burr gives his take on Lance Armstrong and that filthy fucking hypocrite Oprah in this hilarious interview with Conan. (P.S. Lance should steal the name "Sociopath on a Bicycle" for his autobiography.)
I am offended by the gay acceptance message this skit protrays. The implication is clear, if we got past our fear and tried anal sex, we would like it and then accept it.
During the "What Up With That" skit on SNL, actor Samuel L. Jackson said "What the Fuck" and "this is bullshit" during the show. I was watching with my gay friends and we were very upset. Thanks.
This has me very concerned for my safety and many others. Last night on Saturday night live Jamie Fox called for the killing of all white people. This occured during his monolog at the beginning of the show. All through his threat he used Obama's name. I want to make a formal complaint against NBC, Saturday Night Live and Jamie Fox. Jamie Fox needs to be removed from society until this threat is over.
Get the dvd and you will probably see a lot more than I saw because I turned the channel because I was so disgusted and sickened. I would never record or even consider buying a dvd with such wickedness and filth on it even to send you a copy so you could see how terrible it was.
It's a good look into the minds of... well, of people who e-mail the government at all hours to complain that SNL jokes are too dirty. WOWZA.
Thanks, Hot Tipper Alithea! You find all the best funnies!
Paul Constant posted video from the Benghazi-related Senate hearing—in which Rand Paul tried to go after Hillary Clinton—over here.
Part of Rand Paul's attack involved a few nickels the state department spent on sending three comedians on a diplomacy-minded comedy tour, called "Make Chai Not War," through India. (It was a bizarre move on his part, given how much money the state department routinely spends on diplomatic events designed to bring people together in social contexts—parties, dinners, concerts, and other activities that don't involve bombing the shit out of strangers—but whatever.)
One of those comedians the state department wasted money on was longtime Seattle favorite Hari Kondabolu, who now lives in NYC and wrote some jokes about his brush with Senate-hearing fame for Totally Biased:
Saw Book of Mormon at the Paramount last night and loved it so fucking much.
Goldy covers a bunch of reasons the show adds up to something freakily brilliant in his rave review, so I'll focus on a component of the show I hadn't heard hyped previously, and that I wasn't expected to be blown away by: the choreography, which repeatedly made me laugh so hard I cried.
The Book of Mormon's choreography is by Casey Nicholaw, who co-directed the show (both on Broadway and in this touring production) with Trey Parker. (Nicholaw and Parker won the 2011 Tony for Best Direction, while Nicholaw was nominated for Best Choreography and lost to Anything Goes' Kathleen Marshall.) I can't really hold forth on the quality of The Book of Mormon's choreography as dance, but as comedy, it was astounding.
Prime example: "All-American Prophet," in which the story of Joseph Smith is re-told truthfully and respectfully, by a stageful of people doing the most hilarious group dancing I've ever seen. (If you want to economically underscore the ridiculousness of someone's argument, have them make it while doing an aggressively energetic "funky strut" dance.)
My guy Jake saw the show with me, and had an even more profound experience than I did. (He's an ex-Mormon, and for him, seeing last night's show was like watching the smartest people in the world spend two and half hours intricately mocking the worst bully of his childhood, to the rapturous applause of the masses. He was beside himself with amazement and joy.)
Thank you, all the components of the universe that lined up to make The Book of Mormon possible. It was a dream night.
If you want more celebrity bullshit posts, post 'em. And please note that the two Seahawks posts were by regular actual employees of The Stranger, and one of them was so disdainful as to actually constitute a Golden Globes post.
Channel 56, based in the OC but hailing themselves as an L.A. station, put together a NYE show hosted by funnyman Jamie Kennedy, who seemed to struggle, along with most of the folks involved in the production, with the notion of live TV. Hence this compilation of fails via YouTube that includes the many f-bombs dropped live on air, the camera flubs, some "underboob" views, Macy Gray unable to tell time while on stage, and the final fail: a brawl.
Stand-up comedian Micah "Katt" Williams was a no-show Thursday morning at his arraignment in Seattle Municipal Court. But he had an excuse.
Williams' attorney, Thomas McAllister, told the judge his client was under the impression that he did not have to appear at the arraignment and has returned to California, where he lives. McAllister said that Williams read a Seattle Times story earlier this week in which a spokeswoman for the City Attorney's Office mistakenly said that he did not have to appear if an attorney was in court on his behalf.
Municipal Court Judge Willie Gregory rescheduled the arraignment for Wednesday, saying that Williams received "misleading" information.
The failure to show didn't stop Williams from being charged with three counts of assault stemming from two Seattle incidents. (Williams is accused of hitting an audience member with a microphone during his performance last Friday at the Paramount, and of throwing a chair at two fans who approached him after the show.) Full story here.
Last night, I went to see the always-sharp Hari Kondabolu at Comedy Underground. He was fucking hilarious, as usual, but this was a special treat. Hari told the audience he was working on new material and took his time, threading through new and old jokes, commenting on his performance (and ours) as he went.
I always enjoy watching Hari's way of rocking back and forth in a set, delivering a few challenging jokes (he gently berated last night's audience for not getting a punch line that depended on a working knowledge of Alex Haley's Roots), then throwing out a literally fool-proof crowd-pleaser to reel everyone back in. It's like watching a good teacher who knows just how far to push a student—to the bending point, but never the breaking point—before giving out an attaboy and a lollipop.
Last night provided the added bonus of a peek into his joke-writing brain: scenarios, setups, punch lines, segues, callbacks, patter, the whole thing. If you care about intelligent comedy, and how intelligent comedians make jokes happen, get down to the Comedy Underground tonight.
Hari will perform through Saturday, but said last night and tonight are his test-flight performances. Those are the ones you want to see.
Katt Williams is the diminutive comedian previously best known for his role as Money Mike in the film Friday After Next. But thanks to his recent shenanigans, he's now the diminutive comedian best known for coming to your town and fucking shit up.
The recent history: At a November 8 performance in Oakland, Williams stayed onstage for only ten minutes, during which he "confronted a heckler, took his clothes off, and attempted to fight at least three audience members," according to a lawsuit filed against Live Nation by a disgruntled audience member. (Now two people are suing Williams over the Sacramento meltdown.) And the weekend after Thanksgiving, Williams was involved in a police chase through Sacramento before slapping a Target employee in Woodland, CA. Further back in time, there's this stuff (thank you, TMZ).
The Weekly has learned that his Thursday no-show was caused not by an arrest, as audience members were told, but by an episode in which Williams' Hummer ran out of gas on the way to the event and the comedian allegedly slashed its tires and rammed it with a backup vehicle.
On Friday night, Williams performed at the Paramount, resulting in this (thank you, Seattle Times):
Williams performed at the Paramount Friday evening. But after the performance, Seattle police said some fans alleged that Williams attacked them after they tried to take a photo with him. Williams denied those allegations, police said, and no arrests were made.
Which brings us to yesterday, when, as Megan noted in the Morning News, Williams got himself arrested by the SPD. Take it away, Seattle Times:
On Sunday, Seattle police said Williams, 41, was at the World Sports Grille near Ninth Avenue North and Westlake Avenue North at about 2:30 p.m. when he allegedly exchanged words with other patrons, brandished a pool cue at the bar’s manager and refused to leave. Police also allege that Williams followed a family out of the bar, flicked a cigarette through the window of the family’s car, and threw a rock at the vehicle. The cigarette hit one of the family members just below her eye, police said. Williams was booked into the King County jail for investigation of assault, harassment and obstruction. Police said he struggled with officers as they arrested him.
The latest: TMZ reports Williams was bailed out of King County Jail by Suge Knight, who is allegedly Williams' "tour manager." Stay tuned.
Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager are going to be at the Paramount Theatre this Saturday night, to "discuss and debate topics as wide-ranging as the afterlife, welfare, parenting, politics, and pets."
There will also be a Q&A with the audience and "no topic is off limits." NO TOPIC IS OFF LIMITS!
Want to see it for free? STG Presents has given us a pair of tickets to give away to a lucky Slog reader! Just send your first and last name to email@example.com with Adam and Dennis in the subject line. (You can also just buy tickets here, if you'd like.)
And so the wordsmith known as "Your HighNess, Potstar" had all this to say to me:
...which I guess in her addled mind proves all my points wrong, or something.
Don't cross Lisa Dank, ladies and gentlemen, or she might write nonsense about suffocating you with a giant "volcano" bag used to hold copious amounts of pot smoke. Or accuse you of lying—about being gay?—and suggest you suck a clit. Or correct your grammar. Or, you know, maybe steal your dog.
There are two comedy events you should pay attention to this week.
First: Tonight, October 17, at 9:00 p.m. Laff Hole returns to Chop Suey (1325 E Madison St, $10/adv) with headliner and former Seattle resident, Andy Peters. I asked Peters a few awkward questions over email and he gamely responded:
Me: What are you doing in LA? Which celebrity do you most resemble? What is the ONLY THING you miss about Seattle? Peters: I came out to LA to find work on fun and interesting writing and film projects to be a part of. So far my only big Hollywood project was a trutv show called Clipaholics. I was one of the Clipaholics, which meant I commented on clips of other people's misfortunes. I am currently going back and visiting my favorite comedy towns in the country. Seattle being #1 to me - always. I get called John Malkovitch a lot. I think all we share is amazing head shape. The major thing I miss is Easy Street Records. I used to live right down the street from Easy Street in lower Queen Anne. I have yet to find a place like it. Me: Why are conservatives in general less funny than liberals? Peters: I don't know.... because they know that they are the wrong ones, and it bothers them. They are welcomed to come to my show. I like to get to know what makes conservatives tick....from the stage.
Second: I've always fantasized about being a Roman emperor or parent or someone else who has the power to make people suffer for personal enjoyment. In that vein, Portland's Spicy News Show is trucking up to Seattle to deliver a fucking great show this Sunday, October 21 at 8:00 p.m. at the Seattle Underground (109 S. Washington St, $10).
Here's how it works: Comics will all get three-minute sets, guaranteed. Then, if they want more stage time, they'll have to complete a Spicy Challenge. Spicy Challenges include: eating a habenero, doing a habenero jello shot out of a hollowed out habenero, chew on habenero gum, or eat a mouthful of habenero peanut butter. They will always have the option to surrender and eat ice cream.
This will be the first-ever live performance of Spicy News, and it features a great lineup of NW comedians, including Ian Karmel, Owen Straw, Derek Sheen, and Emmett Montgomery. It is bound to be funny and at the very least, you are guaranteed to see grown men cry. Get your tickets here.
A sample Spicy News Broadcast included after the jump...