Showbiz Assassin: the Sadly Unavoidable 'What's up with Jim Carrey?' Edition
1. Katt Williams: racist or patriot?
That's what LaughSpin is asking today, after the stand up comic embroiled himself in another "controversy" -- this time for using a Latino heckler as a launching pad, to rant about illegals and patriotism:
Katt sure seems proud of his country. Or something. Though, honestly, I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about half the time. So, I’ll turn it over to you guys for an opinion. Was there racism behind Katt’s words or was he just being really pro-American? Or is Katt just crazy?
Judge for yourself after watching the video -- Note: EXTREME language warning (assuming you can understand what he's saying better than I can):
I used to say that "racist" was the new "commie" -- the all-purpose conversation- (and sometimes, career-) ender.
And that's still true. But speaking as an old person, can I just say that also, "racist" is just "how normal people used to talk"?
Back in my "multicultural" working class neighborhood of the '60s and '70s, the Irish thought all the Italians were probably "Mafia," the Poles thought all the Irish were probably shiftless drunks, and the Italians just basically hated everybody.
Know what? Nobody died. Nobody even got into a fist fight, as a matter of fact.
Their kids all ended up marrying each other, with the families making embarrassing "racist" jokes at the weddings.
Yeah, I know: I'm from Canada, the last stop on the Underground Railroad. Our country doesn't have a "legacy of slavery" to endlessly obsess about. But when will you guys stop obsessing about it?
(Hint: your President is BLACK now!)
As a friend, can I just tell you that the whole "racism/slavery" thing bores the rest of the world up the wall? It's like America is that boring drunken uncle who tells the same stupid stories every Thanksgiving.
Maybe if we/you weren't so uptight about "race" -- if liberals would really let us have one of ERIC HOLDER's "candid conversations" about, say, how African-Americans feel about being pushed out of jobs by illegals -- angry "racist" rants like Williams' wouldn't even occur...?
2. Can't they both lose?
The list of "new movies I have no intentions of seeing" gets longer all the time.
I'm old (see above). I've already seen the originals of all these remakes and spinoffs and ripoffs and leaden Tarantino "homages."
And those movies that don't have a past-its-best-before-date pedigree just recycle tiresome tropes: "romantic comedies" that are neither; grown men acting like drunken frat boys; aliens destroying every building except the UN (have you noticed that, too?) -- and my particular favorite, "Let's Make Fun of People From the South."
I was so relieved that somebody finally turned the "hicksploitation" genre inside out this year, I may force myself to go to the theater:
But then, alas, we hear of this:
Is it time for Will Ferrell to bust out his famous Bush Jr. impression for the big screen? His political comedy with Zach Galifianakis, "Southern Rivals," will officially start shooting this October.
There aren't a ton of details about the plot as of yet, other than the fact that he and Galifianakis will be, well, Southern rivals in a political race.
I'm pretty sure there aren't a ton of details about the plot because there isn't one. Southern Rivals will be ninety minutes of inaccurate Southern accents and obnoxious "jokes" about grits and big hair and guns and guys named "Billy Bob."
And the scary part is: it will make $300 million.
Yes, I laughed at Ferrell's post-Osama-raid effort, below. But not enough to endure what I know will be almost two solid hours of mean-spirited, predictable insults about the folks in "flyover country."
Right around election time, TCM tends to air the rarely broadcast flick The Best Man (1964). If you're hankering for a good film about presidential contenders next fall, watch that movie instead.
3. Ace Ventura's video valentine
OK, so by now everybody's seen JIM CARREY's goofy "I love you, EMMA STONE" thingie, right?
As someone who's been watching Carrey's career since we were both barely out of our teens, I thought it was a) obviously a goof and b) pointless and unfunny -- the kind of "high concept" humor ANDY KAUFMAN specialized in and which always left me cold and confused.
Naturally, the video has spawned a plague of parodies, with criminally underrated and underused CHRIS HARDWICK leading the pack:
And not a little virtual ink has been spilled treating Carrey's spectacularly dull footage like it was the Zapruder film, but only our fellow Canadian LYNN CROSBIE's take revealed anything fresh or insightful:
Carrey is also an admirer of the mondo-spiritualist Eckhart Tolle, whose teachings may help explain the latest video better than anything else on the site. In fact, Tolle’s sayings appear throughout Carrey’s online videos.
Carrey not only admires Tolle; the two headlined in 2009 at the first conference of something called the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment. (...)
A German native who grew up playing in bombed-out buildings after the Second World War, Tolle has good reason to exterminate the past. But does Carrey?
(I doubt it, although Carrey's early life was no picnic, except in the most warped sense imaginable: after his father lost his job, Carrey and his family lived in a tent pitched in an older sister's front yard.)
I didn't find Carrey's video "creepy" in a pedophiliac sense -- the most common notion expressed in the emails I got with the link.
Instead, it filled me with foreboding and shameful regret, like I was watching a suicide letter or cry for help recorded via webcam. No wonder I didn't laugh.
4. And finally: the world's shortest author interview!
I've been a rabid fan of DENNIS MILLER's radio show since the day it debuted a few years back. He's since added hundreds of affiliates, countless listeners and a gang of intensely devoted fans, who frequent the show's busy forum and call in regularly with jokes and suggestions.
With his quirky insistence on playing his favorite songs (like GLENN CAMPBELL's "Wichita Lineman") over and over, his giggling fits and other breaks with boring radio "rules," Miller sounds like he's hosting a little party in his house -- maybe because he does the show from home.
Miller is now so comfortable in the job, the only downside is one's wish that he'd gone over to radio sooner. In fact, he's so casual and comfortable behind the mic that his candor sometimes startles.
Take his recent "interview" with one-time Tea Party flavor of the month turned not-so-bestselling author, CHRISTINE O'DONNELL.
Miller's refusal to jump on the conservative talk radio bandwagon and blindly support O'Donnell when she was running earned him some listener scorn. When she stormed off PIERS MORGAN's show a few nights ago, Miller lost all residual respect he might have had for her.
But O'Donnell's got a new book out and -- more importantly as far as he is concerned -- his delightful producer/sidekick, CHRISTIAN, needs to stay on speaking terms with big time book publicists.
So Miller came up with a solution -- audio here -- that I consider elegant, some might judge to be obnoxious, but everyone can agree made for some highly original radio.
If you've given up on conservative talk because you think its all GOP talking points and mindless boosterism interspersed with temper tantrums, consider giving Miller a listen. Segments like that one that illustrate what a refreshingly original voice he brings to a sometimes stagnant medium.