Category Archives: Humor

Caturday Night Fever: Statue-tory indignity


From whence cameth it, we know not. But one thing is clear: Kitty ain’t down with kitty statues. Enjoy:

Net Neutrality: The word from Juice Rap News


Here’s the lowdown on the Internet topic of the day from our favorite Down Under news medium.

From Juice Rap News:

Net Neutrality

Program notes:

Having covered conflicts in distant lands, we now turn our attention to our own native homeland, the Internet; where the battle for the hypersphere has reached new heights, as netizens take up arms against Telcoms and the FCC, to preserve the fundamental ethos that made the Internet what it is today: Net Neutrality. What is Net Neutrality, and why is it so important to the future of the Internet? Find out by joining Robert Foster as he takes a whimsical trip into the World Wide Web, with its founder Tim Berners-Lee. Let’s just hope no shady mega-corporatist, elite oligarchic malefactors pop up to mess with us on the way…

Written & created by Giordano Nanni & Hugo Farrant in a suburban backyard home studio in Melbourne, Australia, on Wurundjeri Land.

And now for something completely different


Would you believe dancing bats?

Film some bats doing what bats do, then roll it over 180 degrees [we suspect], add some music, and voila!

From vlogger Paul Wood:

Dancing Bats

Program notes:

Featuring the Dancing Bat Brothers

John Oliver tackles the death penalty


During his second broadcast of his new HBO series, former Daily Show “correspondent” John Oliver tackles the death penalty, and America’s peculiar love of dealing out frontier-style justice, sometimes ineptly.

From Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Death Penalty

Program notes:

Can the death penalty be executed humanely?
Should we even be implementing it at all?
Why are we talking about this on a comedy show?
John Oliver tackles the tough questions.

And felicitations of the day to the bearded one


From Sociological Images. And, yes, it’s his birthday.

BLOG Marx

Quote of the day: Secrets of a long life


From an interview of venerable 85-year-old feminist, artist, and fellow Kansas native Betty Dodson in the Guardian:

We meet in her rent-controlled apartment on Madison Avenue where she has lived since 1962. Dodson arrived in New York, fresh from Kansas, in 1950 to train as an artist; the walls of her living room are lined with her own paintings of erotic couplings and blown-glass sex toys. When she held orgies here in the 1960s (“there’s no furniture you can’t move”) she realised that many women were faking pleasure. Her original women-only masturbation – “bodysex” – classes took place here from the early 70s for 15 years with an ideal number of 13 per class.

Although she was described as one of the “early feminists” by Gloria Steinem, she felt out of place in the consciousness-raising groups of the time. “I always thought sex was a top-priority issue,” she says, pouring herself a whisky. “Feminists like Gloria Steinem thought it was private.” (She chuckles, “I love Gloria. I used to call her ‘the general’.”)

Dodson has a mouth like a sailor and the easy manner of a wisecracking Scorsese character. She looks incredible, with a zest for life that belies her age. She credits “masturbation, pot and raw garlic”.

Some examples of her art [some decidedly NSFW] here.

Ben Jennings: British bluenose blowback


Drawing for Index on Censorship, Jennings sees British Prime Minister David Cameron’s hypocritical shadowy side:

BLOG Porn

Inevitable: Taiwanese Animators go bananas


The furor over banana-throwing racism in Italy we blogged about yesterday has reached those Tawianese Animators. We’ve discovered the secret to watching these often-delightful by sonically irritating videos: Just turn down the volume. . .

Dani Alves eats banana thrown by racist fan, support for Alves goes viral

Script:

Barcelona’s Dani Alves straight up owned a racist Villarreal fan who threw a banana at him during Sunday’s match by picking it up of the pitch and eating it. The racist fan has been handed a lifetime ban by the La Liga club.

Brazilian international Alves was getting ready to take a corner during Barca’s 3-2 win at Villarreal’s El Madrigal stadium, when a banana landed at his feet. Like a champ, he nonchalantly picked up the banana, peeled it and ate the whole thing and got on with the game like nothing happened.

After the game, Alves was supported by teammate Neymar who posted a picture of himself with a banana and the caption “We are all monkey.” Several players from the Premier League including Sergio Aguero, David Luiz, Oscar, Willian, Nacer Chadli and Moussa Dembele also have shown their support.

Villarreal issued a statement on Monday saying it “deeply regrets” the incident. “The club has identified the person responsible and has decided to withdraw his membership card and prohibit access to the El Madrigal Stadium for life,” it added.

Maybe the Los Angeles Clippers should give a banana or two to owner Donald Sterling?

Ex-NSA boss appears on John Oliver’s HBO debut


British comic and former Daily Show correspondent debuted his new HBO show Last Week Tonight Sunday, and the centerpiece was his interview of Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency.

It’s rather surreal and Alexander’s notably unflappable, even at the end, when Oliver offers his own suggestions for rebranding the ominous agency.

From Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:

General Keith Alexander Extended Interview

Program note:

John Oliver interviews General Keith Alexander, former head of the NSA. General Alexander discusses Edward Snowden and helps John rebrand a national security organization.

To full thirty-minute show is posted here.

Juice Rap News: Israel vs Palestine


Direct from Melbourne, Australia, we bring you the latest edition of Juice Rap News, created by Giordano Nanni and Hugo Farrant with the cooperation of Norman Finkelstein, Palestinian rap group DAM [Tamer Nafar, Suhell Nafar, and Mahmoud Jreri], and others:

From Juice Rap News:

Juice Rap News: Israel vs Palestine

Program notes:

Decades of failed peace talks have led nowhere; but do not lose hope just yet. Join Robert Foster as he attempts to host the first ever Middle East Peace Raps, using rhyme and reason to bring together Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, and a representative of Hamas. We investigate the key arguments, counter-arguments and ad-hominems from both sides. But the picture would not be complete without a thorough discussion of “America’s last taboo”, as Edward Said once referred to it: the USA’s role as Israel’s best (and only) buddy in the world (Ok, together with Australia). Featuring special cameos from prominent American Jewish scholar, Dr. Norman Finkelstein, and Palestinian rap legends, DAM, this is an episode for the ages. Join us as we bravely (or perhaps stupidly) take on one of the most bitter, divisive and controversial conflicts of our times: Israel & Palestine.

Written & created by Giordano Nanni & Hugo Farrant in a suburban backyard home studio in Melbourne, Australia, on Wurundjeri Land.

Ad Campaign of the Year: Do It for Denmark!


Always nice when you can mix business with pleasure, and nobody’s done it better than Spies Rejser, a Danish travel agency that’s found a way to make a buck — er, kroner — on of the national demographic collapse that’s giving the country a strongly grey-haired tinge.

With the country aging, more babies are needed, and tavel is, after all, one of the great aphrodisiacs. right? So grab up a fertile partner of the opposite sex, snap up a ticket and Do It for Denmark!

Do It For Denmark!

The program note:

No one has found out how to help Denmark’s falling birth rate. Until now. Spies Travels announces a competition where you have to make a baby to win.

Hail and farewell: Sid Caesar, a legend, now gone


For a child growing up in a Kansas farm town in the 1950s, Sid Caesar came as a revolution. Along with Ernie Kovacs and Steve Allen, Caesar brought a brilliance to network television never quite seen since.

He gave us 90 minutes of scripted live comedy every week, written by a crew that included Mel Simon, Woody Allen, Carl Reiner, and Larry Gelbart — each of whom developed into stars.

His humor was nothing short of surreal, and his curfew of actors were sumply brilliant.

Caesar gave a farm town kid a whole new take on the world, daring, outrageous, and profoundly subversive.

And now he’s gone.

First, the story from Reuters:

Comic showman Sid Caesar, a pioneer of American television sketch comedy as the star and creative force of “Your Show of Shows” during the 1950s, died on Wednesday at age 91, according to his friend and former collaborator Carl Reiner.

Reiner told Reuters he learned of Caesar’s death from a mutual friend, actor and writer Rudy De Luca, who had recently visited Caesar at his Los Angeles-area home. He said the veteran entertainer had been ill for at least a year.

One of the most ambitious and demanding of all TV enterprises, “Your Show of Shows” was 90 minutes of live, original sketch comedy airing every Saturday night, 39 weeks a year. It is widely considered the prototype for every U.S. TV sketch comedy series that followed, including “Saturday Night Live.”

Some clips for your consideration of live, prime time comedy at its best.

From Kovacs Corner:

Sid Caesar: “Big Business” with Carl Reiner and Howard Morris

Program notes:

He is perhaps not considered as “avant garde” as Ernie Kovacs, nonetheless Sid Caesar (along with co-stars Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris, and Nanette Fabray) created two of the most popular and funny comedy shows during the 1950’s, “Your Show of Shows” and later “Caesar’s Hour”. It is ironic that Sid was chosen by director Stanley Kramer to replace Ernie as the character “Melville Crump” in the movie “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”.

And one his most memorable skits, based on a huge prime time hit, This is Your Life.

From Kovacs Corner:

Sid Caesar: “This is Your Story” with Carl Reiner and Howard Morris (Full Sketch)

Program notes:

[From “Kovacs Corner” on YouTube.com] – Before video tape, when a live prime time television series went on mid year hiatus, the networks would broadcast “summer replacements”. During the year 1957, “The Ernie Kovacs Show” was the summer replacement program for “Caesar’s Hour”. Earlier known as “Your Show of Shows”, it starred the legendary TV comedian Sid Caesar, with co-stars Carl Reiner and the late Howard Morris. With a writing staff that included among others Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Danny Simon and Mel Tolkin, it was one of the premier comedy shows of it’s time. This particular sketch satirizes one of the most popular programs of it’s day “This is Your Life” which starred Ralph Edwards and it is, in my opinion, one of the funniest comedy sketches ever performed on television. Howard Morris’ over-the-top performance as “Uncle Goopy” put an audience in stitches 50 years ago and he can do it again with equal ease today! After Kovacs’ untimely death, Sid was called upon by director Stanley Kramer to replace Ernie in the role of “Melville Crump” in the1963 film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”.

Finally, and from Isabel Karp:

Sid Caesar: Health Food Restaurant

Program note:

Sid Caesar Performs Health Food Restaurant with Howard Morris, Imogene Coca, and Carl Reiner.

So farewell, Sid Caesar, the noblest comedian of them all. . .

They’rrrre Back!: Juice Rap News, Season 2


The Aussie dynamic duo at Juice Rap News [previously] is back for their second season, and they open with a lively omnium gatherum, covering everything from Max Kaiser to the NSA. . .plus our least-favorite villain de jour, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Without further ado, from The Juice Media:

“THE NEWS” ✇ JUICE RAP NEWS ✇ SEASON 2 EP 1

Program notes:

“The News”. It’s the most viral meme of reality on the planet: if it’s not on “the News” it didn’t happen – right? Welcome back to Season 2 of Juice Rap News, in which intrepid anchorman Robert Foster embarks on a new era of adversarial rap journalism by casting a critical eye on the paradigm that shapes our collective reality each night; featuring a smorgasbord of guests, from the stalwart General Baxter and Terence Moonseed having a friendly chat on about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to our special correspondents in Russia and the Colonies. Meanwhile, what is going on in Finance, Show-biz and the Weather? Special surprise guests are in tow to cover all this and more, helping Robert delve deeper into this very odd phenomenon of ‘The News’ itself.

-Written & created by Giordano Nanni & Hugo Farrant in a suburban backyard home studio in Melbourne, Australia, -on Wurundjeri Land.

Gangapreneurs: Rocky Mountain high-flyers


Well, at least that’s the trhrust of this AC360 segment on the Colorado folks raking it in following the legalization of pot by legislators in the Mile High City.

But the clip is just as much about reporter Randi Kaye and Anderson Cooper’s reaction to her sudden onset of good humor.

It’s enough to make you smile.

Via Truth Revolt:

CNN Reporter Gets Contact High Covering Colorado Pot Story CNN

Program notes:

In a must-see-to-believe segment in CNN’s “Gone to Pot” series covering the historic legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, CNN reporter Randi Kaye interviewed pot entrepreneur “Grandma Barbara” (72) and took a limousine tour of marijuana dispensaries with a few weed enthusiasts. Unsurprisingly, the fellow passengers on the “Cannabis Tours” trip, enjoyed some now perfectly legal, “small canon”-size joints. The result was an increasingly giggly CNN reporter who admitted later to Anderson Cooper that she “got a little bit of a contact high.”

Over in Old Blighty, the CNN clip rated a feature for The Independent, topped by this headline:

‘Everything was funny’: CNN Reporter gets high during Colorado marijuana legalisation report

Philly.com, the website of Philadelphia’s daily newspapers, played it this way:

VIDEO: Anderson Cooper calls out CNN reporter for being high during pot segment

CNN’s own press website is more circumspect:

AC360’s Gone To Pot – Randi Kaye’s piece on Businesses Cashing in on Pot Sales

BBC3 Comedy: The Israeli Embassy’s Extension


Simply brilliant, and certain never to be seen on U.S. network television:

The Israeli Embassy’s Extension

From a report on the video from the Times of Israel:

A recent BBC television sketch lampooned alleged Israeli policies by telling businesses located near the Israeli Embassy in London that their properties were to be taken over to make way for an extension of the embassy.

In the sketch, actors dressed as workmen inform property owners that the embassy did not require paperwork to seize their assets because the embassy had a God-given right to appropriate their land.

The candid camera sketch was broadcast on BBC 3 in December, as part of the channel’s “The Revolution Will be Televised” show, which according to the BBC’s website “bring[s] corruption, greed and hypocrisy to the fore. Politicians, multinationals and tax-shy corporations who have been taking the public for a ride for years are now on the receiving end.”

Tom Lehrer: A Christmas Carol


Nothing better captures the spirit of the 21st Century Christmas than Tom Lehrer, even though the song was recorded way back in 1959 during esnl‘s freshman year of high school:

Tom Lehrer – A Christmas Carol

Oh, that Herald-Tribune he mentions? Twas a once-mighty New York City daily newspaper, graced with the work of some of America’s brightest wits. It died seven years after Lehrer recorded his song.

Quote of the day: Commodification of humor


From Lewis H. Lapham , writing at Tomgram:

We have today a second Gilded Age more magnificent than the first, but our contemporary brigade of satirists doesn’t play with fire. The marketing directors who produce the commodity of humor for prime-time television aim to amuse the sheep, not shoot the elephants in the room. They prepare the sarcasm-lite in the form of freeze-dried sound bites meant to be dropped into boiling water at Gridiron dinners, Academy Award ceremonies, and Saturday Night Live. “There is a hell of a distance,” said Dorothy Parker, “between wisecracking and wit. Wit has truth in it.” George Bernard Shaw seconded the motion: “My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.”

Twain didn’t expect or intend his satire to correct the conduct of Boss Tweed, improve the morals of Commodore Vanderbilt, or stop the same-day deliveries of Congress from Washington to the banks in New York. Nor did he exclude himself from the distinguished company of angry apes rolling around in the mud of their mortality. He knew himself made, like all other men, as “a poor, cheap, wormy thing… a sarcasm, the Creator’s prime miscarriage in inventions,” easily seduced by the “paltry materialisms and mean vanities” that made both himself and America great.

A man at play with the life of his mind overriding the decay of his matter, his laughter the digging himself out of the dung heap of moralizing cowardice that is the consequence of ingesting too much boardwalk taffy. His purpose is that of a physician attending to the liberties of the people shriveled by the ambitions of the state, his belief that it is the courage of a democracy’s dissenting citizens that defends their commonwealth against the despotism of a plutocracy backed up with platitudes, billy clubs, surveillance cameras, and subprime loans.

Read the rest.

Mark Fiore: Drones come to Techopolis!


Corporations! Drones! What a Brave New World!

From Mark Fiore:

Drones come to Techopolis!

Program notes:

Between the driverless car, internet balloons and Amazon’s delivery drones, it seemed like high time to take a closer look at the technology industry in a cartoon. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the internet and technology — it’s how I’ve made my living for the past twelve years or so — but I definitely have some luddite-induced skepticism in my bones. (More at http://www.markfiore.com)

A seasonal song: The NSA is Coming to Town


From the American Civil Liberties Union:

The NSA is Coming to Town

The lyrics:

You better watch out,
You better not Skype,
You better log out,
Yeah you better not type,
The NSA is coming to town.

You’re making a list,
They’re checking it twice;
They’re watching almost every electronic device,
The NSA is coming to town.

They see you when you’re sleeping
They hear while you’re awake
They know who you call and who you write
So encrypt for goodness’ sake!

With Congress in the dark and a cloak-and-dagger court
We’re lookin’ for answers, they’re comin’ up short
The NSA is coming to town.

They’re making a list,
Checking it twice;
They’re watching almost every electronic device,
NSA is coming to town
The NSA is coming to town,
The NSA is coming to town.

A Public Service Announcement: Going up!


From cartoonist Mark Fiore, the talking point de jour:

A Message from the Health Insurers of America

Program notes:

After Obama announced his temporary fix to the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance companies were up in arms about how this would destabilize the market and cause people’s premiums to rise. Um, when was the last time the health insurance biz cared so much about raising premiums? Methinks there are other motives at work. This week’s cartoon is a little reminder of health insurers’ favorite refrain.