Category Archives: Humor

A late night Election Eve seriocomic sendoff


From three of our favorite late night hosts, and election eve sendoff, starting with this bitingly incisive take from Late Night with Seth Meyers:

Trump’s Closing Message for the Midterms: A Closer Look

Program note:

Seth takes a closer look at Republicans cycling through one crazy stunt after another in the final hours before polls open on Election Day.

Next up, a graphic take from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah:

The Midterms Bring Out Celebs, Early Voters and Holograms

Program note:

The midterm elections are here and, with them, a slew of celebrity PSA’s, droves of early voters and the unveiling of new, ridiculous cable news graphics.

Finally, a lighter touch from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:

‘Twas The Night Before Election Day

Program note:

Stephen professes his seasonal excitement to Late Show townsperson, Jake Gyllenhaal, during the most wonderful time of the year: the midterms!

Quote of the day: Charlie Chaplin v. Trump


Charlie Chaplin,  arguably one of the two greatest comedians of the silent film era [we rate Buster Keaton as #1], reached his apotheosis in a 1940 film, The Great Dictator, the first of his films shot entirely as a talkie.

Charles Silver, Curator of the Department of Film of the Museum of Modern Art, sums up the film’s importance:

The Great Dictator is the product of extraordinary synchronicity and an unprecedented convergence of historical and artistic forces. By this happy accident, we find the century’s most emblematic popular artist testing his gifts against the man who embodied the greatest threat to civilization, human freedom, and, in fact, art in recorded time. It is not an overstatement to refer to The Great Dictator, as David Robinson does, as “an epic incident in the history of mankind.” In its confrontation with the cosmos—and its deeply felt intent to alter the state of human affairs with a mere piece of art—the film stands alone on its very special pedestal of aspiration.

Chaplin plays two roles, one as Dictator of Tomania Adenoid Hynkel [note the initials], and the second as a nameless mustachioed Jewish barber rounded up for ethnic cleansing by the dictator.

The film pits the barber, his inamorata Hannah, and a renegade Tomanian pilot against Hynkel, his sidekicks Garbitsch [Goebbels] and Herring [Hermann Goering], and fellow tyrant Benzino Napaloni, Dictator of Bacteria.

Captured in a roundup of Jews, the barber is dispatched to a concentration camp, while simultaneously Hynkel suffers amnesia from a boating accident and the barber dons Hynkel’s distinctive garb [replete with the insignia of  Double Cross, a comedic substitute for the swastika] to make good his escape, only to be mistaken for the Hynkel, who’s back in the camp and identified as the barber.

In the end, the barber, as Hynkel, finds himself taking to the microphone for the film’s concluding scene in which he delivers a passionate speech, an excerpt of which is our Quote of the Day:

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone – if possible – Jew, Gentile – black man – white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

Here’s a video of the full speech:

And if you’ve not seen Chaplin’s classic, here’s the film in its entirety in HD:

Headline of the day: Gullible’s Travails


From the London Daily Mail:

Joke’s on them! White House promotes column about ‘Trump’s budget makes perfect sense’… not realizing it’s vicious satire

  • White House newsletter included link to Washington Post column on Friday
  • ‘Trump’s budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why’
  • But a read beyond that headline reveals the piece is vicious satire 
  • ‘All schoolchildren will be taught by an F-35 wearing a Make America Great Again hat,’ Post opnion writer Alexandra Petri pens in zany extended riff
  • Embarrassed White House removes link to satirical column
  • ‘This is 2017 in a nutshell: You start with what you think is obviously a joke, and then a few days later it is being sent out from the White House,’ writes Petri

With Trump, it’s hard to tell when news is fake


Yep, the behavior of the orange-haired menace is so extreme that folks are having trouble figuring out whether the latest outrageous ale is true or false.

Consider one bit of satire that picked up by China’s state news agency as a for-real revelation about the Pussygrabber.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

CNN may get a reprieve as the object of President Trump’s ire, thanks to a serendipitous combination of two of the president’s favorite topics: China and fake news.

Published Saturday in The New Yorker, comedian Andy Borowitz’s humorous satirization of a paranoid president wrapping phones in tinfoil got picked up Tuesday by multiple Chinese news outlets. The truth had come out by Wednesday, but not before highlighting how easy it is for sarcasm to get lost in translation.

Riffing on the president’s Twitter allegations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower phones before the election, The New Yorker article depicted a paranoid commander-in-chief insisting aids Obama-proof all White House phones with a layer of tinfoil.

“The President, still wearing his bathrobe after what was reportedly a sleepless night, personally supervised the tin-foil installation, sources said,” read a line from the piece, which bears the label “Satire from the Borowitz Report.”

But that didn’t stop Reference News, a Chinese website run by state media Xinhua that translates international coverage, from reporting the joke as serious on Tuesday. Publications that fell for the misreporting included respected outlets such as the business magazine Caijing, as well as news portal Sina.

Given Trump’s surreal track record, pretty soon we’re all going to be reaching for our tinfoil hats.

And now for something completely different. . .


Or is it?

Following up on our previous post about the removal of Confederate statues from New Orleans, here’s the story of another sculpture, a delightful animation that depicts a severe case of alt-reality, and the use of force to ensure its acceptance.

It’s very like the world Donald Trump sees himself inhabiting.

From the archives of the venerable National Film Board of Canada:

“E”


Program notes:

Under the guise of a pretty fairy tale, this animated short makes a strong political statement. Animated paper cut-outs enact a drama in which a dictator imposes his delusions on his unfortunate subjects. The humour is black and, despite the absence of dialogue, the message is crystal clear.

Directed by Francine Desbiens, Bretislav Pojar – 1981.

Another comedian’s take on Trump and the press


Following up on our previous post, an insightful look from perhaps the best of the late night talk hosts.

From Late Night with Seth Meyers:

Trump Prepares to Address Congress: A Closer Look


Program notes:

Seth takes a closer look at President Trump’s preparations to address Congress for the first time and his “agenda” thus far.

John Stewart lays into Trump and news media


The retired host of The Daily Show pays a visit to an old colleague and lays into the Fourth Estate

From The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:

Jon Stewart To The Media: It’s Time To Get Your Groove Back


Program notes:

Worried that the mainstream media’s breakup with President Trump has reporters feeling blue, Jon Stewart stops by with relationship advice.

Headline of the day: It’s the TrumpPhenomenon™


From Science:

Spinning black holes could fling off clouds of dark matter particles

John Oliver tackles the GOP war on Obamacare


In the latest episode of his HBO series, John Oliver casts a suspicious eye at the Republican rhetoric surrounding their attack of the Affordable Care Act.

It’d be hilarious were the Republicans not seemingly bent on killing off the poor.

Obamacare: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Program notes:

Congressional Republicans could soon vote to repeal Obamacare. John Oliver explores why their replacement plans are similar to a thong.

John Oliver tackles presidential prevarication


We found much amusement in the surge of support America’s church-going Christians were to eager to jump on President Pussygrabber’s bandwagon.

After all, the founder of the religion once declared of the devil, “When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

And if anything else, Donald Drumpf is a liar, and not a particularly good one at that.

Let John Oliver school you in this, the just aired endition of his HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:

Trump vs. Truth: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver


Program notes:

Donald Trump spreads a lot of false information thanks to his daily consumption of morning cable news. If only we could sneak some facts into the president’s media diet.

The almost laughable lies of Kellyanne Conway


They would be entirely laughable if she was simply the crazy cat lady down the street, bus as a senior advisor to the President, it’s downright scary.

The Daily Show does a deft turn with her prodigious prevarication:

Kellyanne Conway’s Artful Deceptions: The Daily Show 

Program notes:

Michelle Wolf breaks down Kellyanne Conway’s skillful ability to spin the Trump administration’s missteps, from shifting blame onto other people to blatantly lying.

A Dutch treat: Welcoming President Ponygrabber


Anjen Lunbach, the Netherlands’ counterpart to John Oliver, offered a Dutch treat for the Donald on his weekly comedy series for Dutch Public Televenision, Zondag met Lubach [Sunday with Lubach].

It’s got blackface, jokes about a disabled government official [Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment], and, of course “a really, really great wall” — in short, something to offend everyone:

The Netherlands welcomes Trump in his own words

Program notes:

The whole world was watching for the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States: Donald J. Trump. Because we realize it’s better for us to get along, we decided to introduce our tiny country to him. In a way that will probably appeal to him the most.

Voice-over: Greg Shapiro

Headline of the day: He’s got an offer for Donald


No response tweeted yet by his tiny, tiny fingers.

From the London Daily Mail:

‘I wanna sing HIGHWAY TO HELL’: Alec Baldwin says he wants to perform famous AC/DC song at Trump’s inauguration as the president-elect fails to find musicians to participate

  • Alec Baldwin says he wants to perform AC/DC’s hit song ‘Highway to Hell’ at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20
  • Baldwin, who famously impersonates Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, expressed interest on his Twitter on Friday morning
  •  Baldwin also said that the inauguration marks ‘the beginning of the countdown to when he [Trump] will be gone’
  • Trump, who has openly expressed distaste for Baldwin’s SNL performances, has been having trouble booking stars for his January inauguration

Why comedians are our best Trump news source


American journalism has long been afflicted with the notion of objectivity, and objectivity of a peculiar nature.

We can’t even begin to number the times editors had told us “be sure to get the other wide.”

The notion of “the other side” is inherently flawed, the concept that truth is like a sheet of paper: First you see one side, then turn it over and you see the other side.

Fix news managed to invert the usual standards by offering “the other side of the story,” giving us the first overt American mainstream propaganda outlet of our own lifetime.

But truth isn’t bipolar. It’s multidimensional, and however thoroughly you dig, there’s always more to the story.

Even more significantly, sometimes the story is so absurdly obviously that that any pretense of objectivity lends it a dignity it doesn’t possess.

As in the case of our President-elect.

We offer two examples of the only way news make sense in the Trumpian era.

First up, a segment from Late Night with Seth Meyers:

Donald Trump’s False Claims and Foreign Policy Moves: A Closer Look

Program note:

Seth takes a closer look at Presidential-elect Trump’s willingness to make false claims and his shoot-from-the-hip foreign policy approach.

And then this from Full Frontal with Samantha Bee:

The Big Lie

Program note:

When you’re president, you can tell whatever lies you want. They just let you do it.

As Walter Cronkite, America’s most trusted television newsman of esnl’s early journalism years, used to say:

esnl exclusive: Lost footage of Trump’s early years


Through our long, arduous hours pent hunched over our computer, we have managed to discover long-lost footage of the early year’s of President Pussygrabber’s early years.

Yep, we discovered that before he became the self-proclaimed billionaire entrepreneur, Littlefingers worked as a corporate pitchman, playing the role of Joe Isuzu to hustle for Japan’s Isuzu Motors, back in the days when they sold cars in the U.S. market, an effort since abandoned.

Here are some of his finest works, via Richard Arnold:

Joe Isuzu


Okay, so it’s not really the Trumpster, but you gotta admit the character played by actor David Leisure [a name that really suits him] really, really comes off a lot like the man made president even though he lost the popular vote by a large margin, then made up Joe Isuzu-worthy lie about the reasons why, a lie so idiotic it drew this reaction from CNN’s Alysin Camerota:

blog-cnn

And now for something completely different. . .


There’s a month left before New Year’s, but the past 11 months have already been too much for Canadian comedian/singers Flo & Joan [sisters Nicola and Rosie Dempsey] to compose a [NSFW] maledictory valedictory for 2016, a year that’s already earned its placed in the Gregorian Calendar Hall of Shame.

From Flo & Joan:

The 2016 Song

Program note:

Flo & Joan’s 2016 song

DISCLAIMER: We got our facts wrong and it wasn’t a bombing in Nice. We’re sorry for any offence this may have caused.

H/T to Metafilter.

Trump lives in a dump, or at least he did Saturday


Don’t just take our word for it.

Just take a look at what popped up on Google maps last night, pinpointing the location of his Manhattan crash pad, the one with the gold-plated crappers, where he’s been hoisting foreign leaders and making sales pitches to Indian tycoons on behalf of his companies:

blog-dump
The story from CNN:

For a few hours, Trump Tower in New York City turned into “Dump Tower” on Google Maps.

By early Sunday morning, it appeared “Dump Tower” was gone and restored to its proper name on the map service.

CNN reached out to Google for comment.

Trump Tower serves as the President-elect’s home in Manhattan. Its central location on Fifth Avenue has posed security challenges for the Secret Service and local law enforcement.

WPIX TV in New York reports a second hack that should send the Donald into a towering [snicker] rage:

The trend caught on Saturday evening with a second Trump renaming. Trump International Hotel & Tower in Columbus Circle had also been renamed Dump International Hotel & Tower.

When users typed in “Trump Tower” on Google Maps, the location still popped up, but with the name “Dump Tower.”

The president-elect has not yet taken to social media to address the name change.

As of Saturday evening, it was not immediately clear who made the initial change on Google Maps.

Here’s the scteencap:

blog-dump-2

And now for something completely different. . .


For a moment of pre-holiday diversion, a short film from Ignas Meilunas:, and be sure to watch through the credits:

MR NIGHT HAS A DAY OFF

Program notes:

Why the night is changing the day? When you don’t like something, you change it.

A zero budget short story i was asked to do by “Nuits en Or 2016” festival. Done in 21 day in Summer 2016. Shot in Vilnius, Lithuania.

H/T to Metafilter.

John Oliver tackle President-elect Donald Trump


And he comes delightfully unhinged in the process.

Wat more to say?

From Last Week Tonight:

President-Elect Trump: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Program notes:

Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. How did we get to this point? And what do we do now?

The Simpsons foresaw Trump presidency in 2000


And it was featured in an episode to make an absurdist point.

From euronews:

In an episode aired in early 2000, the American cartoon series The Simpsons predicted what has today become reality: a Donald Trump Presidency.

16 years ago, Lisa Simpson was pictured in the famous Oval Office, the President’s personal office, surrounded by advisors.

“As you know, we’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump”, she says. One of her advisors, Milhouse, then produces a chart showing the extent of the problem.

Writer Dan Greaney said in March that the storyline was chosen “because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane”.

“We needed Lisa to have problems that were beyond her fixing, that everything went as bad as it possibly could… that’s why we had Trump”.