January 29, 2018

The Grammys comedy sketch about trying out as the audiobook reader of "Fire and Fury" (and ending with Hillary Clinton).



"Spoken Word" is a category in the Grammy Awards, and it seems to be almost entirely the audiobook version of published, printed books. I love audiobooks, but I wouldn't call them "spoken word" performances. They keep giving the award to Presidents — Jimmy Carter (more than once! including 2 years ago for "A Full Life: Reflections at 90"), Bill Clinton (beating out David Sedaris!). They gave it to Hillary Clinton in 1997 for "It Takes a Village" (come on! who wants to listen to Hillary Clinton read her book).

My idea of a "spoken word" performance would be something more like what Spalding Gray used to do. Something like this, which he could take on tour and perform on stage, and you'd actually go see in a concert hall. I've done that. I've seen Henry Rollins give a spoken word concert. He once won a Grammy in the spoken word category, but it wasn't for a live, memorized performance like what I saw here in Madison years ago. It was a reading of his book "Get in the Van." And speaking — in written word — of Henry Rollins, I loved his performance on "Portlandia" as a member of the old punk rock band Riot Spray:



But back to last night's Grammys. I can't stand the Grammys, though I did DVR the show and attempt (unsuccessfully) to watch a few things, but I did watch that "Fire and Fury" sketch (just now, on YouTube). It must be hard for the Grammys people to figure out how to do politics, because they are playing to a general audience, and the people of the United States did elect Donald Trump. They can't act like they're talking within a group that all agree they hate Donald Trump. And yet those who like Donald Trump may like him in part because he can take all the heat you want to give him, his whole life has been heat, he likes heat, in a certain way. He wins even when he's attacked, as a certain subgroup of Trump fans understand.

In last night's sketch, we saw Cardi B, John Legend, DJ Khaled, Cher, and Snoop Dogg along with Hillary Clinton, and they were comical in different ways, some of which could be viewed as skeptical of the book or even admiring of Trump. Cardi B stops and says "Why am I even reading this shit? I can't believe this!" DJ Khaled seemed to love embodying Trump to proclaim, "If my shirt is on the floor, it's because I want it on the floor."

And a joke is made at Hillary's expense, with James Corden assuring her that her spoken-word Grammy is "in the bag." She has to say "The Grammy's the bag?" in an excited hopeful voice to set up the comedian James Cordon's line "in the bag," which is said in a way intended to remind us of how Hillary was (it seems) duped by pollsters and advisers assuring her that she'd already won the election.

ADDED: That "Portlandia" clip is even better now that Bruno Mars won all the Grammys.

76 comments:

wendybar said...

Yep...A woman who protected her pastor who is accused of sexual harassment (not to mention how she ruined the lives of Bills victims) is cheered on by the white rose clutching sexual harassment hating left!! Makes sense to me!!!

gilbar said...

"It must be hard for the Grammys people to figure out how to do politics"

maybe, they should just Stop doing politics; and focus on something else: like the record industry?

David Begley said...

I saw part of a “song” featuring DJ Khaled. He was screaming st the audience to “get their hands up” because “this is the Grammys.”

How is the guy famous and popular? Where is the talent? A long, long fall from Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson.

Sally327 said...

Maybe it should have been "you're a bag" a bag full of fun, Hillary, always up for poking fun at her own self. She's known for that, being a lot of fun. And hanging out with celebrities, I bet she's missed that the most from her 2016 campaign.

mesquito said...

Any Dem politician who reads some ghostwritten words into a microphone is a cinch to win.

Curious George said...

Cher's making fun of Trump's appearance? You know that scene in Rocky where he says "Cut me Mick?" That's what Cher looks like.

tola'at sfarim said...

Spoken word should be for talk radio

Mark said...

James Corden assuring her that her spoken-word Grammy is "in the bag." She has to say "The Grammy's the bag?" in an excited hopeful voice to set up the comedian James Cordon's line "in the bag," which is said in a way intended to remind us of how Hillary was (it seems) duped by pollsters and advisers assuring her that she'd already won the election.

No, no, no. That's not the joke. The scene should have had Hillary saying, "The Grammy's the bag?" in an excited hopeful voice and then rummaging through some random bag. And in the background, they could have people wiping down her computer with a cloth.

MadisonMan said...

Yeah, what has Cher done to herself!? Holy Cow!

Mark said...

James Corden assuring her that her spoken-word Grammy is "in the bag." She has to say "The Grammy's the bag?" in an excited hopeful voice to set up the comedian James Cordon's line "in the bag," which is said in a way intended to remind us of how Hillary was (it seems) duped by pollsters and advisers assuring her that she'd already won the election.

No, no, no. That's not the joke. The scene should have had Hillary saying, "The Grammy's the bag?" in an excited hopeful voice and then rummaging through some random bag. And in the background, they could have people wiping down her computer with a cloth.

Tank said...

Tank used to listen to a guy named Mike Feder in NY on WBAI (left wing blackety black hate whites/jews) radio. His politics were the usual left wing BS, but before he really started talking politics he used to do spoken word performances on the radio and in person about his life and childhood. They were very good. In the nature of Spaulding Grey.

WK said...

Well, DJ Khaled did have a key role in “Pitch Perfect 3”..... so he is both a recording AND screen star......

Danno said...

I didn't watch it either and never will. The only way you'd get me to watch it would be if someone promised to execute a jihadist attack on the event and that they would keep the cameras rolling.

Henry said...

I stopped caring about the Grammys when they cancelled the Polka category because Jimmy Sturr kept winning.

new york said...

last night's grammy show was the best ever. well represents music and arts culture, which trump is indeed intent on destroying.
also---you got the Cardi B quote quite wrong

Merny11 said...

I love music. Haven’t watched the Grammys in a few years though, as I find the whole awards thing, any awards thing quite honestly to be a bore. What I truly can’t comprehend is why anyone anywhere gives two shits about the political opinions of celebrities. That just astounds me.

rehajm said...

new york said...

I think this comment was actually from New York. NYC anyways, not some places in upstate...

Bad Lieutenant said...

new york said...

well represents music and arts culture, which trump is indeed intent on destroying.

From your mouth to God's ears!

Wince said...

Fire and Fury really did read out loud like the Gorilla TV parody.

Ann Althouse said...

"maybe, they should just Stop doing politics; and focus on something else: like the record industry?"

As long as I've been paying attention to popular music, much of the lyrical content in many of the best songs has been about politics. And music has been important in many political movements, especially in the civil rights movement (and black people are very strongly represented in the music industry). I don't think getting the politics out of the Grammys is a good rule, but maybe leaving the politics to individual performers would be good advice. They don't have to put politics in the scripted comic bits and introductions. And it's really not a comedy show. I don't like telling comedians not to be political, but why did we need comedy at all?

Spaceman said...

Disappointed that tasteless, pornographic drivel into a microphone can be hailed as some sort of art. Childish Gambino - “Redbone” (niggas creeping), Kendrick Lamar – “Humble” (Girl, I can buy your ass, bitch be humble, etc.) and Kendrick Lamar “Loyalty”, (Ooh that pussy good, it's to die for on fire, I'm an asshole, etc.). Someone for the youth to emulate. Living the street.

Rumpletweezer said...

How much does one have to disbelieve to admire Hillary?

Ann Althouse said...

In my opinion, Cher can do anything. Cher is Cher.

Ann Althouse said...

"you got the Cardi B quote quite wrong"

In what way? I think I got the quote verbatim, and my commentary is that what she said "could be viewed as skeptical of the book." It's ambiguous (literally). If you assume you know what she thinks, then you'll resolve the ambiguity, but on its face, it's ambiguous.

MadisonMan said...

In my opinion, Cher can do anything. Cher is Cher.

Sure, Cher can. And I can express an opinion about the disaster as it unfolds.

Cher isn't quite Jocelyn Wildenstein, but it seems like she's trying!

David Begley said...

Let’s acknowledge the facts. Rap and hip hop is mostly a vehicle for the musically untalented to separate the musically ignorant from their money and time. Bread and poor circuses.

Recall that Obama was fully in on the scam as he professed to like “To Pimp a Butterfly.” Not exactly Aaron Copeland’s “Lincoln Portrait.”

David said...

I did not watch the Grammys this year. Of course I have never watched the Grammys. But I think they "did politics" quite well. This pathetic appearance seals the deal on the destruction of Hillary Clinton's political career.

Ann Althouse said...

"In what way? I think I got the quote verbatim, and my commentary is that what she said "could be viewed as skeptical of the book." It's ambiguous (literally). If you assume you know what she thinks, then you'll resolve the ambiguity, but on its face, it's ambiguous."

And that video is edited, so it's not so much a question of what she had in her head as it is the show's producers' choice to give us that bit. I'm sure all of the readers read more than the part that was used and we were given something chosen in part for its entertainment value but also in part because it went just far enough. I think ambiguity was deliberately found and presented to us. But, yeah, sure, we assume the stars loathe Trump (or at least only want to be thought of as loathing Trump).

David Begley said...

Spaceman

Obama professes to admire Kendrick Lamar. I guess that means Barack has no respect for women. Or black men for that matter.

Clyde said...

Who knew that the Grammys had a fiction category?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I want Cher to open up her many mansions to the poor and to illegal immigrants - especially the violent illegal immigrants who have been arrested and released multiple times. They need a safe space.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Michael Wolff is now spreading lies and busllshit the leftwing machine will certainly swallow whole --that Trump and Hailey are having an affair.

David Begley said...

Rolling Stone,

“President Barack Obama recently proclaimed that his favorite song of 2015 was Kendrick Lamar's "How Much a Dollar Cost," and today it was revealed that the Commander-in-Chief and the To Pimp a Butterfly rapper sat down in the Oval Office to discuss a variety of topics. ”

Clyde said...

Cher can't turn back time.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I watched most of the show for the first time in years. I love music and I decided I wanted to check in and see what's happening and not allow the politics to turn me away. It was insipidly boring when it wasn't outright painful. The Kesha song with the Resistance Revival Chorus (not kidding) was cringe worthy. Embarrassingly hard to watch. Hillary was her usual dynamic self.

Bilwick said...

They should have had someone tell Hillary she lost. "I lost??!! Who won? Some f***ing Jew bastard probably!" Then she gets on the phone with the Arkansas Mob and tells Moose and Rocco to snatch the winner's cat and "take it to meet Vince Foster--y'know what I'm sayin'?" All the while chugging from a bottle of hooch.

Also I'd like "new york" to do his/her patriotic duty and tell us--with specifics--how Trump is intending to destroy the arts. The people have a right to know!

tcrosse said...

new york said...
well represents music and arts culture, which trump is indeed intent on destroying.

The Music and Arts Culture has managed to destroy itself with no help from Trump.

tim in vermont said...

It’s a good thing the Grammies don’t actually have any value bringing the good music to our attention. If it hadn’t been for them telling us that black musicians make fucking awesome music, we never would have known! Or that J-Pop and K-Pop are a blast, I thought that Elvis and his evil twin Pat Boone made all the great music!

MAJMike said...

Yet another self-congratulatory circle jerk, nothing new here.

tim in vermont said...

1 Elect Trump
2 Swear him in
3 ???
4 Art is destroyed!

Hint, if art in NYC depends on money out of Luther and Hilda’s household budget in South Dakota, it’s dead already.

tim in vermont said...

I stopped caring about the Grammys when they cancelled the Polka category because Jimmy Sturr kept winning.

Ha! I used like listening to Polka on WHAM, out of Rochester, NY. 50,000 watts of Polish American culture.

LakeLevel said...

The wife and I were watching "Shark Tank" on ABC and switching over during commercials. My wife commented every time we looked about how High School level the production values were. It was embarrassing. It seems that in New York media industry, the competent people have been completely run out of town by apparatchiks. Of course anyone watching New York based news or reading New York based publishers has known this for years.

Francisco D said...

Hillary has now achieved cultural icon status.

She is the Kim Kardashian of politics - famous for being infamous and with little discernible talent.

Kate said...

"To Pimp a Butterfly" is a good album. The Free Jazz is powerful and the rhyming uses complex syllables and enjambment. Lamar grew up on the street, in a gang, and left it behind when he became Christian. His social commentary is interesting and not represented by one-line grabs.

David Begley said...

2017 was the first year in which rap and hip hop outsold rock.

America has been fundamentally transformed.

Curious George said...

"Tim in Vermont said...
I stopped caring about the Grammys when they cancelled the Polka category because Jimmy Sturr kept winning.

Ha! I used like listening to Polka on WHAM, out of Rochester, NY. 50,000 watts of Polish American culture."

WSAU 550AM in Wausau has polka music from 9-12 on Saturday. I think it's some nationally syndicated polka show. By 10:30AM you want to roll out the 12 gauge and have a double barrel of fun.

Ralph L said...

Did anyone else see the whiff of smoke above Snoop Dog?

tim in vermont said...

Rap and hip hop is where the energy is in music. Some of it is very good. Sorry. Technological advances that have clearly been fully embraced by those two genres is driving the advance of music.

It’s a shame in a way, because it seems to place such a low value on traditional musicianship by using sampling, etc. If you hook a MIDI keyboard up to your computer, after about fifteen minutes, you can be laying down hypnotic electronic music, if you are good enough on a piano to play Chopsticks, and have a minimal knowledge of music theory. No more spending your youth in lessons and interminable practice. I always figured that one of the reasons that musicians smoke a lot of pot is to make the practice tolerable. Now you sort of need drugs to really get the music. Which is why a lot of us can’t. stand it.

I still prefer acoustic Irish music, with beer to help me really get the music, but de gustabus,,, Fortunately for people like me, I can get all I want from my computer or phone, played though what ever bluetooth system I have, car or home. Same as people who like Bluegrass, Newgrass, Vintage Country, Polka, etc, etc, etc.

YoungHegelian said...

The Grammys gave HRC a cameo & the audience went wild.

I understand why we, conservatives that we (mostly) are, don't like HRC. I also understand why mainstream liberals like HRC, & why mainstream liberals like to piss in our faces.

What I don't understand is why a group of "artists" like the Grammy's live audience would so willingly piss in the face of the Left, who loath HRC as much as conservatives do.

Prof. Althouse mentions that politics has always been a vital part of the popular arts, which is true. But, what has changed is that artists seem to be absolutely shameless about publicly sucking cock for the mainstream moneybags of the Democratic Party. In our youth, artists supported causes, often radical ones, but they didn't genuflect in fealty to a political party, especially not to its mainstream representatives. There was no adulation of politicians unless they were 1) dead or 2) foreign communist dictators. To suck up to a Democrat, oh my God, how bourgeois, how terminally uncool, dude!


rhhardin said...

Armstrong and Getty remember Grammys Soy Bomb

Eels sing about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziDZLZQdBx8

the original incident

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0k7rKsCiLg

chickelit said...

It's encouraging that fewer and fewer people are paying attention to the Grammys as they get more and more political. I think that's a natural and healthy thing.

Oh and I met and spoke to Henry Rollins in Switzerland when he was a 'roid-fueled asshole. Has he changed?

gilbar said...

The Prof said;
"much of the lyrical content in many of the best songs has been about politics."
"maybe leaving the politics to individual performers would be good advice. They don't have to put politics in the scripted comic bits and introductions"

as per usual, she said what I was trying to say; much better than I did.

tim in vermont said...

It’s encouraging that fewer and fewer people are paying attention to the Grammys as they get more and more political.

Like ESPN? The NFL?

Maybe those organizations could have done more good by showing the genuine black white brotherhood that is so often on display on the field, as a model for what could be in America, than lecturing and hectoring its viewers.

roesch/voltaire said...

To encourage a group not to be political is political,

chickelit said...

@roesch: Numbers are numbers. At some point, the show gets second billing or the suits jump in and tell the actors to change their lines. Then the actors take their complaints elsewhere to get female attention.

chickelit said...

Maybe the Grammys should just up and move to BET?

chickelit said...

And Cher is Cher except when she has her face sliced and puffed to fit into Beverley Hills norms. When she does that, she's fair game for derision.

Snark said...

Unlike the "bitches supporting bitches" thing recently, Hillary did a good job with this one.

Spaceman said...

Had the Grammy's on low whilst I was reading "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos", Jordan Peterson's new book. A good read and will appeal to Righties.

The Grammy's were uniformly boring. Some nominal "women are strong, but need to unite to overthrow the oppressors" and "Dreamers are great" speeches. Past that the show wasn't too awfully political. And women are strong.

The rating took a pretty good decline from past years. This is like the 4th celeb award show in January. Celebs giving other celebs awards get old quick

tcrosse said...

Whenever I see a video of HRC, I like to think of dubbing it with the voice of Gilbert Gottfried.

Bay Area Guy said...

The Grammys plus a special appearance by Hillary Clinton?!!?

Sounds like a sublime experience (not!)

Rabel said...

Looks like the same outfit she was wearing in the "bitches" scene. Either filmed the same day or she's adopted a hot new signature look.

Yancey Ward said...

Clyde wins:

"Cher can't turn back time."

BJM said...

The Fire & Fury stunt is typical of the sappy virtue-signalling that has become de rigueur at award shows and only resonates in the Progressive echo chamber. Although watching Hillary cluelessly demean herself is highly entertaining.

However U2's video was especially offensive given that Ireland has much more restrictive immigration laws and policies than the US, and illegal "Dreamers" who have no path to citizenship or means to remain legally. Perhaps he should concentrate on his own country's failings before lecturing us...as if.

William said...

Is my experience typical? Sometime in my thirties or maybe early forties I gave up on popular music. I've heard of some of these people but I've never listened to their music. This might be my loss. I'm sure some are truly talented. Amy Winehouse was, but it's just so much easier to listen to old songs.......In any event, nothing about their personal lives or clothing choices or life styles leads me to believe that they have anything useful to say about politics or sexual morality.

Jim at said...

"The Grammy's the bag?"

Not sure, but I think that's Secret Service for "Hillary's slobbering drunk again?"

YoungHegelian said...

@BJM,

However U2's video was especially offensive given that Ireland has much more restrictive immigration laws and policies than the US...

Well, yes, but the Irish don't see it that way. That's because Ireland is in the E.U. & so they have lots of immigrants from eastern Europe that they can't do single goddamn thing about because immigration between E.U. countries is unrestricted.

So the Irish get to be seen as unfriendly to immigrants from the rest of the world, while the Irish populace seethes at an unstoppable flow of immigrants that their betters signed them up for.

Not exactly a win-win.

Jose_K said...

90% of the nominated were men. Since more than half of the customers are women, nothing unexpected.
Normal people expect female fans for male artists and female fans for male artist

tcrosse said...

Hillary Clinton is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Show-Biz-Media Industrial Complex, so H>er appearance comes as no surprise.

readering said...

It was better than the lame subway car karaoke skit.

walter said...

" some of which could be viewed as skeptical of the book or even admiring of Trump."

Not sure how you got that. Maybe if you interpret Cardi B's "I can't believe he lives his life this way" as I don't believe he..
Apparently Cardi B(oobs) also said she had “Butterflies in my stomach and vagina!”

Hildebot was sporting a more risque neckline than usual.


Darrell said...

Did Hillary open up a jar of pickles? That never gets old.

cubanbob said...

tcrosse said...
Whenever I see a video of HRC, I like to think of dubbing it with the voice of Gilbert Gottfried."

Brilliant!

walter said...

Maybe the butterflies in her vagina were part of her former act as a stripper.
That would be memorable.

Kelly said...

according to the Daily Beast, Dave Chappelle had the best line of the night. “I just want to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America.” That makes no sense which is too bad, Chappelle can be hilarious and even poignant at times.

Saint Croix said...

I like how Snoop is afraid that people are going to think he's a Trump supporter and DJ Khaled finds his inner Trump. And the media shuts him down.

That's a well done skit. Not super-funny but smart. Instead of mocking Trump, or Hillary, they are mocking the media's urge for control. Kudos.