July 27, 2018

It's the Era of That's Not Funny.

Some people are hot to destroy all the comedians who made us laugh by shocking us with their transgressions. I see Sarah Silverman is on the chopping block for tweeting, "Hey, is it considered molestation if the child makes the first move? I'm gonna need a quick answer on this." That was back in '09, when Obama was President, and people got the idea of a comedian posing as evil and not actually being evil. There was a word for it back in the old days. A "joke,"* we called it.

I was just by chance paging through a book written by one of our all-time greatest comedians, George Carlin, and I ran across this:



Click to enlarge and clarify and blow your mind.

The book is "Napalm and Silly Putty." The publication date is telling: July 1, 2001. Wait 2 months and 10 days and nothing will ever be funny again. Or at least that's what I, personally, thought on the morning of September 11th. And then I heard myself make a joke: "I guess we don't have to talk about Chandra Levy anymore."

__________________

* "Something said or done to excite laughter or amusement; a witticism, a jest; jesting, raillery...." (OED).
1670 J. Eachard Grounds Contempt of Clergy 34 To have the right knack of letting off a Joque, and of pleasing the Humsters....
1748 S. Richardson Clarissa VI. liii. 210 I..should not forbear to cut a joke, were I upon the scaffold....
1790 J. Beattie Elem. Moral Sci. I. i. i. 117 The practice of turning every thing into joke and ridicule is a dangerous levity of imagination.
Yes, and the practice of turning everything into a nonjoke is a dangerous gloominess of imagination.

"Humsters" in case you are wondering are people who express approval by humming. It's an obsolete word, and who needs it? Not until we revive the practice of expressing approval by humming.
[The ethnomusicologist] Joseph Jordania suggested that humming could have played an important role in the early human (hominid) evolution as contact calls. Many social animals produce seemingly haphazard and indistinct sounds (like chicken cluck) when they are going about their everyday business (foraging, feeding). These sounds have two functions: (1) to let group members know that they are among kin and there is no danger, and (2) in case of the appearance of any signs of danger (suspicious sounds, movements in a forest), the animal that notices danger first, stops moving, stops producing sounds, remains silent and looks in the direction of the danger sign. Other animals quickly follow suit and very soon all the group is silent and is scanning the environment for the possible danger. Charles Darwin was the first to notice this phenomenon on the example of the wild horses and the cattle. Joseph Jordania suggested that for humans, as for many social animals, silence can be a sign of danger, and that's why gentle humming and musical sounds relax humans (see the use of gentle music in music therapy, lullabies).

129 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

The first sentence of this post — I'm noticing now — is ambiguous. But I like both meanings, so I'm not going to fix it.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

It seems perfectly appropriate that Sarah Silverman would be the face of the That's Not Funny Era.

Nonapod said...

I try not to be too judgy about what people find funny or unfunny. I mean, I've laughed at my shared of jokes that some people would find tasteless and/or unfunny. But these days it seems like people demand you pick a side You wither must be outraged or mock those that are outraged.

And always the Twitter mobs want scalps. Careers must be ruined.

Sebastian said...

"I guess we don't have to talk about Chandra Levy anymore."

You were right. But you're also wrong: there's always another Gary-Condit-GOPer to vilify, and always another illegal-immigrant Ingmar Gaundique to get away with murder.

Rick said...

Charles Darwin was the first to notice this phenomenon on the example of the wild horses and the cattle.

Like Dylan wrote "The House of the Rising Sun".

Rob said...

And I thought a humster was someone who gave a hummer.

tcrosse said...

No discussion of transgressive humor is complete without The Aristocrats (2005).

Bay Area Guy said...

Q: What's the true definition of eternal Love?

A: A tennis match between Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles.

Balfegor said...

Re: Sebastian:

Gary-Condit-GOPer to vilify

What? Am I missing something? He was a Democrat . . .

Re: Nonapod:

And always the Twitter mobs want scalps. Careers must be ruined.

This stuff is old, much like the James Gunn stuff. I don't think this is entirely organic. I get the feeling someone found this stuff long ago, and is now doling it out so that celebrities who have tried to whip up twitter hate mobs get a taste of their own medicine. I know Gunn has been part of that -- I don't know about Silverman, but she kind of seems like she'd be a twitter troll (a lot of comedians, frankly, seem like they would be among the worst trolls on twitter. Much like, um, our President).

Fernandinande said...

Charles Darwin was the first to notice this phenomenon [animals becoming silent] on the example of the wild horses and the cattle.

The first to notice that phenom were probably about a few hundred thousand years worth of hunters - or Dr. Jaeger.

Horses and cattle don't produce "haphazard and indistinct sounds (like chicken cluck)" while they eat, so they can't become silent in the face of danger. But they can adopt a different posture -

"The most common service which the higher animals perform for each other, is the warning each other of danger by means of the united senses of all. Every sportsman knows, as Dr. Jaeger remarks,6 how difficult it is to approach animals in a herd or troop. Wild horses and cattle do not, I believe, make any danger-signal; but the attitude of any one who first discovers an enemy, warns the others."

Besides misquoting Darwin, the Wiki on "humming" invented a new book for their reference: "Descent of Men".

Eleanor said...

I've never thought Sarah Silvermen is very funny, and she's a terrible actress to boot. I thought George Carlin was funny until I saw him live near the end of his career. The drugs and booze really did fry his brain. He was reading jokes off a yellow legal pad. When the audience thought it was part of the joke, he got really angry. Most people left at intermission. Jokes don't have to be squeaky clean for me to laugh. I do like the comedian to have a wider range of adjectives than most do today. People are the most funny when the humor is self-deprecating. Being mean to others gets old pretty fast. I've never thought Don Rickles was all that funny. Watching an old Dean Martin celebrity roast shows how some of the participants had finesse at that kind of humor, and others just didn't. We're living in a time when nasty is supposed to make us laugh.

Sal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul McKaskle said...

Definition of a joke from the Vicar of Dibley in this exchange between the Vicar and Alice Horton, perhaps the most clueless person in the world:


Vicar Geraldine Granger [Dawn French]: Apparently they’ve come up with a new low fat communion wafer.

Alice Horton [Emma Chambers]: Oh, that is good news

Vicar: Yes, they call it “I can’t believe its not Jesus.”

Alice: That’s catchy . . . like “I just can’t believe it’s not butter.”

Vicar: Exactly, yes

Alice We should get some. Do you want me to order some?

Vicar: No . .because it is a joke, isn’t it?

Alice: What?

Vicar: The wafers. The low fat wafers don’t exist.

Alice: Are you sure?

Vicar: Yes

Alice: But a joke is supposed to be a play on words . . . or a witticism . . . or a comic juxtaposition of divergent ideas to provoke a spontaneous explosion of laughter. So what you told me can’t be a joke because I didn’t laugh!

Vicar: Oh, sod off Alice!!

buwaya said...

Its a cold civil war, fought on all fronts with whatever weapons come to hand.
Or consider it akin to a Mafia war. You kill one of theirs, they kill two of yours.

Get a "conservative" deplatformed or disemployed, and the "progressives" risk the same for one or more of theirs.

Nonapod said...

"I can't talk politics with my cousin because he's such a hypocrite. He's against the death penalty and he hanged himself." - Anthony Jeselnik

Balfegor said...

RE: Eleanor:

I've never thought Sarah Silvermen is very funny, and she's a terrible actress to boot.

She was the little girl in Wreck-it Ralph, right? I thought her squeaky voice worked well for that.

I can't really judge how funny stand-up comics are. In the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel series on Amazon, for example, I thought everything was enjoyable except for the bits where she goes into wisecracking "stand-up" mode, where it all felt forced and occasionally a little bit nasty. But reviewers seemed to love those parts as much as anything else -- in fact, a lot of people seemed to single out the stand-up as genuinely good. Honestly, I like "fall in an open manhole and die" humour as much as the next fellow (probably more, actually, as I have an uncommonly unpleasant sense of humour), but the whole stand-up format doesn't really work for me. The man (or woman) with a microphone ranting in front of a room has difficulty escaping the framing, which makes them seem diminished, neurotic, pathetic. I don't have the same problem where two people are playing off of each other, or one is the straight man and one is the _______ (I don't know the jargon in English -- boke and tsukkomi).

Paul McKaskle said...

Definition of a joke from the Vicar of Dibley in this exchange between the Vicar and Alice Horton, perhaps the most clueless person in the world:


Vicar Geraldine Granger [Dawn French]: Apparently they’ve come up with a new low fat communion wafer.

Alice Horton [Emma Chambers]: Oh, that is good news

Vicar: Yes, they call it “I can’t believe its not Jesus.”

Alice: That’s catchy . . . like “I just can’t believe it’s not butter.”

Vicar: Exactly, yes

Alice We should get some. Do you want me to order some?

Vicar: No . .because it is a joke, isn’t it?

Alice: What?

Vicar: The wafers. The low fat wafers don’t exist.

Alice: Are you sure?

Vicar: Yes

Alice: But a joke is supposed to be a play on words . . . or a witticism . . . or a comic juxtaposition of divergent ideas to provoke a spontaneous explosion of laughter. So what you told me can’t be a joke because I didn’t laugh!

Vicar: Oh, sod off Alice!!

buwaya said...

"Solution: Tell of the scolds to fuck off."

In a civil war there are no "civilians".
If for the other side the personal is always political, then vice versa must happen.
Wars are destructive.

hstad said...

Sorry AA, never did think Carlin was a decent comedian. Maybe for Liberals or Liberal Arts Majors it was avant garde? But "Napalm and Silly Putty" sold 375,000 hard copies. Don't know if this is a lot or just average but doesn't look very well received except by a few elites. Which it why it was on NY Times Best Seller List for 20 straight weeks. Given that record, I now know that the NY Times Best Seller List is make believe.

Lord of the Rings sold 150 million copies! For those who will claim, but, but, it is fiction. Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" sold over 100 million copies. Heck, even "The Cat in the Hat" sold over 10 million copies.

You want Comedies, try "Holidays on Ice"; " Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas "; and " The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".

Carlin's comedy always escaped me, other than the "Edginess" schtick he was always pushing.

Sebastian said...

He was a Democrat . . ."

OMG, this is true.

But why did I think GOP, CYA-wise?

Ah, Wikipedia to the rescue: "more conservative than other Democrats from California. A Blue Dog Democrat, Condit voted against President Bill Clinton more frequently than all Congressional Democrats."

Are there any Blue Dogs left to pin a murder on? Methinks (sorry) the Dem party has been pretty much cleansed by this point. Plenty of GOPers still available.

Freeman Hunt said...

"That's not funny," and "Too soon," do not exist between the adults in my family. Publicly, it is different. I wonder if that is not true of most families.

Static Ping said...

Social Justice is a religious cult based off of deep hatred masquerading as love and tolerance. It is a unique faith where there is plenty of sin but no forgiveness, sins can be applied retroactively, and sins may vary depending on the offender's identity with a sin being unforgiveable for one person and not a sin at all for another. All aspects of life must conform to the cult and praise the cult actively. What the cult believes today may not be the same as it believed yesterday nor what it will believe tomorrow. There is no grace for being insufficient woke, even if the woke requirement was never communicated to anyone until the denouncement.

Comedy is very difficult in that environment. For that matter, living is difficult in that environment. It is a most disgusting philosophy.

Ralph L said...

they call it “I can’t believe it's not Jesus.”

People went to war and were burnt over this issue.
It's disgusting that you made it into part of a joke.

And it's completely tasteless--the Host with the least.

Ralph L said...

Freeman, we were telling funny stories about my mother 15 minutes after she died at 57.
It must be how we deal with stress.

The Godfather said...

I don't care if a joke is funny, so long as it's dirty.

Ba-da-bing!

heyboom said...

@ Static Ping:

Best definition of "social justice" I've ever seen. Well done!

Fred Drinkwater said...

Static Ping
The first time I became aware of "Social Justice" as an idea affecting local politics was when an activist group raised questions about how and why a small gas-fired powerplant had been sited near poor neighborhoods. The claim was that it harmed locals, who had had minimal opportunity to object during planning, and mostly benefited wealthier neighborhoods farther away.
At the time, this seemed like a valid concept.
What relation that concept has to current SJ notions, I can't see.
It seems to have been entirely overwhelmed by power plays based on "you can't say that" notions.

buwaya said...

In terms of weight in tit-for-tat vengeance one Brendan Eich justifies several battalions of Sarah Silvermans.

Rosalyn C. said...

Jesus without the extra calories, I'll order two boxes.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"And I thought a humster was someone who gave a hummer."

Someone who drives a Hummer.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Not sure I can agree that Carlin's one of the all time greatest comedians but he was definitely good and important. Funnier than Lenny Bruce for sure (though that's an admittedly low bar).

Carlin did the bit about how anything can be funny and gave the example of rape, right? Something like: if you don't think rape can be funny just imagine Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd. Not...not certain if that still flies.

Rosalyn C. said...

Almost anything can be funny, except for Valerie Jarrett's haircut.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Eleanor said...I've never thought Sarah Silvermen is very funny, and she's a terrible actress to boot.

Some of her old standup is good--she did quirky-funny well and had good timing. She really leaned into the smirking I'm-so-cute-saying-such-terrible-things-and-smiling style though and got progressively less funny; her style overwhelmed the substance of her jokes and her style gets pretty old over time. The Sarah Silverman Show had some decent laughs.

Her sister Laura is a better actress and has been in some solid comedies--she was the receptionist on Dr. Katz and was on The Comeback (which I think Prof. Althouse liked). Laura S is a pretty hard Lefty and prominent supporter of Planned Parenthood I think, but is funny & talented.

pacwest said...

9/11/01. The day humor died.

stevew said...

Could Seinfeld do the gay jokes, complete with the rejoinder “not that there is anything wrong with that” today? I think not.

-sw

rhhardin said...

I'm enjoying Veep (HBO?) on DVD. The characters are amusing enough with cutthroat superficiality, but it's actually slamming the voting public for listening to what counts as news and reacting with stereotype approval, disapproval or horror. Women in particular.

Carlin canned a lot of jokes that wouldn't work for a series he had coming up in late 2001. I'd still have laughed.

He had a nie bit on rooting for a high death toll in earthquake stories. It goes up each day and everybody's hoping for a record.

rcocean said...

Sarah Sliverman is a left-wing shithead. Anything that causes her pain is OK with me

It'd be interesting to see how George Carlin would behave in today's environment. Would he be speaking out against Liberal/Left censorship, or would he confine himself to safe topics like attacking Religion (Judaism excepted) and cat jokes.

rhhardin said...

As my father said, watching the Kennedy train running over some spectator in NJ on TV, "The Kennedys are killing people like flies."

rcocean said...

I meant to say: Attacking religion (Islam and Judaism excepted).

Our left-wing comedians respect for Muhammad is truly edifying.

rhhardin said...

News is entertainment. People just don't recognize it.

Jess said...

Comedy loses its flavor, when the comedian is bitter, hateful, or obsessed with political self-importance. People want to laugh; and not be reminded of the ugliness that is observed daily.

rcocean said...

Black humor always lightens the load. As a Jewish friend who lost his family in the holocaust once joked to me:

- How did Hitler fit 12 Jews in a Volkswagen?

- 2 upfront, 2 in the back, and 8 in the ashtray.

I respected him a lot. A funny guy.

Titus said...

I just flew into Chicago and on the bus up to Madison. We had a stop in Janesville. The Olive Garden was hopping and there was a restaurant called Quaker steak and lube. Wtf

DanTheMan said...

Carlin was the first host on the first episode of SNL. He bombed, at one point asking the audience if they had heard all the jokes before.

etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

Anthony Jeselnik Thought and Prayers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib_6-qZcWvw

My name goes here. said...

Stand up comedy does not age well, because the best comedy happens to fit in the zeitgeist. Go back and look at any of the "great" comedic performances to see what I mean. I recently rewatched Eddie Murphy's Delirious and it did not age well. Same for Richard Pryor. Carlin at Carnegie might still be worth watching, but his later stuff was no longer in the zeitgeist. Dane Cook had a really hot career for about 2 years. Iliza Schlesinger was amazing in War Paint, peaked in Freezing Hot, and flat in Confirmed Kills -3 years top to bottom.

Comedy with two people speaks, I think, to more universal values to be funny so it ages better. Lots of Abbot and Costello stuff is still good to watch.



Bill Peschel said...

I loved the early Carlin with the albums AM/FM and Class Clown. Sharp-witted and observant.

Near the end of his life, he had lost his sense of humor. I heard a clip of his last show the estate released after his death and it was pretty much wall-to-wall rant.

I call it "raging against the dark." Mark Twain did it. So did Kurt Vonnegut. In Twain's case, I can understand his sorrow over seeing his wife and most of his family die. Vonnegut had to deal with losing his audience that once revered him.

The problem with telling jokes on Twitter is that the magic of comedy lies in performance and timing. Someone sitting down to be entertained has already agreed to be entertained.

Coming across someone's joke on Twitter unexpectedly feels like stepping on a turd barefoot. And if you've decided to be an SJW and a comedian, it gets awfully hard to tell where the comedy stops and the activism begins.

And considering many performers, especially comedians, are damaged individuals who are not well-read or educated, their activism comes off as lashing out at those who hurt them.

gilbar said...

Our left-wing comedians respect for Muhammad is truly edifying.
You Have to be TRUELY BRAVE to insult a religion like Christianity; it doesn't take any guts to insult Islam. When was the last time you heard of a magazine being firebombed for insulting Muhammad (PBUH) ?
That sort of thing happens EVERY TIME someone insults Jesus.
There's no humor in not taking chances. The humor comes from the bravery of taking the risk.

My name goes here. said...

As a Black man, I am thankful that Martin Luther King was not an insomniac.

The Supreme Court is just like regular court with sour cream and tomatoes.

The Dyson Ball cleaner has a really misleading name.

I told this woman I thought she would look sexy with her hair back, and I guess it's a #METOO thing because apparently you are not supposed to say that to cancer patients.

etienne said...

My uncle died in a German concentration camp.

He slipped on the ice and fell off the guard tower.

badum tish...

jg said...

It seems a promising route to getting liberals to defend the principle of free speech is to disingenuously call them pedophiles for making pedophiliac jokes and demand they suffer economic damage as a result.

It's not much, but I'll take it.

Twelve said...

Carlin one of the all time greatest? There's "that's not funny" and there's just not funny. George Carlin wasn't even mildly amusing. Not even in the hippy dippy weatherman days - and that was his high point. He's got a lot of company, to be fair.

gilbar said...

Lord of the Rings sold 150 million copies! For those who will claim, but, but, it is fiction.
Is this supposed to be some sort of a joke?

Titus said...

Also Grindr profiles here are dismal. Most of them are under 6 feet and weigh over 200 pounds with no pics. Not a good sign. Some are interested in fishing and “tubing”. So weird. One guys asked if someone could pick him up so he could get cigs. There is a reason I left this shithole so many years ago. Gays in Boston are normal and international and fab. Gays can n Wisconsin are depressing and fat.

neal said...

People back in the day had more sense. Politics, religion, sex. Never in mixed company. Well, in this interconnected age everything gets around. Everyone that crosses lines is that creepy relative or the skeleton in the global family closet.
Everyone gets to be famous for five minutes.
Then the slow burn.

dwarzel said...

At the time, I assumed that the 9/11 attacks were bought and paid for by the Democrats in order to *distract* us from Chandra Levy. I was in a cynical phase.

(Although I haven't actually been proven wrong as far as I know.)

Bad Lieutenant said...

Etienne said...
My uncle died in a German concentration camp.

He slipped on the ice and fell off the guard tower.

badum tish...
7/27/18, 3:07 PM

In your case? It's funny because it's true!


Titus said...

Gays can n Wisconsin are depressing

Gays can n everywhere are depressing. You have nothing to live for. It's not funny but it's true!

Unknown said...

What's funny to me is that some of these folks were among those who some conservatives wanted to ban at the time for obscenity such as George Carlin. Who knew it would be Hollywood and the left who are actually succeeding at making them unacceptable!

etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric said...

Buwaya has it right. It's a cold war. A cold civil war.

It wasn't so bad when, on occassion, a conservative got taken down for something stupid they said or did. But then, the right side struck back.

Now it just escalates. And it's going to have to get a lot worse before it gets better. Because their just aren't enough voices out there saying, "Enough already!"

And until that happens (them first!) It continues to ratchet up.

Kelly said...

There’s a book I use to read in the book store (I never bought it) that was basically the comedian writing hilarious, off the wall complaint letters to businesses and the responses he got in return. Part of the gimmick was you didn’t know who the comedian was (Imthink it came out later but forget who it was ). . Made me laugh till I I cried. Just not enough to buy the book. I miss harmless, non edgy comedy. I can laugh at a lot of things, just not child molestation. I’m lame like that.

Bob Boyd said...

The humsters all died out or became mimes. Most were gleefully murdered by people who laughed.

R C Belaire said...

I had exactly the same comment about Levy, also accompanied by a joke about defense against incoming missiles, which if I remember correctly Bush 45 was pushing at the time.

Big Mike said...

Who needs comedians when Newsweek publishes a headline about Virgin Galactic traveling twice the speed of light. (Headline has been fixed, but Dave Barry has the original screenshot.)

whitney said...

George Carlin quit being funny long before 2001

The Godfather said...

If you're not a pro, but you do work for a living, there's an awful feeling in your gut when you hear those terrible words: That's not funny.

Gahrie said...

There was a word for it back in the old days. A "joke,"* we called it.

It was feminism and identity politics and the struggle for power between them for victimhood that killed humor.

Jupiter said...

Blogger Jonathan Graehl said...
"It seems a promising route to getting liberals to defend the principle of free speech is to disingenuously call them pedophiles for making pedophiliac jokes and demand they suffer economic damage as a result."

This is, in fact, what is going on. This particular bomb was lobbed in Townhall, but Ace has been talking about this too. They are very seriously saying that the right should "make them play by their own rules", by inciting their own mob to lynch them.

trumpintroublenow said...

Etienne -- It's a shame you subject everyone to your always unfunny anti-Semitic rants.

Bummer what happened to Vichy France. But at least you still have the National Front.

Jupiter said...

I thought Silverman was hilarious in the opening of The Way Of The Gun. I hadn't noticed, until I just watched it again (God, it is funny!), but a lot of the over-the-top obscenity she spews in that scene is about sex with children. I imiagine folks at Disney are reviewing some of her old clips with deep concern.

FullMoon said...

Our left-wing comedians respect for Muhammad is truly edifying.

Reminds me of a picture floating around the internet.


Donald Trump accepting humanitarian award from Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali.

Now, that's funny.
Pic with Trump shaking hands with his pal snoop dog worth a smile.

Jupiter said...

Steve Uhr said...

"Bummer what happened to Vichy France. But at least you still have the National Front."

Wow. You're a NAZI sympathizer?

tim maguire said...

Sarah Silverman's tweets have been the best thing about her since the first season of The Sarah Silverman Show.

FullMoon said...

Can't quite make it across intersection on yellow light, so you are first in line at red.
Realize you are in crosswalk, so put car in reverse, back up a little.
Waiting for green, you check your phone for messages, or do a little texting.
Car behind lays on his horn.
Startled, you look up, realize light has turned green so you floor it.

DAMN, forgot to take car out of reverse !

Carlin,joke more or less.

Bob Loblaw said...

Carlin wasn't actually funny for most of his career. I saw him live circa 1990 and even by then he was a bitter old man not the slightest bit interested in entertaining the audience. The other half of the bill was Steven Wright, who was hilarious.

Jupiter said...

What Ace and Townhall's Chris Reeves fail to realize is that the individual Leftie who gets mob-fucked may well suffer, but the people who convene the mob and feed it are perfectly happy to have their own for victims. It doesn't matter whose severed head rots on the pike, whose still-beating heart is tossed down the stairs, whose children scream in agony as they writhe in the flames. The point is the power of the Left to punish whomever they choose. The innocence of the victim only emphasizes that no one is immune.

eddie willers said...

The funniest book I ever read was Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's take on the End Times: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

And 'Good News Everyone': Amazon Prime is making a series out of it with David Tennant, Michael Sheen and Jon Hamm. You tube preview: Good Omens

etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Sablan said...

Could a man get away with Silverman's joke? Probably. But I don't think I'd like to test that theory.

rcocean said...

"I just flew into Chicago and on the bus up to Madison."

The Bus?!

Hey, I thought you were Mr. Big Bucks.

And you don't have enough $$$ to fly or take a cab?

Next, Tight-Ass will be telling us, he's not a ripped, totally handsome guy.

rcocean said...

My uncle died in a Gulag with Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

He fell out of the Guard Tower!

Jack Klompus said...

Great music choice! Portishead's first two albums are great.

rcocean said...

Its an old Soviet joke.

rcocean said...

I actually thought Silverman was sorta funny.

But then, I noticed she was telling the same joke over and over again.

Then, I realized what a complete shit she was as a human being.

rcocean said...

Do you realize that if you insult Sarah Silverman, you can get banned on twitter.

That's because she's a rebel!

rcocean said...

Leftist comics are really edgy.

Like Tight-ass.

That's why you can get banned for criticizing them.

'cause they're rebels.

tim in vermont said...

One day, enough people will realize that the fun is on the side that doesn’t have the power that comedy will switch, and once again being about speaking truth to power, instead of now, where comedy is all about asserting power over the weak.

I know lefties can’t understand that, but they have become “the man” and they want their rightful presidency back!

eddie willers said...

Say what you will about pedophiles... At least they slow down in school zones.

Big Mike said...

Who needs comedians when you find straight headlines like Bill Clinton Heckled By Angry Prostitutes In Amsterdam

(Turns out they were protesting the location chosen for the next conference, in San Francisco in 2020.)

Lucien said...

What if Silverman’s joke was really about Twitter?

rcocean said...

Bill Clinton Heckled By Angry Prostitutes In Amsterdam

You got it wrong. The correct headline was:

Bill Clinton Heckled By Angry UNPAID Prostitutes In Amsterdam.

Bob Loblaw said...

Do you realize that if you insult Sarah Silverman, you can get banned on twitter.

You get banned by insulting anyone famous. Twitter's entire model relies on ordinary people thinking they're actually connecting with celebrities. That means Twitter has to go out of its way to make the experience positive for the celebrity.

rcocean said...

If you were a Gentile and joked about Jews, Silverman would call you an antisemite, and want Hollywood to destroy you.

If you were White and joked about African Americans, Silverman would call you a Racist, and want Hollywood to destroy you.

If you were Straight and joked about Gays, Silverman would call you a Homophobe, and want Hollywood to destroy you.

But if Silverman jokes about pedophilia. Well, THAT'S DIFFERENT.

Fuck Sarah Silverman.

William said...

They're treating her like she's some kind of feckless cunt........We have evolving standards of morality and decency. In the appropriate venue, you can now show bukkake videos, but there is no appropriate place to make a joke about Valerie Jarrett. I've stopped evolving. Mostly I just spin on the shaft. I have a revolving sense of decency and morality.......An affirmative defense of comedy is that if the joke is funny, it should be forgivable. Silverman's joke was kind of funny. Those of Barr, Griffin, and Samantha Bee not so much.

fleg9bo said...

I thought George Carlin was funny until I saw him live near the end of his career.

I saw George Carlin in the early 70s, at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton. He opened for Al Stewart, back when Al was doing interesting historical songs like Roads to Moscow (about WW II). I don't remember if George was funny or not.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

This is funny.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I read Napalm and Silly Putty on an airplane way back then/when. I sat there and laughed and everyone was wondering what the hell I was laughing at.

"there is now a starbucks in my pants."

Big Mike said...

Fuck Sarah Silverman.

If we take her remarks at face value, some twelve year old boys already have.

Big Mike said...

Not to mention Matt Damon 😉

Mary Beth said...

And 'Good News Everyone': Amazon Prime is making a series out of it with David Tennant, Michael Sheen and Jon Hamm. You tube preview: Good Omens

7/27/18, 5:34 PM


Don't remind me. It's easier to wait for it's 2019 release if I don't think about it.

Earnest Prole said...

No discussion of transgressive humor is complete without The Aristocrats (2005).

Sarah Silverman's performance in it, describing being the victim of pedophilia, is the high point of a movie filled with great performances. Although the Aristocrats joke has a long history dating to vaudeville, its modern renaissance was less than three weeks following the attacks of September 11, 2001, when Gilbert Gottfried deployed it at a New York Friar's Club event after his 9/11 joke was booed ("Too soon!"). Run, don't walk, to see it, with all of its outtakes and commentaries.

Sydney said...

@Kelly - Letters from a Nut. I always assumed Jerry Seinfeld was the true author.

LordSomber said...

Carlin was funny until his wife passed, then he became Bitter Old Man.

Sucks I'm sure, but if you're a comedian whose spouse passes away, shouldn't you be asking yourself, "Wouldn't she want me to keep being funny?"

Guildofcannonballs said...

Amateurs think of what Joseph Jordania suggested:

Pros incorporate Victor-Victrola into their ethos.

This is a link to something more profound than many imagination's paths can lead to.

Laughing at the deformed persons in need of grand attention and their naiveness regarding their malady isn't something that ought (to) be conflated with laughing at a comedy joke, by one of any label, including the greatest label of them all, potUS.

Hence the single greatest joke of all time: Honey, I forgot to duck.

ALSO: Mark Steyn's "tree-ring circus" or maybe "tree ring circus" is the greatest pun, OF ALL TIME. I hope Trump was doing 8D chess in not appreciating Steyn's free speech dilemma in becoming potUS and appointing Neil and Brett.

Lem said...

This is kind of like what i get from watching @jordanbpeterson and @BretWeinstein youtube videos.

Fascinating stuff.

Sydney said...

stand corrected about the authorship of Letters from a Nut.

stephen cooper said...

Lieutenant - if you are reading this, this "weird" commenter (your word) answered your question on an earlier thread: you know what question and which thread, I hope. If you have read it , please let me know, either on this thread or that thread, I put a lot of effort into explaining why you are wrong, my fellow officer, to insultingly call me weird (plus some good medical advice that you might be interested in); and I only put in that effort to help you, and I would like to delete my comments as soon as I know you have read them.

Thanks, Sarge!

robother said...

Trevor Noah, Sarah Silverman, Les Moonves. Three more PC torpedos circle around to the launching vessels. Radicals are really learning to regret Saul Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals. Wonder how Bill Maher is sleeping tonight.

wholelottasplainin said...

Bay Area Guy said...
Q: What's the true definition of eternal Love?

A: A tennis match between Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles.

*******************

Or a "Dancing with the Stars" with Itzhak Perlman and Marlee Matlin.

narciso said...

Case in point:

https://mobile.twitter.com/HCheadle

wholelottasplainin said...

Kelly said...
There’s a book I use to read in the book store (I never bought it) that was basically the comedian writing hilarious, off the wall complaint letters to businesses and the responses he got in return. Part of the gimmick was you didn’t know who the comedian was (Im think it came out later but forget who it was ). . Made me laugh till I I cried. Just not enough to buy the book. I miss harmless, non edgy comedy. I can laugh at a lot of things, just not child molestation. I’m lame like that.

***************
Probably "The Lazlo Letters" by Don Novello, he of Fr. Guido Sarducci fame on early SNL.

Henry said...

An unfunny thread.

Bad Lieutenant said...


rcocean said...
Its an old Soviet joke.

7/27/18, 5:53 PM


In Rossiya,joke laughs at you!




Dear Stephen Cooper,


Just got out of work at 1030, on train home now. Haven't looked at site all day. Will find and respond your comment/s when I find them. I regret any discomfiture you may have suffered; there seems no harm in you, though if you dislike weird, will you accept strange, unusual? Perhaps you prefer distinctive or special. Many do, and often remind me of Trevanian's phrasing:

Miss Stern obviously suffered from the democratic delusion that all people are created interesting.

If you wish I will delete this comment and the comment that offended you, if you feel you need that recourse. I scarcely remember the incident so will say nothing further till I review. Though to be honest, I think I disliked your remarks more than I let on. No doubt my sense of humor has a pulled hamstring, and has trouble keeping up.

Again, I would suggest you write more tersely, say things only once, and, in particular, make friends with your Enter key (paragraphs, if you follow me), but if your goal is other than to write well and clearly, that may not be important to you.

We've all got problems and flaws, me as much as any. I'll go now and seek out the other exchange now, and wish a good night to you, free of pain.

narciso said...

Ah trevanian, am I the only other fan, I only read shibumi his 70s spy tale, and watched part of the eiger sanction, don winslow tried to cteate thd backstory for the former unsuccessfully.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Blogger rcocean said...
If you were a Gentile and joked about Jews, Silverman would call you an antisemite, and want Hollywood to destroy you.


Part of the problem is that who are you? Let's say you identified as a German-Irish Roman Catholic lesbian amputee, or some such collection of variables. Then, when you make your jokes about Jews, Sarah, or I, could shoot back with some plausible odds of reaching you. We'd be playing the dozens, there's an element of fairness. But we are just Jews, whatever that means, and you? You're the one telling it like it is apparently. The unmoved mover. Perhaps you can see the problem.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Ah trevanian, am I the only other fan,

Maybe you are Narciso, I've put out such bait before with no takers. Well, everybody can't read everything. Eiger the book was worth reading too, and he wrote some other stuff, lime The Crazyladies of Pearl Street, if I have it right.

narciso said...

Haven't really gotten around to that one.

Silverman is generally pointless except when she proselytize for Obama some four eight years, there is a thin line between clever and stupid (ht spinal tap) and she can't find it.

Broad ideological pronouncement do get tedious, Carlin had all the enlightened cynical tropes

narciso said...

Now back in the 70s, public broadcasting used to show segments of an Irish comedian Dave Allen, certainly too politically incorrect for this era.

narciso said...

I guess a,little like sein fields opening act


https://youtu.be/eHDow8zywaI

stephen cooper said...

Thanks, Bad Lieutenant.

After you have read what I said, tell me what I could have done in life any better than I did.

I was kidding about the archangel stuff, by the way - ....

And no I will not be pain free tonight. I have not had a pain free waking or sleeping hour since the summer of 1980. Maybe tonight will bring that hour, I guess, but I feel safe in saying that no it probably will not.

Maybe you have heard about the dark night of the soul. (Saint John and Saint Teresa of Avila). I can joke about that (but I won't) because I would give anything to be a pain-free person who had lived, for a few months, through anything as interesting and pain-free as a dark night of the soul. Then again, maybe I would not say that if I did not know as certainly as I know it, that God loves me.



Freeman Hunt said...

"what exactly type of humor is it you're hiding??"

Jokes like Carlin's in the post. Interesting that you go immediately to racism when you think of jokes people don't tell around others. What is hiding, or not really hiding, in your mind?

narciso said...

Observational humor, like Steven Wright who was so dead pan but used to crack me up,

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

...if you shoot a mime, should you use a silencer?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Stephen Cooper said...
Thanks, Bad Lieutenant.

After you have read what I said, tell me what I could have done in life any better than I did.


Apparently at some point you should have dodged or ducked, that might have helped with the pain. Dealing with your family, who can advise another?

As for dark nights of the soul, I cannot recommend them. The grass is always greener...

Gk1 said...

It's interesting to see comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Harvey on 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' talk about how PC has chilled comedians and made colleges off limits to them. Why put up with all that artificial bullshit? Some of them are belatedly figuring out being reliably anti-trump is a crutch and used by hacks. Not sure how they pull themselves out of this self imposed tail-spin. Trump will be in office while they still immolate themselves.

Brian McKim and/or Traci Skene said...

I saw Carlin perform in '92 or so. We were gigging at the club at Bally's in Vegas at the time and we knew the opening act from way back and he put us on the guest list.

We were brought in through the stage door and then installed in a curious box, high up in the showroom, on the level with the soundbooth. We watched the show behind a thick, glass wall and the audio from the mic was pumped in, crystal clear. The mic was not omnidirectional, perhaps, so it picked up almost nothing of the crowd reaction. The glass was thick enough that it muted or dampened most of the laughter and applause.

It was a curious way to see a legend perform. The material in the first eight minutes or so was excellent and well-written and executed. Then it was nothing but ranting.

We met him after. Nice guy, from what I recall. Seemed to be very private.

southcentralpa said...

Your sentiment (if I may paraphrase, that people knew there were things called jokes) is a leitmotif in Jerry Seinfeld's new peripatetic talk show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". If you decide to check it out, definitely pick 'n choose. The ones you think will probably be interesting (especially if you've heard of them before) generally are...

Ray said...

Have no idea what the connection is between the strange murder video humming, and the 1670 term humsters.