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humor

Catherine Sebastian

Joyce Maynard has been writing for over 45 years about the kind of human experiences we're often taught to keep hidden - stories  about envy, anger, vanity, self-pity, pride.  

We read her stories because they offer a chance to first confront and then forgive ourselves for how those emotions can shape us into people we don't like. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Actress Cynthia Nixon lost the Democratic gubernatorial primary in New York yesterday. Did she lose because of the kind of bagel she eats? Probably not. But from the Nose's point of view, what could really matter more than that?

And Vulture, last week -- "as the discourse rages on about whether or not political correctness is destroying comedy (spoiler alert: it isn't)" -- ran a piece on the jokes comedians regret. But here's the real question: Do we want comedians regretting their jokes, tasteless or not?

Mike Mozart / flickr creative commons

Here's the money quote from a recent Washington Post story on entertainment in the Trump era: "People look at politics when deciding how they feel about a host or actor. Pop culture has now become one more thing that divides us, just like cable news and social media." The Nose couldn't pass that up, and this not-quite-The-Nose show can't pass it up either.

Christel Øverland Preteni / flickr creative commons

humor = tragedy + time

Okay, but then the logical next question is: How much time?

If it's okay, at this point, to joke about, say, The Spanish Inquisition... what about, for instance, the Holocaust? Or AIDS? September 11th? The #MeToo movement?

Republic Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Ariana Grande already had a top 10 hit from her forthcoming album, Sweetener. As of this week, she's got songs at numbers six and eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 with the debut of her single "God Is a Woman." The song and its video have become somewhat controversial in certain corners of the internet.

And: Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl was a literary phenomenon in 2012. In its wake, film/television rights for her previous novels were snapped up. And now, six years later, HBO is airing an eight-episode (and only eight episodes, by the way) miniseries adapted in part by Flynn and starring Amy Adams.

Disney

There are three movies that deserve the credit (blame?) for the superhero/comic book movie renaissance/boom(/apocalypse?) that we've been living through now for nearly a decade and a half: Batman Begins (2005), Spider-Man 2 (2004), and Brad Bird's The Incredibles (2004).

thierry ehrmann / flickr creative commons

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. Dave Itzkoff's new biography is Robin.

And: For the tenth anniversary of his death, a look back at the work of George Carlin.

Pixabay

We all regret and we should not regret that we regret.  I regret buying that pair of pink sneakers that I'll never wear. I can't take the sneakers back but I can call the brother that I regret not speaking to for several months. 

Carlos Mejia / CT Public Radio

You probably know Larry Wilmore as the host of the Black on the Air podcast or of Comedy Central's The Nightly Show. Or maybe you know him as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's Senior Black Correspondent. Or you could know Wilmore as the co-creator of Insecure and The Bernie Mac Show or as a writer on The Office and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and In Living Color.

Tripp / Creative Commons

 

Comedy forces us to confront uncomfortable realities that we prefer to ignore. It also makes us laugh. Laughter is a powerful force. It can release chemicals in our body that make us feel good and help us better cope with the daily stress of living in a world that can lately seem to be spiraling out of control. 

IFC Films

Armando Iannucci is the creator of Veep and The Thick of It and the writer and director of In the Loop. Those, you'll note, are all contemporary political satires. Iannucci's new movie, The Death of Stalin, is set in 1953 Moscow and tells a true-to-some-degree version of the story of, logically, Joseph Stalin's death. Historical period piece or no, The Death of Stalin is still utterly recognizable Iannucci: it's funny, it's filthy -- it's mostly about the incompetence of the powerful. And, at the same time, stories about Russian authoritarianism have a certain contemporary vibe too, ya know?

yardenxanthe / flickr

Slime is not something we often think about. But there are plenty of reasons why that should probably change: From the theory that life on Earth may have have first emerged from a primordial ooze, to the current slime-making craze that's sweeping the internet.

Christel Øverland Preteni / flickr creative commons

humor = tragedy + time

Okay, but then the logical next question is: How much time?

If it's okay, at this point, to joke about, say, The Spanish Inquisition... what about, for instance, the Holocaust? Or AIDS? September 11th? The #MeToo movement?

...Parkland?

Jamle / flickr

They smell better, they're better at sensing temperature changes and they can handle more pain. These are just a few of the actual differences between redheads and the rest of us. But while having red hair does come with certain advantages, there are more than a few disadvantages as well.

Netflix

Dave Chappelle somewhat famously walked away from his Comedy Central series and went twelve years without releasing a comedy special. He broke that streak by putting out no less than four specials in 2017, and now he's maybe threatening to go back on another hiatus? Netflix released two new Chappelle specials -- "Equanimity" and "The Bird Revelations" -- on December 31, and The Nose has watched both.

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