I read the Washington Post Express a lot in the mornings. It’s got just the right mix of pithy entertainment and actual journalism. Well, today I was in for a real Post-Racial treat.
I don’t know who you are, Roxana Hadadi, but I’ve got to tell you that I think your article to day on Mike Epps was terrible and had some serious problems. Here’s what I didn’t like:
- You mention a story where 2 movie reviewers at a screening for “Resident Evil: Extinction” think that Omar Epps is the movie instead of Mike. That played into the “All black people look alike” myth. You note that they are cousins. That’s no excuse. They look Nothing alike. Nothing. Omar doesn’t even do comedy.You even say, “…Epps is inevitably the guy you immediately laugh at– even though you may first mistake him for his more dramatic relative”. Huh? I’m sorry, no one is mixing those two brothers up.
- The title of this article “Familiar Stranger” made me think of “stranger danger”. So is this black man scary, like a stranger?
- You say that he takes stereotypes about the “funny brother” and “drop-kicks them back in your face, making them absurdly believable wile also hysterically humorous”. Basically your saying that he does the stereotype so well that it’s hysterical. How can you flip something but then end up being the embodiment of it?
- You move on to Epps’s role in “The Hangover”: “Oh, and those comments on roofies — “Just the other day, me and my boy was wondering why they even call them roofies. … Why not floories, right? Cuz when you take them, you’re more likely to end up on the floor than the roof” – may be horribly inappropriate, but they’re also guiltily funny. They’re not as divisive or controversial as the kind of stuff fellow comedians-turned-actors Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle have said, but in a way, Epps — who performs Saturday at DAR Constitution Hall — has a goofy, universal appeal that rivals Rock’s and Chappelle’s natural charisma.”
First of all, are you saying that it’s not controversial to make fun of roofies? It’s the damn date rape drug! Then you call two very intellectual Black comedians “divisive”. I really, really would love to hear your explanation for the use of that word. What do you find divisive about Rock and Chappelle. Perhaps their jokes about race and race relations? Divisive is a whole lot of things in this “Post-Racial” world, huh? Question: Would you call Richard Pryor divisive as well? You say Epps has a universal appeal, but I think Rock and Chappelle are even more universal in their appeal. Of course all of this is just my opinion. Roxanna, you are entitled to yours as well, I just think you’re off.Also you mention Epps’s joke about getting money from white friends and never having to pay it back. Isn’t that a divisive joke?
I dont’ understand where you were going with this article, Roxana. It seems a bit, well…divisive.
Filed under african american, black, black man, culture, d.c., funny, hollywood, opinion, race, stereotype, washington, washington dc
Is it just me or does John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin look like Tina Fey? OH this is just ripe for comedy. I can’t wait to see Saturday Night Live. I hope they bring her back just to play Palin. For the record, this is a gimmick in my opinion, and I feel it is a very patronizing choice. Women are not going to vote for this woman because she is female. But I’ll write more on this later…sigh. McCain…what are you thinking???
Can you say Dan Quayle? I can. Oh so many flip flops to come. She didn’t like Hillary Clinton’s “whining” during the primary season.
Can’t tell them apart huh? That’s Tina on the right. My boy Urban Bohemian thinks she looks like Fey too: McCain’s VP/Baby Mama?
Other people agree too:
Sarah Palin: Oh Lord, Tina Fey’s gonna have a field day…
Tina Fey for Vice President
Obama’s Big Bang, McCain’s Other Woman
Separated at birth
MAUREEN DOWD did a wonderful piece recently for the NY Times about the challenge some white comedians and comic writers are facing when coming up with jokes and jabs about Barack Obama. I was wondering just what monologue writers were going to do myself. With so many of the people behind the pens being white and the public being well aware of that, it’s no surprise that there is increased sensitivity. Who want’s to be labeled a racist? Who hasn’t learned from the infamous New Yorker cover that satire is in the eye of the beholder?
I have a suggestion. Hire some black writers. That will do away with the double standard. Black people have been trashing each other through comedy routines for decades…but we do it in love. I mean, we have limits too, of course. However, we know what a fine line there is between meaningless mockery and comedy.
My favorite quotes from the article:
– “It seems like a President Obama would be harder to make fun of than these guys,” I said.
“Are you kidding me?” Stewart scoffed.
Then he and Colbert both said at the same time: “His dad was a goat-herder!”
– Many of the late-night comics and their writers — nearly all white — now admit to The New York Times’s Bill Carter that because of race and because there is nothing “buffoonish” about Obama — and because many in their audiences are intoxicated by him and resistant to seeing him skewered — he has not been flayed by the sort of ridicule that diminished Dukakis, Gore and Kerry.
“There’s a weird reverse racism going on,” Jimmy Kimmel said.
– On Tuesday, Andy Borowitz satirized on that subject. He said that Obama, sympathetic to comics’ attempts to find jokes to make about him, had put out a list of official ones, including this:
“A traveling salesman knocks on the door of a farmhouse, and much to his surprise, Barack Obama answers the door. The salesman says, ‘I was expecting the farmer’s daughter.’ Barack Obama replies, ‘She’s not here. The farm was foreclosed on because of subprime loans that are making a mockery of the American dream.’ ”
Filed under african american, black man, celebrity, change, media, news, obama, opinion, politics, racism, stereotype, television, white folks
Today, Salon posted a must read article by James Hannaham titled “The funny thing about black men in dresses“. He asks the question “What’s so funny about a black man in a dress?”, and whether these roles are a celebration of black women. I say NO. You can decide for yourself…here’s a lil sample.
Some of the most memorable women in black entertainment have been played by men. This drag tradition with roots in minstrelsy harks back to ’70s TV star Flip Wilson’s sassy Geraldine character, and most recently has hoisted chitlin auteur Tyler Perry’s Mabel Simmons, aka Madea, to superstardom. The sharp-tongued matriarch that Perry has portrayed in six hugely popular movies and a long-running TV show makes a cameo appearance in his new film, “Meet the Browns.”
Madea, the seemingly inimitable Aretha Franklin of faux femmes, has yet to inspire knockoffs, but similar drag acts continue to pop up — the corpulent Rasputia of Eddie Murphy’s “Norbit,” Keenan Thompson’s Virginiaca on “Saturday Night Live,” and Martin Lawrence’s repeat performance as Big Momma in “Big Momma’s House 2,” among others. By now, Hollywood drugstores may be running low on plus-size pantyhose…Last year director John Singleton griped to Black Star News, “I’m tired of all these black men in dresses … How come nobody’s protesting that?” And comedian Dave Chappelle told Oprah Winfrey that during a shoot with Lawrence, the writers and producers had twisted his arm to do drag. “‘Every minute you waste costs this much money,'” he recalls them telling him. “The pressure comes in … I don’t need no dress to be funny,” he said. Chappelle also suggested that their insistence amounted to a “conspiracy,” and he got applause for implying a connection between cross-dressing and “Brokeback Mountain,” a film in which neither main character — both of whom are arguably bisexual — wears anything but hyper-masculine attire.
Chappelle’s comment both presumes that impersonating a woman will emasculate him, and that emasculation is equivalent to homosexuality (or at least gay sex, judging by his poorly chosen example). Despite Chappelle’s insinuation, it’s debatable whether this phenomenon has much to do with a gay sensibility. Perry has denied the abundant rumors about his sexuality, telling Essence magazine that having to fend off the speculation has “given [him] a firm seating in [his] manhood.” The newest breed of bruthas in drag has only the most tenuous connection to the decidedly queer cross-dressing entertainment craze of the ’90s, exemplified by Wigstock, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” and “To Wong Foo” — the main difference being the emphasis on frumpiness.
When straight black comedians do drag, they aren’t trying to make women look fabulous. They reach for the floral housecoats and the chartreuse polyester pantsuits. It’s anyone’s guess why the no-nonsense old ladies hold more appeal for them — perhaps grandmotherly aggression and take-no-prisoners masculine attitude have more in common than meets the eye. The clumsy fashion sense is certainly a match.
Like Chappelle, blogger Darryl James sees the phenomenon as part of an effort to neutralize black masculinity. For him and a lot of other straight black men, gender-bending comedians are “castrated clowns,” whose emasculation makes them palatable to white people and man-hating black women alike. “The black man in drag is one of the new coons,” he writes. Never mind that he’s also one of the old coons — according to Marjorie Garber’s 1999 book, “Vested Interests,” the men who played women in minstrel shows were “the best-paid performers in the minstrel company.
Read the whole article.
Filed under african american, black, black history, black man, celebrity, culture, funny, hollywood, opinion, race, stereotype, women
Paul Mooney stand up routine on Barack Obama and an interview between Paul and JR Valrey (Oakland, CA). Oh Lord, and he tells my favorite joke about a white guy and a genie on a beach!!!!
Thanks to Youthoutlook.org
Filed under african american, black, black man, celebrity, culture, history, hollywood, opinion, politics, race, society, television, youth
Remember when black comedians were actually funny and relevant? Legends like Richard Pryor and Red Fox could be very profane…blue as my mom used to say…but they had a point. My generation got to see a rebirth of that comedy on some level (not a complete rebirth) with Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam in the early nineties. Def Comedy Jam helped to launch the careers of many now famous African-American stand-up comedians. Jamie Fox, Martin Lawrence (original host), D. L. Hughley (new host), and Eddie Griffin are just some of the comedians who owe a debt of gratitude to the show.
Well, the laughs are back (Thank God, cause Puffy’s version was horrible and Comic View is just sub-par) in 2008. I was watching the promo on HBO and I heard a comedian make the joke I used for the title of this post. The folks in the promo were very funny, so I’m hoping that this will be the second coming of what is a classic show for my generation. Uncle Russell has a hell of a track record, so no surprises here.
The New Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam premiered this past Sunday. The show airs Sundays at 10 pm ET/PT (right after The Wire with encores on Fridays at midnight). As part of HBO On Demand’s “See It First,” new episodes will be available on HOD the Monday before their network premieres. That’s hot.