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Nov 2010 30

by Nicole Powers

“I’m genuinely a fan of most of the people I trash.”

– Kathy Griffin

On the surface Kathy Griffin’s “reality” show, My Life on the D-List, may be about the comedienne’s relentless quest for A-List acclaim. However, in reality (of the real variety), Griffin’s Emmy Award-winning Bravo show pokes fun at and undermines the very institution she purports to covet above all else: fame.

Furthermore, while other reality stars make a virtue out of their genuinely mean spirits in a desperate attempt to make the most of their fifteen minutes, Griffin delivers the wickedest lines with the kind of underlying warmth that lets all that “get it” know that no malice is intended.

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Nov 2010 26

by Blogbot

So you’ve recovered from your turkey/Tofurky coma, and you’ve just finished pimpin’ your pad out with Christmas lights. You’ve got a little creative, you’re feeling smug – then don’t watch the video below, which seriously ups the ante on domestic decorations and will likely make the baubles you were so proud of 5 minutes ago look, quite frankly, slightly shite by comparison.

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Nov 2010 23

by Matt Dunbar

The cultural destruction wrought by the internet has reached truly apocalyptic proportions. The death of unbiased, objective news delivered exclusively by white males; the reduction of teenage attention spans to the length of half a Tosh.O punchline; and, perhaps most insidious, the very existence of iJustine threatens to unspool the moral fabric upon which our modern social order is built.

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Nov 2010 02

by Matt Dunbar

Bankruptcies and bailouts. Widespread unemployment. A once booming and diverse economy now exclusively based on the production of Shakeweights and whoopee cushion Smartphone apps.

The so-called “Great Recession” has created a new normal in many aspects of day-to-day American life, ranging from unexpected “leisure time” and delinquent mortgage payments to convincing VISA, MasterCard and Manuel’s Easy Credit Anybody Qualifies Loan Shop/Korean Barbecue that you’re legally deceased. But perhaps most alarming of all these changes is the completely unnatural, perverse and depressing phenomenon that many in our generation (read: humanities majors) are currently experiencing – moving back in with our parents.

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Oct 2010 22

by Nicole Powers

In an era when certain segments of society are desperately trying to bust out of the closet, longtime Newswire contributor Dave Anthony (better known to SG readers as FearTheReaper) is spending an inordinate amount of time in one with his best buddy – comedian and He’s Just Not That Into You co-author Greg Behrendt. However there’s nothing repressed or suppressed about what they do together in the confined space.

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Oct 2010 19

by Ryan Stewart

“I’ve been defeated by hecklers many times.”

– Patton Oswalt

There are only a handful of comedians whose album releases qualify as cultural events, but Patton Oswalt is one of them. Tracks from his new CD, My Weakness is Strong are already being dissected by comedy enthusiasts in coffee shops around the country and picked apart on social networks like Twitter for the exquisite one-liners, the acutely-lobbed political grenades, and moments of inspired lunacy that compare to his memorable tangle with a screaming heckler on his last album, Werewolves and Lollipops. That CD, released during the death throes of the Bush administration, was widely hailed for its stance of supreme indignation and undercurrent of soul-weariness that mirrored the national mood at the time, and cemented Oswalt’s reputation as a comedian who loses no ground by going topical and getting angry.

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Sep 2010 21

By Edward Kelly

On paper, it seems like a no-brainer. Comedy and rap should, in theory, go together like Shakespeare and the stage – or CBS and derivative police procedurals. Even on a surface level, the similarities between comedy and hip-hop are many. Both are, essentially, spoken word art forms that are performed, at least in the beginning, at open mic nights in front of sometimes-hostile crowds. Both are very much raw and individual acts – an oftentimes undiluted, nerve-wracking display of what happens when a fan stops simply appreciating and starts producing material. As such, they invite a very personal dissection of an artist’s skill and talent.

But in practice comedy and rap rarely combine successfully. Sure, performers like MC Frontalot or MC Chris or Baddd Spellah are rappers and comedians, but part of their success is attributable to the postmodern, wink-wink comedic juxtaposition of gangsta rap clichés mixed with nerd culture quips. And while I love the nerdcore rappers, I can’t help but feel like I’m held at arms length. There’s an artifice there that can’t be bridged because, they’re essentially playing characters.

Rappers (and really all musicians) are at their best when the music feels, for lack of a less overused word, “real.” When Ice Cube told us that it was a good day because he didn’t have to use his AK, there was a certain sense of truth – a frustrated, angry condemnation of a society that allows injustice to continue. Likewise, transcendent comedy occurs when the comedian isn’t afraid to be uncomfortably honest about his life, such as when Louis CK rants about his young daughters’ bratty attitudes. The difference, of course, is that Cube uses testosterone-fueled posturing, while CK opts for exaggerated self-deprecation. Does that mean that CK doesn’t care about the injustice he sees in the world or that Cube isn’t aware of the inherently absurd nature of childrearing?

I don’t know the answer. But I have the feeling that Donald Glover does.

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