Is ‘laugh resistance’ against the regime funny?

Pottersville is our reality.

Seth Meyers
Seth Meyers
Recently, writer Mark Evanier made this suggestion after that Saturday Night Live sketch that set him off, the It’s a Wonderful Life “remake” —which “wasn’t even the harshest thing they’ve done about him.

“The cold open I’d like to see them do would go something like this: They’d have an Oval Office setting and they’d trot out all the usual players… — and right in the middle of it, Alec Baldwin stops in mid-sentence, everyone on stage freezes and Baldwin breaks character…

“He pulls off the wig, turns to everyone and says, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t do this anymore. This man is no longer a clown to make fun of. This man is doing so much damage to the country I love and causing so much anxiety and pain among the poor and the non-white that I can’t make fun of his hair anymore. This is much more serious than that.’

“He walks off, the other cast members look at each other to ask ‘What do we do now?’ And then they all realize he’s right and they start pulling off their wigs and appliances and in unison, they tell the camera, ‘Live from New York…’ etc., and the show proceeds with no more Trump imitations. Until he’s no longer a threat.”

Larry Wilmore
Larry Wilmore

Evanier’s not wrong. The trick here for me is that it has already been done, three years ago. The Nightly Show, starring Larry Gilmore, which followed The Daily Show on Comedy Central, did this skit in December 2015.

In case you can’t see it in your country, actors Mike Yard and Ricky Velez each start doing a piece mocking Trump and then quit mid-skit, suggesting that the guy isn’t funny. Gilmore is initial “surprised” but then agrees that his cast is absolutely right. Unfortunately, The Nightly Show was canceled a few months later.

This is why the comic shows I watch that skewer Trump are, for my money, only purportedly funny. I’m not laughing ha-ha, only at the absurdity of the situation. If he’s upset when “idiot” is trending on Google, the humor factor is mitigated by the noise of him and his sycophants. As Ken Levine noted, “‘Pottersville’ – named after the evil businessman Mr. Potter – is our reality. The nightmare has come true.”

I think most of the late-night shows are “a sort of ‘laugh resistance'” against the regime. This IS quite useful and informative, especially from Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah, and John Oliver. But some of them – Stephen Colbert being prime among them – I agree with philosophically yet I find usually unwatchable.

Variety suggests that the trick for the late-night hosts “is to make sure their content is fueled mostly by humor.” That is a fine line to track – be both funny and relevant.

August rambling #2: how ridiculous xenophobia is

Will Your Prescription Meds Be Covered Next Year? Better Check!

Syrian children

It’s not just Freddie Gray. The Justice Department’s new report shows how wide and deep Baltimore’s police problems are

My four months as a private prison guard, which has led to the US phasing out private prison use

US: The Real Way the 2016 Election Is Rigged

Joseph Goebbels’ 105-year-old secretary: ‘No one believes me now, but I knew nothing’ – she said, Nothing!

Germany finally apologizes for its other genocide—more than a century later

Does Henry Kissinger have a conscience?

At what point is it impossible to separate art from the artist? (Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation)

Tote bag proves how ridiculous xenophobia is

“Christian” groups are handing out these creepy ‘gay cure’ comics to children

If your pastor says “RACISM ISN’T A SKIN PROBLEM, IT’S A SIN PROBLEM” you need to find another church

Pew Research: Choosing a New Church or House of Worship; Americans look for good sermons, warm welcome

In today’s troubling times, where are our faith leaders? But Even Reinhold Niebuhr could not be Reinhold Niebuhr in 2016

YOU THROW, GIRL: AN OLYMPIC SHOT-PUTTER’S FEMINIST MISSION

Michael Rivest: The Wall That Heals

Cartoon: The future of climate denial

174 Heroin Overdoses in Six Days in Cincinnati

NPR is closing its comments section – can’t blame them

Flat earth Theories

When New Parents Refuse Vitamin K Shots And Their Babies Get Brain Bleeds

Race and poverty

America’s wealth gap is split along racial lines — and it’s getting dangerously wider

Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation

The Original Underclass; Poor white Americans’ current crisis shouldn’t have caught the rest of the country as off guard as it has

‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Recalls A Childhood Where Poverty Was ‘The Family Tradition’

Michele Bachmann: “White People Have Suffered More In The Last 8 Years Than Blacks Did During Couple Years Of Slavery”

Why Poor People Stay Poor -Saving money costs money. Period.

Auto Lending: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Will Your Prescription Meds Be Covered Next Year? Better Check!

The culture of the smug white liberal

What I said when my white friend asked for my black opinion of white privilege

A C-SPAN caller asked a black guest how to stop being prejudiced; Here’s how she responded

The infamous Stop White Genocide video

Lottery of Indencency

Arthur’s Internet wading

When Elite Parents Dominate Volunteers, Children Lose

Thurgood Marshall’s interracial love: ‘I don’t care what people think. I’m marrying you.’

Dashcam Video Captures Highway Pileup, Woman Rescued from Burning Car in Binghamton, NY

Larry Wilmore on the End of The Nightly Show and the Show’s Greatest Legacy

Arthur@NZ is getting better and his hospital bill; damn Kiwis!

Dustbury goes grocery shopping 2.0

At my alma mater at SUNY New Paltz, College mourns death of emeritus biology professor Heinz Meng, known for recovery of peregrine falcon – he was very cool

The only movies I’ve seen with Gene Wilder are The Producers, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask, Silver Streak, Stir Crazy, and one of my favorite movies ever, Young Frankenstein, which he co-wrote. They were all released between 1967 and 1980. But he was always excellent then and in a couple of episodes of Will and Grace early this century. Gene Wilder on The Truth | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios, plus Evanier and Tom Straw remember.

Steven Hill, D.A. Adam Schiff on ‘Law & Order,’ Dies at 94

A Marvin Kaplan story

Jack Riley, RIP

‘I’ve had a good life’: Donna Wold, the ex-flame who inspired the Little Red-Haired Girl in ‘Peanuts,’ dies

Your Guide to the Fall Broadway Season

50 things about comics, featuring ME

The 10 most Influential Poets in History

Art is about surrender – Stop asking for it to be custom-tailored

Chuck Miller at the State Fair and Don Rittner at the county fair, and Jaquandor at the county fair

Now I Know: David’s Garden and Horse, Off-Course

Ken Levine HATES Robert Hall

The Casual Sex Project

Music

Harmonica legend Toots Thielemans, Known for ‘Sesame Street’ Theme, Dies at 94 and The Getaway – End credits – Quincy Jones – Toots; more Quincy and Toots; John Barry, Toots – Theme from “Midnight Cowboy” (mostly stolen from Steve Bissette’s Facebook)

U2 Live Albany New York – 13 November 1981

John Denver, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash & Roger Miller – Rocky Top

Herb Alpert Foundation to donate $10.1 million to Los Angeles City College — making studies for music majors tuition-free

It’s only rock ‘n’ roll – and sometimes it’s better in mono

35 Years Ago: Violent Femmes Discovered by the Pretenders While Busking in Milwaukee

May rambling #1: The Case Against Reality

I had a terrible blogging April, but because I work ahead, it wasn’t always evident.

c 19651965 edition of “Our New Age”[/caption]

The Case Against Reality. A professor of cognitive science argues that the world is nothing like the one we experience through our senses.

Song Of My Self-Help: Follow Walt Whitman’s ‘Manly Health’ Tips, appearing in the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. It was uncovered by a University of Houston student, and includes: “The beard is a great sanitary protection to the throat.”

The Neverending Workday – A pervasive cultural norm of work devotion leaves many employees with little time for family, friends, or sleep.

In rural Maine, a life of solitude and larceny. Police say the hermit stole to survive 27 years in the woods.

What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?

After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight. “Contestants lost hundreds of pounds during Season 8, but gained them back. A study of their struggles helps explain why so many people fail to keep off the weight they lose.”

United Methodist Church Requires Removal of Reference to LGBTQI Christians from Worship Greetings, and, reported the next day, United Methodist clergy come out as church conference begins.

HamiltonBurr

Transcending ignorance. Plus AmeriNZ weighs in, as does Funny or Die.

This isn’t just for me. It’s for everybody who needs a pep talk.

The smug style in American liberalism.

John Oliver: science reporting and Puerto Rico debt and cicadas.

Russian Insider Says State-Run Doping Fueled Olympic Gold.

Someone Put Bartolo Colon’s First Homer In The Natural, Where It Belongs.

Boston Globe: As great as David Ortiz is, Teddy Ballgame is still No. 1.

Free Comic Book Day isn’t free for everybody.

Morley Safer Stepping Down From ’60 Minutes’ After 46 Years.

President Obama delivered a commencement speech at Howard University.

WHCD: Barack Obama and Larry Wilmore. Plus An Obama Blooper Reel, from The White House Correspondents’ Association.

America operates under a crazy quilt of voting requirements, “with each state making its own laws for different populations and with challenges to those laws whipping back and forth through the courts. But if the primaries have frustrated the candidates, try being a voter in November.” Including New York.

Former NY State Assembly Speaker Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison. And former NY State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos sentenced to five years for corruption. Those were two of the three most powerful people in state government, along with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

MUSIC

First Listen: Bob Dylan, ‘Fallen Angels’.

Great audio/visual presentation of Billboard Top 10 songs from 1956 – 2016 (22,000 songs!)

Jaquandor: Music to write swashbucklers by.

Happy birthday to Reverend Gary Davis (April 30, 1896 – May 5, 1972) and James Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006).

K Chuck Radio: Rare tracks.

Return of the Monkees and remembering Harry the Hipster Gibson.

What Have I Done to Deserve This? – Pet Shop Boys, with Dusty Springfield.

What does Becky mean? Here’s the history behind Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ lyric that sparked a firestorm. (And me, nearly oblivious to it all.)

Keef cartoon: Nina Simone.

Local legend Ruth Pelham to close Music Mobile. Lack of funds leads the musician to close her beloved program.

Minnesota’s Broad Publicity Rights Law, The PRINCE Act, Is So Broad That It May Violate Itself.

GOOGLE alerts (me)

TWC Question Time #36: I Love You, But… Moments from your favorite comics characters you consider particularly embarrassing.

Arthur on the blog balance. I too had a terrible blogging April, but because I work ahead, it wasn’t always as evident. So we may be Blogging Twins™.

Dustbury is blogging. Chaz is my blogging hero.

AmeriNZ on Kasich dropping out of the presidential race and the REAL May Day.

Shooting Parrots is a grammar nerd.

Ted Cruz solicits me; no, that doesn’t sound right…

I goose Jaquandor; it was not painful.

The Lydster, Part 137: The GOP debates

Larry Wilmore, on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show, asked if he had to explain to Trump Prejudice 101.

"I really don't know if Obama was born in the US"
“I really don’t know if Obama was born in the US”

The morning after the list of candidates who would appear on the Republic Presidential primetime debate on August 6, the Daughter wanted to stop the news broadcast so she could get the names.

I told her she had to get ready for camp, and that I would print out the roster of 10 who made the main stage (Trump, Bush, Walker, Huckabee, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Paul, Christie, Kasich) and the seven who were relegated to an earlier event (Perry, Santorum, Jindal, Fiorina, Graham, Pataki, Gilmore).

Of course, she didn’t actually WATCH the debates – heck, neither did I – because sanity. Still, of the 17 candidates running, she can name more than half of them, which is more than most people. She’s particularly irritated by three:

3) Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana for his debacle of an announcement for President. (No, this is NOT faked.) “He can’t even win his own household!”

2) Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, who is a bully, and who she believes is more culpable for Bridgegate than he’s acknowledged.

1) Donald Trump, real estate guy, NOT because he said that President Obama was the worst President in history, but because Trump suggested that, as a result, there wouldn’t be another black president for generations.

Larry Wilmore, on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show, asked if he had to explain to Trump Prejudice 101. Now, The Daughter doesn’t actually watch The Nightly Show, which is on at 11:30 p.m., but she saw the clip on CBS News This Morning.

Still, she has the makings of a political junkie.