Saturday, May 30, 2015

The (NY) State of Comedy

The New Yorker's view of the world. 

Two articles came out this week about the state of comedy. One was in the New Yorker and one in the Huffington Post, which means only one of the authors got paid. 

Both talked about the state of comedy. The New Yorker brought up the Conan writer's ill fated tweets about comedy getting soft and becoming "Prom King Comedy." Then she said she likes the comedy so who knows what to believe. "I know it's dumb, but I like it." Fine. I can go with that. Plus, that's the slogan for the new Entourage movie. 

Huffington (re)Post went further and tried to define what today's comedy is. 

The Huffpo(ring) article literally says, "Call it artisanal comedy." So there you go. That's what you call hipsters standing in a laundromat, an ice cream truck, a working firehouse or where ever (but never a comedy club) telling humorous stories and god forbid jokes. Jokes have no place in comedy. It shows you're trying.  

Of course "Artisanal Comedy" a terrible name for comedy because comedy is supposed to make fun of "artisanal." It's supposed to make fun of people who buy artisanal cheese not the regular guy who eats cheese. Why not create "stuffy comedy" or "fox news comedy?"

"Artisanal Comedy" sounds more like an insult that a comic would say on stage. 

I think it's not fair to the comedians they featured in the article. A lot of them are really funny not matter where they perform. (Can you tell I might know some of the people in the article?)

I'm not going to wrap up this post. That would be too obvious and hacky. I'm just going to stop. That's what I call "Artisanal Blogging." So there. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Oh! Come on, Netflix Computerized Algorithms!

I recently watched a doc on LA gangs. It was really good. Netflix's computerized system was right to assume I would want to watch other docs on gangs. I can see them thinking that would spill into docs about gangsters and people in jail. I guess it would also make sense that I like docs in general. I get that too. But why would they think I would want to watch a beloved family sitcom based on watching "Crips and Bloods?" I don't see the connection.

Other computer fails:
Netflix gets mean
Gameshow randomizer gets bitchy

The Amy Schumer of unpaid writers

It seems an intern from Letterman is getting herself a lot of press because she wrote a couple of top ten jokes for the last Letterman show. I say, good for Caroline Schaper,. The writers are vastly overpaid while she's not paid at all. And all the high priced brilliance in the writers room, an unpaid student came up with 1/5 of the top ten. (Don't kill me with the math. The spelling is bad enough on this site without having to worry about the math as well.)

While the intern is trying to turn her beginners luck/amture status into a career, the writers are collecting the check for writing the jokes and another check when it repeats. I think I started writing this wanting to take shots at the intern for going to the press, but let her have it. she's overworked and under (not) paid. Her exposure won't stop the writers for taking credit for it. Now Letterman can claim they have a female writer.

I love the fascination with Schaper.  "What? An intern can write silly jokes? She's in her early 20's, how does she have the brain capacity? You have to be at least 40, balding and wearing New Balance sneakers to be able to write a joke."

Also, it's not that hard for someone in their 20's to write a top ten list. All articles are top ten lists.  News stories are broken down into lists. "Top 7 reasons Hillary Clinton is wearing comfortable shoes." "Top Ten 'Top Ten Lists.' #5 is going to stop your heart."

What about the WGA? They now know about a non-union person writing for a union show. Can they going to make her join and get her paid? 

Every few years there's a new comic that can't do no wrong. For a while it was Jon Stewart, then Louis CK and now it's Amy Schumer. the press treats all of her comedy bits like it's scripture. So, hence the title of the post.