Monday, September 8, 2008

Funny Ha Ha

I’m enjoying the new issue of ROLLING STONE (18 Sept. 2008), the one devoted to comedy.

ROLLING STONE has been my favorite magazine for the past eight or nine years, for, oh, many reasons. I like the lefty politics, the racial/gender/cultural balance, the gay positivity, the uninhibited interviews, and the film and music reviews. I don’t always agree with the RS reviews, but I always get enough from them to pick out something at the cineplex I’ll like. David Rees’s strip “Get Your War On” strip is genius, taking me back to the days when satire wasn’t on a leash, and Matt Taibbi’s social and political coverage is alone worth the price of a year’s subscription. The cover photographs are witty and sexy—the one of Obama grinning down at his US flag pin and the one, some 15 years ago, of Brad Pitt, shirtless and with shoulder-length blond hair, very Tarzan—both of them, best covers ever. (Oh, one more, the archetypal Lennon-Ono nudes of 30 years ago, how could I forget?)

This issue surveys a lot of funny people about what makes funny so funny. Two serious oversights are that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are not on the list. Also, no Ricky Gervais, no ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, no Ellen DeGeneres, no Amy Sedaris, no SOUTH PARK. What gives?

But here is my list of the 8 responses that were on the money, concerning the “Funniest Movie Ever”—along with my list of 8 movies (in no particular order) that were the most egregious omissions:

Amy Poehler: “The Jerk.”

Chris Rock: “Broadway Danny Rose” and “Superbad.”

Tina Fey: “Election.”

Steven Wright: “Harold and Maude.”

Eddie Izzard: “Life of Brian” and “Ghostbusters”

Margaret Cho: “Withnail and I”


“Shaun of the Dead,” “The Big Lebowski,” “What’s Up, Doc?” “Napoleon Dynamite,” “Flirting with Disaster,” “The Gold Rush,” “Ed Wood,” “After Hours”

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