Tag: Saturday Night Live
Wishful thinking: Parody, Politics, and the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time-Players
Here we are, Early October is when the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Tim-Players tend to kick off. Yes, folks, the next season of the long-run, late-night, skit-comedy series Saturday Night Live, will be kicking off a new, shall-we-make-you-laugh-your-ass-off? season shortly.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Administration of Donald J. Trump keeps playing like skit-comedy in its revealed words, choices, actions, and deeds. Sadly, with how politics reach and what they do to society, it’s not a laughing matter to mess up, screw up, or use shady tactics to try to solidify power while gaining personally at great cost to the public.
It’s ripe for parody, though. Alec Baldwin can tell you that. The veteran actor has been inspired (in the worst way possible) to play President Trump on SNL a countless number of times the past two seasons.
This season of Saturday Night Live coincides with the 30th anniversary of a movie that Baldwin co-starred in that mixed action and drama with politics and espionage of the Cold War. The Hunt for Red October is one of my personal favorite films and the only Tom Clancey novel-turned-film that I liked. I never took to Harrison Ford as Dr. John “Jack” Ryan in the two sequels, but that’s just me… I liked Baldwin’s Ryan (“I’m just an analyst!”) better than a typical action/thriller movie star like Ford taking up the role.
I keep having Red October pop into my head as scandals play out in the news. How one notable name in the current political dramatic climate rhymes so well with the name of the “phantom Russian submarine” that the film involves and its name is based on.
Red October. Robert Mueller.Read More
Refraining from “The Living Years”
You ever encounter something in music that you initially appreciate and hold in high regard but it doesn’t stand? Time passes, you engage yourself in the ditty and it starts showing flaws that start standing out? It’s this realization that both worries you (“Am I a critic now?”) and makes you understand why the song isn’t a broad sensation that passes the test of time?
There’s a number from the 1980’s doing that to me now. In some ways I’m guilt ridden by way of it because the song is highly personal… But it’s not the song itself that gets to me. No, no, The Living Years has its merits. But the flaw is too outright.
Mike and the Mechanics 1988 song didn’t just win a Grammy – it was song of the year. The arrangement is fantastic music and the lyrics are highly personal (the relationship between Mike and his father and his father’s passing). There’s nothing I can say against those key elements and they’re not what’s hitting me the wrong way. Yet these weren’t what drew me to the song as a kid; the music complimented it and I wouldn’t engage myself in the lyrics until adulthood when I came back to the song.
What gets me, what wrings me as wrong, what stands with warts? The refrain, the chorus, the element of songs that pulls the masses in. Read More
Regarding “Fake News”
When you’re president of the United States of America, you’re exposed to loads of data. Most presidents are exposed to private data that the public never knows (intelligence briefings, security stuff). And the world roasts and laughs at stuff known as “fake news” – satire, humor – that comes out that traditionally mocks the administration, other political or public figures, or simply plays with stories of the world.
Now, if you’re reading that and thinking you’re missing out because you’re not compelled to laugh at CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, CBS News, ABC News, the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc, etc, etc… I hate to break it to you but these are longtime, distinguished news organizations that report facts (though partisan accusations are also tied to them). Their tenures are all multitudes longer than Donald J. Trump’s involvement in politics.
And when an administration builds up the concept of “alternate facts” which are outright lies, which is the epitome of “fake news”. It becomes laughable that someone of political stature pulls this act. It’s not that political people telling lies and pushing them on the public is foreign, it’s just when they are such broad lies and it’s a repeated folly that it starts to draw the ire of those who share information with the public (aka news organizations).
Right now as many sit on the side of Trump because he is a Republican and shares ideologies with them, it seems like partisanship is what carries the “fake news” label: “Because Donald Trump is on my side of the fray and the media keeps speaking down about him, they’re the enemy as that’s how Donald Trump has marked them.” Never mind the fact they’re showing and repeating his own actions which leads to the ire from Trump himself.
Real “fake news” can be outright dismissed because it holds no sway or bearings; they’re dismissive, unimportant lies that get brushed over or ignored. That happens every day of the week in this world at the public level and in the media (via comedy).
This brings me to intelligence leaks and Trump both going nuts and downplaying the data (or attempting to) as “fake news”. If it truly was fake, irrelevant news, why did it lead to the resignation of a high profile member of the administration? Why is the leak now sought by Trump and put down by him?
This isn’t attempting to be a partisan attack, people. If you are on the political right and see truth in “fake news” labeling from Trump, what you’re seeing is Donald Trump upset that he isn’t getting played up while his actions as president have been divisive (the immigration executive order) and non-secure (Mar-A-Lago last week), let alone in conflict with allies around the globe along with more security issues nationally (U.S. / Russia ties on the sly). That’s not something to side with, not with how he’s done it. It’s also not a reason to consider news “fake”.
For those of us who want attention and to be in the spotlight, it hurts to have a negative be what the attention happens to be. That’s Donald Trump’s reaction to news coverage. His chaotic path (immigration, the Yemen attack, the anti-environmental scree, his dislike of due process, etc and how he handles them) draws the negative reaction. That’s not a partisan reaction; it’s a reaction to a president forcing his hand (with little involvement in the process) during his first 30 days in power.
“Fake news”? Y’know, for all the anti-Saturday Night Live messages that Trump has tweeted, he’s co-opting a label from two decades ago when Norm Macdonald hosted “Weekend Update” on the show. Macdonald would spew the line before he started his dignified-yet-comedic act. It was done for humor sake.
Trump’s bellowing of “fake news”? He doesn’t like how he’s framed and it paints him in a negative light – because the story and facts (not “alternate facts”) frame the picture as just that: negative.
The prudes didn't catch this, did they?
Saturday Night Live was a must see for me last night cuz Hugh Laurie was on. While I love House M.D, it’s his comedy that made this a must-see broadcast. An appearance by Borat on the show was an added perk (along with Beck as the musical guest).
Of course, Borat did what he could before SNL went off the air to add some controversy.
I don’t have a picture, but at the veeeeeeeeeery end of the SNL broadcast last night — while everyone was congregated on stage and the end credits were rolling, Baron Sacha Cohen (AKA Borat) got down on his knees in front of Hugh Laurie and imitated giving head. I was sure the prudes and the FCC would be all over NBC for this (needlessly) but am happy to report nothing is listed on Google News pertaining to this little item…
…but if it pops up somewhere this week in the news, you heard it hear first.
Six years later, President Gore addresses the nation
Three cheers for Baseball commissioner George W. Bush…!
PING PONG, GAME MATCH!
James Stockdale — Ross Perot’s running mate in the 1992 election — has passed away.
My title reference pertains to a Saturday Night Live skit with Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman playing Perot and Stockdale respectively. That’s basically most of what I know about Stockdale which seems a travesty. Me and the neighborhood kids would do parodies of Phil Hartman’s parody all the time…
PING PONG, GAME MATCH! OUT OF AMMO! ARE WE THERE YET?!
Home Video Lameness and marketing idiocy
It was sort of an interesting thing to happen and cool that it happened to me but at the same time, it aggravated me… No, not just that, it infuriated me.
Last nigh, a representative from Warner Brothers Home Video emailed the webmaster of Boltsmag.com — namely moi — and tried to recruit me to help sling their product on the web. The product in question is the Stanley Cup Championship DVD which shows highlights of the Tampa Bay Lightning season along with Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final and the Lightning being crowned as Champs. It’s a DVD I very much want to be able to enjoy….
But I can’t. No sir, I can’t invest a couple of bucks in the DVD knowing it’s going to a company that didn’t complete the DVD and put it on the market. I can’t invest in a company branch that does it all the time with their sport DVDs. The Warner Brothers Stanley Cup Championship DVD lacks Closed Captioning for the Hearing Impaired and I happen to be hearing impaired.
Lets roll back the clock to more than a year ago with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl…. It was a cap on a dream season for the Bucs and I quickly went and bought the DVD that Warner Brothers Home Video produced that had the entire game — or a likeness of it — along with season highlights and a pre and post game show (so they claimed).
What I found out, cruelly, was when I tried to view the season highlight package (which is always an incredible job done by NFL Films) I got pictures and sound but no clue what the narrator was telling me. No clue what miked players were saying. I could see games and relive moments but not find out what people were blabbering about at any given moment…. Was this a joke? I went to the actual game and they had the network video feed but — what is this? Not only is the video feed replaced by the respective teams radio commentary men but — no closed captioning. I had no clue what was being said by Buccaneer radio man Gene Deckerhoff or the Oakland Raiders respective play-by-play radio man.
So I could see but I couldn’t really enjoy the DVD. I wrote off a scathing letter to Warner Brothers Home Videos and got offered a free DVD of my choice as if to say “Sucks to be you – have one of our movies we can’t move on us!”
This isn’t an isolated incident with DVDs and lack of closed captioning. While major motion pictures are captioned on all DVDs, DVDs tend to be loaded with extra features such as commentary tracks and featurettes. Neither of these are captioned so that the hearing impaired can enjoy these additional features they are paying for when they buy DVDs. To make matters worse, Universal Home Videos doesn’t even use Closed Captioning but instead relies on Subtitles (much like you would see on a foreign film) with their movies. It becomes difficult to follow the film if the text is set on a white background or over a bright object. You lose entire sentences or entire conversations because of the setting of a scene.
And it gets worse from there. Trimark Home Video has the rights to NBC’s Saturday Night Live on DVD — which is both syndicated on TV and broadcast on NBC with full closed captioning… Trimark couldn’t be bothered to add this captioning to their DVDs of Saturday Night Live. Just as Rhino Home Videos couldn’t be bothered to add captioning to their DVD palette which includes children’s TV series like Transformers, Jem, GI Joe… Not to mention their Monkees DVD’s…. Or their original offering of South Park DVDs. (I have no clue if Rhino is still responsible for publishing South Park DVDs at this time. This may have changed).
With the Baby Boom population aging and their bodies failing them to one degree or another, why is it that the Home Video industry gets away with this? Better yet, with 22-34 deaf and hard of hearing Americans out there, why does the movie industry think they can ignore this demographic when it comes to their home video sales? Even more pertinent, why doesn’t someone stick the Americans With Disabilities Act in their face and tell them to shape up or ship out?
It’s an ironic story that Warner Brothers tries to get someone to help sling their DVD — for free — on the web when that person can’t even enjoy the product. It’s even more ironic that no one in the deaf community or elsewhere in America makes a fuss out of this… It’s one of the great dupe jobs going on in the entertainment industry for the sake of the almighty buck.
Where have you gone, "In Living Color" cult???
The ultimate skit comedy show that ever aired — outside of the opening seasons of Saturday Night Live — was Keenan Ivory Waynes groundbreaking and hilarious In Living Color which aired on Fox on Sunday if I do recall when it first started out. I was in 5th grade at the time and it was a show quickly banned in my home because of some mature comedy but damnit – the early stuff was classic!
The reason I am going off on In Living Color like this is because I started searching for episode transcripts and translations after thinking about the “Men On Film” segment and their reviews of films… (especially “A Few Good Men” ) I used Google and a bunch of times came up with nil. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Bupkus and such. The few sites that I did find were Jim Carrey shrines (that’s right, kids, Jim Carrey got his big break doing his crazy shit on television — though he had been in a couple of movies that didn’t take before his In Living Color role) or just filed with text tiles of the skits that aired in each episode… not the actual content of the episodes.
Homey the Clown is a cult hero and should be enshrined as so much on the Internet, which is a home to the tacky and humorous. Fire Marshall Bill should be compared and contrasted to George W. Bush (though I don’t think “Lemme…. show ya somethin’!” compares with certain Bushisms… Fire Marshall Bill’s saying was a lot more catchy :smile ) and of course– “Men On Film” and the cast of Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriwether, should be displayed as the guys who started the Homosexual cultural revolution in America (ok, they were stereotypes and extremely effeminate and therefore actually impairing our perception of homosexuals as butts of jokes, but they were too damn funny to shun their… uh, preferences?). Lets give a giant two-snaps-up-and-booty-twirl to Men On Film! (which was re-spawned for one skit on Saturday Night Live as Chris Farley joined Damon Waynes Blaine Edwards and David Alan Grier made an impromptu appearance as Antoine Merriwether to resurrect the In Living Color — the only ILC skit to air on SNL).
Jamie Foxx, Shawn Waynes, Jim Carrey, Damon Waynes, Jennifer Lopez… This show really started these guys down the career path (yes, Damon was on SNL and had been in movies before this show. Yes Keenan had been a director before this show, yes J-Lo didn’t become a star until after this show, but the point is this show helped them all on their way). It’d due some respect… It’s a conspiracy, I tell you! C-O-N…. spiracy, my broth-a!
It’s time to embrace the kings of early 1990’s comedy. It’s time to embrace In Living Color… For you can do what you wanna’ do In Living Color. :biggrin