Today I wanted to take a moment to talk about, and essentially underline, my loathing for popular ‘comedies’.
Long gone are the days of The Burbs, Great Outdoors, The Blues Brothers, Airplane* and essentially, the idea that there are living, working ‘comedians’ in Hollywood. I know Rogen and Apatow hit on all cylinders once in a while, Dave Chappell does something funny or, if we’re really lucky Mike Judge, Wes Anderson or Kevin Smith make a film. Other than that, what do we have? We are left with exactly what I am talking about: an entire cabal of talentless hacks who continue to turn comedies time and again even though none of them are ever funny. Most, not all, of these offenders are from the SNL of the previous decade.
Will Ferrell, Rob Schneider, Chris Tucker, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy,** to name the biggest offenders off the top of my head.
C’mon, Mike Myers? Did anyone watch his latest? I didn’t even give it a try, you know why? If they couldn’t get a single laugh, not even a single upturned corner-of-the-mouth from me in the trailer – wow! Must be bad, right? Watching that trailer reminded me of being subjected to the ‘Legally Blonde 2’ trailer before the second Matrix film (not so hot in its own right, but that’s a bitch for a different blog), whereby upon the trailer’s completion I very seriously felt like a great harm had been performed upon me. I almost cried when I realized I was never going to get those three minutes of my life back.
Now, directly opposite myers’ ‘Love douche’, and I believe airing before the same film sometime last spring, was the trailer to Adam Sandler’s ‘Zohan’. In contrast to the first piece of shit discussed, and also in contrast to my better judgement and what, almost two decades of his making horrible comedies, Mr. Sandler’s movie actually looked, <gasp> funny. I remember being surprised and more than a little disappointed in myself for chuckling at several of the gags and premises doled out in the trailer. Of course I’d never give someone who once did ‘Happy Gilmore’ my money at the box office, but indeed the other night we did rent and watch Zohan.
Bad. Bad. Bad.
While not as bad as, say the fifteen minutes or so of Semi Pro I was unfortunate enough to suffer through at a friend’s house before threatening sepuku if it was not turned off, Zohan sucked. I would say at least a good hour and fifteen minutes went by (keep in mind the movie is 1 hour and 33 minutes too long) before I even chuckled. Kevin Nealon, who WEEDS has made me a big fan of, was a brightener, the entire five minutes he was in it, and the sudden realization that John Turturro (I’m slow sometimes) was the nemesis made it more interesting, even if only because I love Mr. Turturro but have been fascinated in his slow slide to taking every shit role imaginable, cough*transformers*coughhack but really, this one stunk. And what hurts is Sandler wrote it with Apatow and, one of my comedy HEROES, Robert Smigel. Oh, that breaks my heart. TV FUNHOUSE is one of the comedic masterpieces of the last thirty years.
MESSAGE TO SANDLER AND THOSE WHO SUCK: Do Not Drag The Good Guys Down With You. Friends don’t let friends write crap.
Of course I’m in the wrong here, because guys like Sandler and Myers are what America has come to think of as comedy, with their crude humor and relentless pop icon clinging***. Personally I think a lot of this is just because this far into the shit maze, a lot of people don’t remember what real comedy is. That and the hype machine gets them. It got me on this one when I disregarded my common sense and plopped down five hard earned bucks and some change for the right to take it home and have it eat part of my brain.
Now, in direct opposition to this long ass diatribe I would like to tell you that the very next day after renting Zohan, in a desperate act of repentence we went out and paid to see the Cohen Bros. BURN AFTER READING at the local cinema. Amazing – the real comedy comes from the folks who are quietly making their movies, year after year, story after story, for the sake of making a funny movie, not for the sake of marketing to the ‘comedy market’.
Burn… was fucking hysterical. Dark as hell, yes, but what else would you expect from the folks who gave us other dark comedic gems such as FARGO, BARTON FINK and of course, possibly the funniest movie ever made (or neck and neck with the South Park movie at least) THE BIG LEBOWSKI.
If you want comedy, ignore where the ads and posters tell you to seek it and look for the stuff made by the tried and true.****
* Although the Zucker Bros. have inspired (and in some cases participated in) a long line of horseshit, Airplane-inspired film mockeries ranging from the atrocious Scary Movies to the most recent and unfortuantely viewed-by-me ‘Superhero Movie’ which doesn’t deserve to lick the sweat from the inflatable pilot’s nuts.
** Who I now believe has become so unfunny that he has retroactively affected the movies and stand up he did in the 80’s that were once funny. Go back and try to watch Coming to America or Raw knowing Eddie’s done, how many Nutty Professor sequels? I dare you to laugh.
*** If you’ve seen Zohan you know you have to suffer through a Mariah Carey
appearance. Oi Vey! Who exactly finds that talentless chunk attractive?
Someone must, cuz it’s not her acting that gets her in situations like
**** Although at the moment other examples of tried and true auteurs escapes me. Suggestions?
I know you know it would have been satisfying for me to comment on how lucky Rob Schneider is to have friends that will continue to cast him in their movies since he is not one iota funny and the studio exec’s have probably (hopefully) banned him from ever helming or starring in another pointless drivel picture. However, today I am taking the high road.