Tag: Comedy and Humor

Mel Brooks Keeps It Very Light in ‘All About Me!’

Mel Brooks has been responsible for so much in the American comedic canon, for so long, it sometimes seems he is, if not 2,000 years old like one of his most indelible characters, maybe 200. He’s actually 95. A baby! (Another one of his indelible characters, from “Free to Be…You and Me.”) Your favorite Brooks […]

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For NBA Twitter’s Josiah Johnson, It’s All Jokes. Lots of Them.

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — Josiah Johnson crafts most of his jokes in a comfortable room tucked in the back of his Southern California home. There is no complex setup. The room’s décor includes an array of sports books, shoe boxes and a light blue University of California, Los Angeles basketball chair from when he played […]

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Camille Saviola, ‘Deep Space Nine’ and Stage Actor, Dies at 71

Camille Saviola, an actress and singer who made an impression in the musical “Nine” on Broadway, in assorted cabaret spoofs and on television in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and other series, died on Oct. 28 in a hospital in North Bergen, N.J. She was 71. Alyssa Romeo, a great-niece, said the cause was heart […]

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Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Presentation Was Full of Meme References

Amid a massive company pivot, a monthlong press cycle and increasing calls for regulation, Mark Zuckerberg wants everyone to know he has a sense of humor. In an 80-minute keynote presentation announcing his company’s name change — from Facebook to Meta — and a shift away from traditional social networking, the 37-year-old chief executive made […]

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Four Stand-Up Specials That Showcase Hard-Working Comics

The stand-up specials that get the most attention tend to be made by celebrities, but as dedicated comedy fans know, the funniest ones are much more likely to emerge from midcareer workhorses, like the artists who recently put out these new hours. Theo Von “Regular People” (Netflix) A couple times a year, some city slicker […]

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Kristina Wong’s Pandemic Story: Sewing With Her Aunties

The great irony is that I didn’t even wear a mask for the first few weeks I was sewing them, because I felt like the mask I permanently wear on my face was already a sign to the world: “I’m a foreigner. I’m an immigrant. I brought the virus here. Come get me.” With this […]

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Mort Sahl, Whose Biting Commentary Redefined Stand-Up, Dies at 94

In a vitriolic riff on Nikita Khrushchev’s 1959 visit to the United States — Mr. Sahl was virulently anti-Soviet — he spoke of an encounter between the Russian premier and Adlai Stevenson: “Khrushchev said to Stevenson, ‘If you want to be president, I want to tell you how to seize power,’ and Stevenson admonished him […]

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Apocalypse Now-ish (Cocktails, Anyone?)

In August 2020, Shteyngart was working on the final act of the novel when his health and sanity fell apart. As a boy, he’d suffered an infection resulting from a botched circumcision, and the injury flared up, an ordeal he wrote about in an article published earlier this month in The New Yorker. In agony […]

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Pre-K, Child Care and Other Priorities

To the Editor: Re “Among the Family Benefits Proposed by the Democrats, Which Deserves Priority?” (The Upshot, Oct. 14): Claire Cain Miller asked 18 academics to choose their top priority among four family policies: pre-K, child care, cash for parents and paid leave. Only half the experts chose pre-K, and the runner-up was up to […]

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Aack! A Millennial’s Audio Odyssey Through the ‘Cathy’ Comic Strip

For some stand-up comedians, podcasts resemble an open-mic night with no red light telling them to wrap it up. The medium presents an opportunity to chat with friends and riff on whatever strikes their fancy, for hours and hours. Not so with Jamie Loftus. With limited-run podcasts like “My Year In Mensa,” a descent into […]

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Ciao, Alitalia

“The Pope’s Airline, Alitalia, to Fly Last Flight” — MarketWatch Alitalia may have had its faults, but how many airlines can claim to have been the “pope’s airline” for over five centuries? According to Flying Pontiff Quarterly, the trade journal that has covered papal air travel for some centuries now, recent scholarship has unearthed a […]

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Chappelle’s Netflix Show Just Isn’t Funny

We saw a record number of violent deaths suffered by trans and gender-nonconforming people in 2020. And there is a spate of truly appalling bills in states across the country aimed at the trans community. (You can listen to my “Sway” episode with the A.C.L.U. lawyer Chase Strangio about that here, as well as my […]

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Dave Chappelle Isn’t Canceled. He Just Likes to Talk About It.

The first time Dave Chappelle wanted to quit a TV show, he didn’t do it. After shooting the pilot of his soon-to-be-forgotten 1996 ABC sitcom, “Buddies,” an amiable comedy about an interracial friendship, the network fired his co-star Jim Breuer, which led Chappelle to tell his manager he wanted to quit. He was talked out […]

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Netflix Loses Its Glow as Critics Target Chappelle Special

“Netflix has gone from the underdog and outsider poking the establishment to the epicenter of the Hollywood establishment,” he said. “When you’re at the center, everything is magnified 100 times. This is going to happen more and more as society itself wrestles with these issues. With Netflix, what will make it further complicated is that […]

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What Dave Chappelle’s Netflix Special’s Trans Remarks Show

If there is brilliance in “The Closer,” it’s that Mr. Chappelle makes obvious but elegant rhetorical moves that frame any objections to his work as unreasonable. He’s just being “brutally honest.” He’s just saying the quiet part out loud. He’s just stating “facts.” He’s just making us think. But when an entire comedy set is […]

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Do the Memes Help the Movies?

The cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker once wrote that “in his greatest genius, man is still mocked.” This sentiment might be of some comfort to the actor Ben Platt, who has lately served as a punching bag in certain districts of the internet. Everywhere you turn, you see images of his latest film role. They show […]

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A Brief Introduction to Philosophy (Through a Certain Sex Act)

To hear more audio stories from publications like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android. It was a Monday night in August at the Bell House in Brooklyn, and Jacqueline Novak was sneaking in a few more dates of her hit one-woman show, “Get On Your Knees.” The 80-minute standup spectacle — […]

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Give Phoebe Robinson the Title She Deserves: Boss

A week later, Robinson said she was too in her head in that show, that she needed to remind herself to have fun. “It’s hard to stay in the moment for someone like me who is always thinking about the next 20 moves,” she said by phone. Robinson had done a chunk of material about […]

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Alan Kalter, Longtime Voice of Letterman’s ‘Late Show,’ Dies at 78

Alan Kalter, the announcer for the “Late Show With David Letterman” for some 20 years and a participant in a ridiculous array of comic bits during that run, died on Monday at a hospital in Stamford, Conn., where he lived. He was 78. The death was announced by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of Temple Beth El […]

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Book Review: ‘A Carnival of Snackery,’ by David Sedaris

A CARNIVAL OF SNACKERYDiaries (2003-2020)By David Sedaris Dear Diary, Once every year or two, I’ll decide it’s time to start a diary. I’ll buy a notebook, spend two hours writing in excruciating detail about my day-to-day existence, and end up feeling like a failure — at diary-keeping, but also at living. A diarist’s life has […]

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For Al Franken, a Comeback Attempt Goes Through Comedy Clubs

It was a fairly typical night at the Comedy Cellar’s Village Underground with a procession of young comics telling jokes about bickering couples, body issues and unglamorous sex. After Matteo Lane finished his set with a story about sleeping with a porn star, the curveball came: The host introduced “the only performer on the lineup […]

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