Category Archives: Comedy

I Feel Pretty review – Amy Schumer's self-image comedy falls flat

As an insecure woman finding her place in a superficial world, the comedian’s considerable talents can’t save a subpar script

Amy Schumer’s sharp, occasionally hilarious, brand of comedy is reliant on a number of constants, one of the most defining of which is a frank, often brutal discussion of how she’s physically compared with other women. In her standup, she frequently mocks the vapidity of an industry that deems her abnormal while remaining confident and, despite some self-deprecation, secure about her appearance.

Related: Blockers review – prom night comedy as parents turn sex obstructors

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Source: gad

Peter Rabbit review – in a hole with James Corden's unfunny bunny

This attempt to turn Beatrix Potter’s creation into a sassy, low-grade British Bugs – voiced by Corden – is cynical and tiresome

Prepare to enter a valley both uncanny and unfunny with this tiresome film, whose director and co-writer, Will Gluck, appears to have responded to an urgent question echoing inside his own head: “When, oh when will someone take the twee merchandisable ickiness of Beatrix Potter’s great creation Peter Rabbit and turn it into a sassy live-action animation like Babe or Alvin and the Chipmunks?”

Those with long memories and strong stomachs will remember Renée Zellweger playing Beatrix in Miss Potter, and how her creations appeared to wrinkle up their little rabbity noses at her from the drawing paper. Gluck (known for the comedies Friends With Benefits and Annie) has excised the olden-days National Trust tea-towel cutesiness and reinvented Peter Rabbit (voiced by James Corden) as a PG-certificate lite-badass comic, a lower-grade British Bugs, forever leading the other rabbits in raids on Mr McGregor’s vegetable patch.

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David Ogden Stiers obituary

Actor who played Major Charles Emerson Winchester III in the US television comedy M*A*S*H

There are some actors who have one role against which a whole career is measured. The touchstone part for David Ogden Stiers, who has died of cancer aged 75, was Major Charles Emerson Winchester III in the superior TV series M*A*S*H, from 1977 to 1983.

Winchester joined the team of doctors at the mobile army surgical hospital stationed in South Korea at the height of the Korean war, replacing the crass and inept Frank Burns. In contrast, the Harvard-educated Winchester was a highly skilled surgeon, extremely well read and a great lover of classical music. In these and other aspects Winchester resembled Stiers in real life, and his character brought a certain gravitas to M*A*S*H. In fact, Winchester was probably the most cultured and articulate character that ever graced an American TV sitcom, if M*A*S*H can be so called.

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Kings of loser comedy: how Flight of the Conchords took off

New Zealand’s ‘fourth most popular folk-parody act’ are on a sold-out arena tour. Is there a shrewdness behind the duo’s laidback shtick?

Few comedians ever play London’s O2 Arena and fewer still manage three nights in a row. Those who do tend to have some things in common: a relatable observational style, limited creative ambition and ruthless commercial savvy. None of which applies to Flight of the Conchords, perhaps the unlikeliest act ever to reach those airless heights of the comic stratosphere.

I saw Flight of the Conchords last week, warming up for their forthcoming arena tour with a run at the 140-seat Soho theatre. Watching their suite of kooky songs about medieval romance, piano-playing seagulls and spoon thieves, laughing at their low-key chat and minutely detailed interplay, the thought of their imminent transfer to arena stages was supremely incongruous. Not least to the Conchords themselves. “We’ll keep that in for the O2,” they’d remark, after this or that improvised quip or ramshackle moment of fun.

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David Ogden Stiers, actor who shone in M*A*S*H, dies at 75

The actor’s agent Mitchell Stubbs confirmed on Saturday night in an email that Stiers died after battling bladder cancer

David Ogden Stiers, a prolific actor best known for playing a surgeon on the M*A*S*H television series, has died. He was 75. 

Related: William Christopher, actor who was Father Mulcahy in M*A*S*H, dies at 84

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Saturday Night Live: White House as Waffle House at 2am

Charles Barkley hosted for no reason and nailed it while Alec Baldwin returned as Trump in the week of his very own tweet

Alec Baldwin is back! Of course he is. “Nobody is allowed to have a gun, not even whites,” says Baldwin-as-Trump, after reading thoughtful comments from an index card. Then Trump explains how he’ll “make America’s schools safe all by myself”.

Related: ‘Call it chaos’: Trump adrift after week of White House anarchy

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Flight of the Conchords review – an intense hit of comic bliss

Soho theatre, London
Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement return with hilarious dialogue and new songs that easily scale the dizzy heights of their best work

We knew months ago that Flight of the Conchords were to tour UK arenas. We didn’t know until it was upon us that they’d start with a week’s run at London’s bijou Soho theatre. The run sold out without a shred of publicity, and the show – 90 minutes of blissfully funny musical comedy – reminded us why. They’re a little greyer, a little less deadpan, and with more starry CVs than when they last visited the UK eight years ago: Bret McKenzie won the 2012 songwriting Oscar and Jemaine Clement featured in Moana and The BFG. But tonight, the pair prove with plenty to spare that when it comes to silly and sophisticated comic songwriting, there’s still no one to touch them.

For long-term fans of the erstwhile “fourth most popular folk parody duo in New Zealand”, the evening supplies an intense hit of pleasure. And not just nostalgic pleasure: most of the songs are new, and easily scale the dizzy heights of their best work. Seagull – a hymn to freedom that comes complete with metatextual commentary – seems to be sending up “free as a bird” cliches, before a hilarious reversal. Piano ballad Father and Son finds dad and boy singing in counterpoint – and at crossed purposes – about a parental breakup. “You never know how love will end,” sings Jemaine’s sad dad, “Just don’t let her spend time with your handsomer friend.” Neat how that gauche coinage “handsomer” makes dad seem even more ridiculous. But the track is tender as well as daft, like their earlier Bus Driver’s Song, revived tonight. Or like the best work of Tim Minchin – their only rival as musical comic of the century so far – whose spirit is summoned when Bret takes to his piano.

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Stephen Colbert mocks Kushner's downgrade: 'How will he fix the Middle East now?'

Late-night hosts discussed Jared Kushner’s security clearance loss and Trump’s response to the opioid epidemic

Late-night hosts on Tuesday discussed senior White House adviser Jared Kushner’s demotion, potential Russian interference in the 2018 midterms and the opioid epidemic.

Related: Late-night hosts on Trump’s Parkland comments: ‘We already know how you react to combat’

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Late-night hosts on Trump's Parkland comments: 'We already know how you react to combat'

Comics discussed Trump’s suggestions on how to stop gun violence and his remark that he would have entered Stoneman Douglas high school unarmed.

Late-night hosts on Monday discussed president Trump’s suggestion to arm teachers in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and his comments regarding how he would have acted had he been at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

Related: Stephen Colbert mocks Trump for ‘cheat sheet’ on how to react to shooting survivors

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Why Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri should win the 2018 best picture Oscar

Martin McDonagh’s blackly comic drama dares to be messy and difficult, wrongfooting its audience while remaining staggeringly entertaining

In keeping with writer and director Martin McDonagh’s taste for fastidiously literal film titles (Seven Psychopaths, In Bruges), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is about exactly that. The opening sequence lingers longingly on the three decrepit billboards; soon they will be rented by Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) in order to draw attention to the floundering police investigation into the murder of her daughter Angela. Her decision is the breakneck, blackly comic plot’s starter pistol, igniting a reaction in her fellow townspeople that ranges from mild disapproval to incandescent fury.

Three Billboards is staggeringly entertaining – its script performs a series of hairpin turns with a mastery that leaves you agog. McDonagh has long coaxed comedy from the friction between the idiotic, the unthinkably painful and the banal. But in this scorching, luminous tragicomedy, the sadness is sadder, the jokes more outrageous, and the space between the two smaller. A highly amusing exchange between police chief Willoughby and his imbecilic colleague Dixon (Sam Rockwell) ends with a brutal jump cut that leaves you still grinning as a photograph of Angela’s burnt corpse flashes up. Later, McDonagh has you still sobbing from a previous plot development during a shot of Dixon singing along cluelessly to Abba’s Chiquitita. It’s a film designed to make you feel before you think.

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Source: gad