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September 27, 2012 9:39 AM   Subscribe


 
Clicked through on the article to see if Key & Peele were part of the conversation, and they were.

(What? You're not watching Key & Peele yet? Well, you should. It's the best sketch comedy show about race in America since Chapelle, definitely a worthy successor.)
posted by hippybear at 9:44 AM on September 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


I have not checked their stuff - they just did the Nerdist Writers Panel and were great there so I really should.

As ever the whole binary race politics of America thing strikes me as odd - Asian people, say, are not part of this conversation. I guess that's historically rooted but to an outsider it's weird.

Also I have to admit that the Delirious Mr. t stuff was the funniest thing EVER to me as a kid. Reading that short summary now... Oh boy.
posted by Artw at 9:49 AM on September 27, 2012


As ever the whole binary race politics of America thing strikes me as odd - Asian people, say, are not part of this conversation. I guess that's historically rooted but to an outsider it's weird.

Depends what one means by "historically rooted" really. I mean, sure, it grows out of the US's particular history, but then that's a somewhat redundant claim. From the late C19th through until the mid C20th "Asiatics" were absolutely central to US discourse about race. The "yellow peril" scare of the late C19th saw a massive legislative and general social mobilization built around racist narratives about Asians. Asians faced specific racist barriers to immigration and those few who made it into the country faced specific raced-based legislative discrimination.

It really is astonishing how rapidly and how completely this all melted away during the latter part of the C20th, with Asians going from being scary aliens to the "model minority" to being basically just a variant of "white."
posted by yoink at 10:05 AM on September 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Asian people, say, are not part of this conversation.

I'm not sure I could name 14 Asian comedians, regardless of gender.
posted by hippybear at 10:11 AM on September 27, 2012


I watched the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne on Netflix the other night and the only jokes that were made about Wayne Brady were about how he's not really black. And I still don't get why anyone thinks that's okay.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:14 AM on September 27, 2012


Grey's Anataomy has ONE Asian person in it. For a show set in a hospital in Seattle that's fucking weird.
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on September 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


As a black kid who grew up "white" as an officers brat in the 60's/70's, there is so much striking truth in this article that it re-enforces the concept of comedians are actually social philosophers.
posted by djrock3k at 10:36 AM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


elsietheeel: I watched the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne on Netflix the other night and the only jokes that were made about Wayne Brady were about how he's not really black. And I still don't get why anyone thinks that's okay.
What other topics do you think should be off-limits for celebrity roasts?
posted by IAmBroom at 10:47 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're not watching Key & Peele yet?

I'd never heard of them, but that sketch they linked was brilliant. Time to start watching I think.

I watched the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne on Netflix the other night and the only jokes that were made about Wayne Brady were about how he's not really black. And I still don't get why anyone thinks that's okay.

Comedy Central Roast are consistently a collection of warmed over homosexual slurs plus a few other 'jokes' made over and over again. At this point they would be deeply stoked to find out that someone experienced anything tired amusement and pity watching them. Please try not to encourage them; Consider your silence a long overdue intervention for Gilbert Gottfried.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:51 AM on September 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Comedy Central Roast are consistently a collection of warmed over homosexual slurs plus a few other 'jokes' made over and over again. At this point they would be deeply stoked to find out that someone experienced anything tired amusement and pity watching them.

(still the greatest roast performance I've ever seen)
posted by Greg Nog at 11:02 AM on September 27, 2012 [11 favorites]


JAYSON CROSS: 'Post-racial' is a semantic veneer we put to make it look smooth and sparkly. But it's not. It's putting a veneer on a tooth that's rotten and needs a root canal. The only reason I'm making this analogy is I just had a root canal. You gotta drill in and get out the decay. Nobody wants to go through that drilling because there's no Novacain for this. Self-analysis is hard as hell.


this, a thousand times THIS!
posted by liza at 11:27 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure I could name 14 Asian comedians, regardless of gender.
posted by hippybear at 1:11 PM on September 27 [+] [!]


I'm not quite sure what your point is; there are far more than 14 Asian comedians working.
posted by Comrade_robot at 11:28 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did they give a reason why they had no female commedians or they just being randomly sexist?
posted by nooneyouknow at 11:35 AM on September 27, 2012


So last weekend during breakfast my Filipina girlfriend is reading from the Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook, and she says in her cute accent, "Here's one: How to treat a black guy."

I'm like, "What? OK, I'll bite: How do you treat a black guy?"
She says, "Make a cold compress. Put crushed ice in a plastic bag and wrap the bag in a thin piece of cloth..."
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:40 AM on September 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


I hate that I'm not the person who wrote the line:

Tyler Perry and his extensive ouevre's never-ending mashup of Mama's Family and Waiting to Exhale

It is seriously making making me angry.

But holy shit is that Key & Peele slave sketch funny.

Comedy Central Roast are consistently a collection of warmed over homosexual slurs plus a few other 'jokes' made over and over again

It's hard to believe it's on the same channel as Tosh.0...except, of course, entirely not.

(True confession: have been known to watch both.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:43 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did they give a reason why they had no female commedians or they just being randomly sexist? posted by nooneyouknow at 2:35 PM on September 27


JACKSON: Some shows that do that do it understandably. I mean, Girls. Tons of criticism. But young twentysomethings living in Greenpoint; that's real. That's how it is. Let it be. Everything doesn't have to be a kaleidoscope.

BURESS: People get mad at Girls. That's such a weird thing to get mad about. It can be funny without black friends. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia doesn't have black friends, but I enjoy that. Getting hate in your heart over something is stupid.

[...]

LAMARR: There's no black guy on Modern Family or Everyone Loves Raymond. People didn't care then. People care when they want to. And nobody wants to care all the time. Have you met those people? They're horrible.
posted by liza at 11:57 AM on September 27, 2012 [13 favorites]


Did they give a reason why they had no female commedians or they just being randomly sexist?

That was really noticeable. One call-out of Whitney Houston, one of Aisha Tyler, and the cast listed for the proposed White House sitcom were the only black women mentioned by name at all, I think.
posted by rewil at 11:58 AM on September 27, 2012


This is such a slippery concept. It deserves attention and conversation and it's obvious that all these people have given it a lot of thought. The "root canal" aspect is this, though; it's probably impossible to be truly post-racial if the pressure comes from within. It seems that a lot of the problems (if not most) come from outside - but it's happened for so long that these issues have been internalized to a huge extent by these guys. I AM NOT trying to say that that's a fault or a shortcoming on their part, mind you.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:19 PM on September 27, 2012


That was a fascinating article because it really seemed to get at the heart of the problem which is that we really aren't a post-racial society and that lack of opportunity limits many of these artists from really being able to either stretch their comedy for fear of losing the cross-over audience or to really find a venue for their art. That there can only be one funny black guy on the top of the heap at any given time when several of these guys are way funnier that the generic fat white comedian who inevitably gets a schlub/hot wife television vehicle is kinda depressing.

I really dislike that comedy in recent years has to be blandified to the point on inanity. You can't really get comedy that talks about the human condition in the same way that someone like Richard Pryor used to be able to generate at least not without basically just giving up on "making it big".
posted by vuron at 12:27 PM on September 27, 2012


I really dislike that comedy in recent years has to be blandified to the point on inanity.
wat

ok, look

Did the above-mentioned key & peele auction sketch seem "bland" to you? (If so, you're wrong)

What about the Pryor & Chase word association sketch that the interview reminded me of, was that "bland"?

There's a difference between "bland" and "not kicking the people at the bottom of the heap to get laughs from the people on top."
posted by kavasa at 12:32 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Pryor & Chase sketch was from several decades ago, the interviewees all agreed that sketch would never ever survive the cutting process at SNL today. Hell even Tracy Jordan's antics are only barely tolerated on television anymore.

The Key & Peele sketch is on Comedy Central which has done some really good shows at times but I don't think that's by any means representative of the vast majority of jobs for black comedians out there. It seems like the optimal way towards success as a black comedian seems to be going for the bland & unoffensive strategy aka the token black friend on a show.

I do think that there has been a decline in terms of black comedian exposure since the 80s and 90s.
posted by vuron at 12:47 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]



>>Did they give a reason why they had no female commedians or they just being randomly sexist? posted by nooneyouknow at 2:35 PM on September 27

>JACKSON: Some shows that do that do it understandably. I mean, Girls. Tons of criticism. But young twentysomethings living in Greenpoint; that's real. That's how it is. Let it be. Everything doesn't have to be a kaleidoscope.

BURESS: People get mad at Girls. That's such a weird thing to get mad about. It can be funny without black friends. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia doesn't have black friends, but I enjoy that. Getting hate in your heart over something is stupid.

[...]

LAMARR: There's no black guy on Modern Family or Everyone Loves Raymond. People didn't care then. People care when they want to. And nobody wants to care all the time. Have you met those people? They're horrible.


So, that's "No" and "Yes." Thanks.
posted by nooneyouknow at 1:18 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Related: Interesting roundtable discussion by a group of black standup comedians.
posted by chickenmagazine at 1:23 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


"What? You're not watching Key & Peele yet? Well, you should. It's the best sketch comedy show about race in America since Chapelle, definitely a worthy successor."

Dude, I've been trying to tell EVERYONE that, and they just look at me all blank. Aside from some occasional homophobia, that show is pretty damn perfect.

I initially read "tokenism" as "Tolkienism" and was prepared for a much different conversation.
posted by klangklangston at 1:29 PM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


It was weird how pleasantly surprised I was when I realized that Go On has at least two Asians in its ensemble.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:47 PM on September 27, 2012


THURSTON: Of course nobody cares all the time. We are imperfect people living in an imperfect nation. I grew up in Washington D.C. in the 80s. It was like The Wire. We had gangs, we had corrupt officials, we had drugs and guns and murders. We had everything The Wire had except the attention of White America.
good line.
posted by Zed at 3:09 PM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


JEFFREY JOSEPH: ‘Post-racial’ is just shit people say to make you not follow your dreams because it makes your dreams feel outdated. Your race gets ignored, which is just a fancy way of ignoring you as a human being.

This whole piece is golden, aside from ignoring female black comics. Great post, otherwise!
posted by smirkette at 4:19 PM on September 27, 2012


I have a complex relationship with my race because I don't really know what it is. My dad doesn't know and he looks like an exact mix between bill cosby and al franken.

Anyway the thing that most bummed me out about this was when I came to Tracy Morgan's comment:

MORGAN: People talk about Obama like that's something. But you know what that does? It only cares about what white people think. Nobody was asking black people what they thought of having a white president. And now we get the first black president and made him show his ID.


And when I hovered over "show his ID" this link was displayed: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf

I know it's not new but it is just so fucking stupid that THE WHITE HOUSE had to publish this, on their own website in a "see guys its really true" way.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 6:43 PM on September 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


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