#comedy

Ricky Gervais’ thoughts on The Oscars

Ricky Oscar

Ricky Gervais true to form in forecasting the hypocrisy that will emanate from the 2020 Oscars.

Hollywood has really lurched towards the “woke” genre. Sadly, audiences have little appetite.

Some notable flops in 2019 were:

“What Men Want”

The gender-swap comedy scored $54 million at the U.S. box office. Taraji Henson replaced  Mel Gibson, playing a character who can read what men think. The “What Women Want” comedy of 19 years ago racked up $182 million at the domestic box office.

“Book Smart”

Arguably the most progressive comedy ever made – looking at empowerment, virtue signalling and feminism. It only managed a $22 million haul.

“Long Shot”

Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron mock Republicans and embrace social justice. Audiences avoided it –  $30 million.

“Charlie’s Angels”

Elizabeth Banks, an actress-turned-director told reporters her movie would strike a blow against the patriarchy. Banks said, “Look, people have to buy tickets to this movie, too. This movie has to make money. If this movie doesn’t make money it reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don’t go see women do action movies.”

Tanked with an opening of $8.6 million in the US.

“Late Night”

The movie feminizes the already left-leaning Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” – $15 million box office.

“Terminator: Dark Fate”

Box office grosses for the franchise have been in free fall as it goes down the woke route. Arnie is no longer there to rattle off corny one-liners.

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It should appear to Hollywood that movies about real-life stories are the ones that seem to resonate most with audiences – Titanic, The King’s Speech, Argo and A Beautiful Mind. These 4 films grossed $1.04 billion at the box office. It has been 12 years since Hollywood has had a fictional film it chose for itself beat the worst of the 4 movies based off real stories in ticket sales. It has been 15 years since having a proper blockbuster like Lord of the Rings which is arguably pure fantasy and extends to child audiences.

Films are of course subjective. One film one person may enjoy, others may not share the same view. It is interesting though that $100m box offices were a cert for an Oscar Best Picture award til 2004 after which it has been hit and miss since. 9 films in the last 13 have failed to breach $75mn. So instead of Hollywood being so preoccupied with espousing politics, perhaps it should look to the audience it ‘preaches’ to and starts ‘reaching’ them instead.

After Life

Ricky Gervais has gone back to his tried and tested formula in After Life. Saw all 6 episodes of the first series last night. He is one of the few comedians that can transcend humour into real life. His dead pan performance was so life like. It is utterly believable. Typically British too.

No spoiler alerts, but unlike Derek, this is the best bits of The Office & Extras. Hidden within his comedies is one key takeaway. The Office was all about the horrible boss we all know who is completely out of touch. Extras was a complete slaying of the sycophantic behaviour of celebrities. In After Life he takes a monster swipe at the mainstream media.

It cuts deep. You won’t be disappointed.

Jim Jefferies – what goes around comes around

Aussie comedian Jim Jefferies shot to stardom on the back of his “gun control’ skit post the Parkland school shooting last year. He now has a regular slot on US TV.

Comedy cuts across almost limitless bounds. It triggers some and makes others convulse with laughter. We should accept that. To give Jefferies his due, he can be very funny. Usually vulgar but pointed.

However Jefferies deliberate misrepresentation of Jewish vlogger, Avi Yemini, was reprehensible. Yemini’s responses were edited and cut in ways to answer totally different questions that were asked in an attempt to smear him. It was unethical on every level.

The irony of the “hidden recording” taken by Yemini was that Jeffries himself was exposed for the very anti-Islamic remarks he accused his guest of. He even scribbled a mock drawing of Mohammed and agreed with much of what he criticized Yemini for. Hypocrite. How ironic that the comedian who thought he was interviewing a total dummy now looks the fool.

Regardless of whether one likes Yemini or who he represents or not, it does not give anyone, even a comedian, the right to smear in such a duplicitous and sanctimonious manner. Yemini warned Jefferies he may invite death threats for his blasphemous actions.

Serves him right. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Who says the Germans don’t do humour?

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Mercedes-Benz has decided to showcase its least fuel efficient SUV, the G63 AMG (which has the aerodynamics of a house brick), overlooking some renewable wind power. Irony, sarcasm and humour rolled into one. Is this to champion the importance of boosting policy that encourages carbon offsets or will the car double as a back up generator when the wind doesn’t blow?

Maybe the joke is on us. Perhaps the Germans aren’t doing humour at all but providing realistic assessments on actual consumer behaviour and the inability of renewables to provide baseload power.