August 2, 2015 |
One of Jon Stewart's great assets as a TV interviewer is his ability to play dumb. That may seem counterintuitive for a guy who has gotten to talk to a sitting president on numerous occasions, not to mention various other political figures of note. That doesn't mean he throws softballs or refuses to challenge those he interviews. To the contrary, he has avoided the former and is quite good at the latter. When answers from interviewees became too high-minded, or too combative Stewart cuts in with the perfect quip about how he was lesser than the interviewee.
July 8, 2015 |
WITH apologies to Stephen Sondheim: Send in the clowns. There ought to be clowns . . . but wait, they're already here. How many Republican candidates can one get into one of those miniature cars in the center ring of the presidential circus now playing an extended gig in various locations throughout the country? There are already some 14, or is it 15, who want to be the GOP's nominee for the job no one in his right mind would want in the first place. Among the latest, of course, are the comb-over champion of the western world, Donald Trump, and the specialist in traffic jams, Gov. Chris Christie, of New Jersey.
May 23, 2015 |
When Aaron Dontez Yates, the speed rapper/producer known as Tech N9ne, created the Strange Music label in 1999, he must have known his life's vocation. Tech N9ne's sound consistently has been odd yet alluring - quick, industrialized hip-hop with incendiary, socially conscious, sci-fantasy lyrics that would make Harlan Ellison green with Martian envy. And Yates' rapid, chopping style makes Tech N9ne a dog whose bark might just be as bad as its bite. Tech N9ne played the Trocadero on Wednesday night, with future-forward electro-rappers such as MURS and Chris Webby along for the ride.
April 2, 2015 |
THIS MAY HAVE been a disappointing year in Philadelphia sports, but mankind once again came through with plenty of missteps for our annual report on the year in fools. While social media was again a big contributor, there are plenty of other examples of man having the proverbial chair pulled out from under him. From KKK outfits to the stadium design that resembled a toilet, we certainly fumbled our way through these last 365 days. As always, we start with the easiest target in this annual exercise of tossing boulders from the living room of our glass house.
November 4, 2014 |
JADEVEON CLOWNEY was too sick to play against the Eagles yesterday. But apparently, the Texans linebacker - or someone with access to his Instagram account - was well enough to "like" a photo of a woman at the very same time his team was losing to the Birds. The info comes by way of Nick Wright, a morning-drive host for SportsRadio 610 in Houston. "Man, I just checked," Wright tweeted at the time. "Clowney, or someone on his account, absolutely "Liked" someone's Instagram picture at 12:45 p.m. today.
October 17, 2014 |
BEST-SELLING legal thriller novelist John Grisham apologized yesterday for saying in an interview with London's Daily Telegraph that many men imprisoned for child-pornography offenses in the U.S. probably just had too much to drink and "pushed the wrong buttons. " Grisham added that U.S. prisons were "filled with guys my age. Sixty-year-old white men in prison who have never harmed anybody, would never touch a child. " Actually, they're more likely to be filled with 25-year-old black men who smoked a joint.
September 20, 2014 |
In French a beast is called "la bête" But here he's a troubadour, not a pet. The Prince says, "I'm smitten with this clown, "Obey me now: Force not a frown! "I am the boss of your thee-ayter "And to my taste you all must cater. " "Fie, fie, great Sire," the director declares, "Our art does not traffic in vulgar wares. "We cannot - will not! - perform mere shows "Since we're married to the High and Beaux. " Endlessly talking and blowing, the Beast Ignores their quarrel, critiques their feast.
June 25, 2014 |
Herb Gardner's A Thousand Clowns is an odd choice for a revival. It's not particularly relevant, and its "work is for squares" credo held more weight back when the American Dream signified middle-class mass uniformity and there was enough of a middle class to include the masses. But, mostly due to its success as a 1965 film starring Jason Robards as Murray Burns, unemployed comic TV writer and default foster dad to nephew Nick, there's still an audience with a fondness for this sort-of romantic sort-of comedy.
December 9, 2013 |
It's odd to think of William Shakespeare writing a Christmas play in the same way Hollywood studios release their holiday blockbusters. Yet Twelfth Night, or What You Will, was just that in 1602 - a popular, fanciful entertainment marking the end of Christmas' 12 days and the coming of the Epiphany. There is a noble yet hilarious dreaminess to the play's proceedings - psychic bait-and-switches and twists-upon-truths, wherein servants imagine they can become lords, and ladies dress as men for the sake of romance and, of course, high comedy.
August 16, 2013 |
Clowns used to scare the daylights out of me. (OK, they still do.) They were uncanny, creepy creatures with the darkest and scariest of souls, - why else, I reasoned, would they need to hide behind so much garish face paint? Seems the Chiodo brothers felt the same way. Born in the Bronx and raised on Long Island, the dynamic filmmaking trio is responsible for the 1988 cult classic Killer Klowns From Outer Space , a delightfully schlocky horror comedy about a race of vicious, bloodthirsty invading aliens who look like circus clowns - but with very sharp teeth.