Monday, September 14, 2009

September 14

If you pay attention to typical celebrity birthday lists today, you’ll hear that Tyler Perry is 40 today. He’s a big deal to Hollywood; he’s got the best ROI of any performer out there today, which is how he’s got his own film studio. I wonder if he’s found so much success because he’s reaching an underserved audience (African-Americans who don’t want to grow up to be rap stars) or because he’s reaching an underserved audience (people who think situation comedies are funny.) I don’t consider myself either, but I’m not going to hold my breath for any movies that fit my demographic (heterosexual Filipino accordion players.)
My blog’s about discovering new things, so I’m taking the Madea taste test. This is a scene from Madea’s Family Reunion:

That wasn’t so bad. Tyler Perry fans, was that a quality sample? White people, was that funny to you?

Let’s compare that with a very different kind of comedy sketch featuring birthday boy Robert Ben Garant, just one year younger, who is an established comedic writer-performer with his own slate of successes: not just those quirky, subversive comedies that allows stoners to feel snobbish (this sample is from the 90s MTV sketch comedy show ‘The State’,) but the kind of middle-class comedies that make Critics weep for the Death of Cinema (Balls of Fury, Night at the Museum, The Pacifier)

Let’s employ a control sample, featuring something that fails to be funny. To be fair, it’s an Everclear music video, which is supposed to be about rolling and rocking, not rolling in the aisles.
Why this video? Besides the fact that it tries too hard? Well, today’s the birthday of Everclear bassist Craig Montoya (and by “Everclear bassist”, I mean, “the bassist that played on any Everclear song you ever heard of”; Craig left the band years ago, and Art Alexakis has rebuilt Everclear around himself more times that Axl’s trimmed his Roses…)

Also, for you TV fans, that’s veteran game show host Wink Martindale as the game show host; what a trouper. And the lucky red-headed game show contestant? That’s Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan Holloway on “Mad Men.”

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