Andy Kaufman was before my time but if what I read about this feud with Jerry Lawler and that “Man on the Moon” movie were any indication, this guy was a walking laugh factory. He blurred the line between the stage and his personal life and often times it was difficult to figure out if he was serious or if you were a victim of yet another one of his pranks. Perhaps one of his most controversial stunts involved challenging women in a comedy club to come on stage and wrestle him. He offered a $1,000 reward to any lady that could successfully pin him. He taunted the women with some pretty sexist, but admittedly hilarious, remarks. It’s clear if you understand Kaufman’s sense of humor that he was simply trying to entice them to join him.
Legions of women from across the country responded to the call, resulting in a barrage of hate mail (and love letters) from would-be contenders. Kaufman kept all of them and two of his colleagues Lynne Margulies and Bob Zmuda have compiled them into a book. “Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts!” is available Dec 1. From the preview I’ve seen, it does not matter if you were around when Kaufman was ruling the comedy circuit. You just need a brief intro into his wrestling stunt and then the pictures and letters do the rest to paint the picture of a legend.
Everyone knows The Office started in the U.K., before it was remade in America and went to a whole different level. If you follow English television then you probably have seen Little Britain, a defining example of dry, silly British comedy. The sketch comedy show ran three seasons in the U.K. and frankly it got a bit repetitive. So they’ve reinvented the wheel and taken the show to the USA. I just watched the first episode and it is hilarious. If you’ve seen any of the previous incarnation, it follows a similar set of over-the-top characters exploring the quirks of culture as only the English know how to do. LIttle Britain USA runs on HBO, Sunday nights after Entourage.
You’ve most likely seen writer Steve Dildarian’s work before. That is, if you’ve watched major league sports events in the past 10 years or any television in general. Dildarian worked as a copywriter for world-renowned San Francisco advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, where he created a series of spots about a certain set of amphibians for a beer company. After giving Budweiser lizards and an eager donkey something to talk about, he worked with girlfriend Leynete Cariapa to create the short film Angry Unpaid Hooker, a prelude to the new animated series The Life & Times of Tim set to debut on HBO on September 28.
Photos courtesy of HBO/ Jason Merritt; HBO/ TIMS LIFE PRODUCTION
This new guy from D.C. is smart. Wale (pronounced Wah-Lay) smashes open the vocal sampling goldmine that is Seinfeld and uses it as a framework for his Mixtape About Nothing, a record that comes off as one of the best conventional-yet-not hip-hop efforts so far this year. On the opening track, Wale establishes his chosen focus with a beat adapted from the familiar mimicking of Jerry’s stand-up (“What’s the deal with…?). Totally genius.
The tape carries over beats that are derivative of D.C.’s whole Go-Go thing, and Wale’s casual yet intelligent flow. Content-wise, he touches on everything: labels, music, love, lust, success, failure, and one of the most poignant critiques of the N-word, illustrated by Michael Richards’ infamous rant and the subsequent apology for it. Moody, layered, and yet totally accessible, this is an early example from an artist who will surely shake things up in a stagnant scene. Wale brings intelligence back to flare, and I while can’t wait for his album to come out this summer, the Mixtape About Nothing will have to tide us over.