The Muppets perform the entire first act of HAMILTON

My favorite performances are probably Priscilla as Angelica and Animal as King George. No disrespect to Gonzo Aaron Burr, but he's the weakest leak. Read the rest

What to do if you think your grandparents are Antifa

In response to Trump's recent mind-boggling tweet accusing an old man who was assaulted by police in Buffalo as being part of an elaborate Antifa sting operation (I hate that I had to even type that sentence), Washington Post opinion satirist Alexandra Petri has written some handy advice for identifying those radical septua-, octo-, and nonagenarian who may have secretly enlisted in a non-hierarchical autonomous legion of non-identifying membership relating to anti-fascist activism: Read the rest

Howard Stern and the Village People both fell for a satire article about the cop from the Village People

The Hard Times is a satire site in the vein of The Onion, but with content focused more on hipsters, punk rock, and video game culture. And it is a national fucking treasure that I will defend until my dying day (because I feel personally attacked by every article, and it's great).

Case in point: on June 7th, the Hard Times ran a piece with the headline, "Village People Kick Out Police Officer." Which is funny. Because the country is in the midst of a massive(ly long overdue) revolt against police officers. And also the Village People.

But apparently the Village People did not find it so amusing. Their PR rep reached out to Hard Times founder Matt Saincome, threatening legal action for what, in their interpretation, was clearly a defamatory smear piece and not, ya know, satire. "No one can kick the cop out (sic) Village People because he's an owner of Village People," wrote the PR rep. That'll learn 'em!

Saincome responded in the only reasonable way: "Prepare for the most scorched earth encounter you have ever had, motherfucker. You will rue the day you began this lifelong blood feud."

Somehow, Howard Stern's co-host Robin Quiver got wind of this, and tried to get Howard Stern all riled up about it. Another staffer did eventually chime in to mention that it was probably from a satire site, although Robin Quiver continued to insist that it was just, "hanging out with the rest of the news." Read the rest

"What We Do in the Shadows" returns to FX on April 15

"What We Do in the Shadows," Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's beautifully stupid vampire comedy, is out for more blood in season 2. The second season of the screwy, sharp-witted docu-satire premiers on FX on April 15, 10pm

Over the course of the season, the vampires will try to find their way in a world of human Super Bowl parties, internet trolls, an energy vampire who gets a promotion and becomes drunk on power and of course, all the ghosts, witches, necromancers, zombies and shadowy cloaked assassins who roam freely in the Tri-State area. Is Guillermo destined to be a vampire or a vampire hunter? Or maybe just a familiar for the rest of his life?

"Bat!"

Image: Screengrab Read the rest

Marco Rubio's recent rant on socialism accidentally proved Marx right

In April 2019, the Hard Times (my personal favorite satire site) posted a piece titled, "I Was Brainwashed by the Liberal Media. Then I Saw a Video of a Man Ranting Alone in a Truck."

If you've somehow been fortunate enough to avoid this trend, I can assure you: truck rants are a whole sub-genre unto themselves.

And just the other day, Florida Senator Marco Rubio offered his own contribution to the genre:

Aside from the fact that Rubio was engaged in potential illegal behavior by transmitting data while driving a motor vehicle, his understanding of Marxism is also questionable at best. "At the core of democratic socialism is Marxism," he explains:

At the core of Marxism is this fake offer that if you turn over more of your individual freedom, we're going to provide you security, we're going to provide you free health care, we're going to provide you free education. But the problem is, when they can't deliver on it, or when you're not happy with it, you can't get your freedoms back.

Granted, I haven't read everything that Marx wrote. But in the things I have read, I have yet to find him advocating to "Seize the means of doctor selection." Read the rest

The First Scarfolk Annual: a mysterious artifact from a curiously familiar eternal grimdark 1970s

Since 2013, Richard Littler has been publishing Scarfolk, a darkly comic series of brilliantly photoshopped artifacts from a dark and brutal English town trapped in a loop between 1969 and 1979; Littler published his first Scarfolk book in 2014, a pretty straight-ahead best-of anthology that was a sheer delight, and since then, he's taken a brilliant detour into animation, while still keeping up on Scarfolk, which has now spawned its second -- and even better -- book: The Scarfolk Annual.

The only path to victory in the Middle Earth election is to appeal to the moderate orc voter

David Howard, McSweeney's: "Let me tell you, it’s hard out here for an orc. We experience tremendous insecurity, not knowing whether we’ll have a job, or be able to raid peaceful villages, or if our friends will eat us. Sauron appeals to us economically challenged goblins because he offers us the chance of a decent wage, respect for our values, and renewed pride in being the corrupted spawn of Morgoth." (Image: Guise, CC BY-SA, modified; Chicago Costume Company) (via Bruce Sterling) Read the rest

Al Jaffee's MAD Life: how a traumatized kid from the shtetl became an American satire icon

Back in 2010, It Books published Mary-Lou Weisman's biography of MAD Magazine icon Al Jaffee: Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography; I missed it then but happened upon Arie Kaplan's 2011 writeup in The Jewish Review of Books this morning and was charmed by the biographical sketch it lays out. Read the rest

Howto: stay civil while discussing the children in America's concentration camps

As our political betters are always there to remind us, civility is important, the key to getting things done -- that's why Gerning Joe was so pallsy wallsy with segregationists -- you wouldn't want to offend the eugenics movement, because there's good people on both sides. Read the rest

Chuck Tingle's Muellerporn: "Redacted In The Butt By Redacted Under The Tromp Administration"

Chuck Tingle (previously) has leapt into action with some of the most trenchant analysis of the Mueller Report yet seen: Redacted In The Butt By Redacted Under The Tromp Administration covers all the most significant details through an exquisitely crafted tale of gay pornography. Read the rest

Satire: No charges for Iowa man arrested after he dressed up as Mr Freeze and shouted nonconsensual polar vortex puns in public

Satire site The Sioux Falls Headliner has a funny alternate-universe story in which an unnamed man was taken into custody after he dressed up as Arnold Schwarzenegger in his role as Mr Freeze in 1997's Batman and Robin, drove to the local Walmart, and stood in the parking lot, hollering cold-weather puns at passersby. Read the rest

Books collect an artist's daily grotesque Trump portraits

Warren Craghead writes, "I wanted to let you know about my TRUMPTRUMP drawing project and the new collection that Retrofit Comics that was just published. Since Trump got the nomination for president in July 2016 I’ve been drawing a grotesque portrait of him and his minions every day - you can see them at here. Retrofit Comics published a collection of the first six months of drawings last year, and the new collection is out now - 200+ pages of drawings. Read the rest

Ha-ha, only serious: McSweeney's on price-gouging in the emergency room

Emergency rooms at for-profit hospitals are notorious price-gougers, where an ice-pack and a bandage can cost $5,000, and where no one will tell you how much your care is costing until months after the fact. Read the rest

The Ghastlygun Tinies: MAD's Edward Gorey satire that takes aim at school shootings

Edward Gorey's "Gashlycrumb Tinies" is a much-beloved, macabre illustrated children's book that is a favorite of remixers of all kinds; but Mad Magazine's Ghastlygun Tinies dials up the "trenchant" knob to 11. Read the rest

Must-see bizarro viewing: Boots Riley's 'Sorry to Bother You'

This isn't a review, but I'd regret not giving you a heads up about Sorry to Bother You, Boots Riley's first feature film. It's an absurd black sci-fi satire shot in Oakland and it's the off-the-wall dystopian summer indie flick we all deserve.

At the last minute last Friday, I put my hands on some tickets for its sold-out nationwide opening night at the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland. And wow, am I glad I did.

It was a real happening. People cheered and laughed. Plus, the movie was simply fantastic. After the show, folks with tickets for the late show (which had the bonus of an after-show Q&A with Boots himself) were already lining up. Lots of people posed with the shitty Tercel featured in the film, which was parked right in front of the theatre.

Hilariously, you can buy that shitty Tercel for a mere $23,999.40 on the STBU website:

(I got my eye on that Mr. Bobo collectible plate myself.)

If you want to read what reviewers are saying, here's a good start:

Review: ‘Sorry to Bother You,’ but Can I Interest You in a Wild Dystopian Satire? by A.O. Scott of The New York Times:

"If Mike Judge’s “Office Space” and Robert Downey Sr.’s “Putney Swope” hooked up after a night of bingeing on hallucinogens, Marxist theory and the novels of Paul Beatty and Colson Whitehead, the offspring might look something like this."

Film Review: ‘Sorry to Bother You’ by Peter Debruge of Variety:

"Nearly as deranged as it is politically engaged, Boots Riley’s sui generis “Sorry to Bother You” is the kind of debut feature that knocks your socks off, tickles your bare tootsies with goose feathers for a while, then goes all Kathy Bates in the final stretch, ultimately taking a sledgehammer to your kneecaps."

Read the rest

Sacha Baron Cohen punks Dick Cheney in promo for his new undercover show

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A post shared by @sachabaroncohen on Jul 8, 2018 at 3:04pm PDT

Sacha Baron Cohen, the man behind Ali G and Borat, is back with a new show which premieres this weekend. In the promo for the satirical half-hour series, called Who is America?, the British comedian can be heard asking, "Dick Cheney, is it possible to sign my waterboard kit?" The former Vice President answers, "Sure!" and is then shown autographing an empty plastic water jug. It then cuts to him, "That's the first time I've ever signed a waterboard." Troll level: expert.

From the official description: "In the works over the past year, the seven-episode series explores the diverse individuals, from the infamous to the unknown across the political and cultural spectrum, who populate our unique nation."

Showtime Networks president and CEO David Nevins said in a statement, "Sacha is a comedic genius who shocks you with his audacity, bravery and inventiveness. He is the premier provocateur of our time, but not for the sake of ‘gotcha’ moments. Behind the elaborate setup is a genuine quest for the truth about people, places and politics. Nobody knows how to cause a stir like Sacha Baron Cohen, and it’s going to be fascinating to watch what happens when Who Is America? is released on the world.”

The show begins airing Sunday, July 15 at 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime.

Read the rest

An interview with Jordan Peterson, who believes in witches and dragons

The New York Times was just for starters: Something Awful got the real deal from manhood's true savior. Read the rest

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