Wednesday, December 06, 2017

TV: When it's funny

If Amy Sedaris never did anything else but STRANGERS WITH CANDY, she would have earned her mark in the history of great TV.  It's that achievement that excites you when Amy appears on a TV show, like RAISING HOPE (where they underused her), even though she's not going to be allowed to really go for it and let her comedy genius run wild. She could have easily ended up like Milton Berle or Sid Caesar, a comedic talent that shined brightly once and was fondly remembered for those long ago days for the rest of her career.

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Instead, TRUTV, of all things, ends up providing her the platform so many other outlets have denied her.  AT HOME WITH AMY SEDARIS is 2017's instant comedy classic.  This weekly half-hour show has done what so many other situation comedies (THE GUEST BOOK, THE SEARCH PARTY, etc.)  have failed to do: Yes, it actually makes you laugh.

And not polite little chuckles but belly busting laughs.

Amy's created another comedy classic and another classic character -- one that lives up to all the laughs Jerri provided on SWC.

This time around, the character is named Amy Sedaris.  She doesn't appear to be as well traveled as Jeri was.  But who knows what pass may yet surface for 'Amy Sedaris.'

For now, the character is a host of a TV show for home makers and dispenses tips on hosting parties, cooking and crafts.

Needing to dig a "doodoo ditch" for that impromptu outdoor party?  Well a coconut can be broken in half, Amy and her guest explain.  And for a handle?  How about using the handle off a spade?

And if you're wondering, "Why not use the spade in the first place?"

Well your logic won't stop the runaway comedy train.

'Amy' is surrounded with friends like Ruth "the lady who lives in the woods" (Heather Lawless).  She may live in the woods, but she also gets lost easily and is confused when 'Amy' points out Ruth's home.   It doesn't look like that from the inside, Ruth explains.

(Amy Sedaris fans who do not get TRUTV should click here for show clips they can stream and here for two episodes that you can stream without 'unlocking' via your cable or satellite provider.)

It's very funny and the only thing even remotely like this before would be Carol Leifer's LEIFER MADNESS which aired on VH1 in 1989 and had friends dropping by (Leslie Lawson, one of the world's first real supermodel Twiggy) mixed with videos (that episode it was Carly Simon's "Coming Around Again" -- picked by Carly fan Lawson who named her daughter after Carly Simon).

Leifer brought actual comedy to VH1 and deserves praise for it.

Amy Sedaris is going even further and TRUTV should realize how lucky they are to have her.

Comedy isn't easy.

A point Eve Peyser makes at VICE.

The alleged comic possesses a whiny voice.  That can be used to comedic effect -- unless it's the only tone someone has to offer and they can't even create a character to fit it.

The character Eve offers is that of an amused intellectual and there hasn't been casting this outlandish since Denise Richards played a nuclear physicist in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH.

Intellectuals usually have at least one field of expertise.

Eve has none and appears to mistakenly believe that as long as she tosses her nose in the air, we won't catch on to her lack of skills.

She showed up on VICE's little podcast last week to offer very little.

Jill Stein, she insisted, was a nutcase.

Yes, about half-way through, she allowed that Jill was a medical doctor.

But the woman is a nutcase, insisted Eve.


Well, for one thing, she ran for president and she had no chance of winning, according to Eve.


We seem to remember the day before the election -- in fact, many months before the election -- as the press told us Donald Trump had no chance of winning.

He proved them wrong.

No one ever knows who will win a race until the race is over.

Before that moment, everything is just a prediction and predictions are often wrong.

Jill had no impact, Eve wanted to insist.

Then Eve took to talking about healthcare being a human right and how Bernie Sanders really registered with that.


Isn't that the issue that Jill helped popularize?  Both in 2016 and 2012?  And didn't the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney (as well as her running mate Rosa Clemente) also popularize that?  And, in fact, can't we go back to Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential run?

Yes, to all of that.

We don't believe you do a safe-state run.  You either run or you don't.  If you do a safe state run -- or give your delegates up in Iowa's Democratic Party caucus -- don't whine to us that you didn't get invited to the debates because you're not running a real campaign.

That said, we are fully aware that many people also run to raise issues, to introduce concepts into the national discussion.

Somehow that reality has never reached Eve Peyser.

In Eve's world only the duopoly can run for president.

It's a tiny little world and possibly she's preaching to it for applause and cheers -- anything but laughs because her 'jokes' contain neither insight nor humor.

We started thinking about that Peyser 'logic' and how it could be applied.

For example, no one listens to VICE's podcast -- maybe 15 people.  (We heard about it from one of the 15.)

So by Eve's 'logic' why is she even doing VICE?

She's not going to get an Emmy for it.

Nor is it going to be any kind of stepping stone.

So why is she wasting her time?

And does she realize how pathetic she is?

And then it hit us: She is funny!

The self-involved, whiny, Valley Girl speak dead-ender getting no where in life?

Sure it sounds a lot like who Eve actually is but truth is at the heart of the best comedy which is why the more pathetic Eve gets, the harder we laugh.

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