DC Comedy Fest 2006 Recap

My fifteen minutes of non-fame

Well, this weekend marked career comedy festival #2 for me. I ventured down to Washington D.C. for the DC Comedy Fest “Comedy Jam.” (by comedy jam they mean part of the festival that no one cares about)

I got on the 4:30 Amtrak down to DC, which conveniently broke down in Baltimore (and Amtrak is losing money?? No way!). Fortunately my set was not until 9:55 pm, so I had time and I got there in plenty of time. I breathed in the Adams Morgan air and ventured towards the DC Arts Center.

That name is deceptive – there is some art work, but with the Smithsonian in town and the fact that the DCAC is located above a bar named The Angry Inch, DC Arts Center may be a misnomer.

So when I got the venue I saw a few things: there was no stage, only 60 seats in the venue and no microphone. Furthermore I was following a Johns Hopkins Improv group called Buttered Nibblets. And then I took the stage.

The set began with some difficulty, probably because I felt like I was lecturing a class that no one wanted to take (the venue was at half capacity and had stadium seating (if you can call five rows of seating stadium). But then I got rolling.

I had a good set, but if my brother did not live in DC I would have called it a waste of an Amtrak ticket and time. I stayed for the next few acts, including a sketch group call Cubicle, who had a hilarious “Al Pacino School of Acting” sketch that had me laughing my ass off.

I then went to meet fellow comic, host of my cd recording and buddy Danny Rouhier (www.funnydanny.com). We had beers and discussed his audition for Letterman and then shared cheesteak and fries in Georgetown – it reminded me of the good times of law school (going out drinking with friends) and not the bad parts (law school). Danny asked women to pose for photos for our respective websites, but they declined. Williams 1, G-Town 0.

The rest of the weekend consisted of me hanging out with my nephew and brother (the park and Ikea). Fun, but not that exciting. I made it home just in time for the Sopranos Sunday night so I call the weekend a success.

Check out the photos in the blog and media sections.

The Height of comedy – 12 days…

Reggaeton Sounds like Ring Tones

an annoying coincidence?

I would first like to thank the corporate “outside the box” thinker who answered the question: “How can we make cell phones more annoying?” The answer that person came up with was ring tones.

I held out about a year longer than most before getting a cell phone (although my hats off to two of my friends Hank Willson and Danny Rouhier who held out about 3 years). I just believed (and part of me still does) that only doctors and other important people need cell phones. Unlike computers (because they do run our lives), we could all get along without cell phones – we would just have to be places when we say we will be. Simple. But I sold out and it has been a fairly nice convenience. But I always and I mean ALWAYS leave my phone on vibrate. Why? Because I don’t like the sound of ringing phones and many other people don’t like it either. But not everyone subcribed to this philosphy. This group goes by another name: women.

They were the first major group to buck vibrate because their phones were often in bags and they could not talk to their friends if they could not hear the ring. But like one woman in my office – a ring was not good enough. No, it required a digital rendition of Belinda Carlisle’s Heaven is a Place on Earth. And Hell is a gadget in your purse.

So women started it, but men and women are advancing it. Because for the last year or so people have been able to play real songs as their ring. So now when I am on the bus or subway I have to be held audio hostage by some kid who left his textbooks at home, but remember his PSP, his ipod and his cell phone with his G Unit ring. As long as he remembers I like large fries with my #9 meal then I guess we won’t have any problems when he graduates high school 6 years from now.

But then the unholy alliance of ring tones the new “musical” genre of reggaeton (latin for “stolen rap beats” and “no more than 12 Spanish words”) emerged.

Now I have friends who enjoy reggaeton (the same way someone says “But some of my best friends are _________”). This is the sort of Spanish rap type music for those of you who have not had the pleasure of hearing it blared out the open windows of a shiny Escalade with license plate neon light covers.

This is the music that has finally made white and black people sound like old white people in the late 80s and early 90s: “It all sounds the same. I dont get it.”

Just take the Louis Armstrong of this genre Daddy Yankee (not a Yankee, but possibly a Daddy).

Here is the Dylan-esque chorus from his hit “Gasolina:”

A ella le gusta la gasolina (dame mas gasolina!) = She likes gasoline (give me more gasoline!)

Como le encanta la gasolina (dame mas gasolina) = How she adores gasoline! (give me more gasoline)

Probably the best and most complex metaphor since 50 Cent told women that they could lick his “lolli pop” in the candy shop.

So you can imagine how much I enjoyed hearing this song as a ringtone. I felt like Shooter McGavin in the film The Perfect Sotrm when he sees the two bad weather patterns about to collide.

But I have yet to hear a reggaeton song that does not strongly ressemble Gasolina. Now an artist as brilliant as Father Met will have copycat artists, but does every song have to sound the same? Give me a generic beat, women who sound horny in the chorus, some keyboard (more Herbie Hancock than KC and the Sunshine Band) and add a man yelling Sapnish. HIT RECORD.

Maybe I am just being a hater. Perhaps I wish I could find the comedic equivalent. Take Richard Pryor’s jokes, make them less funy and then have sexy women say the punchlines, in Portuguese. SITCOM DEAL

I am just waiting for someone to develop ringtones of fingernails accross a chalkboard. That I would download, make sure it is extremely loud and have a woman saying “chalkalina” in the background and then yell at everyone saying “Now you know how I feel.”

Ice Age 2

The meltdown… of kids’ movies

In what is becoming a weekly movie review column, I saw Ice Age 2 this weekend. Now I hated Ice Age (1). I saw it as one part Shrek, one part Monsters Inc. mixed together with worse animation, awful dialogue and voila – Ice Age. I felt so strongly about its crappiness that I almost got into fisticuffs at work.

So why did I end up going to see Ice Age 2?

Well, the woman I am currently dating has a 4 year old son (see my live routine for extensive, sitcom-potential humor). Because of this, my opportunities for female companionship this weekend consisted of either seeing Basic instinct 2 by myself with a hand towel or sucking it up and seeing Ice Age 2 with Mom and Son.

So after I saw Basic Instinct 2 I was tired so I gave in and I met Mom and Son for Ice Age 2. However, also present were the 7 and 4 year old daughters of Mom’s cousin (there is an easier way of saying that by I do not know if it is 2nd cousins or cousins removed or if they are just cousins like Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter – guys who were at the same cookouts during their teenage years).

So we ventured into the theater where I spent approximately $365 on concessions only to have one of the kids say – “I don’t like popcorn,” to which I respond, “And I don’t like being emasculated by small children, but since we’re all here why don’t you save my last shred of dignity and eat the popcorn.” I don’t think she knew what I was talking about.

So the movie began amidst the cacophony of children and babies. Why do people insist on bringing (having)babies to movies? A common excuse I hear is that “I couldn’t find a babysitter.” Well, by all means don’t allow bringing another life into the world to affect your movie watching! And remember your stroller for the club later on.

So the movie began and 90 excrutiating minutes later it ended. I heard one review of a fellow patron, “I didn’t expect much, but it ended up being funny.” I had a different take – I expected crap, but prayed that it would not be the deabacle that was Ice Age (1). My prayers went unanswered.

The real problem here is that kids movies are just garbage now. My generation and past generations had Snow White, Pinnochio, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmations, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King, not to mention the genius of Jim Henson (Fraggle Rock, Muppets, The Dark Crystal, Labrynth). Now, aside from Pixar and Shrek, the gross majority of kids’ movies these days are horrible.

There are several possible theories for this:

1) Perhaps like Saddam in Iraq, Disney may have been morally corrupt when they were a corporation denegrating minorities (Dumbo crows, Indians in Peter Pan, Kurds in Iraq), but the worldwide movie watching public still may have been better off from an entertainment point of view than they are today. And even since then (late 80s-early 90s), when Disney became more culturally sensitive, they actually stepped up and gave us the Magic, Larry and MJ of animated movies (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King). But Disney has lost its way and needs to find its racist or culturally sensitive roots (Valiant, Chicken Little, etc. don’t cut it). In other words, Disney needs a creative dictator to keep the animated film world in check so that movies like Doogal are not allowed free to terrorize innocent young minds.

2) Parents have gotten to a point where they will automatically go to any movie just to keep their kids quiet. Personally I think kids need a little more reading (although I know after a tough day playing video games a kid has to unwind with bad films). But that said, movie companies have learned that they do not need to reward the loyalty of families because the loyalty is undiscriminating – if there is a movie out for kids, they’ll see it. And with compeition from Madea’s Family Reunion, Final Destination 3 and the aforementioned Basic Instinct 2, it is no shock that parents won’t have anything to do even if they wanted to do something, further guranteeing Ice Age 2 tons of cash.

3) Movie theaters really don’t care about kids. There were 10:30 pm shows of Ice Age showing. 10:30? This is not a movie where adults will go by themselves (and still be legally competent). So now in an era where numerical parenting is at a high, and quality parenting is at a low, we have AMC theaters offering parents a chance to keep their 7 year olds out until past midnight. Personally I think after this blog – just taking your kid to see Ice Age 2 should constitute child abuse.

4) There are always people like me who are virtually held hostage by the movie industry. Around small kids I am prettty much Arnold Schwarzenegger from Kindergarten Cop, “This is oeur class pet, de ferret. Yes, yes, now weur haffing fan.” But the closest thing to a ferret I can give to three kids is Ice Age 2. In the words of Arnold – it was not fantastic.

The 1 train, Inside Man and a Push: 3/25/06

This blog contains some foul language. It is rated PG-13.

(All Final Four teams gone – – Go George Mason)

So I went to see Spike Lee’s new movie, Inside Man, this weekend. The movie was ok, but the guy sitting behind me would not shut up about how he was annoyed because he thought it was a remake of a 1978 gay porn film.

I was on the 1 train on the way to the show and one of those “only in NY” things happened. A black man in his late twenties got on the train carrying bags of videotapes, and from his appearance and intense stare on the man’s face, he was probably on his way downtown to take advantage of the long standing videotapes-for-drugs exchange program. He sat down and apparently the caucasion next to him got too close because all I could hear (I could not see through the crowded train at this point) was: “WHY [are] YOU LEANING ON ME. WHIITE RACIST BITCH – I’M A MAN AND I DON’T PLAY [these types of games]. I was not sure what happened, but all I kept hoping was that the man would soon get his “medication” and calm down. But then an awesome thing happened, the seat next to the man opened up and like a reality show trying to exploit racial tension, the train doors opened up and in walked a white man with flowing blond hair, glasses and neatly pressed khakis (Central Casting – I need a typical white guy) who unknowingly started WWIII on the 1 train.

Khakis sat down next to Jimmy Crack Corn (the seat was open – I could now see this) and Mr. Crack Corn said: HOW [are] YOU GONNA JUST LEAN UP ON ME – YOU SAY EXCUSE ME. I’M A MAN. THIS IS LIKE BACK IN THE DAY WITH THIS RACIST SHIT.

Now Khakis was scared of this man, but not wanting to completely back down (insert random black comic doing thir “white voice:” “Now wait just a second misterrrr” replied: I AM JUST TRYING TO SIT. And then random white woman said: YEAH STOP IT. To which, Pookie (New Jack City) replied: RACIST WHITE BITCH – IF A BLACK MAN HAD SAT DOWN NEXT TO ME YOU WOULD NOT HAVE SAID SHIT. THIS [is]THAT RACISM FROM BACK IN THE DAY.

Then two cops got on the train and Ratso Rizzo shut up. But after the police left he began barking about snitches (if only I had been wearing my “stop snitching” t-shirt that is so popular among convicted and potential felons).

I learned 6 important things on the train:

1) Our friend was black and a man, as he insisted on everytime he spoke.

2) Our friend did not like verbs.

3) Our friend should probably thank Bernie Goetz racism, because if the white folks he was terrorizing knew that he was an agnry, but harmless drug addict (and not a gun toting ABM, as most probably perceived) then they would have taken turns beating his annoying ass. Racism and irony, an unbeatable combo.

4) Although “white bitch” is not the equivalent of the “N WORD” it has become the closest thing to a racial slur for white people and all I can say is IT TOOK LONG ENOUGH.

5) When white people and black people are involved in any racial tension I stay out of it because I don’t want to explain my racial credentials before entering the argument.

6) Our friend was scared of police.

Now I arrived at the theater at 1:30 pm, just in time for the show. Unfortunately there were only 3 seats left in the whole theater – including one about 5 feet from the screen and so far to the right that everytime Denzel Washington was on screen with Jodie Foster it looked like he was about 4 feet taller than her. My point is – how can theaters get away with actually selling full price movies tickets that give people such a poor movie experience. I think a movie is worth $7 per ticket, but the seat I had should be about $1.50. That is just some more of that racist shit.

The worst part of the whole movie was the previews – there was one for the film Flight 93 – about the passengers who fought back on 9-11. Like George Carlin said – we are a culture obsessed with death and I for one think it is way too soon to make a film about 9-11; one should have to wait at least 60 years so Ben Affleck and Jerrry Bruckheimer can make a mockery of a national tragedy with a terrible film.

Saturday night I went out with a couple of my friends from high school to go to a birthday party in the East 20s. While at the bar I was waiting to get a drink at the bar I said to my friend Jarrod: “Hey let me get in to the bar so I can order my drink.” At that point a snotty Manhattan woman said, “If you would let me and my friends move by you could have your bar space!” And then she pushed me in the shoulder with all the force of her Daddy’s trust fund. She was then followed by a woman and a man, presumably her boyfriend by the way he scurried by the offended 6’7″ 270 lb person his girlfriend had just pushed. I then did the only thing I could think of on such short norice. I looked Amber or Emily (whatever he name was) and yelled “Bitch.” I should have probably yelled something else like “Trick,” which carries with it the misogynistic undertones of ealry 90s gangsta rap, but on short notice I went standard. Now the woman was white and all I kept think about the next day was WWVCDAD? What Would VIdeotape Carrying Drug Addict Do? He probably would have called her a “white bitch,” and since I am half white I could probably get away with it, but I chose not to stoop so low because the half black side of me said – “I can’t say it because the white half of me would be offended,” just like the white side of me won’t allow me to say the N word. Oh well – there is alwas the compromise my (Irish) Uncle learned from teaching in NYC public schools.

One day, long ago, a student was upset with my Uncle’s instructions and confused my Uncle when the student called him a “White Ni-g-r Bitch.” (per my racial agreement I am allowed to hint strongly at the word and sing it in rap songs, but may not fully write it out). Well, the confusion can end here because we now have a use for it and from now on if anyone is confused about how to be racist towards me they can go with my standard “Nick” or now they can call me a WNB. But don’t add Asshole to that because that would make me a WNBA and I would rather be a WNB, than confused with a women’s hoops league.


And what race is Vin Diesel?

{Quick update – one weekend done in the Tournament and Ohio State and Michigan State are out – so my only hope in my pool is a Memphis – George Mason Final.}

So this weekend I went to see Find Me Guilty starring Vin Diesel as Jackie DiNorscio, some New Jersey wiseguy who represented himself in a big RICO trial and won through telling jokes and stories. I liked the movie (B+/B), but found it sort of disturbing. As a man who went to law school, but with a sens of humor, did I waste a lot of time and money?

To illustrate the point, Diesel’s character did not have a high school diploma, while the Assistant US Attorney had a law degree and spent years prepping the case. What was the verdict (it is based on a true story so I don’t care about spoiling the end of the movie) – Not guilty. The trial took 2 years to conduct – the juy acquitted in 14 hours.

So I come back to my original question – why did I go to law school. Apparently a sense of humor is more effective and cheaper than a law degree. “I don’t know about RICO, but that guy is Guilty of Humor in the 1st degree!” Instead of struggling through classes that would never help me with anything, I could have been working on my routine so that both my comedy career and potential criminal career would both be more successful.

Making the movie more relevant to me is the fact that the judge in the movie is played by Ron Silver and I attended grade school (1st-3rd grades) with his son.

As if the movie was not enough of a sign that I had taken my life in a wrong direction (comedian trumps lawyer, my classmate’s father is in the picture – getting the hint yet J-L???!!!), the star of the movie, Vin Diesel is one of the few people more racially ambiguous than myself. If I had to guess at his genetic makeup I would say: 1/5 Jewish,

1/5 Italian,

1/10th Native American,

1/3rd Black,

1/10th Middle Eastern and

1/15th awful actor (like a Van Damme or Stallone type). If anyone actually knows what his racial background is I would love to know.

But lets do the math: Law School diploma + government job + racially mixed background = blogging on a Tuesday afternoon.


10th grade education + comedy + racially mixed background = $10 million per picture (yes I am aware that I am combining Vin Diesel and his character into one person).

So let this be a lesson to all the kids that read my blog – stay in school.


Communism finally wins!

Well, one Final Four team out in the 1st round (thanks Michigan State), so time to talk about baseball.

I apologize if you are reading this and you are not one of the 17 people following the WBC, but the games finally represent the success of Communism. Cuba, without one professional baseball player (because all of the defectors would be shot if they came back to play for Cuba), defeated the Dominican Republic, which boasted the greatest lineup of any baseball team ever, 3-1. To quote Austin Powers, “Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh comrade.”

To no one’s surprise Team USA was terrible, losing to Canada and Sudan I think. Apparently the steroid shipment was late for Team USA .

(side note: I am still not sure Barry Bonds is on ‘roids for one reason – his voice – he still sounds like a woman, or at best a female bodybuilder, when he talks).

But no one cares because Baseball is no longer our National Pastime. That is why the Dominicans and the Cubans and the Tanzanians are better than us at baseball. Football and basketball are both more popular (although after mighty Argentina beat us at hoops in the Olympics we are only left with football, which thankfully, is too complicated for other countires to try seriously at it).

So I am wondering what out new national pastime should be since baseball is done. Here are some suggestions:

1) Football – see above

2) Video Games – from drug dealers with too much spare time to kids trying to cultivate their ADD, video games might be a good choice

3) Sitting in coffee shops – apparently drinking coffee and eating pastries is not the purpose of Starbucks and the thousands of hipster coffee shops. No, actually they give you a place to read, stretch out and stare and be stared at. And there’s never a seat available – apparently they get handed down from generation of self-important lit majors like Green Bay Packer tickets.

4) Blogging – fooling yourself into thinking that someone out there cares what you are thinking and will check a webiste repeatedly to see if you have new thoughts.

Any other ideas for national pastimes?

March Madness

Well – first off – here is my Final Four (Memphis, Texas, Ohio State and Michigan State). Right now 3 of the 4 people reading this are calling me “nuts” or “stupid” for these picks. I don’t care – I have never been good at “bracketology,” as ESPN calls it to make them believe that their jobs require something more than a high school diploma and lots of spare time.

The real March Madness occurred during the Big East Tournament last week, during which, Syracuse’s Gerry McNamara took over and helped the Orangemen win 4 in a row to capture the conference tournament. It was a great performance from a very good college player.

And that’s when the reverse racism started.

Every commentator began praising McNamara (who is white) with the same caveat,

“He may not be a great athlete, but he is so tough and crafty, etc.”

“Now, he may not win any athletic contests, but he sure is a smart player.”


McNamara is a point guard in the Big East. For you non-hoops fans – that is basically like the highest level of pre-NBA basketball. And McNamara was the best player at that level for a week and he didn’t do it with Bugs Bunny “Duck Season-Rabbitt Season” mind games. He did it with speed, quickness, and a sick jump shot. I don’t remember him running by the entire Georgetown hoops team and thinking, “Man, he sure can run smartly.”

Then there’s a more personal example (from the NBA).

Being one of 8 known Utah Jazz fans outside of Utah I follow the team closely. Their star player for Utah is Andrei Kirilenko, a Russian guy who jumps out of the gym and just happens to be one of the most versatile players in the NBA. And he also has one of the coolest nicknames in sports AK-47 (he wears #47) What are the compliments he gets?

“He is such an interesting player.”

“He is one of the most unique players in the NBA.”


So apparently top-level white basketball players can be smart and unique, but athletic – that just sounds weird. Much the same way Chris Rock lampooned whites who complimented Colin Powell’s ability to “speak so well.”

(As a sidenote – being half-black and half-white, coaches and commentators were always able to come to a compromise with me: “He just isn’t that good,” – but see “The Dunk.”).

But AK-47 gets the last laugh. It turns out AK’s wife has authorized him (in contract form) to have limited cheating privileges on the road. Now THAT is smart and unique. But, maybe his wife just doesn’t think he is athletic enough to make use of the privilege.

Williams College Recap

Mission Accomplished

At 10 AM on March 10, 2006 I stepped onto the Peter Pan Bus at Port Authority Bus Terminal excited that a mere 4 hours and 50 minutes later I would arrive at Williams College and that a mere 11 hours stood between me and comedy glory. A bus trip that long gives a man time to contemplate many things like, “Why don’t I have a car so I could cut 2 hours off of this trip” and Why are buses only comfortable for people under 6’4″?”

On the bus I saw the wife of Williams College Professor Robert Dalzell (he wrote me a recomendation for law school – so thanks Professor for convincing Georgetown that I was worthy of torturing for three years).

When I got off the bus 6 days later I first made sure that I was not permanently crippled. After I realized that my legs would recover from the bus ride I checked into the Williams Inn, which is the Ritz Carlton of Williamstown, as evidenced by the fact that that evening was Nursing Home Team Trivia night. If only I didn’t have to do this comedy show. As it turns out the trivia night is simply one question asked over and over again for two hours.

I then walked around campus for a few hours with no one to talk to because apparently students find it odd when lone 26 year olds ask them “where the hot girls live on campus?”

Then I got a phone call from Humorist Danny Rouhier, the show”s headliner. We laughed, we cried, we reminisced and then we got dinner at the Water Street Grill. While there he and I tried to outjoke each other with the waitress (I won).

Then it was finally showtime. Well, actually not yet – first there was some guy reciting the Gospel of Mark from 7 pm-9pm at our venue. The guy was sort of like Brother Justin from the HBO show Carnivale minus the charisma, presence, theme music and followers.

Then it was showtime. I went on stage first and did a solid 35 minute set. I think the highlight for the kids was my Owen Wilson impression. I also realized that I was old. I felt like if I told any jokes about VCRs, kids would be asking “is that like a dvd player?” It aslso dawned on me that jokes about Gerardo (“Rico Suave”) are limited basically to people born the same month as me – anyone else will not relate. Jokes about Gary Glitter’s pedophilia met with mixed reactions.

I then brought up headliner Danny Rouhier (www.funnydanny.com) whose highlights for me were actually his jokes about Williams College and his Bill Cosby impression. He also continues to show that if you are funny a crowd will not care if your voices for gay men sound identical to your voices for women. After the show we partied like only Williams College kids party, which means soberly with discussions of random pop culture. We went and had some snacks at the dining hall (I had a hamburger and a chocolate milkshake). We then went back to a freshman dorm and traded jokes with some frehman hoops players. At 2 am I retired to my room at the Williams Inn realizing that after all of my expenses the trip would actually cost me about $30.

So I say to Williams College – you’re welcome.

Check out the photos from my trip in the “photos” section of the blog.

Last Comic Standing?

I recently annoyed a good friend of mine because I chose to do a paid college gig rather than do the open audition for Last Comic Standing. For some reason my friends have often thought me a great choice for a reality show (probably no greater insult)and a comedy reality show seemed like a match made in Attention-Grabbing Heaven. However, before I made my choice between college gig and LCS I saw something very interesting.

On a comic’s website in late February he had listed as one of his upcoming gigs the LCS audition on March 8th at Carolines. That’s great, but then I realized that the open audition (the one they tape to show how popular and compeititive the competition is) was on March 7th. Suddenly I felt like Kevin Costner in JFK when Donald Sutheland tells him that the papers in New Zealand were reporting Kennedy’s death 12 hours before it actually happened. What could this mean – could this mean that reality shows are fixed?

Quiz Show + DaVinci Code + no one caring = this secret that I have uncovered.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like LCS – without it I may have never seen Gary Gulman, who is an awesone comic – check out my links and buy his cd, which is tremendous. And based on the imitations of auditions, 2-3 minutes of material for openers – you need additional screening to make sure you don’t get some a-hole who just lifted 2 minutes of great material from someone else. But that said – they should not make the show out to be some unknown needle in a haystack search. They should just pick out there industry 40-50 comics and let them compete. At least that would be honest. But instead NBC likes to feed into our outdated Horatio Alger mindset that “Even I could make it.” The game is fixed Horatio and the best you can do is stand in line to make the guy they already picked before hand look like he beat you out fair and square.

So when I took this all in I decided to take the college gig for a few reasons:

1) Paid Money

2) It’s at my Alma Mater

3) The college kids only care if my stuff is funny and not marketable.

4) Since Williams College is the top ranked liberal arts school in the country I am hoping one kid who watches my show goes to Harvard Law, becomes a super agent and books me a spot for Last Comic Standing.

Horrible Oscars

J-L’s Oscar Recap

So last night Crash was named best picture of 2006, which will be forever remembered as the “Year that Good movies were called Great.”

Goodnight and Good luck was exactly as the title suggested – good. Capote was a step up – I would call it “quite good,” but not greeat. Brokeback Mountain is also good (the best part of the movie was the score and the Oscars did get that right), but a little boring. Crash was good, but felt a little too much like an episode of Fox’s old show “Boston Public,” where 85 social issues had to be addressed in each school day (“Oh my God, my boytfriend is in a gang and I’m pregnant, but it’s not his baby because it’s my math teacher’s baby and my best friend is on drugs and her boyfirend is taking steroids to get a football scholarship and I was just a victim of a hate crime in the parking lot while my best friend just told me she was gay.”

That leaves us with Munich – clearly the best film of the year. It had Julius Caesar from Rome, Hector from Troy and the new James Bond. That is a kick-ass trio, but it was also just a really good movie. It was a classic thriller with a message. Unfortuntely that message was not as stark as “Cowboys can be gay” or “Everyone is racist” or “The Media has no balls anymore.” The message was “Violence solves nothing, and Steven Spielberg is still the best director in the world” – the title he got with Saving Private Ryan, but almost lost with The Terminal.

The biggest mistake of the night had to be George Clooney beating out Matt Dillon for best supporting actor. No one seems to remember Matt Dillon getting snubbed for his tour-de-force as Pat Healy in There’s Something About Mary. Playing a racist cop he is very convincing and the most engaging character and performance in the film. George Clooney got fat (for no reason) and grew a beard (for no reason). Bad choice. The biggest snub OF ALL TIME, however, was in 1999 when Christopher Plummer was not even nominated for The Insider (as Mike Wallace).

As far as the other categories – Memoirs of a Geisha cleaned up the artsy awards – but no one addressed why the geishas all spoke broken English in the movie. The movie should have either been in Japanese or just let the actresses speak normal English – don’t try and fool me into believing that these Geishas, which I believe is Japanese for “whore who keeps kimono on,” learned English just well enough to tell me their story for 2 and a half hours.

King Kong also won 3 awards – for special effects, which means everyone will give it the “technical masterpiece” title instead of saying that it should have been nominated for Best Picture.

Then in foreign film I only saw one – Paradise Now. One word of advice – if you are doing a show being filmed by Israeli TV – don’t open with a joke “I’m going to see Paradise Now after this show.” Even if it is true, they will not find any humor in it.

My top movies for 2005, in order, would have been: 1) Munich 2) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 3)King Kong 4) Capote 5) Match Point

Honrable mention to Walk the Line, Sin City and Brokeback Mountain.

And a special note here – I would like there to be a “Best Scene” category at the Oscars – just nominate the best scenes (of any kind) in a given year.

For example a past winner for me would have been in 1989 – the final scene of Dead Poets’ Society would have narrowly beaten out the scene in Glory where all the soldiers are singing and talking before going into their final battle.

Well, this year the race would have been between the T-Rex fight in King Kong and the “Whoop that Trick” scene in Hustle and Flow. And in an upset – “Whoop that Trick” is the winner. It may sound funny, but if you have seen the movie, you probably agree.

I expect better things for 2006 Oscar. Maybe Al Pacino will play a guy who screams a lot or Sean Penn will make a lot pained faces. And most likey best scene nomionee Basic Instinct 2.