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Tyler Perry and Adam Sandler Collaborated on The Worst…

It is a question that film fans have been asking for over a decade: what if the two consistently worst movie makers in Hollywood joined forces and made a movie that could truly be called historic?  Well in this month’s JLComedy video, the question gets answered.  It has something for both casual and die hard fans of both artists.  Excessive body fluid gags and stupid voices to make Sandler fans happy and heavy handed Christian themes (including a Perry favorite – giving AIDS to anyone who acts wrongly – read this for background), and bad writing for Perry enthusiasts.  So without further adieu, enjoy this instant masterpiece, “Happy Madison Presents ‘Tyler Perry’s Old Testament, New Problem'”

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on PodomaticiTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!

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Comedy Weekend Recap: The Knicks, Adam Sandler and a…

This weekend was a very busy one for me.  First I had to take my Dad to Dunkin’ Donuts on Friday for an afternoon of father-which-son-of-mine-are-you bonding (he is 82 and like Tony Soprano’s mother I am starting to see a blur between loss of memory and loss of respect for his younger son, which is making it more difficult to know when I should be sympathetic and when I should be offended).  Then I was #blessed enough to have  a friend with some serious comedy connections hook me up last minute with great seats to the NY Knicks-Utah Jazz game (if you are new to my site I am a big Utah Jazz fan – coming from a mixed marriage family marked by hostility I always found the harmony that Malone and Stockton played with to be oddly reassuring).  The seats actually belonged to a major mogul in comedy, so naturally I taped my impression reel underneath his seat for the next game he attends himself.

One of the great things about attending Knick games in the rich seats is that you get to see 12 year old kids with pouty looks begrudgingly marching into Madison Square Garden for tickets costing over $400 per game as if they are doing their fathers a favor leaving their PS4 and horny middle school teacher to sit in seats most American adults will never be able to afford.  Another thing I observed during the game was that t-shirt gun technology is out of control.  As gun violence has continued to make headlines it has given cover to the absurd NRA-porn level t-shirt gun technology.  There was one that looked like a massive Gatling gun of polyester.  It is only a matter of time until 11 year old Seth has a t-shirt smack him right in his smug 4th row seat face.  Then we may see real change to this horrific t-shirt gun technology.

Jesse Ventura's character in Predator used less firepower than the Knick T Shirt Gun Squad

The game ended up being a horrible beat down of the Utah Jazz, but it was nice to be in the rich seats.  I now realize that the next time I will be that close to the court will either be as a courtside celebrity (.01% chance) or as a survivor of a horrible tragedy being honored by the Garden (.02% chance).

Saturday was a monster Saturday.  From 745am to 430 pm I was filming my new sketch “Happy Madison Presents ‘Tyler Perry’s ‘ Old Testament, New Problems'” a parody of what would happen if film legends Adam Sandler and Tyler Perry combined their brilliant writing and film-making.  The shoot was exhausting (4 locations), but a ton of fun and will be my best (and hopefully biggest) work to date.  Here is the photo that will be the promo shot for the video:

Tyler Perry vs Adam Sandler - next week

So super tired and relieved of the stress that I always feel when filming one of my sketches I headed to Comedy Outliers, a show run by two NYC comics at the Sports Bar at Webster Hall.  The crowd was big and enthusiastic and several audience members had a look of hopeful happiness in their eyes and that is when I knew it might go off the rails for me.  I was tired and had just witnessed an awful mother-daughter combo a block from the bar.  Let me explain.  I was tired, which put me in a susceptible mood to be pissed off.  Then, a cab was stuck in the crossing traffic so although I had the right of way I let the cab go because not letting him go would hold up the 20 cars waiting to go north on the avenue.  As the cab started to go forward the mother-daughter duo stepped into traffic, oblivious to the rest of the situation. The mother was a formerly attractive blond (she was halfway to leathery Robert Redford stage) and her daughter was a semi-chubby 13 year old brunette (i.e. a slightly hotter Lena Dunham). And the daughter yelled out out “Excuse me!” to the cab driver, and the mother pointed for a good three seconds at the walk sign (cab driver was going about 6mph so no one was in any danger).  And as I looked at these two – a woman who had most likely married a less attractive, more accomplished man, otherwise how does one explain the daughter with worse looks, but equally awful character as her, and her offspring and thought – this is just like the Evolution of Man poster, except instead it is like seeing the Evolution of Cu*t.

Why did I share this story?  Because I took a risk and made it the first joke of my set.  And I actually had the crowd in a combination of curiosity and laughter until I hit the C bomb.  And that look of hopeful enthusiasm half of the crowd had disappeared and the four laughs for the line could not heal the damage I felt from the other people’s silence.  I worked doubly hard the rest of the set, but jokes that are touchy, but usually kill, were now tainted by the fruit of the poisonous C-Bomb tree.

After conversing with a couple of comedians I left the bar, bought a Hostess Apple Pie and did this (the usual way I celebrate after a less than perfect set):

Sunday was just lots of media watching and I will not get into True Detective today because TOMORROW”s Podcast episode will be dedicated, in part, to me arguing against the wave of love for that show (a B+ is solid, but when everyone treats it like an A, I get pissed).

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on PodomaticiTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!

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Tyler Perry Presents J-L’s 3 Day Trip with Dad

Taking a much needed break from not getting booking e-mails replied to, I have ventured an hour north of the city to accompany my father on a three day mini-vacation to Bear Mountain, NY.  Being that he is 82 years old and not getting around very well the trip represents a feasible way for him to escape the apartment and get a bit of nature.  It also gives my Mom a three day break, or at least time to workshop some material before my parents’ next argument.  But with my Dad’s memory resembling the guy in Memento, his gait to the bathroom resembling Beyoncé’s single ladies dance in 1/10000th the speed and his countenance resembling a near-bald, older Morgan Freeman (and me looking like me) I think this trip would make for a great movie comedy script.  However, with the two stars of the movie being 75% black I am not sure I should call Judd Apatow just yet.  That said, I think I can get Tyler Perry interested.

There would be no shortage of older black actors he could cast as my Dad, though I am guessing I would also be replaced also, probably by a darker, more muscular man since Tyler Perry loves cross dressing and casting extremely muscular black men in his movies.  But in no way should his intense embrace of Christian values, love of cross-dressing and admiration of extremely muscular black men indicate anything other than a healthy heterosexuality in accordance with the Lord’s wishes.  So I am out of the movie and I am thinking a desperate Louis Gossett Jr. and an available Boris Kodjoe will play my father and me, respectively, in Tyler Perry’s 3 Day Trip with Dad.  Here are the potential sources of humor that actually have happened combined with things that Tyler Perry could then add to the story and punch up with his trademark humor:

  • Arrive at Bear Mountain Inn, driven by older brother (played by Shemar Moore) who leaves me with words of wisdom and encouragement for my stay with Dad, demonstrating that he is the responsible and mature brother.
  • I act annoyed with my Dad, until I see that the front desk woman at the Inn is a striking 5’11” blonde (only the latter part of this is true, but for humor’s sake the first part would happen in the Perry script and for some unexplainable reason the woman at the front desk would be an evil character who would try and drive an emotional wedge between my father and I during a 50 hour trip)
  • The cleaning lady has not cleaned the room yet when we arrive (true). But instead of an apologetic Latin woman coming to clean the room, it would be a light-skinned attractive black woman coming to clean the room who would give me sass that I would find off-putting, but intriguing at the same time.
  • On a walk with my Dad, he continues to ask me questions of unbelieveable vagueness – “who is the man from the movie who sang the song?” or this one which occurred yesterday during a conversation about MSNBC political pundits, “Who is the quarterback for the Knicks who had knee surgery?” (Answer after many “what the hell could you be talking about”‘s – Derek Jeter)
  • A running joke throughout the trip would be my character (with a French name – my father calls me Jean-Louis, unless he mockingly calls me J-L) being confused as a young stud (because I am not readily apparent as my father’s son) accompanying an old man that people believe is a South American (think Pele Brazilian) millionaire on vacation in America keeping his side proclivities hidden.  That leads to many hilarious awkward, mistaken gay encounters.
  • My character and my Dad would then have a big argument which would lead to the devilish blonde sleeping with me. I would realize she never liked me (all within a 50 hour trip) and would then make amends with my father.  I would also pledge to be a good man to the pretty maid and all would seem good and morally right, even if a tad rushed.
  • Right before the closing credits I will go to the doctor and get diagnosed as HIV positive.  The lesson – don’t sleep with mean white women and don’t get into too many accidental gay encounters.  No advance screenings of the film will be available to critics.

Well there it is, so I will continue to take notes in the final day and half of the trip and someone get me Tyler Perry’s contact info.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes. New Every Tuesday!  THIS WEEK’S EPISODE WAS A GREAT ONE ABOUT DAVE CHAPPELLE.

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For Colored Girls vs For White Girls – Who…

The fans of Tyler Perry films and Lena Dunham’s Girls probably do not have a large intersecting area in the Venn Diagram of entertainment.  One is a large black man who is a hero in the black Church community who writes horribly written films for an often neglected section of America (black middle class), starring an underemployed segment of Hollywood actors (black people not named Will or Denzel).  The other is large white woman who is a hero to the white girls who cannot find their footing in this big crazy world and find validation watching a show about unlikeable fu*k-ups.  But she is 26 and to accomplish what she has is impressive.  So Perry and Dunham are both remarkable role models, despite being creators of somewhat cringe-worthy content.

And to be fair, I do not have a gripe about Dunham writing a show that focuses on all white chicks, despite their saturation of music, television and movies.  I already wrote a defense of it here last year.  So that is not the point of this.  In fact I am not sure the point of this except after watching this week’s episode of Girls, I realized that Dunham and Tyler Perry could and should form an alliance.

Watching the episode that just passed it dawned on me that Girls and Tyler Perry’s colossal failure of a film For Colored Girls (not his original work, but definitely his bad film making and terrible adaptation of the source material) provide a duo that basically amounts to a mediocre comedian doing an extended bit called “Black women have problems like this!  But white women have problems like this!” (George Lopez trademark pending).

Taking the four memorable incidents from Perry’s For Colored Girls and the four big shifts for the characters in Girls so far this season let’s learn a little about what it is like to be in these different groups:

The Big Star Gets In Trouble With A Gay Man

Lena Dunham’s character has realized that she cannot date her socially awkward, but significantly more attractive boyfriend (a 5 to her .8), she bangs a black Republican and most shocking, her friend Marni banged her gay ex-boyfriend.  Pretty tragic all around.

Janet Jackson gets HIV from her down low husband and reveals that she knows her husband is gay when she throws her blood test result at the overly muscular man (a favorite of Perry) and says “And take your HIV with you!”

Slight edge to Janet. Ms. Jackson if you’re HIV positive.

Shy Sidekick Has Awkward Sex

David Mamet’s daughter, Eyebrows, loses her virginity at 21 and is dating a guy who turns out to be struggling with life and living out of his car, which is literally between the Holocaust and a nuclear-armed Iran in the fears of Jewish parents.

Yasmine, a dance instructor in FCG, starts dating a seemingly nice gentleman who rapes her on their first date.

Rape is bad, but is it really as sad as a Jewish chick dating an unemployed guy? Edge – Eyebrows

Family Problems For A Supporting Character

The British chick on Girls ends up embarrassing her husband (they got married after a few bad dates as a misplaced plot point) at a dinner in front of her in-laws.  They end up separating after 19 hours of marriage.

Crystal, one of the characters in FCG watches her two children get thrown out of a window to their deaths by her baby daddy.

Had it only be one child, Brit might take this one, but two kids definitely gives the edge to Crystal.

Working a Bad Job

Marni, the attractive one on Girls (though Brit’s rack turned out to be a surprise highlight of the last episode), is really having it rough, from letting a diminutive artist go raw inside of her to having to work as a hostess at a club where men treat her like an attractive hostess at a club.

Thandie Newton’s character in FCG is a sex addict with a past of sex abuse (or possibly just a super-empowered woman) to the point that dudes assume she is a prostitute.

Anytime you let a guy who wears fedoras, or at least seems like a guy who would wear a fedora, bang you – you lose.  Edge – Marni

Group hugs make everything better.

So after taking in both of these artists, it is clear that Tyer Perry and Lena Dunham need to get together and, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, have a kid together.  They operate on the extremes of Hollywood.  On writes for black Church folk (a group that goes “Ummmm HMMM!” to signify that Perry has validated their beliefs) and the other writes for narcissistic white women (a group that goes “That is so us!” without realizing that just makes them unlikeable tools as well).  And both have ways of capturing the lives of their characters in opposite ways.  For Colored Girls shows that every character has an apocalyptic level event happen to them and can still carry on, while Girls shows that every problem, no matter how small becomes a time for self-discovery and personal enrichment.  It is like these people are from different planets (possibly Mars and Venus).  So let’s get these two crazy kids together and let them have a kid (its celebrity name could be some mix of Dunham and Perry – Dairy!).  So maybe one of you solves a series of tragedies with an empowering group hug and prayer while the other solves a marriage ending after 4 meals with a witty bathtub encounter.  But I still think you can find common ground.  The silver lining to these Hollywood clouds getting together is maybe, just maybe,  if their child is exposed to the horrific writing and tragedies in Perry’s mind with the witty drivel from Dunham’s, he or she might see the world as it actually is (and write an angry blog about it).

Perry is Dunham. Dunham is Perry. Dunham is a man!!!!

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes.

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The Ten Worst Movies of 2010 (that I saw)

Another year is coming to a close, which means I have once again seen a lot of movies.  This year, unlike last year, I made an attempt to avoid awful movies (for example I did not see or rent Grown Ups because Adam Sandler and Kevin James are the closest thing to crack-cocaine in terms of brain cell destruction, nor did I see Saw VI because I believe it is wrong for a film franchise to have three consecutive films that claim to be “the final one”).

Sidenote- seriously does Kevin James ever wake up and think, “Man if I sucked di*k for drug money on live television I would be less of a disgrace to my family. I have made three of the worst films ever recorded – Chuck and Larry, Paul Blart and Grown Ups.  And I know it.  And I have tons of money, but I don’t care.  I want to make dumb Americans even dumber and profit off of them mercilessly.”  And can we stop treating Adam Sandler like he is some beloved entertainer?  I know he reminds you of that moderately cute and cool kid in your Hebrew School class, but the dude is done.  Mr Deeds, Chuck and Larry, Grown Ups, Little Nicky, Big Daddy, etc.  The guy has done everything he can to kill good taste.  Enough – please collect your cash and go away.   

So naturally, despite moderate efforts I was unable to avoid bad movies for several reasons.  Travelling to comedy clubs around the country and having spare time, Oprah Winfrey and wanting to see if Samantha Jones finally gets AIDS were all contributing factors to the several terrible films I saw this year.  Before I get to the Bottom 10 I want to share a special note of two movies that were not worthy of the “worst,” but based on critical praise and box office success, are the two most overrated films of the year:

Box Office Overrated Film of the Year

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Over $300 million is what this film pulled in.  Weird is the best way to describe it.  Boring is a very accurate way to describe it.  Johnny Depp – you were cool and talented the first eight times you played a weird character, but now it feels redundant.  For a change, try playing a male with genitals who does not talk like a pretentious college student who has returned from a study abroad semester and now pronounces Barcelona as Barthelona. 

Overrated Movie of the Year – Critics

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

For me, the reason to give gay people all the rights they deserve is selfish: I am tired of Hollywood patting itself on the back for showing gays as regular people and then acting like they re-invented the wheel.  But that was ok for me with Brokeback Mountain, which I thought was pretty damn good, but what really gets me is when a mediocre movie that is lathering itself in every indi-film cliche is praised as a great film.  Enter The Kids Are All Right.  Granted there were other movies that will be nominated for best picture like The King’s Speech (will be this year’s “we have to nominate at least one movie with British people and one movie related to the Holocaust, so why not nominate this one which has both?) and Black Swan (dark artsy-fartsy, but interesting in parts), which were interesting, but incredibly overrated, but the Kids Are All Right really stands out.  It just is not that good.  The movie is a B- at best, but critics have treated it like The Godfather fu*ked Amadeus while Goodfellas watched.  If you have not seen this or have and thought it pretentious enjoy this brief cinematic interlude:

But none of those movies were worthy of being on:

J-L CAUVIN’S TEN WORST FILMS OF 2010

10. The Deuce – (tie)

Sex and The City 2 and Iron Man 2

Two sequels – two bowel movements.  Iron Man 2 is shameless in what is becoming a Hollywood trend – we have a hit, we want at least three films and everyone will pay for the second so we can make it a huge bag of sh*t and make half of the movie about setting up and establishing things for the third film.  It is literally the middle child before there is a third child.  The movie was just mediocre, but because of how shameless it was and how much worse than the first it was – it earned a spot on the list.

Sex and the City 2: It was good to see these old bags who have influenced a generation of emotionally and spiritually lost women go out like Brett Favre – with a cinematic equivalent of an interception.  Here is the summary of the Carrie Bradshaw saga: she finally gets her man (women will give a good guy one chance, good penis a few chances and a super wealthy guy almost infinite chances – see “Mr. Big”).  And what does she do when she gets her better looking Trump?  She complains about the monotony of married life, makes out with an ex boyfriend in a foreign country and complains to her hubby when they eat dinner in for…wait for it… two consecutive nights!  The lesson for all the women who wanted to be Carrie, thought Carrie was fabulous, came to NYC to have a “Sex ad the City experience:”  Carrie was a bitch.

Ugggh, what's the point of being married to a billionaire if I cannot be constantly spending money and travelling so I can forget how empty my own life is?

9. Black People Besides Tyler Perry Can Make Bad Movies (tie) –

Lottery Ticket & Copout

When I saw Lottery Ticket I was hoping for something in the vein of Barber Shop and when I saw Copout I was hoping that Tina Fey was writing Tracy Morgan’s material.  I was wrong on both.  Lottery Ticket, starring fully grown Bow Wow produced the unthinkable – it offered a movie where Mike Epps, an incredibly unfunny human being, was the funniest thing in the movie.

Copout, combined with his deplorable HBO comedy special, proved that Tracy Morgan is completely unfunny when Tina Fey is not writing his words.  I was harsh on Fey when she was the head writer of SNL, but this chick has apparently worked miracles to make Tracy Morgan appear funny every week on 30 Rock.

Probably the least funny person of 2010.

8. The Worst Thing Clooney Has Ever Done –

The American

Even George Clooney can go to far.  Here is how I think this boring movie was made: George Clooney spends time in Italy fu*king models so he said, what if you filmed me driving and looking thoughtful while I was on vacation in Italy?  And maybe throwin a few conversations, some guns that we barely use but just show me putting them together?  And what if this was all so boring and self-indulgent that when I do a sex scene with a woman who is off the charts hot, it still cannot save the movie?  What, Hollywood – you love me so much, like a quarterback who is also in an A Capella group, that you are afraid to tell me no?  Let’s do it! 

The review for this film can be summed up by the young black woman who was siting in front of me while watching it.  With about 15 minutes left in the movie she just, “Damn, this movie SUCKS.”  Sometimes talking at movies is OK and this was one of those times.

7. They lost me when Adrien Brody fu*ked a lab creature –

Splice

I thought this was going to be a tense sci-fi thriller.  Instead about one hour in to a relatively mediocre movie Adrien Brody fu*ks a creature he created in a laboratory.  From then on it became one of the worst films of the year and the most awkward moment I saw in a movie since Willem Dafoe ejaculated blood in Antichrist (last years #3 worst movie on my blog).

6. I think it is time to admit that The Rundown was accidentally entertaining –

Faster

The Rock was the most entertaining WWF/WWE star of all time.   Then his first starring movie not associated with a Brendan Fraser franchise was the very enjoyable The Rundown.  Seemed like he was destined to do great things – maybe not Oscar great, but legitimately solid entertainment.  Faster is the death of that optimism for me.  When I saw previews for Faster I thought – “Man, that looks like Taken, but on steroids!”  What it was was Taken on creatine with a lobotomy.  How they managed to make a movie about a dude travelling the country murdering people for revenge somewhat boring is beyond my intellectual capacity.

5. Even low expectations could not save these bad westerns (tie) –

Jonah Hex and The Warrior’s Way

Jonah Hex I saw while on the road.  I would have been better off lying in the middle of a road.  I think it was written in about 14 hours because it felt like it had potential if someone had just written a story.

The Warrior’s Way I saw with a buddy because I had already seen everything that he had not promised to see with his girlfriend.  The Warrior’s Way is honestly one of the 20 worst films I have ever seen, but since I had no interest in it and my expectations were zero I did not think it deserved a higher spot on the list.

4. I really hated this fu*king movie and its awful 3-D –

Clash of the Titans

I am sort of shocked that this was not the worst film of the year but it is close.  Between Avatar, Clash of the Titans and Terminator Salvation it is obvious that Sam Worthington is unable to act with actual people.  And after Clash of the Titans, maybe he shouldn’t be allowed to.  A giant bag of crap (shame on you Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson) and the poster child for the other cinema scam – 3-D.  I actually was able to watch half of the movie clearly without 3-D glasses and the 3-D was terrible (James Cameron rightly criticized the filmmakers for scamming people for extra ticket money, but not providing legitimate upgrade in quality).  I hate 3-D and I hate how it is becoming an automatic surcharge on every other movie now.  No one likes watching movie with special glasses.  It is annoying and when it is accompanied by a giant piece of crap like Clash of the Titans it really sucks.  And yes, a sequel is being made.

How did Liam Neeson look at this and say, "Get my agent on the phone - I LOVE IT!"

3. Like Mexican sex shows – only the horse was entertaining –

Secretariat

If the horse in Secretariat only had two film credits – sex with Mexican prostitutes and Secretariat, he should leave Secretariat off of his resume.  Schmaltzy to the point that the entire dialogue could have consisted of Jon Favreau screaming “who’s the wild man now?!” from Rudy and it would not have been as corny and embarrassing.  The only thing that was good in the movie were the 15 minutes of horse racing.  Everything else was awful.  I wanted Seabiscuit (but about the greatest horse of all time), but instead got a terrible ABC Family made-for-TV movie.

2. Even when he tries, Tyler Perry sucks –

For Colored Girls

This year Tyler Perry finally got to show off his diversity as a filmmaker.  For so long he was known as the creator of shi*ty comedies.  Now we all know he can make a shi*ty drama.  This movie actually has several good performances, but it is a TERRIBLE movie.  One dude kills his own kids, one guy gives his wife HIV, one guy rapes his date, one (unseen character) abused his daughters.  The one good guy is a cop, but his wife cannot have kids because… wait for it… a man gave her an STD when she was younger.  I think the movie is for colored girls by default because it is definitely not for colored men.  It is also a lazy movie, because rather than adapt the original text to w workable film script he just has the character inexplicably delivering long, poetic monologues which do not work in a movie.  Tyler – just stick to your day job of making shi*ty “comedies.”

For the emotional scenes, Tyler Perry showed the cast footage they had already shot for the movie. So those tears are real.

1. When steroid abuse doesn’t kill who it’s supposed to (and your 2010 champion) –

The Expendables

A tremendously awful film.  Just like when white women feel like they need some fulfillment they open a cupcake store with family money and pretend to be serious entrepreneurs; when old white men feel unfulfilled they make movies like this.  An absolute embarrassment for even half-decent action movies, men and decent taste this is your champion for 2010.

The steroids should have killed Stallone before he made The Expendables.

I could not say it any better than I did in August on my blog – so enjoy:

https://jlcauvin.com/?p=1798

Tomorrow – Top 10 movies of 2010.

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Could Madea Make A Successful Middle East Movie?

I was disappointed to see Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass’ new movie, “Green Zone” make a relatively low amount of money this weekend. Not because I have any ownership in the film, but because it is sort of disappointing that Americans don’t want to engage the Wars in the Middle East on any level, even fictional. 

Keeps doing good movies, even if people don't see them.

It is sort of a Catch 22 that films like Green Zone, which is somewhat political (if you consider the truth, albeit fictionalized, “liberal”) and 2009’s Best Picture, The Hurt Locker, completely apolitical, are unsuccessful because of American society’s war fatigue.  If we had such aversion and fatigue over war, where was it in 2003 when troops marched off to war in Iraq?  In other words, if people were as tired of war and wanted to hide their eyes from it as much in 2003 and they do in 2010 then films like Green Zone and The Hurt Locker would never have been made. 

Sometimes I have friends who say, I just want to go the movies for a diversion, something mindless, not for some high minded message movie.  But how much mindlessness can we actually tolerate – Facebook, Twitter, reality television, Internet, video games, porn – and that is just my day before noon!  At some point don’t people want something thought-provoking that isn’t a 90 second clip on The Daily Show?

But I was actually very surprised to see a Matt Damon movie with such a good director fail, no matter what the topic. It raises a question in my mind: is there anyone who could actually sell a Middle East War movie successfully to our half apathetic/half-indignant society?  Here are some ideas I am pitching:

1) Scorsese directs DiCaprio in “The Enlisted”.  DiCaprio plays Tommy Coughlin, a Boston tough who joins the Army and is sent to Iraq as an alternative to going to prison.  There is a ton of Rolling Stones music, a lot of quick shots and of course, DiCaprio gets to speak with a Boston accent all while shooting a lot of brown people.

2 for 2 with Boston Accents. Could "The Enlisted" make it 3 for 3?

2) Will Smith & Tom Hanks in “I Am Soldier” directed by Steven Spielberg – probably the best bet for a successful Middle East War Movie.  Tom Hanks plays General Michael White who is asking Captain John Black (Smith) to go on a dangerous one man mission.  When it seems like Capt Black will fail, Sandra Bullock shows up as a sassy southern enlisted woman who is lost and helps him complete his mission. (Captain Black and General White could be role reversed, at which point instead of Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks companion in the desert would be a volleyball).

3) “I Can Do War Torture By Myself “or “Why Did I Enlist” by Tyler Perry – the wild card here – this film will be about a man whose marriage to Janet Jackson is on the rocks because he is not living a Christian lifestyle.  After receiving advice from his 6’6″ transgendered grandmother  the man decides to enlist in the war to prove that he, like Jesus Christ, is willing to sacrifice his life for a greater cause. 

A Madea War Movie could really test the extent of the Black Church's support for Tyler Perry's "movies."

4) “Sandstorm”starring Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.  Pattinson plays an English enlisted man fighting in Iraq, but he can only fight at night because of his deep brooding nature and a secret he has (he’s a vampire).  Lautner plays an American fighting alongside, but harboring an even deeper secret (he’s a gay werewolf and if either of those things is found out he will be kicked out of the armed forces).

5) “Memorial Day”starring the cast of Valentine’s Day.  The concept of this movie is simple – every cast member of this film actually volunteers for active duty in Iraq as part of a documentary with an option for a reality television spin off.

Let me know which you think has the best chance.

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My Personal Episode of 24

Previously on J-L Cauvin’s 24:

  • I wrote a joke, archived on my blog on March 12, 2009, which I also posted to Twitter and Facebook several weeks before the March 12th blog.  The joke went: “I like Michelle Obama, but she’s pretty big.  I am not saying she’s too big, but Tyler Perry is rumored to be playing her in the biopic.”  Joke was received tepidly by liberal New york audiences, especially in the afterglow of President Obama’s inauguration.  Joke was praised with “LOL!!!!!!!” from a New Jersey based comic.
  • I got booked to emcee for two weeks at the Cleveland Improv.  In an effort to save money I booked my trip to Cleveland on Greyhound – a 12 hour bus trip departing at 5:00 am on January 28th.

The following took place between 9:00 pm January 27th and 9:00 pm January 28th (wooshy sound effects):

On my way home from a show on Wednesday I begin checking Facebook on my blackberry because I left a book at home and was bored on the M15 bus.  I read an update from one comedian, an in your face, Jim Norton-without-the-humor New Jersey comic, who made the above “LOL!!!” comment on my Michelle Obama joke almost a year ago.  His comment was roughly, “American Idol is over, now get ready for Obama and his wife Tyler Perry in ‘Madea Goes to the White House.'” 

I commented back, “I take comedic credit, but not political credit for this joke.”  He replied, “I did not know you used this.  I guess great minds think alike.” I then became very angry. I emailed a friend of mine who then told me that he has recently worked with this comedian and that he told this joke on stage and that it seemed above his paygrade (my words).  The reason I am choosing not to name this comedian is because there are three possibilities as to why he has been using the joke:

  1. He outright stole it the day he saw me post it.
  2. He actually thought of it on his own (unlikely because wouldn’t he have said that when he posted his “LOL!!!!”
  3. He forgot where he heard it and months later thought that he thought of it.  This has happened to many honest comedians and because of this, I believe, remote possibility I do not want to tarnish his reputation beyond this blog.  However, if I ever hear of this individual using someone else’s joke the I will name names.  I hate joke stealing and I look at joke thieves the way porn stars look at sonograms: “This thing has to die.” (he may steal this joke because it’s in his wheel house – this is practically entrapment, but for his propensity for it – see above paragraphs)

So I had trouble sleeping that night because I was so angry, but I was able to follow the Utah Jazz win against Portland on my blackberry.

J-L Cauvin will do whatever it takes to protect his jokes. No more tweeting his material!!

4:08

I wake up, drink a Muscle Milk (nutrients and meatheadedness), pack my third and final bag for Cleveland (I am not a prop comic, but I pack like I am) and head for Port Authority, which is the saddest place on Earth at 5 am.  Every sign in Port Authority indicating the Greyhound buses to Buffalo (where I would connect to the Cleveland bus) say “Gate 24.” So like any normal person I went to Gate 24 and waited. And waited. And waited.  I waited there with only one other person, which did not raise any red flags because IT’S 5 AM TO BUFFALO! Who else would be going besides a self-doubting comedian looking to save money and a chubby black man (the other guy). 

The evidence is damning against Greyhound. Motherfu-kers!

At 541 am we went upstairs to find the only Greyhound clerk working and were told (as i we were stupid), “No that bus leaves at Gate 61 – it is gone.” Of course it’s gone – I should have ignored all the signs and simply guessed Gate 61!  I asked, since it was only a few minutes since the bus left, if she could call it back (after all what’s 5 minutes lost on a 12 hour bus ride) and her response was, “SIR, that bus has left.” I then contemplated going Book of Eli on this woman, but opted instead to murder my blackberry.  I only cracked the face of it, but it still works and has told all the other blackberries that it fell down the stairs at home.

8:48 AM

I book a train to BWI and a Southwest flight from BWI to Cleveland.  It only cost me a shade over $300, so there went my savings and half of my paycheck.  However, I plan on dusting off my diploma from law school and crafting a letter to Greyhound that will demand AT LEAST $300 dollars, probably in Greyhound vouchers, which will ensure more Greyhound trips and battered blackberry syndrome. What’s the colloquial definition of insanity again.

8:35 pm

At the Cleveland Improv I am working on terrible sleep, but a calmer frame of mind as I bring up the headliner.  Unfortunately the Improv had given me a large amount of announcements and the headliner then gave me several more giveaway/contest announcements at the last minute.  And like Married With Children’s Kelly Bundy I apparently could only keep 10 facts in my head, so once a new one went it, one went out.  This time the fact that went out was not an insignificant one: the headliner’s name. 

I shamed dumb blondes with my intro Thursday night. Wait for it....

His name is Alex Reymundo, or Redddddddddddymundo if you roll the r’s.  After delivering the announcements pretty flawlessly I then paused with what Lee, the booker called, “the greatest deer-in- the-headlights-look I’ve ever seen,” and after about 2.5 seconds said “ANDY RONALDO!”  Lee has already instructed most of the staff at the Improv to refer to Alex and Andy Ronaldo for the rest of the week.  Alex was very gracious about it, but let’s just say a repeat of this would be a disaster (like the last 5 seasons of 24).

If Fox were to market this day they would say, “This is going to be the longest day of J- Cauvin’s life.”

I know how you feel Jack, we each had promising shows that went shi*ty.
Blog

Weekend Recommendations

It’s been a slow week for me writing, but I have some recommendations for you this weekend:

Read A-Rod.  It’s a 2 day read and very entertaining.  Tall, tan, attention-craving, insecure, talented and an attraction to older women.  Replace strippers with movies, steroids with donuts and baseball with comedy and you have as close to an unauthorized biography of my life as may ever be printed.  Sports and gossip fans will enjoy the book and hopefully feel bad for the both of us after reading it.  But probably not.

If I was not a baseball star I'd be doing comedy.
If I was not a baseball star I'd be doing comedy.

Watch Star Trek.  This is not a great movie, but it is a really good Summer movie (fun, sexual suggestiveness, explosions).  It updates the franchise and makes it fun while not being disrespectful or spoofing the original.  Furthermore it features Tyler Perry, which for racists and/or people with a modicum of artistic sense will mark their first experience seeing a Tyler Perry movie.  So let me be the first to re-name the movie Tyler Perry’s Star Trek. 

Tyler Perry's Live Long and Prosper
Tyler Perry's Live Long and Prosper

Magooby’s.  If you are in Baltimore or nearby come see me feature this weekend at Magooby’s Joke House.   9 pm tonight, 8 and 1015 tomorrow night.   The Yankees are also in Baltimore this weekend for A-rod’s first game of the season.  Coincidence?   Well, if we end up at the same swingers club tonight I will be pissed.

You are welcome for a fun weekend in advance.

Blog

March Madness Recap – Round 1

There were 32 matches last night, each lasting two minutes (1 min per comic) with a minute in between for crowd voting.  I was in the 23rd match-up of the night at which point most of the crowd was sleeping.  One of the things I noted during the night was that many of the 64 comics competing would cheer loudly for comics they liked, which I thought was sort of bush league.  Actually I thought it was incredibly bush league. 

Here is a recap of my set:

Look at the size of this dude!  You know who else is a big dude?  Michelle Obama

Woman in crowd yells: That’s not nice

(ignoring comment) I am not saying she is too big, but Tyler Perry is rumored to be playing her in the biopic. 

At this point I was not getting too many laughs but I noticed a lot of stone-faced black people in the front few tables.  I only had about 40 seconds left, but if I had more time I would have said:

What’s the matter?  You can call Hillary or Laura Bush names, but no one can f-ck with Michelle Obama’s supersized hips and itty bitty titties?  And don’t act like the Tyler Perry line wasn’t funny.  I am pretty sure you’ve heard of him since black people make up 175% of his audience.

(my next line) President Obama is historic though.  I voted for him and it’s very historic – he just shattered MC Hammer’s record for most money spent by a black man in one day.

(very little reaction again)

(What I wanted to say) – Really not laughing at that one?  Maybe if I said white presidents and black presidents be spending money different and sh*t!

Fortunately the Obama impression saved the day and I moved on to the 2nd Round. 

After the show I celebrated with a hamburger at Smith and Wollensky’s grill, which apparently on Wednesday night is old men and Russian prostitute night from the looks of the crowd.  And there was a guy with a mullet.  Let the Madness begin.