This week’s Hollywood Reporter cover story is about the remarkable year SNL has had making fun of Donald Trump and our current political swamp. When you step back to look at how they’ve successfully navigated a particularly divisive cultural moment and walked away with a ratings bump of 11 million viewers, it’s truly amazing.
It’s particularly impressive given that so much of what’s happened in the news is either really serious and scary to many people, or is so absurd that it in-and-of-itself goes beyond parody. What I appreciate about their approach in these instances is that they often simply repeat what actually happened, giving us all a second to laugh out loud at it. It turns pain into catharsis, and makes SNL a type of antidote that people have to tune in to get.
In the interview, Leslie Jones quotes Lorne Michaels commenting on the numerous celebrity self-pitches to play other administration officials – most notably Rosie O’Donnell as Steve Bannon. What he says, I think, is actually incredible advice for how artists must approach despicable characters who do unsavory things, whether real or invented. Continue reading What Lorne Michaels Can Teach You About Compassion
Written in the form of a multiple-choice Madlibs, it tells the story of Wilmington (read: Williamsburg, Brooklyn or Venice, California), which goes from a dangerous den of “spongecake” addicts with cheap housing, to a community of genderqueer youths and pour-over coffee colonic spas, to a neighborhood packed with Wholefoods full of babies where no one can afford their own artisanal hand-milled toilet paper anymore.
Read, enjoy, laugh – but always remember the days when the Cinnamon Toast Festival was just about the cinnamon and the toast, and wasn’t the corporate sellout monstrosity it is now!!
The first, and most obvious, is the frequently useless critiques that writer’s groups provide. Between batches of patting one another on the back, there’s a tacet “I’m smarter than you” subtext that pervades their friendly notes.
And then there’s the endless harping on “Why.” Yes – we must understand the motivations of a character. But sometimes the motivations of a character are implicit in the actions themselves. We relate to their actions and thus we understand “why.” We do not need to be told, and not everything needs to be explained away.
But I think I’m most fascinated, on my subsequent reads of this article, at the (perhaps-not-so) subtle sexism. The labeling of “chick lit;” the constant comparisons to “superior” works by men (Chaucer, Shakespeare); the sexualization of Kitty; the criticizing of having too many women in the piece; and the suggestion that the active protagonists should be three men who discuss war, while Mrs. Bennet “lies unconscious in the background, holding a ribbon.”
Catch me thisWednesday, December 10th, at 9/8c on ABCfor an appearance on Modern Family.
It’s Haley’s 21st birthday, and the family takes her out to a bar to celebrate. While there, Mitch and Cam encounter a younger gay couple – me and my friend Sterling Sulieman – who make them feel a lot less cool. (Mostly it’s Sterling who makes them feel less cool. If it was just me, they’d definitely feel more cool.)
If you’re looking for an excuse to see MURDER FOR TWO – there ain’t a better one than this.
Next Monday, April 7th, following our performance you’ll get to see work from 2 emerging musical theatre composers. Alexander Sage Oyen and ME! I will be presenting a condensed concertof my musical comedy THE TAVERN KEEPER’S DAUGHTER.
For the price of one ticket – you get 3 shows. Frankly, it’s criminal.
And a portion of all ticket sales goes to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Use code MRMUSMON20 to get $37 tickets (normally $87) and join Alexander and myself and a cast of massive Broadway talent (i.e. Lesli Margherita, Taylor Trensch, Todd Buonopane, Julia Mattison, Preston Sadleir, Leo Ash Evans, and so on) for a GREAT Monday night out.
Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love the Oscars. The celebrity, the art, the speeches. The Oscars make me fall in love with show business over and over.
In fact, the only thing I love more than the Oscars is LIVE-TWEETING the Oscars. The jokes, the snark, the hashtags.
So follow me on twitter (@btryback) and this Sunday, March 2nd follow join me starting at 4e/7p. I won’t quit until the last man affirms his heterosexuality by thanking his girlfriend/wife/escort. Or the wine puts me to sleep, which ever happens first.
See you Sunday! And may the statuettes be ever in your favor.