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New York Times Mag takes on film comedy…

Posted by Maximum Fun on 13th November 2006

I had the pleasure of spending some six hours in the beautiful Newark, New Jersey airport yesterday, and a great part of that time was spent with the Sunday Times. The Magazine this week is all about film comedy, and it’s full of good stuff, and even some great stuff.

Chris Rock is interviewed, and calls Deborah Solomon on her traditional BS:

I find Borat’s hostility toward women juvenile and upsetting.

If no one is uncomfortable with your act, you’re probably not digging really deep into yourself.

Borat comes out of your own tradition of shock comedy. You use a lot of profanity and off-color humor, at least when you’re doing stand-up.

Me? What have I ever said that was off color? I don’t think I have ever been off color.

Our pal John Hodgman compiled a group of short essays on the subject “How to be Funny.” They include one by another friend of the show, Patton Oswalt, that was SUGGESTED BY YOURS TRULY. I am basically a New York Times reporter.

There is a feature on Will Ferrel that, frankly, is basically completely without insight. There’s one on the comedy film business that’s somewhat more insightful. There are also pieces on online video and the great Chris Guest.

They also ask “22 funny people” their top five desert island comedies. David Cross (“Actor, Men in Black”), true to form, includes “Rent” and “Homer and Eddie” in his list. There are many, many great films. Laurel & Hardie are quite popular on the lists, perhaps even moreso than the Marx Brothers, and certainly more so than Chaplin or Keaton.

Here’s my list:

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
A Thousand Clowns
The Big Lebowski
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(with honorable mentions to The Blues Brothers, the other Python films, and Wet Hot American Summer)

What are yours?