A New Year’s Eve tradition


Recently, my mother told me about a New year’s Eve tradition in which my German relatives partake. At some point during the evening, they watch a sketch called Dinner For One (also known as The 90th Birthday) and laugh their collective asses off.  It seems that they are not the only ones enjoying this brilliantly done bit of British physical comedy. This sketch is known as a New Year’s Eve tradition in many countries other than Germany including, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, the Netherlands and South Africa to name but a few. Ironically, it never really took off in Britain. Sadly, it has yet to take off in North America, but I hope to remedy that, in some small way, by showing it here. Dinner For One was originally written for the theatre in the 1920’s and first filmed for television in 1963 as a one shot/take 18 minute sketch. That it was done in one take without an edit just serves to make it that much more brilliant. So, without further ado, may I present, Freddie Frinton and May Warden in the original black and white version of Dinner For One in English with introduction by Heinz Piper in German (the sketch begins at the 2 minute 23 second mark).

The sketch was so popular that there have been many versions performed along with several parodies, most notably (and recently) one in which the heads of Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy are superimposed upon those of the original actors’ and the dialogue deals with the Euro zone Debt Crisis. In 1999 German television station, NDR colorized it, presumable to bring it more up to date.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of proof that, yes Germans do have a sense of humour after all.

Here’s wishing you and yours a prosperous New Year with a picture from last year’s New Year’s blog.

baby-newyears1Same procedure as EVERY year.

A Cavalcade of Canadian Comedy


HAPPY CANADA DAY! I am concluding Canada week with a salute to Canadian comedians through the years.

The cast of SCTV

When I was little, there was a Canadian comedy duo that helped shape my sense of humour as it is today. These men called themselves Wayne and Shuster. Here is one of my favourite, and one of their most famous sketches.

In my teens, the Canadians who made me laugh were a group of comics from Toronto’s Second City troop who did a show called SCTV. Starring many comics who are still enjoying illustrious careers like Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara and Harold Ramis, SCTV was a great showcase for Canadian talent. SCTV is also responsible for launching the career of the late, great John Candy. Below are a few of my favourite characters in action.

In my 20’s I was watching and laughing with, The Kids In The Hall. With a nod to Monty Python, the sketch comedy of the  Kids in the Hall was often ridiculous in premise, but was always funny. Here are some of my favourite moments from the show.

Stand up comedy has also given us some fantastic Canadian talent. I would be remiss if I didn’t include some of my favourites.

JIM CARREY

RUSSELL PETERS

RON JAMES

JEREMY HOTZ

ELVIRA KURT

COLIN MOCHRIE

NORM MACDONALD

CAROLINE RHEA

RICH LITTLE

Then there are the comedic actors from Canada… and there are many. Enjoy these clips of some of the best.

LESLIE NEILSEN

DAN AYKROYD

PHIL HARTMAN

SETH ROGEN

MICHAEL CERA

MIKE MYERS

TOMMY CHONG

Here’s hoping you are all smiling this Canada Day.

Bridesmaids Revisited


The cast of the movie Bridesmaids

I’m past the age where I go to see movies in the theater. Instead I wait for them to come out On Demand (if I’m really looking forward to seeing it) or on cable. When the movie Bridesmaids first came out, the chatter about this movie was overwhelmingly positive. It touted an all female ensemble cast, which is rare for a comedy. It was written by two female writers, which, to my feminist sensibilities, was encouraging. I admit to being unfamiliar with Kristen Wiig… I stopped watching Saturday Night Live long before they began calling it SNL… still, all in all,I had relatively high hopes for this movie.

What a complete waste of 125 minutes of my life. This movie was a slap in the face to me as a woman and a complete insult to my intelligence. I will say this movie would have been palatable if the actresses were still in their early twenties. A younger age would have somewhat excused the behavior of the characters. Women in their mid to late thirties acting like jealous teenagers is, not only unseemly, but UNFUNNY.

Take the lead character of Annie, granted her life is a mess, but wouldn’t you think she could step back and allow her best friend’s wedding to be about… oh, I don’t know… HER BEST FRIEND? Instead she whines and moans and engages in a jealous feud with her friend’s other friend like a child would. I understand that women nearing 40 want people to think they are younger than their age, but there’s absolutely no need to surrender your last scrap of dignity and act like a 2 year old with a case of the ‘mines’. If I were the bride, it would not have taken me more than 5 minutes to cut this woman from my bridal party. Melissa McCarthy’s character was cute, and I generally like her as an actress, but this part was not worthy of an Oscar nomination.

It’s bad enough when movies show women in a jealous feud over a man, but over a friend? Most people by the time they reach their late 30’s have grown past this kind of behavior. I guess that’s why it’s supposed to be ‘funny’. Unfortunately, the very behavior they are lampooning in this movie is the kind of behavior that girls in their teens will think it is normal to exhibit when they hit 35 because of movies like this.

I would think that two female writers who wanted to make a movie about women could come up with something a little more aspirational and a little less insulting. Or maybe I am being naive to think that such a movie would get the funding in the first place.

My favourite television romance


Amy Farrah Fowler and Sheldon Cooper

I’m a geek for The Big Bang Theory. I’ve seen every episode multiple times. Usually when a sit-com adds a new character, especially a new love interest, the show’s quality plummets. When Mayim Bialik joined the cast of The Big Bang Theory as Amy Farrah Fowler, the show got so much funnier. The chemistry between her and Jim Parsons is unparalleled.  To illustrate, I thought I would share my five favourite “Shamy” moments from the past season in the order they aired.

Sheldon and Amy Cuddle

Sheldon asks Amy to be his girlfriend 

Sheldon gives Amy a gift (or THE TIARA) 

 Fun With Flags (or, as I like to call it, HANSEL AND PRETZEL)

Playing Doctor 

It may be the oddest relationship on television, but it works. I can’t wait to see what Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady have up their, oh so creative, sleeves for next season.

Experiment in funny


Lately I’ve been thinking about comedy. Specifically, comedians who come from different belief systems. I have listed three comics from three different religions and one non- religion in a side by side, by side, by side comparison (that’s four sides), and will be asking for your opinion at the bottom of the post. Enjoy.

CHRISTIAN COMEDIANS

Victoria Jackson

Tim Hawkins

Chonda Pierce

JEWISH COMEDIANS

Sarah Silverman

Judy Gold

Jerry Seinfeld

MUSLIM COMEDIANS

Maz Jobrani

Ahmed Ahmed

Azhar Usman

ATHEIST COMEDIANS

David Cross

Jimmy Carr

Jim Jeffries

I purposefully kept each clip under the 3 and a half minute mark. I didn’t include the most famous comics in each category. I didn’t include clips where the comedians talked specifically about their faith (or lack thereof). Now here is where I ask your opinion.

You’re my favorite


Or favourite, as we spell it in the Great White North.

On twitter I spend most of my time giving out gold stars to my favourite tweets. I’d like to share some of them here. In order to get one of these coveted stars, for me, a tweet must fall into one of several categories…

Funny:

Kathy Griffin

@kathygriffinKathy Griffin
Lindsay Lohan’s Playboy cover leaked online this week – I hope 2 christ that’s the only part of her that’s leaking.
Dr. Twittenheimer

@DrTwittenheimerDr. Twittenheimer
What you say obviously contains many kernels of truth, but that’s only because they tend to pass through you undigested.
David Horton

@watermelon_manDavid Horton
If you have already named your baby and then find the name isn’t in the top ten most popular for year should you change it? Well, obviously!
D. Olly

@DaanandoD. Olly
If current trends continue, you’re all going to die! 😦
Michael Fricano

@Lucid_SinMichael Fricano
I’m thinking of making a mistletoe belt for Xmas.
SimonNRicketts

@SimonNRickettsSimonNRicketts
I just rang Alcohol Concern. Told them I was worried I didn’t have enough beer in the fridge. They’re quite rude, aren’t they?
Ricky Gervais

@rickygervaisRicky Gervais
Karl asked me once if the presents the 3 wise men gave the baby Jesus were for his birthday or christmas.
Bad Taste Jokes™ 

@BadTasteJokesBad Taste Jokes™ 
Amnesia patients. Who do you think you are?
Jimmy Carr

@jimmycarrJimmy Carr
Apparently home vajazzle kits will be very popular this Christmas. Good to know, I was just going to get my nan a cardigan
wheatnik

@wheatnikwheatnik
“I wanna rock right now!”– Overzealous geologist.
Denis Leary

@denislearyDenis Leary
Hangover pill. Does it cure everything or do we need separate pills for the shame, guilt and STDs?
serialmatrix

@serialmatrixserialmatrix
My new party trick is to swallow two pieces of string and an hour later they come out of my arse tied together…Seriously. I shit you knot.
Jesus Christ

@Jesus_M_ChristJesus Christ
You’d be surprised how “accidentally” drowning a baby really cuts down on people asking you to baptize them. Looking at you John.
serialmatrix

@serialmatrixserialmatrix
I think it’s safe to say Schrödinger was probably a dog person.
Chelsea Handler

@chelseahandlerChelsea Handler
Listen up! I have nothing to say.
True:
MoronWatch

@moronwatchMoronWatch
Morons tell me we can’t cut “defence” spending because it supports millions of jobs. On that basis, child prostitution would be a good idea
Whenever a theist accuses me of ‘believing in nothing’ I simply laugh, because they too believe in nothing, they just don’t realize it.
DC Debbie

@DCdebbieDC Debbie
American society applauds sexually active men no matter what the age (Viagra) and punishes women–especially when practicing responsible sex
Amanda ♥

@MinouChatteAmanda ♥
Kids can pray in school…it’s what the moment of silence is for…but schools can’t dictate everyone follow Christianity!
Ben C. O. Grimm ✔✔

@BenCOGrimmBen C. O. Grimm ✔✔
Seeing #atheism as a movement, with rules, leaders, and world domination as its goal, mirrors a typically narrow religious world view.
Nelliot Spitzer :)

@HarrietThugmanNelliot Spitzer 🙂
Every gay person should call in gay for work at least once a month. Hey, its a fucking “sickness”, right?
Christian groups don’t seem to realise that they promote pornography/explicit content on TV channels by publicly complaining about it
Dear Kim Kardashian, Your entire wedding could have paid for my college education for 25465 years….
To deny true & historical realities of poverty, unemployment and incarceration rates for the African American population… That’s racism!
Feminist:
ThankYou JKRowling

@Ms_UK_AmericanThankYou JKRowling
The day ProLife takes back saying women who are raped are damaged goods I’ll take them seriously
The name-calling says more about the person’s attitude and gender bias toward sex than anything else. Only women are sluts. Really.
eeeegads

@eeeegadseeeegads
Saying women are unqualified to make her own reproductive choices, but she is qualified to be parent/incubator. Hypocrisy
Mrs. Christ

@JesusWifeMrs. Christ
My hubby thinks it’s hilarious to say to me, “Onward, ho!” I think it would be hilarious to make him sleep on the couch.
taslima nasreen

@taslimanasreentaslima nasreen
Female Genital Mutilation is practiced among Bohra Muslims in parts of India & Pakistan. FGM is torture, not culture. Ban #FGM.
Atheist:
Don T. Givaphuk

@NostradamnisuckDon T. Givaphuk
Bible once was used to persecute witches and Negroes. Fortunately, women and black people fought for rights. Now Atheists remain to target.
Rosa Rubicondior

@RosaRubicondiorRosa Rubicondior
The Holy Bible. Providing an excuse for hatred and persecution for nearly 2000 years.
When Lip Service to Some Mysterious Deity Permits Bestiality on Wednesday and Absolution on Sundays, Cash Me Out. ~ Frank Sinatra
Religious Critic

@religiouscriticReligious Critic
“‘There are no atheists in foxholes’ isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes.” – James Morrow
Black Rabbit of Inle

@NullGodPointerBlack Rabbit of Inle
Think bible had perfect moral truth? Would you want your daughter to have to marry her rapist?
Augustus

Prayer has no place in reality.
NietzscheQuotes

@NietzscheQuotesNietzscheQuotes
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
Rachel Haywire

@RachelHaywireRachel Haywire
We seek a future where freethinking artists and published philosophers sit in the same room and have the best conversations of their lives.
Religious Critic

@religiouscriticReligious Critic
“Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.” ~ Richard Dawkins
A big thank you to all of you who make the hours I spend on Twitter so much fun and so addictive.