Not Funny, Funny — the Mamet/Gandhi edition

Every once in a while I see something that I think isn’t funny and am moved to find something that I think actually is. Since humor is so notoriously hard to quantify, I’m not going to attempt to really learn anything from my little game, I just present the contrasting videos and let you, the audience, contemplate the difference.

Today, we start with a Funny or Die video that has been making the rounds written and directed by none other than David Mamet. We’ve had our political and cultural disagreements, but I consider myself a fan and I find a lot of his stuff extremely funny. I also think Danny DeVito is pretty cool. As for this collaboration which has been making the blog rounds, however, perhaps the less I say, the better. Watch for yourself.

Inside The Actor’s Workshop with Danny DeVito from David Mamet

Okay, now I’d never compare the dramatic talents of Mr. Mamet with those of Weird Al Yankovic, but in this somewhat similarly themed clip from Yankovic’s all but forgotten “UHF,” I find that the funny edge definitely goes to Weird Al.

  

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Gandhi wuz robbed!

So, in the wake of yesterday’s surprise announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Barack Obama, it occurs to me that while there are several movies about presidents, there are very few, if any, about Nobel Peace Prize winners. Martin Luther King was the subject of a TV movie, but that doesn’t quite cut it. Let’s face it, if there was a Nobel War Prize, there’d be tons of movies about those prize winners. War and other forms of mass murder are so full of dramatic tension! Think of how many movies there are about Hitler, General Custer, and Jack the Ripper there are…and those guys never won anything!

The one film that came immediately to mind, however, was Richard Attenborough’s 1982 “Gandhi.” It might have won some Oscars and ranked in the top 250 on IMDb, but few cinephiles types, myself included, think too highly of it, despite Ben Kingsley’s star-making performance — but it’s one. However, it turns out that despite being the 20th century’s poster boy for nonviolence, Mohandas Gandhi never actually won the famed prize.

Oh, well, as we await a movie about such heroes as Nelson Mandella (I think one may be in the works…and it’s about time), MLK, Aung San Suu Kyi, Lech Walesa or such “give them the award to help them stop it already” villains as Yassar Arafat or Henry Kissinger, here’s an idea for a movie whose time may have come.

  

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