Zach Galifianakis is funny?

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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Rkolter on Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:22 am

Phact0rri wrote:Why is this even an argument? Everyone has agreed he says things that is bigotry in nature.


Well, no. We haven't. You are saying that he is saying things that are bigotry. I am saying that he is making fun of the stereotypes themselves, not the people who the stereotypes seek to define.

Phact0rri wrote:So what if he doesn't agree with it? Many people do. They follow the stereotypes have preconceived notions of people. They watch and laugh, at the stereotypes, and the ignorant ones blanket these things as people, as race.


So, because there are a few racist idiots who may see his show as a confirmation of their beliefs, the majority who do not should suffer as a result? No comedy is safe from that filter.

Phact0rri wrote:To say its harmless is to say that, this is just comedy and these are just silly stereotypes. I know plenty of people who think these things do characterize an entire race. And people unfamilar with these thoughts will now have more ammunition for dealing with people of different life styles.


No.

Laughter has been used throughout history to remove fear. It's stupid to say that because a few people see the act as a confirmation of their beliefs and gives them more ammunition, that the vast majority who are laughing at the absurdity of attempting to stereotype people should have that opportunity taken from them.

Phact0rri wrote:No matter puppet. No matter 'just a joke'. Its the reason I don't like redneck humour, or fat people laughing at themselves. Its degrading and its gives people reason to laugh at someone who they are simply for being themselves.


This isn't any kind of humor depreciating a group. He's not saying, "Laugh at Achmed Laugh at Muslims" he's saying, "Laugh at Achmed, laugh at terrorism." Not, "Laugh at the Jalipeno on a stick, laugh at horny lazy Mexicans" but "Laugh at the absurdity of stereotyping mexicans as horny and lazy."

Phact0rri wrote:Its making money on hate, plain and simple. I know I'm a little extreme about this sort of thing, and those who disagree are welcomed to laugh. but to say he doesn't believe it, doesn't matter.


The barest of technicalities. True - without hatrid, he'd have no act. But, the same is true of a tour of the courthouse where the Salem witch trials were held. It makes it's money on the back of religious intolerance. None the less, the tour goes on because there are only a very, very few people who'd take it and revel in the event the tour is about.

Very, very few people who see his act go to see it because it affirms their beliefs that mexicans are horny and lazy, muslims are terrorists, etcetera.

This is just a false arguement.
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Bustertheclown on Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:45 am

I agree with Kolter that humor is a powerful tool for addressing and diffusing social issues, and I'd hate to sanctify anything to an extent that we can't make jokes about it.

I disagree with Kolter's assertion that fans of Dunham's work because he affirms their beliefs are in the minority. This could be a problem of location. Based on my personal experience with how people repeat his jokes where I live, I'd have to say that folks who enjoy this sort of comedy on a more literal level than you do are not as uncommon as you seem to think.

As to the rest, eh, I'm done. This thread has succeeded in making Jeff Dunham completely unfunny to me.
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Rkolter on Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:57 am

Bustertheclown wrote:I disagree with Kolter's assertion that fans of Dunham's work because he affirms their beliefs are in the minority. This could be a problem of location. Based on my personal experience with how people repeat his jokes where I live, I'd have to say that folks who enjoy this sort of comedy on a more literal level than you do are not as uncommon as you seem to think.


Not looking to frustrate you (or you Phact0rri). I've never seen what you're describing, and was pretty surprised, because I would have thought of all the people who might listen to him, racists would be the most upset at Durham because he's basically poking fun at what they believe.

Then again, I've only seen him on Cable. The people I've met who like him all seem the reasonable sort. It must be a regional thing, like you say.

I'd have figured if some guy jumped up and tried to say something racist as a heckle or agreement or something, he'd have the dolls lay into the heckler. I can imagine Walter saying, "You're a special kind of idiot, ain't'cha?" :)
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Phact0rri on Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:51 pm

How do you separate stereotypes from actual people? Thats like saying oh I'm not making fun of you personally... just the generalization of your race. whats the difference between THIS and black face?

I think what he's doing is more of social commentary. Whites are in a position where they can't make fun of race anymore without being labeled racist. Straight men can't make fun of gender lifestyles without being considered sexist or homophobe. So if you play the straight man why caricatures do the making fun... its A-OK.

NOT

OFFENSIVE

AT ALL


EDIT: added youtube videos.
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Rkolter on Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:27 am

See, now you're moving from a theoretical arguement about if he's stereotyping or not to a question about what is subjectively offensive.

Everything is offensive to someone; you have no right to not be offended; you do have the right to simply not watch.

I found the 'deaf audience' sketch to be one of his funnier sketches. C'mon. You don't see the humor in sending a bunch of deaf people to watch a VENTRILOQUIST? Or at least, the potential humor just based on the absurdity of the situation?
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Phact0rri on Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:05 pm

Rkolter wrote:See, now you're moving from a theoretical arguement about if he's stereotyping or not to a question about what is subjectively offensive.

I thought it was obvious he was stereotyping. The conversation seemed to be more about if he believed in what he was saying, and if he meant to insult people, or if he was making jokes for these groups of people.

Rkolter wrote:Everything is offensive to someone; you have no right to not be offended; you do have the right to simply not watch.

I also have the right to say its not funny. And you can say "yes it is". and we both have the right to disagree.

I do feel it's important to voice such social issues, and try to understand others takes on the situation. I am more concerned in how one can not view it the way I see it. Perhaps I'm close minded about this sort of thing, I'll freely admit, I do contain flaw in character that can prevent me from seeing everything with an unbiased mind.

That being said I don't see this as much of an argument. If I have caused one it was not my intention. I only was to bring up counter points on how I view what I saw on youtube, to see if I could come to an understanding of a point of view regarding its harmless nature.

There were some clips I saw that were harmless. There was one about Melvin the Super hero that was cute. What I saw of Ahmed the Dead Terrorist was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Kind of boring though I didn't watch the whole segiment, but the way the Puppet moved his eyes and head was funny. There was also the old man Walter, which had some cute moments early in the man's career... of course the late pieces with the character I can't say I found overly humerous, but it was not horrible (even with my stance on the elderly) But unfortunately in my own point of view the Xenophobic pieces-- the ones I felt were sending a message of intolerance and could spread hate-- seemed to out weigh the ones that were funny and cute.

But again thats just my opinon, on the matter. But I did go out of my way to watch some so that I could better facilitate my point of view. BTW I should appologize for the directness of my last post, it probably could have been worded a lot more tenderly.
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby McDuffies on Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:37 pm

Phact0rri wrote:Why is this even an argument? Everyone has agreed he says things that is bigotry in nature. So what if he doesn't agree with it? Many people do. They follow the stereotypes have preconceived notions of people. They watch and laugh, at the stereotypes, and the ignorant ones blanket these things as people, as race.


I consider it a great difference in the fact that the dolls are the ones that are saying bigotry. He is an actor, and dolls are his roles. Actor does not neccesarily condone what his character says, and what characters say is not neccesarily an overall message. I claim that most of his act is ironic, so the message is actually the oposite. Of course, as actor, his job is also to make character he's playing look believeable.
Saying "So what if he doesn't agree with it" means denying any importance to the context in which something is said.

To say its harmless is to say that, this is just comedy and these are just silly stereotypes. I know plenty of people who think these things do characterize an entire race. And people unfamilar with these thoughts will now have more ammunition for dealing with people of different life styles.

Nothing is ever 100% harmless. If love-love-love-Beatles aren't safe from being interpreted as racial message and call to mass murdering, than I don't think that any art in the world is safe from wrong interpretations. You can't blame an artist for all possible interpretations that can come out of his work.
This specially goes for irony. Irony has the characteristics that it sometimes flies over the head of "some" people. To insist on socially charged art that can't be interpreted in negative way means to ban irony alltogether, because there'll always be people who will miss the ironic tone and read it literally.
Then there's also issue of audience projecting themselves. Person who is a racist is more likely to spot racial message in Dunham's act simply because he wants people around him to agree with him. This does not mean that Dunham made him a racist or reinforced his racist opinion, and if he does find fodder in Dunham's act, who cares, if he didn't, he's find it elsewhere because he's actively looking for it.

Phact0rri wrote:How do you separate stereotypes from actual people? Thats like saying oh I'm not making fun of you personally... just the generalization of your race. whats the difference between THIS and black face?

Wow, let's go back a bit: a, blackface was practice that allowed entertainment to deal with black race without having to hire black actors, and there's no such intention here. B, blackface stereotype was portraying black race in mostly negative light, as dumb, uneducated thieves inferior to white people; In this act, black person is actually likeable and is obviously superior to the white straight man, who is the butt of his jokes. Daddy D's stereotype is not nearly as malicious as blackface stereotype, and by the way it is not adressed to entire black race, only to one aspect of it's culture.
Daddy D is just too common a stereotype, it's being spread the most by black entertainers, actually, every black performer from Prior to Chris Tucker has a routine similar to this. The stereotype is so common that it's rendered harmless. Part of blackface's context was belief that white people don't know much about blacks, are undereducated and slow, and that you'd be able to convince them that black people really are similar to blackface. Daddy D act exists in time when people are more sophisticated and versed media-wise, and relies on belief that in today's time, noone would be able to take that stereotype seriously. And that also goes for mexican stereotypes and Jose.
A lot of difference, actually.

I think what he's doing is more of social commentary. Whites are in a position where they can't make fun of race anymore without being labeled racist. Straight men can't make fun of gender lifestyles without being considered sexist or homophobe. So if you play the straight man why caricatures do the making fun... its A-OK.

If the character is caricature, his opinion is to be taken as a caricature too.


"Comedy equals tragedy plus time." Woody Allen, I believe.
Sure, some of those sketches are offensive. But take away everything that is potentially offensive from comedy and you take it's edge, you take the ability of comedy to deal with more serious topic, what you'll get is basically Garfield.
I personally believe that any topic can be a subject of comedy, provided that the comedian finds an angle in which it is funny (for some subjects this is harder, though). Actually, most of comedy that isn't risque in any way, I find bland, childish and unintelectual. Some of best comedy in the world is offensive, or was offensive at the time it's made, but did it's part in rendering the topic harmless. Great part of it is in what Rkolter said about comedy helping people deal with otherwise much more difficult subjects.
If we can blame Dunham for something, it's that he doesn't often have particular stance on subjects, doesn't have a point of wiev. Problem with Achmed the Dead Terrorist is not that it's political - it's that it's not political enough. Although I think that the very fact that he's making fun of war on terror and actually giving a human face to a character who is a tettotist, may give a little help in defusing a difficult topic.

You'll recall the story of my friend who got hate-mail for making fun of Titanic (he was actually making fun of the film, but if we follow your logic from first paragraphs, then it's practically the same as making fun of disaster itself). Now if comedy based on tragedy that happened so long time ago still can offend someone (who's btw not related to that tragedy in any way) then I can't think of any possible subject that wouldn't be offensive to someone. I personally think that making artists walk on eggshels for fear of offending someone would be a real tragedy, and if there are subjects that are traditionally avoided (like the ones here), then the best comedy can be made by actually going for it and stepping on an eggshell.

There were some clips I saw that were harmless. There was one about Melvin the Super hero that was cute.

Melvin was in some parts potentially offensive for women, particularly in places where he's using his x-ray vision to see through their clothes. :P

What I saw of Ahmed the Dead Terrorist was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Kind of boring though I didn't watch the whole segiment, but the way the Puppet moved his eyes and head was funny. There was also the old man Walter, which had some cute moments early in the man's career... of course the late pieces with the character I can't say I found overly humerous, but it was not horrible (even with my stance on the elderly) But unfortunately in my own point of view the Xenophobic pieces-- the ones I felt were sending a message of intolerance and could spread hate-- seemed to out weigh the ones that were funny and cute.

But there is his ventriloquist skills, the wonderful way in which he animated his dolls, his timing and delivery, his improvisational skills, a good deal of fairly safe humor, the fact that the most often subjects of his jokes are his audience and himself, and a lot of other things that can be appreciated, and being that I think that his act does not carry an outward xenophobic/racist message, I believe that good elements of his act outweight parts which are insensitive and crude. I strondly disagree that his act is sending a message of intolerance and hatred - it could, but only to people who are going out of their way to find it.

I disagree with Kolter's assertion that fans of Dunham's work because he affirms their beliefs are in the minority. This could be a problem of location. Based on my personal experience with how people repeat his jokes where I live, I'd have to say that folks who enjoy this sort of comedy on a more literal level than you do are not as uncommon as you seem to think.

I have seen this in some reaction shots in his films. I don't know if this is a prevailing audience or not. If further in his career he molds his act to get closer to his audience, then maybe we'll be able to blame him for this audience's interpretation. After all, he's got a character of muslim terrorist, and an act of American redneck, two polar oposites of political spectrum.

As to the rest, eh, I'm done. This thread has succeeded in making Jeff Dunham completely unfunny to me.

If his act was funny to you before, what does this arguement change about it?
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Julesville on Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:13 pm

Whoa what has this thread turned into?

Anyway, I remembered that Zach Galifianakis is gonna be in this... THING...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RxSMuodbmg
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:51 pm

Julesville wrote:Whoa what has this thread turned into?

Anyway, I remembered that Zach Galifianakis is gonna be in this... THING...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RxSMuodbmg


Ahahahha. Saw the preview for that when I went to see Up. Always gotta laugh when I see commercials for movies like that, because I can imagine kids going to see it and ending up with Old Kid syndrome- you watch the movie at seven years old, it's the best thing ever, because you're a kid and you're easily impressed. Then you come across it on TV ten years later- "Oh boy, this was great!" Sit down, you watch five minutes of it... and then you apologize to your mom for ever making her take you to see it in theaters.
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Killbert-Robby on Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:12 pm

For my quick 2 cents, I understand that Dunham is funny to some, and I myself care very little for political correctness, and I'm not the kind of guy who says "I HATE YOU CAUSE YOU RACIST". But these puppets are written, designed and voiced by Dunham. This "He's putting the words in the puppet's mouths, its cool, its not racist" thing doesn't fly with me. If I went on stage and, without the puppets, started acting as "characters" that were as stereotypical as his, I'd be dragged off stage and lynched by a mob. But its exactly the same thing. Except I don't have a clearly stereotypical puppet on my hand. No matter what way you cut it, there are racist undertones, there HAVE to be, that's the whole point of his act. Without stereotypes, he'd have literally nothing to build his career on. Racism is an integral part of his act, and without racism, nobody would ever have heard of the guy. To some that's offensive. To some it isn't. And neither side is going to flip flop on the other. Everyone has different thresholds for political correctness, everyone has different senses of humor.
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Risky on Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:42 pm

Killbert-Robby wrote:For my quick 2 cents, I understand that Dunham is funny to some, and I myself care very little for political correctness, and I'm not the kind of guy who says "I HATE YOU CAUSE YOU RACIST". But these puppets are written, designed and voiced by Dunham. This "He's putting the words in the puppet's mouths, its cool, its not racist" thing doesn't fly with me. If I went on stage and, without the puppets, started acting as "characters" that were as stereotypical as his, I'd be dragged off stage and lynched by a mob. But its exactly the same thing. Except I don't have a clearly stereotypical puppet on my hand. No matter what way you cut it, there are racist undertones, there HAVE to be, that's the whole point of his act. Without stereotypes, he'd have literally nothing to build his career on. Racism is an integral part of his act, and without racism, nobody would ever have heard of the guy. To some that's offensive. To some it isn't. And neither side is going to flip flop on the other. Everyone has different thresholds for political correctness, everyone has different senses of humor.


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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby McDuffies on Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:46 am

Anything is a good excuse to make anomals talk, eh? Well, at least they stopped making babies talk.
Oh wait... Son of the Mask...
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Killbert-Robby on Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:19 am

Here, for the sake of argument, some REAL comedy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPXOAyzF_88
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Risky on Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:22 am

McDuffies wrote:Anything is a good excuse to make anomals talk, eh? Well, at least they stopped making babies talk.
Oh wait... Son of the Mask...

There're also commercials featuring talking babies, I think E*Trade is the company.
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Bustertheclown on Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:53 pm

McDuffies wrote:If his act was funny to you before, what does this arguement change about it?


His stuff was only marginally funny to me to begin with. On the whole, I'm not into his brand of humor.
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Ztreyc on Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:59 pm

BACON!!!!!!
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Ahaugen on Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:44 pm

Ztreyc wrote:BACON!!!!!!


Chewy! Yummy! Smoky! BACON!!!!!!
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Killbert-Robby on Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:59 pm

The Hangover was HILARIOUS
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Rkolter on Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:05 am

Killbert-Robby wrote:The Hangover was HILARIOUS


quoted for truth.
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Re: Zach Galifianakis is funny?

Postby Killbert-Robby on Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:32 am

Rkolter wrote:
Killbert-Robby wrote:The Hangover was HILARIOUS


quoted for truth.


I didn't like Galifianakis before the movie. But I think he was really awesome in it.
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