Mamo #294: Everybody Into the Pool

Bonus Mamo! We sail into your eardrums three days shy of the 85th annual Academy Awards to give you the lowdown on who’s gonna win what, and prep you up for Sunday’s Mamo Oscar night.

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo294.mp3

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Sean Kelly
Guest

Even though you picked it randomly, as someone who HAS seen all the live action shorts, I think you were wise in picking CURFEW.

Goon
Guest

Slight rant incoming, Beale-esque finger wagging that nobody likes but I wanna get out there for hopefully some discussion. Thankfully I don’t believe anything I’m gonna say applies to anyone on R3.

That Oscar telecast was pretty brutal. I am not one of those who thinks so because of Seth. He did about as well as I thought he would, he’s a smiler old-school guy mixed with an unsophisticated broad edginess that goes after everyone. A bit Rickles, a bit Gervais, a bit Hope, a bit Rat Pack. Perhaps heresy to include those names but that’s his DNA to me more or less.

I don’t feel bad for him that most of my Twitter feed shat all over him. It’s also what I expected, and humor is subjective, blah blah whatever. The feed was much nastier in general than the Globes was and I have to think that Seth’s own smug nastiness helps fuel more of it in response.

That said, the snarkfest on Twitter tonight, I OD’d reading it, and ended up unfollowing dozens of people because of it, who were hating on Seth. Not because they were hating on Seth, but because of the context of their hate.

Yknow, once in a while a conservative puts up some laughable “Liberals are the real sexists, racists and homophobes!” diatribe, but tonight I as a borderline OWS socialist was feeling some liberal self-hate. Twitter felt like a Portlandia sketch. I think a lot of liberals can’t own up to their own warped sense of humor when an unsophisticated version of it like Seth’s is tossed back in their faces. I saw a lot of self-righteous hand wringing at the TOPICS that Seth would dare say on stage. The topics themselves, let alone the jokes he made and their success rate.

I saw people furious at his Jodie Foster joke, calling Seth a homophobe, who were making fun of Jodie during the Golden Globes.

I saw people aghast at his Zero Dark Thirty/women joke, who were attacking various women’s bodies and faces all night.

I saw people even angry at his religion joke, who called him a bully, who have been clamoring for Book of Mormon tickets.

At some point he made a fat joke that I missed, and people who make Rob Ford fat jokes were mad too.

And the criss cross of such too. A local comic for example, said he wanted to rip out Seth’s throat for his gay jokes, but made jokes about Adele looking like she might eat Kristen Chenowith on the red carpet.

In general everyone on Twitter during this award show seemed to want to attack every moment with impunity in as nasty a language as they could muster while at the same time remain shocked and appalled at the decorum of their comparatively tame host.

Maybe it’s something about Seth that draws out this obvious hypocrisy. It’s not even new. Remember the Clerks Animated Series? Kevin Smith was attacking Seth BY NAME on that show before Seth was even famous or successful for making lowbrow gay jokes.

Kevin Smith.

And Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who are and have always been far more mean spirited with their own brand of racial, gender based, celebrity attacking, and politcal humor, had two episodes attacking Seth on grounds that South Park is equally guilty of.

I’m just gonna raise my hand here and say that I laugh at race, gender and gay jokes. Frequently. Not all the time, things like performance, context, ones own sense of mean spiritedness, and so many other factors make a difference. Sometimes they are unsophisticated. Someone like Seth is hit or miss with me. But as much as I hate to appeal to authority, some of the masters of the craft such as Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, and Steve Martin were on the front lines tonight patting Seth on the back while everyone else hated for their various reasons.

But this happens every year, the Oscar host gets shit on for one reason or another. I mean so very recently people were shocked at the safest of the safe Billy Crystal and the blackface act he’d been doing for decades. I felt like the jokes this show was no more nasty than a typical Weekend Update. I’ve seen nastier stuff at the Correspondents Dinner. But some people were acting like this was Anthony Jeselnik or Jeff Ross at a Comedy Central Roast. Please. Suddenly all the people on Twitter attacking the Oscars as being stupid are upset that a CGI bear is handing out an award, or that a song and dance number about film nudity or losing awards lacked class.

Tina Fey/Amy Poehler is as close as its going to get for acceptable hosts it seems. Everyone wants the hosts to be classy, edgy, legitimately funny, but playing completely to the room/getting laughs from the targets themselves. In reality you only get to pick a few of that checklist. I think Seth, like Chris Rock, John Stewart, Letterman and may other ‘failed’ hosts before him, did about as well as this thankless job as one can expect, and their ‘failed’ performances still managed to be more interesting than around 95% of the rest of show.

Sean Kelly
Guest

I’m personally a bit glad that my phone died early in the night (even though there were tweets shown on the Bloor Cinema’s screen during the commercial breaks).

Goon
Guest

It was weird for me being in a room filled with women and gay people who were laughing throughout the monologue – much much harder than I was – while reading the tweets about how offensive it all was to women and gay people.

rot
Guest

they were offensive to comedy

Matthew Fabb
Guest

I just caught the end of the Oscars and I still haven’t seen any of the highlight reals but a lot of the complaints I saw online wasn’t that he was offensive that just wasn’t funny. I found his lack of intro for Glenn Close to be amusing and saw a number of people comment that it was the first really funny bit that Seth MacFarlane had delivered all night.

Comedy to such a wide audience as you are never going to please everyone. What is funny to some isn’t to others and Oscars with it’s huge multi-million audience is going to fall flat with some people. That said, it seems MacFarlane was falling flat more than most. However, I personally found David Letterman funny when he hosted the Oscars but he still bombed to most.

Goon
Guest

Haters gonna hate.

but that goes across the board with this show. Bjork’s dress is one of the all-time biggest Oscar jokes, but I thought it was awesome and still think it was awesome.

All these people in their dresses and tuxes that everyone shits on look better than I’ll ever look in anything.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

My point wasn’t quite that “haters gonna hate” but that you never get an audience of 40 million Americans and how ever many they got from the rest of the world to agree on what is funny. Comedy is just too subjective and the audience of the Oscars is just too big for everyone to agree. You could get the most popular comedian in the world (not sure who fits the bill at this moment in time) doing stand-up of their best bits and you will still have some people who think it is horrible.

I also thought the Bjork dress was completely awesome, but that’s just me.

Sean Kelly
Guest

Do you mean “lack of intro for Meryl Streep?”

Matthew Fabb
Guest

LOL! Yeah, Sean Kelly my bad. Meryl Streep not Glenn Close.

Kurt
Guest

That “Here is a person that needs no introduction” is the oldest saw in the toastmaster handbook.

Andrew James
Admin

This is a great comment on R3 – and fairly well thought out. Most of the hate I saw (granted I didn’t follow it much on Twitter – mostly just here on R3), and there was a lot of it here, was simply because they didn’t think it was funny. Not because it was in “poor taste” or offensive. That said, The vitriol was actually starting to piss me off since it seemed like such forced hatred. Just looking for anything to rip on. The Shatner bit with “what will go wrong in the future – and then they re-enact it was pretty great I thought. A clever way to do stupid shit but through a time traveller intervention it didn’t actually happen. The boobs song was fun. Fuck the haters that thought it was stupid and then commented on low cut dresses all night.

I thought MacFarlane was one of the better hosts we’ve had in recent memory. Classic and charming with just a bit of edge.

But you nailed it, mostly it’s just trendy to rip on the Oscar host for anything easy enough to sink your teeth into.

Kurt
Guest

Clearly I was watching a different show. I wasn’t offended by the content of McFarlane’s monologue. I was offended that it was badly written, unfunny, and felt desparate. Despite his smiles, he looked like a deer in headlights. Yes he was more engaged than James Franco, but the net result wasn’t any better.

Goon
Guest

I saw no deer in headlights.

Seth performed more like the Dennis Miller Weekend Updates from before he went full bore douche, playing it all off like he was having fun and didn’t give a fuck if things were succeeding or not with the crowd.

Unlike Gervais’ hosting, which as much as I enjoy him shitting all over the HFPA, carried with itself a whole mess of self-satisfaction.

Give Seth this: He’s been doing this schtick so long and has hit so many targets that at this point, he really has no axe to grind. I think a lot of people try to ascribe some agenda to him that just isn’t there. He makes fun of everyone and has his own political slant, but he’s not all that serious about anything, including himself.

I think the fact that he is self-deprecating through the whole night was driving some people crazy. When people want to pile on and shit all over something, they don’t like it when the target is laughing and joining them.

rot
Guest

my favorite host was Chris Rock because he diverted from the pleasant middle of comedy that these shows insist upon. Seth was telling all the redneck jokes, hitting all the diversity buttons, but they were not inventive, or daring, or provocative, and so it felt like he was neutered, and nothing is worse than that. Some of his jokes were decent (I liked the Boobs song, mostly for the Kate Winslet dig), but his batting average was low.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Very. Very. Low.

rot
Guest

Also Goon, Rhianna, Mel Gibson jokes, Jack Nicholson’s party, Clooney dating younger women, is this cutting edge?

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

And every one of those jokes fell flat, and rightly so.

Goon
Guest

Again, people watch these hosts with the expectations that they

A) are edgy
B) are classy
C) are funny
D) play well to the room/don’t bomb

You only get to pick a few of those. Fey/Poehler is as close as it ever got, and I will dare play the gender card and say some of the stuff they were saying plays better because they are sassy ladies. You know, the comedy rule of jokes being funnier if you are hitting more powerful targets. When it’s a white guy like Seth it can read more often like bullying. There are Fey/Poehler jokes that even divorced of Fey and Poehler’s superior talent, would totally bomb out of Seth’s mouth with the same crowd.

BTW, there’s also the Onion tweet of the night which has caused uproar:

Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right? #Oscars2013
— The Onion (@TheOnion) February 25, 2013

Maybe I’m sick but I thought that tweet was hilarious, and a pretty quick deconstruction of the way everyone shits all over everyone’s appearances and earnest emotions all night. A lot of people in my feed were absolutely vicious to Anne Hathaway in such a way that I feel they should be ashamed of themselves.

Goon
Guest

“Also Goon, Rhianna, Mel Gibson jokes, Jack Nicholson’s party, Clooney dating younger women, is this cutting edge?”

If you read my comments above you’d see I already said this show was not much different to me than a typical Weekend Update… which would traffic in pretty much the same material.

Don’t put me in some box where I’m pushing Seth’s material as fantastic, rewatchable, blah blah blah blah anything. All I’ve been saying is that I find some of the criticism of his material has been intellectually dishonest, skewed by prejudgement, or skewed by the act of putting everything under a microscope as it is happening. I think the act was overall somewhere in the middle of the pack regarding the last 10-15 years of hosts, and in comparison to the vast majority of this dreadful telecast was solid.

I’ve watched Justin Bieber host SNL. Thus telling me that Seth was the worst thing that ever happened just is not going to fly with me.

I’ll go on the record though that Seth’s SNL hosting job was very very good.

rot
Guest

I need to rewatch the Chris Rock monologue, I remember it being hilarious. I think the Academy would prefer classy, but audiences would prefer edgy, particularly younger audiences that this is supposed to be appealing to. We saw the depths of boring that classy is with the last Billy Crystal schtick.

Matt Gamble
Guest

The big issue with Seth was that the jokes were incredibly safe, and pretty much designed for him to deflate them if they didn’t play well. All to often the punch line was a setup for the true joke, and those just didn’t hit often enough for the bit to work. The biggest backfire was the Clooney joke, which was pretty solid, but then he deflated it by offering him alcohol, only to have Clooney steal the joke out from under him.

On top of that the jokes were consistently juvenile and the running theme of ripping on women made it pretty obvious the writers had no idea who the crowd was they were playing to and were just aiming wildly. If he’d been playing it up as satire it might have been pretty ingenious, but instead he just sort of got left on an island time and again.

My big issue for the night though was the show production which was a fucking mess and a tonal shit storm. The scripted banter was uniformly terrible, the jokes never hit frequently enough, playing people off was overly aggressive and going from an opening song about the joy of female nudity to ending with the FLOTUS speaking about the importance of art was truly fucking bizarre.

Goon
Guest

If I had to make a vote, I would not go to the ‘edgy’ well. I would go with more Hugh Jackmans, play up the showbiz angle and just live with the safe humor. I think George Clooney would be an ideal host. They need to recruit from within more often.

If I want edgy humor, I don’t feel the need to turn to an award show to see it. I don’t feel bad for any celeb being skewered but at the end of the day I think there’s a psychological connection people make when material bombs in a room, even if the material is not bad or even good.

Everyone here has lent something they thought was funny to someone, or sat in a room watching a comedy with someone that they recommended, and watched it fail. That feeling is excruciating, and you start to second guess if its funny to you as well. I remember having this experience with Steve Coogan, Mighty Boosh, Stewart Lee… I remember listening to Bill Hicks in the car with my dad and squirming.

it feels like the home audience is literally begging to be put in that situation, and then blaming the poor soul they put in that position when the obvious outcome happens.

Goon
Guest

Matt: The most brutal moment of the night was Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy. Pretty much every presenter was asleep at the wheel.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Yeah, that one was particularly awful.

I think Tom Hanks would make for a great host. Guy has actual comedy chops, is pretty willing to do almost anything, and is well liked enough that he can get away with almost anything.

Goon
Guest

I’d also nominate John Goodman.

That would be SWEEEEEET.

Andrew James
Admin

Yes. This.

Sean Kelly
Guest

If anyone looked like a deer in headlights, it was Jennifer Lawrence

rot
Guest

found excerpt of Chris Rock monologue, if anyone can find whole one let me know:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84vNckeVvo4

In 4 minutes Chris Rock has energy and actual jokes that work, and no need to resort to meta to get it done.

Goon
Guest

Just saying, that even Chris Rock took a critical drubbing for his Oscars performance, and had a lot of Hollywood people furious at him before show for comments he was making about the show being a fashion show that only gay people watched.

I thought he was fine, I don’t remember much of the show, I remember bits he did outside asking people about movies, but he’s still just another Oscar host everyone shat on.

rot
Guest

being an Oscar host is the equivalent to being Kristen Stewart on any given day.

haters gonna hate, just saying from one perspective, Chris Rock delivered the goods.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Yeah, I think the last host who was well reviewed was Steve Martin, primarily because he turned the standard rip on Hollywood elite joke into a running gag about how much of an egotistical asshole he was.

rot
Guest

actually listening to Steven Martin’s solo monologue again and it is great, self-effacing and safe, but if there is a bar for that kind of comedy, I think he hits it.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Maybe Oscar Monologues get better with age. Or maybe the show should keep hiring stand-up comedians.

rot
Guest

I am listening to all available, let me say The James Franco and Whoopi ones have certainly not aged well.

Andrew James
Admin

I remember people really ripping on Ellen DeGeneres. Since I really like and admire Ellen now, I’d like to go back and watch that one and see if people were just being assholes.

Goon
Guest

I remember liking the Ellen year. It had some “booty slap” stuff and vacuuming and was generally good natured and nice.

I have no problem with safe humor. It’s all about the performance, and I thought Ellen did just fine.

rot
Guest

Listened to almost all of the monologue speeches the Oscars youtube channel has kept. It is incredible how many times Billy Crystal uses variations of the so many new faces/cosmetic surgery joke over the years.

Steve Martin and Chris Rock are my favorite.

Goon
Guest

For whatever little its worth, a general survey in my office was interesting.

I work in an office of around 30 people. I am one of 3, just 3, dudes who work here.

In the lunch room, the 2 other dudes who work here hated the show. Hated the songs, hated Seth Macfarlane, would not give an inch on anything. The women here, ranging around 25-42 though, UNANIMOUSLY loved Seth MacFarlane. I don’t think any of them are exactly movie buffs or have seen or heard of half the nominees. They were also though, very catty and doing the Joan Rivers thing of attacking everyones dresses, particularly Anne Hathaway’s nipples or whatever. So yeah. Just one sampling, but something to keep in mind before you get forwarded another “15 sexist things Seth should apologize for” article. Twitter and the Internet do not reflect the general public no matter how much we think they do. There’s a lot of people watching these for completely different reasons and are getting out of it exactly what the network hopes they would.

Andrew James
Admin

It seems most of the reviews (and even Twitter-verse) are rather positive and/or back-peddling on their MacFarlane hate.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I only pedal forward.

rot
Guest

and the evidence has been destroyed, nobody knows what Kurt said during the Oscars, completely sober.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Yup. As promised before the night. The evidence is always destroyed. Apologies to those in the Chatroom at about the 3/4 mark, when we overloaded it with 100, and it crashed never to recover, thus leaving somewhat of a record as I switched over to TWITTER for the last quarter. I toned it down there though. Will Power.

rot
Guest

also, one thing I noticed is Seth didn’t do any on the fly commenting on the proceedings, past hosts that was some of the best material… like Jon Stewart: “for those keeping oscar score, 3 6 Mafia: 1 ; Martin Scorsese: 0” there was also a hard out there for a pimp joke too I remember that worked.

rot
Guest

actually here is a whole channel of oscar monologues, going to do some hard research now.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4F1BF1011D06D12A

Goon
Guest

media hypocrisy continued.

So Huffington Post put up a few anti-Seth “sexism is a problem!” articles that had as usual, the third rail of HuffPo dedicated to nipslips, bikini pictures, and fashion crimes

Meanwhile this came my way and I find it and the comments section pretty disgusting. It’s kind of hard to take people complaining about some jokes too seriously when this is the kind of shit you see everywhere:

http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/why-people-hate-anne-hathaway-211800917.html

Andrew James
Admin

Yeah whatever. People are entitled to their opinion about whoever they want to have an opinion about. There are actors and actresses that grate on me for inexplicable reasons. But to claim that a monkey could do the Les Mis song and it would have the same impact because the music is what is emotional is 100% trolling – or the accuser doesn’t understand what a performance is.

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