Does Hotness Diminish Humor? Cont.

[Chris Bodenner]

Susan Silver, a TV writer whose credits include The Mary Tyler Moore Show, asked Hawn a question about ageism at the Aspen talk (and Eisner chimed in with an odd response at the 2:50 mark):

Susan emails her take on our discussion thus far:

As the former Casting Director of Laugh-In, I was so happy to see Goldie again.  And I had worked for Michael a few times.  I was surprised more at the answer he gave to my question about ageism, particularly towards women in the business.  He sort of side-stepped it, saying something like “When we were young we had success …” The way I took it, he implied that now it was others’ chance. Huh?

Ageism is the new sexism. A few years ago, we members of the Writer’s Guild who were affected got a very nice financial settlement and acknowledgement that studios and agencies were ageist.  So I’m not sure what Michael meant as far as beautiful women not being funny; we know that is not true.

Oh well, Goldie was great and is involved in a very important project with education and children’s brains.

More on that project here.


Does Hotness Diminish Humor? Cont.

[Chris Bodenner]

Eisner emails a response to Spencer’s piece:

In the context of a public conversation with Goldie Hawn in which I was complimenting her on being both beautiful and funny, I said such a combination is hard to come by in Hollywood. I certainly did not say Goldie was the only one. My point was simply that Goldie, unlike many, has not been defined exclusively as one or the other.

But the outrage is already spreading far and wide. On Twitter, Hollywood producer Megan Ellison and comedic actresses Mindy Kaling and Elizabeth Banks slammed Eisner’s remarks. Cable news programs “Fox & Friends” and “The Ed Show” brought on panelists of female comedians to scrutinize the subject. Kathy Griffin commented at length:

Influencers and decision-makers who share the views that Eisner was stupid enough to say out loud actually decide whether or not I work, my career and sometimes my personal fate. People who share his views, and all the other men who think the things about women that he is expressing verbally, should simply be subjected to a panel of women — women of my choosing — who decide his career fate and legacy based on his physical appearance.

The panel might include Amy Schumer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Patricia Arquette:

Schumer, by the way, recently made a whole episode, “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer,” parodying the way men sometimes judge the beauty of female comedians. (Watch one of the brilliant scenes here.) Eisner’s comments also got a lot of scrutiny this week from writers such as Ann Friedman, Amanda Marcotte, and Catherine Rampell. The latter had the strongest original point: Continue reading

Does Hotness Diminish Humor?

[Chris Bodenner]

Yesterday in Aspen, Michael Eisner stirred up controversy during his conversation with Goldie Hawn. Spencer was there:

“From my position, the hardest artist to find is a beautiful, funny woman,” [Eisner] said. “By far. They usually—boy am I going to get in trouble, I know this goes online—but usually, unbelievably beautiful women, you [Goldie Hawn] being an exception, are not funny. […] In the history of the motion-picture business, the number of beautiful, really beautiful women—a Lucille Ball—that are funny, is impossible to find.

You can listen to the full context of those remarks above. Reader Duncan Tweedy doesn’t understand why people are getting so offended:

I don’t think Eisner should be excoriated for this comment. He wasn’t saying women aren’t funny, which is a stupid and indefensible argument. He was merely noticing that “unbelievable” physical beauty makes being a successful female comedian much more difficult. I think there’s plenty of evidence for this. Continue reading

Internet Thing: #DeadRaccoonTO

From a tweet-by-tweet timeline by Craig Silverman covering the big story out of Canada yesterday:

Continue reading

The Hippies Are Dead, Long Live Organic Food


[Chris Bodenner]

Jennie has up a great ’60s retrospective of the hippie culture in San Francisco through the eyes of her mother’s cousin, photographer Joe Samberg, who provides many incredible photos and memories from the time. A key takeaway:

“That was my problem with the whole [hippie movement],” says Joe. “There’s no growth for people if they’re continuously on drugs. It started out with all this higher thinking—expanding your mind to become more conscious of what’s really going on in the universe. But once the drugs took over, all of those big ideas disappeared.”

Commenter Guest isn’t having it:

I think this analysis is pretty superficial. I lived in San Francisco in 1969. I belonged to a hippie family that was not into hard drugs. We were a combination of college grads and working-class dropouts. We smoked grass. And were politically involved with consciousness raising around sex identity, race and class issues. I also had my own fabulous times going to the Fillmore West and other venues to catch the Dead, Santana, the Airplane and many more before they became so famous. Eventually some family members and I moved to Oregon.

I am really tired of crap about how hippies didn’t change anything. Just to mention a few things that hippies were involved in or leaders of: Continue reading

Happy Trails: “Back to the Future”

[David Sims]

Strip away the time-travel facade and Back to the Future is a fun, zany small-town comedy, with its nastiest villain a high school bully and its biggest triumph a kiss between his two victims. Director Robert Zemeckis seized upon the concept of Marty McFly’s DeLorean trip to 1955 while looking through his parents’ basement and stumbling upon relics from their graduating class. He pitched the idea to Steven Spielberg, who agreed to produce the project.

The strength of the movie is that its most fantastical element is rendered as something any audience member could imagine: the bizarre and frightening experience of meeting your parents as their teenaged selves. Compared to the current era of summer movies, so focused on omnipotent superheroes doing battle on a planetary scale, that simplicity feels revolutionary.

The movie got mostly positive reviews upon its release, but a few critics panned it: Continue reading

Internet Thing: The Resonant Frequency of Googly Eyes

[Rob Meyer]

Every object has a resonant frequency, a pitch that makes it jitter up and down and echo. Resonant frequencies aren’t limited to acoustics, either: Objects can have mechanical or electromagnetic resonance, too. Where there are waves, there is resonance. Which is one reason I like this video so much:

Googly eyes, it turns out, can have resonance too. In the video, someone locates that resonance at around 433 Hz. The eyes go crazy. A frequency of 433 Hz is a flat A-natural in the middle of the piano. It’s also very near the “A” used by older composers like Mozart and Verdi, who turned their A to 432 Hz.

One thing that interests me, though, is that the resonant googly eyes don’t google. They just dance.

Besides, if they wanted to google, they’d need a keyboard, a computer, and a web connection. And fingers to type. Nyuk nyuk.