Saturday, August 23, 2008

Speaking of that interview...

...apparently the results hold up over time. In an interview with Danna Young of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, we discovered something about the smarts of people watching the likes of The Daily Show. (Actually, we discovered many things, and for that I suggest you check out the interview.)

Now, we hear from the Pew Research Center (via Greg Mitchell at HuffPo) that news satire show viewers did better on a current events test than did so called "real news" show viewers. Kinda makes you think, don't it?

Overview of the Pew Survey here.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Popcorn satire for ya!

Don't get me wrong - I like Ben Stiller. Still, hasn't it seemed as though he's been going downhill in recent years? It seems like he's playing the same character in The Heartbreak Kid, Along Came Polly, Night at the Museum, the Meet the... movies, even Madagascar. What happened to the Ben Stiller of The Ben Stiller Show?

Good grief, it's good to know he's still in there somewhere. Tropic Thunder, just released, has been getting fabulous reviews for its satirical take on Hollywood. I've been excited for it ever since Esquire Magazine's write-up on Robert Downey, Jr., whose performance seems to be Oscar-worthy, if the Oscar folks had a sense of humor.

Which is an interesting side point - if it's universally agreed-upon that comedy is much harder to pull off than non-comedy (read: drama), why is it that comedies aren't more widely represented at the Oscars? If the Oscars are supposed to celebrate the best of American filmmaking, then any successful comedy should be shortlisted for an award. Period, paragraph, end of story.

Instead, maybe one out of five of the Golden Globe nominees for Musical/Comedy get an Oscar nomination, while three or four GG Drama nominees get an Oscar nod - and when the Oscar people pull a random flyer out of their hats, it's also a drama. 'Sup wi'dat?

Okay, I digress. Go see Tropic Thunder. Show Hollywood what kind of movies it should be making by voting with your dollars.
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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Web video satirists, beware...

If there's one thing that's driven me crazy as an online satirist, it's the consistent drumbeat of people - outside AND inside the field - who insist you can't make any kind of living at it.

That said, I was unexpectedly surprised and pleased to read the latest issue of Fast Company, which features an article entitled, "Who Will Be the Godfather of Web Comedy?"

Why pleased? Not because of any schadenfreude issues, I assure you. (Okay, maybe a little.) The truth is that, while I don't like hearing the downbeat stuff from people who'd sooner quash your dreams than pursue their own, I can take it from someone who's doing a serious analysis of the business. (Thank you, Carlye Adler.)

And there's a lesson to be learned from College Humor, and the fact that their niching has helped them be profitable, whereas powerhouses like Funny or Die are not. It's Business 101 stuff - which, if you want to make a living in online satire, is probably worth brushing up on. ;)

(No mention of JibJab, or of The Onion's foray into video in that article, though - both subjects about which I'd be curious. Anyone know financials/other relevant numbers there?)
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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Internet comedy memes go "meatspace"

How the heck did I miss this - it was practically in my backyard?! I had to read about it months later in Wired - embarrassing.

If you live on the West Coast, here's you're chance to not make the same mistake I did. It was "ROFLcon" here back in April, and a two-day event, but it's ROFLThing in San Francisco for one evening, on August 29th. The deets:

So we’re throwing an evening event in San Francisco, featuring a bushel of short talks from the internet famous and other knowledgeable online culture folks on the past, present, and future of the memescape. Like in April, we’ll be having an open call for various celebrities to show up and lurk around in the audience. It’ll be followed by an open bar and a dance party. So, in other words, it should be a superlatively ridiculous time.

Register here, and tell us all about it afterwards!
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Satire pervades the web, seeping into mailboxes and mainstream news like a spilled cup of coffee. It stains and it won't go away.

The Bitter Cup is a collaborative blog for members of HumorFeed, a collaborative of satire and humor sites that has been making trouble since 2003.