College film students handed out the Oscars this year. Every Oscar winner received a trophy and a film student’s half-baked screenplay. DM
It was a long show. By the time Robert De Niro started dozing off, I was ready to doze off as well. DM
One thing became perfectly clear when Jack Nicholson turned the show over to First Lady Michelle Obama to present the Oscar for Best Picture from the White House: Zero Dark Thirty didn’t stand a chance. DM
Some Pakistanis have complained that “Zero Dark Thirty” contains errors. They see having a woman direct a film as an error. DM
Seth MacFarlane and Oscar Jokes
“Argo tells the previously classified story about an American hostage rescue in post-revolutionary Iran. The story was so top secret that the film’s director is unknown to the Academy.”
“2012 was a great year for movies. Hollywood shattered box office records with $10.8 billion in domestic sales. In fact, studio accountants have never had to work harder to prove nothing made a profit.”
“Daniel Day-Lewis is not the first actor to be nominated for playing Lincoln. Raymond Massey portrayed him in 1940′s Abe Lincoln in Illinois. I would argue, though, the actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.”
There were a couple of good lessons about business humor in the Oscars show. The big challenge for Seth MacFarlane and the producers was to make a show that was edgy enough to attract and hold a young audience without being so offensive that older folks would change the channel. The “We saw your boobs” bit was a case in point. I’m in my 50s and I thought it was over the line. My 17 year old and my 19 year old thought it was hilarious.
The bit where Ted spewed anti-Semitism was an example of using a character, in this case a very obnoxious character, to make a point. Some people who see a bit like that feel that the character is promoting the obvious thing in the bit. In reality, the producer was using the character to show how stupid anti-Semitism is. It’s just like Archie Bunker. All in the Family didn’t promote or celebrate racism, bigotry, and ignorance. That show effectively demonstrated how stupid it is to be an ignorant, racist bigot.
There were some srtraightforward funny bits by Seth MacFarlane as well. One of the best was his non-introuction of Meryl Streep. “Our next presenter needs no introduction,” he said. Then he walked off the stage. Also, the spoof of The Sound of Music escape scene was really cute.
Politics and Business Jokes
Italian comic Beppe Grillo is leading the Five Star Movement, a political party which is having a big impact on elections in Italy. There’s a rumor that he might also be a dark horse candidate to become the next Pope! But seriously, Grillo’s leadership of a serious political party shows that telling business jokes can be a very effective way to promote ideas.
In the U.S., the late Pat Paulsen ran for President for many years. Although he wasn’t a serious candidate, he did use jokes and humor to bring his beliefs to the forefront. Al Franken, a former comedian on Saturday Night Live, took things a step further when he ran for Congress and won. When you tell jokes well, people will listen.
Business Jokes of the Week
Michael Jordan recently turned 50. Scottie Pippen assisted him with blowing out the candles. DM
Colorado might soon allow visitors to smoke recreational marijuana as well as residents. The tourism department is testing a new slogan: “Come for the marijuana, stay because going home slipped your mind.” DM
The U.S. Postal Service is launching a fashion line. This is almost as good of an idea as sponsoring Lance Armstrong. DM
Bill O’Reilly is writing a book about the killing of Jesus. Who done it? Was it Judas, Pontius Pilate, or the Pharisees? No. It was the Obamacare. DM
The Yankees are in spring training and you kind of feel it — the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the smell of the deer antler spray. David Letterman
The next Pope could be a cardinal from Boston. He might even endorse birth control, but only for Yankee fans. Conan
Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, recently stepped down. He’s stepping down like the Pope, but with a funnier name and a smaller hat. Craig Ferguson
The White House wants to fine China for its recent cyber attacks on American companies. The fine could total in the millions of dollars, which is great because we could really use that money to pay back China. Jimmy Fallon
Scientists at the University of Maryland say they have found a chemical that causes women to talk more than men. It’s called red wine. Jay Leno
According to the new study, women talk almost three times as much as men. Well, you know why? Because they know men aren’t listening the first two times. Jay Leno