Five Favorite Comedies

I can be a really embarrassing person to go see a comedy with. I clap, I literally slap my knee, and sometimes that’s not even enough and I find myself slapping the person I came with. I also don’t just laugh, I wheeze. If something gets me laughing, I mean seriously laughing, I sound like a tea kettle going off. So while there are an absolute ton of comedies out there probably far funnier than the ones I’m about to list, I judged mine based on two things: Their ability to make me wheeze and the fact that I loved them enough to purchase the DVD. That may not even make them my five favorite comedies per se, but they stand out. Starting with …

The Birdcage, 1996

The Birdcage-1996One of my all-time favorite Robin Williams films even though he’s not even my favorite part. That honor would go to Nathan Lane whose perfectly quotable antics (“Oh God, I pierced the toast!) and high-pitched squeals added the perfect dose of hysteria to a truly funny movie. Pretty much anything that comes out of Agador’s mouth makes me laugh and the dinner scene where they start to panic is always my wheeze moment. Continue reading

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Robin Williams Scene Countdown

Because I’m still remembering him.

10. Flubber (1997)
“IT WORKED!”

FlubberFlubber was certainly made for kids. It has plenty of cheap gags and overplayed action to elicit easy laughs from young boys—which makes Williams the perfect protagonist, because even as an adult, he was a young boy. There are special effects at work here of course, but perhaps some of this scene was filmed on some sort of super strength trampoline. Whatever the case may be, it’s fun simply because it looks like he’s having just as much fun doing it as we are watching it. Continue reading

Remembering Robin | 1951-2014

Robin

It’s been exactly one week since the world learned of Robin Williams’ tragic death. The news hit me like a ton of bricks. Celebrity accidents and overdoses come and go so commonly these days, it feels natural to shake your head and think, what a shame. But this one hurts.

There is no denying that Robin Williams was a one-of-a-kind comedic genius. He had a brilliant mind that ran a mile a minute and a mouth that could just barely keep up with the speed of his humor. His talent was immense, and it’s easy to feel like his death is a “waste” of that gift. The surrounding circumstances paint an ugly picture of the mental health stigma we have in today’s society, and in the months that follow, it is my hope that people use Robin as a reason to explore their own contributions to this devastating affliction. But that’s still not why it hurts. Continue reading

Five Favorite Comedians

Love to laugh? So do I. Unfortunately, I don’t know a whole lot of stand-ups, so these aren’t my favorites so much as they are the only five that came to mind right away. Eh, regardless, they’re fun.

1. Ellen DeGeneres

180484I’ve openly gushed about my affection for Ellen many times, so it should come as no surprise that she’s my #1 comedienne. She barely has to try to make people laugh, just her vocal inflections and facial expressions are enough to make you grin along with her, as if she just winked at you and you love being in on the joke. She doesn’t have to stoop to being offensive or crude and her language is perfectly PG. Her monologues on her show qualify as mini-stand-up routines, but I’ve only ever seen her legitimate stand-up once, in her second HBO special entitled, “Here And Now” from 2003. It’s one hour of Ellen pointing out life’s strange quirks, like store packaging techniques (“You need scissors to get into scissors!”), movie theater etiquette (“Is the popcorn really that delicious we must shovel handfuls of it into our mouth?”), and cell phone reception (“Are the bangs shorter? THE BANGS!”), to name a few. We own the DVD and it’s memorable enough that my sister and I still quote it to this day. Random words like “peas” and the name Nancy always make me think of America’s favorite talk show host. Continue reading

Save the Rainforest with FernGully

“Everything in our world is connected by the delicate strands of the web of life, which is a balance between the forces of destruction and the magical forces of creation.”

Fern GullyWhen you’re a kid watching cartoons, subliminal messages don’t quite reach you. It isn’t until you look back on some of your favorite films years later that you realize what you were learning. As a ‘90s kid, everything I watched had hidden layers, particularly Disney films. Bambi? Anti-hunting. 101 Dalmatians? Anti-fur. The Rescuers Down Under? Anti-poaching. Other films throughout the years (Free Willy, Wild America, Beethoven) all held deeper meaning for the ramifications of selfish human action, but one of my favorites when I was little was an animated anthem for saving the rainforest. I’m talking, naturally, about FernGully. Continue reading