Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Whoopi Goldberg: The Authority On Un-Funny Comedy

Billy Crystal and Comic Relief forced her upon me in the 80s. Star Trek forced her in The Next Generation in the 90s. The Acadamy forced her upon me as the host of an Oscar show in the late 90s. Now Warner Brothers is forcing her upon me on DVD.

The third boxed set of Loony Toons cartoons features some of the older work from the Warner Brothers animators... and thus a little adult in terms of potentially racist caricatures. How to release such material in such a PC market? Easily, get a radically un-funny black celebrity known for poor taste and vulgarity to remind us that race and gender jokes are not funny... and which black woman epitomizes lack of talent, humor, taste, and sense better than Whoopi Goldberg?

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (I'm praying, not swearing)... what a load of nonsense. Apparently, you cannot skip the little intro.

James Lileks' Bleat from Monday November 28th
...She brings with her a strange set of implications: in another dimension, people think she is funny, but in private even those people do not think she is funny, but they do not dwell on the matter. Apparently to us yokels her presence is meant to indicate the presence, or at least the imminence, of hilarity. She warns us about the cartoons we are soon to behold. Warns us! It seems – odd as this may sound - they had many unexamined casual racial sterotypes back then, and these images found their way into cartoons. These jokes “hurt people of color, women and ethnic groups.” Somehow I doubt stupid barefoot idiot hillbillies are an ethnic group. But they’re mercilessly mocked – not only for their appearance or lack of intelligence, but their inability to resist the instructions of a rabbit whose square-dancing calls have the force of law.

Freedomdogs: Great, But Brace for PC Briefing
...We get it, we really, really get it. I would not have had a problem if they had put this in as an optional comment in the special features—still shows they care about the issue, but does not sock you in the teeth making you cringe each time you put in the disc. And better still, they should have had it presented by one of the old WB guard from his perspective. Using politically volatile person like Whoppi makes it seem like such a cave in to the strong arm of the new Hollyweird kingpins.

Bogus Gold: You May Not Laugh at This Cartoon
Non-skippable intros on DVD's is enough to raise my hackels alone. But being unexpectedly and inescapably sermonized by the Reverend-only-when-she-chooses-to-lecture-others Whoopi Goldberg ought to be prosecuted as a crime against humanity.

I don't know what bothers me more. The notion of the Orwellian thought police attempting to police our laughter, or the notion that Whoopi Goldberg has moral standing to lecture others on the topic. Or maybe instead it's the idea that Warner Brothers thought this was a "must have" on this release.

Mark Steyn: Hollywood's PC Perversion Stifles Storytelling
...unlike, say, Whoopi Goldberg's most memorable joke of recent years, the one at that 2004 all-star Democratic Party gala in New York where she compared President Bush to her, um, private parts. There's a gag for the ages.

I don't know what Whoopi's making such a meal about. It's true you don't see many positive images of people of color on ''Looney Tunes,'' but then the images of people of non-color aren't terribly positive either (Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam). Instead, you see positive images of ducks of color, roadrunners of color and tweety birds of color. How weirdly reductive to be so obsessed about something so peripheral to these cartoons that you stick the same damn Whoopi Goldberg health warning on all four DVDs in the box...

Powerline: Deflating the Whoopi Cushion
...I wonder if the stupefying effect of gearing films to such a low common denominator also contributes to the decline Steyn attributes to political correctness. Indeed, "the Whoopi cushion" may represent the infantalization of the Hollywood mentality as much as its sickening political conformity.

Some of the above links include a little reminder of Miss Goldberg's good taste in terms of racial humor... remember the gag she wrote for her then boyfriend Ted Danson?


Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home