This is the best you can be? That’s pretty sad

Every fall, the long-running satirical show Saturday Night Live introduces new cast members. It is considered a huge boost to the career of young comedians to get a slot on this show because many have gone onto highly successful careers later. But this year, the introduction of three new members ran into trouble when it was discovered that one of them, Shane Gillis, had made racist, homophobic, and misogynist jokes.
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Michael Moore and Bill Maher debate socialism versus capitalism

I know that watching Bill Maher these days is grating on the nerves but in this heated exchange, Michael Moore brought Maher’s predatory capitalistic sympathies to the surface. It is clear that Maher has become (maybe he always was) a grumpy, get-off-my-lawn, crank who thinks he is progressive and edgy because he smokes pot. But he essentially pulls out all the tired old centrist bromides that are much favored by the Democratic party establishment because it enables a few people to be rich like him while still feeling smug about the few crumbs they throw to the rest.

The bet at the end? Moore won it.

Hasan Minhaj speaks to Congress about college debt

In testifying before Congress. he comedian who is the host of the informative show Patriot Act clearly had done his homework to show why college debt is a much bigger issue now than when members of Congress and the parents of the current generation went to college.

While testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, comedian Hasan Minhaj called out members of Congress for the student loan crisis by comparing current tuition costs to what they originally paid for the same school, which showed a 110 percent increase in overall tuition costs.

How and why police brutality is institutionalized

On the latest episode of his show Patriot Act, Hasan Minhaj explains why the many cases in which police kill unarmed mostly black people and escape any punishment is not only due to the specifics of each case but that it is encouraged by a system in which the training of police encourages immediate violent action and the unions and the laws are designed to give police immunity from the consequences of their actions, however egregious they might be. In other words, this is a systemic problem that cannot be blamed on a few ‘rotten apples’.

Conan O’Brien goes off to buy Greenland

If there is an unofficial good will ambassador for the US, it may well be late night talk show host and comedian Conan O’Brien. On an occasional series on his show called Conan Without Borders that can be seen on Netflix, he has gone to places that have been demonized by the US over a long period (such as Cuba) as well as those that have been brutally exploited by the US and more recently insulted by Donald Trump (like Haiti and Mexico) and in his interactions with the people and his description of the country shows Americans how mistaken these views are and that we would be a lot better off having good relations with the people of those nations.
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Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019)

I have long been a fan of comedian Zach Galifianakis’s online sketch show Between Two Ferns where he passive-aggressively, and sometimes outright insultingly, interviews celebrity guests. Here is one sketch where he interviews Ben Stiller.

It appears that they have made a film version of it that will be released on Netflix on September 20.

It is often the case that sketch comedy does not translate well into the long form version, so we’ll have to see how this turns out.

But here’s the trailer.