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December 20, 2014

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Sarah Silverman's act is starting to bug me

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 30th 2007 11:02AM
Sarah SilvermanNot too long ago, I was one of the legions of comedy nerds who thought that Sarah Silverman's act was one of the most brilliant out there in the world of stand-up. Think about it: "She's a pretty girl, but she says all of these offensive things. Look how cute she's being; she doesn't even know how bad she's being!" Etc. When her stand-up act started getting attention a couple of years ago, and especially after her Jesus Is Magic movie hit theaters, her approach to comedy seemed fresh and funny.

Now, two short years and a million articles -- fifty percent of which examined the unlikely relationship between her and Jimmy Kimmel -- later, I'm really starting to get sick of Silverman's act. Why? Because we know what it's going to be. "How offensive can she get? Ooh, let's see her look blankly at the audience and wonder why they're laughing so hard!" That's all there is, and I don't see it getting any deeper.

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South Park: Cartoon Wars

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 6th 2006 9:17AM

south parkLast night South Park, in a way only South Park can, managed to mix Family Guy and the recent kerfuffle over cartoons involving the Prophet Muhammed into a scathing indictment of both. In the South Park universe, the "offensive Muhammed cartoon" is an episode of Family Guy which the Fox Network decides to censor. Cartman convinces Kyle to join him on his quest to get the episode off the air. It turns out Cartman doesn't care about the offensive episode, he just really, really, hates Family Guy, calling it poorly-written and accusing it of using interchangeable jokes, rather than jokes that actually have something to do with the plot.

I've said it on this blog and elsewhere that Family Guy's humor can be very jarring at times. Whatever plot there is has to be ground to a halt in order to insert as many one-off gags as possible. There's no effort on behalf of the writers to try and weave jokes into the story, jokes simply pop in and out wherever they seem to fit. In that regard, it's not even comparable to shows like South Park and The Simpsons, which take a more substantive approach to their humor and satire, even if South Park appears to delve into the same scatological humor as Family Guy at times.

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