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Dennis Perrin
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Entries by Dennis Perrin

Should Comedy Have Meaning?

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2010 | 11:44 AM

Conan O'Brien must be the most talked about showbiz exile in memory. Before his 60 Minutes segment, Conan's post-Tonight Show odyssey has been heavily-covered by the entertainment press, including the New York Times' Bill Carter, who seemed concerned for Conan's professional future. There was little doubt that Conan would find...

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Leno Shame

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2010 | 3:52 PM

"Laugh you assholes!"

Of all Michael O'Donoghue's theories about comedy, the above is his most direct. Making assholes laugh is what American comedy's all about, especially on late night TV. Feed young rubes pre-chewed bits, talk about nothing while pushing product, feature some new band at the end, then wave...

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SNL's Golden Age End

(3) Comments | Posted December 22, 2009 | 10:49 AM

When Jake and Elwood Blues took their act onscreen, they left behind a thriving, coke-fueled franchise. SNL's fourth season was its most popular to date, and naturally its growing fan base expected more of the same. But TV is a cruel lover, indifferent to audience needs. After four years, Dan...

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Ted Kennedy: The Last Progressive

(2) Comments | Posted August 26, 2009 | 3:10 PM

A year ago today, I wrote this about Ted Kennedy, who appeared at Obama's Denver coronation:

"I'll confess a soft spot for Ted Kennedy's speech. This has more to do with nostalgia than anything Kennedy said (the American flag is still on the moon? Color me proud). I supported Kennedy's...

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Bashing Michael Vick Is Fun

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2009 | 12:14 PM

Michael Vick is the anti-Obama. Both boast African roots, but one evinces HOPE (however crumbling) while the other incites hatred. To many white reactionaries, there's little if any difference between the two. To whites who fancy themselves more evolved, Vick is a godsend, a Black celeb they can despise for...

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Why "Che" Resonates

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2009 | 12:28 PM

Benicio del Toro abandoning Medellín was perhaps the best career move he's ever made, allowing Vincent Chase and director Billy Walsh to drive Pablo Escobar's story right down the toilet. Del Toro had the keen sense to instead hook up with Steven Soderbergh to make Che, a two-part guerrilla saga...

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Why Did Jon Stewart Apologize?

(67) Comments | Posted May 3, 2009 | 1:29 PM

My take on "The Daily Show" is a tad personal, though this has faded through time. In late-1997/early-'98, I was swamped with "Mr. Mike," scheduled for release in July '98. I had spent the previous three years consumed by Michael O'Donoghue, the National Lampoon and SNL, and was pretty burned...

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Watching Watchmen Again

(14) Comments | Posted March 20, 2009 | 4:08 PM

Went to see Watchmen again, alone on an early afternoon, and I was slightly surprised by the incredibly small audience. Only slightly, though. I may be a Watchmen freak, but clearly this is a minority taste. After a decent opening for a nearly three-hour film, ticket sales for Zack Snyder's...

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Leno Aid

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2009 | 1:30 PM

Some thoughts about Jay Leno's "Comedy Stimulus Plan"

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SNL's Last Survivor

(4) Comments | Posted February 23, 2009 | 11:10 AM

The contrast couldn't have been clearer. Attending Michael O'Donoghue's wake in his crowded New York apartment, pressed up against the likes of Lorne Michaels, Chevy Chase, Buck Henry, Al Franken, Margot Kidder, and James Taylor, I could see that these former cutting edge figures had settled into quieter, comfortable lives,...

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O-naugural Hype

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2009 | 8:33 AM

God, I hate inaugurations -- a massive commercial for the imperial state, with some "populist" tinsel tossed around to make consumers feel included. And like clockwork, media mouthpieces assure us that no other country on the face of the planet, perhaps in all of history, transfers power so peacefully, so...

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Israel/Palestine Debate Is Shifting

(87) Comments | Posted January 2, 2009 | 4:21 PM

Maybe it's me, but the more I read about Israel's assault on Gaza, the more I'm convinced that the Zionist enterprise is in serious trouble. With each fresh round of bombing, Israel's reputation gets worse, allowing growing numbers of people who might never have said a critical word about that...

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SNL's Classic Coke Year

(8) Comments | Posted December 19, 2008 | 4:46 PM

Cocaine was many a comic's milk during the early-1980s. Several stand-ups I knew or partied with preferred the powder to just about anything else, booze included. I stuck my nose in a few times. Blow was never really my speed, which left me out of many conversations and frenzied back-and-forths....

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The Smothers Brothers: Now More Than Ever

(10) Comments | Posted November 21, 2008 | 2:52 PM

Of all people to snag a network variety show, I wouldn't have bet on Rosie O'Donnell. Yes, she loves Broadway musicals and is a comedian -- or at least used to be. I can't remember the last time Rosie went flat-out comic. There's always a lesson or lecture attached to...

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The Bill Ayers Distraction

(6) Comments | Posted October 10, 2008 | 5:43 PM

Man oh man -- Bill Ayers must be one happy cat. Even when he was trying to spark a Prairie Fire, his cocksure pose on FBI wanted lists, Ayers didn't get this kind of national attention. For a guy who believes that the Weather experience was more right than wrong,...

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Palin and Fey: Two Sides of the Same Joke

(22) Comments | Posted September 17, 2008 | 1:07 PM

Sarah Palin has helped push Tina Fey a few more rungs up the celebrity ladder. The moment Palin was unveiled as McCain's sidekick, Fey's name was mentioned across the spectrum, for obvious, physical reasons. Always happy to give the audience what it wants, SNL predictably featured its former head writer...

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Writers Are Assholes

(2) Comments | Posted August 20, 2008 | 2:20 PM

Me included.

There are few hells more tormenting than hanging with other writers. We are an insecure, egocentric, petty, envious breed who enjoy spreading pain, hoping to maximize it for ourselves. At least that's how I see it, based on my experience. There are exceptions, of course, and I've known...

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Obama's War

(5) Comments | Posted July 30, 2008 | 11:20 PM

Obama supporters and blissed-out Barry-heads everywhere: Are you ready for some righteous war? Are you prepared to step up and get fucking medieval in Afghanistan, and perhaps in Pakistan as well? You'd better be, for the man whose feet you're currently kissing has big plans to expand the War On...

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Nader's Right About Online Delusion

(13) Comments | Posted July 1, 2008 | 4:01 PM

With each presidential run, Ralph Nader further marginalizes his message, much of which remains accurate and on point. The problem with saying what he does as a declared candidate is that the candidacy itself becomes the media hook; and since Nader has no real chance to alter November's outcome (based...

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George Carlin's "Sympathetic Contempt"

(1) Comments | Posted June 23, 2008 | 8:55 PM


Another angry prophet is gone. Perhaps the last one, as far as my generation goes, anyway. Not that I'm as old as George Carlin -- don't rush me. But when I became comedically aware in my early teens, Carlin was laying it down, sporting long hair,...

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