2011 was a huge year for comedy. That statement is only true if you focus on the exception, Louis C.K. and not the rule, Ricky Gervais. Mister Gervais showed up to host the Golden Globes armed with real live jokes. "Our next presenter is from such films as 'Hudson Hawk,' 'Look Who's Talking,' 'Mercury Rising,' 'Color of Night,' 'The Fifth Element' and 'Hart's War.' Please welcome Ashton Kutcher's dad, Bruce Willis," he said. The Golden Globes organizers went through the roof. They vowed to never have him back so next year get ready for the comedy stylings of Maya Angelou... no wait, Gervais was asked back. If he pisses folks off again this year James Franco and Anne Hathaway will be available for 2013. They were just splendid hosting the 2011 Academy Awards. The line I most enjoyed that evening was "goodnight." Simply brilliant.
In 2011, the apologies rolled in one after another from satirists, comedians and even Pope Benedict. The Holy Father apologized for Christians' use of violence throughout history including holy wars, inquisitions and crusades. "We acknowledge it with great shame," he said. It was hard to take him seriously while wearing that hat.
With an apology on record from the head Shepherd of the Universal Church you'd think everyone could find it in their heart to say, "I'm sorry." Nope. The rapper Drake was fighting mad with Kevin Campbell. Campbell is the tattoo artist that inked Drake's name in huge block letters across a female fan's forehead. "The guy who tatted is a f*cking as*hole though, I will tell you that," he said. "You should lose your job and should never do tattoos again. And if I ever see you, I'm a f*ck you up." I'm glad nothing bad happened but this may be the worst tough guy talk of the century. I'm surry (Canadian pronunciation) Aubrey Drake Graham is and far more likely to hashtag rap Kevin Campbell to death. I'm not saying Campbell was right. All I'm saying is when Mike Tyson got his face tattooed, Tyson's manager probably did the same tough guy talk to that tattoo artist. But- and here's the important detail - I bet you he didn't say a word to Tyson. The manger most likely told Mike how handsome he looked. How he always wanted a face tattoo himself. How it was going to get Tyson more movie roles. How if Mel Gibson had a face tattoo the cast of Hangover II wouldn't have objected to having him in the film. "You're a convicted rapist. Mel Gibson has no criminal record but they choose you. Why? Face tattoo. You're a genius, Mike."
Comedian Tracy Morgan found himself embroiled in controversy for telling a crowd in Nashville's Ryman Auditorium that he'd "pull out a knife and stab his son" if he were gay. Mister Morgan has sincerely apologized for this joke many times. I'm not defending him. I think what he should have said was he'd stab his son if he were straight. Boys sleeping with girls is old news. It's been done to death. Tracy should have challenged his son to be maverick, a trailer blazer. Follow in the footsteps of the notable gay men that have made the world a better place. What father hasn't whispered those words of encouragement into their sleeping infant son's ears? Please raise your hands one at a time. We cannot get an accurate count if all the fathers raise their hands at once. Thank you.
In the midst of one Arab uprising after another, comedy satire continued to take heavy blows. If this is the first time you are hearing about the Arab Spring you may have been too busy popping Cymbalta and watching Portlandia.
Looking to capitalize on coup d'etats Kenneth Cole tweeted "Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo -- KC." Mr. Cole apologized, although several people blamed Obama for Cole's tweet. "We want to see his birth certificate. If Mr. Obama thinks he can fool the American people about his Muslim past with floral print dresses he is sadly mistaken!" shouted a man named Donnie holding a "Will Work for Food" sign. When Donnie was asked what he thought the rest of us were working for, Mr. Trump fell to his knees and wept. "I never thought of it that way," he said through tears. Look out for his new show, Occupy Apprentice. If Johnny Depp can take a joke, Donald Trump sure can. Check out this clip.
The most insane story of the year was Vajazzling. That's where women vahbazzle their va-jay-z with cupcake sprinkles. Where did these ridiculous words come from? I know where vajazzling came from; it was Clitter. That's when ladies decorate their private parts with glitter. I'm not making this up. After vajazzling came the newest beauty trend Twatoos. A permanent or temporary tattoo on your happy hole. I'm sorry I'm running out of ways to reference a woman's shame cave without sounding vulgar. Unfortunately ladies, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but men don't care how you decorate your ninja slipper.
It wasn't all bad for fashion in 2011. Street style star Shala Monroque blogged her way into the hearts of millions of women and Wonderful magazine's fashion editor Julia Sarr-Jamois was a stunning visual inspiration. These ladies are not the manufactured style untouchables we have become accustomed to. They are the real deal.
Patrice O'Neal was picked on for having diabetes at the Charlie Sheen roast, then died after a stroke. Let me say that again, Patrice O'Neal was picked on for having diabetes at the Charlie Sheen roast. I guess Charlie was too easy a target. Mister O'Neal will be missed. What an amazing and talented guy.
On the hand, when crack cocaine wants to party it snorts an eight ball of Charlie Sheen. Don't quote me on that. I read it in the top comments on an exclusive Sheen interview video on YouTube from Mare9555. It had 48 "likes" so that makes it true. Just like everything on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Charlie Sheen was proven sober in that bizarre interview. I'm sorry, if that's sober I'm dying to see him high. You don't have to like Sheen or condone drug use. You don't even have to agree with his life choices. You do have to admit that Sheen did something we all want. He got paid not to go to work. By anyone's standards, that's winning. For those of you keeping score on who apologized and who didn't, that's: Pope -- 1. Comedians -- 1. Satirists -- 1. Drake and Sheen -- 0.
No year-in-review wrap up would be complete without mentioning the Occupy movement, Casey Anthony, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Herman Cain and Kim Kardashian. Don't worry. I'll be brief.
Occupy movement: There is no Occupy movement in the black community. When you occupy Martin Luther King Boulevard we just call it homeless.
Casey Anthony: After the not guilty verdict I changed my name from Orlando to Boca Raton Jones. I can be reached at the Jewish Community Center. If the rabbi is not available I know everything he does. Don't mix meat and milk. It's not kosher plus it's nasty. Don't eat pork, it will give you trichinosis and what not. Marry a Jewish girl and make your mother happy.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I don't know how it works in Austria, but in America we use our housekeepers for cleaning.
Herman Cain: After announcing he was dropping out of the Republican presidential race, Herman Cain drove away in his car singing, "I got nine-nine-nine problems, but a bitch ain't one."
Kim Kardashian: See my Naughty or Nice blog post.
Comedy took a beating, but it will survive. My concern is not for the survival of laughter -- it is for upcoming generations. Bullies aren't powerful. They are sad angry cowards. Kindness is not a weakness. It shows character, poise and strength. I worry that the truth is losing the war. I worry that the thought police are doing far more harm than good, despite their noble intentions. These are my fears and maybe I am alone in them.
Maybe I am alone in believing that laughter helps us endure our hardships.
Over the last few years I asked God to grant me two wishes. In 2009 I wanted a black president. So little kids who grew up like me could know being commander-in-chief was possible. I'd like to see a female president too. In 2011 my second wish was for a full NBA season. God gave me half and half. With one wish left I'm saving it. This time I'm not asking God for anything. I'm asking myself. How can I do better?
And if I don't figure it out, me and Tracy Morgan are gonna get somebody pregnant.
Happy New Year!
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