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July 09, 2004

The Comedic Stylings of Whoopi Goldberg

This should provoke a big, funny post, but I don't have it in me today.

Has this fugly woman ever been funny?

I can attest that the answer is "no." HBO gave her a stand-up special a lonnggg time ago. This was her very first exposure outside the comfy and supportive confines of Berkeley lesbian coffee-houses. My girlfriend at the time was sort of alternative and funky, and she had read the predictable raves for this important new comic voice. So, I sits me down beside her to watch the special.

I watched in slack-jawed horror. The horror of social embarassment, that sinking feeling you get when someone is drunk and confessing all sorts of things he ought to keep to himself. It wasn't funny. The best that can be said of it was that it "had a good message," if by "good message" you mean "trite liberal message."

My then-girlfriend attempted to force laughs in the beginning -- as people do when they're expecting something to be funny, but then it turns out to really, really suck -- but gave up about midway through.

And since then... goodness. Her big "jokes" in her movies are 1) telling guys they have small dicks and 2) telling guys she's going to kick them in the balls.

Ehhh, such put-downs and threats have some place, I suppose. But I generally expect a little more inventiveness from a professional alleged comic. (And those jokes are pure Whoopie-- she put those in there. It cannot be the case that she receives nothing but a steady stream of small dick/"kick ya in ya balls" scripts. No one gets that lucky!)

And Comic Relief. Comic Relief! I would say that watching Whoopie on Comic Relief was much akin to suffering through the Yoko Ono songs on a John Lennon album, except that I wouldn't want to malign the dead by comparing Lennon to Billy Crystal and Robin "I'm 'improvising' all this shit I've been doing for 30 years" Williams.

So the analogy doesn't really hold. Let's hypothesize that Yoko Ono put a lot of her screechingly painful songs on Foghat albums. Okay, then: Watching her on Comic Relief was much like having to listen to Yoko Ono songs as the price for hearing all that amazing Foghat.

Now we're informed that the Whoopster made a clever play on the name "Bush," apparently making some sort of heretofore undiscovered connection between that name and slang for the female pundendum. Good one. Seriously.

I've got an eight-year-old nephew, Whoopie, if you need a new writer. He's the fucking nuts when it comes to pee-pee, poo-poo, and butt jokes.

Throw in Dick Cheney and Colin Powell and you've got yourself 50 minutes of solid material you can take on the road... assuming this is 1988, and people haven't heard this rather-obvious stuff eight billion times already.

"President Vagina." All sorts of comedic possibilities.

The jokes practically write themselves... practically, that is. Unfortunately, they don't actually write themselves, but the Whoopster keeps waiting for them to do so.

Actually, she's a little like Wonkette, in that neither writes actual jokes, but just use dirty words and expect that to garner laughs. I don't know-- is there a rule that women need only write or say "cock" or "pooter" in order to be deemed outrageously funny? That doesn't seem to work for me, or any other man I know; "cock" and "pooter" can be part of a joke, of course, but men seem to be expected to actually have some humorous observation or turn of phrase to be credited as having made a funny.*

For Wonkette and Whoopie, I guess, the word "dick" constitutes a set-up and punch-line in and of itself. Because, you know, they're women. It's "outrageous" when women say dirty words, even in 2004, when 90% of women in the workplace are quite comfortable saying "motherfucker."

Or something.

Whoopie Goldberg is a loathesome woman. Not necessarily because of her politics, but because she's never had a lick of talent ("lick!"-- maybe another Bush joke!) and yet we're all supposed to pretend she's funny. And she has the arrogance to actually take her courtesy-chuckles and polite applause as proof of her brilliance.

She's not funny. Isn't now, wasn't then, won't be in the future. To say she's a has-been would be slander the past.


* Correction: I guess it's not quite true that no man can just say "cock" and get laughs. Norm MacDonald can. But it's all the delivery there. And, while he can get laughs by just saying "cock," he actually -- get this -- works in a few jokes here and there.

So: apart from Norm MacDonald, who is one of the most gifted comics in history in terms of pure delivery, no man can get laughs just by saying the word "cock."

Update: Don reminds me she played "Guinan" or whatever on that horrendous Star Trek snoozefest. Another reason to hate her.

Oh, and here's another reason. Three words: Center. Fucking. Square.

In Hollywood, you're not officially washed-up until you take that scary-important center square. Sad, really, when the funniest things a comic says were written for her by notorious non-talent Bruce Villanche.


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posted by Ace at 01:19 PM

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