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If You Like These 8 Sitcoms, You Will Love 'Difficult People'

August 8, 2015 in Blogs

By Anna Silman, Salon

Amy Poehler's new Hulu comedy stars Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner.

“Difficult People,” the new Hulu comedy from Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite productions, stars Billy Eichner (“Billy on The Street,” “Parks & Rec”) and longtime comedy scribe Julie Klausner (“Best Week Ever,” “Mulaney”) as pricklier, less-successful versions of themselves: Two curmudgeonly pop culture-obsessed BFFs trying to make it in the acting and comedy world.


While the show certainly shares some similarities with Poehler’s last hit “Broad City” (a strong central friendship, New York-specific gags, etc.), Billy and Julie’s adventures have a much more pointed scope than the absurd romps offered by Abbi and Ilana. With its rapid-fire celebrity references and sharp meta-commentary on the entertainment industry, “Difficult People” seems designed to appeal to a certain subset of smart-ass New Yorkers living in working in media or entertainment and prone to frequently refreshing their Twitter mentions (which is probably why yours truly enjoyed the show so much).

With that said, anyone who enjoys clever comedy will find plenty to like about the show, which takes inspiration from a range of influences to create something that feels fresh and distinctive — a feat that makes sense considering Klausner’s long and impressive track record writing for comedy, TV and entertainment media (Klausner, just like her character on the show, used to write “Real Housewives” recaps for Vulture). Here are some of “Difficult People’s” most notable pop culture analogs and inspirations:

1. The cringe comedy of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

“Curb” might be “Difficult People’s” closest comedic analogue, with Julie Klausner describing the show to Entertainment Weekly as “’Curb Your Enthusiasm’ if the two leads had never created ‘Seinfeld.’” Judging by the first three episodes, Julie and Billy certainly share Larry David’s misanthropy, neurosis and tendency to instigate unnecessary conflicts, yet without money and fame to help justify their oversized egos. And, just like on “Curb,” many of the show’s conflicts stem from Billy and Julie’s tendency to transgress the boundaries of socially acceptable behavior: The pilot has the pair getting in trouble for lewd language during a matinee of “Annie” on Broadway, while another incident centers on Julie getting in trouble for a tweet about R. Kelly peeing on Blue Ivy (thank god show-Larry didn’t have …read more


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Cops Make Disgusting Online ‘Memorial’ Mocking Death of Ferguson’s Michael Brown

August 8, 2015 in Blogs

By David Ferguson, Raw Story

Before it was taken down, the post received nearly 4,000 Facebook 'likes' and was shared more than 1,700 times.

An online group dedicated to police officers posted a wildly offensive “memorial” to slain Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown on the social medium Facebook. After an outcry, it now appears the tasteless post has been removed.

The Free Thought Project reported that the Facebook group Police Officers posted the offensive image in advance of the 1-year anniversary of Brown’s slaying at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson.

The image showed a photoshopped gravestone with Brown’s dates of birth and death along with a poem that said:

There once was a thug named Brown,

Who bum-rushed a cop with a frown,

Six bullets later,

He met his creator,

Then his homies burnt down the town

Before it was taken down, the post received nearly 4,000 Facebook “likes” and was shared more than 1,700 times.

Some users, however, objected to the post.

“Sorry, while I support my LEO [law enforcement officer] brothers,” wrote one commenter, “this is very distasteful. We are above this garbage. Should take down.”

The Police Officers administrator replied that “Mike Brown chose his path, one that has lead [sic] this country into complete divisiveness. He’s not a martyr, he was a thug, who robbed a clerk then made the adult choice to fight a cop, of which he intended to murder.”

“At the end of the day,” the post continued, “the person truly responsible for the killing of Mike Brown is Mike Brown himself.”

Brown’s was one of the factors that touched off the #BlackLivesMatter movement and has remained a bone of contention in the year since.

Officer Wilson was profiled this week in a New Yorker article in which he said he is trying to put the slaying of the unarmed teen behind him and that he and his family are living in anonymity. To avoid conflict, Wilson said when the family dines out, they go to businesses frequented by “like-minded individuals” and restaurants that “aren’t a mixing-pot.”

The offensive rhyme seems to have originated on a now-banned Reddit community called “CoonTown,” but was reprinted on Facebook by the Libertarian group …read more


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Bill Maher Unloads on 'Nasty, Boorish, Sexist, Ignorant, Smug' Donald Trump

August 8, 2015 in Blogs

By Sophia Tesfaye, Salon

The 'Real Time' comedian has a field day with the Fox News debate.

HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” is back for it’s 13th season just in time to deliver the comedic takedown of this week’s first Republican primary debate that we’ve all been missing since Jon Stewart’s final sign-off and Maher did not hold back, blasting centerstage ham Donald Trump as a “nasty, boorish, sexist, ignorant, smug.”

On last night’s episode, Maher thanked Jesus for timing his shows return with the Fox News Republican primary debate which he described as “a Comedy Central Roast of the U.S. Constitution.”

“Have you ever taken ecstasy,” Maher asked his audience. “It was the opposite of that.” Maher joked that after “they first brought out Reagan’s skull for good luck” both debates — the main event and the “baby table” — amounted to little more than “A tsunami of stupid” featuring a “nasty, boorish, sexist, ignorant, smug”:

To understand today’s Republican Party, you have to understand that despite the fact that they had on the stage five governors, three senators, and a brain surgeon, first and foremost they wanted to get the opinion of Donald Trump—a ham-colored cartoon character from I Love the ‘80s. Once you accept that, the rest of the night makes perfect sense

Maher noted that besides the presence of a reality-TV star at centerstage (who Maher joked made things awkward with his “gaffe” when he asked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio “to bring his car around”) the GOP debate turned out to be standard conservative fare: “Muslims are out to kill you. Mexicans are out to rape you and if get impregnated by one you have to bring it to term”:

That’s all they have to sell: fear. Hope and change meet pee and poo. The entire slate of them up there seemed entirely unaware of the fact that women can now vote. Megyn Kelly asked Trump right off the bat about Trump calling women ‘fat pigs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘dogs.’ Trump’s answer? ‘I don’t have time for political correctness.’ He’s like one of those construction workers from the ‘70s who goes, ‘Nice tits. Oh, what? I can’t …read more


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Donald Trump Banned From Major Event Over Menstruation Jibe at Megyn Kelly

August 8, 2015 in Blogs

By Ben Jacobs, The Guardian

Conservative activist Erick Erickson, organizer of RedState Gathering, says mogul went ‘too far’ in discussing Fox News moderator’s tough questioning.

Donald Trump has been officially banned from one of the biggest gatherings of conservative activists after implying he received hostile questioning during the first Republican presidential debate because the television moderator was menstruating.

Trump was uninvited from the RedState Gathering late on Friday after saying in a CNN interview that Fox News’s Megyn Kelly “had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever”, while questioning him during Thursday night’s debate.

The real estate mogul had been scheduled to appear at a special tailgate at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta at the close of RedState Gathering on Saturday night.

Erick Erickson, the organizer of the event and a major conservative activist tweeted late on Friday night, “I have rescinded my invitation to Mr. Trump. While I have tried to give him great latitude, his remark about Megyn Kelly was a bridge too far.”

In a follow-up blog post, Erickson amplified why he was disinviting Trump: “there are even lines blunt talkers and unprofessional politicians should not cross,” he wrote. “Decency is one of those lines.”

On Saturday morning, Trump used Twitter to attempt a clarification of his remark. He tweeted: “Re Megyn Kelly quote: ‘you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever’ (NOSE). Just got on w/thought”.

The falling-out marked the first major break with Trump from a key figure in the mainstream conservative movement. Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak told the Guardian: “This is the first time that a significant figure in the conservative movement has stood up to Trump and it’s cost him anything. 

“I expect Trump to lash out at Erick but Erick wins when he fights and has a huge microphone and speaks to a lot of conservatives across the country.” Mackowiak added it also represents a missed opportunity for Trump to speak to conservative activists and reporters who had …read more