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dgiharris
07-06-2009, 12:27 AM
SO,

Bruno is coming to a theater near you.

WHen Borat came out, I was the luckiest person in the world. Why? I wouldn't let anyone tell me about it. I went into the theater knowing absolutely nothing, and as a result, that movie almost killed me.

I can safely say that no movie has ever made me laugh that hard --I almost lost consciousness several times.

Unfortunately, I will not be the luckiest person in the world in regards to Bruno.

This movie is getting way too much exposure in my opinion IMHO.

If I were the marketers, I would simply say, "From the man who brought you Borat. Here is Bruno. Go watch this movie. That is all, have a nice day"


Anyways, thought I'd start the thread. I really want to see this movie but i'm afraid that it's gotten too much exposure and won't be as funny had they just toned the trailers down a bit.

So, what do you think?

Will Bruno live up to expectations?

What are your expectations?

Are you going to see this movie, why are why not?

And what did you think of Borat?

Mel..

alleycat
07-06-2009, 12:44 AM
I saw enough trailers of Borat that I knew I didn't want to see it (and haven't yet). That's just a personal preference; I know a lot of people loved the movie.

I don't remember seeing all that much on Bruno, maybe just because there was so many summer releases coming out and I wasn't paying attention.

KTC
07-06-2009, 01:28 AM
I still haven't seen Borat. I didn't even really see trailers of it. I DO want to see Bruno. The trailers kill me.

Shadow_Ferret
07-06-2009, 01:34 AM
Haven't seen Borat, not my cup of tea, and this one just looks stupid. Weren't male models already done by Ben Stiller?

MattW
07-06-2009, 01:39 AM
Borat was hit and miss - I could have watched him tour Kazakistan for the full two hours.

Bruno looks like more of the same. Mix of scripted jokes, improv but staged setups, unwitting participants.

Personally, I don't go to see comedies in the theater but wait for DVD.

katiemac
07-06-2009, 02:01 AM
I haven't seen any lengthy trailers for Bruno - they seem to be the same short ones they used for Borat as well. So in terms of sharing the content I don't see much difference.


Haven't seen Borat, not my cup of tea, and this one just looks stupid. Weren't male models already done by Ben Stiller?

The character is actually a fashion reporter, but that has little to do with the movie. It's all about breaking social norms and making people uncomfortable within their own social context.

ETA: Does Bruno outdate Zoolander, anyway? Zoolander is 2001 ... did Bruno exist before Da Ali G Show appearances in 2003?

dgiharris
07-06-2009, 10:45 AM
I still haven't seen Borat. I didn't even really see trailers of it. I DO want to see Bruno. The trailers kill me.

If you are a fan of college frat boy type humor. Then you absolutely must see Borat.

Seriously, there are few movies that I feel are 'must see' and if you are a fan of crude humor: South Park, Super Troopers, Jack Ass, etc. the Borat is a must see.

If you don't like crude humor, than sure, its o.k. to pass.

Basically, I would equate it to someone who loves silly slapstick yet hasn't seen Airplane. Wouldn't you be like, "Come on dude, you haven't seen Airplane? We're going to blockbuster right now and renting it!"

Same with Borat. It is hilarious.

Mel...

bettielee
07-06-2009, 10:54 AM
I hope lightening STRIKES him, does that count?

Waste of flesh, if you ask me.

Zoombie
07-06-2009, 01:06 PM
Borat had a few good bits, a few less good bits...all in all, I rather enjoyed parts of it.

...other parts made me want to wash my mind out with bleach.

Coming from ME you know that's flipping serious.

robeiae
07-06-2009, 02:15 PM
I love stupid movies. And I love all kinds of comedy.

But Borat did absolutely nothing for me. Zero. So, I doubt I'll see Bruno. Maybe when it gets to Skinamax.

scarletpeaches
07-06-2009, 02:28 PM
Sacha Baron Cohen isn't half as funny as he thinks he is.

Somewhere between herpes and shitting a razor blade, I'd say.

alleycat
07-06-2009, 03:34 PM
Sacha Baron Cohen isn't half as funny as he thinks he is.

Somewhere between herpes and shitting a razor blade, I'd say.
You know, scarlet, if you and I keep agreeing on things . . . one of us should be worried.

;-)

BenPanced
07-06-2009, 07:07 PM
<mockaustrianaccent>"Bruno ist..." "Bruno ist..." "Bruno ist..." I don't give un schiest vast Bruno ist doing at ze moment.</mockaustrianaccent>

Jcomp
07-06-2009, 07:47 PM
...I love all kinds of comedy.

But Borat did absolutely nothing for me.

Word. Although Bruno somehow actually looks funnier to me, so I might check it out some time down the road.

Kitty Pryde
07-06-2009, 08:17 PM
Can someone explain to me why his schtick is funny? Because this is what it looks like to me:
1. comedian goes out and pretends to do some outlandish thing (like pretend to be from an impoverished country and use a funny accent and be devoid of tact).
2. People are generally nice, so they don't say "WTF is wrong with you?" even though they are being taken advantage of.
3. Hilarity.
I guess I don't get why it's funny that a comedian plays a ridiculous part and then people are confused by his actions, because they assume that other people they meet are in fact real people and not characters. Seems like it antagonizes the audience (real people). Maybe I'm just too nice?

When Johnny Knoxville walks around dressed like an old man, with fake old-man dangly bits sticking out of his running shorts, that's hilarious. There's sort of a carefree, my parts are showing and that's alright, comedy about it. Or when Preston Lacy chases Wee Man down the street on Jackass, both dressed in diapers, also hilarious. It's so weird that you just know it's a strange performance of some kind. Observers on the street laugh along with the audience.

maestrowork
07-06-2009, 08:57 PM
Some of you are missing the point about Borat! Whether you find it funny or not, gross-out comedy isn't exactly his main point. Cohen did something really unique:

a) he genuinely fooled these people into thinking his character is REAL.

b) he brought out the worst in some of these people. E.g. the homophobic rodeo manager, the uptight "social elites," the religious cult, etc. A lot of stuff touches on racism with Borat.

c) Like Katie said, his whole shtick is about "breaking social norms and making people uncomfortable within their own social context." He's pushing the limit to see how "normal" people (real people, not actors) react -- do they let things get under their skin, or do they embrace the cultural differences.

And I'm sure Cohen is going to aim at homophobia here with Brüno. Of course, it's kind of hard to not be offended by his character sometimes, but that's just part of the fun watching it. It's like reality TV except it's only half-reality.

The fact that some people are offended by Borat (and probably Bruno) says more about themselves than anything else. And that's the funny part of the whole thing.

What I liked about Borat is the social/cultural experiments he did by pushing buttons and boundaries. The gross-out stuff is hit or miss, but to watch people's reactions to the shticks is the funniest part.

Comparing it with something like Zoolander is a stretch. Very different concepts and contexts, even if the characters may seem similar. It's also like saying, "Why are we watching Bourne? We already have James Bond."

That said, I'm not entirely sure about Brüno. Borat worked because no one knew who Cohen was, or Borat, and he did a great job playing the foreign reporter. Brüno looked more like Cohen, and is a bit too outrageous to come off as "real." Some of the stuff in the trailer just doesn't look that funny to me -- but maybe I'll change my mind when I see it.

CaroGirl
07-06-2009, 09:05 PM
There is no objective criteria by which it can be declared: "This is funny." There is only the subjective: "I think this is funny." Some people think Borat is hysterical and some people think it's embarrassingly terrible. Heck, I love the films The Blues Brothers and Best in Show and know several people who "just don't get" the humour in either. If you have to explain humour to someone, don't bother. They'll never get it because it just isn't their thing.

I have a pretty broad sense of humour. I understand what Cohen was trying to do in Borat, both politically and socially. In my opinion, some of it was very funny and some of it went too far and was less funny. I suspect Bruno will be much the same.

robeiae
07-06-2009, 09:12 PM
Whether you find it funny or not, gross-out comedy isn't exactly his main point.
Eh. I didn't enjoy watching the movie. That's my most important standard for passing judgment.

But Borat WAS billed as a comedy, no?

Kitty Pryde
07-06-2009, 09:13 PM
Some of you are missing the point about Borat! Whether you find it funny or not, gross-out comedy isn't exactly his main point. Cohen did something really unique:

a) he genuinely fooled these people into thinking his character is REAL.

b) he brought out the worst in some of these people. E.g. the homophobic rodeo manager, the uptight "social elites," the religious cult, etc. A lot of stuff touches on racism.

c) Like Katie said, his whole shtick is about "breaking social norms and making people uncomfortable within their own social context." He's pushing the limit to see how "normal" people (real people, not actors) react -- do they let things get under their skin, or do they embrace the cultural differences.



OK, but why is that funny? When people break down and their inner racism is brought to the surface, that's a powerful thing to watch (like I think of the movie Crash, which wasn't perfect, but was about that very subject), rather than a font of hilarity. But all these passions are being brought out over a fake thing! I'm not sure how to articulate my point here. It seems way more mean spirited than your average hidden camera show because of the way they are trying to get a rise out of people.

Shadow_Ferret
07-06-2009, 09:15 PM
The character is actually a fashion reporter, but that has little to do with the movie. It's all about breaking social norms and making people uncomfortable within their own social context.


Then it's not even humor? It's nothing more than a form of "Jackass?" I'll definately skip it then.

veinglory
07-06-2009, 09:18 PM
I don't really like comedy that has unwitting participants, I just find it embarrassing by proxy.

Kitty Pryde
07-06-2009, 09:19 PM
There is no objective criteria by which it can be declared: "This is funny." There is only the subjective: "I think this is funny." Some people think Borat is hysterical and some people think it's embarrassingly terrible. Heck, I love the films The Blues Brothers and Best in Show and know several people who "just don't get" the humour in either. If you have to explain humour to someone, don't bother. They'll never get it because it just isn't their thing.


OK, but Blues Brothers is hilarious in like ten different ways, all of which I could articulate in an essay. There's the parody of various movie tropes, there's the funny characters (just the thought of Frank Oz saying, "One prophylactic, soiled," in that Kermit the Frog voice makes me giggle like a school girl), there's the interaction between Blues Brothers and their band, all the musicians they meet, the Illinois Nazis, the police, the clientele of the country/western bar, all of which play off of stereotypes and expectations that people have of each other...There's the straight up slapstick of the police car crashes...And the fact that the Blues Brothers deadpan every single line like they'll die if they crack a smile...Seriously I could go on all day.

But I don't see why the Borat humor is funny rather than embarrassing.

Shadow_Ferret
07-06-2009, 09:23 PM
I don't really like comedy that has unwitting participants, I just find it embarrassing by proxy.

It's like a mean, unfunny Allen Funt.


There is no objective criteria by which it can be declared: "This is funny." There is only the subjective: "I think this is funny." Some people think Borat is hysterical and some people think it's embarrassingly terrible. Heck, I love the films The Blues Brothers and Best in Show and know several people who "just don't get" the humour in either. If you have to explain humour to someone, don't bother. They'll never get it because it just isn't their thing.

I have a pretty broad sense of humour. I understand what Cohen was trying to do in Borat, both politically and socially. In my opinion, some of it was very funny and some of it went too far and was less funny. I suspect Bruno will be much the same.

But I dont' even define this as humor. It's deliberately being mean and nasty at peoples' expense. Its why I dislike most political "humor." It's not funny, it's offensive and mean. Embarrassing people or making them look bad isnt' humor, it's just being hurtful. Guess I don't even get why anyone would even enjoy this kind of meanness.

maestrowork
07-06-2009, 09:27 PM
OK, but Blues Brothers is hilarious in like ten different ways, all of which I could articulate in an essay.

I just outlined some of the reasons why I thought Borat was funny.

Really, like CaroGirl said, you don't find it funny. That's fine. Many people do. Arguing about it is rather pointless.

Like I said, I think how you react to Borat says more about you than anyone else. If you find it embarrassing, then there must be something about you that finds the whole thing embarrassing. I mean, people do embarrassing all the time. People embarrass themselves all the time. People let their emotions get to the at the worst time. What Cohen did was to use a fictional character and sometimes-fictional situations (and sometimes real) to make some kind of social commentary, and yes, a lot of times it's embarrassing, but they happened.

It's perfectly fine if you don't find that funny at all, but do understand that many people find it funny, and they have very legit reasons.

veinglory
07-06-2009, 09:34 PM
People do all sorts of things all the time, that doesn't mean I'll enjoyed watching it.

CaroGirl
07-06-2009, 09:35 PM
OK, but Blues Brothers is hilarious in like ten different ways, all of which I could articulate in an essay. There's the parody of various movie tropes, there's the funny characters (just the thought of Frank Oz saying, "One prophylactic, soiled," in that Kermit the Frog voice makes me giggle like a school girl), there's the interaction between Blues Brothers and their band, all the musicians they meet, the Illinois Nazis, the police, the clientele of the country/western bar, all of which play off of stereotypes and expectations that people have of each other...There's the straight up slapstick of the police car crashes...And the fact that the Blues Brothers deadpan every single line like they'll die if they crack a smile...Seriously I could go on all day.

But I don't see why the Borat humor is funny rather than embarrassing.
For me, the funniest bits of Borat happen during the tour of his village, which is an absolute parody of Eastern European village life. "This is the village rapist." A cow stands in his living room and he doesn't acknowledge it at all. He introduces his mother, a tiny, wizened old woman. "She is oldest person in village. She is 46."

Also, when he arrives in NYC and takes a tour, doing outrageous things like masturbating on the street in front of Victoria's Secret mannequins, the theme from Midnight Cowboy plays in the background. If you know Midnight Cowboy, that's funny.

However, when he's sitting with a group of feminists and calls one of them "Pussycat," I cringed.

And yes, I can point out all those aspect of The Blues Brothers. Doesn't matter. My friend does NOT think it's funny. At all.

maestrowork
07-06-2009, 09:43 PM
I find the scenes at the church really funny and not because Borat was doing anything! It was funny because these people were doing exactly what they do, but it's so absurd to me. Again, like I said, how we react to the movie says more about us than anyone else. To me, it tells me all I need to know about myself when it comes to religions like that.

Or when Borat showed the etiquette lady the naked pictures of his son, the reaction and look on her face are just priceless. She's trying to be polite and cordial and kind about it -- the proper southern manners... she's after all, an etiquette coach -- but at the same time, you can see she's very offended. I think that was hilarious.

The broad slapsticks such as the naked fight, etc. were hit or miss. Some of them are just too outrageous and I think they tried too hard. I enjoyed the subtle, sarcastic stuff much better.

Kitty Pryde
07-06-2009, 09:44 PM
I just outlined some of the reasons why I thought Borat was funny.

Really, like CaroGirl said, you don't find it funny. That's fine. Many people do. Arguing about it is rather pointless.

Like I said, I think how you react to Borat says more about you than anyone else. If you find it embarrassing, then there must be something about you that finds the whole thing embarrassing. I mean, people do embarrassing all the time. People embarrass themselves all the time. People let their emotions get to the at the worst time. What Cohen did was to use a fictional character and sometimes-fictional situations (and sometimes real) to make some kind of social commentary, and yes, a lot of times it's embarrassing, but they happened.

It's perfectly fine if you don't find that funny at all, but do understand that many people find it funny, and they have very legit reasons.

It just feels like he's cheating at real life, by being a fake character, leaving the people he's riling up at a disadvantage (being real people). It's almost like watching a movie about a sports team that cheats and beats other teams, and then being expected to root for this team to succeed. It's great fun (for me) to watch a movie about someone trying to gain the upper hand and humiliate another person, but not when they have the advantage the entire time.

And I'm not arguing about whether or not it's funny (as obviously that can't be objectively determined), I'm merely stating my opinion and trying to articulate why I have it.

maestrowork
07-06-2009, 09:51 PM
Yes, it's fictional character "cheating" real people, but that's not new: hidden camera and candy camera shows do that all the time, and they're funny. Again, some people don't find that stuff funny, and that's fine. But it's been a legit way of comedy for a long time.

And reality TV is not really real. Many are staged/orchestrated by the producers and the cast, for example.

The thing is, though, why Borat works for me is that he's not really that outrageous. There are people like him, who are without any concept of social propriety, or understanding of the cultural constructs of certain countries. There are situations like his, either here in the US or aboard. I think what Cohen brought out was these unlikely circumstances that actually could happen. I have seen people like Borat -- one particular funny, absurd guy in Switzerland, I could remember. When I lived in New York, I saw all kinds of stuff, out of the ordinary. The subway stations are the best place to observe people like Borat, and others' reactions, and they're real people.

And the interesting thing, to me, isn't whether Borat is fake or real. The point is that the PEOPLE around him thinks it's REAL, and their reactions are REAL, and that's part of the fun, for me. Because in real life, they would react the same way if Borat was, indeed, real. And that kind of reality (even though brought on by a fictional character) grounds the comedy.

That's my $0.02.

CaroGirl
07-06-2009, 09:55 PM
And I'm not arguing about whether or not it's funny (as obviously that can't be objectively determined), I'm merely stating my opinion and trying to articulate why I have it.
I completely understand your opinion. I know while I watch Borat there are people who won't find it funny, for a variety of reasons. I only object to people saying, "I don't find it funny and don't think anyone else should find it funny either." It's simply personal taste and opinion.

I'll never understand why my friend doesn't think The Blues Brothers is funny, but she's as entitled to think that as I am to think the beloved Hollywood action-adventure Twister is a trite, badly-written pile of cliche-riddled shite.

Millicent M'Lady
07-06-2009, 10:10 PM
ETA: Does Bruno outdate Zoolander, anyway? Zoolander is 2001 ... did Bruno exist before Da Ali G Show appearances in 2003?

Yep, Bruno appeared three years before Zoolander as a series of shorts on the British Paramount Comedy Channel. He was conceived before Ali G.

Jcomp
07-06-2009, 10:16 PM
It just feels like he's cheating at real life, by being a fake character, leaving the people he's riling up at a disadvantage (being real people). It's almost like watching a movie about a sports team that cheats and beats other teams, and then being expected to root for this team to succeed. It's great fun (for me) to watch a movie about someone trying to gain the upper hand and humiliate another person, but not when they have the advantage the entire time.

And I'm not arguing about whether or not it's funny (as obviously that can't be objectively determined), I'm merely stating my opinion and trying to articulate why I have it.

I'd agree with this except he's a pretty blatant caricature. One of the reasons why I didn't laugh too much at Borat was because the whole time I just kept thinking "Seriously? You can't tell someone's playing a joke here? F'ng seriously?"

So to that end, he doesn't have a real "advantage." He'd have an advantage if he was initially presented as a perfectly "normal" and well-mannered person instead of a guy with a goofy, non-existent accent and a Groucho Marx 'stache.

Toothpaste
07-06-2009, 10:16 PM
My personal fav moment of Borat I think is in the deleted scenes. He's in a grocery store at the cheese section standing with an employee and he points at one brand of cheese and then asks: "What's this?"

"Cheese."

He points at another. "And this?"

"Cheese."

Another. "But what is this?"

"Cheese."

They go all the way down the row (you know those huge cold food presentation things at these stores, how long they are?), returns to the beginning and starts on the next row down.

Every time he asks the guy what it is he is pointing at, he manages to make it sound like the first time, and every single time the guy answers "Cheese".

It's the kind of too long humour you see in The Simpsons and The Family Guy, where it just doesn't stop. It also points to the absurdity of how many different kinds of the same kinds of foods we have, it kind of is mind blowing, low fat, half fat, organic, processed, etc etc.

Mostly though, it's just hilarious.

I don't think Cohen hits the mark every time, I agree I don't like it when innocent people are made fools of, but he also makes fools of jackasses, and I don't have any sympathy for them.

Personally my favourite moments are still the fish out of water moments, ie the cheese moment, or when he brings the chicken onto the subway.

I also personally think Cohen is extremely bright. If you watch his show, and watch him do interviews as Ali G he is very clever. He doesn't just have a prepared bit he's going to do, but he also listens, and uses what the people he is interviewing are giving him.

I agree his humour isn't for everyone, and even for me sometimes he misses the mark. But other times he's sheer brilliance. In my opinion, I realise I'm in the minority here on this thread.

maestrowork
07-06-2009, 10:21 PM
I'd agree with this except he's a pretty blatant caricature. One of the reasons why I didn't laugh too much at Borat was because the whole time I just kept thinking "Seriously? You can't tell someone's playing a joke here? F'ng seriously?"


I saw a guy pretty much like Borat (without the mustache) in Europe and never did I think he was "fake." I think because we know this is a movie and this is a character that our suspension of disbelief isn't there. But I have no problem believing that the people around him at the time thought he was for real.

Also, I still think as much as a caricature he's doing, he's illustrating a point -- there's just so much we don't know about another country and so much they don't know about us. People genuinely believed Borat was from this little Eastern European country who lives with his cow and goats. And as absurd he is compared to "normal" Americans, they accepted his story because we're just as ignorant about that country as they are about us.



So to that end, he doesn't have a real "advantage." He'd have an advantage if he was initially presented as a perfectly "normal" and well-mannered person instead of a guy with a goofy, non-existent accent and a Groucho Marx 'stache.

But what fun would that be?

dolores haze
07-06-2009, 10:24 PM
Loved Ali G. Loved Borat. Love Bruno (I can't believe he has survived some of the situations he has put himself in.) I'm not always laughing. A lot of the time I'm cringing. It goes beyond comedy at certain moments. And that, for me, is where his brilliance lies.

Jcomp
07-06-2009, 10:30 PM
I saw a guy pretty much like Borat (without the mustache) in Europe and never did I think he was "fake." I think because we know this is a movie and this is a character that our suspension of disbelief isn't there. But I have no problem believing that the people around him at the time thought he was for real.

Hell the moustache is a pretty big part of the giveaway. But even that aside, when you combine how he looks--an intentional comedic caricature, much like Bruno--with what he's saying and how he's behaving, I just find it hard to believe someone isn't inclined to immediately think "This is a joke of some sort." Maybe I'm too much a child of my era, but I just find such things preposterous.

It reminds me of (but is nowhere near as bad as) the recent TV show "Howie Do It" (worst. pun. ever.) starring Howie Mandell where he dressed up as a guy and played practical jokes on people. Much like the earlier, short-lived "Jamie Kennedy Experiment," I was actually more frustrated than amused when I watched because the whole I'm thinking "It's Howie F'ng Mandell! His costume is a bad wig and a fake goatee! There's no way you don't know that's him!"

I just feel like there's no way I'm getting fooled by that for more than two minutes... tops...

maestrowork
07-06-2009, 10:34 PM
Oh I agree. If I saw Borat or Bruno, I would suspect something. Much like I always found the hidden camera stuff silly because I thought to myself, "they look so fake!"

But guess what, people got fooled. Because they were caught in the moment and they didn't have the time to analyze or think. Also, as the old adage goes, people tend to believe what they're led to believe. But I'm sure afterwards, they probably go home and think, "wait a minute!"

But my point is, it has less to do with how WE (the audience) knows it's fake, but rather how the people there thought it was real. To me, that's where the humor is. Especially when Borat brought out the worst in the real-life jackasses -- that's why I thought it was brilliant. We get to see who people really are even though we (in the theater) know Borat is fake.

dgiharris
07-06-2009, 10:43 PM
... What Cohen did was to use a fictional character and sometimes-fictional situations (and sometimes real) to make some kind of social commentary, and yes, a lot of times it's embarrassing, but they happened.

THis was what I found to be a form of comedic genuis, on par with some of the things that Andy Kaufman used to do. Basically, just pushing the social norm.

Some people have very rigid definitions of humor. As for me, I'm pretty open minded.

There were many levels to Borat. On one hand you have the poking fun at some Russian village. Then you have the perceptions of the West in regards to this scenario. Then you have the blatant falsehood of it combined with our preconcieved notions. Then you have our preconcieved notions used against us in the form of him being a fake character and putting normal people through absurd situations.

I mean, would he have gotten away with it if he was representing a eccentric Englishman? No. But apparently, we are so superior here in America that we can buy the fact that people from Russia don't know how to work a modern toilet.

Anyways, perhaps I identify so strongly with Borat because i've done a few Borat pranks throughout my entire life.

STORY TIME

One time at work we got on the subject of where everyone was from. With a perfectly straight face I said that I was from Japan.

Everyone was like, "Born in Japan?"

I answered with a perfectly straight face. "No, I'm Japanese."

Of course, there was a pause since i'm a 5'11 ft tall black man. Then I continued, "My great grandfather on my mom's side was black, and my grandmother on my dad's side was black and i'm the 1 in 10,000 recessed gene from both sides and happened to be born black."

After saying this with a face that betrayed nothing, I stood back and watch the results. When faced with the totally absurd it is fucking hilarious to see people's reaction. After a second one guy says, "Yeah, I read about that, sorta like a black dog and a white dog having a liter of mixed dogs, some black, some white, some both"

Another person chimes in, "Yeah, that is cool, Do you know Japanese."

Then I answer in complete Japanese gitterish consisting of the 20 or so words I know (did martial arts in college).

After about 30 seconds, I can't hold back anymore and I just start laughing. Then they figure out that they've been had and started laughing.

I guess this sort of humor isn't for everyone. Fair enough

Mel...

veinglory
07-06-2009, 10:44 PM
I think everyone has a similar defintion of humor: what they smile/laugh at. You can't please 'em all.

Jcomp
07-06-2009, 10:49 PM
STORY TIME

One time at work we got on the subject of where everyone was from. With a perfectly straight face I said that I was from Japan.

Everyone was like, "Born in Japan?"

I answered with a perfectly straight face. "No, I'm Japanese."

Of course, there was a pause since i'm a 5'11 ft tall black man. Then I continued, "My great grandfather on my mom's side was black, and my grandmother on my dad's side was black and i'm the 1 in 10,000 recessed gene from both sides and happened to be born black."

After saying this with a completely strange face, I stood back and watch the results. When faced with the totally absurd it is fucking hilarious to see people's reaction. After a second one guy says, "Yeah, I read about that, sorta like a black dog and a white dog having a liter of mixed dogs, some black, some white, some both"

Another person chimes in, "Yeah, that is cool, Do you know Japanese."

Then I answer in complete Japanese gitterish consisting of the 20 or so words I know (did martial arts in college).

After about 30 seconds, I can't hold back anymore and I just start laughing. Then they figure out that they've been had and started laughing.



See that can be funny, but you're only holding it for about 30 seconds and you're not exposing hidden racism and other prejudices in the meanwhile.

I actually think Cohen's style works well on paper, and I love a good practical joke. Hell, I even love a good and relatively harsh practical joke (I laughed quite a bit at Scare Tactics), and I enjoyed small doses of him on HBO, but an entire film of it just doesn't work for me, personally.

dgiharris
07-06-2009, 10:51 PM
I also personally think Cohen is extremely bright. If you watch his show, and watch him do interviews as Ali G he is very clever. He doesn't just have a prepared bit he's going to do, but he also listens, and uses what the people he is interviewing are giving him.

I agree his humour isn't for everyone, and even for me sometimes he misses the mark. But other times he's sheer brilliance. In my opinion, I realise I'm in the minority here on this thread.

No, I'm with you. You have to be very bright to do that sort of comedy. It is pure improv and requires a sharp wit.

The Ali G interviews were hilarious. I loved it when he had a Congressman on and they had no idea what to expect.

Stephen Colbert is very similar, an outrageous character that takes his persona to an extreme.

Just for shits and giggles, here are the stats on Borat

Theatrical Performance
Total US Gross $128,505,958
International Gross $133,066,786
Worldwide Gross $261,572,744

Home Market Performance
US DVD Sales: $62,557,252 Weekly Breakdown

Mel...

maestrowork
07-07-2009, 03:13 AM
I think everyone has a similar defintion of humor: what they smile/laugh at. You can't please 'em all.

Yeah, that's why I said arguing about what is funny and what is not is rather silly. But we sure could say why it is funny to us individually. If you don't find it funny, it's okay.

I don't find a lot of things funny. I don't find Adam Sandler funny, for example, but apparently a lot of people do. I found Superbad, for example, stupid, infantile and not very funny, but a lot of people did.

That's why comedy is difficult to do. What is funny to someone is boring to another, maybe even offensive. It's much easier to do drama.

That said, I still think Cohen is a good comedian. He's willing to shed all his inhibition to portray a character so thoroughly. I've heard that when he was doing Borat, he was in character all the time, 24/7. I think you have to admire that kind of dedication about an actor, at the very least.

Shadow_Ferret
07-07-2009, 03:27 AM
People think Adam Sandler is funny? Weird.

maestrowork
07-07-2009, 04:02 AM
Judging from the popularity of Borat, I think Brüno will do very well in theaters.

robeiae
07-07-2009, 04:44 AM
THis was what I found to be a form of comedic genuis, on par with some of the things that Andy Kaufman used to do. Basically, just pushing the social norm.
Nooooooooooo...

Kaufman was a genius, imo. Cohen is not in the same category, at all. Really, no one is. Kaufman pushed the envelope farther than anyone before or since. He set up situations where he was mocking the audience, not the people in his skits. And he never let go. You KNEW he wasn't serious. You just KNEW it. Yet, he'd push so hard, you'd get that feeling that maybe he was serious, maybe he wasn't joking, at all. And YOU were the butt of the joke.

Cohen is still playing to the audience, even when he uses the unsuspecting. Kaufman was playing the audience. Every single one of them (me, included). Always. Laughing at Kauffman was laughing at yourself.