Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Jane Lynch Spoofs the iPhone 4

It’s hard not to love Jane Lynch.

Her perfect timing, hard-edged exterior, and outrageous, foul-mouthed utterances–all delivered with an impish smile. This spoof of the new iPhone is hilarious. Happy Tuesday.


Filed under: comedy, consumerism, technology, , , ,

What if Spiderman Weren’t White?

There’s a Facebook group trying to cast Donald Glover as the new Spiderman.

Interesting proposition: is it essential that the next incarnation of Peter Parker/Spidey be white? It would be mildly subversive–and a shock to mainstream audiences, I think–to cast a person of color in this role. Under all that skintight superhero wear, it would be great to see a dark-skinned face as the superhero.

Glover himself is a fine actor and comedian. I’ve blogged about Glover and his hilariousness in the past; he’s done hilarious work in Community.

Hey, if it worked for Betty White on Saturday Night Live

Filed under: comedy, entertainment, race, , , , , , , ,

Dept of Useless Entertainment: Alpaca Surfing

And yes, just because it’s Friday:

Filed under: alpaca, comedy, surfing, ,

More Black Comedians with White Friends

Continuing the theme of a previous post on racial comedy: here’s Donald Glover, whiz kid writer and actor on NBC’s Community, talking about his childhood as a black nerd with white friends.

“I went to NYU,” Glover says, “where it’s like a Jurassic 5 concert. There’s supposed to be a lot of black people, but there’s not.”

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Glover’s anecdote about what his white friends can do–like a seemingly innocuous prank in a swimming pool–is hilarious. What is a white person’s apocalypse? Glover has one idea.

The NYT has a great profile of Glover in today’s Arts section, if you haven’t read it already (that’s how I found Glover’s stand-up clips). I knew that the NYU graduate was a great character actor from his television gig on Community in which he plays a dumb jock, but I didn’t know that he was so invested in his own comedy. Glover’s Internet videos, his comedy troupe, and his former day job as a writer on 30 Rock preceded his acting.

Glover’s backstory reminds me of so many rising comedians of color, like Aziz Ansari on Parks and Recreation and Ken Jeong, Glover’s castmate on Community. There’s a growing appreciation for comics of color, and their commentary on racial relations.

Is comedy the only forum left for honestly discussing race?

Too often it seems that our national issues of race are skirted by politicians (think of Obama’s reluctance to openly discuss race during the presidential campaign–and only when confronted with his pastor’s racist words) or painted as post-racial by Hollywood.

I recently listened to the women of The View talking about racial representations around Oscar-nominated movies (yes, I’m guilty of watching The View); when Vanessa Williams expressed her criticism of The Blind Side for its perpetuation of a black person saved by a white person, Barbara and Elizabeth immediately shot her down instead of engaging in dialogue.

I wonder if the conversation would have been different if there were more than one black person–Whoopi, maybe?–in the conversation.

Filed under: comedy, race, , , , , , ,

What are the rules of your interracial posse?

I’ve never seen this routine from Chris Rock, who I like an awful lot. He’s got the raunchy fearlessness of Eddie Murphy and Lenny Bruce, and the sharp cultural critiques of Dave Chappelle (whose “Racial Draft” (below) is one of my all-time favorites).

I like Rock so much because here he acknowledges our post-racial world. All his black friends have a bunch of white friends. And all his white friends have…

Exactly one black friend.

Rock recently interviewed African American women for a documentary called Good Hair (which he discussed with Oprah last September), and stirred–ahem–strong emotions from both black and white women. African American women felt almost betrayed by Rock, who showed the lengths black women go to to straighten, perm, and add extensions to their hair. It was a great dialogue in which women of many races conversed openly and honestly.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Rock asks the audience: “Can white people say ‘nigger’?

Check out Rock’s advice, then contrast with Dave Chappelle’s sketch on interracial perceptions that caricatures Tiger Woods, among others, below.

Filed under: comedy, race, , , , , , , ,



» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
March 2019
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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