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"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

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"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

August 11, 2006

I Think I Have A Right To Be Angry About This

I'm almost never jealous of any accomplishments in the comedy world—not because I've transcended jealousy, but because my ambitions are so peculiar no one tries to do anything exactly the way I'd want to anyway. Plus, political comedy is generally either not very informed politically or, worse, not funny.

However, I'm seriously jealous of Aasif Mandvi and anyone else involved with this segment from the Daily Show. It's one of the greatest things I've seen in years. Damn them all to hell.

Posted at August 11, 2006 12:16 PM | TrackBack

But you mocked the creepy 'opportunity' spin first. Stewart's people probably stole it from here.

Posted by: abb1 at August 11, 2006 01:23 PM

Oh, if only I could believe that, I'd be the happiest boy on earth.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at August 11, 2006 01:37 PM


What ARE your peculiar ambitions?

Posted by: Mr. Straight Lines at August 11, 2006 01:39 PM

Mr. Straight Lines,

Thank you for asking. First: become Emperor of the Americas. Then use that as stepping stone to be elected alderman in Joliet, Illinois.

Ha ha ha. Seriously, though, what I'm exploring essentially is how to take the perspective expressed here -- which seems as far as I can tell to be pretty peculiar, ALTHOUGH IT SHOULD JUST BE COMMON SENSE -- and turn it into a multimedia assault. Plus, I'd like to stay alive at the same time. Reconciling these goals is more difficult than you might think.

In any case, your interest is appreciated. There will be further news along these lines fairly soon.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at August 11, 2006 01:52 PM

First: become Emperor of the Americas.

Try impersonating the CEO of Sun Microsystems - and you're almost there.

Posted by: abb1 at August 11, 2006 02:18 PM


You are doomed to die as there is no such thing as logic in America.


However there is the alternative universe where you could possibly become emperor of that universe. Say hi to Lieberman when you get there.

Posted by: rob payne at August 11, 2006 04:45 PM

Mandvi's verbiage does sound a little like your 9-11 post from last year-- the fact that they took a chance with the 9-11 reference towards the end suggests the writer(s) want you to know they appreciate your inspiration, and hope you'll view it more as an homage than a theft. Shall I compare thee to a modern-day Hollinshed? Thou art more snarky and know how to operate a Mac.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at August 11, 2006 06:13 PM

One must admit, the skit was painfully to the point.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at August 11, 2006 10:11 PM

BTW, someone should tell Condi that the "Wei Ji" thing is the most misused piece of political fortune cookie wisdom already..."Wei Ji" in Chinese just means a "dangerous situation", which is what a crisis is.

Yeah yeah, you would like to have assumed the people that wrote the Art of War must be the greatest Machiavellian geniuses in history, and though China has had no shorage of that, I don't think even the ancient Chinese anticipated that their language would be abused as such.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at August 11, 2006 10:34 PM

I just watched it before coming to this site, and it is the first time I have tears from laughter, not tears from pain.

Posted by: at August 12, 2006 03:00 AM

You're right, Jonathan, that piece was brilliant. Right up there with Colbert's speech at the Washington correspondent's dinner.

Posted by: remmer at August 12, 2006 01:01 PM

I'm quite sure there was a collective retching sound when Condi perkily issued her upside spin.

I just want you to know that when crooks & liars had failed, after the better part of a day, to post that Daily Show clip that I sent them mail begging them to include it. Assif Mandvi's segment is a primary example of why I have now 240 gig capability on my laptop. One for the ages.

Posted by: Maezeppa at August 14, 2006 10:49 AM

I've seen the piece several times and think it's very funny, but I'm going to dryly crit it just to make Jon feel better to remind him of his comic superiority:

* In the set up, Stewart mentions Israel, Lebanon and Iraq, but makes no mention of the Palestinians.

* Mandvi, who is "live from Beirut," implies that people there don't know about Christmas morning -- false.

* IED -- there are none in Beirut. If you hear a bomb in Beirut, it's Israel bombing, perhaps they didn't want to highlight that.

* What will result -- "a parliament" -- but Lebanon has a parliament. The problem with the parliament is that the Shia are dramatically under-represented because the country hasn't had a census since the 1930s, this favors the Christians, who tend to be richer.

* Changes foisted on a region -- it's not the changes that's the problem -- as if Arabs can't deal with democracy -- the problem is the sanctions, bombing, demonization, etc.

* "redrawing boarders without regard to ethnicity or religion" -- exact opposite of what happened -- boarders were drawn to exploit ethnic and religious differences, ie, Lebanon was carved out of Syria.

* "Latest theories of your political scientists" -- not the problem -- the US is in collusion with the worst elements of the House of Saud, not a new theory -- they are not attempting to impose democracy, they are using democratic rhetoric as a pretext, just like WMDs were a pretext....


Posted by: sam -- err -- osama at August 14, 2006 03:29 PM