We all think of Sesame Street as a show for kids. It primarily is... but the writers love to add a good amount of humor to keep the adults sane while watching 45,000 hours' worth of the same episodes. They love to make any celebrities appearing on the show a foil - and the celebs don't mind!
1. Anderson Cooper
First it's Cooper's earnestly propping himself up in Oscar the Grouch's trashcan, then his interviewing the two Grouches, that makes this hilarious. I'm sure that kids don't even know who Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather really were. Just great.
2. Ricky Gervais
The interaction between Elmo and Gervais is what makes it, especially the beginning when Elmo mentions Brad Pitt. Then, Kevin Clash is able to give Elmo so much expression for a puppet with ping pong balls for eyes.
3. Jimmy Fallon
It's not just Fallon's goofy send-up of Bear Grylls, but also Sesame Street regular Alan Murakaoka who sells this. Murakaoka's eye-rolling comments in the background are just as funny as Fallon's earnestness.
4. Brian Williams
This is available for download on YouTube for $3.99 on Sesame Street's official channel, on Amazon Streaming and it's often on On Demand on Sprout. Watching the normally buttoned down Williams jump up and down and also chase a chicken who keeps taking his microphone are only a couple of the highlights.
5. Will Arnett
Arnett is great as this pompous magician who thinks he can fool children by doing simple addition and subtraction tricks without even attempting any real sleight of hand. Watching Sesame Street regular Chris pop his bubble is great.
6. Andy Samberg
PBS is constantly running this episode, called "Shape-O-Bots." Samberg dons a few very poor disguises to enlist the help of the Shape-O-Bots, and the results are hilarious.
7. Bo Jackson
The message behind this is great, but it's just so funny seeing Jackson in both football and baseball uniforms stopping and solemnly doing these kids things. Bo Diddley in the background is just the cherry on top of this sundae.
8. Patrick Stewart
Stewart lends a gravitas towards explaining the letter B...but the whole Shakespearean setting just makes it funny. Imagine if Ian McKellan had joined in?
9. Marisa Tomei
Tomei channels her My Cousin Vinny voice here for this act, and nails it. Of course, my son has never seen the movie - he's only three. I can't wait for him to see it someday.
10. The New York Jets
The funny thing about this clip is that two years later, none of them were with the team. Coach Eric Mangini was let go and Chad Pennington and the others were also gone. Ah football. Here today, on another team tomorrow.
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Rango may be the latest entry in an exceedingly long line of animated flicks featuring anthropomorphized animals but it’s anything but ordinary. The long-gestating brainchild of Gore Verbinski director of the Pirates of the Caribbean films and the first animated feature from Industrial Light & Magic George Lucas’ visual effects firm Rango staunchly defies many of the conventions of current mass-marketed cartoon fare. It's not in 3D; it's a family film that borrows heavily from such adult works as Chinatown and the post-modern westerns of Peckinpah and Leone; its oddball comic sensibility includes references to prostate exams and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as well as the more tried-and-true potty humor; and its cast of unsightly critters isn’t likely to inspire any bestselling children’s costumes come Halloween. It's an unusual strategy but it works: Rango makes for a delightfully strange if somewhat inconsistent experience.
Much of the inspiration for Rango’s skewed spirit comes from its famously skewed star Johnny Depp who voices the title character a domesticated chameleon cast by fate into the desert to find his true identity. He eventually lands in Dirt a decrepit frontier town that’s literally dying of thirst. The townsfolk of Dirt desperately need a hero and Rango a wannabe stage actor ingratiates himself with them by bluffing his way into a job as town sheriff. But Rango is something of a coward at heart and when a real threat emerges in the form of a terrifying outlaw named Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy) his lifelong habit of hiding behind false identities and just "blending in" is suddenly and devastatingly exposed.
The film's narrative is a bit jagged structured loosely around a mystery involving the sudden disappearance of Dirt's water supply and the shady machinations of the town's corrupt mayor voiced by Ned Beatty. An overabundance of characters makes matters confusing at times and some of the action set pieces including a sprawling chase scene set to Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries" (a la Apocalypse Now) are breathtaking to watch but do little to advance the storyline. The jaw-droppingly vivid animation is magnificently evocative of the frontier towns of the classic westerns: its dusty distressed aesthetic dominated by brown and beige hues will make you feel grimy -- and not a little bit parched. Verbinski does tremendous work with atmospherics in Rango manipulating space and light and shadow to create an experience more immersive than even some of the better 3D-animated films.
Let's just get through Gigli's plot so we can move on to the fun stuff. A lowly hit man Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) is hired to kidnap the mentally handicapped little brother (Justin Bartha) of a federal prosecutor for Mob purposes. A second hitperson the comely independent-minded Ricki (Jennifer Lopez) is also put on the case because Gigli can't be trusted to do the job correctly. Holed up in Gigli's apartment the duo clashes at first but gradually form a bond even though Gigli is a chauvinistic jughead and Ricki a tough-nut lesbian. Of course they also form an attachment to their quarry Brian who in his untainted innocence manages to change these two hardened individuals. Now that's over with here's just a sampling of some of the deep and meaningful dialogue that passes between these two lovebirds: Says Gigli: "I am the bull and you are the cow…f**k with the bull you get the horn." Gigli to Ricki: "I'm the Sultan of Slick…the original gangster's gangster." Ricki to Gigli: "You know this might be a good time to suggest you not allow the seeds of cruel hope to sprout in your soul." Then later more from Ricki: "The penis is a sea slug or more like a really long toe. But kissing the mouth…The mouth--the lips the warm moist hole--is a twin sister to the…" Well you get the picture. Even Brian gets in a good one when he chirps spastically "It's not my fault I'm brain damaged!" Can it get any better than this?
Ben Jen what were you thinking? On second thought don't answer that--we'd probably rather not know. This is one time when watching two huge celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck fall in love is more cringe-worthy than romantic in any way. Imagine if you will Lopez as Ricki who having succumbed to Gigli's er charm sprawls herself seductively on the bed in a little kimono robe and tells him "It's turkey time. Gobble gobble"--with a straight face. Or how about this one: "You know I'm not into the whole man thing…but somehow you got through." (Insert audible collective audience groan here). Affleck who stands around looking like he's been hit in the face with a frying pan most of the time--of course without ever mussing his hair--comes off looking even worse if that's possible. His accent fluctuates between that of a Brooklyn thug and Southern California surfer dude. As far as how some of the high-profile cameos in the film got there--including Christopher Walken as a quirky cop and Al Pacino as a mobster who gets to vent in his usual boisterous way--obviously some favors must have been called in. Pacino did win his only Oscar for his performance in Scent of a Woman helmed by Gigli's director Martin Brest. Maybe they all deserve more credit for enduring such utterly banal garbage.
Writer/director Brest has had a spotty career at best. Of a handful of movies he's had a hit here and there (Beverly Hills Cop) and a few failures (Meet Joe Black). But with Gigli the filmmaker reaches the bottom rung. He took big names thrown them in a big-budget crime drama that really wants to be a small talky indie and the end result is more like a really bad play in which all the characters give their own over-the-top soliloquies waxing prophetic about every subject under the sun--differences between males and females being gay vs. straight anger management retardation slopping pie on one's head (believe it). Granted on some level Brest is trying to think out of the box within a formulaic setting and in all honesty Gigli's premise isn't all that dreadful--just hacky. There may have been a somewhat decent movie hidden somewhere in Gigli--enough of movie at least to attract Lopez and Affleck (whose romance began on the shoot). Instead it's a discombobulated jumbled mess of incoherent musings and horrible dialogue that moviegoers just shouldn't be subjected to. We wonder if at this very moment J. Lo isn't saying to her future hubby "Let's not do this again"--but wait they are in Kevin Smith's Jersey Girls. We don't want to know what he's saying.