It takes a lot of cojones (or maybe just complete stupidity) to make the same mistake twice. But that's just what New York mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner managed to do when he got caught up in yet another sex scandal. In keeping with tradition, the newest issue of The New Yorker features a clever cartoon cover (say that three times fast) mocking this latest piece of news from the nefarious world of politics.
In the illustration for the August 5 issue, we see Anthony Weiner à la King Kong, straddling a strategically placed Empire State Building, but with a slightly, shall we say, risqué twist. As you've probably noticed, Weiner's scandal lends itself to countless parodies, late-night talk show jokes, and other sorts of fodder for hilarity. (Seriously, his name is Weiner.) But the barrage of media attention and comedic content inspired by his sexual indiscretions is nothing new or unusual. Rather, Weiner's scandal is just the latest in the slew of politicians' sordid affairs that have sparked full-on laugh riots in the comedy world. From fake campaign commercials to parody songs to just straight-up hilarious commentary, these are some of our favorite reactions to political sex scandals.
John EdwardsNorth Carolina Democrat John Edwards was once a state senator, nominee for Vice President, and candidate for President of the United States. But his political ambitions were dashed when news broke that he had fathered an illegimate child with his mistress and former campaign worker Rielle Hunter. The scandal, which caused a national outrage, also inspired an abundance of humorous parodies, including several Saturday Night Live sketches. And we can't forget MadTV's "Viva La Cheata," a musical parody of Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" starring Jerry O'Connell as Edwards.
Herman CainPresidential candidate hopeful Herman Cain was a frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination in 2011, but he was forced to suspend his campaign when four women sued him for sexual harrassment and misconduct. When the fourth season of Arrested Development premiered on Netflix this summer, fans were introduced to a new character named Herbert Love. Mr. Love, a bizarre conservative politician who has an affair with Lindsay Bluth Fünke, is an unmistakable caricature of Herman Cain. If you have a Netflix account, check out his role in the latter half of Season 4. And if you don't, change that.
Mark SanfordWhen South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford went missing for a few days in 2009, it didn't take too much investigative reporting to discover that the married politician was visiting his mistress in Argentina. On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart had a few hilarious choice words about the scandal, calling Sanford "just another politician with a conservative mind and a liberal penis."
Bill ClintonNothing epitomizes the political sex scandal quite like President Bill Clinton's Monica Lewinsky affair. There are too many jokes, songs, commentaries, and parodies to count, but one of our favorite takes on the scandal is Billy Bob Thornton's sleazy, womanizing American president character in Love Actually. Also, when the creators of baracksdubs decided to put together a presidential version of Robin Thicke's suggestive "Blurred Lines," there was no better fit than good ol' Bubba Clinton.
Eliot SpitzerIn 2008, New York governor Eliot Spitzer made headlines and was forced to resign when The New York Times reported that he had been a patron of a high-priced prostitution service called Emperors Club VIP. In all legal proceedings, Spitzer was referred to as Client #9, a moniker that inspired a musical parody of the scandal, set to the melody of Love Potion No. 9. Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler also had some hilariously incredulous commentary on the subject in their signature "Really!?!" segment.
Arnold SchwarzeneggerCalifornia governor and Kennedy husband Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to have it all. That is, until it was revealed that he had an illegitimate child with one of his longtime household employees. The Governator's scandal prompted yet another brilliant "Really!?!" sketch (unfortunately sans Amy Poehler)
David VitterWhen Louisiana senator David Vitter was identified as a client of the the "D.C. Madam" prostitution service, he did not face criminal charges because of the statute of limiations. The Republican congressman did however face a wave of mockery from the press and public alike. Funny Or Die put together a fake campaign commercial with video footage of Vitter accompanied by captions like "David Vitter has a diaper fetish."
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
A total knockout as a piece of well-made B-movie grit Fighting focuses on two men living on separate edges of society who come together to make a killing in the forbidden world of bare-knuckle fighting. When con man Harvey Boarden spots raw street-fighting talent in the form of small-town dude Shawn MacArthur the two team up by entering Shawn in the potentially lucrative underground circuit a place where rich men bet on young brawlers who battle like pit bulls unleashed. With success comes complications however and Shawn ends up fighting not only for money but his whole future — which suddenly is very much at stake.
WHO’S IN IT?
Rising young heartthrob Channing Tatum’s (Step Up) raw star power blasts through the screen as Shawn a role that thankfully calls for more complexity than just acting with his fists. Opposite Oscar-nominated actor Terrence Howard’s (Hustle & Flow) Harvey he steps up his game and the two play off each other with ease searching for ways to lift what is basically an action vehicle into something more emotionally involving and Rocky-esque. Certainly the highlights are still the intense and brutal fight sequences but because Tatum invests more than just one note into his portrayal of a guy trying to work his way up from the streets into a better life we are behind him all the way. In a case of a Zulay playing another Zulay Zulay Henao is sweet and appealing as a girl Shawn starts dating between bouts while Brian White is menacing and slippery as Evan Hailey a key rival and protégé of Shawn’s own estranged father. Also of note is Altagracia Guzman who has a couple of very funny scenes as Zulay’s disapproving grandmother.
The heart-stopping realism of the bare-knuckle fighting is refreshingly free of cinematic trickery and CGI assistance. It’s raw and packs real punch particularly during a sequence in which Shawn faces a formidable martial arts opponent but also in the climactic bout with Hailey. And fortunately there are some nice twists along the way that keep this flick from drifting into complete predictability. Director Dito Montiel who previously made the Sundance award-winner A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (also with Tatum) knows the New York street scene well.
Although richly entertaining the film could have benefitted from a deeper look into this forbidden world of underground human fighting which hasn’t been explored much on-screen beyond the very unique take of David Fincher’s acerbic Fight Club.
Aside from the powerful fisticuffs on constant display it has to be Shawn’s first encounter with Zulay’s grandmother when he arrives unannounced for dinner. It’s priceless stuff serving to humanize him and ramp his score way up on the likeability meter.
Give credit to the filmmakers for the simplicity of the name. Fighting tells you everything you need to know.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
Multiplex. Like any boxing match it’s more fun to watch with a crowd.
Everything appears to be status quo between humans and mutants. There’s a president who is sympathetic towards mutants Prof. Charles Xavier’s (Patrick Stewart) school is thriving and Magneto (Ian McKellen) is quiet--for the moment. But when a “cure” for mutancy is discovered which would give those with the mutant gene the choice to give up their powers and become human Magneto sees red. Cure mutants? Dem’s fightin’ words. With a few more allies on his side--including the resurrected Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) who now calls herself the Phoenix and has unlimited powers--Magneto prepares to trigger the war to end all wars while the X-Men--lead by the stalwart Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and milquetoasty Storm (Halle Berry)--try to stop him. I seriously doubt this is really their Last Stand. All the usual suspects are back. Stewart is once again sufficiently wise as Xavier while McKellen’s Magneto continues to be one of the cooler comic-book villains. It’s amusing to watch him calmly mangle cars or dislodge the Golden Gate bridge with a gleam in his eye. Janssen also seems to relish playing dual roles--the tormented Grey and her evil alter ego Phoenix who is one scary broad. Unfortunately Jackman doesn’t have as much to chew on in Last Stand as he did in X2 and Berry is once again only good for drumming up fog. But the new mutants are kind of fun: Ellen Page (so deadly in Hard Candy) plays sweet this time as Kitty Pryde who can “phase” through solid material; Vinnie Jones (Snatch) is boisterous as the aptly named Juggernaut; Kelsey Grammer is diplomatic as the highly intelligent--and very blue--Dr. Hank McCoy aka Beast; and Dania Ramirez (Fat Albert) as the blink-of-an-eye quick Callisto gets to kick Storm’s ass. Cool cat fight. How dare director Bryan Singer leave his X-Men to go direct another superhero movie even if it is Superman Returns. If Wolverine had anything to say about he might have ripped Singer a new one. You really do feel Singer’s absence in The Last Stand. All of the director’s tormented pathos towards his mutant comrades and their struggles to live in the human world are not as prevalent in this third installment. Instead we’ve got happy-go-lucky director Brett Ratner of Rush Hour fame who turns The Last Stand into one giant id--big explosive and campy. Of course to his credit Ratner is pretty good at delivering a rousing albeit superficial action movie. It’s just not as gripping as X2. But listen the spirit of the comic is already built in from the previous installments so in essence we already know these characters pretty well. Do we really need more angst?