Randy Rainbow is back with another new song. And with so much to choose from, this time around he's decided to go with Rudy Giuliani. So, with thanks to "Mamma Mia," here we go again --
We haven't had one of those Comedy Against Trumpism videos for a while, so let's jump back in with one from South Africa. Here, it's their turn to explain why, if it's "America First," they should at least be second.
Yesterday, I posted the wondrous "Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made," that Air New Zealand made that parodied the Lord of the Rings. Today, I thought it would be nice to show how The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made... was actually made.
Here's the fun, behind-the-scenes look --
A while back, I posted a video that I titled, "The most epic safety video ever made." But that wasn't my name that I gave to the little film, it was what Air New Zealand called their own video. And the thing is -- it is. It turns out, though, that Air New Zealand has a history of making outlandish, funny and extremely wonderful safety videos. I've tracked a bunch of them down and will post them here in the coming days.
But first, as a reminder, or for new people to these pages, before we get to the others, I thought it best to repeat that original video. So, here is it is and the article I posted about...
"The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made."
* * *
And no, that is not hyperbole.
In fact, the video itself begins by saying on-screen, "The most epic safety video ever made." And it's being low-key and polite. To be fair, "Epic," in this case, is sort of a tongue-in-cheek reference, as you will see. But it's nonetheless epic in the generally accepted sense, as well. This is far and away like no in-flight safety video you've seen, or likely will ever seen. It's so far away that everything else is in third place. Just leave second place empty. And, honest, that's not an exaggeration.
The in-flight video is for the safety explanation aboard Air New Zealand flights, and...well, let's just say as a reminder that New Zealand is where they filmed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. And we'll leave it at that, and let your imaginations take over..
There are twists and turns here, and a lot of tongue-in-cheek fun, and some surprises. And further, when is the last time you ever saw credits at the end of an in-flight safety video?
As a safety video, I'm going to guess that patrons aren't going to be paying the closest attention to what's being told them, which probably isn't ideal. On the other hand, a) most people by now have a pretty good idea of the safety procedures on an airplane, b) in some ways, people are going to watch this much closer than the regular in-flight safety videos they zone out of, and c) this is going to be see FAR more by people who are not on an airplane, so there's no risk of going down in the water.
Which brings up the other point.
Beyond being the Greatest (and Most Epic) In-Flight Safety Video Ever, this is also a brilliant promotional video for the next film in The Hobbit series. If I had the opportunity to bet all my cash money, it will go viral around the world, if it hasn't already. However much it cost, there will be no need to buy TV air-time (which is so expensive), and you wouldn't anyway, since it's 4-1/2 minutes long. Maybe they'll cut down a 30-second version, but it's really not necessary, and it won't do it justice.
This is so wonderful and so smart. Just a brilliant idea, and whoever came up with the idea deserves a major promotion and bonus, and hats off to all the people on both sides of the aisle who approved doing it.
So, here, then is the most epic in-flight safety video ever made. Really.
I've been posting episodes of Zach Galifianakis's web series, Between Two Ferns, and have mentioned the most-famous episode of the show when President Obama was a guest. I'd previously posted it was it was done at the time, but realized that that was five years ago, so I really should bring it back for an encore.
The reason that the President appeared was to promote the then-new Affordable Care Act, and the administration was trying to get young people to sign up. Galifianakis has had that there was no script with him and Mr. Obama, although they gave him a slightly more general idea of what would be discussed than he'd do with other guests. He also said that he did not tell the President his now most-infamous question in advance, though did run it by one of the Mr. Obama's aides, who basically gave him a "whatever, it's your career" kind of shrug.
(Hint, so as not to give away the question, it comes very early on and begins with -- "What is it like...?"
On this week's Al Franken Podcast, he takes a u-turn. There is absolutely nothing political in it. His guest is Chris Rock. And rather than me write about it, I'll let Al --
"This week on the Al Franken Podcast, Chris Rock discusses key moments in his life, including the one where I saved his career. Which is really more about Chris realizing that HE had to CREATE his career. Rock talks about his early influences, including his grandfather, a philandering preacher who killed a guy and spent time in prison. During Chris’s Wonder Years – he spent a lot of time with Grandpa, who in addition to being a murderer, a womanizer, and a preacher, drove taxi around Brooklyn – often with young Chris in tow. See, Grandpa wrote his sermons while driving cab, and Chris got to see his process – he never wrote it down word for word – just outlined it.
"Chris talks about his NINE years being bussed, so instead of going to crappy black schools in Brooklyn he could ride an hour each way to crappy white schools, where he was often the only Black boy. In his nine years, how many times was Chris invited to a classmate’s house? Hint. If you guessed zero, you’d be wrong – but extremely close.
"During the podcast, Chris gets a call he has to take. From Super-Producer Scott Rudin. We only hear Chris’s side, but it’s good news on a movie for Rock to star in. It could be cinematic history. Judy Garland hearing she’s playing Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, and saying things like 'Great!' 'Uh huh' and 'Okay.' It’s as exciting as audio can get. And most crucially, short.
"Fun! Funny! Educational! It’s got everything you’ve grown to expect from The Al Franken Podcast. Except a deep dive into a critical public policy issue. Unless you consider race a critical public policy issue. And if you consider hearing a few funny stories from Chris’s life, most of which have nothing to do with race, a deep dive.
"Give a listen to one our funniest and most thoughtful comedians. Won’t you?"
Let's head back Out and About for another interview with my fave Jiminy Glick. This time he sits down for a talk with Billy Crystal.
If you missed this past Sunday's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the main story was on China's one-child policy that has more twists and turns than you might expect. It was quite interesting, and of course they managed to make it funny, as well.
It turns out that this is a recurring bit on the Stephen Colbert show, but I've never seen it before so I don't know if it consistently works, or if it's hit-and-miss. What I do know is that this time it was a big hit for me.
The premise is that his guest supposedly has a lot of new movies upcoming and he or she and Colbert were both in the films together. A bunch of fake posters are made up by the staff, and Colbert and the guest have to ad lib about the films to promote them.
It strikes me as a good idea that risks going nowhere -- but who knows, maybe the guests he's done this with have done good jobs with it. The guest here, though, is Jon Hamm -- and he and Colbert are terrific.
If you didn't get a chance to see John Oliver's main story this past Sunday night on Last Week Tonight, it was on what's called "compounding pharmacies." These are pharmacies that individually make drugs to fill prescriptions that would otherwise not be available in a standard pharmacy. As you might imagine, that is not the end of the story. The piece they put together is wonderful, galling and often very funny.
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, is a regular columnist for the Writers Guild of America and was for the Huffington Post. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.
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