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Need a Daily Dose of Humour? Check out Adrita Das’s Artwork

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Mumbai-based graphic artist and illustrator, Adrita Das has always tried to challenge the status quo in her field. She infuses humour through her artwork by picking up different aspects of religious iconography to bring out stronger reactions in people.

Her stories cater to an audience in the digital age who have short attention spans and only respond to work that they can relate to. As one of the seven artists for Saptan Stories, Das shares insights into her work in this brief interview. Saptan Stories is a unique collaborative arts project developed as part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017. The project invites people in India to generate a unique story over seven weeks, which then gets illustrated by seven standout artists from India and the UK.

Q: Religious imagery features heavily in your work, and is often subverted by placing characters in modern day situations, or with contemporary objects like smartphones or VR headsets. Why do you do this, and what kind of reactions do you get?

I started using religious iconography as a medium I could play around with because of the already established context it came with. Though I began doing so just out of curiosity, over time I realised that subverting an image that is already iconic and ingrained into people’s lives brings out a stronger reaction in them. It was also to bring humour to a topic that is very sensitive in India.

Q: What is the perception of UK culture and art in India?

India and the UK share a long history together. Most of each other’s art and culture that we know of is still seen through our post-colonial lenses. However, one of the most striking aspects of their culture would be their contribution to humour, something that has inspired a lot of my work as well. English humour made me realise that the most mundane situations could be the funniest.

Q: How important is it for you to introduce art to people who might not normally see it or have access to it?

The internet has brought more democracy to the arts in India than any institution ever could. Before it arrived, there was a huge imbalance between the people who consumed and produced it, which clearly highlighted the class system. It’s very important to me to work towards not just bringing my art to the masses but also making sure that more people have access to creating it.

Q: How do you see storytelling as part of your art?

Most of my work revolves around engaging an audience online which brings with it a limited attention span. People relate and react to relevant stories, online or otherwise so I consider it an important factor to consider while reaching out to them.

Q: What excites you most about being part of Saptan Stories?

The most exciting part was and continues to be that the story is completely unpredictable at every step. I’m hoping to see some plot twists. Also, the fact that it is a collective, crowd-sourced effort makes it more interesting.

Q: A lot of your work carries feminist sentiment. How is that important to you?

I don’t have particular themes that I plan for my work but most of what I post online is a sudden reaction to current events. When I see an imbalance in the way the media treats a situation, I try and push forth for a liberal discussion. Because of this a lot of my work has started to show feminist sentiment since, in a country like India, it has been a widely imbalanced representation and something that I could personally relate to.

Q: Parody and humour is present in so much of your work. Can you tell us a bit about why you use it so much?

I always noticed that I never completely tried to understand a perspective or opinion when it was forced upon me aggressively. A lot of people shy away from important discussions and conversations because they don’t wish to carry that burden of saving the world (as did I, when I was younger). Humour and parody helped me in understanding these complex situations to the point where I no longer expected people (or myself) to find an answer but to sit back and laugh at it all. Humour definitely makes the situation seem a lot less important in the grand scheme of things.

Q: If you weren’t a visual artist, what might you be doing instead?

I always wanted to become a journalist. However while growing up I saw a lot of instances where the media was controlled by the government/corporations and so I decided to go guerrilla by becoming an artist instead.

Q: You work with a lot of digital collages – what do you like about that technique?

I love the fact that photo-collages take such little time and have such a great impact. In my opinion, digital collages are the future of political and social commentary, in an age where trending news hits us with great speed and Photoshop reigns supreme. I also love using photos/images/paintings that already have an established iconic value in the minds of the audience.

You can find out more about her work by visiting Saptan Stories. Click here

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Philly’s absurdist comics Tim and Eric have another series of Dadaist humor for you

Once upon a time, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim – the Philadelphia-raised comedy team known as Tim and Eric – told their oddly absurd tales through the lens of lo-fi, DIY technology and socially awkward characters.

With their 2001 start at Temple University and the creation of TimAndEric.com, uncomfortably long pauses, stiff cut-and-paste illustration and the stilted feel of public access television became their comic signatures. That was the look, the sound and the feel of every Tim and Eric television production, from “Tom Goes to the Mayor,” their groundbreaking “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Good Job!” and “Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule,” the latter starring actor John C. Reilly. 

Like those Adult Swim network shows, “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” featured cheesy cable access technology, cheap, faux advertising schemes and goofy, big-name co-stars such as Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell, Jeff Goldblum and Will Forte. So beloved was the five season-long “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Good Job!” that the pair made a rare live appearance at Philadelphia’s Merriam Theatre in July for that show’s 10th anniversary.

Now, Tim and Eric are about to launch “Bedtime Stories” – a second season of scary, silly shows premiering Sunday on Adult Swim.

“The humor element – the thing that drove Tim and I together – is almost a supernatural phenomenon,” said Heidecker. 

“The lo-fi and the cut-and-paste thing was just us working with what we had available.” 

Besides inexpensive but innovative design and silly, Dadaist jokes is what won Tim and Eric the attention of Bob Odenkirk. That comic actor and producer, known then for HBO’s “Mr. Show,” is now famous for crime dramas such as “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.”

“We didn’t know actors, so we became the actors; didn’t know how to make animation but couldn’t afford to pay someone,” said Wareheim about the pair’s start. 

“That was our spirit, the whole DIY can-do nature of who we are…That’s us coming from Philly and hustling.” 

The acclaimed “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Good Job!” lasted from 2007 until 2010 with 50 episodes and two specials.

What Tim and Eric became known for is an avant-garde comic take on the traditional sketch-shorts concept that made “Twin Peaks: The Return” look like a Pixar flick in comparison. “Bedtime Stories” is a dark parody of horror anthology television (think “The Twilight Zone”) that looks like nothing the pair produced in the past. Only the weird riffs on bodily functions and uncomfortably funny laugh lines remain.

“By the time season four of ‘Awesome Show’ rolled around, we had filmed so many sketches that we were ready to make something more story-like with characters to follow,” said Wareheim. 

“I mean, when we started at Temple University, our intention was to make movies. Plus, throughout our time with ‘Awesome Show,’ we did horror-based shorts with Funny or Die Presents like ‘The Terrys’ about a couple who give birth to a puppet boy.” 

Heidecker said that with those shorts, the pair found that they could do something fulfilling, humorous and haunting at the same time. 

Bedtime Stories” is a dark parody of horror anthology television (think “The Twilight Zone”) that looks like nothing the pair produced in the past. Only the weird riffs on bodily functions and uncomfortably funny laugh lines remain.”

“Some stories would be funny. Some would be scary,” stated Heidecker.

“We don’t do those sorts of repeat characters with cool catchphrases,” said Wareheim. 

Heidecker agreed that patterns of expectation (“from our audience, maybe ourselves”) simply got too comfortable on “Awesome Show,” and the pair reacted. As the previous four seasons had a deep and silly connection to their sketch comedy roots, “Awesome Show” Season 5 toyed with disgust, detritus and true horror. That’s where the ideas behind “Bedtime Stories” came in.

Starting with a Halloween 2013 pilot episode, “Bedtime Stories” seems to be about those things which men fear most – like Stephen King’s “IT,’ without the toothy clowns (so far). 

“The over-arching theme for this new season is the like the worst things that Tim and I can imagine in the real world,” said Wareheim.

“Real-life things are genuine nightmares to us, like addiction, anxiety, depression and human faults,” said Heidecker. 

Without revealing too much more about “Bedtime Stories”’ plots, he adds but a hint to what’s in store this season. 

“Growing up. Adult fears. These are the things we want to talk about now.”

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Disjointed Coughs Out Some Tired Dope Humor

'Disjointed'‘Disjointed,’ NetflixDisjointed. Available now on Netflix.

Way back when, my college newspaper ran a review of a Cheech and Chong show under a headline that qualified as remarkably confessional for the time: “Dope Humor Has Its Limits.” I don’t know if we’ve got to make royalty payments to whatever youthful copy editor wrote that headline, but I can’t think of a single other thing to say about Netflix’s new sitcom Disjointed.

Dopers so wrecked they can’t talk. Dopers so wrecked they can’t move. Dopers so wrecked they use the Heimlich maneuver to make each other exhale dope smoke rings. (Okay, that one’s new, at least for the first five seconds.) Basically, there’s not a gag in Disjointed that wouldn’t have fit into—or worn itself out as quickly as—a Cheech and Chong sketch or an early 1970s give-me-another-brownie flick like The Groove Tube.

But even back then, the driving force of cannabis comedy—hey, man, they’re smoking weed right there on the screen, my parents would be so freaked—lasted about as long as the pizza you ordered to counter the munchies. These days, with reefer madness reduced to reefer eccentricity (one in five Americans lives in states where it’s pretty easy to find a legal joint), the potency is even slighter. If Disjointed were actually dope, it would be growing-along-the-river skankweed.

The wispy premise of Disjointed is that its dope-addled characters get wasted under the pretense of working in a Southern California medical-marijuana dispensary. Kathy Bates plays Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, the senescent hippie owner, who says she’s preaching “the gospel of marijuana: the miraculous plant that has the power to heal the sick, calm the afflicted, and usher in a golden age of people of people not being such dicks all the time.”

Mostly, she’s just oversampling her own product, with occasional timeouts to bicker with her son Travis (Aaron Moten, The Night Of), an MBA with more secular motives: “Petty soon, somebody is going to become the Walmart of cannabis. Why not us?”

Then there are employees: Jenny (Elizabeth Ho, Melissa & Joey), who introduces herself in one of the clinic’s Internet ads as “your tokin’ Asian,” whose tiger mom thinks she’s a surgeon; Olivia (Elizabeth Alderfer, Game Day), a refugee from a meth-blighted midwestern town who harbors secret doubts about the benignity of drugs; and Carter (Tone Bell, Truth Be Told), who has a secret of his own, one not usually associated with comedy.

If the substance of Disjointed seems straight out of 1972, so does its structure. It’s less a sitcom than a muddled series of stream-of-semi-consciousness sketches, punctuated by cut-ins of the clinic’s commercials, kind of a stoner version of Laugh-In. Though for you 1980s connoisseurs, there’s a running gag in which Jennie speaks Chinese to her mother—that’s it, no jokes, no punch lines, just the sound of Chinese—to the uproarious delight of the canned laugh track that’s been appended to the show. Not since John Hughes foreshadowed every appearance of a Chinese character named Long Duck Dong with the crashing sound of a gong in 1984’s Sixteen Candles has a producer or director deemed Asian ethnicity so innately amusing.

The producer in question is Chuck Lorre, the mastermind of The Big Bang Theory, Mom, and Two and a Half Men, whose association with Disjointed is as inexplicable as quantum physics after a bong full of Maui Wowie. “Back in the day, marijuana was a cause,” says Ruth. “Now it’s just a commodity.” Marijuana humor, too.

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Chris Hemsworth Finds New Shades Of Humor In Thor: Ragnarok

Marvel fans were very surprised by the tone of the Thor: Ragnarok trailers and all of the bright colors of the images. It looked nothing like the previous productions and maybe even more over the top than Guardians of the Galaxy. For star Chris Hemsworth it was a new approach from the previous four times he’s played the character as he told Collider at a set visit last year.

In the first film, we had a lot of fish-out-of-water humor. Since it was an origin story, there was a lot of naivety. It was sort of Crocodile Dundee. In the second film, the story didn’t lend itself to many opportunities to have those moments of humor and I’ve missed that. When I saw [Thor: The Dark World], I was happy with it but I thought the next one’s got to be more fun. I was a big fan of Taika [Waititi’s] work. In all of his films, he strikes this beautiful balance of humor and heart. It’s all grounded in a reality, but it’s fun and enjoyable. That’s what we’re going to do with [Thor: Ragnarok]. This could be a flat out comedy if we wanted or we could pull it back and meet it in the middle. But I’ve never improvised so much with this character, which has been really exciting. Taika will just yell suggestions while rolling. ‘Try this, try that.’ That has really changed the game for myself on this film.

This different approach meant that Hemsworth had to be open to the character feeling very different from previous iterations. Thor is an inherently ridiculous character so which is why he makes such a good candidate for the “fish out of water” style comedy as Hemsworth says.

HEMSWORTH: [Thor’s] very much a fish out of water again. The situations he finds himself in are very removed from any kind of Asgardian, ethereal [realm]. There’s a greater awareness now, a maturity to [Thor]… He can’t go back into completely adolescent-mode like the first [film]. [I’ve] got to go, ‘What would [I] expect Thor to do or say and how can [I] come about it the other direction?’ That lends to going, ‘Oh, this doesn’t even feel like the character anymore,’ which I think is a good thing.

It’s good that Hemsworth trusted his director to go in a direction that felt very different. This abrupt style changes between the Thor movies have made them feel a little schizophrenic as far as tone goes. However, it’s also a series that has had a hard time finding its own identity separate from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Maybe embracing how insane the very concept is is the way to go.

Summary: Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

Thor: Ragnarok, directed by Taika Waititi, stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, and Mark Ruffalo. It will be released on November 3rd.

(Last Updated September 8, 2017 1:57 pm )

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Black humour and heart launches new WCT season


Ryan James Miller, as Kyle Best, and Aidan deSalaiz, as Hamilton Best, are part of the cast of WCT’s The Best Brothers. (Allen Douglas/KTW)

Western Canada Theatre is launching its new season with a staging of The Best Brothers, which will be performed at Pavilion Theatre from Thursday, Sept. 14, to Saturday, Sept. 23.

Pavilion Theatre is at 10th Avenue and Lorne Street, just east of downtown.

The Best Brothers involves an unexpected death that leaves two very different brothers to arrange the funeral, write the eulogy and ponder if mother’s favourite son was . . . the dog.

When the free-spirited woman dies suddenly, her two middle-aged sons bicker over her funeral arrangements, her personal effects — and her feisty Italian Greyhound.

Unearthing decades of buried rivalry, they ponder meaningful questions, such as, “Who did she love the most?” and “Who has to take the dog?”

The Best Brothers is an eccentric modern comedy written by Daniel McIver, who displays an ability to tackle what might be considered uncomfortable subject matter and, through wry observation and zinging dialogue, engage the audience with humour and understanding.

The production features four artists staging a play in Kamloops for the first time: Aidan deSalaiz plays uptight brother Hamilton Best, while Ryan James Miller plays the slightly flighty Kyle Best. Directing is Sharon Bajer, while costume designer is Suzannah Marriott.

Kamloops audiences will be familiar with the work of locals Ross Nichol (set and lighting designer) and Christine Leroux (stage manager).

Western Canada Theatre is co-producing the season-opening play with Theatre NorthWest in Prince George, where it will hit the stage in April.

Tickets for The Best Brothers can be purchased at Kamloops Live! Box Office by calling 250-374-5483, going online to kamloopslive.ca or visiting the office at 1025 Lorne St. (at the corner of Lorne Street and 10th Avenue).

• Western Canada Theatre will follow The Best Brothers with Million Dollar Quartet, based on the book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux and inspired by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

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Les Coquettes – Hey Mademoiselle – Le Grand Studio RTL Humour



Les Coquettes jouent un extrait de leur spectacle dans le Grand Studio Humour.
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Les Coquettes – Le missionaire – Le Grand Studio RTL Humour



Les Coquettes jouent un extrait de leur spectacle dans le Grand Studio Humour.
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Michel Boujenah – Le zozoteur – Le grand Studio RTL Humour



Michel Boujenah joue un extrait de son spectacle dans le Grand Studio Humour.
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Michel Boujenah – L’amour – Le grand Studio RTL Humour



Michel Boujenah joue un extrait de son spectacle dans le Grand Studio Humour.
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Les Grosses Têtes : Les meilleurs moments de l’émission culte de RTL en vidéo
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LA RENTRÉE des PARENTS // Humour



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