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March 16, 2006 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-03-16

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George Wallace: A thinking man's funny man
The Iconoclast I Meta-Critic Column
By Jason Skorski

Ty ello friends. How have you been?
Thank you for the wonderful flow-
l ers and chocolates, but I don't think
yoI'Il be goading me into writing a second
column. Oh. Nevermind.
Sorry about that last review. It was pretty
mean, I know. But that wasn't me. My pet
manatee, Jerry, wrote it while drunk and
pretending to be me. I hope it didn't offend
any of you damn idiots.
So in case some of you think I actually
go around tallying banal conversations I
hear in lunchrooms, let's remember one
thing, chums. Humor lends itself to histri-
onic hogwash. Normally I wouldn't need
to explain this, but then, this isn't Gargoyle
Humor Magazine (plug! plug!). And if you'd
rather read arguments about political pup-
pet shows written in conventional parlances
and stiff-ass journalistic formalities, what
are you doing with The Statement? Really.
Today we're going to review popular
comedian George Wallace, and his new live
show, "I Be Thinkin'." Do you know George.
Wallace? I just said that he was popular, so
if you don't know him, well, that just messes
everything up. So Google him.
Oh man. I love you, George Wallace. I was
in Las Vegas yesterday, as George would say.
Actually, I was there two weeks ago. I wit-
nessed a woman jumping out of magician
Lance Burton's stomach and I saw David

Copperfield impregnate a woman without
physical contact. But even that couldn't pre-
pare me for a front-row-seat view of George
Wallace jumping out from behind theater
curtains and thrusting his pelvis at the audi-
ence from the front row amidst in-your-face
music and flashing lights. "We're gonna have
a good time!" he roared, his voice booming
with the thunderous energy of the mighty
Thor. Well, he was right.
Right off the bat, I'll say that Wallace is
smart to avoid the usual stand-up hackery of
comedians who rely on anecdotes about bad
sexual experiences and real-life "humor"
that you could hear on any tepid sitcom.
Hey. Stop reading this. Stop, and go stare
at a wall for two hours. And clap once in
a while. You've just experienced the whole
gamut of emotions felt during many stand-
up comedy showcases.
Fortunately, there's some laughing to go
with the clapping in Wallace's routine, so it
would make sense that the man's been hailed
as the "Godfather of Comedy", and received
the American Comedy Award in 1995. With
his infectious energy and quick-thinking
quips, George is very nearly indestructible
as a comedian. He proves this during the
section of the show where audience mem-
bers throw any topic at him to tackle and
he retorts with a joke without hesitation.
I'd write them out, but it's the delivery that

matters. And nobody says "special delivery"
more than George Wallace. Whew, that can
be taken so many ways ...
After some witty banter with the audi-
ence and a declaration of his disapproval
of all the states the audience members are
from, George announces he's bringing out
his 4-year-old son, who wrote a comedy act
alllllllllll byyyyy himself! "Aw man," you
think, "shameless self-promotion." But then
a 33-year-old fast-talking maniac comes
out, and you realize this isn't Wallace's kid.
It's Chris Tucker! Whoa.
So, for the rest of the show, George Wal-
lace and Chris Tucker play off each oth-
er's comedy, dancing around each other's
words in a mystical, romantic way. It's oh-
so-cute! No, not really. But they're pretty
damn hilarious. This fun bonus wasn't even
advertised. "You never know what's gonna
happen when you see George Wallace," as
the man himself says.
So where does Wallace's brilliance come
from? Good genes, probably. But other than
that, Wallace says his first comedic inspira-
tion actually came from his church pastor,
who would always open with a joke before
his sermons. He proceeds to tell the joke,
which I won't write out. But the punchline
is that Jesus didn't own a car. Whew! Oh
man! That one always gets me. Rimshot!
You can also win free stuff at George

Wallace's show. Like a pack of batteries.
And a diamond necklace. And gonorrhea.
And a new car. Wait! Pick the one that
doesn't belong! You can't advance to the
next sentence until you do. Next sentence.
Yes, it was gonorrhea. As for the car, it
busts out of the wall in the middle of the
show and runs over the audience. No, actu-
ally they didn't even have a car. But in our
post-show conversation, George assured
me that they were planning something
spectacular with this car giveaway in the
near future.
Wallace is one of those live entertainers
that you don't have to watch with a patron-
izing smile as you fidget in your chair and
wonder why you wasted $50. On the con-
trary, he's easily one of the most clever
comedians of our time, and the refreshing,
interactive nature of his show gives fans
the incentive to see it again. And again.
You never know what's gonna happen when
you see George Wallace. So hop on a bus
to Vegas and see this man while he's there.
And if you don't like him, hop on another
bus that leads straight to hell.
George Wallace: "I Be Thinkin"'
Rating: ****
Jason can be reached by e-mail at
jskorski@umich.edu.

Red carpet fashion
Fashion Fascist J Fashion Column
By Faria 1abbar

The Oscars have come and gone, and,
thankfully, so has the media frenzy
that accompanies it. It seemed like
this year's pre-show hype was more ridic-
ious than ever - I couldn't turn on the
TV without hearing some bullshit about
"Hollywood's most magical night." How-
ever, judging from the media coverage, you
wouldn't be able to tell that the Oscars were
awards given out for outstanding work in
film. More and more, attention has become
focused on the red carpet and what celebri-
ties are wearing - E!'s endless red carpet
coverage and Joan and Melissa Rivers's TV
Guide Channel takeover are a testament to
this. This shift is unfortunately representa-
tive of our celebrity-obsessed culture - a
natural by product of which is the constant
fixation over celebrity fashion. This leaves
me asking ... is celebrity fashion really that
serious?
As a self-ranked fashion advocate, it may
seem a little bizarre for me to question an
over-obsession with fashion. However, it
seems like celebrity style is being taken
way too seriously. Walking into Urban
Outfitters and seeing the book "How to get
Celebrity Style" with a giant picture of Jen-
nifer Aniston's face on the front, is pretty

ridiculous. Why would you want her style?
Don't you want to find your own? Fashion
has always been a form of creativity and
self-expression. What are people saying
about themselves when they run out and
buy clothes only because they've seen their
favorite celebrity wearing them? Fashion
is not about seeing how well you can jock
someone else's personal style; It's about
how well you can create your own.
It's OK to look at a celebrity and get
style inspiration. Some people need help
when exploring their own fashion sensibili-
ties, and considering the put-together, well
styled looks of many famous people is a
fine place to start. However, it's not right
to pore over the pages of Us Weekly trying
to figure out what brand bag or watch your
favorite celebrity is wearing so you can buy
it for yourself.
Concerning the obsession over red car-
pet style: The media needs to not only calm
down, but also reevaluate its idea of what
constitutes "good" and "bad" fashion.
Admittedly, the Oscar red carpet is not
just about admiring the gorgeous gowns
and handsome suits - we watch because
we also want to laugh at who messes up
(i.e. Bjork's infamous swan disaster, or

from this year, Lauren Hutton's completely
inappropriate Yves Saint Laurent "outfit").
Critics, however, love to bash anything even
remotely fashion-forward. For example,
Charlize Theron's deep green Dior Haute
Couture dress (with a giant bow on the left
shoulder) was panned by critics. However, I
think Charlize looked amazing.
Critics are too scared of pushing in new
directions on the red carpet; all they want
to see is a smiling and adorable Reese
Witherspoon in a safe and cutesy dress.
God forbid somebody like Charlize actu-
ally make a statement on the biggest fash-
ion night of the year. Please, every lady
put on a vintage Chanel dress with some
variations of sparkling embroidery on it
and some generic diamond jewelry bor-
rowed from the same "hip" L.A. jeweler,
and march down the red carpet single file.
No offense to Reese, whose clean and ele-
gant aesthetic works well for her, but this
should not become the singular look dur-
ing Oscar night.
People should not be punished for push-
ing the envelope or making a statement -
they should be lauded. Good for Charlize.
She looked so good, she started looking
inhuman. Haters need to stop criticizing

the supernatural goddess look and start
wishing for more of it.
And anyway, we've almost forgot-
ten an important point - the Oscars are
about best in film, not best in fashion. I'm
not saying to completely ignore what the
celebrities are wearing - I'm just say-
ing we need to remember the damn point.
I love fashion, but I love remembering
the point of stuff even more. Instead of
obsessing over who looked good and who
looked bad, let's redistribute our energies
to focus on whether we look good. If the
same amount of attention was paid to what
celebrities wore on the red carpet as to
what normal people wear in everyday life,
everyone would start looking a lot better.
So, celebrity style: it's not that serious
... get over it. I guess if you actually really
do need the guidance of famous people to
make fashion decisions, you're not going
to let me stop you, so whatever. Just make
sure you stay out of my face because I have
a zero tolerance policy when it comes to
that bullshit. Now go buy InTouch maga-
zine.
Faria can be reached by e-nail at
fjabbar@umnich.edu.

4B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 16, 2006

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