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ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 2011 | By Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times
"Matt Braunger. You know what I like about him? And here's a sign that I'm 43 years old. First off, he really makes me laugh. But also, I can watch him with my daughter. My 10-year-old daughter really likes him too. And in a smart way, she gets it. And he's not, like, filthy dirty. He's very likeable and fun, and yet it's smart at the same time. You know where I've seen Matt Braunger? I literally go on YouTube and I get all his videos, and we sit and watch him. I've never seen him live.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 2009 | Susan King
It's hard to envision veteran British actor Malcolm McDowell cooing, but the 66-year-old star of such classic films as Lindsay Anderson's "If . . . " and Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange," for which the actor will always be remembered as a vicious hood, turns out to have a weak spot: his three youngest children. "It's pretty magnificent on the whole," says McDowell of his second time around as a father, as he scrolls through his iPhone looking for pictures of his children with third wife, Kelley Kuhr -- 5-year-old Beckett; 2-year-old Finn and 7-month-old Seamus.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 2011 | By Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times
"A guy who's so funny and kills me right now is on 'Parks and Recreation:' Nick Offerman. He's someone, I think, who's in that vein of 'overnight sensation who's been working for 20 years' and no one knows about it. Nick's not a young guy, but he's someone who's so distinct and plays these great, bizarre characters. He's fantastic. And he's finally getting attention now, and a shot he really deserves. He's just dry and bizarre and weird. Oh, and has a great mustache. " For a zany night, Will Ferrell style, watch Nick Offerman on "Parks and Recreation" 9:30 p.m. Thursdays on NBC. deborah.vankin@latimes.com
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2011
There's a comedian I really like ? Brad Williams. He's a so-called little person, which is the phrase. He's a real heavyweight, a smart person with big heart. Watch for him ? really, really funny. He could do for the so-called little person, dwarfs, what Richard Pryor did for Stepin Fetchit. He breaks all the barriers down. He just gets up there and says, 'Look at me ? these are my little arms.' He's really funny. Real smart. He's real special. ?As told to Deborah Vankin
ENTERTAINMENT
January 28, 2011
"Ron Babcock ? he's definitely emerging in that alternative comics world. The thing I love about Ron is that he's like that guy that you sat next to in Spanish class who was always cracking jokes and getting you in trouble for laughing. And now he's still that guy, but he's also way cool and didn't get all fat like those other guys did from high school. "He's very observational ? he has this great bit about this book about evolution and dinosaurs ? he's definitely the smartest guy in the room.
BOOKS
December 10, 1989 | BETH ANN KRIER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Funerals are, traditionally, a time for seriousness, the one ritual at which belly laughs are notoriously disrespectful. . .unless, say, Berkeley's Rev. Doug Adams is in the pulpit. A minister who often tops his somber, black preacher's robe with a Snoopy stole, Adams is renowned for telling the favorite jokes of the dearly departed--at their own memorial services. And if the jokes are too blue for church consumption? That doesn't stop Adams. He still alludes to the material just to get the congregation laughing, carefully skipping the offensive details.
OPINION
October 14, 2009 | Barbara Ehrenreich, Barbara Ehrenreich is the author, most recently, of "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America." A version of this article also appears at tomdispatch.com.
Feminism made women miserable. This, anyway, seems to be the most popular take-away from "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," a recent study by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers that purports to show that women have become steadily unhappier since 1972. Maureen Dowd and Ariana Huffington greeted the news with somber perplexity, but the more common response has been a triumphant "I told you so!" On Slate's Double X website, a columnist concluded from the study that "the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s gave us a steady stream of women's complaints disguised as manifestos ... and a brand of female sexual power so promiscuous that it celebrates everything from prostitution to nipple piercing as a feminist act -- in other words, whine, womyn, and thongs."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 17, 2010 | By Keith Thursby, Los Angeles Times
Carroll Pratt, an Emmy-winning sound engineer who also worked with the inventor of the laugh track and spent decades adding laughter and other effects to a variety of shows, has died. He was 89. Pratt died of natural causes Thursday at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa, north of San Francisco, said his son, Scott Ouchida-Pratt. Pratt was working as a re-recording mixer at MGM in the early 1950s when he was approached by Charles Rolland Douglass, who invented the Laff Box, which was basically a series of audiotape loops.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 2010 | By Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times
"I love Maria Bamford. She makes me laugh. I think she's hysterically funny. She performs all over the place [in LA]. Have you seen her? She's so funny ? she's one of the few people that really makes you laugh hard, who's doing something so interesting and insane. She does a lot of voices. She has a very high voice and she does a lot of characters and people in her life ? with deep voices ? and it's just a unique, bizarre act. I've seen a lot of comics and it takes a lot to make me laugh really hard.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 21, 2009 | Scott Collins
Even before it was over, Sunday's Emmy Awards on CBS won raves for sprightly pacing, (mostly) classy jokes and emcee Neil Patrick Harris. There were predictable winners -- NBC's "30 Rock" won for the third time as best comedy, AMC's "Mad Men" won again for best drama -- but enough upsets to keep things interesting, including a big nod for Showtime's little-seen comedy "United States of Tara." But there was also a different kind of tension. Harris cheerfully greeted viewers with a Broadway-esque tune that urged them not to channel-surf away from the show or watch it later on DVR. "Don't jump online, 'cause this fine mug of mine needs a huge high-def screen," sang the star of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother."
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