CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 2007 |
When Arnold Schwarzenegger met Merv Griffin, the bodybuilder was newly arrived in California from Austria and had never been on a talk show. But as now-Gov. Schwarzenegger recalled in a speech punctuated by laughter Friday afternoon at Griffin's Beverly Hills funeral, the talk show host got around Schwarzenegger's poor English and made him feel at ease. The future governor said he knew immediately that he and Griffin would become good friends.
June 25, 2007 |
Tumbling puppies. The latest YouTube making the rounds. Will Ferrell on the big screen. All can provoke the flexing of facial muscles and respiratory contractions that amount to a laugh. Genuine laughter (and possibly even forced laughter) may be, if not the best medicine, then a pretty good one. But laughter sometimes has a more somber side. Back in the '60s, now-emeritus Stanford psychiatry professor Dr.
April 11, 2007 |
With repeat off-Broadway successes but a less-proven record in commercial theater, stage director Christopher Ashley will become La Jolla Playhouse's artistic director in October, succeeding Des McAnuff, who turned the playhouse into a developmental workshop and launching pad for a series of Broadway hits. Announcing the 42-year-old New Yorker's appointment Tuesday, the playhouse's board chairman, Ralph Bryan, said a wide-ranging search had yielded "an accomplished theater artist ...
April 10, 2007 |
WHAT do you get when you try to cross "Heroes" with "Ugly Betty"? A pilot season in which all the networks, it seems, are looking for a laugh. Even in dramas. So long to the dark serialized sagas of the past season. The tribe of viewers spoke, and "Kidnapped," "Smith," "The Nine" and "Vanished," among others, quickly disappeared, giving way to close-ended dramas that manage to amuse as they titillate, and offbeat comedies with characters we haven't seen before.
March 25, 2007 |
"I can always tell who the air marshal is on a flight," jokes Ahmed Ahmed. "He's the one holding a People magazine upside down and looking straight at me." Aron Kader, whose father is Palestinian and mother is Mormon, recalls being asked to go on a Mormon proselytizing mission. "I told him, 'Look, to an Arab, a mission is a whole different deal. Generally we don't come back from those.'
March 13, 2007 |
The opposite of desire, Blanche DuBois declares, is death. But why accept her fluttery Southern belle view? According to the legion of randy characters from Restoration comedy, the true opposite of desire is marriage. And their authors spend a good deal of imaginative energy cooking up schemes that will allow them to circumvent those pillars of marital melancholy -- virginity (you have to sign on the dotted line if you want to play) and monogamy (you're basically trapped once you do).
February 28, 2007
Re "The joke's on them," editorial, Feb. 26 Yes, celebrities are fodder for news, commentary and especially comedy, but not all celebrities are created equal. The Times seems to be advocating mocking celebrities equally all the time. Free speech shouldn't be a license for cruelty. Anything does not go, nor should it. Mocking a 25-year-old woman, a new mother at that, going through a divorce and a custody battle and a breakdown involving self-destructive, exhibitionistic episodes is one option.
February 26, 2007 |
ALISON CRANE was back. So with countless hugs, and a few quips, the members of the group dedicated to "healthy humor" celebrated the return of the nurse who founded their organization in the spare bedroom of her Chicago-area townhouse and during its first years did everything, editing its newsletter, organizing its conferences and giving the speeches. Now the Assn. of Applied and Therapeutic Humor was 20 years old and they celebrated that too in their convention here on Florida's Gulf Coast.
December 27, 2006 |
IN the hands of historians, humor is no laughing matter. South African-born Vic Gatrell is one of Britain's leading historians, and in "City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London" he uses more than 300 satiric prints -- most of them in color and from the British Museum's collection -- to build a portrait of what then was the world's most vibrant and important city.
August 17, 2006 |
DOGBERRY, the clownish constable, wears a rubber nose. Beatrice and Benedick try to out-insult each other with digs that begin, "You're so dumb .... " The romantic lead, Claudio, is so vain that he rolls his hair in curlers just before a big scene. And is that a song coming on? Why, it's a Doobie Brothers tune. Such tomfoolery can only mean that Troubadour Theater Company is having a lark with yet another Shakespeare play.