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Punch Line

December 12, 1985
In March, 1984, San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock told a group of reporters who were quizzing him about his financial relationship with J. David & Co. principals Nancy Hoover and J. David Dominelli: "The usual punch line is that a politician gets some favors and does some favors. The traditional punch line . . . does not exist in this case." As he stood before Superior Court Judge William L. Todd Jr.
October 25, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
A few weeks back, I reviewed the movie "Pulling Strings," a bilingual, cross-cultural romantic comedy set around the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. I found the film to be unexpectedly charming, with a sort of breezy appeal many recent Hollywood rom-coms strain toward but fail to achieve. My review made a mention of the actress Stockard Channing, noting that she "steals every scene she's in because, well, she's Stockard Channing. " This was followed by a parenthetical: "About all that need be said of Tom Arnold's performance as a bumbling embassy administrator is that he is not Stockard Channing.
July 5, 2011 | Jonah Goldberg
"That's racist. " It's a comedic catchphrase these days, popularized by an online clip from a 2005 TV show "Wonder Showzen" on MTV2. It's not as iconic as Gary Coleman's "What 'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" or Fonzie's "Ayyyyyy" or even Bart Simpson's "Don't have a cow, man. " But what it lacks in pedigree, it makes up for in ubiquity and social relevance. Across the country, it's a staple of schoolyards, Internet discussion groups, Twitter and sitcoms. For instance, when a character on NBC's "Parks and Recreation" explains to a co-worker how to do laundry, he says, "OK, so you always separate your lights from your darks.
July 8, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Anderson Silva did more than a little clowning on Saturday night. And ever since, he's been getting clowned pretty good himself by everyone who saw his shocking knockout loss to Chris Weidman during UFC 162. Check out the video above. Here is how The Times' Lance Pugmire described the events leading up to the previously unbeaten Silva's losing his middleweight to Weidman: "After escaping Weidman's takedown and extended grasp and punishment in the first round, Silva started taunting and clowning with Weidman.
April 5, 1998 | LONNIE WHITE
Getting scoring from more than one line has been a problem whenever the Kings have struggled and that has been true throughout their recent slump. In a 3-2 loss at Washington on Saturday, it wasn't a surprise that Jozef Stumpel and Glen Murray--the team's two most consistent scorers--were on the ice for both goals. "You're not going to have the same guys scoring every night, the other guys are going to have to pick it up," Coach Larry Robinson said.
August 10, 2008 | Joel Pett, Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.
Fewer than 100 days remain in the presidential campaign, which means it's time to get serious. Quick, somebody tell the candidates! Rob Rogers evoked the golden age of the silver screen to riff on a platinum blond's campaign cameo. (Will we always have Paris?) Moving from the merely silly to the downright stupid, Tom Toles was energized to drill left and right. And Mike Keefe drove home his point about the fight against evildoers and their entourages. Wait a minute ... did anyone ask Osama bin Laden's chauffeur about $4-a-gallon gas?
November 4, 1989
Alex Stewart's 24 consecutive knockouts may have set a record, but they came against such little-known opponents as Dave Jaco, Arthel Lawhorne, Fernando Montes and Terry Armstrong. Still, the fighter says he has earned his place in boxing history and is tired of people doubting his skills. When told that Evander Holyfield, the No. 1 heavyweight contender whom Stewart fights tonight in Atlantic City, N.J., was among the disbelievers, Stewart responded: "I don't envision Holyfield dropping me."
January 17, 1990 | MIKE DOWNEY
Ladies . . . and gentlemen! Preeee-senting! Our main event! Ten rounds of boxing--if you want to call it boxing! Or less than 10, depending on which of these old coots collapses first! "Innn . . . this corner, in the dark trunks! With the dark eyebrows and the darker future! Weighing in at 231 pounds, much of it in his head! He lost to Larry Holmes! He lost to Michael Spinks! You've lost money betting on him! Gerrrry . . . Gooney! "Andddd . . . in this corner! In the light trunks!
March 23, 1990 | HARLEY TINKHAM
Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle recalled one spring at Vero Beach, Fla., where Sandy Koufax and Reggie Smith were playing lob-toss. "Reggie was coming off shoulder surgery and he could barely get off a 20-foot throw," Jenkins wrote. "Nearby, a couple of shirtless men, maybe 20-22 years old, were watching the scene, working on a six-pack of beer. One of the guys got a little belligerent and started riding Smith. 'You're throwing like a girl,' he said.
August 18, 2008 | Cynthia Dizikes, Times Staff Writer
. -- When he was 5, John Moceo announced that he wanted to play the accordion. Chalking it up to childhood whimsy, his mother pushed him to play something else, anything else -- guitar, piano, even baseball. "He came home from school, shoving this paper in my face, saying that a music teacher was offering lessons," Deanna Moceo said. "He had already checked off 'accordion,' and I said, 'No. What's an accordion?' " But Moceo persisted, his kindergarten tenacity besting his mother's uncertainty.
April 26, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
Aasif Mandvi knows how to get a laugh. Throughout his seven years (and counting) as a correspondent on TV's "The Daily Show," he has skewered politicians, celebrities and the media with a combination of incisive cultural commentary and goofball antics. Boasting mock expertise in a wide variety of fields, Mandvi has posed as the show's Middle Eastern affairs correspondent, senior financial analyst, Baghdad bureau chief, senior medical correspondent and whatever else the day's humor calls for. The big-screen comedy "The Internship" features him in a less familiar role: the straight man. FULL COVERAGE: Summer sneaks The film, opening June 7, reunites "Wedding Crashers" stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as a pair of fast-talking but outmoded salesmen who finagle internships at Google in the hopes of reinvigorating their foundering careers.
April 13, 2013 | Chris Erskine
Sadly, I'm here to report that even vodka has its limitations. To lap it up much before 7 a.m. still carries a certain Victorian stigma, and the better octanes seem beyond my pocketbook. I consider it both a health food and a holy water, and it bothers me to see vodka used recreationally, as it so often is these days. It is also overpriced, raising my innate sense of injustice and causing me to rant at two of my favorite targets: farmers and politicians (both dirty). Now what do I do with my life?
October 25, 2012 | By Robert Abele
The documentary "Lunch" is just what it describes, a seat at the kibitz table with a gathering of acclaimed showbiz writers, performers and directors whose Golden Age of You-Name-It comedy pedigrees are remarkable: Sid Caesar, Hal Kanter, Carl Reiner, Arthur Marx, Matty Simmons and Rocky Kalish, to name a handful. For more than 40 years, this gang of funnymen has met on alternating Wednesdays - currently at Factor's Famous Deli on Pico, where Donna Kanter (Hal's daughter) captured them for her film - to eat, joke, tell stories and chart each other's aging, referred to as "the organ recital.
September 17, 2012 | By Charlotte Stoudt
Shame and the British. They go together like tea and crumpets, Sandhurst and Sid Vicious.  But South Coast Repertory's broad staging of Alan Ayckbourn's exercise in indignity, “Absurd Person Singular,” makes you yearn wistfully for more cheeky snaps of Prince Harry in Vegas. Ayckbourn's set-up is simple genius: Over three acts, we follow three couples at three Christmas parties in as many years, all seen from various kitchens. At the top, boorish entrepreneur Sidney (JD Cullum)
September 9, 2012 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Like everything Stephen Colbert does on television, it's set up as a joke. A nun and a television host walk into a studio. They discuss the recent papal censure of American nuns for "perpetrating a feminist agenda. " The host takes a hard line. "The pope has said, 'Knock it off with the social liberalism,'" he says. "You're not socially conservative enough, at least admit that. " "What I'll admit is that we're faithful to the Gospel," says the nun. "We work every day to live as Jesus did, in relationship to people at the margins of our society.
September 6, 2012 | By Dan Loumena
Bobby Valentine, the embattled Boston Red Sox manager, has had to reiterate he was joking when he told hosts of a radio show that he would punch them for asking whether he had "checked out" for the season. Although if you listen to the volatile interview , you could sense the threat wasn't said in jest. Since Valentine is probably out as manager after a less-than-spectacular first season with the club, one that he actually called "lousy," he's gone into damage-control mode. The incident with WEEI hosts Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley began Tuesday when Ordway asked the manager whether he had checked out because he showed up late to the game in Seattle.
June 22, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - You don't have to be in your twilight years to appreciate the off-Broadway show "Old Jews Telling Jokes. " But speaking of mortality, have you heard the one about the doctor who tells his patient that he has bad news and worse news? The bad news is that the patient has only 24 hours to live. "Twenty-four hours to live? What could possibly be the worse news?" the patient asks the doctor. "That I couldn't get ahold of you yesterday," the doctor says. There is a joke for every occasion in "Old Jews," a five-person revue that has become an unlikely hit since opening at New York's Westside Theater a month ago. Audiences have packed the 250-seat house to laugh knowingly and recite punch lines collectively; they wait outside the stage door to share their own jokes with actors and even stop producers on the street to say they can tell them better.
May 24, 2012 | By Mark Medina
Mike Brown professes never to read the news, watch television or hear much of anything about his basketball team beyond what happens on the court. So of course, it was on the fourth estate to make Brown aware that Metta World Peace made fun of his weight by saying, "He did come in out of shape. He is a fat .... " "That's cute," Brown said with a hearty laugh. After all, Brown had often poked fun at his beefy exterior as well as Lakers assistant coaches Chuck Person and Darvin Ham, both former NBA players.
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