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April 13, 2000 | DENNIS McLELLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For its comedy issue last year, GQ magazine reviewed more than 23,000 jokes--everything from one-liners to just plain witty remarks--gleaned from books, the Internet and audio- and videotaped performances. The magazine also polled dozens of humorists and comedians. The result was what GQ called "the 75 funniest jokes of all time." Comedian Steven Wright--he of the deadpan, what's-the-hurry delivery--had five jokes in the top 75, including No. 5: "If I ever had twins, I'd use one for parts." No.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 4, 2012 | By Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Dwight Yoakam's jeans had been pressed and his eyes moistened with Visine. But as the country star stood last month in a rented Malibu mansion - the hilltop set of a music video for Yoakam's song "A Heart Like Mine" - the director requested one more adjustment. "Can you smile?" she asked. Nothing. "A little bit more?" Strike two. "How about a chuckle?" "Nah," Yoakam finally replied, courteous but firm. "I don't like to indicate. " He never has. Since emerging more than 25 years ago from the rock clubs of Los Angeles - where he shared bills with X and Los Lobos - Yoakam has established himself as one of country music's foremost stoics, a straight-faced enigma (and perpetual Nashville outlier)
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NEWS
September 26, 1994 | CAREY GOLDBERG and RICHARD BOUDREAUX, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Watch Boris Yeltsin's barrel chest as the Russian leader meets President Clinton for their fifth summit Tuesday. If it is thrust especially proudly, if his labored imitation of an American smile is especially wide, if his performance in the now-familiar Bill-and-Boris Show looks more relaxed than ever, there will be reason.
SPORTS
September 13, 2012 | Helene Elliott
Jered Weaver was in command from the moment he strode to the mound Thursday, his fastball sizzling and his hard slider confusing the Oakland Athletics as effectively as it had befuddled everyone else before biceps tendinitis sapped his strength and forced him to miss his previous start. How good was he? He struck out six of the first eight batters he faced and, at one point, hit 137 mph on the scoreboard pitching speed display. "It was that hard. I was feeling good out there," he said, with a straight face.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 16, 1986
In the wake of the Senate Judiciary Committee's rejection of judicial nominee Jefferson Sessions, Atty. Gen. Meese lashed out at "vicious and highly personal attacks made . . . by groups with a big ideological ax to grind . . . people whose tactics are reprehensible, who appear willing to smear anyone in order to advance their agenda." I'll bet he said it with a straight face, too. MICHAEL SCHLESINGER North Hollywood
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 1992
The Times has been uttering liberal pieties about discrimination for so long that it forgot to discriminate against its own absurdity, to wit: the claim in your editorial that you oppose the death penalty in part because, "it will most likely still be imposed . . . more on men than on women." Repeat that with a straight face. NED McCUNE Costa Mesa
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 1992
The people have spoken! We have eliminated God from our schools and discredited his messengers at the polls; we have certified the right of every woman to kill her unborn child and, we have learned to sing "God Bless America" with a straight face. We have elected a draft dodger to be commander in chief over all our military forces and I must be Alice, because this is surely Wonderland. N.C. BAYLEY Playa del Rey
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 1990
So (Treasury Secretary) Nicholas Brady can go on ABC-TV and say (presumably with a straight face) that Neil Bush is not a crook ("Brady Backs Neil Bush: 'Can't Imagine He Broke Law,' " Part A, June 25). I wonder where we've heard that before? Let's see now, I wonder who signs Nick's paycheck and I wonder who got him his job? Not Neil's dad, George? Noooooo! BILL BELL Los Angeles
OPINION
June 26, 2004
Re "Legislators Unite to Derail Primary Initiative," June 22: Here we go again. If I suggested that National Rifle Assn. members be allowed to vote in Sierra Club elections and vice versa, you'd say I'm nuts. Yet we discuss allowing nonmembers to vote in a political party's internal election, which we call a "primary," with a straight face. Garen Yegparian Burbank
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 1985
How do you guys keep a straight face? A week ago the Times was running a series that concluded that, although most of the media's writers were liberals, they delivered straight unbiased news reporting. Today you delivered a typical example of the contrary. In a three-handkerchief obituary about Lester Cole, the old-time Red, you said he "was the third member of the once despised but now revered group of writers and directors to die this year." Revered? By whom? Certainly not by most Americans who consider Communists our greatest enemy.
SPORTS
April 23, 2012 | By Houston Mitchell
So there I am, watching "Think Like a Man"  with my wife and one of my daughters. (It's a decent movie, but you can wait for the DVD.) As I look around the theater to see if I am actually the only guy in the place, I catch sight of a familiar face on the screen: Metta World Peace. The artist formerly known as Ron Artest. One of the running gimmicks in the movie is that the guys get together once a week to play basketball. At the end of one of their games, World Peace walks up and asks if he can use the court.
SPORTS
December 22, 2009
USC today VS. WESTERN MICHIGAN When: 2 PST. Where: Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu. On the air: TV: ESPNU; Radio: 710. Records: USC 5-4, Western Michigan 4-4. Update: USC has won three in a row going into the first round of the inaugural Diamond Head Classic. Western Michigan returns three starters, led by senior guard David Kool (21.5 points). The winner will face Northeastern or St. Mary's on Wednesday. Also in the eight-team field are Nevada Las Vegas, Southern Methodist, College of Charleston and Hawaii.
NATIONAL
July 8, 2009 | Faye Fiore
Al Franken, the funnyman who wrote the best-seller "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot," was sworn in as the junior senator from Minnesota on Tuesday, without doing one single funny thing. Once he was known on the "Saturday Night Live" stage as the lisping, sweater-wearing bundle of insecurities Stuart Smalley ("I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me").
SPORTS
June 2, 2008 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
One week after savoring a Big West Conference title and a complete-game victory over rival Cal State Fullerton, Vance Worley struggled to contemplate the turn his season had taken. The Long Beach State right-hander had pitched valiantly against San Diego on Sunday but came out on the wrong side of a 5-1 score in an NCAA baseball regional at Blair Field that ended the top-seeded 49ers' season. "We're hurting right now," Worley said as he fought back tears. "I'm having a hard time myself trying to keep a straight face."
OPINION
May 10, 2006
Re "Caution: left turn ahead," Opinion, May 8 After listing a few positive economic and political signs, Niall Ferguson asks, "What's not to like?" Only a middle-class white man could ask such a question with a straight face. Imperialism, unsustainable economies, urban poverty, the imminent destruction of every last traditional culture, chaos and violence in Africa and a score of other problems aren't resolved just because a few million white-collar workers can now afford a flat-screen TV. Ferguson's Eurocentrism is made embarrassingly clear by his misuse of the word "indigenous" to describe people living in the United States who are not illegal immigrants.
OPINION
November 20, 2004
In response to Robert Scheer's Nov. 16 Commentary article, "The Peter Principle and the Neocon Coup," the question should be asked and an answer attempted, so we can get on with what might be done: Why did the neocons succeed, in spite of the exposure of their chicanery? They succeeded, I think, because of the desire of a majority of Americans to see themselves as "better" than others, one way or another, and therefore able to right the wrongs of the world simply by projecting force on "undesirable" factors, such as the desire by Arabs to keep their own oil and "modernize" at their own pace, or the desire by "rogue states" to develop nuclear weapons and attain greater status on the world stage -- in short, to manage their own affairs, undemocratic as they may be. No one can say with a straight face that such desires are any more unreasonable than our own. It is their resemblance to ourselves, and ours to them, that we need to acknowledge and accept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 1992
"Wanton lawlessness and . . . criminality"? Bush should know of what he speaks when considering his own wanton lawlessness: Iraqgate, Panama, Irangate, BCCI and the S&L "riots" to name but a few. He hardly seems to have the moral force and leadership to lecture anyone looking at his halting neglect of our people and the economy. The looting, arson and death in Los Angeles pale in comparison to that of his own. And he said it with a straight face! CHARLES COMPTON Santa Monica
NEWS
December 29, 1991
In "A Christmas Puzzle" (TV Times, Dec. 15), Michael Wilmington attempts a commentary on why today's (holiday) films lack the spirit of movies made years ago. Yet Wilmington does little to explain why an entire generation which came of age during the 1930s and '40s could write, produce and act in all earnestness in such movies as "It's a Wonderful Life" and utter their lines with a straight face. One need only see the smirky grin of Bill Murray in "Scrooged" to note the difference.
OPINION
June 26, 2004
Re "Legislators Unite to Derail Primary Initiative," June 22: Here we go again. If I suggested that National Rifle Assn. members be allowed to vote in Sierra Club elections and vice versa, you'd say I'm nuts. Yet we discuss allowing nonmembers to vote in a political party's internal election, which we call a "primary," with a straight face. Garen Yegparian Burbank
OPINION
May 21, 2003
Regarding Ari Fleischer's decision to quit as Bush's press secretary, May 20: I always wondered how Press Secretary Ari Fleischer could maintain a straight face when defending his boss' (Dubya's) failures in just about every area. It could not have been an easy task as he attempted to "spin" his way out of the many serious problems we have incurred since President Bush swaggered into office. Now that Fleischer has shown a little integrity by resigning, just as others have done, perhaps his boss could follow that path.
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