Where were you the weekend comedians turned our smiley faces upside down?

So. This weekend. Let's talk about it. Cold and rainy. Warm and sunny. Professional baseball players could not field bunts properly. Men with dark secrets got outed in a fictional version of the 1960s, where someone could die of lung cancer and the director says, "Cut to the guy smoking a cigarette!" Things happened, people. Jimmy Carr even told an offensive one-liner. It was that kind of weekend. Oh, wait. Some of those things happen every weekend? Well, maybe. But it seemed as though society was trying to make us feel sorry, sad or otherwise not very happy about comedy and comedians this weekend, and we had three major examples of such bouncing around the national conversation.

1) Let's start with the most visible transgression. Yes, we're looking at you, David Spade. Spade went on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show on Oct. 22 to make funny and help promote a show he's doing on Oct. 28 to help out the firefighters of Ventura County who have battled massive wildfires in Southern California. We even have the footage right here to show you:

What do you mean you haven't heard of this effort? Is it because of THIS?!

Yes. Spade cashed in on his dead friend's legacy by appearing in this DirecTV ad with the late Chris Farley, which has been airing quite a bit in the past few days during baseball and football games. I have yet to see any official statement from the Farleys (his brothers are in comedy, too, and wrote the book on his life) that said they thought this was a grand idea.

UPDATE: Asylum got quotes from Spade, through a spokesperson, followed by one from DirecTV: "When DIRECT TV came to me and the Farley family with this idea about 'Tommy Boy,' we talked and thought it would be a cool way to remind people just how funny Chris was. It is a clever homage to my friend and a movie that we loved doing, " he says. And from the company: "We should look to Chris' family and friends for the ultimate opinion on this subject. They were involved from the beginning of this project and felt that the spot was a great to tribute to Chris."

2) David Cross joked about doing cocaine, in public, at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner with President Barack Obama, the Secret Service, and various political heavyweights nearby. I don't know if this is a big ol balloon-boy hoax or not — and the fact that Cross' instigator, Gavin McInnes, took down his post that claimed he instigated the matter by first doing cocaine in front of Cross at the DEA museum isn't helping matters. What we do know is that Cross joked about doing this. Politico filed a report after Cross' performance last week in D.C.

Want my take on it? Pretend you're playing Mad Libs, and just change up the scenario with this sentence: YOUR FAVORITE COMEDIAN did SOMETHING HIGHLY ILLEGAL AND MORALLY QUESTIONABLE in front of THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU LIKE SAID PERSON OR NOT.

3) For all of the people who think Tracy Morgan's character on 30 Rock, Tracy Jordan, is really the same person, well, Morgan's promotional appearances for his memoir really is putting the kibosh on that. Gawker's tipsters said his book reading and appearance in NYC the other night was too much sad and not enough happy. And then there was Morgan's recent appearance on NPR's Fresh Air. There are plenty of people who love Terry Gross, but has she always said "um" that many times in 40 minutes? Or was she merely uncomfortable interviewing Morgan? Either way, this was an awkward session, and it all went out over the public radio airwaves. Enjoy?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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One thought on “Where were you the weekend comedians turned our smiley faces upside down?

  1. Hey Sean, I’m glad you’ve noticed this too. What I’m most looking forward to is some sort of statement from Spade about the commercial. Surely Farley’s estate is required by law to receive residuals for the use of the image (I hope), but unless Spade is donating his pay to a charity for addicts or something, I don’t really know how this is OK.

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