Saturday, January 23, 2010

The late night debacle: Wayne's Take


During the latest late-night talk show shuffle, you've probably been wondering: "What is Wayne Kotke's official position on this whole fiasco?" If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don't, shame on you), you may have seen some of the avatars featured above in which I remake my own image into that of carrot-topped Conan O'Brien, gap-toothed David Letterman, and lantern-jawed Jay Leno. Depending on my work and school schedules, I have been a pretty steady viewer of late-night TV talk shows since at least the mid-to-late-1980s. I was able, for instance, to witness the last few years of Johnny Carson's reign on NBC's The Tonight Show, and I can remember when Late Night With David Letterman only ran from Monday through Thursday, making each (rare) opportunity to see the show a special treat. Letterman was muscled aside on Friday nights in those days in favor of NBC's long-gone music show Friday Night Videos, a situation which Letterman routinely parodied.

Ah, but that was many years ago! In the decades since, Leno usurped the Tonight Show throne from Carson's heir apparent Letterman -- prompting much outrage and consternation -- and is now set to reclaim that same post from Conan O'Brien -- prompting additional outrage and consternation. During those middle years, let us not forget, Leno became TV's top-rated yakker by sanding away the rough edges of his comedic persona and aiming straight for the middle (middlebrow, middle class, Middle America) with predictably middling results. Meanwhile, Letterman soldiered on with his crankier, snarkier persona to great success on a rival CBS show, and O'Brien carved out his own niche with his brand of cheerful absurdism -- beloved by many (including me) but apparently not what the Tonight Show audience was looking for. Clearly, what America needs is a talk show host who can deliver the strengths of all three of these men. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the future of late night television:

"Hi. Wanna be my friend?"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

When Funny Ladies Get Naked: Notable nude scenes by comediennes

Harley Quinn makes as good a mascot for this article as anyone I can think of.

Funny and sexy. There are few combinations to top that. When a woman can appeal both to one's sense of humor and to one's libido, that is a powerful combination indeed. But there's a problem, you see. Comediennes rarely seem to take their clothes off for the benefit of their fans. I don't know why that is, but it's something that's generally not done. To put it bluntly, funny gals just don't seem to get their boobs out in public that often. I'll blame societal pressure and preexisting prejudices for this sad state of affairs. Maybe these lovely ladies are worried that we'll stop laughing once we've seen their nipples. I'm not sure of the exact cause. What I am sure of, however, is that we have to cherish these opportunities when they come along. And cherish we shall! That's what this little article is all about. Sarah Silverman and Julie Brown were already covered (or uncovered) in a previous article, so I won't be including them in this roundup. But that doesn't mean this article is complete yet! I'll add more actresses as I think of them. Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions or recommendations, please make them in the comments section.

Cassandra Peterson (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark)

Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson nude.
Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson nude.

Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson nude.

So Elvira, Mistress of the Dark never did wriggle out of that famously revealing, low-cut black dress of hers. Big deal! It turns out she didn't need to. Because the actress behind Elvira, busty comedienne and former Groundlings member Cassandra Peterson, already did plenty of nude modeling. Plenty. I mean, I just chose three pictures for this article, but there are so many more.

Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers, Parks & Rec, Anchorman)

Kathryn Hahn nude on TV's Hung.

Kathryn Hahn nude in Afternoon Delight.

Kathryn Hahn nude in Afternoon Delight.

It goes to show you never can tell. If I were estimating which comedic actresses might have done multiple and revealing nude scenes, Kathryn Hahn might have been one-millionth on my list of guesses. But there she is, letting it all hang out on TV's Hung and in the movie Afternoon Delight, both of which have suggestively smutty titles. It's a wonderful world we live in, you know that? A truly wonderful world. In retrospect, her characters from Step Brothers and Parks and Rec have both had healthy libidos.


Leslie Mann (Knocked Up, Funny People)

Leslie Mann nude in This is 40.

Leslie Mann nude in This is 40.



Leslie Mann Nude in This Is 40 by faptuary

When Mrs. Judd Apatow did a simulated "nude" scene with the help of a body double and some CGI in The Change-Up with Jason Bateman, I figured that the ship had sailed on the actress doing any genuine screen nudity. Well, I figured wrong. We just had to wait a few more movies for her to drop her top on the big screen. Thanks, Leslie.


Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel & Oates, Enlightened)

Riki Lindhome in Hell Baby.

Riki Lindhome nude in Hell Baby.

Riki Lindhome nude in Last House on the Left.

Riki Lindhome nude in Last House on the Left.

This is something truly special. I've long been an admirer of the comedy music duo Garfunkel and Oates, who are getting their own IFC series this summer, and I knew that Riki Lindhome had an acting career in films and television. But because I hadn't seen either the Last House on the Left remake or the horror-comedy Hell Baby, I had no idea that Ms. Lindhome had done a truly heroic amount of screen nudity. And as her fans can clearly see for themselves, she's a natural blonde.

Tina Fey (SNL, 30 Rock)

Tina Fey nude at the 2013 Emmys

Accidental nudity is nudity all the same, and when the star of Saturday Night Live, Date Night, and 30 Rock slipped a nip at the 2013 Emmy Awards... well, there wasn't a dry thigh in the house. Ms. Fey had the good sense to satirize this little wardrobe malfunction when she guest-hosted the SNL season premiere a few months later. And here's a link to a video which shows this blessed event in super slo-mo.

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