I’m in the middle of writing a post for the NYC Moms Blog (I’m Amy O.) about the controversy surrounding Tropic Thunder. The general theme of the post is that context and meaning matter more than the words and terms used. And it got me thinking about all of the scenes on TV that have made me laugh recently, despite the fact that they were sooooo wrong!
So in no particular order, with no claims that these are the funniest (just the ones off the top of my head), here are some of my favorites, lines that if taken out of context would sound very bad indeed, but in context (or at least in the context of the idiot characters) are hilarious.
Kate Winslet and Ricky Gervaise in Extras, talking about why she is doing a movie about the Holocaust:
RG: I’d just like to say I think, you know, you doing this is so commendable, you know, using your profile to keep the message alive about the Holocaust.
KW: My God I’m not doing it for that. I mean I don’t think we need another film about the Holocaust do we? I mean, how many have there been? We get it. It was grim. Move on. No, I’m doing it because I’ve noticed that if you do a film about the Holocaust, guaranteed an Oscar. I’ve been nominated four times – never won. The whole world is going ‘Why hasn’t Winslet won one?”
Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell) talking to Oscar, a character who is Mexican, on The Office:
MS: Let me ask you, is there a term besides ‘Mexican’ that you prefer? Something less offensive?
Grace Adler and Karen Walker on Will & Grace:
GA: Face it, Karen: you’re a racist.
KA: How dare you call me a racist! Karen Walker is no racist! A homophobe, maybe. But I am no racist. And you can ask anyone I own.
Karen Walker talking to Jack McFarland on Will & Grace:
No one in the world would believe you’re straight. You’re as gay as a clutchpurse on Tony night. You fell outta the gay tree, hitting every gay branch on the way down. And ya landed on a gay guy… and ya did ’em. No, no, honey, your gayness can be seen from space.
Grace Adler (Will & Grace) backs a candidate for city council just because she’s a Jewish woman, without bothering to check out her views:
Candidate: Thank you, Grace. Let me start by saying how gratifying it is to see so many white faces here tonight.
Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons (news anchors) on Family Guy:
TT: I think I’ll go get drunk and beat up some midgets. How about you Diane?
DS: Well Tom, I just plain don’t like black people.
Chris Griffin talking to a new friend on Family Guy:
Chris: What do you do at a Young Republicans meeting?
Alyssa: We help those who already have the means to help themselves. Also, we perpetuate the idea that Jesus chose America to destroy non-believers and brown people.
Chris: I don’t know why, but I feel safer already.
Lois Griffin (the mom) talking to her son Stewie (who is actually a baby – hard to explain):
Lois: What’s going on down here?
Stewie: Oh, we’re playing house.
Lois: That boy’s all tied up.
Stewie: Roman Polanski’s house
Brian Griffin (who is a dog – also hard to explain, you should watch the show):
I’ll be on the veranda, since you’re already on the cross.
And of course, pretty much everything that came out of Archie Bunker’s mouth, ever. All in the Family should be held up as the gold standard of how to use an inept, offensive character to make points and entertain at the same time.
Please, add your favorites below! And remember, it’s comedy people, lighten up.
UPDATE: Posted my Tropic Thunder post here.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom