Magazine June 25, 2018, Issue

Monkey Hear, Monkey Laugh

Samantha Bee (Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)
On the so-called humor of Samantha Bee

The great tragedy of George Carlin’s life was that he stopped being funny before he stopped performing comedy. The great tragedy of Samantha Bee’s life is that she stopped before she started.

Watching Carlin’s final HBO special, It’s Bad for Ya, is a useful illustration of the social power of comedy. The program runs for 67 minutes, during which Carlin never quite manages to say anything that is funny — it is not even obvious that he is trying to. He’s angry and bitter, though in a way that’s more like George Carlin doing a George Carlin impersonation than anything suggesting

In This Issue

Articles

Features

World

Dictator Lit

A fair number of books can be counted a disgrace to literature. But only a special type of book stands as an embarrassment to printing.

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Week

The Week

Tensions are high, conflict threatens to flare up, but let’s hope the situation between the White House and the Philadelphia Eagles can be resolved peacefully.
Athwart

Fair as Feck

To remind her audience that they were good people and so that they could applaud her bravery, Samantha Bee called the president’s daughter a “feckless c***.”

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