Good for a laugh: canned laughter makes jokes seem funnier

Research finds recording of spontaneous laughter is more effective than controlled one In research that will ensure the sitcoms of the future are as painful as those broadcast today, scientists have found that canned laughter makes bad jokes seem funnier. The impact of Ben van der Velde to read out to those taking part in the study. The focus on bad jokes was intentional and ensured there was room for improvement when the canned laughter was added. To get a baseline score for how funny the jokes were, each was assessed without any backing laughter by 20 students who rated them on a scale from one (not funny) to seven (hilarious). The scores ranged from 1.5 to 3.75. Play Video …

Drop Dead Gorgeous at 20: how dark pageant comedy works better in 2019

The pitch-black small-town mockumentary was a flop on release and left critics cold but 20 years later its vicious indecency remains daring Drop Dead Gorgeous is one of my favourite films. It also made less than its $15m budget at the box office and only has a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Jesus loves winners, as Gladys Leeman tells her daughter Becky, but I do understand why Drop Dead Gorgeous was not triumphant when it was released 20 years ago. Shot as a mockumentary, and indebted to John Waters and Christopher Guest, it follows a group of young, wannabe high school beauty queens as they compete in the Sarah Rose Cosmetics Mount Rose American Teen Princess pageant. Its humour is …

Samantha Morton: ‘no regrets’ at working with Woody Allen

The actor, who survived sexual abuse as a child, says director was wonderful to work with Samantha Morton has said she has no regrets working with Woody Allen and that she remains forever grateful for the experience. Dylan Farrow that first emerged in 1992, and which the director denies. Morton spoke citing Farrows allegations and Allens response to the #MeToo campaign. However, a number of other actors, including Jude Law, Javier Bardem and Anjelica Huston, have defended their work with Allen and in Bardem and Hustons case that they would be happy to work with him again. Original Article : HERE ;

Jia Tolentino: I like to write about instincts that are in some way good and in some way dangerous’

Hailed as the Joan Didion of our times informed, funny and fearless the New Yorkers Jia Tolentino is making sense of the world one essay at a time Until recently, one of New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentinos best-kept secrets was that she spent the summer of her 16th year filming a reality show called Girls v Boys: Puerto Rico. A cheerleader then, she got permission from her school, which was situated in the middle of a Texan megachurch so large they called it the Repentagon, by telling them shed be a light for Jesus, but on television. An essayist who explores what its like to live right now, no now, remains, at 30, rebellious and contradictory in ticklish ways. …

IvankaPlay review the Trumps are no laughing matter in limp comedy

Despite a solid solo performance from McLean Peterson, theres little funny about the presidents refusal to act on gun control Is McLean Petersons fault. Under Rachel Darts precise direction, she is sharp as Charles Gershmans script dips tentatively into the struggle between Ivankas role as daughter and adviser, and when she sees a news bulletin about children separated at the border, she attempts mediation. Maybe we should care about this one, she says sweetly. He says no he needs the vote and placates her with money and attention. Sharp … McLean Peterson in IvankaPlay. Photograph: Gokce Pehlivanoglu The talk of gun control is vague and generic, with all the humour relying desperately on knowing chuckles. The moment that most acutely …

Bruce Lee’s daughter on resurrecting his lost TV epic: ‘We righted the wrong’

Shannon Lee has finally made the martial arts saga her father dreamed up. She remembers the inner energy of the kung fu superstar Hollywood and Tarantino made a mockery of The legend that Shannon Lee grew up with goes like this. In 1971, when her father Kung Fu, which followed a Shaolin monk with martial arts skills journeying through the wild west. The monk was played by a Banshee. He expanded Lees original idea into a 10-part series. The result, Warrior, is a ferociously paced mix of period drama and martial arts moves like the gangster hit Peaky Blinders transported to 1870s San Francisco and given an extra jolt of adrenaline. Its the sort of show where people are only …

The Truce: how Primo Levi rediscovered humanity after Auschwitz

Shadows from the horrors told in If This Is a Man remain, but this book shows the author finding joy in ordinary life Nothing belongs to us any more; they have taken away our clothes, our shoes, even our hair; if we speak, they will not listen to us, and if they listen, they will not understand. They will even take away our name: and if we want to keep it, we will have to find our strength to do so, to manage somehow so that behind the name something of us, of us as we were, still remains. So Primo Levi describes the beginning of the process of the demolition of a man, the offence that Auschwitz inflicted on …

Kirill Serebrennikov, director detained in Moscow: ‘Complexity is resistance’

Once the toast of Russias avant garde, Serebennikov now faces a 10-year jail sentence. As his powerful, sexually charged play Outside is staged in Avignon, he vows he wont be silenced On the stage of a small theatre outside Avignon, a man paces around a mock-up of an apartment. Music issues from somewhere and there is a sense of a cityscape, close but impossible to reach. The man mutters to his shadow, sees visions, engages in conversation with people who might or might not be there. The door bursts open, revealing goons wearing the uniform of Russias Federal Security Service (FSB). An interrogation commences. Afterwards, the man stands looking out, illuminated by an outsized red star that looks as if …

‘I didnt want to do an ITV drama’: Matthew Macfadyen on making it big in the US

One of the stars of last years breakout hit Succession, the actor is getting used to being recognised in the US. He talks about juggling success with family life and why hes starring in a film about electricity Matthew Macfadyen was idling on the stoop of his boutique Manhattan hotel last month when a man walked past and said warmly: I loved you in Succession! So sorry. He roars with laughter. Tom Wambsgans, the role Macfadyen plays in Succession, is robustly against type. In the 14 years since he played Darcy to Keira Knightleys Elizabeth Bennett in Anna Karenina and Howards End. Tom, the ambitious, oleaginous husband to an Elisabeth Murdoch-type heiress was as far from these foppish roles as …

Natasha Lyonne: Theres a fighter in me that wants to survive

Natasha Lyonne used her starring role in Orange is the New Black to shake off her demons and reinvent herself. The actor and director talks about third chances, crosswords and being the class rebel In a busy Manhattan restaurant, Natasha Lyonne is eating chicken hearts and talking about resurrection. Her own. And I had to forgive myself for wasting so many years, instead of punishing myself for this misshapen life. You dont so much interview Lyonne, I quickly learn, as herd her conversations like existential sheep. It is a precise chaos she has a lot to say and is aware of the many limits of time. Her voice crackles across the busy restaurant she moves like Joe Pesci as a …

Pamela Adlon: Better Things is about hope and love amid the darkness

The star and creator of the comedy hit tells Rebecca Nicholson about life, TV, bringing up three daughters as a single mother in LA and making it big after 50 This is fuckin inner sanctum, says Pamela Adlon. Were speaking over FaceTime, and this is a quiet morning in Los Angeles for her. Her writers are about to turn up and start working on season four of Better Things, the neat, witty and often beautiful comedy loosely based on Adlons own life. As soon as shes finished ordering lunch for her team, and sage to cleanse the energy of the office this is the West Coast, after all she leaps up and launches straight into a virtual tour. She shows …

Pride and prejudice: the best books to help with coming out

An exquisite kiss from Virginia Woolf, hot skin from Carol Ann Duffy Charlotte Mendelson picks books to inspire LGBTQ readers Everyone needs books, particularly the newly gay. Books make us feel less alone, and there is nothing more strengthening than reflections of our own complicated selves. Yet most of the best books that might help with coming out are simply about the private yearnings we try to hide. Bookshops rainbow-jacketed YA fiction displays will change young lives; thank God for that. But all over the world there are women and men to whom exposure would mean imprisonment, disaster. For them, and all those who arent riotously born that way, great coming out books are often those whose protagonists come out …

The end of satire: Mad magazine to cease regular publication

Comedian Al Yankovic laments loss of one of the all-time greatest American institutions Mad magazine, a US institution famous for the grinning face of jug-eared, tiny-eyed mascot Alfred E Neuman, is to stop being a regular fixture of newsstands. The satirical magazine will no longer be published monthly with new material from the autumn, its owners DC Comics said. Instead there will be end-of-year specials and magazines with classic and best-of content which will be sold in comic shops and direct to subscribers. While Mad magazine is not disappearing, it is not going to be the force it once was. The comedian and Al YankovicHe said he was profoundly sad I cant begin to describe the impact it had on …

Men behaving badly: why cinema’s great hellraisers were a breed apart

Rip Torn belonged to a high-spirited tradition that was fuelled by too much booze and testosterone. Like it or not, we may never see their like again The death of the film and TV star Rip Torn, whose drunken exuberance so often resulted in the breaking of glass, the splintering of wood and the bandaging of limbs, has led the industry to ponder that exotic creature whose rocknroll behaviour, from the 1960s onwards, persisted for decades to tolerant chortling from the similarly inclined or wistfully well-behaved gentlemen of the press. And that creature is the hellraiser a term that originates from a defiant credo espoused by the hard-drinking, hard-living Hollywood legend Richard Burton: Peter OTooles death in 2013 led to …

I Show The Cultural Differences Between Japan And Other Countries (50 Pics)

40 reply View More Replies… #2 Eating Noodles Slurping noodles to eat in Japan is perfectly fine and it is said that they will taste better too. 27 reply #3 No Service Charge And Tips 33 reply View More Replies… #5 Station Masters 32 reply #9 The Last Stop If you fall deep asleep on the bus in the US, it may be your last stop… 42 reply View More Replies… #10 Toilets The toilets are always wet in Malaysia and there’s always no toilet papers. 14 reply View More Replies… #11 Tattoos If the tattoo is small, it can be covered with plaster to enter into the public bath houses or swimming pool. 68 reply #12 Celebrating Christmas Strangely …