[Marxism] Fwd: Jimmy Kimmel is a Total Dick and Other Reflections on the Oscars

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Feb 28 08:34:53 MST 2017

(I turned off the Oscars as this awful attempt at a joke began. It 
reminded me of the sadistic "humor" of SNL that has been directed at 
society's "losers".)

Kimmel ported over to the Oscar broadcast a favored shtick from his 
nightly show, which is the “pranking” of everyday slobs.  Vile enough in 
its nightly incarnation, this mockery of uncool out-of-towners reached a 
zenith of Creepy last night when he arranged for a busful of tourists to 
be led into  the auditorium unawares, so that they suddenly found 
themselves onstage at the Academy Awards.  I give this “prank” full 
points for surrealist invention; there is a certain cruel, tedious 
genius to it.  But the point of this kind of joke is always the same 
one: there are two classes of people, the puppeteers and the puppets, 
and we in show business—the men, specifically, the ones who wear the 
tuxedos–are always the ones whose fingers will make you dance.  The fact 
that these “tourists”—ha!  they sign up for organized tours! they come 
from places like Oshkosh and Utica! they don’t dress good like 
us!—responded to the prank with good humor did nothing to mitigate the 
ugliness of it.

And, of course, to cap it all off, Kimmel ordered the Academy members to 
throw a shock into the tourists as they entered the hall by shouting—in 
unison—“Mahershala!”  And with that, he married his two 
endlessly-battered themes—the intrinsic hilarity of “foreign-sounding” 
names and the goofy cloddishness of the everyday American—into one huge 
condescending punchline.

I work in this business, and I have seen up close the utter contempt 
that many people in it have for the audience they purport to entertain. 
But nothing embodies it more clearly than that smirk on Jimmy Kimmel’s 
face as those everyday, hardworking Americans—you know, the idiots—were 
paraded offstage, past the uncomfortable movie-stars, back to their 
meaningless and unglamorous lives.


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