Podcast: Entertaining with Amy Sedaris and Jimmy Carr


On this week's show, we entertain two wonderful (and entertaining) guests.

Jimmy Carr is one of the UK's most popular standup comics. Here in the US, he's hosted the game show Distraction on Comedy Central and appeared on Late Night and The Tonight Show. His new book, written with his long-time friend Lucy Greeves, is "Only Joking: What's So Funny About Making People Laugh?"

Then we talk with Amy Sedaris. She's a rabbit lover and taxidermied squirrel owner, as well as the author of "I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence." The book provides domestic advice of many types, ranging from recipes to costumes to how to make fake food out of felt.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

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Good Lord, do I love that woman.

Jesse, I want to thank you for being so persistent with Jimmy Carr, and not accepting his bullshit. You are right, and he is wrong, when you say that jokes are at times, in part, an exercise in power. I don't believe Mr. Carr was either alive or in America during World War II, so it seems to me he has absolutely no basis for stating that there were "no jokes" about the Japanese during the internment of Japanese-Americans. Of course there were. You pointed out an excellent example (racist Bugs Bunny cartoons), which he brushed off by diminishing them. ("Well, there are books with anti-Japanese jokes, but they weren't present in everyday life.") Believe me, even in my very young childhood in the 1950s, I heard plenty of anti-Japanese racist jokes held over from the 1940s, particulary in the Southern mill towns in which I grew up.The Gypsy moth joke was completely offensive to anybody with any sensitivity. I live in Washington, DC, where the local football team is called the Redskins. When American Indians point out that this is an offensive name, fans of the team (non-Native-American) say, "Well, it's not meant as an offense," as if the way the term is received by its target makes no difference at all. Of course, it's as offensive as if the team were called the DC Darkies or some other racist label.Has Mr. Carr asked any Irish people whether his Irish jokes are offensive? Did he consult with any Roma ("Gypsy") people about his Gypsy moth joke?I just saw Borat (to which you allude in your last blog post), and my reaction is very complicated. However, I think the film is an excellent example of political satire. A practicing Jew (Sacha Baron Cohen) portrays a virulent anti-Semite (Borat) for the purpose of attacking virulent anti-Semitism. In other words, Baron Cohen is addressing his own world, his own concerns, in a film many will find offensive. That's not the same as sitting on the sidelines, as a non-Irishman, a non-Roma, a non-Pole, a non-Jew, and telling sleazy ethnic jokes.Shame on Jimmy Carr. Hooray for you, Jesse, for calling him on it and then persisting when he tried to brush you off. This is why I love TSOYA so much: you're a great interviewer.Dave Shepherd

The general consensus between my friends is that Jimmy Carr's brand of comedy is not as funny as he probably intends it to be. Well meaning, thoughtful but ultimately a bit of a letdown entertainment-wise.The general consensus between my friends also decides that I'm the only one who finds Amy Sedaris' voice pretty arousing

I can't believe you all. Jimmy Carr is the funniest man on the planet and he is so clever in his jokes, most of you wouldn't understand them anyway. I love Jimmy Carr for his witt and imagination, I bet you couldn't tell humour if it bit you on your fat heads. Like any of you are any funnier. Jimmy Carr, I salute you.

"Funniest man on the planet" is a bit of a stretch, although he does seem clever, witty and funny. It's no surprise Jimmy Carr idolizes Steven Wright and Emo Phillips--he is basically aping them. He's not quite on their level, though. But like I said, he's enjoyable enough.