Tim Minchin And Ricky Gervais Arguing Over Bullfighting Is No Laughing Matter

It's deeply not funny.

Tim Minchin and Ricky Gervais do not like bullfighting.

It is something which still happens despite all the reasons why it absolutely should not, which is something about which both comedians appear to agree.

But because of Twitter, which is a window into the bleakness of men’s souls, we were treated to the sight of these men having a solid stoush on the subject – which, again, is about something about which they don’t actually disagree.

Has Hey Arnold taught us nothing?

Minchin and Gervais have had very public disagreements in the past, most notably over Gervais’ use of the word “mong” as an insult. Which, again, was really about the two men approaching their comedy differently more than any fundamental disagreement about whether calling someone a race-based insult was a great thing or not.

But in any case, this new spat started with this tweet from Gervais, celebrating a bull who turned on the person fighting him and, not to put too fine a point on it, killing them:

And then Tim Minchin jumped in, pointing out that sure, except a dude died and why are we celebrating that?

This got a lot of support and pushback

But this point led to Gervais firing back:

To which Mr Minchin replied

And meanwhile there were other arguments going on

And in some ways it neatly plays into the caricatures which people invent about both men: Gervais as a man without empathy who gets defensive when challenged (about bullfighting), and Minchin as an uptight killjoy who can’t help but lecture people (about bullfighting).

Which is unfair, because one of those men gave us this…

…and the other gave us this:

…so this is a bit like watching your dads fight. And this close to Fathers Day too! (Although let’s be honest, Minchin makes a strong point.)

Anyway, will this blow up into #bullgate? Feels like we have more things to be outraged about these days.

No, The Simpsons Didn't Predict Trump Would Try To Buy Greenland

Mind you, if he's suckered by a smooth-talking conman into building a national monorail…

It seems like the sort of ridiculous thing that the Simpsons would absolutely have made a plot device but sadly we are here to demolish your hopes that they had a joke about Trump buying Greenland.

Sadly, heartbreakingly, it is not true because nothing in the world is good and pure anymore.

Life is pain.

When in doubt about whether something on the internet is accurate, it is best to consult Snopes – the web’s most reliable factcheckers – who covered this very matter and traced the claim back to a tongue-in-cheek tweet by Democratic senator Chris Murphy

…and a similar joke by TV host Rachel Maddow:

Except people didn’t think it was a joke, and started claiming that it happened for realisies and then it took on a life of its own – not unlike the idea that the Simpsons predicted the presidency of Trump (true: it was a throwaway joke in the 2000 episode Bart To The Future) and even his ride down the escalator at Trump Tower (false: it was drawn after the event).

Twitter and Reddit started discussing the veracity of the claim and the Simpsons’ ability to predict the future, despite the fact that a good slab of the population have 1995 Simpsons indelibly embedded in their brains and can quote entire series’ word for word.

Just me, huh?

Anyway: the Simpsons did have a Greenland gag, but it was not Trump related.

It was in 2013’s The Saga Of Carl, about Carl Carlson’s family home in Iceland, about how the Vikings supposedly swapped the names of Greenland and Iceland because one was green and the other icy.

And that’s why Lenny only brought shorts. See? Hilarious.

It also had Sigur Ros in it! SIGUR ROS!

In related news: I remember a lot about things from the Simpsons and I am therefore super cool.

Life In The Friends Writers' Room Was A Hilarious Nightmare

It would seem that life in the writers’ room for Friends was either the most high-pressure party, or the most hilarious prison sentence.

Yes, television‘s favourite group of… um, pals… was apparently a delight-slash-nightmare, according to an excerpt from Generation Friends by Saul Austerlitz, a forthcoming book about the show. Vulture have published a chapter and… well, it’s an eye-opener.

While the show’s co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman ran an impressively supportive-if-competitive room where the best joke won over people’s own egos, there are plenty of quotes that make it clear that writing for comedy is not for the faint hearted.

Or the sleep-hearted. Or the having kids-hearted. Or the wanting to see anyone that’s not also trapped in the writers’ room with you-hearted.

You can understand why, though:

“A single season of Friends would require seventy-two separate plots, each with its own introduction and resolution, each with its own array of jokes and emotional moments. And fully plotted stories would regularly be tossed out because they flopped in rehearsals or during a shoot.”

That’s 12 people doing that amount of writing, rewriting, re-rewriting and punching up (ie: taking something that’s OK and putting the killer lines in).

A good day typically went from 9am to 10.30pm. A typical day, however…

“It was fun to be in a room of raconteurs, entertainers, and one-liner machines bantering, debating, and performing for each other. But there also was no specified end to the workday, no moment when the writers would punch out and head home… On David Lagana’s first day on the job as a writers’ assistant, he showed up for work at nine-thirty a.m. and left for home at six-forty-five the next morning. The last day of the workweek was widely known as Fraturday, as it often did not end until Saturday morning. “

Kaufmann often found herself driving home in the wee small hours to get her kids up, fed, dressed and sent to school before turning around and going back to the office. Writer Jeff Astrof was convinced he’d meet himself going to work on the way home, thereby tearing a hole in the universe.

In fact, the whole Friends’ joke about Chandler failing to be able to do the whipcrack noise came from a writer getting a call from their financee wondering when and if they’d ever be coming home, and another writer trying and failing to suggest they were whipped.

So you know, comedy out of tragedy and all that.

It’s a longish read but definitely ideal for anyone thinking of joining a writers’ room, or who wants to know how many of the humiliating plot points of Friends came directly from writers’ lives (spoiler: all of them).

There is also, however, a story about the writing of ‘Smelly Cat’ which we won’t ruin. It’s pretty good.

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