The Comedian

I awoke early and watched the chef segment on CBS This Morning.  Some of Katie Button’s signature dishes are Migas Verduras (Sautéed Bread Crumbs with Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts), Tortilla Española (Spanish potato, onion, and egg tortilla), Espinacas a la Catalana (Wilted spinach with pine nuts, raisins, and apple), Filete de Ternera a la Brasa (Grilled space-rubbed hanger steak), Flan de Huevo (Egg flan), and The perfect gin and tonic.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on February 3, 1973 were “Hi, Hi, Hi,” “Do It Again,” “The World is a Ghetto,” “Trouble Man,” “Oh Babe, What Would You Say,” “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” “Why Can’t We Live Together,” “Superstition,” “You’re So Vain,” and “Crocodile Rock.”  I went to work and talked about folding one thousand origami cranes.  When I returned home, I ate a salad and fell asleep while watching Family Feud.  I walked over to the theatre to see “The Comedian,” the movie with Robert De Niro.  I thought of it as a blend of “The King of Comedy,” “Punchline,” and “Birdman.”  Because Harvey Keitel and Charles Grodin were also in the cast, I also thought of “Mean Streets” and “Midnight Run.”  De Niro’s character’s name was Jackie Burke, who was the former star of a television show called “Jackie’s Home.”  His brother is Danny DeVito, his love interest is Leslie Mann, and her father is Harvey Keitel.  Charles Grodin steals his jokes, and Cloris Leachman is the 95-year-old whose tribute show goes awry.  Edie Falco is Jackie’s agent.  She doesn’t have a Corleone connection, but of course she was Tony Soprano’s wife. One problem with movies about stand-up comedians is that the humor isn’t as funny as it’s supposed to be, with the possible exception of “Man on the Moon.”  Jackie has rage in him, and he explodes sometimes, rather like in “Raging Bull.”  De Niro has been doing comedies in recent years, and this was the best of them that I have seen, although this one is no masterpiece.  The New York City in this movie has bright lights and company logos all over the place.  It was a different world than what was in “Taxi Driver.”  When the story moves over to Florida, it brought memories of “Midnight Cowboy.”  The ending was rather predictable.  It’s a flash forward eight years.  I would say that “The Comedian” doesn’t offer much that is interesting to most movie fans.  It isn’t terrible but thoroughly average.  The director was Taylor Hackford, known for “An Officer and a Gentleman.”  I went home and watched episodes of All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and M*A*S*H.  I missed the episodes of The Quest on Star Trek.  Some of the people who died on February 6 include Gustav Klimt (1918), Danny Thomas (1991), Arthur Ashe (1993), Joseph Cotton (1994), Jack Kirby (1994), Falco (1998), Carl Wilson (1998), Frankie Laine (2007), and James Whitmore (2009).  Today is a birthday for Axl Rose (55) and Fabian (74).

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