Monday, December 02, 2002

Last night's episode of Andy Richter Controls the Universe was one of the funniest, bravest commentaries on 90's-style American race-and-diversity talk that I've ever seen. Richter seems much too innocent and inoffensive to be a really biting satirist, and the truth is that the episode doesn't finally take a stand (it laughs at everybody) in the way that really biting and important satire does. But this episode was I-can't-believe-they're-saying-that-on-television surprising in addition to being laugh-out-loud hilarious. The expedient of making the black characters also be Irish, then conducting the discussion about race exclusively in terms of Irishness-- never again mentioning their blackness in the dialogue while leaving it fully in view, so that the audience was always aware of the contrast-- sounds like a recipe for a wimp-out, but it turned out to be inspired.

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