John Malkovich blames 'social media idiocy' for the 'death of comedy'

John Malkovich blames ‘social media idiocy’ for the ‘death of comedy’ with the actor, 66, insisting what’s considered funny one day can end a career the next

  • The 66-year-old made the admonishment ahead of the release of his new Netflix comedy show, Space Force, due to launch this Friday
  • Towing the line between truth and reality, the show tries to portray what a space branch of the military would look like inside the imagination of the US president 
  • When asked about the show, Malkovich said he was more focused on mourning what he perceives to be the death of humor
  • He described outrage culture as toxic, and said what’s funny one day can end a career the next, in this age of ‘social media idiocy’ 
  • Malkovich opined that social media has irrevocably changed the medium of comedy forever, now the ire of a generation is a few clicks away from sparking
  • The actor’s comments bear resemblance to sentiments uttered by Hangover-come-Joker director Todd Phillips who said ‘woke culture’ has killed comedy 

Actor John Malkovich has lamented cancel culture for ruining comedy, insisting what may have been considered funny yesterday could well end an entertainer’s career the next in this age of ‘social media idiocy’.

The 66-year-old made the admonishment ahead of the release of his new Netflix comedy show, Space Force, due to launch this Friday in which he stars with Steve Carell.

Towing the line finely between truth and reality, the show is centered on Carell’s character, Gen. Mark Naird, who has been tasked with running Space Force that has been hastily formed by an unnamed president in the midst of a tweetstorm. Malkovich, meanwhile, plays the eccentric Dr. Adrian Mallory, chief scientist of the new military division.

But when quizzed about how he thought the show’s jokes about President Donald Trump and his incessant tweeting habits would hold up, Malkovich told the New York Daily News’ Kate Feldman he was more focused on mourning what he perceives to be the death of humor generally.

‘What’s funny yesterday becomes illegal today and the person uttering it must be canceled,’ Malkovich told the outlet. ‘Outrage culture is as strong as it is toxic.’

Actor John Malkovich has lamented cancel culture for ruining comedy, insisting what may be considered funny one day could well end an entertainer’s career the next in this age of ‘social media idiocy’

The 66-year-old made the admonishment ahead of the release of his new Netflix comedy show, Space Force, due to launch this Friday in which he stars alongside Steve Carell

Malkovich opined that the emergence of social media has irrevocably changed the medium of comedy forever, now that the ire of a generation is the matter of a few characters, clicks and retweets away from being sparked.

‘Part of what makes [comedy] difficult is also the tidal wave of idiocy that can be created on social media in a day … the outrage mob,’ he said.

The actor’s comments bear resemblance to sentiments uttered by The Hangover-come-Joker director Todd Phillips who said last year that he had chosen to step away from making broad comedy movies, opting instead for darker pursuits.

‘Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,’ Phillips told Vanity Fair. ‘There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore — I’ll tell you why, because all the funny guys are like, ‘F*** this s***, because I don’t want to offend you.’

Initial critic reaction to Space Force has been less than favourable, with some claiming the series feels more like an elaborate Twitter joke, rather than the blockbuster series it was intended to be, backed by a star-studded cast.

Arriving less than two weeks after Trump unveiled the flag for the ‘real’ Space Force, the 10-episode first season tries to envisage what a space branch of the military would look like inside the imagination of the current US president, though he’s never mentioned by name.

In addition to flawed and eccentric characters played by Malkovich and Carell, the surrounding cast bring to life figures of similar disaster, which includes the likes of Lisa Kudrow and the late Fred Willard.

But the dysfunctional bunch are led by Carell, playing a character often reminiscent of his most famous role, The Office boss Michael Scott, who believes he can guide his crew of misfits to the moon.

Malkovich’s sassy character spearheads the science behind Naird’s ambition, harbouring a deep disdain for him and the military in general.

‘Naird is not a science person,’ Malkovich told the Daily News. ‘He doesn’t trust scientists because sometimes they say carbs are good for you and sometimes they say they’re bad. I’d say about 70 percent of the world agrees with him. Science suffers from a lot of blah blah and speculation.’

During production, Malkovich said the cast paid little attention to Trump’s real-life Space Force or his Twitter feed, but credits the show’s writer, Greg Daniels, for ‘pulling certain elements … very cleverly, very amusingly from real life.’

For the most part, Malkovich says the outlandish show is about the ‘possibilities of an unlikely directive to achieve a goal.’

‘On a certain level, it’s about teamwork, a concept quite lost in this United States of America at present,’ he said.

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