This hilarious cast of star philosophers will make you laugh while you think as they explore the moral conundrums, ridiculous paradoxes, and wild implications of Saturday Night Live Comedian-philosophers from Socrates to Sartre have always prodded and provoked us, critiquing our most sacred institutions and urging us to examine ourselves in the process. In Saturday Night Live and Philosophy, a star-studded cast of philosophers takes a close look at the “deep thoughts” beneath the surface of NBC’s award-winning late-night variety show and its hosts’ zany antics. In this book, philosophy and comedy join forces, just like the Ambiguously Gay Duo, to explore the meaning of life itself through the riffs and beats of the subversive parody that gives the show its razor-sharp wit and undeniable cultural and political significance. Our guest hosts raise some eyebrows with questions like: Is Weekend Update Fake News? Does SNL upset dominant paradigms or trap us in political bubbles? When it comes to SNL, how can we tell the difference between satire, smart-assery, and seriousness? Is the Ladies Man too stupid for moral responsibility? What is the benefit of jokes that cause outrage? The Church Lady has a bad case of moral superiority. How about you? What can Wayne and Garth teach us about living a happy life?
Live from New York, it's Saturday Night! The complete history, on stage and behind the scenes On October 11, 1975 at 11:30 p.m., NBC viewers who tuned in to the network's new late night show saw a sketch featuring John Belushi repeating, in a thick foreign accent, nonsensical phrases about wolverines being read to him by head writer Michael O'Donohue. Abruptly, O'Donohue clutched his heart and collapsed onto the floor. Belushi paused, raised his eyebrow, and then did the same. Posing as the stage manager, Chevy Chase entered the set and feigned confusion before breaking character and announcing to the camera: "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" In that instant, television, which had long been out of touch with the young and hip, experienced the first seismic tremors of a major paradigm shift. TV comedy as we know it today owes it all to Saturday Night Live, the show that dared to take risks (not least the fact that it's broadcast live), challenge the censors, and celebrate the work of offbeat writer-performers. Hundreds of gifted and dedicated people have contributed to Saturday Night Live over the years, and this book pays homage to their groundbreaking work. The list of esteemed alumni, most of whom were complete unknowns when they debuted on SNL, reads like a Who's Who of the past 4 decades in comedy: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Al Franken, Eddie Murphy, Martin Short, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Conan O'Brien, Chris Rock, Will Ferrell, Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristin Wiig, Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, and Bill Hader--to name just a few. Now, as SNL celebrates its 40th anniversary, TASCHEN brings you the ultimate tribute to the show. To research this book, editor and author Alison Castle was given not only full access to SNL's archives, but also the rare opportunity to watch the cast and crew at work. She spent the better part of season 39 in the trenches, learning how everything comes together in just six days for the live performance. Part encyclopedia and part behind-the-scenes tour, Saturday Night Live: The Book covers both the making of the show and its remarkable history. Features include: Over 2,300 images from SNL's archives, many previously unpublished An illustrated breakdown of the 6-day week at SNL through the years, with an expanded section for the live show Seasons reference guide with complete cast, host, and musical guest lists Exclusive interview with founder and executive producer Lorne Michaels
The book is an attempt to put a human face on one of the most maligned creatures in broadcasting – the Censor! Each network has them; unseen, unrecognized, unsung. Well, they’re not really a bunch of pinch-faced prudes in green eye shades wielding blue pencils. They’re hard working, dedicated professionals trying to make television acceptable to a large and culturally diverse audience and, not incidentally, to keep the FCC and the U.S. Congress off the backs of their employers. And it is not easy, for he (or she) catches it from all sides – the creative community that wants to push the envelope – management that wants ratings and increased profits – special interest groups interested in their image – educators who want a classroom and preachers who expect a catechism. Did I say the censor was also a juggler, balancing those interests without compromising the creativity or diluting the entertainment value? There has never been a book written form the viewpoint of a censor. Until now. The book is semi-autobiographical, based on my forty years in the business (twelve with Saturday Night Live!). Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Gilda Radner, Ronald Reagan, Groucho Marx, Bing Crosby: I knew them all. The book tells about them and about censoring, with hopes that the reader will be entertained, but also acknowledge a deeper appreciation of the standards we were attempting to uphold. Sometimes successfully!
Can Wonder Woman help us understand feminist philosophy? How Does Wakandan technology transcend anti-Blackness? What can Star Trek teach us about the true nature of reality? Introducing Philosophy Through Pop Culture makes important philosophical concepts and the work of major philosophers relevant, fun, and exciting. Using engaging examples from film and television, this easy-to-read book covers everything from basic metaphysics and epistemology to abstract and complex philosophical ideas about ethics and the meaning of life. You don’t have to be a pop culture expert to benefit from this book—even a general awareness of cultural icons like Superman or Harry Potter will be more than enough for you to learn about a wide range of philosophical notions, thinkers, and movements. The expanded second edition offers timely coverage of important topics such as race, gender, personal identity, social justice, and environmental ethics. New essays explore the philosophical underpinnings of The Good Place, Game of Thrones, Black Panther, Star Wars, The Avengers, South Park, The Lego Movie, The Big Bang Theory, and more. This edition is supported by a new website with links to primary philosophical texts, information about all the popular culture discussed, and additional resources for teachers, students, and general readers alike. Features a selection of key essays from the bestselling Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series Draws on examples from popular media including The Matrix, Lost, Doctor Strange, The Hobbit, Westworld, and Star Trek Explains philosophical concepts such as relativism, skepticism, existentialist ethics, logic, social contract theory, utilitarianism, and mind-body dualism Discusses the ideas of Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Marx, Mill, Kierkegaard, and other important thinkers Introducing Philosophy Through Pop Culture is an excellent supplementary textbook for introductory philos for introductory philosophy courses and a valuable resource for general readers wanting to learn about philosophy and its connections with pop culture.
Experimental philosophy is one of the most exciting and controversial philosophical movements today. This book explores how it is reshaping thought about philosophical method. Experimental philosophy imports experimental methods and findings from psychology into philosophy. These fresh resources can be used to develop and defend both armchair methods and naturalist approaches, on an empirical basis. This outstanding collection brings together leading proponents of this new meta-philosophical naturalism, from within and beyond experimental philosophy. They explore how the empirical study of philosophically relevant intuition and cognition transforms traditional philosophical approaches and facilitates fresh ones. Part One examines important uses of traditional "armchair" methods which are not threatened by experimental work and develops empirically informed accounts of such methods that can potentially stand up to experimental scrutiny. Part Two analyses different uses and rationales of experimental methods in several areas of philosophy and addresses the key methodological challenges to experimental philosophy: Do its experiments target the intuitions that matter in philosophy? And how can they support conclusions about the rights and wrongs of philosophical views? Essential reading for students of experimental philosophy and metaphilosophy, Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism will also interest students and researchers in related areas such as epistemology and the philosophies of language, perception, mind and action, science and psychology.
Comprised of thirteen articles by well-known authors, this book makes the case to philosophers that popular culture is worthy of their attention. Issues of concern include the distinction between high culture and popular culture, the aesthetic and moral value of popular culture, allusion and identification in popular culture, and special problems posed by the interpretation of popular culture. Popular art forms considered include: movies, television shows, comic books, children's stories, photographs, and rock songs.
This volume offers deeper exploration and advancement of critical race media literacy, a concept which fuses the genres of media literacy and critical media literacy with critical race theory to bring a new and salient frame to the discussion of media literacy across all levels of education in today’s globalized, race-based, and media-saturated climate. Bridging the gap in research that has not addressed the ways in which media is a conduit of racial dialogue and ideology, the book brings together a diverse group of scholars that explore their perspectives on critical race media literacy as it is experienced from the interface and consumption of a variety of media texts and social phenomena. Topics addressed include news literacy, children’s literature, Black political movements, media protests, and ethnic rock—Critical Race Media Literacy addresses these topics within existing media literacy contexts to enhance media literacy scholarship and educational pedagogy. This book will provide a timely and important resource not only for scholars and students of media literacy and media education but also for educators working in diverse learning settings.
Since its debut in 1964, Jeopardy! has been one of America’s favorite and longest-running daytime quiz shows. It turns the question-answer format of traditional quiz shows on its head and requires contestants to pose correct questions to answers in selected categories. While mining information and facts from Alchemy to Zoology, Jeopardy!, is a uniquely intellectual, erudite, and challenging daytime television program. Far beyond entertaining its fans with nail-biting contests of knowledge, memory, and speed, it all but requires them to participate. Few people watch Jeopardy! without pressing an invisible button and blurting out questions to their TV screen. Because of this personal and intellectual investment, most Jeopardy! fans are devout. Watching the show is valued as a daily ritual in which genuine intellectual skill and encyclopedic knowledge (as opposed to thin Hollywood depictions such as those in Big Bang Theory or Rain Man) are not only respected and placed in the spotlight, but also rewarded with national prestige and prize winnings. Champion Ken Jennings (who contributes to this volume) has won over three million dollars and remained champion seventy-four times. For those who embrace Jeopardy! as an intellectual oasis in the arid desert of popular culture, it is the geeks who shall inherit the earth. Jeopardy!’s celebration of intellect and forward-thinking is well recognized throughout popular culture and among all age groups. Ken Jennings, Chuck Forrest, and other all-time champions are near celebrities, while the show itself regularly reaches out through special tournaments to different segments of American culture, such as actors and musicians (Celebrity Jeopardy!), high-school and college students (Teen Tournament and College Championship Jeopardy!) and senior citizens (Senior Tournament Jeopardy!). Still, despite its widespread respect and, some might complain, smug self-respect, neither the show nor its fans take themselves too seriously. Jokes about host Alex Trebek’s hair and famous parodies of Jeopardy! on Saturday Night Live are as familiar as Weird Al Yankovic’s MTV-mainstay “I Lost on Jeopardy!” (to the tune of “Our Love’s in Jeopardy”): Don't know what I was thinkin' of, I guess I just wasn't too bright. Well, I sure hope I do better Next weekend on The Price Is Right.
Charlie Rose has called Louis C.K. “the philosopher-king of comedy,” and many have detected philosophical profundity in Louis’s comedy, some of which has been watched tens of millions of times on YouTube and elsewhere. Louis C.K. and Philosophy is designed to help Louis’s fans connect the dots between his pronouncements and living philosophical themes. Twenty-five philosophers examine the wisdom of Louis C.K. from a variety of philosophical perspectives. The chapters draw upon C.K.’s standup comedy, the show Louie, and C.K.’s other writings. There is no attempt to fit Louis into one philosophical school; instead the authors bring out the diverse aspects of the thought of Louis C.K. One writer looks at the different meanings of C.K.’s statement, “You’re gonna be dead way longer than you were alive.” Another explores how Louis knows when he’s awake and when he’s dreaming, taking a few tips from Descartes. One chapter shows the affinity of C.K.’s “sick of living this bullshit life” with Kierkegaard’s “sickness unto death.” Another pursues Louis’s thought that we may by our lack of moral concern “live a really evil life without thinking about it." C.K.'s religion is "apathetic agnostic," conveyed in his thought experiment that God began work in 1982.
Peter Adamson presents an engaging and wide-ranging introduction to two great intellectual cultures: Byzantium and the Italian Renaissance. First he tells the story of philosophy in the Eastern Christian world, from the 8th century to the 15th century, then he explores the rebirth of philosophy in Italy in the era of Machiavelli and Galileo.
Reading Shakespeare through Philosophy advocates that the beauty of Shakespearean drama is inseparable from its philosophical power. Shakespeare’s plays make demands on us even beyond our linguistic attention and historical empathy: they require thinking, and the concepts of philosophy can provide us with tools to aid us in that thinking. This volume examines how philosophy can help us to re-imagine Shakespeare’s treatment of individuality, character, and destiny, particularly at certain moments in a play when a character’s relationship to space or time becomes an enigma to us. The author focuses on the dramatization of seemingly magical relationships between the individual and the cosmos, exploring and rethinking the meanings of 'individual', 'cosmos' and 'magic' through a conceptually acute reading of Shakespeare's plays. This book draws upon a variety of thinkers including Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz and Kant, in search of a revitalized philosophical criticism of Julius Caesar, Love’s Labor’s Lost, The Merchant of Venice, Timon of Athens, and Twelfth Night.
Baseball and Philosophy brings together two high-powered pastimes: the sport of baseball and the academic discipline of philosophy. Eric Bronson asked eighteen young professors to provide their profound analysis of some aspect of baseball. The result offers surprisingly deep insights into this most American of games. The contributors include many of the leading voices in the burgeoning new field of philosophy of sport, plus a few other talented philosophers with a personal interest in baseball. A few of the contributors are also drawn from academic areas outside philosophy: statistics, law, and history. This volume gives the thoughtful baseball fan substancial material to think more deeply about. What moral issues are raised by the Intentional Walk? Do teams sometimes benefit from the self-interested behavior of their individual members? How can Zen be applied to hitting? Is it ethical to employ deception in sports? Can a game be defined by its written rules or are there also other constraints? What can the U.S. Supreme Court learn from umpiring? Why should baseball be the only industry exempt from antitrust laws? What part does luck play in any game of skill?