Blazing Saddles

With the recent loss of Gene Wilder, we have been doing a lot of reminiscing about the comedies of yesteryear, and the one that always rises to the top is Blazing Saddles. The interesting thing about this Mel Brooks classic is that -by far- it is not politically correct and yet it is still a classic. Mel Brooks has gone on record saying that he believes such a movie would never be able to get made today in Hollywood. In fact, even when it was produced in the 1970’s the studio was giving notes to Brooks saying things like, “Can you reshoot Black Bart with a white actor?” and we can understand why. The N-word is used enough to qualify the movie as a gangsta rap album, and it leans heavily on almost every stereotype and joke one might be able to think of when it comes to racism, sexism, and even homophobia. So why is it still such a classic? Is it wrong they we enjoy it so much? Is this a question that is too big for us to accomplish?

Oh Lord! Do we have the strength to pull off this mighty task in one night…or are we just jerking off?

On the Nature of PC
We here at The NYRD pride ourselves on being inclusive and progressively minded, almost to a fault. We believe that everyone should be treated equally and that the artificial boundaries of race, religion, and sexuality should not limit people’s potential or affect how they are treated by one another, but by-god if it isn’t funny when the mayor says “to extend a laurel and hardy handshake to our new… N*****” See, we can’t even write the word because it a foul and terrible expression of centuries of oppression and bigotry. Yet, we laugh. So what is going on? Are we terrible people for laughing at the very un-political correctness of this movie, or are we just having fun? Should we be taking comedy so seriously, or are we just bad people?

Blazing Saddles is the type of movie that a lot of people point to as the very reason political correctness is wrong. “People care too much about offending each other today. Back in my day we laughed at one another. Look at Blazing Saddles,” these imaginary men might say. It is true that if Mel Brooks had limited himself to being “PC” this classic movie would have never been made. A racist Western written by two Jewish men and Richard Pryor does not exactly sound like it would be a marquee moment in civil rights. And yet, does the inclusion of Pyror make the script acceptable? Does the fact that the movie won three Academy Awards and is listed as Number 6 on American Film’s Institute of 100 Years… 100 Laughs make it okay to laugh?  After all, we want to be inclusive and fair to all people, but sometimes funny is funny. This is all so confusing…

Maybe the term Political Correctness, itself, has become part of the problem. Over the years it has transformed into an almost derogatory phrase. It has become a sort of clarion call by those on the more conservative side. It has become the bigot’s excuse for why people take certain actions. If Obama apologizes to a foreign country it is political correctness, as opposed to just fair-minded diplomacy. If a black person gets a job over a white person it must have been because of political correctness, as opposed to just one candidate who got a job over another candidate. If a Christian baker is forced to make a cake for a gay wedding it is seen as political correctness, as opposed to just a merchant fulfilling a job they were paid legal tender to accomplish. Ultimately, being “PC” has become a word that allows people to avoid dealing with deeper issues of society and race. It is a cop-out phrase that some people use to label certain actions they see as offensive to their good-old-boy sensibilities, but then again…

You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.

Beside a Brooks near a Stone in a Parker
Regardless, it is hard to argue that Blazing Saddles is politically correct, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. For our best contemporary comparison we need to turn to Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the minds behind South Park. The cartoon about four foul-mouthed children from a small town in Colorado is usually both political and correct, but it is not politically correct. The genius behind Stone and Parker’s work is that -like Brooks- they lean on stereotypes, but they often subvert them or turn them on their head. They do not shy away from making fun of people, even making fun of those who make fun of the very people they just lampooned themselves. South Park is a landmark show because it goes after everybody: black, white, gay, Christian, Jew, celebrity, Hollywood, small town folk, big city folk, Canadian… etc. It is an equal opportunity offender painted in the form of outlandish comedy, and that is something they have in common with the master, Mel Brooks.

Being politically correct means making all interactions equal and colorblind, which is a noble goal, but also fails to acknowledge and even joke at our differences. Comedy is a contract that allows us all to enter into a safe space where we can acknowledge and laugh about the idiocy of the cultural norms we have constructed around ourselves. Blazing Saddles and South Park are ways for us to look around at the absurdity of the social cage we have built and laugh as equals. In Blazing Saddles, the black men are called the N-word, the Chinese are called the Ch-word, but the white people are morons. The politicians are cross-eyed idiots, the townsfolk are inbred Johnsons, the male-dancers are all gay stereotypes, and even the Native Americans speak Yiddish. We’re all idiots, and that is the real reason why we should enjoy this movie. Mel Brooks doesn’t want us to laugh at one type of race or one type of religion or sexual identity. No, he is asking us to laugh at humans and our absurd ideas. In essence, we aren’t laughing at black characters but at the concept of racism.

This is different than movies that put white actors in black face and ask the audience to laugh at the wild hijinks of the “negro,” or use the only gay character as the “weird and funny” one. Those are offensive and -quite frankly- lazy jokes. Those moves are deserving of our derision. However, that does not mean we should wash away all our differences, or stop joking about them. In fact, comedy is an amazing arena that often allows everyone to come together to laugh at our flaws as human beings. Mel Brooks accomplishes just that with Blazing Saddles. It creates a world where not one type of person is ridiculed or made to feel inferior, but where everyone is made to see their own flaws and find the humor in them. Thus, despite what critics think maybe Blazing Saddles is more PC than anyone realizes. It is about finding the funny in the absurdity of humanity as a whole, and not just one single human.

Men, you are about to embark on a great crusade to stamp out runaway decency in the west.

The Big Finale
Just look at Bart, the main character of Blazing Saddles. He is the smartest man in the picture, a Bugs Bunny type transported to the absurdly backwards racist West. Much like Mark Twain, Mel Brooks is not showing us a black character worth of ridicule, but instead a moronic world that cannot see the sense and rejects him simply because of something as arbitrary as the color of his skin. The movie even addresses the overly simplistic labels of black and white

Sir, he specifically requested two “n*****s”. Well, to tell the family secret, my grandmother was Dutch.

So maybe, Mel Brooks is right. A film like Blazing Saddle with its outstanding and offensive story will probably never get made again in today’s Hollywood. Maybe we have become too PC, but that’s also not as bad thing. Equality, justice, and love are not concepts to be avoided, but they also should not negate the humor of our stories and differences. Being PC is fine, but we also can’t be afraid to laugh about ourselves, so long as we do so fairly and equally. After all, the real humor of race, religion, and division is not so much in the differences between people, but that those differences exist at all.

Long ago, our ancestors gazed up to the stars to find the meaning and guidance that was hidden in the sparkly goodness of the zodiac. For in those celestial shapes they found wisdom and stories of great heroes and deeds. We are no different than our stargazing forefathers, as we too tell stories of heroes and sepia toned supermen, and those stars still hold many truths for us, as well, which are just waiting to be discovered.

Much like the standard zodiac the signs of the nerd zodiac or Nerdiac can give us great insights into our day to day living as well as the many talents and special qualities we posses as both people and geeks. Many ancient nerds believed that you could discover a great deal of relevant information about yourself through reading about your Nerdiac sign. So we at The NYRD invite you to find your sign and your destiny.

March 21 to April 19
AcherologistThe Archaeologist is a desert sign and those born under it are regarded as adventurous, active, and outgoing. It won’t matter where you go or how remote or unusual it is. From the Outback to the Antarctic, you can be sure that an Archaeologist has been there before you. Although they are independent, outgoing and assertive they are also surprisingly trusting, and at times will innocently walk into a temple of doom with no thought for their own safety. They love to discover new things, and very much believe these things should be shared with the world, because sometimes it really does belong in a museum. Yet, no matter what upheaval, challenge, or triumph that confronts them, Archaeologists have a wonderful ability to find their way through. Their faith in life and the future remains untouched by hardship, and their gift is such that with every new discovery the world is still a magical place (and there are sometimes aliens, but we try not to think about that one.)

The Archaeologist is considered the most masculine sign of the nerd zodiac, with females born under the sign sometimes called Crofts and men sometimes called Jones. In romance, Archaeologists are forceful, dynamic, and aggressive, and can often intimidate potential partners. For true happiness a person born under the Archaeologist sign needs a partner that balances their component traits (their true mirror reflection side). This balance can often be referred to as The O’Connells. Archaeologists are doers rather than talkers. They are the impulsive. They act first and doubt later. Their ability to live life close to the edge provides them with a wealth of real experience to call upon. Being active people Archaeologists cannot adapt to any kind of restriction, particularly possessive relationships. They often travel to escape any feelings of being stuck or possessed, even have been know to jump out of their own office windows on occasion.

April 20 to May 20
VulcanUnderneath their cool, calm, and logical exterior, Vulcans differ greatly from all the other signs of the nerd zodiac. Often times they will let others get close, but only so close as they want them. Some claim that trying to connect with a Vulcan on an emotional level is similar to trying to break through a Tholian Web, but that is not true at all. There is no such thing as an open-book Vulcan, but their feelings, fears, and desires often run far deeper than anyone around them would guess. In some ways, of all the souls you may encounter a Vulcan’s will be the most human. Their true spirit often remains hidden behind a veneer of day-to-day activities, which is why those born under the Vulcan sign can sometimes be perceived as withdrawn, boring, or even cold. In terms of the future, Vulcans hate the unknown and often strive to create tomorrow in advance, rather than leave it to fate. They do not normally seek adventure or the unknown, instead preferring a life where they can live long and prosper in other realms.

In love, they are regarded as extremely sensual beings, but ones which only mate on an average of once every seven years. For most people, a relationship with a Vulcan will be defined by intellectual pursuits and based in cold hard reality, but when a Vulcan mates, they mate for life. It is the rare and lucky person, (friend or lover) for which a Vulcan will reveal his true inner self, because he or she has and always shall be your friend.

May 21 to June 20
TimelordThose born under the sign of Timelord are always on the move; thirsty for knowledge and new experiences. Terminally curious and sometimes even mischievous, Timelords are multi-faceted souls who enjoy knowing a little bit of everything. Those born under the sign of Timelord have also gained the reputation of being the incessant talkers, and have a special interest in anything foreign or unique in the universe. Their comfort zone has almost no boundaries, and as such when things often look their worse a Timelord will be in their prime. In love, they look for a companion who can keep up with them mentally and physically. Among the many signs of the nerd zodiac, they are the sign that is often discussed, dissected, and sometimes even put down most by the other Nerdiac signs. This is sometimes a subtle form of jealousy by others, because Timelords lead very unique and unusual lives. Those born under this sign are lovers of adventure and game playing that involves out-thinking other people.

Their personality usually appears mysterious or detached to others and therefore they are often misunderstood and unappreciated for the talents they offer to the world at large, but this does not mean they do not feel, for in fact they have two hearts. Most members of this sign simply hide their feelings behind their jovial and verbose natures. It is rare and often scary when a Timelord chooses to reveal any hurt, pain, or sacrifice they bear. That is called going a little Capaldi. It is has been said, that even demons run when a Timelord goes to war.

June 21 to July 22
RiverThose born under the sign of River, are one of the Nerdiac’s enigmas. It is fair to say that most are a bundle of contradictions and mysteries. One moment, a River can seem like a child, scared and alone, the next that same person can be capable of slaying a hundred Reavers. They invoke strong family ties, especially those between siblings. Those born under this sign are also incredibly intuitive to the point of being psychic. They can be compassionate and caring with friends and family, yet find a weakness that will cut you to your bone. The mood of a River is ever changing, making them endearingly eccentric and insecure. They are often described as an albatross, both lucky and unlucky depending on how they are handled. Rivers go through many phases of experience. Life doesn’t stand still for this sign of the nerd zodiac, and even if they remain in one place or on one ship, they live as much in their internal ocean of emotions as they do among reality.

They flow both up and down, like a leaf on the wind. Most Rivers feel one way one minute, then sometimes totally different the next. With their changeable natures Rivers are fascinating, mysterious, stimulating, and extremely alluring. This sign is one of the most alluring of all and once their touch has reached you, they can be the most beguiling partners and co-pilots you can hope to find out there in the black.

July 23 to August 22
KingslayerKingslayers are said to be born fortunate. Charismatic and ambitious, they attract not only an abundance of friends and opportunities, but manage to survive life’s stormy times with style and good humor. Once a Kinglsayer is committed to a relationship, no matter how incestuous it may be, they are totally devoted and faithful. Any born under this nerdy zodiac sign are often considered honorable, though others may find their honor to be a twisted sort of one. Much like their namesake who slew the mad king, Kingslayers will often taken measures that may seem extreme, but are entirely justifiable to themselves. In love, should their heart or trust be broken they will never forgive or forget. When a relationship breaks down -even a long standing one- they can disappear into the South without a backwards look. For a Kingslayer, when a relationship is over, really over, it is over for good. They will move on, sometimes finding solace in new and larger companions.

Above all Kingslayers are trendsetters, leaders, and adventurers. Their weakness is their pride, and sometimes their golden hand. Some sayings associated with those born under the Kingslayer are, “flattery will get you everything,” and a “Kingslayer always repays his debts,” in coin as well as in blood.

August 23 to September 22
SamwiseSamwise are often put down by many and perceived as being soft and provincial. But when this sign of the nerd zodiac shines, there is practically no stopping their inner light. When a person born under the Samwise sign is confident within themselves they are the most successful, structured, and creative of all the Nerdiac signs. Many Samwise can be found working in the service to others, such as teachers, gardeners, and fellowship companions. One of the most magical characteristics of the Samewise is no matter how many times life turns sour on them, they still manage to maintain faith in others, refusing to become cynical. There is an genuineness around this sign, a kind-heartedness, which unfortunately is sometimes played upon by others for their advantage. Samwise can often become victims of relationship power-games, where they are mistreated. Creative and sensitive, people born under Samwise are delicate, like rare and special orchids that often require individual treatment to fully blossom into their true unique beauty.

Shy at times, they are content to allow others to take center-stage and often generate their time and energy into making those they love happy or successful. They are givers and when the chips are down and you need someone to help you bear your burden to a mountain of fire, you want a Samwise. With them in your life, you will always have someone who understands and cares, and any romance or friendship based upon these qualities is certain to be mutually rewarding.

September 23 to October 22
LinkIt is the fantasy of every adolescent born under the Link sign to rescue the prince or princess of their dreams. As their lives unfold and the Song of Time is played, the experiences, false starts, dramas, broken heart pieces and disillusionment they encounter while seeking this personal quest, often shapes their futures in the most extraordinary manner. Love and love-lost (especially when lost to evil wizards) makes a big difference to someone born under this sign of the nerd zodiac, although the happy-go-lucky appearance they present -against all kinds of odds- may not reveal this as fact. Links can switch off from the world, as easily as turning off a video game. Many who fall under the sign of Link can be difficult to fathom, but that is because many born under this Nerdiac sign often don’t express the more diverse sides to their personalities. When applied their charm can win jobs and provide powerful friends, whether Zora or Goron.

It is a sad fact that many Links fair far better in both personal and professional ventures if they remain alone, but for those who do find their secret dream and rescue their prince or princess, that is another story. A Link must always remember that when they are looking to fulfill their dreams they should never undermine their own integrity, or anger the chickens. Life for a person born under this sign is a true quest, and if they stick to it long enough, not only will they find their Master Sword, but reach their goals, no matter the adversity.

October 23 to November 21
SkywalkerReputed to be one of the most powerful signs of the nerd zodiac and the Jedi, Skywalkers lead fate-filled lives and have intense and dramatic personal relationships. Even as children on Tatoonie, Skywalkers are often found to be wise beyond their years, and gifted pod-racers. Those born under this sign often know all the answers, but they have difficulty finding what they need to develop their own happiness. Passion, desire, and power go hand in hand for those born under this sign. This often leads to many challenges and temptations, and a Skywalker’s biggest test in life is choosing between the power of love and the love of power. Coming to grips with their extraordinary emotional depths and sensitivity isn’t easy for those around them. They are different from all other Nerdiac signs and this difference has them following a different path to their destiny. Others can often live with a Skywalker partner for years -and for many horribly acted scenes- but not really know them. Their eyes often blaze with feelings that words never express, and beware on the days or nights they hide their feelings behind dark helmets, as there is likely to be a force storm brewing.

When you deal with a Skywalker you have to always deal with them on an intuitive level. They often wear a mask and occasionally a respirator, and too often say no when they really mean yes. Once they find true love they can be the most faithful and dedicated of all partners, but fall out badly with a Skywalker and you are likely to find your windpipe being crushed. They never forgive or forget. Most born under Skywalker are winners. The main thing they have to worry about is their attitudes, which influence their mind powers and can either make or break them for the dark or the lightside. When they are negative about something or someone, or critical of themselves, they can tend to get in their own way, because sometimes the only thing found inside the Cave of the Darkside is what you take with you.

November 22 to December 21
AirbenderAirbenders possess a natural exuberance, sense of adventure, and love of life that makes them one of the most optimistic  signs of all. Like their element of choice, those born under this Nerdiac sign tend to blow toward whatever it is they find alluring -a love partner, dream job, vacation, etc- and make it their own. Airbenders believe that anything is possible, and because of this belief system, they are adept at seeking out their own destiny. They are not blown by the winds of change, instead they control them and bend them to their will. Sometimes trying to tie down these free-spirited individuals is frustrating for those around them. Airbenders are happiest on the move, exploring new cultures and ideas and many are attracted to occupations related to travel, outdoor work, begin the avatar, and philosophical pursuits. In love, they often shy away from being fenced in, but once they find a partner who understands their needs to retain their own sense of self and identity, Airbenders can be the most big-hearted, generous and fun-loving companions of all.

Although people born under this nerd zodiac sign are often intellectually and spiritually advanced, they are notorious for their directness, which can sometimes be seen by others as a lack of tact. However, they are freedom loving, optimistic, and honest. Those born under Airbender are ruled by a wisdom all their own, and have an inherent need to develop their own unique philosophy of life.

December 22 to January 19
IronmanThe sign of the high roller, Ironman is regarded as the Nerdiac’s top in life and business achievers. Often the most hard-shelled and stubborn of the signs, it can be difficult to get an Ironman to concede on any point, whether it be physically, mentally, or politically, especially when it comes to superhero registration. Those born under this nerd zodiac sign are often never content till they reach the top of whatever endeavor they are involved with. However, with their stubborn nature also comes patience, an iron will, and repulsor cannons. They reach their goals because they know the longest journey commences with a single step and that the first step is always the most difficult. However, the one thing an Ironman must always try to do is balance work with play; otherwise they can become too one-sided, sacrificing one aspect for the other. Ironmen often do rise to the occasion when faced with a new task or deadline, even if it sometimes takes them a while.yet, if things go wrong, their ambition to reach the ultimate keeps them moving forever onward and upwards.

They are also innovators who are willing to think outside the box and try unusual approaches on their road to success in business or in love. Romantically, they desire a permanent relationship with someone who will give them the affection they crave and often neglect to give themselves, but finding that person will be a road of trial and error, even if he or she have been staring them in the face -getting coffee, fetching dry-cleaning, being an under appreciated personal assistant, etc- all along. Although many Ironmen are borderline workaholics, this does not necessarily make them dull or gloomy. They have an offbeat sense of humor, which seems to erupt at the most unexpected moments. Their motivating force in life is success, money, status, authority and, -although many might not admit it- love.

January 20 to February 18
BatmanThose born under the sign of Batman have a high focus on intellect and perfectionism. Others may view them as eccentric or misunderstood. Many inventors, explorers, and caped crusaders are born under this Nerdiac sign, and with such a high level of focus, Batmen succeed in almost any area they devote themselves to, whether it be physical or mental. This trait is often a boon and a bane, as this level of focus also means that a person born under the Batman sign may have trouble letting go of past hurts and are often haunted by the things about their life they cannot change. Many extremes surround this sign, and these extremes can take them to heaven or hell. In everyday terms, most Batmen are humanitarian in nature and often devote themselves to helping others. They can also be objective in judgement, as they have a unique talent for burying their emotions in an inner cave. Men and women born under this nerd zodiac are happiest when they are useful and they often have a strong sense of right and wrong. However, their single-minded obsessions can sometimes lead to a life of insomnia, as those born under the Batman are the most likely to suffer from sleeplessness.

In romance, the Batman is unlucky. The extremes of their life often lead to quick and shallow relationships, as many partners will not see beyond the mask of the billionaire playboy. Those lovers who are able to pierce the veneer will often be another Batman, -also sometimes called a Catwoman, for a female born under this sign- and the relationship, though deep, will never be smooth.

February 19 to March 20
SnapeMysterious and alluring individuals, most Snapes are gifted in many ways, but still manage to spend most of their lives battling confusing conditions. Snapes are frequently torn between two pathways in life, often mirroring their own conflicting desires to serve or rule. This can lead to an almost dual life as villain and hero. This nerd zodiac sign is acknowledged as being the Saint and the Sinner rolled into one. Snape is the sign of the lost soul, the philosopher, the psychotic, and the visionary. As a credit to them, and considering their many vulnerable characteristics, those born under this sign are incredibly adaptable and resilient. Many Snapes can be amongst the top wizards of the world, but many can also be found in places such as Azkaban. One thing that plays havoc with the life of a member of this Snape sign is romance. They often replace fantasy for reality and this is especially true when it comes to relationships.

Most born under this Nerdiac are more likely to pine for a person from a distance, unable to act on their feelings and yet equally unable to let them go. This can sometimes result in situations were a person born under the sign of Snape may be forced to help the offspring of a long lost love defeat a dark wizard, despite the conflicting emotions of hate and love they may feel for that child. Snapes are the nerd zodiac’s most sensitive sign, and should take extra special care, as nobody can beat them up as much as they can beat themselves up -with maybe with the exception of those kids from Gryffindor.

It’s happening. The trailer for Zoolander 2 has finally hit the Inter-webs, and surprisingly the trailer does not look as bad as one might expect. Everyone here at The NYRD are huge fans of the original movie, but even we have to admit that sequels to comedy movies very rarely work. Just look at The Hangover 2 or whatever it was that Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels tried doing a few years back.

We have high hopes for Zoolander 2, but grand in a way that still keeps them small, like high hopes for ants. the one thing this movie has going for it is a great cast from Owen Wilson to Will Ferrell to Ben Stiller to a questionably androgynous Sherlock Holmes. For now we feel that we owe Ben Stiller and his creation the benefit of the doubt so we will hope for the best.

Zoolander 2 will be out in theaters on February 12th. So watch the trailer below and let us know what you think. Did you enjoy what you saw? did it make you laugh? Is this movie so 2000 and late? Was that last joke so 2000 and late? Give us a shout in the comments below.

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We are all looking for Mr. or Ms. Right, that special someone who will make us feel like we’re in a Disney movie with singing crabs and kleptomaniac monkey sidekicks. Unfortunately, not everyone we date will always meet our expectations. If only our partners could be more like the heroes and heroines we read about in books or see on the big screen. Yet, not even those seemingly perfect two-dimensional representations are without flaws, and if you were to ever find yourself on a date with any of the following characters just remember that no person -even fictional ones- are perfect.

Supes profile2
This corn-fed farmboy is a protector through and through. He will stop a speeding bullet, catch a falling plane, or even superspeed to the store to get you ice cream when you’re feeling depressed. Superman is friendly, conscientious, and will take you on romantic flights over the city. He naturally puts your needs before his own, and if the Man of Steel makes you a promise you can count on him keeping it. It does not hurt that he is easy on the eyes and looking for a committed and loving relationship.

However, when it comes to dating Superman you might find that it may not be all truth, justice, and a two-way relationship. Setting aside the fact that he has a secret mild-mannered side, protectors like him are always trying to rescue the damsel in distress. Though that is appreciated, not every woman is looking to spend their days falling off of buildings so a man in blue tights can catch them. A relationship with the Last Son of Krypton will work for a while, but eventually he may lose interest when he realizes you don’t need him or becomes frustrated if he is unable to help you. Even worse, he will always be flying off to save someone else instead of spending time with you, and the jealousy that might create could prove to be as good as kryptonite to your relationship.


Her profile1
This good-hearted know-it-all is a real thinker, but her calm and serious exterior hides a deeper passion and a true loyalty to those she cares about. She can be quiet at times, but when you need someone to punch a Malfoy in the face you will be surprised by the fire you find inside her. Her dedication to schedules will help you always be on time, but she is not without a spontaneous side and can occasionally be made to abandon her best laid plans in the name of friendship. She is well organized, practical, and the exact type of person you want around on a date to playing pub trivia or trying to solve a century’s old riddle to break into an underground basilisk pit.

Because of Hermione’s status as an underage wizard, dating her may be difficult for many. Be warned that she is Azkaban bait and cannot practice magic outside of school. So that means you shouldn’t try any your “magic” on her. Those that can date her may find that she is sometimes arrogant or emotionally distant. The wizarding wunderkind spends too much time in the library, preferring the company of books to most people, and her strict adherence to rules -which she can often quote by memory- could drive a partner crazy. Anyone who cannot take criticism or a strong will would do good to avoid Hermione as she can often be dismissive and skeptical of other’s ideas, often believing that she is right in most situations. The most annoying part is that she usually is, and that could mean avada kedavra to any hopes of romance.


mike profile1
If you like those who are outgoing, friendly, and fun-loving than Michelangelo might be who you are looking for. The hero in the half-shell is all about being spontaneous and enthusiastic about almost anything that life throws at him. Less arrogant or rude than some of his brothers he will always be there for you as a supporter and a team-player. Michelangelo is also the exact type of person you want around when you are feeling down or depressed. He can find the fun and the funny of any situation, even when facing down a clan of ninja or a robot that houses a talking brain in its stomach.

Unfortunately, that also means Mikey doesn’t take a lot of things seriously. So when situations or romance get tense he will often come off as annoying. Everybody likes to party, but not everybody wants to party all the time, especially when you are trying to have a serious conversation about your feelings. He is not a leader or a hard worker, often preferring to seek pleasure and getting bored easily in mundane situations. Michelangelo also does not respond well to rules or structure, like those found within the confines of a relationship or a government laboratory that might want to dissect him. Overall, he is a very uncomplicated personality, though he will seek the spotlight and he enjoys being the center of attention in all occasions. Any significant other who cannot share the spotlight might find that hard to compete with. It is also worth mentioning that he is a giant talking turtle, and any sort of relationship would probably not win the approval of parents, friends, civil authorities, or the religious community.


Snow Profile1
Snow White is a caregiver. Generous, compassionate, she will always be there to kiss your wounds or cook your pot roast. She is happiest when she can lend a hand and is always the person who tries to keep her environment harmonious, which is hard when you live with seven other roommates. Some will see Snow White as adhering to outdated stereotypes, but she is just content being a homemaker, and she is the exact person who will help you make your house your castle. Her love of animals also belays a kind soul and a possibly magical ability to summon the beasts of the wild on command.

However, many people will see “the fairest of them all” as nothing more than old fashioned. Not every man is looking for a maid who will take care of his every need, or wait patiently for him to save her with his kiss. When it comes to dating she is mostly a shut-in, preferring to stay at home rather than go out for the night. Many will often see her as fussy and maybe even a bit smothering, and Snow White’s adherence to keeping domestic peace will be frustrating at times. It will ultimately mean that any argument or disagreement will be stopped before it can become productive, causing feelings to fester until they explode like a bubbling cauldron of a wicked witch. There is also the matter of her questionable relationship with seven unattached miners that could cause emotions to flair from happy to grumpy to dopey to jealous.


Spock Profile
Spock’s life is dominated not by emotion but logic. He is a natural problem solver and just the type of person who will always be able to give you the best of advice. He excels at predicting outcomes and patterns in situations and people. Unlike other high thinkers, Spock is not arrogant and is often fascinated by the emotions of others, even if he cannot always understand them. When proven wrong the Vulcan science officer is the first to admit his mistake and take responsibilities for his actions. So, if you are looking for a good conversationalist you have found your green-blooded man. He is also a strong leader and an equally adept follower, comfortable in playing any role in your relationship.

The Vulcan Mind Meld is a technique that literally allows two people to share each other’s thoughts, so if you are not open to a completely honest relationship, then Spock may not be the mate for you. He is also not the person who will be there with a shoulder to cry on. For all his logic the decorated Starfleet officer can sometimes come off as cold and unfeeling. He is a great life-coach but a terrible sympathizer, and he will often put the needs of the many before the needs of the few, including you. Biologically, Vulcans only need to mate once every seven years, thus you should not expect an overly physical closeness. Spock is long lived, and even after he dies he can store his katra or personality inside your mind, which gives a new meaning to the word “commitment.” Yet, in some ways, of all the souls you will ever meet, he may be the most… human.


Leia has it all. She is a strong willed leader who can pick a Stormtrooper off with a blaster at fifty meters, and look good in a golden bikini while doing it. Any relationship with Leia will be one of give and take one, as she is a master at negotiation and compromise. She also usually knows what she wants, being both decisive and assertive. Coming from a royal upbringing Leia is highly educated and refined, and if you ever need the perfect date for a wedding, formal reception, or Galactic State dinner, she is the woman you want on your arm.

However, Leia is very much a career oriented woman. She is one of the leaders of the Rebel Alliance and that comes with a lot of responsibilities and not a lot of time for dating. Include into this that her family life is a bit of a mess, and you do not want to meet her father. Some men will also see her as blunt and argumentative, as she has no fear of speaking her mind and telling people exactly what she thinks of them. Yet, the former senator from Alderaan is also a very shrewd politician and an adept liar when it suits her purpose. That can always leave a seed of doubt in the back of any man’s mind. The princess is very goal oriented and will work tirelessly to reach those goals, which mean she has a tendency to ignore the feelings of others, including you, in the pursuit of a higher objective. Most importantly, Leia needs excitement in her life and some who works a 9-5 job and watches Netflix on the weekend is not going to keep her entertained for long. As much as she claims to like nice boys it is clear that she is looking for the scoundrel type, no matter how scruffy looking.


Venkman Profile
Peter Venkman is a ladies man in the truest sense of the word. A showman, he is outgoing, witty, and at times aloof. Most of Peter’s life is ruled by his impulses, including his mouth. Peter will always knows the right comment to make to infuriate or impress his significant other or any crowd that has gathered to watch him. This means that when he wants to be, Venkman can be the most romantic partner a girl will ever have. Also, despite his exterior fun-loving nature, he does care deeply about the friends and family around him, even if he is often unwilling to show it.

Unfortunately, Peter Venkman will never settle down. He is not marriage material as much as he sometimes wishes he was. It will about the time when he starts introducing you as “the old ball and chain,” that you may decide to pack up and move on. He is smart, having two doctorates, though most people do not quite know how he got them. Many will find Venkman selfish and self-centered, often using his charm and wit to manipulate others into doing what he is unwilling to do himself. A natural liar and showman you will always find yourself having doubts about the sincerity of anything he says. There is also the very serious question of where Peter got the tranquilizer drugs that he once used to knock out a possessed Dana Barrett, because that means he may carry roofies around with him whenever he goes on any date.


Kat profile
Katniss is a survivalist and the kind of person you want around when you are stranded with a dead phone battery or in the middle of a vast wilderness where children are constantly trying to kill you. She is fiercely independent and does not care much for rules. Basically, time spent with Katniss will always be difficult, but it will never be boring. She is also slow to trust but incredibly loyal once you earn her confidence. She will stop at nothing to protect those she cares about or feels responsible for. More than anything the Girl on Fire is an introvert at heart and will often need time alone to recharge; any partner that can respect that will go far to learning how to maintain a relationship with her.

Unfortunately, no relationship with Katniss Everdeen will ever be easy. Having faced so much tragedy, her natural instinct is to cut herself off completely from her feelings, including love. However, every so often she will explode in what may appear to be an emotional and almost irrational outburst. She also does not like being controlled by anyone, and will often withdraw or fight against the will of others, whether it is an oppressive white-bearded dictator or an overbearing significant other trying to plan for a night out. She has admitted to being opposed to romance or marriage, but Katniss has problems understanding what she truly wants, whether it be the son of a baker or the brother of a thunder god. This kind of indecisiveness coupled with her emotional problems and fiercely independent nature does not bode will for the odds of any relationship with her being in your favor.


Did you enjoy our list? Was there anyone we forgot? Anything you disagree with? Let us know in the comments below.

With the flop of last week’s Fant4stic Four movie it may be time to start asking ourselves if superhero movies are starting to go more stale than that loaf of bread that has been sitting on top of our office refrigerator since April? -We’re not actually sure where the bread came from. It is actually a bit of concerning mystery.- Then again, maybe this new Fantastic Four movie was a fluke made by a lazy production company scrambling to keep the rights to Marvel’s first family, but what if it speak to a larger formulaic problem in the superhero genre itself? What if we are reaching critical mass of superhero movies? Well, much like the shadowy origins of that loaf of bread, we here at The NYRD can only speculate, but what we do know is that maybe it is time for our beloved movies to start shaking things up again, before we all get a little moldy.

The Thing About Movies
In all fairness, Marvel and other studios have begun branching out superhero films, to include elements from other genres. Ant-Man was a super-powered heist movie, Guardians of the Galaxy was a space opera about the fat guy on Parks and Recreation, and with its upcoming release of Deadpool, Sony is going to give us a hyper-violent and comedic tale about Ryan Reynolds trying to prove he can be in a good superhero movie. However, studios can be fickle when it comes to these sorts of things. They will always try to stick to tried and true methods in a hope that they can get as many golden eggs from their goose as possible before it dies a slow, humiliating, and painful death, which they will then try to sell to us as the next big summer blockbuster. So how do we fix superhero movies? Maybe with another superhero movie, but not about any ordinary heroes.

For anyone who does not have our level of comic knowledge, charisma, or devastatingly good looks, you have probably never heard of The Great Lakes Avengers. They are a superhero team in the Marvel universe, but they are less Iron Man and more ironing board. Less Captain America and more Captain Kangaroo. They are less Thor the Marvel hero and more Thor the crappy SyFy original movie. You get the picture, but they might also just be what the world needs right now, a vehicle to really shake up the genre and remind everyone why they thought superheroes were so fun in the first place. With all the snark of Tony Stark, the snappy one-liners of Starlord, and all the wit and charm of Paul Rudd already enshrined in the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe, it could be the perfect place to introduce audiences to the first superhero comedy.

Obviously, all of this is hypothetical, and we are not talking about a comedy like Superhero Movie or some other terrible parody movie that may or may not involve the Wayans brothers. We would picture The Great Lakes Avengers, to be more clever than that, perhaps something in the line with 21 Jump Street, Ghostbusters, or Men in Black. It would be a comedy with heart, but still very much one that prioritizes the humor. For a real good idea of what we are talking about go watch the underrated by enjoyable superhero movie, Mystery Men. We can wait… Seriously, Hank Azaria, William H. Macy, Ben Stiller, it is a classic, and like Mystery Men a movie involving the Great Lakes Avengers would have to rely on a subtle sort of humor that plays with and pokes fun at the conventions already established in comic books and the existing MCU.

In essence, this movie could offer Marvel a chance to hang a lantern on their own world and shake up the genre even more. Of course, we are not saying the comedy/superhero line would be an easy one to walk, but if anyone can do it would be Marvel. The time is right and the source material is rich with things that can really be turned into a smart and hilariously fresh take on the MCU.

The Fantastic Mister Immortal
The movie would start with Craig Hollis, who dubs himself Mr. Immortal, because he cannot die. That is his only power, and it would offer some great jokes for Marvel to poke fun at itself, as the MCU cannot seem to let even Phil Coulson stay dead. He starts a superhero team in Milwaukee, which is not exactly a hub of super-villain activity, but would make for an interesting and clever contrast to New York, DC, LA or any of the other major metropolitan areas where most superhero movies have taken place.

Through a series of events and Internet advertisements he would eventually recruit Dinah Soar, who is half woman and half pterodactyl. She cannot speak English and the only one who can understand her is Mr. Immortal. She would also be his love interest. Next is Ashley Crawford, known as Big Bertha who is a supermodel with the ability to become obese. When she does, she gains superhuman strength and durability. Even better Big Bertha prefers her obese form compared to her supermodel size and there could be some good comedy and moments about commenting on the unspoken standards of attractiveness of superheroes. Dr. Val Ventura or Flatman is most definitely a parody of Reed Richards, except that his doctorate is highly questionable. No one is really sure what he has a degree in and he is usually pretty cagey about it. His body is two-dimensional and can stretch and form to fit under doorways or be folded up like origami. He would also be the first openly gay superhero we get to see on the movie screen. The next member is DeMarr Davis. Doorman is one of the most powerful of the group. He can use his body to open an inter-dimensional door, but only to the next room. He is also the only African America in the group, and with a name like Doorman it is a pretty good chance for Marvel to make some pointed observations about how they have been treating superheroes of color.

Of course, the last and most popular member of the team is Doreen Green. Squirrel Girl, is somewhat of a cult favorite among comic nerds. She can talk and direct squirrels, similar to how Ant Man can control ants, only these are squirrels. She is also the most successful and well known of the group. In the comics, she has defeated Dr. Doom, Thanos, and even Wolverine. She even stops Galactus from destroying the world, through the power of friendship. Her cult status would offer some great moments of comedy, and maybe even a few reflective comments on geek culture itself. Basically she is Felicia Day with superpowers.

The point of the movie would be that you don’t need to be an Avenger to be a hero, and that you do not always need to take yourself too seriously. Some new threat would arise in Wisconsin and since it is not New York or Chicago or any other typical place, the Avengers would miss it. So it would fall to the newly formed and struggling Great Lake Avengers to take care of the problem, while still trying to fight low-level crime in the 31st most populated city in the continental United States. There can even be some great cameos. We can already see a stinger where Tony Stark walks into Great Lakes Avengers HQ, makes some quips, admires their work, and then hands them a cease and desist order to stop calling themselves Avengers.

The Human Torch and Disappearing Woman
Right now the superhero genre is burning bright, but if we are not careful that spark is going to diminish and vanish. A heartfelt, clever comedy could be the kind of movie that would offer Marvel and the genre, in general, a lot of opportunities to shake some of the dust off itself and laugh at its own flaws. It would not be about cheap humor or low-hanging jokes, though those things may not be off the table, entirely. Instead, it would be about bringing back some of the campy fun and self-parody that is missing from new superhero movies. After all, a world of superheroes offers more than enough weird, interesting, and funny opportunities to make for a good comedy.

Robert Frost once said, “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane,” and that is as true for our movies as it is for us. Look at the newest version of the Fantastic Four. The original movie from the 2000’s was deemed to be too campy and colorful. It tried to hard to be humorous, so they went dark and realistic. Well the original Fantastic Four was a commercial success. This new Fant4stic Four is heading toward financial ruin. There is a lesson to be learned there, and a funny one at that. Now with the arrival of DC’s grittier monotone universe we can look forward to even more seriousness from men and women who fly around in capes and hang out with bats all day. A Great Lake Avengers movie could go a long way to remind people why they fell in love with Marvel, Iron Man, and superheroes in the first place, while letting us all laugh at their flaws and our own.

The real truth of the matter is that if studios keep pumping out generic and senselessly “dark” superhero movies then the genre as a whole will move quickly from stale to moldy. If the formula for success in these movies does not have the room to expand than the genre will start collapsing in on themselves, quicker than the Fant4stic Four‘s plot did. Marvel has already proved they can blend comedy and action effectively, so we know they could certainly do justice to Squirrel Girl. After all, if they can get Rocket Racoon to become a box office success, than we would have high hopes for what they could do with a comedy about a team of superhero wannabes and rejects.

We are standing at the end of an era. We here at The NYRD do not want to put too fine of a point on this, so we will just be blunt. We are going to miss Jon Stewart, and without him around, the future of American news and politics seems a little more bleaker. Tonight, Stewart finishes up his final show, ending a more than 16 year run on Comedy Central. The final show itself will be full of all the humor and candor that we have come to respect and love about Stewart, but we do not want to talk about the end. Instead, let’s start on the beginning.

At Wit’s Beginning
The year was 1999, and a little know comedian whose specialty seemed to be more sheepish bro humor than scathing political commentary, took the seat of a little know late night comedy show on Comedy Central. The Daily Show began in 1996 with host Craig Kilborn. In the beginning it seemed to have problems finding its footing. It ran more like a parody of a local news program than political satire, but that all changed after Stewart took over. Over those first few years he helped the show develop a style based more on lampooning the major news networks and pointing out the absurdities in the American political system. The change did not happen all at once, but in a sense both he and the show grew together, and we all took notice.

It seemed the grayer Stewart’s hair got, the more popular he became. It may also have helped that he took over at the beginning of a new era of absurdity in news reporting. His first on-air report was literally on Clinton’s Impeachment. We would offer to insert some kind of Clinton-penis-joke here but Monica Lewinsky already did that… And The Daily Show always did it better. In their first ever Presidential race Jon and his associates introduced their Indecision 2000 coverage, a name so overwhelming appropriate that in a time when it seemed like the regular news media has no idea how to cover Florida ballot recounts or Supreme Court rulings on who our President was, that people turned to the “fake new” to make more sense out of the debacle. Then, after the world was rocked by tragic events in New York and the subsequent wars that followed it was Stewart that we all went to for comfort and understanding. He never made the news less scary or depressing, but he made us laugh and told us truths as no one else seemed capable of doing.

Then the world went and changed. Social media, the Internet, and the loss of our collective attention spans altered the way we digested the news. So even as The Daily Show grew and Stewart progressed, the world around him cranked the crazy meter up to eleven. Fox News, CNN, and all the rest became less about reporting and more about ratings, invoking both flag waving and scare tactics, but Stewart adapted. He followed the national conversation and dissected it four times a week for sixteen years, often with more skill and wit than any professional journalist. In the process, The Daily Show went from chasing the national conversation to shaping it. Each day Stewart seemed more at home in his suit and behind his desk, and each year more and more young people were tuning in. He became not just a footnote to the day’s news but the source of it for many. He engaged youth in politics, world events, and even asked the tough questions that other news sources dared not to. He did good in a way so many people can only dream of. He helped change public awareness on many issues, and even got CNN to cancel Crossfire.

No Laughing Matter
A 2007 poll by the Pew Research Center found that Jon Stewart ranked fourth in the category of “Most Admired Journalist,” alongside names like Tom Brokaw, Anderson Cooper, and Dan Rather. By 2009 he landed on top of Times‘s list of “Most Trusted Newscasters”, and with good reason. The show’s success has a lot do with it’s format, but as much to do with the honesty of Stewart himself. A Jersey boy, born and bred, straight-talker who refuses to eat NY pizza with a knife and fork. He is an everyman, the smartest everyman you may ever meet, but over the years he became a voice for everyone in the audience.

The comedian often spoke our frustration, rage, and even depression at the events that were unfolding around him. He watched the world turn from a chair on a sound stage, and the jokes he made seemed like the last bedrock of sanity in a world that was spinning too fast and in the wrong direction. Nothing was ever perfect and Stewart would be the first to admit that The Daily Show made its fair amount of mistakes, but that is the point. He always admitted his faults and failures, never trying to hide behind some sheen illusion of perfection. He also had his detractors, others in the news media, politicians, celebrities, and more. He got his fair share of angry phone calls and emails, but the truth is that for many, being featured on a segment of the The Daily Show was almost a mark of honor.

His opinions sometimes felt harsh, but funny. Even at times when his jokes ran parallel to one’s own opinion you still managed a chuckle. That was the magic of Stewart. He was not demagogue sent to lecture you, but a friend there to give advice over a bottle of beer. Most importantly, he made you think. Well, first he made you laugh, and then ball up in a corner and cry a little, but once you thought about it all, then you got to thinking. Even if you did not share his opinion you still entertained it, and even if your mind was not changed you still respected him for his words.

The Punch Line
will be a word you may hear a lot in other tributes like these that will be floating around in the next week or so, but courage is not the right word. Sure, it takes courage to get on TV every night and say the things others won’t about a Senator or a US President who will be a guest on your show in two days, but there is something more to it. Jon Stewart created a space where comedy informed a greater dialogue, because despite some of the opinions of others, once we learn to laugh about something we fear talking about it less. Maybe humor really is a rubber sword or maybe it had more to do with Stewart himself, but there was a refreshing quality about the 25 minutes we all got to spend together.

He spawned many like him, both friends and imitators. He changed the way people watched and reported the news, but there will never be another Jon Stewart, and we are going to miss him. We can not blame him for retiring, he deserves it, but we wish there was a clear successor to the torch he lit. We face a world where Donald Trump can blast ignorance and insults and be ahead in polls for a Presidential primary, and part of us has to wonder what will we do without our daily dose of sanity. With his retirement from the The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert going mainstream on CBS, Larry Wilmore floundering to find his voice, and only one weekly dosage of John Oliver on HBO, we find ourselves looking out on a landscape that is suddenly less vibrant and a bit more chaotic. -We will not even mention Stewart’s replacement, who no one seems entirely sure about. Where are we going to get our news from now? Certainly, not the 24-hour news networks. If we wanted to watch comedy, we would go to down to Chelsea and catch a stand-up show. At least it would feel more honest.

On a very personal note, Jon Stewart and his drive and passion to engage in the national conversation is one of our major influences here at The NYRD. We know we will never be able to do what he did or even be as funny, but we will never stop trying. He has inspired us and others like us to talk about what is going on and think about how our actions and our voices can change the national debate, and really what higher compliment can you give to any man. Many may call Jon Stewart a cultural phenomena, but he is more than that. His work changed the way people see the world and the way people want to engage in it. So maybe the answer to our hypothetical question is that we are all Jon Stewart’s successors. We may not have cable shows or even blogs, but we have a responsibility to continue the discussion he started.

A Moment of Zen
Between 1999 and 2015 we went from the West Wing to House of Cards. We went from a nation built on hope to one wrapped in fear. Sound bites became shorter and more sensational. Sex tapes made celebrities, while politicians ran for the far corners of their respective aisles. Everything became more sensational and more irrelevant, but Stewart was always there, a friendly Sherpa willing to point us in the right direction and maybe offer us a warm drink and a place to dry off, if only for a short time. When Stewart was on stage it never seemed so bad. Maybe it is a truly absurd world when we have come to rely on our comedians to tell us the truth about the world around us, but no one did it better. We may never see his like again.

We know we should have put more jokes in this article, but for once we just did not feel funny enough to match up to the master, but we at The NYRD want to thank him for all he has done and to remind everyone that it is up to us now, all of us, to continue on with the national discussion, even if it will now be lacking some of the same sharp and childish wit.

Funny woman Amy Schumer is coming off a relatively good high as of late. Her new romantic comedy is out in theaters and thanks to her acceptance speech at the 2015 Glamour Awards, she has become somewhat of an icon for powerful women everywhere. Her latest outing for GQ’s Comedy Issue has been to don the guise of everyone’s favorite princess from a galaxy far far away. Of course Schumer doesn’t do anything halfway or without putting her brand of comedy on it.


GQ let her pick her own cover idea and Schumer not just went funny and geeky, but she blew out our servomotors. It is a shame that GQ is only featuring Schumer as part of their “comedy” issue. She is a powerful and sexy woman and we would not mind seeing more of her and those like her on the cover of GQ in the future.

For insight into the Schumer shoot, check out GQ and the hilarious video she made while lying next to a bewildered and somewhat jumpy C3PO. Of course in all fairness, surprised and a bit insulted tends to be Threepio’s default look, but it works fairly well. Our personal favorite would have to be the bar scene. Check out the magazine and the pictures below for more.

Photos courtesy: