Episode 157: "Doing A Voice Things"

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March 7, 2014


Aisha Muharrar

Origin of the episode title[edit]

One of the things Cameron Diaz is doing (rather than acting) in the trailer for the Annie remake.


Oh, yes, hi. This week's show features a conversation with your new favorite human, AISHA MUHARRAR. She is a writer for television's PARKS AND RECREATION, and she's also who you want to be your best friend, but she might be too busy for that? Aisha talks to Julie about seeing Britney Spears in Las Vegas, what a perfect book club would be like, and what to do in an earthquake (nobody knows).

Also- Julie is furious at Ellen for hurting Liza, why it's passé to judge people for being unhappy, and what exactly Cameron Diaz is getting away with in that new Annie trailer (murder).


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Monologue Transcript[edit]

Transcription by Amy

Hello, Hello. Hi everybody. It's Julie Klausner back for another episode of HWYW. Happy March.

Happy post-Oscar experience. Let's get this out of the way right away. Ellen Degeneres can take a long walk off a short go fuck herself because in my opinion, I think she truly wet the bed this Sunday as an Oscar's host. Not just because she made Liza sad.

Let's back up a little bit. This Sunday Ellen Degeneres hosted the Academy Awards. In preparation of that she hired no joke writers! She did the opposite of getting Bruce. I overheard two dim women at the hair salon this week talking about the Oscars. One of them said, "I loved the selfie joke." That wasn't a joke. It was an ad, not to blow your minds. It was an ad featuring Lupita Nyong'os brother. Let's take a selfie is not a joke. That's not a joke.

What was the other thing she did? She ordered pizzas and talked about it for an hour and a half which is what a 12 year old does. They do something slightly naughty or slightly out of the ordinary and they never shut up about it. All of that would have been fine if there had been a decent musical number. I have talked about this before; I enjoy Billy Crystal's medleys at the beginning of the Oscars. They shaped who I am. They also shaped how I perceive Paul Reiser but that's not my problem. Ellen Degeneres came out and she had a chip other shoulder and in one of her vests. She just thought to herself, I can just wig it because I am so charming and nice. Ellen Degeneres seems to me like one of those mean people that think she's nice. She's mean.

She's not mean to those two little girls. Where was Sophia Rose and who's the other one? Twinkles? This two little British girls that she has to top herself every time by giving them a new present so that she can hear them scream louder than they did--they already met Nicki Minaj, there's no going past that. It's like an audience applause meter. You already brought out the game show car that your contestant has won. That little arrow is not going to go any further to the right on your applause meter.

If those two little girls had hosted I would have been a lot happier. If Ronan and Dylan Farrow had hosted I would have been a lot happier. It probably would have given a better, or would have shown a different light on the evening, a more fair and balanced light if you ask me.

The most appalling thing from the Oscars and there were a couple of appalling things was that they didn't let Liza sing, not only didn't they let her sing, they didn't let her talk. At no point did they have Liza Minnelli, who was reunited wither brother and sister; up on stage in order to present what I was under the impression would be a full-blown Judy Garland tribute. What ended up instead being Pink, who unless she is suspended on some sort of bungee harness, is useless to me! Pink and Robin to me are just the same exhausting girl that… Whatever. There are people that I respect who like both. Those people are not me. Pink singing Over the Rainbow didn't make any sense. It made Nate very angry. It's not Liza's song. Liza doesn't like to sing that song, but could she have introduced it? Why couldn't Rufus Wainwright have sung that? I'm sure you have a terrible reason. Karen O was there. Honestly Karen O looked better than any of the other people on the whole show, in my opinion.

I thought that glamour-wise this was one of the lowlights of all times. Peoples' gown games were off. But back to Ellen hurting Liza's feelings, she made some stupid joke. The one joke she had all night was that Liza was a drag queen. By the way is this 1987 and are you at Zanies? Oh Liza's a drag queen. Good one, asshole. Like you are going to stand there and pretend you don’t look like Owen Wilson? Fuck you! I’m done. I’m telling you as soon as I saw Portia DeRossi host some correspondent segment on Ellen, I have talked about this before, and I guess Ellen is on at 4pm in the afternoon. Whenever Ellen is on, I quickly leave the house because I instantly realize I feel claustrophobic and like my life is ending. I feel guilty being inside watching television. If I were to watch Divorce Court or if The Price is Right comes on A) Hallelujah! And B) if the Talk is on, well the Talk is pretty depressing. If the Talk comes on then I say All right time to put shoes on Julie, we’re going to walk around the block.

Ever since Portia DeRossi did a segment on that show, the gist of it was she put on a pair of overalls and went to a farm. She talked about how great it is to eat food from a farm. I don’t remember what she said exactly it just had something to do with them being more and more self-righteous about their eating stuff and their animal rights stuff. There’s nothing worse than a sanctimonious anorexic. Portia DeRossi, whose plight I do not mean to minimize at all has suffered with eating disorders. She wrote a book about it and went on the last season of Oprah which will go down in history as more important than the entire run of the Ed Sullivan show. She talked about how when she would binge she would start with Cheetos so that afterwards when she made herself throw up once she hit orange she would know she was done which is A) a great story, and B) kind of negates your high and mighty. This gluten was kissed by donkeys so it is ok to use it in a cream but not to put in my body. Those two around their organic accoutrements gives me pause. I feel that they are the kind of people who it is more about contempt for people than love of animals. I also feel that animals who hang out with people like that, I assume, I haven’t met them personally, and I have met some animal rights people in my day. in my day. Very seldom are they as excited about how wonderful animals re as they are completely suspicious and distrustful and boiling over with contempt for the human race. That was the theme of this year's Oscars; people were really mean to Kim Novak which was completely justified. She was a beautiful woman who dared get old. After she chose not to die she only had two there choices which were to get old and look old, or to get work done and suffer those consequences. She chose the latter. Because she was a young beautiful starlet who was always praised for her looks as much as her talent. To lose your looks when they were one of the only things you were given positive reinforcement around has to be completely devastating. She got her face done. I don't think she looked so terrible but people went insane. It just brings me back to the the point that nobody ever shits on you when you have had good plastic surgery. No one ever says what did Julie Louise Dreyfus because she looks amazing, but she probably has done a few things…

Let me leave Julia Louis Dreyfus out of this, although I don't understand how anyone can look that good. I do understand the answer is cha-ching and then whatever the sound of the scalpel slicing open skin is. God bless her, and she is a genius. I'm not being catty about Julia Louis Dreyfus as much as I am trying to belabor a point. Catherine Deneuve, stunningly beautiful, come on, do you think she is really gotten less plastic surgery than Kim Novak? Kim Novak just doesn't have the number of Mount Parnass, is that a place in France? I don't fucking know. I don't know these things. Don't tell women that looks are the only thing that matter and then shit on them when they ascribe to that philosophy and had bad luck. You look at Kim Novak and think at 81 have you had bad luck? I don't think so. I didn't even know she was alive. She looks terrific at 81; she looks terrific at any age. Is her plastic surgery perfect? I don't have time to think about these kinds of things when the new Annie is coming out any minute and none of us will ever be prepared.

Did I want to say anything else about the Oscars? They showed Liza very sad after Ellen made that drag queen joke. Maybe she didn't write that joke. I have a feeling that nobody wrote anything. It was more like, I wasn't aware we were on a writer's strike and hosts had to ad-lib. Ellen made Liza sad, for that I will never, ever forgive her.

The new Annie trailer is more upsetting than teen suicide. Quvenzhane Wallis plays Annie. Jamie Foxx who is very talented and who looked in the trailer like he is doing a terrific job plays Daddy Warbucks, or some facsimile of him, and in the trailer it's been so modernized that even the logo is different. But, I do say but, the role of Miss Hannigan is being approximated by one comedic super-nova that we know as Cameron Diaz. Cameron Diaz is doing things in this trailer, acting thing, performing things, making choices things, doing a voice thing, trying to be funny things, trying to be someone different than she is things, these could all be under the same category as acting. I don't know, what I do know is that her performance, based on what I have seen in the trailer, as a society, we all have blood on our hands.

There wasn't a team of layers upon layers, the way government works, I assume, I haven't gotten to that episode of House of Cards yet. That there aren't checks and balances in place so that Cameron Diaz doesn't go in front of a camera and act crazy makes me feel unsafe. She's making a lot of faces, I don't even know how to describe it accept that it is like nothing I have ever seen before. It seems unbearable, unbearable.

It's not that Annie is a sacred text. It's not that you are remaking Cabaret with Demi Lovato, now that I say that out loud, I wish I hadn't. I feel like I understand Cameron Diaz better than I ever have before and I don't like it. I don't like being able to see everything I see. It is like a magnifying mirror, only soulful. I'm not looking at her, I'm looking at us, do you know? Our pores are huge. It is a combination of bad instincts, when someone who isn't funny makes decisions to do things that they think other people think are funny. They don't care. They are like, if I were a normal human being what would I think would be cool to see me doing? Try this vice. Is it too big? Let me make it a little smaller. Is it too small? Let me make it a little bigger.

When somebody who isn't qualified, it's not even a question, I am not even going to put this is generalities because nothing like this has ever happened before. When Cameron Diaz plays Miss Hannigan in a black version of Annie we all have to reconvene and think about what we've done and didn't do. I love the idea of a black Annie and seeing Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx embrace, it was emotional. I enjoyed the emotions I felt watching that. Do I wish she had red hair? Well I have been saying I want to see Quvenzhane Wallis in a Riana wig for quite a long time, but Cameron Diaz, my god.

I read something in People that Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and some other rocket scientist went to dine run the Bay Area. Here it is Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz had a girl’s getaway in Napa. Big news guys. They all took a cooking class at the Culinary Institute of America. They are posing for each other's Instagrams--not my kind of vacation. DO you know how it is an unfair insult to call someone miserable? You know what it is like when you are talking to someone and they bring up a person that they don't like who has hurt them. Invariably to bang the gavel on the matter and move onto the next subject the person says, "Well he's a very unhappy person, or she's a miserable person." I'm not saying I haven't done it, and that it is unacceptable to do. I think we should extend the same judgment onto people that are too happy. Drew Barrymore is too happy. There's not anything I respect fueling that fire. Those aren't logs; those are even catalogue pages fueling those flames. "Oh yeah, she's a really happy person." I think that should bear as much judgment and weight as, "Oh god she seems miserable." There's supposed to be a ring of satisfaction about thinking of the person who hurt you being alone in their sadness. I'm not saying I don't do this. I don't do it as many times a day as I think about what I am going to eat next. I'm not casting the first stone.

I will say that when you are not happy, when you are depressed, thinking that people are saying that about you, or having the paranoid or grandiose notion that people are thinking about you and saying, "Oh she seems like a miserable person." IT's not worse when you are in that place and you hear that. Ideally you are very self-aware. "Yeah, I am miserable. Why don't you come over here and fix me ins tea dog complaining about whether or not I am good company, or I listen to your stories with the correct amount of uh-huh interjections? I don't like being judged for feeling sad. It's not a decision I've made. I know there are people like that. I have met many of them. That's not what I am talking about.

Speaking of negativity, our review for last week's episode of HWYW with Jake Fogelnest landed in The Rest of the AV Club's Podmass Column. I am honored to be included in that column at all. I mean that. If I am in it, then I win it, in a way. But the summary for last week's review mentioned that Jake and I talked about a lot of inside jokes, which is true. Honestly, crack Wikipedia page much? Look up Negative Land and the Residence. Come on in, the water is weird. This review also said that my monologue was oddly mean-spirited. I don't know what was odd about the kind of mean-spirited I was last week. I don't remember being mean-spirited. I remember telling a story about how Lupita Nyong'os voice, at the dinner I attended with her before she won her Oscair, was a beautiful voice.

Then I read Andie MacDowell's letter to Harold Ramis out loud. Is that oddly mean spirited? Depends. Would you feel bad if you saw me throwing peanuts at Forest Gump? If you would, then fine, it is mean spirited, but 'oddly' what else do you expect from me? What am I, Drew Barrymore?

I started watching RuPaul's Drag Race, thank god it is back. I am very excited about the new crop of contestants. I think RuPaul's Drag Race has done more for the gay community than if you just strung together every episode on a loop. RuPaul's Drag Race is a great. We are very lucky to have it in our lifetime. I am intrigued by Milk. I want to see him and Courtney make out which is a beautiful, natural thing that I want.

Here's another thing not to say to people, did I start that topic earlier. Maybe this is a non-sequitur, oh yeah, saying things to people that are either depressed, this is the one year anniversary of my break-up from my ex-boyfriend and he and I were going out for 5 years. Still to this day people, whether you overtly ask them to set you up, or they offer originally and then they see that you are really sad, occasionally those people will say, you need to be alone right now. Or you need to work on yourself. You don't want to jump into another thing with another person right away. Oh don't I?

What else don't I like bread? All I have wanted to do this past week is eat front he bread basket and lie down while I am playing Candy Crush and the humidifier is on full blast. I forgot to mention earlier that I went to New York this week. I got back from New York last night. I was there Saturday-Wednesday. I went for the Billy on the Street premier at the Beacon Theater, which was so fun. I can't even tell you how great the first couple episodes of the season are. I am certain the rest of the episodes will be as funny. I am not necessarily a competitive person, but certainly when it comes to any sort of sports metaphor, I like the fact of knowing I have the privilege of working on Billy on the Street. These episodes are so good that everybody else in comedy will look at them and think we (they) don't really do comedy, we are just sort of gently funny. We're just talented. Our show is gently inoffensive.

Oh my god it was so fun! There was a party, there were tiny chicken sandwiches. I got to see Tom Scharpling. I got to see Jake Fogelnest. I got to be thanked by Billy himself in front of the Beacon Theater and I immediately got verklempt and my eyes started watering, emotionally watering. New York was great. It was wonderful. It was cold and dirty and I could not have been more excited to see it. AND I had a beautiful reunion with the one and only Jimmy Jazz. He and I spent a lot of blissful time together in the past few days hanging out on the couch, watching other knock things off of surfaces, eating tuna fish, and talking to each other, in his case meowing at me to feed him. I love him so much. It was so great to see him. Auntie Renate is taking care of him for a little while longer and then I will be home. I ambushing out of this joint. March 31.

I will be back in New York in April. By the way, while I am talking about time as it is a flat circle--True Detective--everybody? Who done it? Who did it? Huh? What's it going to be? What's the story? What's the answer? How is it all going to come together? There are a lot of balls in the air. Speaking of time and calendars mark your calendar, save the date. We are doing triumphant return to the Bell House. June 1st, HWYW Live returns to the Bell House in Brooklyn, NY. Myself, Teddy, Ted Leo, guests, folks, friendliness, music, comedy, laughs loves, and laughter. Save the date. I will let you know when tickets are on sale.

I am so excited to introduce our one and only guest…