Culture Feature

6 of the Best Comedy Bits Spawned from Donald Trump's Insanity

A tribute to the people who have made the last 500 years a little more bearable.

With the election behind us, and the Trump team's spurious legal cases being thrown out of court left and right, it's beginning to look like America will finally be able to leave the Trump era behind.

As many problems as we are still going to face after January 20th, it's a relief to know that we will no longer have to think, "Oh, god, he's the president..." every time Donald Trump says or tweets something offensive, dangerous, or moronic.

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Normally, we think of horror movies as based on true events, not the other way around.

But on a number of occasions, horror movies have actually inspired or predicted real-life occurrences.

While the vast majority of violent events occur without the influence of movies, and while most people who watch scary movies do not become violent afterwards, every once in awhile, life really does imitate art. Here are eight terrifying and gory examples of times that scary movies crept their way into reality.

1. The Orphan

The tale of Natalia Grace, the girl with dwarfism abandoned by her adoptive parents, has been all over the news lately. According to Natalia's parents, the 9-year-old they believed they adopted was actually a 22-year-old, sociopathic adult woman. Doctors have apparently been unable to determine her actual age.

If this story sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the 2009 film Orphan, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. In that film, a 9-year-old adopted child named Esther is revealed to be...a wicked, sociopathic 33-year-old woman with dwarfism.

NetherRealm

Mortal Kombat 11 really knows what it's doing when it comes to DLC.

Alongside new costumes and fresh story content (as if anyone cares about about the story in a game centered around pulling people's spines out of their faces), Mortal Kombat 11 has been releasing a steady stream of guest characters. Thus far, Joker, Spawn, and The Terminator have all graced Mortal Kombat's hellish arenas, each one bringing their unique flair for making bodies bleed as much as possible. But of all the potential characters from all the existing franchises, no character is capable of shooting a dude until he literally explodes quite like RoboCop.

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Warner Bros.

I have to get something off my chest, and no, it's not my luscious, curly chest hair.

As The Mary Sue point out in this enlightening article, Marvel apparently decides to shave almost all of their male superheroes' chests. As a dude sporting a pretty shaggy torso mat myself, I can't mince words here: Marvel's behavior is abhorrent, and I won't stand for it.

Everyone who's not a chud understands that body positivity––or at the very least, body acceptance––is, well, positive. In general, our media landscape has followed suit, if perhaps a little slowly. The cinematic landscape is far more diverse today than ever before, and a lot of that diversity centers around rejecting a uniform aesthetic of what is or is not attractive. And yet, as The Mary Sue illustrated, Marvel seems hellbent on telling hairy men that their chest hair is unwanted.

But here's where things get even worse for us forest-breasted lads: It's not just Marvel sending this message of hate.

Take Jason Momoa, for instance. Here's a man with some nice chest hair. Just look at his chest hair as Khal Drogo. That's the kind of chest hair one would expect from a barbarian warlord.

Khal Drogo HBO

Now look at him in DC's Aquaman.

Aquaman Shirtless Warner Bros.

Undoubtedly, DC made a conscious decision to shave Jason Momoa's chest hair. But why? Is it because swimmers often shave their body hair in order to glide more easily through the water?

Okay, fine. Well, then explain this. Here's Joaquin Phoenix, a handsome man with some nice chest pubix, in You Were Never Really Here.

Joaquin Phoenix Shirtless Amazon Studios

Now, here's Joaquin Phoenix shirtless in Joker. Can you tell what's missing?

Joker Shirtless Warner Bros.

Yeah, that's right, no chest hair. Don't even try to tell me that Arthur Fleck just randomly decided to shave his chest during a mental episode, because I don't buy that for a second. The chest shaving of The Joker is an intentional effort by DC to show us that the ideal male body does not have an ounce of pec hair.

But I don't think Marvel, DC, and whatever other hairless superpowered smut purveyors are in it alone. No, I think the rabbit hole goes deeper.

Considering the fact that we live in a capitalist hellscape, what if (and this is just a theory) superhero movies were marketing all their male heroes as bare-chested in an attempt to sell razors? What if the true mastermind behind all these no-chest hair superheroes was Gillette?

Okay, I know that's crazy. It's not like there's…

Marvel Gillette Gillette

Oh.

DC Comics Gillette Gillette

Oh boy. This is it. Not only has Gillette collaborated with both Marvel and DC on superhero-themed razors, but they also started #TheBestASuperHeroCanGet campaign in what can only be summed up as a hate crime against voluminously stranded men.

If we men take any pride in the strands around our nips, we cannot let this stand. No longer will we let Gillette and their cabal of superhero capitalists tell us that the only male beauty is the hairless kind. We must rise up and throw our razors in the trash. We must pinch our bountiful locks in our fingers and shout, "I'm a hairy man, and that makes me beautiful." Then, at last, we must throw our superhero Blu-rays in the trash. #HairyANDSuper

FILM

Is The Bronx Safe for Tourists Flocking to the "Joker Stairs"?

Like the "Rocky steps" in Philadelphia and the horrible "Friends" apartment building in the West Village, the "Joker stairs" are becoming a tourist attraction.

On Google Maps, the Bronx staircase at 167th Street is now labeled "Joker Stairs."

The staircase is the location of a crucial scene in Todd Phillips' Joker, in which Joaquin Phoenix embodies Arthur Fleck's transformation from alienated comedian to violent misanthrope. While the film's themes have resulted in its treatment as both a cult classic and dangerous incel propaganda, fans are visiting the site to recreate the Joker's dance down the steps for Instagram. Or, if you take Fox News' word, "Instagrammers risk getting 'robbed' recreating 'Joker' scene: 'The Bronx is not a friendly place.'"

Like the "Rocky steps" in Philadelphia and the horrible "Friends" apartment building in the West Village, the stairs are becoming a tourist attraction. And like all iconic film destinations, locals hate the place and each and every tourist who flocks to it. Bronx locals have taken to Twitter to say, "Please, if you're reading this and you're not from around here (or ever been to the Bronx, Yankee stadium does not count) PLEASE DO NOT COME HERE. Thanks, Bronx Resident."

Another Bronx native drew the attention of Fox News with the comment: "Those awful stairs on 167 are now renamed 'the joker stairs' so I [sic] just want to remind everyone that the Bronx [sic] is not a friendly place for tourist attractions you will get robbed beloved."

Located in the South Bronx, the staircase is as unsightly and unkempt as most of the oldest New York neighborhoods are, hence its selection for Joker's dark and gritty Gotham aesthetic. But as for its safety, it's also on par with other old New York neighborhoods that have been touched by gentrification's renovations but not its sanitizing effects on public safety. Namely, the crime rates in the South Bronx are very similar to those of East Brooklyn, which are actually lower than those of Greenwich Village, and they're only slightly higher than those in Jackson Heights.

But more importantly, as much as the media and Fox News likes to depict the Bronx (and also Brooklyn, before the hipsters took it over) as a center of crime, the fact is that the 10 murder capitals of New York State are all upstate. So while the Bronx has been named New York's "unhealthiest county" in terms of "quality of life, poor physical health, mental health, smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity" for the last seven years, it's clearly the perfect setting for Joaquin Phoenix's mental breakdown while still being safer than upstate, NY.

During Joaquin Phoenix's recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote his upcoming Joker movie, Kimmel played an "outtake" from the film wherein Joaquin Phoenix went off on a cinematographer named Larry for whispering.

Watch the clip, and Joaquin Phoenix's seemingly mortified reaction. Then ask yourself: Is Joaquin Phoenix joking?

Joaquin Phoenix on Playing Joker + Exclusive Outtake www.youtube.com

I've watched it five times now, and I honestly have no idea. Joaquin Phoenix is a really great actor and, as proven by his press junket for I'm Still Here, he's been known to stretch the boundaries between fiction and reality. Remember I'm Still Here? As in the 2010 mockumentary directed by Casey Affleck as he "follows Joaquin Phoenix as he carries out a plan to retire from acting and concentrate on a new career as a hip-hop musician?" Did I imagine that whole campaign of amazing insanity? Both Affleck and Phoenix promoted the hoax film in the press with deadpan sincerity. At one point in I'm Still Here, Phoenix has a brilliant, fake breakdown after guest-starring on David Letterman. Do we remember this? Joaquin Phoenix f*cking loves fake-out breakdowns.

I'm Still Here (10/12) Movie CLIP - Post-Letterman Breakdown (2010) HD youtu.be

As such, if an actor was going to stage a fake on-set freakout and then engineer a scenario wherein he gets exposed on live television, that actor would almost definitely be Joaquin Phoenix. It's also kind of in-line with the entire concept behind Joker, right?

But on the other hand, Joaquin Phoenix also seems like the kind of guy who would legitimately freakout at a cinematographer for whispering on set. His embarrassment seems pretty genuine, too. But also, he's a very good actor, so he might just be acting. I really just don't know.