According to Scott Feinberg‘s account of last night’s American Cinematheque tribute to Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo shared a curious recollection that happened during the making of Gringo, in which Theron and Oyelow costarred.
Oyelowo: “The first thing Charlize ever said to me was, ‘David, what is your opinion about anal bleaching?’ She’s the only person I’ve ever known who laughed so hard that she pissed herself…she ran out, I looked down at her seat and it was wet.”
Anal bleaching is funny on what planet? In what kind of upside-down, twisted-pretzel universe is the dampening of a canvas chair due to leaked urine…how is that even smirk-worthy?
Jokes “land” because they reveal or allude to some suppressed or unacknowledged truth about our shared experience. Mentioning that someone busted a gut about this or that is flagrantly unfunny. As I’ve pointed out repeatedly, watching or listening to someone laugh hard is extremely unfunny if you’re not sharing in the mirth, which in my case is often.
Seth McFarlane, on the other hand, did allude to suppressed or unacknowledged truths. He joked that Theron “is proof that, at long last, African-Americans are thriving.” (Theron is from South Africa, grew up on a farm near Johannesburg) He also suggested that “‘Charlize’ sounds like a brand of champagne enjoyed by rednecks in Florida.” Well, it is kind of a girly-girl name.
Referring to her Oscar-winning performance in Monster, McFarlane said that “Charlize played a monster who committed unspeakable acts…Megyn Kelly.”
The best line alluded to Theron’s costarring role in McFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West (’14) as well as her romantic pairing with Seth Rogen in Long Shot, to wit: “Theron has made a cottage industry of playing a lover of guys named Seth who could never land her in real life.”
Tragedy is when Scott Feinberg slices his finger with a steak knife. Comedy is when Oyelowo is poking at a Ceasar salad while listening to McFarlane.