Jimmy Kimmel spent a week doing shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last week, in run billed as a “Back to Brooklyn Tour.” Kimmel’s performances were a mish-mosh of talk show segments (including the NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPION NEW YORK METS), stand-up and original video sketches. He met some people on a juice crawl, he challenged you to pick out the hipsters from the Hasids based solely on beards and he gave Do The Right Thing the sequel it never deserved. How did he do sending up Brooklyn all in all? We’re here with some grades.
JUICE CRAWL ASSAULT
A refreshing breath of fresh air, a joke about Brooklyn where the word “hipster” isn’t used once. Also, juice crawls are a new and horrible addition to our modern dystopia, much more so than beards or the phrase “fair trade.” And while technically, we’re probably not supposed to encourage violence against anyone, from both a legal and a moral standpoint, the skit works because it’s understandable that you’d want to punch a juice crawl organizer and the whole thing is short and to the point. Plus, bonus points for using Brokelyn favorite Jo Firestone as a background actor.
HIPSTER OR HASIDIC?
Kimmel is a Brooklyn native, so we get it. “You’ve changed.” And we’ll admit that the hipster vs. hasidic thing had some entertainment value for the guessing game alone. But if you watch the video, even the audience gets a little tired of guessing once the aesthetic of the facial hair gets a little more nondescript. Because guess what? That’s just how life works! People are individuals! Beards don’t mean anything!
We’re not sure if there’s something in the tap water, but like that time Saturday Night Live went to Bushwick, nobody’s saying what needs to be said about the Do the Right Thing 2: Do the White Thing segment: it wasn’t very funny. Sure, that skit might have resonated circa 2008. But at this point, namasté-ing over each other’s ‘eco-consciousness’ has utterly run out of comedic mileage in Brooklyn. It’s better suited to a homogenized, upstate suburbia that isn’t laughing at itself yet. Here, it just sounds stupid. Hipster mishegas has long since gone the way of any other trendsetting term, and who the fuck cares if you got your scarf from a thrift store? Kimmel couldn’t even get his liberal pansy stereotypes straight: trigger warning mewlers are the college campus boogeyman of the Free Speech Wars, they aren’t raising a fuss in Brooklyn pizzerias just yet. The trope of a bike-riddled, gentrifier-addled landscape needs a fresh coat of paint if it stands any chance of being as timeless as Spike Lee’s original film.