Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Man, I Hate Judah Friedlander

Fuck preambles. Here's the deal: I hate Judah Friedlander. There's no person on earth except for Khalid El-Amin who makes me so viscerally angry just by existing. This is a picture of him:

Don't you hate him? Maybe not. Maybe not yet. Maybe it will take more for you. That's fair.

Let me try to describe Judah Friedlander. First, he's a "comedian." I don't know what kind of comedy he does, except that it certainly sucks. I do know he's on '30 Rock,' which is a show I've seen maybe 4 times. Some folks tell me it's good- I don't know. Otherwise, the best place to gather information about Judah Friedlander is from Wikipedia. The first line of his entry goes a little something like this:

Judah Friedlander (born March 16, 1969) is an American actor and comedian, known for his trademark trucker hats, oversized glasses and unkempt appearance, which he retains in most of his screen roles.

Summary in case that one sentence was too long for you: He's 41 and he sucks.

One of my main rhetorical strategies will be to post pictures of Judah Friedlander at key moments in an attempt to stoke your hatred.

About those hats: Judah Friedlander is ironic. If you're like me, you just about hate irony right now. It can be kind of awesome in the right hands, but at this point it's been bulldozed into oblivion by hipsters and their ilk. It's easier just to avoid the whole concept. I compare it to a Hitler mustache. Maybe that would be an elegant look for someone. Maybe Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner would look intriguing with a Hitler mustache. But he's not going to do it. Why? Because he's a scumbag.

Wait, no...it's because Hitler grew a Hitler mustache and nobody wants to be associated with Hitler because he was Hitler. Sorry, I'm getting way off track.

Point is, people like Judah Friedlander ruined irony. Which is actually an understatement. Let me try again: Judah Friedlander is solely responsible for ruining irony because he wears trucker hats and oversized glasses, and he might even ruin America. There.

The hats say things like 'World Champion,' or 'Karate Mom,' or 'Mystery Solver,' or 'Most Improved.' Maybe you giggled just now, reading those. That's fine. There's an element of comedy there. But it also sucks. It sucks really, really hard. Here are five reasons why, followed by another picture of Judah Friedlander:

1) You're supposed to infer something about Judah Friedlander from these hats. Namely that he's funny, counter-culture, and a total subtle ironic genius. Well, man, I fucking refuse to do that. I think it's lazy. I think it's a totally lazy and bullshit thing for a comedian to do. Call me a hero if you want; that's just what I believe.

2) There's something aggressive about the hats. They're not friendly. It kinda puts you on the defensive, like, 'am I supposed to think this is funny? Am I allowed to ask him about it? Is he smarter than me because he wears these hats? Is he totally brilliant and beyond anything I could ever understand?' Here's the conversation that I imagine would ensue if I asked Judah Friedlander about his hats:

Me: Hey, why do you wear those hats?

Judah Friedlander: Um...are you serious?

Some fuckface tool that follows him around: Dude, those hats are like jazz. If you have to ask about them, you'll never understand.

Me: I'm just curious how it started, or what the point is, or anything.

Tina Fey: Judah Friedlander and I have a special relationship. I understand him and think he's totally hilarious. Along with being a total comic genius, he's really sensitive, and you're being really uncool right now.

Me: What? I was just trying-

Fuckface tool: Dude, it's like jazz.

You can see that a theoretical conversation about the hats doesn't go well. Though it's unclear from the dialogue, Judah Friedlander actually left the room after the second line (it took place at Tina Fey's second home in Puerto Rico).

3) He's cultivating a look, which is some weak shit. Aside from the hat and glasses, you'll notice from his photographs that he always puts on some idiotic or otherwise extreme expression. You have no idea what Judah Friedlander is actually like. I have a feeling he's probably really insecure, like everyone else. Except Judah Friedlander tries to hide that insecurity behind a facade, which sucks. Art, and especially comedy, is supposed to stem from your insecurity, not to function as a cloak. To me, he's not measurably different from a fashion mogul whose face is a constant, inscrutable mask, who speaks in mysterious idioms, and who wears 'interesting' clothing to distract you from anything concrete or interesting about himself.*

*I have no idea if such people actually exist. I'm working with stereotypes here.

4) I think deep down, Judah Friedlander knew that wearing these kinda hats would attract a following. And I think he knew just what that following would be: sheep. Sheep-like little hipsters who want to feel like they're different from their parents, and from what they consider the 'establishment.' People who maybe aren't really bright and who don't have a great sense of humor, but want to feel cool and young and different. And instead of working for it, Judah Friedlander took the easy route. He let his face go slack, assumed an air of hipster mystery, and threw on some funny glasses and a weird hat. And some establishment douchebag in Hollywood was probably seeking that look for a minor character in his dumb movie, and the two whores found each other. And they banged. Oh, momma, did they bang. Money and opportunism flew out of their pockets while it was happening (oh God I'm entering a moral fervor zone, but I can't stop), and the climax was an explosion of smug insincerity.

5) I don't have a fifth reason at the moment, so check out this picture.

You might reasonably ask why I'm writing about Judah Friedlander. Why now? What happened? Well, last night at around 7pm, I decided to take a walk. It had been a long day. I went downtown, wandered into some shops, and got an ice cream. Then I came home. As I crossed my front lawn, I heard a strange sound coming from the side of the house. I paused, walked over, and saw something I will never forget:

Judah Friedlander was raping my dog.

No, I'm kidding. That didn't really happen. I don't even have a dog. I also don't have a house or a front lawn. And God knows I don't take walks. What actually happened was that I was reading one of my favorite websites, Deadspin, and they had a post about Judah Friedlander's agent contacting them hoping to publicize his new book. It's called 'How to make a cheap buck in the entertainment industry by co-opting a dry fashion statement and feigning talent in the face of its total absence.' Or, as the publisher and Judah Friedlander are calling it, 'How to Beat Up Anyone.'

Here's the pitch from the agent, with a description of the book:

On October 5th, I'm publishing stand-up comic and "30 Rock" star Judah Friedlander's satirical karate guide HOW TO BEAT UP ANYBODY. Step-by-step, kick-by-kick, grunt-by-grunt, Friedlander teaches his techniques for crushing all kinds of assailants-muggers, three-armed attackers, Bigfoots, ninjas, dinosaurs, even ninjas riding on the backs of dinosaurs-and having stamina to spare for partying with a bunch of babes. To make mastering his mind-boggling moves easy for weak readers, he provides lots of pictures- more than 500 color photos along with original drawings and an action-packed flipbook!

Let's take that piece by piece, shall we?

On October 5th, I'm publishing stand-up comic and "30 Rock" star Judah Friedlander's satirical karate guide HOW TO BEAT UP ANYBODY.

Perfect title for Judah Friedlander. Absolutely perfect. It's got that uber-simple flatness that's defined his character for an entire career. I mean, the title might as well be a trucker's hat with 'World Champion' on it. You're supposed to read it and think 'oh man, that's funny...I think.' Except, it's not. It's easy, and it's dumb. It takes no ingenuity or intelligence to come up with a concept like that. The idea of a satirical karate guide is essentially the same implied attack on an imagined establishment that you get from his 'look.' Get it, everyone? We're making fun of people who do karate, or who publish actual how-to guides, or who want to try hard at anything. It's getting by on a conceit: fat, counter-culture dude acts like he's an entrepreneurial phony. The real beauty of this scam, I probably don't need to tell you, is that Judah Friedlander is an entrepreneurial phony. I'm getting more and more angry just reading that title.

Step-by-step, kick-by-kick, grunt-by-grunt, Friedlander teaches his techniques for crushing all kinds of assailants-muggers, three-armed attackers, Bigfoots, ninjas, dinosaurs, even ninjas riding on the backs of dinosaurs-and having stamina to spare for partying with a bunch of babes.

Snore. 'Ninjas riding on the backs of dinosaurs' reminds me of what's his face...Maddox, or something. That angry guy with the website everyone read ten years ago. By which I mean that Judah Friedlander is a fucking hack. Judah Friedlander is a fat ninja who rides on the back of old dinosaur internet memes.

To make mastering his mind-boggling moves easy for weak readers, he provides lots of pictures- more than 500 color photos along with original drawings and an action-packed flipbook!

Wow, are there really 500 color photos? Do they exist to provide cover for the fact that Judah Friedlander is even less funny in print than in person? Can we just call '500 color photos' a trucker's hat, and 'an action-packed flipbook' oversized glasses? How many questions can I ask in a row? Can I fight Judah Friedlander in a really small ring? Would Judah Friedlander kick my ass? Would that be the most embarrassing thing that could happen to me in this world? Would it be worse than that time I got caught accidentally trying on my grandmother's wedding dress? What?

After reading the description of his new book, I gave Judah Friedlander a call, recorded our conversation, and transcribed it.

Me: Hi Judah, it's Shane.

Judah Friedlander: I'm sorry, who is this?

Me: I'm with the media, blog division.

Judah Friedlander: Oh, okay, let me put on my personality. One moment. (Ten seconds pass) UH-DUHHHHHHHHHHH.

Me: Hmmm. I have a question: do you agree that your book sucks?

Judah Friedlander: Uhhhhh, dude....

Me: I mean, the karate and ninja shit...isn't that really phony? Aren't you too old to be still doing this whole ironic persona? I knew people like you in college, and I hated them, but I'll admit that I had my own little personality quirks in college that were probably really fucking annoying. Still, I'm over them now, and I think all those other people are too. What's your deal?

Judah Friedlander: UHHHHH...

Me: Are you afraid that if you try to do something interesting, or actually funny without the disguise of this image, that the world will find you out? That you'll discover the unfriendly face of the planet and be backed into a corner? That nobody will like you without your trucker hat and glasses? That nobody will be interested in Judah Friedlander the human being?

Judah Friedlander: DUDDDDEEEEE....

Me: Because let me tell you, Judah, that's bullshit. You take away from the world with this stuff. Please hold on for a moment while I start playing some climactic music on my cd player in the background- thank you. (The music is the 'Last of the Mohicans' theme song.) Where was I? Oh yes- you actively take from the world. Not only do you deprive us of whatever creativity and spirit you might contribute, but you teach people that the way to go about living is to camouflage themselves, to assume the worst about people and to hunker down into defensive little bunkers. You show us that the way to the top is by forming little foxholes, or going on pre-emptive strikes in order to establish tenuous footholds through affectation, cynicism, and yes, cruelty.

Judah Friedlander: MANNNNNN....

Me: I would hazard a guess that you have had a negative effect on our culture, Judah. I know that's a harsh thing to say, but what do you goes beyond sucking. A lot of people suck, but they can bring some good to the world. You suck in a very contrived and negative way. You try to distinguish yourself through an imagined hipster sophistication, and you divide the world. You divide the culture. You divide human beings.

Judah Friedlander: (adjusts glasses, changes to a different trucker's hat)

Me: I mean, we're only on this planet once, man. It's a hard place. We all know it. So what are you up to? What the fuck are you even up to?


Me: Do you think anyone will buy your book?

Judah Friedlander: No.

That was an eye-opener. So next time you think about liking Judah Friedlander, remember: he's bullshit. He just is. This last picture of him will, I hope, say it all. It's a plain look at a person who has spent his entire life in costume side by side with someone we'll never know. Judah Friedlander, you could do better.


  1. This is exactly what I was looking for when I Googled "Judah Friedlander sucks." Thank you.

  2. You completely destroyed that douchebag.I thought I hated him more than anyone--I am not even close to your level. Awesome.

  3. You look and act a lot like the dorky lesser Hasty Pudding writer on 30 Rock that is always jealous of the character Frank, whom Judah plays. "Dude we have the only black guy who isn't cool working here".

  4. just a nigger bashing somebody he's never even met before and is obviously jealous that he's funnier and more successful than you will ever be. nigger, go cry about it on you're faggot-ass blog you fucking democrat bitch.

  5. I've never noticed Judah Friedlander enough to feel one way or the other about him. I liked the Dave Matthews video, I don't watch 30 Rock because I think it had something to do with Studio 60 being taken off the air.

    I will say though, I like your reasoning. If I ever have occasion to notice him, I'll keep it in mind.

  6. The previous poster liking a Dave Matthews video says it all...

  7. This is the only comment that you didn't actually write yourself. Right?

  8. No, I wrote that last one too.


  9. is this guy taking the easy way out? perhaps he is, perhaps he could work harder, and perhaps you're right, Seth Curry, when you say that he could do better if he tried harder to be original. That being said, where is it you are speaking from? Are you some disembodied voice that pronounces judgement on other beings you measure against some abstract idea of "good enough"?

    The only people worth talking to in this way is ourselves and our loved ones. You can rant all you want, man, but you're wasting your time. Mr. Friedlander, like everyone else, is free to decide whether to succeed or fail in this life.

  10. Anonymous with the Racist comments is a little bitch... take your hood off so we can see you, bitch ass.

    As for you Seth, you have too much time on your hands. Spend more time spreading a message that benefits mankind. This guy is merely a comedian trying to make it like everyone else. He has a niche and some people like him for it.

    But then again it's easier to sit back and criticize others instead of being creative on your own.

  11. Reading your blog I justed wasted 10 minutes of my life that I will never get back. I read random blogs and usually get something from each one. Yours--nothing...nada...zilch...

  12. So obviously your blog is terrible, that basically goes without saying. Of course, that guy, whatever his name is, does in fact suck but for reasons far funnier than what you listed. You terrible excuse at writing was so bad, I think you actually just gave me cancer.


  13. after he attempted to be comical on the daily show last night, I was resigned to googling the phrase "judah friedlander sucks". I am content that it led me to this article which said pretty much everything I was thinking about.

  14. [I got a little carried away, so I had to split my comment into sections.]

    Now I lie in bed at night, mentally compiling lists of "uncool black guys" instead of sleeping. Thanks a lot.

    Before I get into that, I glimped a Kurt Vonnegut book in the library today and noticed that, for some reason, syphilitic arch-mental masturbator Dave Eggers had been allowed to write a blurb on the cover, some meaningless proclamation to the effect that the book is "relentlessly fun." Over the byline _The New York Times_ (certainly a step up from _The Guardian_, his former male bordello in which he was whoring himself out to anyone with a quarter and a publishing imprint).

    My feelings about Dave Eggers (how would he even know what "fun" IS?) are much like yours about Judah Friendlander, and for many of the same reasons. What does Dave Eggers actually do? He does nothing. He produces nothing. His entire career consists of having his blurbs glimpsed in passing from the covers of books by writers who are infinitely more talented, important, and relevant than he could ever hope to be in his best wet-dream about fellating the dead, moldering corpse of David Foster Wallace. Seriously, what does it say about you that your literary mentor, and one of the few people in America who actually likes your writing (as opposed to the usual nihilistic cowards who read you simply for the snide self-satisfaction they derive from your absolute negation of all positive values, or even the idea of values) felt compelled to hang himself after realizing what a lumpy nut-cluster of abortion you are?

  15. [part 2]

    (And by the way, how do the retards who liked _An Alienated Suburban Masturbator's Work of Staggering Naked Dead Pedophiliac-Rape Victim Photographs in Saucy Poses_ even constitute a _generation_? What generation? The temporary demographic blip of then 24-year-old community-college dropouts who fell into the tiny, inconsequential crack between the "X" and "Y" age cohorts, who gave up on life before they even started drinking heavily, whose only common bond is that they have no inner humanity of any kind, who probably still think that Weezer's "Happy Days" video was a towering accomplishment in the annals of cinematography?)

    What do we really know about Dave Eggers? That he's famous for being famous, like Liz Hurley? Again, what he has ever achieved, beyond having his blurbs briefly glimpsed on the covers of far better books than his feeble, inbred, mouth-breathing banana slug of a mind could ever even hope to conceive of, after somehow tricking various axes of literary power into even allowing him to have his name mentioned in the same breath as real authors, much less befoul the covers of their books with his menstrual-blood-dripping (whatever, I'm on a roll) mucous-nugget of a moniker (and what kind of a name is "Dave Eggers", anyway? It sounds like something you'd name your mongoloid, quadruple-amputee pet frog, but not a human being)?

  16. [part 3]

    Let's see. Mr. Eggers wrote a long, incredibly self-involved (even by the standards of the toxic spew that constites current memoir writing), arrogant, and, most of all, _boring_ book, about ... himself. Wow, that takes real talent! As if any seventh-grade emo twilight child with a crayon couldn't do that, and hasn't already a million times over, except for that one thing, that magical X-quality that thrust Eggers — microencephalic head and gnarled dwarf-shoulders and all — over the syphilitic, drooling hordes of the usual literary charlatans: _They_ weren't fellating David Foster Wallace as they compressed the non-events events of their sterile existence into droll little "post-modern" tables and charts in emulation of their hero. Who then deleted himself when he realized what a glib and grinning mediocrity, what a sparkle-toothed vacuum, what an emotionally sadistic absence of all hope, what a complete and utter lizard-skinned monster-baby-in-the-attic of an _abortion_ of a _fuckface_ of a _rancid pool of vomit_ he had foisted upon the literate population of the world! OK, so Wallace waited a few years, because he was basically a nice guy and didn't want Eggers to know the real reason (as if someone as monstrously self-involved as Dave Eggers is even capable of parsing the concept of "guilt"), but we know the real reason, because we aren't self-deluding, egomaniacal _rancid pools of pecker-snot_ like Dave Eggers.

    Where was I? Oh yeah. So he also wrote some book about a black guy from Africa who got beat up a lot or robbed by seven-year-old kids or something in Atlanta. Welcome to America! Now there's an inspirational, richly-rewarding, heart-warming tome! Which nobody read. Which most people have never even heard of. Except for the 10 elect members of the Secret Literary Illumanati (probably the same 10 people who still read The New York Times) who are keeping Dave Eggers from his rightful occupation as an abortion clinic fetus-shoveler musselman for reasons known only to themselves and their international coven of puppet-masters.

  17. [part 4]

    Eggers also apparently makes lightning appearances at various questionable "Meet Dave Eggers" (WHY??) events, which are usually held in shady, badly-lit venues where he flings himself face-first into huge piles of broken glass as he whips his naked body with ... sorry, wishful thinking. Where he apparently jumps up and down and claps his hands and laughs a lot for no reason, and says things that no one remembers afterwards, and then quickly disappears before his audience wakes up to what a nauseating, spindly-legged insect he really is and quickly stomps him to death for the sake of the future of mankind.

    Where was I? Oh yeah. Whatever. I could go on like this forever, but I have a life.

    Now about those uncool black guys ...

    1. Clarence Thomas
    2. Clarence Thomas
    3. Did I mention Clarence Thomas?
    4. Gary Coleman
    5. Hootie
    6. Tiger Woods
    7. Oprah
    8. O.J. Simpson
    9. Any Muslim who is not Malcolm X or Mohammed Ali
    10. Mike Tyson
    11. That incredibly annoying pimp-stick hump from the "Big Red" commercials. What kind of schtick is he even playing at there? Cold-war-era faux-beatnik hipster? Thelonius Monk golden-age-of-jazz impostor wannabee? Cynically inverted Uncle Tom figure and General Advisor to Confused Young White People?
    12. Clarence Thomas

  18. Well I like Judah...actually I have only heard him on BTLS Radio...he seemed entertaining enough for his segment...

  19. Wow. You acknowledged you've never seen him perform but you went on what had to have been a five page rant about how much you hate him literally based on the way he dresses. That's not particularly progressive. Watch his stand up sometime-it's much more indicative of his comic abilities then the character he plays on 30 Rock-then decide. Yes, comedy is subjective and you may not enjoy his stand up as much as I do, but at least then you would have some level of knowledge to base your rambling off of

  20. You're right. I watch 30 rock and never thought much of his character but then I saw him on the daily show and thought he was such an idiot, not even a little funny. He was totally playing on the trendiness of "irony." I mentioned how not funny he is to my girlfriend and she told me I should watch his stand up, so here I am, I just watched his stand up. I stand by my previous statement. What an overrated hack.

  21. I've seen his stand up 4 times at caroline's in NYC he always works the crowd well and has great material. Call me and we'll go on a date and I'll take you to see his show- then you won't be such a hater- favorite joke he does- in a dull monotone" My role model...is me in the future"

  22. Spend less time analyzing Judah Friedlander (I mean, like who cares about him, he's just a dumb guy trying to capitalize on a stupid look as long as he can) and be more positive. Your focus and anger about stuff like him that doesn't matter is toxic for you.
    Be well!

  23. Judah isn't talking about us. He's probably climbing off a stage where more people he wasn't talking about came to see him. They went away talking about him. He went home to sleep.

  24. How much jew dick did Judah suck for some screen play?

  25. you are spot on about everything wrong with this brand of humor, and the insidious nature of hipster 'culture.' all the cheap reappropriation of nostalgia, overpronounced affectations and ersatz 'irony' in the world can't make what this dude does funny.

  26. eat it bite it

  27. When I saw Judah do standup in a comedy club in NYC, he made fun of me for wearing a ski cap saying, "Dude what are you gonna do when you get outside put on another hat?" to which I replied, "Yeah give me your fucking Karate Mom hat and I will." He didn't give me the hat =(

  28. If you don't want to read this aimless rambling, let me sum it up for you:
    "What's a 30 Rock? I don't know. What kind of standup does Friedlander do? No idea. But I've seen his face, check out these pictures. Look how old he is and weird looking his clothes are. He must be a hipster. His difference is killing creativity. I'm intimidated by his confusing hats. They must mean something strangely intellectual instead of just be vaguely silly for their void reasoning or irony and not be worth a second thought. I get scared shitless by party hats. No other respectable person has created an image for themselves so why does Judah Friedlander do so? George Carlin's ponytail had nothing to do with the time period relating it to rebellious hippies. Michael Jackson's clothing style did nothing to define himself as a pop icon. So stop dressing strangely Judah Friedlander, and dress normally. You must release your foothold as the most important person in the history of the world with your stunning style. Please, before I post another fictional conversation between you and I with 'jokes' that make the reader feel so ashamed they'll think they've seen Chris Christie doing yoga naked. Oh no, I just did it again. Please Friedlander...
    One time, my mom had some farts when she saw you on TV.
    No just kidding, my mom would never watch you on TV.
    Actually, after reading it like that I fully support his guy. Someone's gotta stop him from writing something like this ever again.

  29. judah stop googling yourself

  30. Judah is super-nice and hilarious. This World Champion thing is a goof, he is not like this in movies. In fact he was amazing in American Splendor. 30 Rock is amazing. Do you feel the same about Larry the Cable Guy? He's a damn phony character all the time.

  31. The only thing I know this guy from is his little gig on the "MLS Insider" show. A second-rate nobody is a perfect match for a second-rate league. I actual play soccer twice a week and watch it sometimes as well, but I've never, ever watched MLS. Why? Because the quality of soccer is terrible and it's more like wrestling than futbol.

    Having this lame guy who probably isn't coordinated enough to jog around the block as the in-house comedian is a perfect commentary on the league; the futbol on the field is awful and the selling of it off the field is a gimmick. But, he's perfect in another way - all the loser fans who are die-hard supporters (I'm looking at you Seattle Sounder fans) of a terrible league that has a weak history problem think this guy is funny, just like the think the soccer is worth watching. A marriage made in heaven! An unfunny, fat bum and an unskilled bum of a league.

    Nice piece! This guy needs to go away and spare us from his BS routine.

    Also, I'm always intrigued by people who don't think one is allowed to strongly dislike someone they haven't met. Why not? If this guy is okay shoveling out this big pile of garbage as a way to earn a living, I'm allowed to say fuck you and get out of my face.

    1. Obviously you are one of his hardcore fans, he sucks balls at comedy get over it

  32. Right now im watching let's call this "show" on Natgeo called The monster project, to say the truth he's just and idiot and a big douche, trying to make thing funny and FUCK his jokes are lame as hell, plus dressing like a retard with that world champion i mean WE FUCKING KNOW, stop braggin about it and get a better job like in macdonalds because comedy is surely not his thing.

  33. i think judah is a simpleton, he is not funny and it's ok to hate him...a white male

    he isn't jewish is he? if so i take it back...he isn't worth the hassle