About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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  • McCain Beats Obama–On “Monday Night Football”

    By Kyle | November 3, 2008

    Barack Obama on Monday Night Football laid down his football policy when asked what he would do if he could change one thing about sports. “It’s about time we had playoffs in college football…I’m fed up with these computer rankings.” This is possibly the most sensible policy he’s yet articulated.
    Segue to a lesson he learned as a schoolboy basketball player. A coach told him, “It’s not about you– it’s about the team.” Which taught him–“It’s not about me, it’s about people who are losing their jobs.” Way to stay on topic!

    John McCain, asked what he would change about sports, said he would “take significant action to prevent the spread and use of performance enhancing substances. We gotta stay ahead of it. It’s not good for the athletes. It’s not good for the sports.” Then he talked about an English teacher who “taught me lessons about life… at least gave me a glimpse of life and literature. He taught me that you always gotta do the honorable thing even when nobody’s lookin’.

    Then McCain stole the show. When asked by Chris Berman of ESPN what quality he wanted voters to think of when they read his name in the booth tomorrow: “I want them to think He. Could. Go. All. The. Way!” (It’s a signature phrase of Berman’s.) More seriously, McCain gave his “country first” line. Then McCain tied his fate to that of the surprising Arizona Cardinals who have done pretty well this year: “As far as the Arizona Cardinals are concerned, ‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast.'”

    Topics: Barack Obama, John McCain, Sports, TV | 1 Comment »

    Joe the Plumber “Snaking Someone’s Drain”?

    By Kyle | November 3, 2008

    Joe the Plumber, having become an unofficial member of the McCain entourage, got to attend the “Saturday Night Live” afterparty–where he promptly canoodled with the hottest babe on the show, Kristen Wiig–at least according to this guy, who IDs Wiig as “the skinny brunette”….Apparently she’s separated from her husband. Wiig has been hilarious in, among other movies, “Ghost Town” and “Knocked Up” and is about three seconds away from being a household name. Maybe this will do it? Joe the Plumber is reportedly (perhaps, who knows?) being considered as the next Bachelor….

    Topics: Comedy, John McCain, Movies, TV | 23 Comments »

    Door Hit Few On The Way Out

    By jic | November 2, 2008

    Threedonia links to this Sydney Morning Herald article about Hollywood’s fears of a McCain victory. It’s full of the usual stuff: Chris Rock’s ‘joke’ that black people will go on strike, Erica Jong’s prediction of a second civil war and the return of the Elder Gods, Jane Fonda crying all night, Rush Limbaugh (apparently now a “shock-jock”) mocking her for it, and Susan Sarandon ‘threatening’ to leave the country. Of course, few expect celebrities to keep their promise to move to Canada (or wherever), but the article contains this interesting little nugget:

    In fact, Canadian immigration records show that arrivals from the United States actually slowed in the six months after George Bush’s re-election in 2004.

    So, it wasn’t just celebrities.

    Of course, it’s always hilarious that these refugees from whatever Eeeevil Republican administration that may get/stay in seem to think that they’ll just turn up at the Canadian border and be welcomed with open arms, free healthcare and a case of creamed corn. Most countries won’t just give asylum to just anybody who turns up at the border claiming that they don’t like their new government; and normal residency usually takes a while to arrange, and normally requires things like valuable skills, and/or an existing connection to the country, and/or significant assets.

    I guarantee one thing though: If Obama wins, you’ll find me living in England. You mark my words.

    Topics: Barack Obama, Celebutards, John McCain, News | 5 Comments »

    Election Roundup

    By jic | November 2, 2008

    Via Hot Air, a nefarious voter suppression plot is uncovered in Florida.


    Probably not.

    Won’t somebody PLEASE think of Erica Jong?

    “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!”

    “Stop that noise or I’ll run you through! Believe in fairies, I do I do!”

    Topics: Barack Obama, Comedy, John McCain, News, Politics, Sports | 1 Comment »

    Codewords Identified

    By jic | October 28, 2008

    According to Bonnie Greer, writing about the election in The Daily Telegraph:

    There are still code words that refer to “race”: “welfare”; “patriot”; “the American people”.

    I can almost see “welfare”, at least in some contexts; but “patriot” and “the American people”? Are these only racial codewords when the McCain campaign uses them? Greer is right about what an Obama victory would mean, though:

    While much of the world is heading to the Right, America would move sharply to the Left. If the polls are accurate, there will be a House and Senate that will be overwhelmingly Democratic, and not simply Democratic, but “progressive”. Obama will have in his gift the right to appoint Supreme Court justices, possibly as many as five out of the nine[.]

    However, she seems to think this is good news.

    Topics: Barack Obama, John McCain, Politics | 13 Comments »

    Just Asking

    By Kyle | October 23, 2008

    If John McCain is responsible for a so-called Nazi mood among his supporters, then is Barack Obama responsible for this guy? UPDATE: It was a hoax!

    Here is The New Yorker calling McCain-Palin fans Nazis:

    McCain is right in detecting signs of growing class resentment; some of the angry are turning up at McCain-Palin rallies, where the mood has been not so much socialist as national-socialist.

    Just to spell out my irony for the irony-challenged….Somewhere out there some Obama supporter will do something rude, stupid, criminal, what have you. My point is that it doesn’t matter for either candidate if their supporters act like jerks. (Unless, of course, a candidate exhorts his supporters to do horrible things. I don’t think either has done so.) I was simply asking a mischievous question about relative media coverage of bad behavior by partisans on either side. Of course, the hoax (which reflects badly on a McCain fan) is bound to get lots more coverage than the story got when it appeared to reflect badly on an Obama fan. Which kinda proves my point all over again.

    Topics: Barack Obama, John McCain, Politics | 8 Comments »

    I Am Joe the Plumber

    By Kyle | October 19, 2008

    In my Sunday column, I ask why John McCain can’t coherently explain the absurdity of Democratic tax policy, which amounts to a massive salary grab targeted at anyone who might hope to make $125,000 or more in the next four years.

    Topics: Barack Obama, Economics, John McCain, Politics | 25 Comments »

    Clint Eastwood Disparages Dirty Harry Fans

    By Kyle | October 5, 2008

    Clint Eastwood came into town last week for a press conference to introduce his new Angelina Jolie-starring period drama “Changeling”–during which he described himself as “a libertarian” and said essentially that he was disgusted with both political parties. Interesting. More on that later. Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: John McCain, Magazines, Movies, Politics, Sarah Palin | 6 Comments »

    The New Yorker Endorses Barack Obama

    By Kyle | October 2, 2008

    The first prominent endorsement I’ve seen this season comes from The New Yorker, which in a letter from the editors makes the case for Obama. No surprise there.

    In a press release, the magazine says, “At a moment of economic calamity, international perplexity, political failure, and battered morale, America needs both uplift and realism, both change and steadiness,” the editors write. “It needs a leader temperamentally, intellectually, and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled globe. That leader’s name is Barack Obama.” On almost every issue, John McCain and Obama both “speak the generalized language of ‘reform,’ but only Obama has provided a convincing, rational, and fully developed vision,” they write. While McCain has “never evinced much interest in, or knowledge of, economic questions,” and “has had little of substance to say about the crisis,” “Obama has made a serious study of the mechanics and the history of this economic disaster and of the possibilities of stimulating a recovery.” Regarding the Iraq war, “Obama had the prescience to warn of a costly and indefinite occupation and rising anti-American radicalism around the world; supporting it, McCain foresaw none of this.” I believe the New Yorker’s own reporting contradicts this last; when I get a moment I will explain.

    Moreover, The New Yorker says, it is “safe to predict that affirmative action of all kinds would likely be outlawed by a McCain Court.” I doubt that a McCain court would try to do that but in any case most affirmative action– the private kind–has nothing to do with court decisions.

    The entire endorsement is after the jump.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: Barack Obama, John McCain, Magazines, Politics | 18 Comments »

    Review: “Religulous”

    By Kyle | September 30, 2008

    Hell’s Angel

    Kyle Smith review of Religulous
    3 stars out of 4
    101 minutes/Rated R

    We know there is no God because Bill Maher is not immediately struck dead when, in his atheist documentary “Religulous,” he opines that he’d no sooner swear on the King James Bible than the Rick James Bible. A just God would never let such a tragic joke stand.

    Talking to such lotus eaters as North Carolina truckers, an Orthodox Jew demonstrating all the gadgets built to get around Sabbath restrictions, an actor playing Jesus in a theme park and Muslims in Amsterdam and Jerusalem, Maher finds them all pretty much the same: They are disciples of “nonsense and fantasy,” a point underlined by “Borat” director Larry Charles as he gleefully breaks up the interviews with pop songs, funny stock footage, Biblical cartoons and a shot of Mormonism’s magical underwear.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: John McCain, Movies, Philosophy, Politics, Religion | 48 Comments »

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