The Black List: Adam Pally Can’t Stand Sarah McLachlan or Cats

As the smart-aleck couch potato Max on ABC’s hit relationship sitcom Happy Endings, Adam Pally says all the wrong things at all the right times. Here, the UCB veteran goes unscripted about what ticks him off, and poor Sarah McLachlan suffers the fatal blow.

1. Let’s knock out four things I hate right now: everyone in The Black Eyed Peas. Well, three things. I feel bad for that mute ninja guy because you know the other three Peas are making fun of him behind his back, and that’s a little “pot calling the kettle,” right?

2. I hate adult cats. I’m sorry, I know they need a home, and Sarah McLachlan’s head just exploded, but grown-ass sassy cats scare me.

3. I hate people who bitch about the iPhone when they don’t have one. It’s like a virgin telling you sex is overrated.

4. I hate clerks at guitar stores. I know just by walking in here you can shred some tasty licks, but let’s face it: You’re not scoring that much poon if you work at Guitar Center, so just pass me that middle-of-the-road acoustic and let me kill some time between auditions.

5. I hate the sound of my son crying. Kidding. My wife deals with that noise.

6. I hate all 9/11 movies except One for the Money.

7. I hate capri pants on either gender. Wear longer pants or pull your shoes up.

8. I hate boyfriend jeans. I don’t care what kind of “fat day” you think you’re having. Trust me, the boyfriend jeans are making it worse.

9. I hate when my dog licks herself to the point that an open sore forms. I mean, come on dog, you’re so dumb.

10. I hate adults who love Disney World. This is the clearest sign of pedophilia or serial killerphilia.

11. I hate two-door luxury coupes. Way to show your friends how rich you are and get out of giving them a ride home, dick.

12. I hate talking to people in the lobby of yoga class. It’s taking a lot for me to be here; I don’t need to hear about that yoga summit on the top of Mt. Healthylife. Now leave me alone so I can pretend to exercise.

The Black List: The 15 Things Kat Dennings Hates Most

1. Buffering/Loading. Every internet streaming experience will doubtless be interrupted at some point by buffering/loading. This is unacceptable. We can do everything on the internet—order pizza, buy clothes, adopt puppies, do taxes, talk to people in Lithuania—but we can’t watch Puffball: The Devil’s Eyeball without interruption.

2. Boatneck tops. Are you serious? Who in their right mind would wear a boatneck? I’ve never wanted my clavicle to be a focal point. People who are actually on boats don’t even wear boatneck tops. They wear coats and stuff.

3. Marzipan. It’s disgusting. I can appreciate the shapes it’s sometimes molded into, but that’s as far as it goes. Someone once told me that right before you die, everything smells like almonds. It probably isn’t true and that person sounds like an idiot, but it brings me to this conclusion: Marzipan is made from almonds, almonds smell like death, and, therefore, marzipan smells like death. Fruit-shaped death.

4. “Hilarious” tip jars. Stop it. I was going to tip you anyway but since your tip jar is “hilarious,” it makes the whole thing much more difficult than it has to be. I’ve got news for you: God does not save a kitten every time I tip, and how dare you prey on my weaknesses like that. Here’s a dollar.

5. Nazis. Hate them.

6. Bicycle people. I can’t even deal with bicycle people. Don’t be in my lane. Be in the designated bicycle lane or on the sidewalk. Also, wear some sort of head protection. What do you think cars are made out of? Marshmallows?

7. “On accident.” It is not “on accident.” It is “by accident.” Example: “Your Honor, my prosthetic leg flew into his face by accident.”

8. Your/You’re, Too/To, and They’re/Their/There. Not to sound like some kind of asshole all over this list, but it just gets my goat when people confuse these.

9. Surprise full-body scans. “Step over here, please.” “Okay.” “Put your hands up like this.” “Okay… wait, why do I haaaaagghhhh! Damn you!” I’ve been tricked into airport full-body scans one time too many. Most recently, I stepped out of the machine and the security guy smiled at me and said, “Nice.”

10. The “Keep Calm and Carry On” signs. Don’t tell me how to live my life. Maybe I want to “Go Apeshit and Give Up.” It’s none of anyone’s damn business. These signs were originally meant to raise morale among the British public during World War II. Now they’re on mugs and the dorm walls of people I don’t like very much.

11. “Quirky.” Just cut to the chase and say, “Kat comes off as an empty, female-shaped shell occupied by a mustachioed British demon.”

12. That old lady that one time. I’d been walking down a delightful suburban street, listening to some Beck and generally minding my own business, when I looked up just in time to avoid bumping into a seemingly harmless old lady. Oh, sorry, I said, and kept walking. Something about her face stuck in my mind, and I thought to myself, Was she terrifying? I’ll just steal another look. I turned around and she was staring at me with an evil, toothless grin. I almost fell down, and then she laughed at me and walked away. That old lady that one time—I hate her.

13. Mass texts from people you met once. No, I do not want to go to your “awes0me BBQ;).” Nor do I want to find you a roommate by the end of next month. I deleted you from my phone but that didn’t do any good, did it? Because now your texts just display a bunch of numbers instead of whatever your name is.

14. When I’m out of chickpeas.

15. People who hate cats. Do you hate babies? Do you hate bunny rabbits? Do you hate sea otters? Of course not, so why would you hate cats? I’ll tell you why. Because unlike other animals, cats know you’re a dick. You don’t hate cats; cats hate you. Especially Kat Dennings.

Kathy Griffin Wreaks Havoc on Vegans, Skinny Jeans, & Tarantino

From vegans to Bristol Palin, nothing is off-limits for comedian Kathy Griffin—except number 6. While preparing to sully the Great White Way with Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony, the two-time Emmy Award winner, Grammy nominee, and New York Times bestselling author took a minute to rattle off life’s little irritants, and to remember the little people (in skinny jeans) who helped her get to where she is today.

1. Don’t touch my feet! I am too ticklish. Back off, freak. That includes you, Tarantino.

2. Vegans. Why don’t you just walk around Manhattan scratching a chalkboard while you’re at it?

3. Texting and walking. Look up, look up, look up… bam! You should have looked up.

4. Cold doughnuts. Do you know how hard it is to find a hot doughnut at any time other than four in the freaking morning? Listen up, New York: I want a hot, fresh doughnut and I want it now. And no, Dunkin’ Donuts, I don’t mean the ones you make in the outer boroughs, drive to Manhattan, and microwave.

5. Lockup Raw. Hey, MSNBC—it’s seven on a Friday night and you’ve stopped showing news. There’s just a little uprising in Egypt I was kind of curious about, but please feel free to run your piece of crap franchise over and over instead.

6. Anal sex. Sorry guys, and some of you ladies with strap-ons. I call that area “exit only.”

7. HD. It doesn’t enhance my viewing pleasure one bit to see every individual hair on Wolf Blitzer’s chin. Let’s soften everyone up a little, shall we? If it were up to me, we would return to the good ol’ days when Cybill Shepherd wouldn’t even walk onto the set of Moonlighting until Vaseline was on the lens.

8. Skinny jeans, especially low-waisted skinny jeans. They do not work with my dwarf-like legs, which will soon be seen on TLC’s Little People, Skinny Jeans.

9. Getting up early. God knows who I was bangin’ all night.

10. Genocide. Never liked it, never will.

The Black List: 10 Things Rainn Wilson Hates About Young Hollywood

In 2009, Rainn Wilson launched SoulPancake.com, a website devoted to life’s big unknowns—his book of the same name was released in November—but right now, he’d rather get a few things straight. (Who knew that’s where Paris keeps her quarters?) The Office funnyman, who’ll next appear in the stoner drama Hesher and the superhero comedy Super, rips into Young Hollywood, whom he hates.

1. The Young Hollywood Sign, which stands about 1,000 feet from the Hollywood Sign and looks like the Toys “R” Us logo. Ralph Macchio and Lea Thompson, in an act of rage, constructed it in 1988. I hate the Young Hollywood Sign because every time I drive by it, it makes me think about Young Hollywood, whom I hate.

2. Their annoying, sheep-like quoting and carrying around copies of The Sublime Object of Ideology by Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, who once said, of Young Hollywood, “Desire must be created, through the ‘meta-language’ of teaching the voyeur how to desire.” The Žižek fixation in Hollywood has grown so intense that countless young actors, who were previously buff, hairless, and beautiful, are now working overtime to gain 70 pounds, grow messy beards, and wear rumpled, puffy, sleeveless jackets, just like Žižek himself. Wait—I just realized I meant to say Zach Galifianakis, not Slavoj Žižek. Just go back through the entire paragraph and replace “Slavoj Žižek” with “Zach Galifianakis.”

3. The fact that Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Kim Kardashian are now the “grand old dames” of Young Hollywood. They host a weekly salon for up-and-comers where they discuss fashion, career advice, media management, and the care of—and uses for—the anus: change purse, Pez dispenser, Crayola sharpener, brandy snifter, and Señor Wences-style “anus puppet” for entertaining at children’s birthday parties. I attended their salon and left extremely uncomfortable, so now I hate them.

4. Their relentlessly dreamy eyebrows and adorable haircuts that make it so hard for me to stop scribbling “Mr. Rainn Pattinson” all over my notebook. TEAM EDWARD 4-EVAH!!! Seriously, I hate how all the Young Hollywood guys have such big eyebrows. It gives me eyebrow envy. There’s no way those things are real. Look at Zac Efron and tell me those aren’t two strips of John Goodman’s back hair implanted on his forehead. You know who else had big eyebrows? Groucho Marx. I hate him, too.

5. They never share their Lunchables. And if they do, they’ll only give you a cracker or a piece of cheese and not the bologna, which is the best part. All right, I’ll say it—I’m talking about Justin Long. He sat next to me at the People’s Choice Awards and wouldn’t give me a piece of bologna. He’s an evil prick for doing so and I hate him. Otherwise, I think he’s wonderful.

6. The little-known fact that a secret brain trust of Young Hollywood stars, including Channing Tatum, iCarly, and Leighton Meester, engineered the Global Financial Meltdown of 2008. Through their use of trendy social networking websites like “The Facebook” and “YouTubes,” they corralled their brainwashed young fans into using their excess capital to buy and trade mortgage-backed securities, disregarding the whole web of interlinked dependencies, and bringing down the world financial markets. And then their fans were all, like, “Whoa, market crash, gag me with a spoon,” or whatever stupid stuff kids say today. I ran into Channing Tatum at the gym and angrily asked him, “How do you sleep?” He replied, “Butt naked next to your mama.” I found that clever and amusing, but I still hate him.

7. They are too young to remember a time without Saw movies, iPods, Crocs, Big Mouth Billy Bass, ketchup that comes in fanciful colors, Jared the Subway Guy, Elián González, flash drives, Roomba, and the United States in a perpetual state of war—all of which are things I hate passionately. Except for Jared the Subway Guy, who is awesome, and Saw III, which was pretty good.

8. That new fashion style, butt-breezers, where young clubgoers cut the rear ends out of their $300 jeans. They wear pants with the butts cut out. Their butts are literally hanging out as they’re dancing. It’s catching on all over. Seriously. It’s a thing. A fashion thing. If you lived in Hollywood, you’d know. You’d totally see it everywhere. If you haven’t started doing this, you might want to give it a go, as it’s all the rage. Try it! I’m wearing them right now, and—although I hate myself for it—I enjoy the slight “pop” sound my buttocks make whenever I rise from the overstuffed Milano leather chair I’m writing this in.

9. They say things that I don’t understand like “jiggy,” “epic fail,” “pwnd,” “jeggings,” and “scrump-diddly-icious.”

10. The humility.

Photo by Joshua Spencer.

The Black List: Michael Stipe

Michael Stipe—the lead singer of the iconic alternative band R.E.M., and a keen photographer—unleashes his inner monster while proving that no one is shiny or happy all the time.

“Common courtesy is an oxymoron these days.” [R.E.M. bassist] Mike Mills said it, and I could not agree more. Here are 10 things I fucking despise:

1. Those TMZ guys on the street who ask me rhetorical questions. Fuck off ! I’m not that smart or quick.

2. People who block sidewalks. It’s called a “sidewalk,” not a “side-annoy me.”

3. Pranks. You’re not that funny and you’re not 15. Get out of my face—I’m too earnest. I like Andy Kaufman in the abstract; that doesn’t mean I want to live with him or eat dinner with him.

4. Do not walk up to me and say, “You don’t remember me, do you?” Unless you’re Morrissey, no, I don’t. I need context.

5. Oblivious girls with big, foofy hair at concerts (It always gets in your face and mouth).

6. Anyone who doesn’t BCC. Don’t send me your address book; I don’t want it.

7. PC mentality in general, but specifically at the doctor’s office: “I have a few forms for you to fill out.” I fucking filled those out the last six times I came here, you ingrate, and they are identical to every other form I’ve ever filled out here.

8. Art that cannot be dusted without being destroyed. Make it fl at and easy! Fuck!

9. Flush the fucking toilet at the restaurant, or on the plane. I don’t want to look at your piss-water.

10. Fucking Dick Cheney. I know, it’s obvious, but he ruined my life. Thanks, that was fun!

Angela Davis & ‘The Black List’

imageAngela Davis was born in 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama, when the politics of racial segregation were still volatile (and constitutional). Her family emphasized the importance of education, which she took to heart, eventually becoming one of the most recognizable figures in the history of American activism. Davis has built her life’s work around issues of race, community and the criminal justice system. Her involvement with the Soledad Brothers case in 1970 landed her name on the FBI’s most wanted list, and once imprisoned, a national campaign broke out for her release. She recently retired from the position of professor and Presidential Chair of the History of Consciousness Department at University of California, Santa Cruz. This month, with a slew of black heroes — from fearless artist Kara Walker to empire-maker Tyler Perry — Davis is interviewed in the second installment of the groundbreaking HBO documentary The Black List.

What do you hope audiences will take away from The Black List: Volume Two? After having seen the first documentary, I was quite impressed by the diversity of lives represented, and the different ways of telling stories about the black experience in the United States. One of the major effects of racism over the years has been to flatten out distinctions between people and among groups, and I was absolutely impressed by the variety and the difference. I assume that the next program will represent the same kind of diversity.

How do today’s black role models compare to those you grew up admiring? I don’t know whether or not there were better role models in my youth but there were certainly fewer. One might argue that certain aspects of the black experience were emphasized–such as education. As a matter of fact I think education was, in my youth, the most important aspect of our experience, and having grown up with two educators for parents, I learned very early about the relationship between education and liberation. Today we have a much greater variety of role models, I suppose you might say. In education of course, in health care, and also in culture — black culture. I don’t think we should underestimate the importance of black popular culture and the role it has played over the years in representing black liberation. Even though it may not represent the most radical dimension of the black tradition, certainly it has been one of the most important channels for the representation of black struggle for freedom. We assume that sports and entertainment are the most widespread role models and both of those are extremely important. I don’t know whether it would make sense to emphasize one kind of role model over the other.

Have your convictions ever wavered? To tell the truth, I’ve never seen the trajectory of my life reflected in a particular choice that I made. I grew up in a family of activists, I learned about the impact of racism growing up in the most segregated city in the South, which also opened up the possibility of challenging racism. I simply learned how to live my life in a way that allowed me to imagine what might be a better future. Of course, the future rarely arrives as expected. But yes, I’ve experienced many difficult and trying moments: going to jail, going to prison, facing the death penalty and so forth. But what’s helped me in those moments was the fact that I thought of myself not as an individual but as a member of a community of resistance and a community of struggle. My strength still comes from that community.

How did it feel to have so many people standing behind you when you were arrested? Well I can’t say that I didn’t feel fear, because I certainly did. But I was quite moved by the fact that so many people, so quickly, so immediately answered the call to organize a campaign for my freedom. And yes, it did make me feel much more powerful than I would have felt had I simply been an individual with no community to support me. Certainly I saw many women in jail who were alone, who had no support. You might say that the work that I continue to do today around issues of imprisonment — prisoners, political prisoners, prisoner’s rights — is very much related to my sense when I was in jail that everyone deserves the kind of support that I was receiving.

Did that experience start your dialogue on the prison system? I had actually been doing work around prison issues; as a matter of fact I went to jail as a result of being involved in the struggle for the freedom of political prisoners and specifically the Soledad brothers. But my time in jail really deepened and made more complex my understanding of the role that the prison system plays, particularly with respect to racism.

The image of you as a black revolutionary, in handcuffs, has become iconic. Do you think that it has contributed to your legacy? I did, at one point, find it very amusing that people linked me with the afro because of course during that period almost everyone in the movement wore afros. I was one of many, many women. So I was rather amused by the fact that my image came to represent that particular moment. Now I think I see it as perhaps important in a different way. A few years ago, I saw a young black woman wearing a t-shirt with my picture on it and it made me feel a little embarrassed, I suppose, but I asked her why she wore it and the answer she gave me made me recognize that it wasn’t really about me. She said that wearing that t-shirt made her feel powerful, it made her feel as if she could accomplish what she needed to accomplish. I realize that, that image can play an important political role, but it refers not so much to me as an individual as it refers to the collective power generated by movements during that period, and very specifically the power generated by the movement for my freedom.

What was different about Obama’s political tactics that led him to success? The campaign that was organized around and by Barrack Obama was unprecedented in the way it reached vast numbers of people in this country. What was really different about it was the fact that it stirred so many young people throughout the country into political action. And of course, the grassroots approach which used the internet, was capable of reaching hundreds of thousands and millions of young people was unprecedented. What I like to do is to shift attention from the individual, although the individual does matter, and Barrack Obama is an extraordinary individual, but there are many extraordinary individuals. What was truly extraordinary was the movement around the campaign that he organized. Personally, I would say what impressed me, and what probably impressed many people in the country — many progressive radicals in this country — was the fact that he very explicitly identified with the black struggle for liberation with what I would call the black radical tradition. That is what is exciting about the new president to me.

Do you revisit Birmingham? Yes I do. As a matter of fact I am going to Birmingham in a couple of weeks. My mother’s college, Miles College, which is located in Birmingham is establishing a scholarship in her name.

How has Birmingham changed for you? Many things about Birmingham have changed. And of course for me, as a person who left Birmingham when I was 15 to attend high school in New York, my memories are of an absolutely segregated city. The city is, of course, no longer segregated in the same way, but there are problems in Birmingham that have emerged that are as important as racial segregation was and those are the economic problems. I remember the vibrancy of the steel industry. I remember my friends fathers worked in the mines or they worked in the mills and as the result of de-industrialization, as the result of global capitalism there are no more steel mills in Birmingham. The only steel mill that is left is a museum. So, there is a great deal more poverty than there was, a larger proportion of people are in prison than when I was a child, and a larger proportion of black people are behind bars.

Al Sharpton: Papa Don’t Preach

He’s a veteran of the “confrontation business,” but you’d never know it talking to him. Reverend Al Sharpton, who stars in this month’s HBO documentary The Black List, puts down the cause for a few minutes to talk tracksuits and track records. Sharpton has long been a fixture in the world of racial politics. Conservative, flamboyant and bombastic—his description, and ours—the reigning father of American social justice reform takes the hot seat to discuss growing older and wiser, all the while pushing onward with his tireless, insatiable war against inequality.

What about The Black List: Volume One appealed to you? Well, I thought it was important, the whole concept of blacks talking from different vantage points about what brought us to be what we became. I think much of the world—including a large percentage of the African American community—doesn’t realize that there are different lanes within the black community, even though there may be only one highway. This film shows that commonality, regardless of whether or not you’re a leading artist, a leading CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a leading civil rights speaker. There is such an eclectic mix of personalities in the film; Sean Combs and Russell Simmons come from the world of hip-hop, which you’ve attacked for its embrace of various derogatory terms. Then there is Zane, who writes erotic fiction, which can’t help but seem anathema to your value system. Is there something inherently worthwhile about including not just different, but also conflicting perspectives into this dialogue on race and identity? Well, we can all disagree while still appreciating the artistry and the contribution of others. Maybe I’ll disagree with somebody in hip-hop, but I can still talk to them. I’ve had a lot of hip-hop artists adamantly disagree with me about my personal views on lyrics and religion. But I think it is important that people understand that we’re not monolithic. We can still come together with divergent opinions. Is there something in particular that this documentary adds to the ongoing dialogue on race and identity? I think it adds a lot. For the first time, people are talking about themselves and how they became what they’ve become—who they are, who we are in Black America. When I got a chance to see the DVD, I even said, “I didn’t know that about Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]. I didn’t know that about… ” We were all born to a mama, raised as a child and grew up in America. We were given what the world was ready to hand to us. And I think it humanizes us, without trying to rationalize or testify something. Where does your drive to champion social justice emanate from? My energy came from the black church. I grew up there and started preaching there. And it gave me a sense of meaning, a sense that I was operating within causes bigger than me. I was never particularly distracted by or interested in political opinion. I’ve always been very secure. When I got out into the broader political arena, into the controversy, I was already so secure that I was energized to go forward. In my teens, my father-son relationship with James Brown had that same kind of self-identity, the same kind of energy. So, it’s a combination of the church and my mentorship with people like Brown, who’ve changed what they’ve found in the world, rather than have the world change them. How do you deal with criticism? You certainly haven’t been immune to personal attacks. No one in the history of social justice movements in this country, or any other country, has gone without receiving criticism. I am, for lack of a better term, in the confrontation business. I confront institutions and I confront people when somebody is being accosted. There is no way to do that without dealing with the downside of controversy. I was surprised when, two weeks ago, a major magazine had done a Gallup Poll on blacks and I was given a favorable rating of about 50. I remember a time when the numbers in my favor were one-tenth of that. What I do is meant to stir things up. Martin Luther King, Jr. did the very same thing. Who would you say has been your most formidable opponent to date? In my career? I would probably say the most formidable situation, wow, was the… I don’t know. I can’t single out just one. It’s unlikely to think that people can possibly win every battle they fight. How do you react to losing? I always try to extract gain from loss. Sometimes you win by fighting, period. How does it feel when you’re fighting specifically for social justice and then critics suggest you harbor your own prejudice? I’ve learned not to take it so seriously. The people who say stuff like that are just looking to get a rise out of me. Also, if anyone believed naysayers, the next victim of social injustice wouldn’t call me. And that’s one of the things I tell the rappers: These kids who call me are 17 and 22 years old, and while they may be entertained by you, they call me when they get in trouble. That ought to mean something. Do you ever worry that the way that public personalities dress overshadows what they are trying to say? I think you’ve got to be careful. I stopped wearing the big medallions and tracksuits because the whole look got in the way. People were so surprised when I stopped wearing the tracksuits and started wearing conservative suits. You have to be conscious of not letting your clothes get in the way of your message. But you also can’t let people force you to wear certain things, or else we’d all be sitting around in our underwear in the dark somewhere. Was the shift to more conventional clothing suggested to you by other people? No, I made the decision when I went national. Also, I’m 53, so I can’t be dressing the way I was when I was 33. People mature, as they grow older. I think it comes from a very privileged perspective to suggest that clothing acts as a pure reflection of someone’s personal style. In many cases, I believe, the things that people wear become socioeconomic markers that define where they come from, their lot in life. I think you need a certain amount of income to even be in a position to “define yourself.” Some people just dress in clothes they can afford. Only those who become very successful can decide how they are going to define themselves with clothing. Only a small percentage of the world can wake up every morning and say, “I’m going to wear this because it makes the statement that I want to make.” With everything you’ve accomplished, all the wars you’ve waged against social injustice, what is your ultimate goal? My ultimate goal is to have a national social justice movement that literally changes, from the bottom, equal protection under the law, which is considerably disproportionate. If I can go to my grave knowing that there is a continued national movement to make America equal then I will have done what I was born to do. I may be bombastic and flamboyant and conservative, but that’s just a means to an end. This is what I’m trying to do. As a nation, are we the closest that we’ve ever been to this goal? I think we’re closer than we’ve ever been, but it almost doesn’t matter, because we’ve been so far away for so long. We’re closer, it’s true, but to be closer does not mean to be close.

(See our full Style Gallery.)