I grew up watching “The Tracey Ullman Show.” I laughed at the comedy sketches, the outrageous characters, and the early glimpses of animated bits that would later lead to the creation of “The Simpsons.” But back then, I was still too young to truly “get” Tracey’s humor. Well, I’m all grown up now, and as I’ve been watching “Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union“—which debuts exclusively on Hulu.com and the Hulu Plus subscription service today—boy, am I amazed at how much of her comedy I missed as a kid.
Tracey Ullman is a groundbreaking satirist. It takes some living to appreciate humor this smart.
Last week, I flew out to New York (accompanied by Yoshie, Hulu’s video editor extraordinaire, and Andrea, our research guru), to meet up with Tracey and talk to her about the launch of “Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union” on Hulu. New York was hot as hell and we had no sleep on the red-eye over, but Tracey was nothing but cool. She was a tall glass of sparkling water that refreshed us all. Having seen her in so many hairy, funky, crazy costumes over the years, I didn’t realize just how beautiful she was in person. She was an amazing, down-to-earth, quick-witted, talented lady with enough tricks up her sleeve to keep the crew laughing all morning.
While doing a series of impressions, she decided to assign members of the crew’s faces with centuries. I got the “20th century” label: a Steve McQueen crossed with a Denis Leary look (I took this as a cross between a compliment and an insult). But the best was our gaffer, Matt, who bent over to plug in a light and Tracey pegged him as a 15th century Caravaggio—a monkey on his shoulder reaching for a skull. Thank you, Tracey, for providing me with the perfect nickname for Matt for years to come. Amazing.
We talked politics, entertainment, technology, parenting, and reality TV. She drank espresso. We laughed our heads off. Here’s a snapshot of how it all went down.
Today you can watch all 19 episodes of “State of the Union” exclusively on Hulu.com and Hulu Plus. So grab a friend and watch Tracey do her thing. Laugh until you cry. She is brilliantly funny. And she has America pegged.