NBC has an exclusive deal in the States to show the Olympics. Right now, as I write this, the Olympic Opening Ceremonies are happening live in Sochi. I just learned that there is a country called Dominica, which is geographically close to but not the same as the Dominican Republic. Cool fact! But it's the kind of cool fact I had to learn through a garbage bootleg BBC stream originating in Estonia or Mars or something because NBC is waiting another eight hours to show the Opening Ceremonies. (Right now, NBC is airing the Steve Harvey [...]
Not long ago, MTV made an unusual appeal: It asked for help finding information about one of its own shows. The show was "Buzzkill," a hidden-camera program that ran in 1996. The plea came from MTV's Guy Code blog:If you try to find old clips online, they're nonexistent. Seems impossible, right? The web is where you can find the most obscure remnants of every era, the most disturbing videos the human mind can conjure. And yet it has seemingly been scrubbed clean of all "Buzzkill" details…. Internet, we need your help. We must uncover the truth of "Buzzkill." Send us your tips and clues. Better yet, if you [...]
In the 1950s, a DJ named Jean Shepherd hosted a late-night radio show on New York's WOR that was unlike any before or since. On these broadcasts, he delivered dense, cerebral monologues, sprinkled with pop-culture tidbits and vivid stretches of expert storytelling. "There is no question that we are a tiny, tiny, tiny embattled minority here," he assured his audience in a typical diatribe. "Hardly anyone is listening to mankind in all of its silliness, all of its idiocy, all of its trivia, all of its wonder, all of its glory, all of its poor, sad, pitching us into the dark sea of oblivion." Shepherd's approach was summed up by [...]
"Our lazy embrace of Stewart and Colbert is a testament to our own impoverished comic standards. We have come to accept coy mockery as genuine subversion and snarky mimesis as originality. It would be more accurate to describe our golden age of political comedy as the peak output of a lucrative corporate plantation whose chief export is a cheap and powerful opiate for progressive angst and rage."
Here’s the problem: this side of the Atlantic is unaware of Victoria Wood. Queen of observational stand-up, master of the cheerful monologue ridden with a thousand little dreads, goddess of the sketch surreal and regular, authoress of so much women-centered content that she out-Bechdels the Bechdel Test by a mile, unsentimental teller of truth in matters sexual, superb chronicler of Englishness, trail-blazer (she’d hate this title, but I don’t give a damn), tea drinker, owner of the most glorious bosom in the whole of Commonwealth.
Yet Britain’s much loved, awarded and televised, the Royal Albert Hall-selling-out, multi-talented comedic performer and writer could easily visit any North American city in [...]
If perhaps you were intrigued by the idea of podcasts by comedians but you aren't interested in living in a male-only world, as Paul Brownfield, the author of this past weekend's Times mag piece on podcasts by comedians does, here are a few things for you to explore!
• In the print version of the magazine, but not online, How Was Your Week?, by Awl pal Julie Klausner, got tied for his final pick. That's… nice that it got a mention! It's very good. Perhaps you will enjoy, if you can stand the fact that Julie doesn't have a penis.
• There is also the podcast of [...]
Sure, there are funny gays in various entertainment fields, such as shoe design and Condé Nast magazines, but let us think of gays in actual comedy. Okay, so there's Ellen. That guy ANT. Neil Patrick Harris. And… hmm.
Oh right. Scott Thompson. And Graham Chapman, of Monty Python. These two might prove a comedy "rule" that gays are often funny when in groups of straight people. Or when they are English: Stephen K. Amos, Simon Amstell, Matt Lucas, Julian Clary, Paul O'Grady. And Kenny Everett and Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams, RIP! Or when they are of an English province: Trey Anthony, say, from Canada. And Tommy Sexton. And [...]
Remember that time Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize? #NotTheOnion
— Jon Henke (@JonHenke) June 10, 2013
"This Is Not The Onion” is a seemingly innocuous phrase that strikes such loathing into my heart that after I read it I want to punch a wall until I feel okay again. Even if you stop reading after this paragraph, please internalize at least this much: Stop. Comparing. Everything. To the fucking Onion.
As long as you’re a sentient being and you’ve been on the Internet in the last year, you probably don’t need to be clued in to what I’m over-complaining about. But just in case, here [...]
This is a real-life story about five bros who decide to make a movie, as sort of a last hurrah before they grow up. Each of them has to write 15 pages of the movie in turn, having only seen the immediately preceding 5 pages. And then… they make the movie.
Crazily enough, everyone finds this very frustrating and acts like a big baby. Ha ha, no, only sometimes. It's actually a great depiction of collaboration and how awful and wonderful it all is. (Makes a lovely companion to the Andre Gregory documentary Before and After Dinner, which, by the way, has been extended through tomorrow at [...]
"Cock wire Mike Sui!" yelled one of the young men in the crowd. "Cock wire Sui is awesome!" The kimono robe and mirrored sunglasses, like some kind of last-minute frat-boy Halloween costume, that Mike Sui was wearing when he leapt onto the stage, had been shed, and Sui now prowled the stage in cargo shorts and a Nike t-shirt.
Before April, a slim few, if any, in this Shanghai crowd would have known Sui's name. And before April, NetEase, one of China's largest Internet companies, certainly would not have asked Sui to emcee its stage at China Joy, the nation's largest gaming and digital entertainment exhibition. But now it was [...]
Well, Kate Harding went and made a list of rape jokes that she considers to be actually funny. (At least one of them did indeed make me laugh!) TRIGGER WARNER: Dane Cook is on the list. (Double trigger warning: "racist v. rapist" in this one. Complicated.)
Dante Nero, who sometimes opened for him, recalled one college gig when a young woman yelled, “Say something funny!” during one of Patrice’s philosophical disquisitions. “You didn’t hear anyone else laughing?” O’Neal began. “Is it because you weren’t laughing? You the type of person who wants everyone to be miserable if you’re miserable?” Then he turned to her friends: “Why do you hang out with her?” The girl stood up to leave, demanding her boyfriend join her, but he sat there, frozen, and O’Neal zeroed in on him—as an ally. “If you stay, it’ll be over,” O’Neal said encouragingly. “Ride it out.” The audience started to weigh in. [...]
Chris Hardwick has made a career out of being a nerd. Well, actually, he has made several careers out of being a nerd, as the host of "Web Soup" a writer for Wired, an author and the host of The Nerdist podcast. Paste Magazine and Rolling Stone both named The Nerdist one of the ten best podcasts of the year, which means that it's now a TV show, with a special airing tomorrow night on BBC America. The podcast has also spawned a community of tech, science and nerd culture enthusiasts on Nerdist.com.
Years before he created Nerdist Industries, Chris was already sowing [...]
Men: if you're funny, women will let you do sex to them, but only a couple of times. Ladies: if you're funny men will assume you're easy. That's how it works.
I'm glad @theonion apologized for calling Quvenzhané Wallis curt. She's nine years old, who cares if her answers are short.
— Jesse Berney (@jesseberney) February 25, 2013
So The Onion apologized today for one of their many, many Oscars jokes last night. Which one? The one that was nooooottttt good or okay. Nooo, the other one.
Quentin Tarantino has been heavily criticized for his frequent use of the word "nigger" during tonight's red carpet interviews #Oscars2013
— The Onion (@TheOnion) February 25, 2013
Yeah, not that one. (That one is actually maybe good satire, about when and how some things are okay.) Buoyed [...]
"Relationships often change people, but this was a weird one, because I was the same before and after it, but very different during." —The Lena Dunham story in the New Yorker (subscription-only) is totally worth it on a lot of levels (both "laughing at" and "laughing with," though mostly John Cook has the "laughing at" covered quite grumpily), but it's also a good addition to what I think is the best part of her projects about youth: what is it about the certain kind of person who can completely annihilate their personality because of love? I was like this when I was younger and it's completely alien to [...]
Kate Wolff always knew she was funny, but when her classmates growing up told her she was going to be on "Saturday Night Live," she laughed and informed them she wanted to be a teacher. Well, life is funny sometimes. Teaching wasn't the dream job Wolff envisioned, and although she still teaches middle-school art, she's trying to make it in the brutally tough New York standup scene. In the basement of the Village Lantern where she produces a weekly show, Wolff talked about getting paid, incorporating her son into her act, and the process of toughening up for the stage.
How did you get here?
I went to college [...]
You've got to really open your heart to the long hard run of cruddy movies that stretches from January to May. If you succeed in opening it far enough, you'll decide that Project X, the pre-frat frat movie about three high school losers throwing an "epic" (shudder) party, is nearly awesome—as a movie-going experience, at least. You know: low expectations. Oh and this is actually the entire plot so I am kind of spoiling it for you: a kid's parents go out of town and he throws a really big party. Still, if you see it in the right frame of mind, with the right audience (a packed theater of [...]