Diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago
, and given only months to live, Sam Simon is still alive and still racing to spend the fortune he made as co-creator of The Simpsons on causes he loves, whether he is rescuing grizzly bears (and chinchillas and elephants) or funding vegan food banks. Sam Simon and philanthropy previously on Metafilter
"Dave Beeth-Oven. Maxine of Arc. Herman the Kid. Bob Genghis Khan. So-Crates Johnson. Dennis Frood. And, uh... Abraham Lincoln." Hadley Freeman revisits Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure with Alex Winter
, and Ben Child reports on the long-awaited follow-up to Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
"One day I was hanging out with some SNL writers and cast members in the 17th-floor conference room.
It was shortly after the writers had won an Emmy Award for the 1988-89 season. Phil Hartman, who had been a writer as well as a cast member for the winning season, marched in with an 8-by-10 photo of himself. It showed him cradling his Emmy Award in one arm and his newborn child in the other. He tossed the photo down in front of his good friend Jon Lovitz and said, "Check it out, Lovitz—two things you’ll never have." (SLSlate)
Ray Rice Makeup Tutorial
Learn all about how to cover up domestic violence just like the NFL and
get a fresh face for fall. (DV trigger warnings).
is a children's BBC show for pre-schoolers. Completely wordless, it's a fairly delightful and surprisingly funny mixture of shape recognition, music and discovery (and lots of visual comedy), where "the line" draws a series of challenges and problems for Dipdap to solve. Here's every single episode of it
Comedian Bo Burnham has released a video
of his song "Repeat Stuff," from his What
album. (The complete What live performance
is also available, with the hilite for me being "From God's Perspective
Grantland writer Rembert Browne journeys into the "dark heart" of 90s nostalgia via Central Perk
, the museum / tourist trap / coffee dispensary dedicated to the popular television show Friends. The modestly popular show premiered 20 years ago today
, and had a number of memorable moments
which are fondly remembered by its small, but dedicated group of fans. Friends previously
Fans of nonsense will be sad to learn that there are only three episodes in the web series Drunk Judge Judy. But what episodes they are! 1
Max Landis comments on 1987's Innerspace trailer
. [SLYT] [more inside]
BoJack Horseman Is the Funniest Show About Depression Ever
BoJack Horseman is a weird cartoon about a washed-up sitcom star (who's a horse), a snappy social criticism of the entertainment industry, and the kind of in-jokey cartoon designed to tickle the internet. It's also one of the most aggressive portraits of depression I think I've ever seen. Look past the anthropomorphic animal characters and the satire of toxic celebrity culture: This show is radically sad. I love it.
Netflix Original's animated series BoJack Horseman
stars Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, and Alison Brie. It co-stars Aaron Paul and Paul F. Tompkins and has a long and impressive
list of guest stars. [more inside]
In 2004 Joseph Kahn
directed the hyper-kinetic, poorly reviewed motorcycle action movie Torque
. It was Kahn's directorial debut, and though he was tapped for (one of many
) failed Neuromancer adaptations, he devoted the next six years to a largely self financed project: the horror-comedy farce Detention
. Noted cultural critic Steven Shaviro discusses in this essay
why Detention, despite also being reviewed negatively
, is one of his favorite movies of the decade. Shaviro's review contains major spoilers for the plot, and it's probably best to go into the movie blind. A brief non-spoiler synopsis is available below the jump. [more inside]
Fay started with gimmicks like everyone else, wearing baggy pants, squirting seltzer, delivering straight lines for a comedian that circled him on roller skates - and he hated it. After humiliating himself onstage for two years, Fay decided to use the same persona he had offstage. No props, no costumes, no partner, he took to the stage wearing a well-tailored tuxedo and told jokes alone. It was so unconventional that The New York Times frowned: "“Fay needs a good straight man, as before, to feed his eccentric comedy." There was initial resistance to a man just standing and talking, but Fay's success would transform stand-up as an artform. Fellow comedians saw Fay succeed and they abandoned their props and emulated his style. Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Bob Hope and Jack Paar all cited him as an influence. Fay became one of the most influential stand-up comics of all time.
Frank Fay: The Fascist Stand-Up Comic
He was also comedy's most notorious racist. In January 1946, several months after Germany had been defeated, a rally of ten thousand white supremacists gathered at Madison Square Garden. They delivered speeches in support of Franco, Mussolini and their fallen hero Adolf Hitler. They promised that the defeat of Germany would not go unpunished. The podium was beneath a banner that saluted their guest of honor. The event was called "The Friends of Frank Fay."
by Kliph Nesteroff (for WFMU's Beware of the Blog
) [more inside]
Started years ago
as a joke puppetry project (previously
), Fish in a Sweater
has developed into a quality series of comedy shorts
featuring roommates Chestnut, Tumble, and Fish as they navigate their mostly ordinary lives. The first episode is "Joyride"
(YT link), in which Chestnut deals with a police encounter.
has expensive cars to shepherd the successful comedians around in. But Kristen Bartlett and Jason Gore get it done
in a 2003 Toyota Echo.
The Fast Show
summary from Wikipedia:
The Fast Show, known as Brilliant in the US, was a BBC comedy sketch show programme that ran from 1994 to 1997, with a special in 2000 and 2014. It was one of the most popular sketch shows of the 1990s in the UK. The show's central performers were Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day, Mark Williams, John Thomson, Arabella Weir and Caroline Aherne. Other significant cast members included Paul Shearer, Rhys Thomas, Jeff Harding, Maria McErlane, Eryl Maynard, Colin McFarlane and Donna Ewin. [more inside]
It was loosely structured and relied on character sketches, recurring running gags, and many catchphrases. Its fast-paced "blackout" style set it apart from traditional sketch series because of the number and relative brevity of its sketches; a typical half-hour TV sketch comedy of the period might have consisted of nine or ten major items, with contrived situations and extended setups, whereas the premiere episode of The Fast Show featured twenty-seven sketches in thirty minutes, with some items lasting less than ten seconds and none running longer than three minutes. Its innovative style and presentation influenced many later series such as Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show.
"My count is now up to five. Five of my friends and fellow comedians have taken their own life.
It's shocking, but, sadly, not surprising. Non-comedians — or as we call them, 'civilians' — are always surprised. And I am always surprised they're so surprised. They have yet to realize the Two Big Things all comedians know.
" [may be triggering] [more inside]
In honor of Saturday Night Live
season, Grantland has been publishing an ongoing series of essays, remembrances, podcasts, and interviews
, as well as asking you to cast your votes in The Battle for the Best SNL Cast Member
. (They're already down to the final eight; sorry, your favorite cast member has already been eliminated.)
Billy Hammerfist avenges Tommy Scissorkicks for killing his lover
numerous styles of filming - some very bad, some very well done, a 2D Dr. Mario homage, a 3D outer space scene, most definitely amateur, most definitely B-movie at the best of times.
With a combination of humor and fearlessness, Last Week Tonight
has done an unlikely thing: spurred action. John Oliver’s segment on net neutrality this past June perfectly summed up what his HBO show Last Week Tonight
is so good at: transcending apathy. It’s an ingenious formula that’s making a difference in the real world. “Making a difference” isn’t hyperbole. The FCC’s website actually crashed from overwhelming web traffic the day after Oliver’s segment originally aired. The Atlantic
looks at How John Oliver Beats Apathy
A Soviet take on Rambo
) is "unique in its violence and anti-Americanism." A Russian point of view on James Bond
remarks that "so widespread was the interest in Bond that an official Soviet spy serial ... was released." But the spy novel
/ miniseries Seventeen Moments of Spring
(somewhat digestible in 17 highlights with commentary: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
) is for interesting reasons not a Soviet counterpart to James Bond or Rambo
. See also Seventeen Moments fanfic
, two pages
about its hero, and how he figures in the present
. [more inside]
Harry Shearer reenacts the moments preceding Nixon's resignation speech
as captured by a running television camera. If it seems weird and stylized, the actual footage
seems even weirder. The reenactment is part of a television series, Nixon's the One, created by comedian Shearer and Nixon scholar Stanley Kutler. Andrea DenHoed writes about the TV show and the strange scene before the speech
in The New Yorker.
The Actors School
is a (fake) docu-soap about an acting school, featuring an interesting interpretation of a scene from Friends.
"Surprisingly, Black Books has no affliction with the BBC whatsoever; created by Dylan Moran
(who also plays the lead) and Graham Linehan, the show was filmed at Teddington Studios and broadcast on Channel 4. It centers around Bernard Black (Dylan Moran), the careless, grumpy, wine-inhaling owner of Black Books, his friend Fran (Tamsin Greig) and his assistant shop keeper Manny (Bill Bailey). Specked with a few fun cameos by people not yet famous at the time, this show is a hilarious roller coaster ride that will make you laugh until you cry." Black Books: 4 Reasons the British Sitcom Remains a Classic [more inside]
Featuring Jerry Lewis, Gladiator
's Connie Nielsen and a score by The Avengers
' Alan Silvestri, Par où t'es rentré on t'as pas vu sortir (How did you get in? We didn't see you leave)
- available with subtitles on YouTube in its blurry VHS glory (poster 1 2
) - is one of the two movies starred by Lewis during his one-year (1984) French career (the other is Retenez-moi ou je fais un malheur
also known as the The defective detective
). In the early 1980s, after several failures
, a bypass surgery and nothwithstanding Scorsese's King of Comedy
, Lewis tried to revive his career in the country where he was supposedly beloved: France
. Alas, he chose the two worst French directors of the time, Michel Gérard and Philippe Clair, the latter known for cinematic jewels such as the Nazi-themed comedy Le Führer en folie
(The crazy Führer
), a Warner production
that can actually make clowns cry. (all links below potentially and blurrily NSFW
) [more inside]
On September 1st, Paul F. Tompkins officially checks in
to the Superego Clinic For Analytical Pscience™
for the long-awaited fourth season of the group's comedy/improv podcast. Can't wait? There's good news! Throughout the month of August, Superego will be posting new unreleased material to hold you over, starting with part one of a new Behind The Bonus
episode, featuring previously unreleased material ($1.99 download). There will also be new animated Superego Supershorts posted to their You Tube channel
, and more. The Superego facebook page
is also a flurry of activity, and you can even get a personalized post card
. [more inside]
"One of the most exhilarating cinematic works of the Czechoslovak New
Wave is Vera Chytilová's 1966 film, Daisies
, the story of two young women
who declare the world is spoiled and rotten, and so make a pact that they
will be too." -- Katarina Soukup, "Banquet of Profanities
." "In a 1966 interview, Chytilová
as a 'philosophical documentary in the form of a farce,' a 'bizarre comedy with strands of satire and sarcasm.'" -- Bliss Cua Lim, "Dolls in Fragments
." [more inside]
"Welcome to The Unbelievable Truth, the panel game show about incredible truths and barely credible lies. I am your host, David Mitchell. The rules are as follows: each panelist will present a short lecture that should be entirely false save for five pieces of true information which they should attempt to smuggle past their opponents – cunningly concealed amongst the lies. Points are scored by truths that go unnoticed while other panelists can win a point if they spot a truth or lose points if they mistake a lie for a truth."
Having recently concluded its 13th series, the show has amassed 81 episodes. For your listening pleasure: [more inside]
Imogene Coca was the hilarious counterpart to Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, the ground-breaking 1950s sketch comedy show. (Here they are in the classic Auto Smashup
.) She won an Emmy and a Peabody for her work on the show, had a long career in television, and later made an impact as Aunt Edna in National Lampoon's Vacation, as Ms. Dipesto's mother in Moonlighting, and on the stage. [more inside]
Dratch & Fey's 1999 two-woman show. (SLYT)
The audio is terrible, the video's no better, the tracking on the VHS tape should have been adjusted... and it's still well worth the 45 minutes.
Defense of the Ancients
is a MOBA (what's a MOBA?
| comprehensive history of MOBAs
) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International
(whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars.
While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream
the esports craze with helpful
noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final
and a simulcast on ESPN
, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility
and a very steep learning curve
. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary
] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting
, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable
. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes
, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for Portal's GLaDOS
, Bastion's Rucks
, and... a pirate
. ＤＩＧＩＴＡＬ ＳＰＯＲＴＳ!
is a 1994 action comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Tom Arnold. The film was a huge hit, and is noteworthy in that it featured visual special effects considered impossible
only a few years prior. It's been 20 years since it was released
. Time for a revisit, then. [SPOILERS if you haven't seen this movie.] [more inside]
One Bad Mother
is a comedy podcast about motherhood and how unnatural it sometimes is. Hosted by Biz Ellis
and Theresa Thorn (MeFi's own Tren)
, each week OBM covers some aspect of parenthood, like "the ramifications of teaching our kids fart jokes and songs about poop
," "babies: still not relaxing
," or, more seriously, things like partner resentment
, and postpartum depression
. Each week, in the "Call A Mom"* segment, Biz and Theresa talk to a guest who's got relevant experience or expertise on the topic at hand. But the best part of the show is the listener call-ins: Genius/Fail Time
is "the part of the show where we share our genius moment of the week, as well as our failures, and feel better about ourselves by hearing yours"; and the "mom rant" allows exhausted parents to vent their spleen. The call-ins are so great because they're all about supporting other people in their day to day lives—it's through the lens of parenting, but the overriding philosophy ("this shit is hard and no one cares") is applicable to everyone's daily grind. [more inside]
A viral video series uses role reversal to humorously highlight casual insensitivities & stereotyping: If Asians Said The Stuff White People Say
- If Black People Said The Stuff White People Say
- If Latinos Said The Stuff White People Say (YouTube; each video ~2 min.) [more inside]
If Horses Were People
: an equestrian sketch comedy series. [more inside]
The Umbilical Brothers are the best mime with words duo act you might ever have the chance to see.
combine mime with ordinary dialogue and vocal sound effects. They use puppetry, slapstick, mimicry and audience participation, and make scant use of props and lighting. [more inside]
Hari Kondabolu on Why You Can’t Be ‘Obsessed With Race’ in America.
“Saying that I’m obsessed with race and racism in America is like saying t hat I’m obsessed with swimming while I’m drowning. It’s absurd.” Hari Kondabolu
of “Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell” fame on race in America. [more inside]
The Dissolve's Movie of the Week discussion series (previously 1 2 3 4
) takes Airplane!
for a spin:
Doctors can't change rule number one.
The televisions series, M*A*S*H
, developed by Larry Gelbart
and Gene Reynolds
, was broadcast on CBS for over a decade, from the pilot
on September 17, 1972, to the highly-rated final episode
on February 28, 1983. Yet reports of its demise are fictional, M*A*S*H
is alive and well. [SPOILERS within if you haven't seen the series.] [more inside]
"And looks like an almost goal. If that whole goal system would have been moved over maybe thirty more feet, we would have been looking at a goal."
-- MeFi favorite Reggie Watts (previously
) doing World Cup commentary alongside MeFi favorite Peter Serafinowicz (previously
) on his Mixlr account, where Serafinowicz has been providing comedic commentary for the games for the last week. [via]
"Maybe we smoked something; maybe we didn't. It didn't matter. It was just solid, absurdist, out-there humor." A Monty Python retrospective.
About the multi-talented Mason Williams [previously, and best known as composer of the iconic "Classical Gas"]
-- Throughout his years in the Navy and college he wrote a series of poems he titled Them Poems. As he entered the folk music scene in the early 60's he wound up rooming with long time friend Ed Ruscha in Los Angeles. Some of the language from Them Poems is a consequence of creative word play that Ed and Paul Ruscha riffed on with Williams over the years. Ed Ruscha provided us with this recording [also released as "The Mason Williams Listening Matter", and reviewed here on allmusic by Eugene Chadbourne] from 1964.
Recording starts around 35 seconds in. Also, here's Mason performing "Them Tummy Gummers" on Johnny Cash's variety show. Finally, Mason Williams Online.
Nathan Rabin kicks off One and Done
- a look at writers, directors and actors who only made a significant contribution to a single film - with a dive into Carrot Top's Chairman of the Board
Cribbing from Pee Wee's Big Adventure
and Yahoo Serious
, this 1998 opus
failed to establish the college prop comic as a box office draw. However, the appearance of Chairman of the Board
co-star Courtney Thorne-Smith on Conan O'Brien
(with guest Norm MacDonald) is unforgettable
Next Time on Lonny
is a very funny (but, warning, occasionally very offensive and/or violent) web series with a twist. The first season (first episode
) was self-produced, but the second season (first episode of S2
) has been produced by Ben Stiller (here, held hostage
), and has higher production values and guest stars.