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Being a comedian means knowing a lot of people who've committed suicide.

"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]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 28, 2014 - 51 comments

I vould like to feed your fingerteeps to the volver-eenes

In honor of Saturday Night Live's 40th 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.)
posted by not_on_display on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

After Bill & Ted there was Tommy Scissorkicks & Billy Hammerfist

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.
posted by Pr0t35t3r on Aug 19, 2014 - 1 comment

John is the new Jon

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.
posted by Room 641-A on Aug 16, 2014 - 89 comments

Stirlitz had a thought. He liked it, so he had another one.

A Soviet take on Rambo (brief clip; Rutube) 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 of jokes about its hero, and how he figures in the present. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Aug 16, 2014 - 9 comments

RIP Robin Williams

Robin Wiliams famous for his impressions, role as Genie in Aladdin, standup comedy, Mrs. Doubtfire and many other comedy roles has died at the age of 63.
posted by Carillon on Aug 11, 2014 - 851 comments

Nixon's the One

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.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 10, 2014 - 49 comments

"Friday?" "Friday afternoon, yeah." "Ah... that is *usually* clown work"

The Actors School is a (fake) docu-soap about an acting school, featuring an interesting interpretation of a scene from Friends.
posted by EndsOfInvention on Aug 8, 2014 - 3 comments

"You can sort your life out anytime, the pub closes in five hours."

"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]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 6, 2014 - 90 comments

The other movie Jerry Lewis don't want you to see

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]
posted by elgilito on Aug 2, 2014 - 11 comments

This is literally the greatest thing that has ever happened.

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]
posted by Room 641-A on Aug 2, 2014 - 5 comments

"We're both so happy! Say that we're happy."

"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 described Daisies 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]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Aug 1, 2014 - 8 comments

For just the price of a cup of coffee you can buy a dude a cup of coffee

Actress and writer Melissa Hunter's Youtube channel is worth a look for her Adult Wednesday Addams series in which the grown-up Addams explores life in contemporary LA. Bonus: 1-800 Adopt A Dude
posted by The Whelk on Jul 30, 2014 - 9 comments

Incredible truths and barely credible lies

"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]
posted by Lexica on Jul 29, 2014 - 43 comments

Imogene Coca : Sid Caesar :: Ginger Rogers : Fred Astaire

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]
posted by julen on Jul 29, 2014 - 8 comments

We have a special bike!

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.
posted by Shmuel510 on Jul 25, 2014 - 7 comments

Finding the Dinosaur: A 'Step Brothers' Appreciation

"[F]rom the vantage point of a 12-year-old, adulthood is something best avoided. The key question, then, is how long can you run?" Rolling Stone launches their new monthly feature, "Be Kind, Rewind" with a new look at Step Brothers. [more inside]
posted by Tevin on Jul 24, 2014 - 27 comments

Ladies and gentlemen: DIGITAL SPORTS

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 [playable transcript] 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!
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 21, 2014 - 47 comments

And the truth of the matter is Arnold and I are old. I mean, really old.

True Lies 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]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 18, 2014 - 95 comments

The Weird, Scary and Ingenious Brain of Maria Bamford

Sara Corbett profiles comedian Maria Bamford for The New York Times Magazine.
posted by Lorin on Jul 18, 2014 - 32 comments

Don't listen with your kids. There will be swears.

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]
posted by ocherdraco on Jul 18, 2014 - 9 comments

flipping the script

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]
posted by flex on Jul 16, 2014 - 205 comments

If Horses Were People

If Horses Were People: an equestrian sketch comedy series. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jul 14, 2014 - 13 comments

No Mozart Tonight

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to apologize from the bottom of my heart...for this appalling breach of taste." Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett made three television specials together and, from the looks of it, had an absolute blast. (PDF) [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Jul 12, 2014 - 26 comments

The Scandinavians love it!

The Umbilical Brothers are the best mime with words duo act you might ever have the chance to see. Their performances 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]
posted by h00py on Jul 12, 2014 - 14 comments

2042 man!

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]
posted by sweetkid on Jul 11, 2014 - 25 comments

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop posting to MetaFilter.

The Dissolve's Movie of the Week discussion series (previously 1 2 3 4 ) takes Airplane! for a spin:
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 6, 2014 - 60 comments

Rule number one is: young men die. And rule number two is...

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]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 2, 2014 - 130 comments

Reggie Watts Joins Peter Serafinowicz For His World Cup Broadcasting

"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]
posted by Room 641-A on Jun 26, 2014 - 16 comments

They presupposed a level of intelligence in their audience.

"Maybe we smoked something; maybe we didn't. It didn't matter. It was just solid, absurdist, out-there humor." A Monty Python retrospective.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 26, 2014 - 112 comments

How bout them Oar Doovers, ain't they sweet?

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.
posted by not_on_display on Jun 23, 2014 - 12 comments

American business is about to go... into the RED

The Dissolve's 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.
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 23, 2014 - 53 comments

You look really pretty, you know that?

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.
posted by blahblahblah on Jun 23, 2014 - 9 comments

...and then I *tried* to have a shit.

Dylan Moran on the differences between a weekend with and without kids.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 22, 2014 - 154 comments

Bill Cosby's Greatest Comedy Album

"The routine Cosby was about to perform—immortalized on the landmark album To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With—represented a turning point in his career. A full 16 years before The Cosby Show debuted, the performance would serve as the blueprint for the themes that would define his work: the father as a loving disciplinarian; the siblings who could switch from screaming at one another to plotting together at the drop of a hat; the confidence that no matter what conflicts and tragedies arise, the bonds of family will hold. In To Russell, Cosby didn’t just find his voice; he tapped into something deeper." [more inside]
posted by I am the Walrus on Jun 19, 2014 - 37 comments

"Do you think I want people to know I greenlit 'Transendence'?"

Who really controls Hollywood? Now it can be told! (SLFOD)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 18, 2014 - 8 comments

"We don't have all the red tape of the monarchy weighing us down."

"Doraleous and Associates are open for business." [Youtube] "An animated comedy/fantasy series that follows Doraleous & his associates as they travel Nudonia righting wrongs & promoting freedom." [Complete Channel Playlist]
posted by Fizz on Jun 17, 2014 - 6 comments

Nathan for You

Nathan Fielder's Ingenious Dumb Humor - "How the star of Comedy Central's 'Nathan for You' makes the most of uncomfortable moments." (via; previously 1,2,3)
posted by kliuless on Jun 14, 2014 - 10 comments

2776: A Millennium of American Asskickery

Celebrate the (admittedly still in-progress) first millennium of American awesomeness on July 4, with the release of a new comedy-music benefit compilation titled 2776: A Millennium of American Asskickery. Proceeds go to OneKid OneWorld. The album tells the story of America's past, present and apocalyptic future. Put together by Daily Show writer Rob Kutner, Tonight Show writer Joel Moss Levinson, and Steven Levinson, the album features a stacked roster of indie musicians and comedians, including Will Forte, Aubrey Plaza, Patton Oswalt, Aimee Mann, The Sklar Brothers, Reggie Watts, Right Said Fred with Reggie Watts and Mayim Bialik, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog with The Rebirth Brass Band, Maria Bamford & Jonathan Katz, Andrew WK, Bobcat Goldthwait & Sally Timms, Paul F. Tompkins, Yo La Tengo with Ira Glass and Eugene Mirman, Neko Case & Kelly Hogan and more... [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown on Jun 5, 2014 - 2 comments

It's like The Oscars, but with just the good parts

In a world On May 30th the 15th Annual Golden Trailer Awards were handed out in Beverly Hills, CA. There are a total of 75 categories; the 17 top awards were handed out live at the sold-out show and are linked below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jun 4, 2014 - 11 comments

Bah-beee!

"The Demo" [SLYT] is the original pilot episode of the animated tv show, Bob's Burger's (previously).The theme remains the same, although the art style is a bit rough. The plot is exactly the same as the first episode, "Human Flesh", with minor differences in animation and timing. Oh, and Tina was originally a Daniel! [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 30, 2014 - 23 comments

"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution."

Since his death from cancer at age 32, comedian Bill Hicks's (very previously) legend and stature have only grown; American: The Bill Hicks Story (previously) fills in the details of a life cut tragically short, blending live footage and animation, and is narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best. A comic's comic and unflagging critic of hypocrisy and cultural emptiness, American: The Bill Hicks Story is now streaming for free on Snag Films.
posted by Room 641-A on May 28, 2014 - 76 comments

The Dennis Miller Ratio

Frank Rich takes a look at conservative comedians and the late-night comedy landscape.
posted by Room 641-A on May 27, 2014 - 189 comments

Don't be satisfied with s*** that is less inventive than Vine.

How to do visual comedy like Edgar Wright.
posted by JoeBlubaugh on May 27, 2014 - 44 comments

“Where do left and right meet? At the truth.”

Politically Incorrect was an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002, first on Comedy Central and then on ABC. Four guests (usually including at least one comedian) would debate topics across the political spectrum in what Maher once described as “The McLaughlin Group on acid.” Of the 1300+ episodes produced, 190 can be viewed on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 23, 2014 - 66 comments

Your Lunch Break With Andy

Dangerous Minds digs up Andy Kaufman's My Dinner With Andre (prev.) parody, My Breakfast With Blassie. (57m video) [more inside]
posted by carsonb on May 22, 2014 - 17 comments

"Thank you for what I assume is a standing ovation"

"Live comedy thrives off an audience, but what if the comics have no idea how the crowd is responding? At 7 Minutes in Purgatory, half a dozen local [Chicago] comics were tasked with doing a set alone in a soundproof room while the crowd watched via live stream elsewhere in the venue." [more inside]
posted by Iridic on May 20, 2014 - 24 comments

I bet this FPP is even scarier inside!

"Looking back on it, one of the things that's crazy is I don't think I even realized that first of all, Joe Flaherty is supposed to be a vampire but he's howling like a werewolf. [laughs] I just took that for granted, and it must've been years until I saw it and was like "Wait a minute, that's a joke!" Furthermore, Count Floyd's always wearing a turtleneck which is the least vampire thing ever." "Splitsider kicks off its new column, Sketch Anatomy, with television writer Bill Oakley breaking down SCTV’s "Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes" (previously). Oww owww oowoooooo!!!
posted by Room 641-A on May 20, 2014 - 73 comments

“You can see why some of the stadium guys like to keep it light."

Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle is both a television show featuring stand-up comedian Stewart Lee (previously), and the whimsical clown car in the opening credits of the show’s first season. Lee’s patronizing, repetitive, and defeatist style may appear thoughtful or ironic, but taking him at face value reveals a darker, more interesting picture (NSFW language): [more inside]
posted by Hume on May 5, 2014 - 53 comments

On Being One's Own Fairy Godmother

Amy Schumer's tale of courage, sex and self-worth as told at the Ms. Foundation Gala. "I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it."
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto on May 3, 2014 - 60 comments

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