In 1975, Mel Brooks was riding high on the back-to-back successes of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, and he became the first person to be interviewed twice by Playboy Magazine.
With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
Gaze into the Past ... the Present ... the Future ... with psychic (and occasional comedian), Emily Heller, as she delves into the cards for Reggie Watts, Kal Penn, John Mulaney, Kenan Thompson, and Janeane Garofalo.
For Vanity Fair's Comedy issue, the groundbreaking improvisational comedy duo of Mike Nichols and Elaine May sit down (but don't quite sit still) for their first joint interview in decades.
On the first episode of Modern Comedian, IFC game show host Kurt Braunohler discusses his love of random acts of absurdism, starting way back with his combination of street theater and riot: Chengwin Vs Chunk. [more inside]
"Everybody Knows Their Names: The GQ Oral History of Cheers." (Single page version.) On the thirtieth anniversary of the premiere of Cheers, GQ "sat down with just about everyone who made it." Also, Christopher Lloyd, Amy Poehler and Shawn Ryan talk about what they learned from the show. [more inside]
Day at Night was an interview series on the public television station of the City University of New York that aired from 1973-4. CUNY TV is in the process of digitizing and uploading the 130 episodes that were produced, with 46 done so far. The episodes are just under half an hour in length. Among the people interviewed by host James Day are author Ray Bradbury, actress Myrna Loy, medical researcher Jonas Salk, singer Cab Calloway, writer Christopher Isherwood, nuclear scientist Edward Teller, comedian Victor Borge, tennis player Billie Jean King, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky, composer Aaron Copland, actor Vincent Price and boxer Muhammad Ali.
After Kad & Olivier sign off and the Satisfaction production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Frenchman making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of... wait, *what*?! That's right. The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson appears to have a not-so-secret French admirer -- one who's not above ripping off both his opening titles and his signature dance sequences (including the iconic animal puppets): "ABC" by The Jackson 5, "Flashdance" by Irene Cara, "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, "Waka Waka" by Shakira, "Men in Black" by Will Smith, "Let's All Chant" by the Michael Zager Band, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!, "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls, and "Vive Le Vent (Jingle Bells)" by Tino Rossi. Luckily, Ferguson's sense of showmanship is more prodigious than litigious -- he responded to Arthur's "homáge" by booking a pair of translatlantic crossover shows, with Arthur visiting LA that week and Ferguson flying out to Paris just last month. Video of both shows (plus lots more) inside! [more inside]
Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
"First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches." Tina Fey's The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter from her new book Bossypants. You can hear her read this piece at the beginning of her interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.
Marc Maron — comedian, former Air America host, and now podcaster of WTF fame — attempts and fails(?) to interview prop-comedy bête noire Gallagher. Total batshit insanity ensues. (Interview starts just after the 20-minute mark; WTF podcast is of course NSFW.) [more inside]
"I've never interviewed anyone who's quite this animated when speaking...do you ever worry that you're going to burn out?"
Russell Brand talks to Dawn French about comedy, revealing a peculiar and compelling intelligence apparently gleaned from TV and substance abuse. Part 1, 2, 3, 4 [YT]
The 1961 interview begins, "About four days ago, a plane landed at Idyllewild airport. The plane came from the Middle East bearing a man who claims to be 2000 years old. He's spent the last six days at the Mayo Clinic." The interviewer then goes on to pick the brain of the world's oldest man. [part 2, part 3, animated in 1975] This is considered by many to be one of the funniest comedy routines of all time -- Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks performing The 2000 Year Old Man. [ A 1961 TV clip of 2KYOM • Another • Similar, only it's an accountant instead of an old man • Origins of the words "cheese" and "egg" • Interview with Reiner & Brooks, late 1990's; Part 2 • Similar, only with Charlie Rose as the interviewer ]
Bob Claster was a DJ on KCRW in Los Angeles. In the 80's he had a comedy show called Funny Stuff and he would interview comedians. He has many of these interviews online as mp3s. He interviewed Tom Lehrer, Douglas Adams, Danny Arnold (a.k.a. Barney Miller), Peter Cook, Terry Jones, two interviews with John Cleese, one solo and another with Michael Palin, Emo Philips, Billy Connolly, Mort Sahl, Quentin Crisp, "Brother Theodore" Gottlieb, June Foray and Bill Scott (a.k.a. Rocky and Bullwinkle and an epic five-part interview with Stan Freberg, the subject of my last post.
"I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a f*ckin game." (parts 1 2 3) After trading blows over the last couple weeks, CNBC's Mad Money host Jim Cramer appeared opposite Jon Stewart as a guest on The Daily Show. While Cramer worked to keep his poise during the awkward exchange, the evisceration may call to mind Jon's appearance on Crossfire.
The Wright brothers may not have been the first to fly (fascinating articles on other claims: Sir George Cayley, Richard Pearse and Gustave Whitehead) but they were pretty decent chaps, according to Kate Carew in her strange 1910 interview and delightful caricature. '“Your $7,500 flyers,” I said to the Wright brothers, “will prove very useful, I should think, to establishing a safe and somewhat aloof aristocracy.' Perhaps less well known is the brothers' role in defending America from the Spanish, and Fu Manchu (Comedy Quicktime links).
Britain's best footballer, David Beckham, and his wife Posh Spice are almost as important as royalty. That they have agreed to be interviewed by spoofist Ali G is a tad surprising...read the transcript here.