On The Hour - available for download now The radio precursor to TV's The Day Today - both brainchildren of Comedy's 11th funniest man (ahead of Peter Sellers and Bill Hicks), Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci - is now available for download via iTunes and Warp Records (via DRM-free Bleep). On The Hour also saw the first appearance of Steve Coogan as the hapless sports reporter, Alan Partridge who made regular appearances in "On the Hour" and "The Day Today" before being spun off into the TV shows: "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and "I'm Alan Partridge" [more inside]
"Wally Ballou here, reporting for the Matinob with Ray and Bob from the World Wide Internets..." Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding are better known as Bob and Ray. Spending over four decades on the radio, television, print, and Broadway, beginning in Boston in 1946, they pioneered absurdist, satirical, dry, improvisational sketch comedy, influencing a legion of future comics (and others). The duo was inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame in 1984. They last appeared on the radio in NPR's "The Bob and Ray Public Radio Show" from 1982-1987. [more inside]
Jozin z bazin Mladek & Banjo Band, worth waiting to 2:00. "The song is about this monster Jozin who lives in the swamps somewhere in Moravia and eats only people from Prague - the city snobs." [more inside]
The story of a speeding ticket, in three acts (click to see full-sized, readable versions). The Cliffs Notes version: man gets speeding ticket complete with a typo on the date of issue, man responds to police with amusing tales of time-travel, infants driving, and automobile prototypes. I won't spoil the ending.
History and the Universe, mentioned months ago in a NYTimes travel feature, has finally gone live. This Internet TV channel has two shows so far: Big Book of Lies and Emily Time, both filmed in Buenos Aires. Video is high quality, even filmic at times. Favorite characters include Buck Chomsky, the disaffected son of you-know-who, and Exon, a 5'3 Colombian gangster with a penchant for Apple products.
"Fuhrer, we have some unexpected news: the band you hired tonight have broken down in their van ... we have already hired a replacement band. They play... jazz." Ah, silly Nazi henchmen! They should've hired The Trons. Yes, The Trons. Surely the Fuhrer would've enjoyed The Humans Are Dead. But let's go behind the scenes and meet Greg Locke, the human behind the Trons, who, by day, designs blueberry sorting machines, and has been kind enough to create a Trons MySpace page. But the Trons will ultimately have to go modular. It's the only way a robot band can hope to reform for the inevitable reunion tour. [more inside]
Have you heard the one about the deaf comedian? John Smith is Britain's only BSL (British Sign Language) stand-up.
The Great Schlep. Sarah Silverman explains why you should get your fat Jewish ass on a plane to Florida to convince your grandparents to vote for Obama.
Mock the Vote: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert interviewed.
Heavy Metal Jr is an amusing & sweet little documentary about a heavy metal band called Hatred, average age 11.
Onesie are classically trained artists from Oklahoma. As such they make shorts like Big Brown Beautiful Bear "a sweet little song " Beautiful Day, and much more . Enjoy, I think.
Virtual Vaudeville [shockwave] Watch a 3D simulation of legendary comedian Frank Bush in a vaudeville performance from a variety of perspectives. Switch between any of eight perspectives at any time and read the extensive hypermedia notes to gain a richer understanding of the performance in its historical context.
The legendary Ken Campbell has died. Interested in everything, apparantly. Just as excited to visit Damanhur as he was to go to CERN, just down the road. Fluent in Bislama, the creole of Vanuatu, into which he translated Macbeth. Founder of the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool, which performed epic productions of The Warp, Illuminatus! and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Not quite Doctor Who (he was beaten to the role by former protogé Sylvester McCoy). A fount of knowledge on the theatre, comedy, Fortean strangeness and science and anything else you care to mention, all of which he spun together with extensive flights of imagination into glorious, hilarious one-man shows. Totally irreplaceable, and devastating loss. [more inside]
Legendary British comedy producer Geoffrey Perkins died in a freak accident yesterday. Chances are if you watched some British comedy over the last 20 years, and liked it, Geoffrey Perkins had a hand in it.
While England had the Two Ronnies (earlier today), Canada had, more or less simultaneously, its own hit comedy duo in Wayne and Shuster. Johnny Wayne was the manic engine and Frank Shuster the perpetual straight man, and even if they weren't to your taste, you have to admit they never underestimated their audience -- with sketches like Shakespearean Baseball, (full versions on YouTube, in 1950s and 1970s flavours!) Rinse The Blood off My Toga (excerpt), and Frontier Psychiatrist (the latter being the sample base for a surprising hit by Melbourne-based band The Avalanches) combining the sciences, classical literature, pop culture and ancient history simultaneously. [more inside]
Any Top 100 list of UK comedy shows has the famous Two Ronnies "Four Candles" sketch in the top ten. Silly word play, songs and Ronnie Barker's fabulous timing, made them TV blockbusters for 16 years. Presenting a brief youtube linkdump... [more inside]
The BBC has a new sketch show, called Wrong Door. It's very heavy on CGI - indeed, the official blurb calls it 'a parallel world where the effects you see in TV and movies are real'. And it's funny - check out the trailers on YouTube. And it has Brian Blessed and a spaceship shaped like a giant silver cock and balls. Really, what's not to love? But the best bit isn't in the show, [more inside]
George Carlins early career is often overlooked, though every veteran comedian worth his salt will tell you that it takes years, sometimes a decade or longer, until you have amassed enough stage time to fully develop your character, act, and jokes. [more inside]
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Bernie Mac has died. Bernie Mac most recently seen at a Obam campaign event and King of Comedy has died at 50-years old. Known for his tv show based on his own life as caretaker of his sister's kids. .
Jerry Clower (Wikipedia article) started telling his funny stories to boost sales when he was a seed and fertilizer salesman. He went on to become a successful comedian and Grand Ole Opry star. [more inside]
Coal. Cheap, Abundant, Clean.
"Every idea I ever had is based on the fact that it's 2:30 and there's a production meeting at 3:00."
In the introduction to his close friend's "Best of" DVD, Jack Lemmon says, "Ernie Kovacs was the funniest, wildest, zaniest man I ever knew. Ernie thought so, too, and so did millions of happy people. Ernie was all over television on one network or another from 1950 until he died in 1962. He had an unpredictable and illogical view of the world. He played with the medium of television in a way no one ever had before. And he created a batch of cockeyed characters that have become classics. So, slow down your internal clock; it was a more leisurely time, you know. Here's Ernie Kovacs." [more inside]
Jamie Lynn's Reproduction Rap A slightly educational, slightly ridiculous look at where babies come from.
All of you have been given a harsh gift. It’s the same gift the graduating class of 1917, and 1938, and 1968 and now you guys got – the chance to enter adulthood when the world teeters on the rim of the sphincter of oblivion. You’re jumping into the deep end. You have no choice but to be exceptional. Patton Oswalt addresses the class of 2008 at his old high school. [more inside]
You're drowning in the past, Mike. But I've got your life vest right here: it's called the 80's, and it's gonna be around forever!
Channel 101 spoof of Turkish cinema, "Return to Supermans" Starring Hunter Stair, David Lyons and Hollywood Steve of Yacht Rock. Good Wikipedia overview of Yacht Rock.
English American presents I Hate Britain Day.
(Just pretend it's yesterday, ok? And ignore the Baywatch chick.) [more inside]
(Just pretend it's yesterday, ok? And ignore the Baywatch chick.) [more inside]
The original Emo. Wikipedia states that much of Emo Philips' standup comedy "stems from the use of paraprosdokians and garden path sentences." And, while there are plenty of quotes to support this, it doesn't quite do justice to the man who wrote the best God joke ever--it's in the way he delivers these lines. Experience true Emo here, through these links which I like to call, "Audio and Video Clips from Emo Philips' Website." [more inside]
"Wow, a new user... That's Great! We'd be happy to show you the ropes!" a PSA on conversation starters in forums and comment threads online that have never been heard or used before. Brought to you by Red Vs. Blue.
Are you, like many others this summer, considering avoiding the costs & hassles of pricey foreign or domestic travel by having a "staycation" at home? Daily Show commenter John Hodgman (ably backed by Jonathan Coulton on the strings) enumerates the benefits of a "Holistay" (much better name) to help you make your choice.
Take the Funny and Run, a history of notorious joke-thieves from Milton Berle and Robin Williams to Denis Leary, Carlos Mencia (previously) and Dane Cook.
About twenty years ago, HBO aired The Mondo Beyondo Show, a sort-of send-up of avant-garde performance shows like Alive From Off Center and Night Flight. Hosted by Bette Midler (as the character Mondo Beyondo), it showcased artists that covered the broad spectrum between performance art, dance, and absurdist comedy. Strap on your Eighties Goggles; here's the meat of the show: Bill Irwin | La La La Human Steps | The Kipper Kids | Yes/No People | Paul Zaloom | David Cale | and the Divine Miss M as Eudora P. Quickly [more inside]
You Look Nice Today | A Journal of Emotional Hygiene is one of those podcasts all the kids are talking about these days. It's just a few guys, you know, talking, but it's newish, amusing, and one of the guys is Metafilter's Very Own™ MerlinMann. [more inside]
Waverly Films has already been discussed on Metafilter... 3 years ago. Since then, they've posted over 100 consistently funny weekly videos. [more inside]
The opening shots of 1920s New York City are wonderful, then you get a zany high-speed Harold Lloyd blazing down the avenues, and that's fun to watch, but the real killer is the horse-drawn trolley absolutely tearing-ass through lower Manhattan, full gallop. Ends badly. Then it's over to San Francisco for one last bit of homicidal vehicular activity with a bus. Well, they sure don't drive like they used to! [more inside]
"You people bring matches for Mikey?" When people fondly remember TV's Mystery Science Theater 3000 they commonly focus on the film riffing part of the show, but some of the best comedy to come out of the Satellite of Love involves the host segments that provided a break from the movie. MSTies over at Satellite News have spent the past ten weeks discussing the best host segments from each season of the show, analyzing what makes some segments work while others fall flat. [more inside]
I Guess You'll Do - Runaway Box is my new Funnyordie - It all started with Honest R&B. OMG, look at John's Erection.
Introducing Project Pop (Formerly Indonesia's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-suling metal-dangdut-comedy folk sextet). Their hit "Dangdut is the music of my country" [youtube link--music starts at 0:58] code-switches between pop metal and dangdut, affectionately mocking the cheesy pop of their parents' generation. Here is a great play-by-play translation of the details of the video. [more inside]