The Aaron Sorkin sketch to end all Aaron Sorkin sketches (previous and previouser and previouserer).
A decade after Halo 2 (and a day before the MCC), enjoy this loose timeline of essential Halo fandom: Halo.Bungie.Org / Halo at Macworld '99 / Red vs. Blue / The Halo Trilogy in 5 minutes / The Cortana Letters / HBO's cutscene library and dialog databank / Main Menus / Kitty Cat / Warthog Jump (and BOLL's Warthog Launch game) / How Not To Be Seen / Fan Art / Panoramas / The Music of Marty O'Donnell (prev.) / Video Games Live: Halo / Analysis by Stephen Loftus / Who was Brian Morden? / I Love Bees and the ARG radio drama / Halo 2 Trailer / Halo 2 E3 '04 Demo / Full Halo 2 making-of documentary / Voice acting / Conversations from the Universe / The Beastiarum / Surround Sound Test! / Geography of New Mombasa / This Spartan Life / The Solid Gold Elite Dancers / Creepy Guy at Work / Gameplay May Change / Master Chief Sucks at Halo / Another Day at the Beach / '06 Bungie Studios Tour / Halo 3 Trailer / Starry Night / Believe / HALOID / No Scope Was Involved / 100 Ways to Die / "Bungie Favorites" gallery / Mister Chief / OONSK / OneOneSe7en / 2553 Civilian 'Hog Review / Griffball / ForgeHub / 405th Cosplay / Neill Blomkamp's Landfall / Weta's Real-life Warthog / Halo Legends anime anthology / List of Halo novels / Halopedia / Halo 3 Terminal Archive / DDR Dance / Animatronic Elite project / HBO's "Guilt-O-Lantern" contest / Keep It Clean / We Are ODST / Sadie's Story / Halocraft / "A Fistful of Arrows" fan comic / RvB Animated (and CGI) / Project Contingency / Halo Zero / Halo 2600 (prev.) / Reach Datapad Transcripts / The last Halo 2 player on Xbox LIVE / Bungie's Final Halo Stats Infographic / Key & Peele: Obama on Halo 4 / Top 10 Halo Easter Eggs / Behind the scenes of Halo 2 Anniversary
Here's Matt Donaher's recent standup comedy performance on Conan. I would describe his style as 'self-deprecating nerd'. Good fun!
YouTube Comments Reconstructions are gloomy, dramatic reenactments by British actors of YouTube comment wars (including spam) about topics as varied as Nelson Mandela's death, Soccer vs Football, sexual semantics or Lil' Kim vs Niki Minaj (by the UK comedy group Dead Parrot, featuring actors Eryl Lloyd Parry, Grahame Edwards and Anthony Sergeant) (NSFW audio).
What It’s Like To Be Stoned At The Grocery Store (Buzzfeed video)
Writer/Actor Justin Elizabeth Sayre hosts The Meeting Of The International Order Of Sodomites - a monthly show honoring LGBTQ figures and idols. The Meeting includes a signature segment "The Rulings Of The Board" featuring Justin as Chairman delivering a caustic and revealing monologue on current issues in gay culture and politics - highlights include "Rufus Wainwright Is An Idiot." "Returning Shame To Gay Culture." "The New Hanky Code." "Resetting The Gay Agenda." "The 20-year Olds Hate Us." and oh so many more. (NSFW language) [more inside]
Drunk JCrew. Ever notice how drunk the models for J. Crew are? (Single link Tumblr)
It’s been a while, but tomorrow night, Scott Aukerman and Reggie Watts (previously) return to finish the third season of the Comedy Bang Bang TV show (previously). You could watch a new episode streaming right now or check out CBB podcast classics (previously) after the jump (most links NSFW, some in poor taste). [more inside]
"Hey America, my name is Zach, I'm from Austin, TX. I think we met at Jeanine's party once and really hit it off, but I think we should get to know each other bit better ... I have a lot to say, but I don't know where I would fit, because I have something called cerebral palsy, which I believe is the sexiest of the palsies...." That's Zach Anner's audition for Oprah's Your OWN Show, a reality competition show, where Zach was one of the two winners. His show was called Rollin' Around the World with Zach Anner, which got shortened to Rollin' with Zach, and you can see many clips from that on OWN's YouTube channel. But the show didn't last, and instead Zach and friends turned back to the internet to get involved with a travel show about more realistic travel adventures, called Riding Shotgun (YouTube playlist). But that's not all ... [more inside]
Don Rickles roasts Jerry Lewis (and gets slapped in the face by Milton Berle) A few other roasts: Sammy Davis Jr. Ronald Reagan Barry Goldwater Red Foxx Jonathan Winters roasts Johnny Carson Jackie Gleason Jimmy Stewart [more inside]
Jan Hooks - Actress, Comedian, Reason to Watch SNL, has died at the age of 57. Ms. Hooks was a Georgian, a Groundling, on Saturday Night Live from 1986-1991, a Designing Woman, the original Manjula, and so, so, soooo much more. From SNL: "Love is a Dream," with Phil Hartman. SNL, again: "Brenda the Waitress," with Alec Baldwin. From "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," "Alamo Tour"
There are a lot of, um, strong opinions about Seinfeld at MeFi. To those let us add criticism of the goofy iMovie title card animation, the horrific sound design, but also the cosmic brilliance of these Seinfeld excerpts dubbed in Yiddish (5x SLVimeo).
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).
Dipdap 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 and previously on Metafilter.
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, 2 and 3.
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]
According to Kathy Griffin, when she expressed interest in hosting The Late Late Show, she was told they were "not considering females at this time." This is especially ironic considering that the current Late Late Show host, Craig Ferguson, stated that he thought the next host should "unquestionably be a female." Even worse, there was some talk about David Letterman's Late Show hosting spot going to a woman after he stepped down, but no dice. [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 by Kliph Nesteroff (for WFMU's Beware of the Blog) [more inside]
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."
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.
Sure, Seinfeld 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'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.)
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.
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, previously
- John Oliver on net neutrality, previously
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on FanFare
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]
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.
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 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]
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
"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]