Comedian Stewart Lee gave an hour long talk earlier this year on the place of writing, or not writing, in standup comedy. Last week, the UK comedy website Chortle took some of his comments mentioning comedians who use writers, and stirred up a minor controversy. Lee has since released a statement to clarify the context.
RIP Mel Smith, British comedian, actor, writer, director and producer. First coming to fame in the ground-breaking Not The Nine O'Clock News he went on to make Alas Smith And Jones with Griff Rhys-Jones. He produced many theatrical productions and directed several films including The Tall Guy and Bean. He also played the albino in The Princess Bride. (Previous) [more inside]
Jack Handey Is the Envy of Every Comedy Writer in America. The New York Times profiles funny guy Jack Handey as his first work of fiction, The Stench of Honolulu, goes on sale tomorrow. (Read the first three chapters here.) Handey, of course, is best known for his Deep Thoughts, and for his SNL sketches, including the classic Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. He's also a hilarious essayist: some of my favorites include What I'd Say to the Martians, Ideas for Paintings, My Nature Documentary, The Plan, and How I Want to Be Remembered.
Dave Shumka's account of being shot after a comedy show is equal parts hilarious and terrifying. (Starts at 4:25) [more inside]
Serious Australian actor and illusionist Claudia O'Doherty has come to the UK to make some viral videos for her family's travel agency.
Splitsider presents - The Top Eleven Sketch Comedy Groups On The Internet, featuring many Metafilter favorites. [more inside]
SNL's Bill Hader, Rob Klein, and Jon Solomon discuss "Song for Daddy", the sketch with host Justin Bieber that never made it past dress rehearsal.
The 24 best Mr. Show sketches, in order (with video). The influential sketch comedy show is 20 years old this year, but has generally aged surprisingly well (and has been remarkably prescient about blowing up the moon). Topless Robot has a different top 10, so does Cracked. A great AV Club interview with David Cross, Scott Auckerman, and others details how one complex sketch came together.
We Hate Movies is a hilariously nerdy and affectionate podcast about bad movies. Its sister show, Blame It On Outer Space, mocks conspiracy theories and paranormal tall tales.
You and Your Fucking Coffee is a web series about a man who politely asks for coffee, and in doing so, ends up destroying the lives of those around him. From Henry Phillips, host of Henry's Kitchen (previously)
Jake Yapp presents the whole of Radio 4 in 4 minutes. (SYLT)
You may know him as simply Paul F. Tompkins from Mr. Show with Bob and David or Best Week Ever but fans of now-defunct Comedy Death Ray Radio, Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast, and the Comedy Bang! Bang! TV series know that there is more to him than meets the eye. Much, much more. [more inside]
"On an average weekday the TTC collects 1,582,000 fares. 180 are collected at Bessarian Station": Finding Bessarion, a short film about exploring the unknown (subway station).thanks to AM for the link
Will The Real Mr Sellers Please Stand Up - a rare ~50min film narrated by Spike Milligan and made during the filming of 'The Magic Christian'*via Cinephilia and Beyond. [NSFW - some nudity] [more inside]
There was no wink and they never sold it out for these half-hour, densely, beautifully produced pieces, which is, for all possibilities, obscuring that this doesn’t at all sound like a comedy show. It is all the production elements you would use in a full-scale news production. All the gravitas, but just inflated to a point that it has no gravitas whatsoever. And I think that is where it became this excitingly subversive thing because it just showed that BBC Radio 4 and everything it stood for was just a big bag of shit.John Oliver on why he's a fan of On the Hour. On the Hour, of course, is the legendary BBC news radio program created by, among other people, Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In The Loop, Veep), Christopher Morris (Jam, Brass Eye, Four Lions, Why Bother?), Stewart Lee (41st best stand-up comic ever), and Steve Coogan (Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge, I'm Alan Partridge). Short-lived but influential, On the Hour mimicked the tone and production of other radio news shows but replaced the content with what Oliver describes as "unremitting bullshit". On the Hour was aired in two six-episode series (S1E1 S1E2 S1E3 S1E4 S1E5 S1E6; S2E1 S2E2 S2E3 S2E4 S2E5 S2E6), and begat a television series called The Day Today. That show in turn added Graham Linehan (Black Books, Father Ted, The IT Crowd) to On the Hour's already all-star lineup, upped the already-insane levels of overproduction, and ran for six short-but-glorious episodes (one two three four five (WAR!) six), as well as a special 9/11 radio report. [more inside]
John Oliver, a standup comedian from Birmingham in England, takes over from Jon Stewart as host of the Daily Show for the summer from tomorrow. The Guardian profiles him. [more inside]
I’m 23 And I Still Have A Babysitter! I Really Hope This Is How You File For Divorce! Wait, What is the Stock Market? There’s Nothing Punk Rock About Sriracha Anymore. All this and more from Thought Brochure: Where Thoughts Are Thinked. (some stuff NSFW) [more inside]
Here's that bad advice you were hoping for is a Tumblr featuring carefully curated scathing advice column responses.
"YOU SOLD ME OUT AND SHATTERED MY DREAMS TONIGHT; ALL I WAS LOOKING FOR WAS 75 MINUTES OF ONE OF YOUR PEERS' TIME" It started when Tim Heidecker (previously) tried to set up a creative meeting between an old friend—Tom Scharpling (previously)—and an unnamed "high profile player" at the Adult Swim TV upfronts. But then the meeting fell through. [more inside]
Greenboy: Prescription for Death is a purported lost Dragnet episode made by writers from Mr Show and Mystery Science Theater. It uses technology first seen in Forest Gump to digitally add actors into the psychedelic "Blueboy" episode of Dragnet 1967. The result is a hilarious story of bad cops chasing after Greenboy, the pusher of a dangerous strain of medical marijuana called Larry in the Sky with Diamonds. (NSFW due to language).
Cosas Feas (Nasty Stuff) is a short, gooey Lovecraftian coming-of-age comedy by Mexican director Isaac Ezban. Its recomended for fans of Stuart Gordon and anyone who had an awkward childhood.
The Exquisite Corpse project is a film made by the now separated comedy group, Olde English. [more inside]
For decades Brown Windsor Soup stood as a culinary allegory for the British empire, and was reputedly a favorite food of Queen Victoria herself. [more inside]
How to play chess properly, as explained by the BBC. Written and performed by John Luke Roberts. Directed by Steve Dawson.
Louis C.K. Tells The Classics. [4:08. Maybe NSFW?] All the classics told in that special Louis C. K. way: Why did the chicken cross the road? Why was six afraid of seven? Knock knock...Interrupting cow! Take my wife, please! What's the difference between Neil Armstrong and Michael Jackson?
Irish comedian David O'Doherty recorded his song 'Life' while drunk in a hotel room in Australia for the You Made It Weird podcast. It is hilarious.
Nathan Fielder of Nathan For You (where he helps real businesses by doing things like developing unique froyo flavors and unlikey-to-be-redeemed rebates), has posted the results of two Twitter "experiments": Text your parents "got 2 grams for $40" then right after "Sorry ignore that txt. Not for you" and a second one about dollar store condoms.
YouTube user wheezywaiter makes what he calls "The Least Stressful Video Ever Made" (SLYT)
Conan O'Brien recently reunited with some of the other writers of The Simpsons who he worked with during his tenure on the show. The panel touches on "... how Jub-Jub became the name of Selma's iguana, how Tracy Ullman always hated the cartoon, and how Conan was the only person in the show's history to have three episode ideas accepted in one story idea day."
Tuna the Movie is an independent comedy from 2000 starring the then-unknown Louis C.K and Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson). The movie has been uploaded in full by its writer Adam De Coster . Via, via.
Stewart Lee asks "Where are all the right-wing stand-ups?" after BBC Radio 4's commisioning editor Caroline Raphael recently admitted they struggle to "find comedians from the right" on shows such as The News Quiz.
Ship My Pants (SLYT, PepsiBlue)
On this date in 1963, the most influential comedy theater to ever emerge out of the Bay Area - The Committee - opened its doors at 622 Broadway in North Beach. Thus began a full decade of widespread cultural influence, with multiple studio albums, appearances on The Tonight Show and The Dick Cavett Show, and a feature film. The Committee's provocative and confrontational style, influenced equally by Chicago's Second City and the radical politics of the era, set the stage for much of the comedy to follow. The Groundlings was a direct descendents (Gary Austin came from Committee workshops) and the improv structure known as Harold, basic arithmetic in the halls of IO and the Upright Citizens Brigage, was birthed at The Committee under the direction of Del Close. To celebrate this anniversary, I'd like to present a recently unearthed recording of their Satirathon from 1968, from the archives of the late Peter Bergman. Featuring, among others, Garry Goodrow, Carl Gottlieb, and Chris "The Egg" Ross, an improv genius who succumbed to an overdose, in 1970, at the age of 25.
Got 15 seconds? Then you can watch an animation of Serj Tankian ordering coffee at a Starbucks. [more inside]
SNAIL! A snail-based parody of the ubiquitous AWOLNATION song "Sail".
It’s Good Friday, so you know what that means: Better take to the Food Lion parking lot to practice your sweet nunchuck skills so you can whoop the devil on Easter Sunday when the Lord Jesus rises again.
Tripod are an Australian comedy trio primarily known for the parodic humor, amusing lyrics, and musical talent displayed in their many performances on TV and at festivals. In 2010, Scod, Yon, and Gatesy teamed up with jazz singer Elana Stone to perform their greatest work yet: a two hour musical set in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
Michael Schiavello covers Resurrection Fighting Alliance 7 - Chavez v Mainus
Earl Okin performs My Room for an audience of appreciative ladies (SLYT).
Scott Kennedy - Texan, comedian, founder of Comics Ready to Entertain (USO alternative for incredibly dangerous deployment locations), and co-founder of Gay Comedy Jam passed away on March 14th. The silence was deafening for one writer, who went on to intersperse pithy fury with honest admiration in an unforgettable mix of eulogy, obituary, and media rant. [more inside]
French group Golden Mustache contemplates the sex lives of various video game characters (video, English subtitles, surprisingly SFW, wait for Tetris)