Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
, the legendary sci-fi hospital horror romance drama from the 1980s, is now available in its entirety on Youtube. The timeless tale of hospital doctor/occasional occultist Rick Dagless
and his handsome friend Lucien Sanchez
, the stunning and occasionally psychic Dr. Liz Asher
, and hospital director Thornton Reed
(played memorably by first-time actor and occasional talk-show host
Dean Learner), Darkplace
spawned a number of hit singles, including the rocking ballad I'm a One-Track Lover
and the heartbreaking Skipper's Song
, sung from Rick Dagless to the one-eyed sexual molester that he has adopted as his new son. An episode guide follows: [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich
on Oct 8, 2013 -
Accidental Death of An Anarchist
is a 1983 television version of Belt & Braces Theatre Company's adaptation of Dario Fo
's Morte accidentale di un anarchico
, a satirical farce based on the real death in police custody of an Italian railway worker and and anarchist
; featuring an entirely fictional Maniac invading a police station to expose police corruption and brutality. It contains more than traces of slapstick, Thatcher-era left-wing agitprop
, terrible jokes, swearing, vigorous fourth-wall obliteration, great jokes, a fully-functional mock-up of a bomb (that is to say, a bomb), a musical number, a coffee break and a multiple-choice ending. Among other things.
If you speak Italian, here
is a presentation of an elderly Fo himself as the Maniac, for comparative purposes. If you don't speak Italian, you can still make the comparison, though somewhat less precisely. [more inside]
posted by Grangousier
on Sep 4, 2013 -
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
), 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]
posted by Rory Marinich
on Jun 10, 2013 -
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).
posted by Blingo
on May 10, 2013 -
The Onion's great for a witty skewering of current events. But its historical editions, as collected in the book Our Dumb Century
, are a gem all their own, full of razor-sharp satire, trenchant social commentary, period-accurate advertisements, running gags, historical irony, photoshoppery, and even some editorial cartoons for every year of the twentieth century. Luckily for history (and humor) buffs, nearly the whole run of the series is available piecemeal on their website. Click inside for an organized timeline of links to all the front pages from this brilliant work (plus a bonus!). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 25, 2012 -
How To Make Foreign Friends You can still mix with Americans. Imagination is a powerful thing. You can have a taste of Canada and all those creamy countries whose Visa’s you have coveted. All here in Nigeria. Granted, the foreigners who come here may not always be the cream of the lot, but beggars cannot be choosers. You will manage the ones here in Abuja. You will enjoy their company so thoroughly that your Visa rejections will cease to hurt. After all, is it not people that make a place? My job is to help you learn how to mix with and enjoy the company of foreigners from creamy countries, right here in Nigeria.
posted by modernnomad
on Sep 6, 2012 -
How to Eat a Watermelon Tutorial
(SLYT) was made by Tom Willett
, a 74 year old semi-retired comedian, musician, and actor. Willett's personal website, Comedy Parade
, includes style and character-building tips for budding comedians, interspersed with tributes to comedians he admires. This recent interview
with Willett comes off the heels of the watermelon eating tutorial video's viral success.
When asked why he continues to film videos of his skits, comedic news broadcasts and songs instead of “retiring,” he said it‘s because he hasn’t changed from the 14 year old who decided to throw all of his ambition into being an entertainer.
“I’m basically the same person I was when I was 14 — inside. I haven‘t changed what I like and I never do what you’re supposed to do. I do what feels right.”
posted by catch as catch can
on Aug 20, 2012 -
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
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
), 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]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 6, 2011 -
10 O'Clock Live
is a show currently airing on Channel 4 in the UK. It could be considered a British take on the Daily Show, but longer, weekly, with more discussion, and performed live. MeFi favorite Charlie Brooker
is one of their presenters, along with David Mitchel, Lauren Laverne and Jimmy Carr. While focused on British issues, the show sometimes covers international topics, and is wildly funny. Here are some highlights:
Charlie Brooker: On Gaddafi - On Berlusconi - On the 'Big Society' - On Sarah Palin -
On the iPad 2 - On the English Defense League & the Daily Star - On Ed Miliband (Leader of the Labour Party, beating out his brother David) - On Prince Andrew
David Mitchell: On political hyperbole - On language in the media - On encouraging rich people to immigrate - On what to do with the Olympic Stadium
Jimmy Carr: As Berlusconi - On Product Placement
Lauren Laverne: Guide for new democracies - Inside the brain of Ed Miliband - British PR companies helping tyrants
Everyone on David Cameron on The One Show (this one's awesome) [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on Mar 24, 2011 -
“There is one line in ‘Zero Hour!’ where a stewardess says, completely seriously, ‘The life of everyone on board depends upon just one thing: finding someone back there who can not only fly this plane, but who didn’t have fish for dinner,’ ” Mr. Abrahams said. “That was the essence of the movie. We just repeated the line. We didn’t have to change a thing.”
(known in Australia as Flying High!
) turns 30 [more inside]
posted by crossoverman
on Jun 28, 2010 -
"The Daily Show is no doubt entertainment, but it is entertainment, measurably, with a substantive point. It is, in its own way, another kind of No Spin Zone." The Project for Excellence in Journalism discusses what is and is not journalistic
(PDF) about The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on May 8, 2008 -
, aka Norman Gunston
, aka the "little aussie bleeder
," may be well known out Australia way. For most Americans, however, Norman G
remains far, far down under the radar. But he's the forefather of the UK's Ali G
; he's Canadian Nardwuar thee Human Serviette's
nerdier dad; he's America's Lazlo Toth
(US) with a combover and a microphone; he's Jiminy Glick
's Jack Sprat
. Perhaps you saw Norman long ago
in a segment on USA Network's Night Flight
. [bonus: many many youtubes of Night Flight segments, courtesy of this awesome website.]
But I bet you didn't know he released a KIckaSS single
), jammed with Frank Zappa
, and was at the right place and time to upstage a piece of Australian History
. Not bad for someone whom Keith Moon dumped his drink on and called a "great pooftah." [more inside]
posted by not_on_display
on May 4, 2008 -
Red State Update
with Jackie and Dunlap. Comic good ol' boys shooting the sh*t and having a few hundred beers, while using satire and dead pan humor on the politics of the day.
posted by nola
on Jun 13, 2007 -
"What are they talking about?"
Was it just an April Fools' joke? Are they really gonna end Red Vs. Blue
: arguably the most successful machinima
series ever? Will Blood Gulch be silent of one-liners and snide comments once more, or is this a blatant attempt by Rooster Teeth
to drum up interest in their 100th episode? Considering the fact they started it four years ago on
April Fools Day, it's really hard to tell. (surprise! no youtube links!)
posted by ZachsMind
on Apr 3, 2007 -
Get your free crown of thorns with every meal!
We're all going to hell but hey, with a vinegar sponge drink to keep us going and a handy game of Pin the Noose on Judas, the trip's gonna be a lot more fun..
A short comedy from Benjamin Hershleder
and Rik Swartzwelder
, but get it quick cause it won't be around forever!
posted by Nugget
on Mar 1, 2006 -
It's a 'Synthesizor' masterclass.
And after this, if you still think you know about music, then take the pop quiz and be amazed.
posted by Chunky
on Feb 3, 2005 -
I'm done with The Onion.
I trusted The Onion and read their comedy for free for years
-- but after hundreds of issues of unbelievable comedy The Onion is now a "pay site" that charges $30 a year
for earlier access to each week's issue, plus awesome-sounding online news radio and special election coverage! I'm mad! Oh yeah!!!
posted by josh
on May 19, 2004 -
The greatest TV show you will probably never see:
Aunty Jack, a ten-foot tall, boxing-glove wearing, motor-cycling, moustached cross-dresser, was the star of The Aunty Jack Show
, which ran for thirteen episodes in 1972-73 on the Australian Broadcasting Commission
TV network (and was the first show broadcast on Australian TV in colour).
Many of the original episodes have been lost (but records of them exist
). Re-release on video or DVD of the remaining episodes is tangled up in copyright issues. The 1974 album Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong
was re-released on CD, and still seems to be available. It includes such classics as 'Fish Milkshakes' and 'Teenage Butcher' and the song 'Farewell Aunty Jack', which was a number 1 hit in Australia. Some samples can be found here
There were spinoffs from Aunty Jack
, most notably the Norman Gunston Show
, with Norman playing the prototypical terrrible interviewer and inspiring the much later Ali G
, Dennis Pennis
and many others.
I was two years old when the series aired: Aunty Jack's threat at the end of each episode, that: 'If you don't watch next week, I'll rip your bloody arm off!'
meant that I never, ever, missed it.
posted by chrisgregory
on Jan 30, 2003 -