A trio of Haruki Murakami's Advertorial Short Stories: In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Onward spent massive sums on advertising J. Press in the print media. The classic ad format, often seen on the back cover of lifestyle magazine Popeye, showed a Japanese or American man telling a colorful story about their favorite trad clothing item. In 1985, as Japanese pop culture went in more avant-garde directions, Onward came up with a new idea — asking up-and-coming novelist Murakami Haruki to write a very short story inside each month’s advertisement for magazines Popeye, Box, and Men’s Club. [more inside]
Tonight Craig Ferguson will host The Late Late Show for the last time and wrap up with an interview with Jay Leno. If you can't stay up late enough to watch it live, you can stream it tomorrow (at least in the USA.) [more inside]
Thomas King wins Governor-General’s Award for fiction In February, King won the British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. On Tuesday, he won the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction for The Back of the Turtle, his first novel in 15 years. [more inside]
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.
"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]
The comedy troupe Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre started in 1975 when five University of Iowa graduate students hoped to score some free beer. You may have heard Ask Dr. Science (Wikipedia) sketches on All Things Considered. Ask Dr. Science first ran in 1982 (or maybe on New Year's Day 1981) as a project of Duck's Breath members Dan Coffey and Merle Kessler on KQED. [more inside]
Computer Boy! (also available here): Abe Forsythe made the movie Computer Boy when he was just 18. It's a 50 min. spoof of The Matrix that was filmed in less than two weeks at actual Matrix shooting locations in Australia and cost just over $2000 to make.* It became a cult hit when it was released online in 2000 & was one of the first internet films to hit 500,000 views.* (wikipedia, imdb) [more inside]
An angry crow mocked me this morning. I couldn’t finish my croissant, and fled the café in despair.— and other excerpts from Le Blog de Jean-Paul Sartre
The NHL is facing the possibility of a lockout and Mexican fire hockey is still in the early stages of a comeback, so what's a hockey fan to do? Humor and/or Humour blog Down Goes Brown has your back with extensive archives and a new book. If you get desperate, you could even try their long-running series analyzing Obscure Moments in Toronto Maple Leaf History. [more inside]
I hope we will someday live in a society where we are so accepting of each other that we can all laugh at jokes like these and know that there is no malice or diminishment intended.
Jason Alexander appeared on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson recently, and told a joke about cricket being "a little bit gay." Shortly afterwards, some of his Twitter followers told him that they were offended by the joke. This prompted Jason to seriously reflect on his joke and offer a thoughtful apology.
...this symmetric aperture is called the "fenetre de breeze", roughly translated meaning the "zephyr window".
The Great Crepitation Contest of 1946 [mp3 at bottom] lingers on in the memories of record collectors, radio historians, and a generation of post-war vulgarians from Dr. Demento to Howard Stern. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's vivid recording of the contest (conceived at a company stag party) inspired legions of LP cover artists: an early public airing was encased in a sleeve designed by one of the earliest proponents of the illustrated album cover. Later editions were adorned with shockingly detailed renditions of the Great Contest, created by a variety of anonymous geniuses. (Speaking of art, it was also a rumored favorite of Salvador Dali). Though it has inspired various lurid myths, we've learned a little bit about the deepest roots of the contest right here on Metafilter. [more inside]
"A man wearing bowler hat reading a newspaper is seen leaning leisurely against a car. Another person comes from behind and starts hitting the poor man on the head with an iron bar. He does not react at all, still reads his paper. The third man appears looking puzzled. The man takes his hat of and shows it to the other two. They take the hat and examine it." Beat The Bandit, 1961 is a video (01:46) presentation of amazing security/anti-theft inventions that you'll surely feel compelled to buy.
Two whole stand-up performances by comedian Daniel Kitson can be downloaded on a pay-what-you-want basis (even if you want to pay nothing). These are the 2004 and 2005 Edinburgh performances (2004 performance previously on MeFi). Kitson has also recorded a story album with musician Gavin Osborn, selling for ₤2.50, and the first three tracks, of eleven, can be streamed online. [via The Bugle]
Your mind subconsciously interprets this line drawing of an impossible cube as a three-dimensional object, even though it is not actually possible for such an object to exist. [more inside]
The special duty of a Jewish Christmas baby by Sheila Heti Most of the people one deals with say, “Oh! You're a Christmas baby! You must get ripped off when it comes to presents, right?” Their eyes light up. It's a hard question to answer. The honest answer is, “I'm a Jew, I don't celebrate Christmas,” but saying this always seems chastising, and the person who asked then feels embarrassed (as they should) and I feel embarrassed that this is my accidental role in the world: reminding everyone that Jews exist. The times I say, gruffly, “I don't know. I'm Jewish,” they usually say, “Oh, I'm sorry!” But this always sounds to me not like, “I'm sorry I assumed you were Christian,” but rather, “I'm sorry that you're Jewish.” Given all this, I usually reply simply, “Yeah, it's awful. I get ripped off every year.” [previously from Sheila Heti]
Uncontrolled laughter: 20 best 'corpsing' videos | Corpsing is a British theatrical slang term used to describe when an actor breaks character during a scene by laughing or by causing another cast member to laugh. | The Art Of Corpsing 1 and 2. [more inside]
The Department. Regular listeners to The Bugle (previously) will have been missing their usual weekly dose of historico-politico-silliness. But there is a fallback. [more inside]
Yes I like playing Dungeons and Dragons with you... "This Fantasy World" by the Doubleclicks, with animation by Brad Jonas. [SLYT]
Radio Spiritworld broadcasting on 6.22 megahertz in the 49 metre band on shortwave and selected ouija boards
Radio Spiritworld (Inter-dimensional) is the only station broadcasting from the afterlife into the living world. Well, actually it's a half an hour of wonderfully inventive audio-comedy from Peter Serafinowicz and Robert Popper, writers and creators of Look Around You, who between them have worked on or appeared in all the recent British comedies you love. [iTunes download link]
True American Dog is where I go for my silliness these days. It's a single panel photoshop comic about animals. And what animals! There's Kooly the Bear, Eagle, Dog and many more. It's about as silly as it gets, in a good way.
A Riddle: A wolf, a sheep, and a cabbage need to cross the river. How can you bring them across, one by one, without the sheep eating the cabbage, nor the wolf eating the sheep? [more inside]
Soviet Russia American South, wild goose chases YOU. (SLYT)
PORTRAIT-DEX! Cartoonists create Pokémon self-portraits, with all three evolved forms. Featuring, among other fine artists, Scott Kurtz (PVP), Box Brown (Everything Dies, Bellen!), Anthony Clark (Nedroid), Aaron Diaz (Dresden Codak), and Steve Wolfhard (Cat Rackham), who also runs the project.
High court hangups and There's no place like a hotel are short humor pieces by Miles Kington featuring the Socratically uncooperative testimony of one Mr Chrysler who's accused of stealing 40,000 hangers from hotels. [more inside]
The "Benign Violation Theory" posits that for something to be funny, three conditions must be met. First, there must be a violation of the norm. Second, the violation must be perceived to be benign. Last, both these perceptions must occur simultaneously. [more inside]
Monster Commute: A webcomic about the hell that is driving to work in the cute Orwellian steampunk monster-infested mirror universe of Monstru. [more inside]
The Goon Show was a highly popular and immensely influential radio show on the BBC in the 1950s featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan. They would sometimes do live readings of episodes, here's a video recording of The Whistling Spy Enigma (parts 1, 2, 3) and a much later recording of Tales of Men's Shirts (parts 1, 2, 3). The first features Ray Ellington, musical director of the Goon Show, and the second John Cleese, who, like his fellow Pythons, was a huge fan of The Goon Show growing up. In the 50s BBC turned The Goon Show into a TV show with puppets, called Telegoons. A number of shows exist online: The Lurgi Strikes Britain (1, 2), The Nadger Plague (1, 2), Captain Seagoon RN (1, 2), Tales of Montmartre (1, 2), The First Albert Memorial to the Moon (1, 2), The Hastings Flyer (1, 2), The Affair of the Lone Banana (1, 2), The Africa Ship Canal (1, 2), The Booted Gorilla (1, 2), The Ascent of Mount Everest (1, 2), The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler of Bexhill on Sea (1, 2), Fort Knight (1, 2), The Terrible Revenge of Fred Fu Manchu (1, 2), The Lost Colony (1, 2) and, finally, back where we first began, the Telegoons version of The Whistling Spy Enigma (1, 2).
Punch Cartoons has over 8000 cartoons from the pages of Punch, the long-running British satirical magazine. It cast its eye on everything from quintessentially British entertainment to children's books to computer games to optometrists. Punch ran from 1841 to 1992 and was relaunched in 1996 and finally closed shop in 2002. You can read up on the history of the magazine on their website and if you want to read some old issues to see what they were like, Project Gutenberg has quite a few. [Punch previously]
The Buffalo Beast has finally posted its list of the 50 Most Loathsome Americans of 2009. [more inside]
A Town Called Panic. (MLYT)
Kitten Kong pt. 1, pt. 2, pt. 3 - The Goodies, Montreux 1972 Edition. Previously on Mefi: Goodie goodie yum yum! (via coisas do arco da velha - some images nsfw)
CGI-brows (link goes to video on Vimeo which contains a naughty word but is otherwise SFW.) A short mockumentary about extreme emoting through SFX by RocketSausage (Dir. Andrew Gaynord) which has won the Virgin Media Shorts People's Choice Award for 2009.
Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt
Trailer for Brüno, the upcoming film by Sacha Baron Cohen, formerly known for his characters Ali G and Borat.
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]