John Oliver explores the topic of government surveillance in the context of the June 1st deadline to reauthorize the Patriot Act and the ongoing Edward Snowden case.
"I attempted to repeat the experiment, however once my assistant discovered that I didn’t really have any tuna, she declined to participate in any further tests."
The Pliocene Pussy Cat Theory (which originally appeared in The Annals of Improbable Research) argues that the human ancestor Australopithecus domesticated cats for hunting, defense and harvesting static electricity to make it easier to climb trees. The theory, which was proposed by Lorenzo Love, is a parody of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (which is critiqued here and in shorter form here). Whether you know about the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis or not, the Pliocene Pussy Cat Theory, and Love's follow-up, the Subterranean Ape Theory, will completely alter your understanding of human evolution.
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]
Louis CK talks about what George Carlin meant to him during a New York Public Library tribute to Carlin hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, that also featured, among others, Ben Stiller, Kevin Smith and Carlin's children Kelly and Patrick.
Today is a day to celebrate the Risen God. I mean, of course, Cthulhu, that most adorable of Old Ones, who stars in The Adventures of Lil Cthulhu. If you haven't been eaten yet and need to waste time until then, The Calls for Cthulhu series is a nice way to distract yourself from your impending doom. If all that cuteness isn't enough, or perhaps too much, then you might want to check out oldie but goodie Cutethulhu.
Amy Sedaris has a YouTube channel where she demonstrates how to craft objects from her new book Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. So far she's made hot dogs on a rake, potato ships, a donut bird feeder, a Thanksgiving centerpiece, pompoms and a rabbit treat called Dynamite Stixx.
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.
Jenny Hagel has a three part YouTube series about "a dumpy women's studies professor [who] transforms herself into a ghetto fabulous rap star to convince people to care about feminism. When she's finished rapping...they still don't care." Parts 1, 2 and 3.
David Mitchell's Soap Box features The Peep Show's David Mitchell giving his opinions on various topics. The new series starts with Mitchell pondering the myth of King Cnut attempting to turn back the tides. The comedian has covered many issues, such as respect for the elderly, beer and being asked how much one earns. You can also subscribe to the series as a video podcast [iTunes link]
Life as a Comic is series of short videos by Rob Paravonian (famous for The Pachelbel Rant) about what it's like to be a working stand-up comic. It has recently started up again after a long break. Here's the first episode which is about doing gigs at venues which aren't full-time comedy clubs. Direct links to the rest of the episodes, all of which are in quicktime-format, below the cut. [more inside]
"My friend from Michigan says if you pushed all the Great Lakes together they'd be as big as the Mediterranean. I say, why bother?"
Scans of all three issues of Army Man Magazine, the legendary late 80s humor zine put together by future Simpsons' writer George Meyer (an excellent New Yorker profile of Meyer) which also included material from Jack Handey, John Swartzwelder, Bob Odenkirk, among many others. Another contributor, Ian Frazier, talks about Army Man in a Believer Interview. Sadly the scans are small (but the jokes are still big) and of poor quality. For a non-eyestraining introduction, Maud Newton transcribed a good bit of material and posted it at the end of an appreciation of Army Man on her blog.
Tattúínárdælasaga (The Saga of the People of the Tattooine River Valley) is the Icelandic saga Star Wars was based on. So far five chapters have been transcribed.
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]
Maria Bamford's One-Hour Homemade Christmas Special! by Maria Bamford, stand-up comic and pretty much a native speaker in Pretend Tiger. FYI, if you've heard some of those jokes before... it's a gift! She made it for us, for Christmas, to celebrate her success at selling out this year.
Bob Claster was a DJ on KCRW in Los Angeles. In the 80's he had a comedy show called Funny Stuff and he would interview comedians. He has many of these interviews online as mp3s. He interviewed Tom Lehrer, Douglas Adams, Danny Arnold (a.k.a. Barney Miller), Peter Cook, Terry Jones, two interviews with John Cleese, one solo and another with Michael Palin, Emo Philips, Billy Connolly, Mort Sahl, Quentin Crisp, "Brother Theodore" Gottlieb, June Foray and Bill Scott (a.k.a. Rocky and Bullwinkle and an epic five-part interview with Stan Freberg, the subject of my last post.
Oregon! Oregon! A Centennial Fable in Three Acts is a musical comedy by famed radio comedian and Looney Tunes voice actor Stan Freberg that was commissioned in 1959 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Oregon statehood. This year, on the 150th anniversary, Stan Freberg and Pink Martini will revive the musical with a new 4th act written by Freberg (check out the complete Pink Martini concert on the page). For more Freberg goodness check out these 15 episodes of his radio show and this 1999 interview which includes some of his classic sketches (sketches in RealAudio format).
ImprovEverywhere has a gallery opening in the New York Subway. "In the course of making the art labels, the mundane stuff of the platform really did become weirdly compelling and beautiful. I wasn’t sure if everyone else would have that experience, or if we would be busy consciously pretending that these random objects were art. In the course of the event, some other friends who came made brilliant observations about the pieces that helped bring my mindset firmly back into of-course-this-is-art, rather than viewing the subway as a collection of quick fixes over time. It’s wonderful how we can decide to create a collective reality, and how it can sometimes catch us up within itself. I’m glad other folks also got caught up in "Wow.. This might really be art!", and that some non-agents got such a kick out of it!"
The Invisible Life of Poet is a webcomic by Christopher Stetson Wilson that's been published weekly for three and a half years. It features the adventures of nerdy high school student Poet and his retinue (mostly his friend Ben). There are many ways to navigate the archive. For a quality skim, check out the author's favorites. If you want a more indepth look you can check out the tag categories, characters (e.g. Seph the Corruptor, Coach Fathead), contemporary issues (e.g. class warfare, gender issues), culture and society (e.g. mass media, religion), hyperreality (e.g. board games, hallucinations), miscellaneous (e.g. great art, lowbrow humor) and psycho-social constructs (e.g. bullying, love and seduction).
The Bugle is a topical comedic podcast by The Daily Show's John Oliver and fellow comedian Andy Saltzman. They style it an Audio Newspaper for a Visual World. Each weekly episode is about half an hour long.
199 Peter Cook videos (in case you don't know who Peter Cook is, he's often considered the funniest English comedian of the 20th Century, this myspace page has a concise biography).
"And, why," Lucy says, "a lamp post!" The lamp post shines like a monument to industry.Aslan Shrugged 1 2 3 4 [via a review of Atlas Shrugged in The Valve]
Who says right-wingers can't be funny? Eco Enquirer fights the
good bad anti-environmentalist fight with humor, wit and verve. Stories include Penguins "Fed Up" With Media Attention, Is Earth 'Spinning Out of Control'?, Court Orders Fisherman to Apologize to Eagle, Levitating Islands in Bermuda Triangle Observed by Spy Satellite and many others.
"The time is right, and the time is now! The Lord has spoken to you. He has commanded you to create the New Jerusalem, to prepare for His arrival, to gather the flock, bring together the faithful, spread the Word. Blinded like Paul on his way to Damascus, you are now set to follow His Way. But how do you start such an ambitious project?" Dr. Emeril Lazarus has all the answers.
Phone Sex Pranks — "Below are prank calls I've made- to phone sex girls. Only thing is, I tell them I'm into some "weird" stuff. They're all 100% real and 100% expensive." He's Gil Ozeri of Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. The weird stuff he's into? Clowns, Jewish mother stereotypes, old-timey barbers and Clippy. Yes, Clippy of MS Word infamy. [nsfw, natch]
GiraffobiaDotCom — the place for people what thinks giraffes is scary.