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.
Former Nippon Pro Baseball home-run king Takashi Yamasaki tries to hit a 186 mph (300 km/hour) fastball from a pitching machine. Skip to 3:29 for the fun part. (SLYT, Japanese)
"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]
The Academy, by Monica Seles. Yes, that Monica Seles has written a young adult romance series. Grantland writer Brian Phillips provides "62 scalding takeaways from The Academy, by M. Seles,1 Books 1 and 2."
What Happens When 'The Simpsons' Becomes Dad Humor? With a ratings-smashing marathon running on FXX and a streaming app due to launch in October, perhaps now is the time to ask an impertinent question: When will The Simpsons become passé? Culture has moved on from The Simpsons, despite the show’s unwillingness to pass into comedy Valhalla. In other words, Simpsons is becoming dad humor: structures so well trod that they can never again surprise, no matter how perfectly crafted. The aesthetic earmarks of this mid-90s humor juggernaut are becoming as antiquated as puns and pies-in-the-face.
So all of your friends have either just started playing Magic: the Gathering or have picked it up again or else admitted to having played it continually for twenty years now, and eyes are glazing over as they discuss bomb rares and 2-for-1s and mana flooding and drafting. You're not sure if you actually want to immerse yourself in this but you can't know for sure without, well, immersing yourself in it. We've all been there. Thankfully, Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry channel has a show for you - Spellslingers! [more inside]
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
Ok, this may be the most important email I send all year, so PLEASE RESPOND RIGHT AWAY. We need to figure out our summer weekend plans ASAP!!!! We’re closing in on our mid-twenties and I think this is gonna be the summer we all meet our potential first husbands, so location is EVERYTHING!!! Plus Sex and the City. Let’s take a vote! Creeping psychological horror, hilarious satire, or terribly accurate glimpse into the emails of a group of passive aggressive group of "friends" in their mid-late twenties? The Hey Ladies saga by Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss at The Toast chronicles the adventures of a group of friends who live in New York via their group emails as they plan various outings and events. [more inside]
Tables For One is a collection of restaurant reviews "from another New York City" by A. Ponitus and illustrated by Evan Johnson. The restaurants include Frito-Lay themed places, salt-obsessed aliens, a gelato cult, notable NPR personalities, and a cafe for heartbreak.
No Wawa in the Hood by Donuts n' Puddin', a new online variety show. A short, catchy song about the superiority of Wawa over corner stores and 7-11.
" After more than four years, 1,800+ bolg posts, and countless silly indulgences surrendered to in the name of "being ZWR" … I’m incredibly proud to say that at approximately 10:00 a.m. this morning I went to the zoo with Roy Halladay!" [more inside]
"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]
GOOD morrow. ’Tis I, Aelfric the Elder, with a piece of calligraphic parchment containing statements that I think — a “think piece,” let us call it — to be posted with a nail on our village’s biggest log, concerning youthful denizens born around A.D. 1000. These “millennials” are, without a doubt, the most narcissistic and hopeless cohort I have witnessed in my 35 long years on this stationary planet.
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]
If the true measure of an ad's popularity is the afterlife it enjoys through parody and satire, then this 1989 LifeCall ad — featuring Mrs. Fletcher and her infamous line, "I've fallen and I can't get up!" — may be the best-loved commercial of all time.
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]
Still shaking your head over that ridiculous "Women Against a Feminism" tumblr? The inimitable Bloggess weighs in with some welcome comic relief. (Time, right on schedule, helpfully pops up to explain it all for you).
"The Soup" host Joel McHale takes a classic 1959 Ford Skyliner to new heights with "Veep" star Tony Hale. Comedians in Cars Getting Cocaine.
And the bartender's, like, "No kidding. You think I wished for a twelve-inch pianist?" So the guy processes this. (SLNewYorker) [more inside]
19 U.S. Maps that Will Blow your Mind Or, um, not. If you love beautiful infodata, you'll really something this.
Hot on the heels of his mindblowing mashup extravaganza Mouth Sounds (prev. on MeFi), resident internet demiurge Neil Cicierega (also prev.) has released a "prequel" album: MOUTH SILENCE. [more inside]
Two 30 year old guys lip syncing a conversation between two 60 year old women: "I recorded a random conversation between my mom and my aunt and we acted it out."
A viral video series uses role reversal to humorously highlight casual insensitivities & stereotyping: If Asians Said The Stuff White People Say - If Black People Said The Stuff White People Say - If Latinos Said The Stuff White People Say (YouTube; each video ~2 min.) [more inside]
"The ability to present women like [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg, [Hillary] Clinton and [Wendy] Davis as bone-crushingly robust yet simultaneously appealing, revered—practically adorable!—in their rugged severity, is a crucial expansion of the American imagination with regard to powerful women." (via librarina) [more inside]
The Dissolve's Movie of the Week discussion series (previously 1 2 3 4 ) takes Airplane! for a spin:
- Comedy + Time = Absurdity
- What Airplane! gets right that its imitators get wrong
- The straight-faced lunacy of Airplane!.
"And looks like an almost goal. If that whole goal system would have been moved over maybe thirty more feet, we would have been looking at a goal." -- MeFi favorite Reggie Watts (previously) doing World Cup commentary alongside MeFi favorite Peter Serafinowicz (previously) on his Mixlr account, where Serafinowicz has been providing comedic commentary for the games for the last week. [via]
"Maybe we smoked something; maybe we didn't. It didn't matter. It was just solid, absurdist, out-there humor." A Monty Python retrospective.
NYT Minus Context (SLTwitter) -- Does exactly what it says on the tin.
Every Sunday, Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, starting at the very beginning.
Several couples reminisce about when and how they started fucking: Josh and Debra, Zack and Evan, Isaac and Doris.
One of the most intriguing personalities in Southern medical history of the nineteenth century is Dr. Henry Clay Lewis (1825-1850), whose fame rests not on his accomplishments in medicine, but upon his humorous writings published under the pseudonym "Madison Tensas, M.D., the Louisiana Swamp Doctor." Though Lewis was a practicing doctor, his true identity as the author of the "Southern grotesque" (previously) pieces was not known until after his death. His works pre-dated the Southern Gothic style (prev), and are unusual for their time in that "[Lewis] presents his black characters with as much pain and grotesqueness as his white characters, steering away from the time's usual stereotypes." You can read a longer biography and a summary of his style here, or just dive in and read his works, which available online in Odd leaves from the life of a Louisiana "swamp doctor", which was also published as The swamp doctor's adventures in the South-west (also available with fourteen illustrations) on Archive.org.
"The Demo" [SLYT] is the original pilot episode of the animated tv show, Bob's Burger's (previously).The theme remains the same, although the art style is a bit rough. The plot is exactly the same as the first episode, "Human Flesh", with minor differences in animation and timing. Oh, and Tina was originally a Daniel! [more inside]
Since his death from cancer at age 32, comedian Bill Hicks's (very previously) legend and stature have only grown; American: The Bill Hicks Story (previously) fills in the details of a life cut tragically short, blending live footage and animation, and is narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best. A comic's comic and unflagging critic of hypocrisy and cultural emptiness, American: The Bill Hicks Story is now streaming for free on Snag Films.