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.
Frank Rich takes a look at conservative comedians and the late-night comedy landscape.
Go to the window for what? Just ask GiGi if you need to know the weather. She'll tell you. It's no trouble, what else does she have to do with her days anymore?
"Looking back on it, one of the things that's crazy is I don't think I even realized that first of all, Joe Flaherty is supposed to be a vampire but he's howling like a werewolf. [laughs] I just took that for granted, and it must've been years until I saw it and was like "Wait a minute, that's a joke!" Furthermore, Count Floyd's always wearing a turtleneck which is the least vampire thing ever." "Splitsider kicks off its new column, Sketch Anatomy, with television writer Bill Oakley breaking down SCTV’s "Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes" (previously). Oww owww oowoooooo!!!
What do the words "safety," ''chaotic" and "problem" have in common? They're all on General Motors' list of banned words for employees who were documenting potential safety issues. The revelation of the 68-word list is one of the odder twists in GM's ongoing recall of 2.6 million older-model small cars for defective ignition switches. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver weighs in.
Volvo Blå: A Swede named PonyHans wants you to Buy His Volvo. [SLYT]
21 [Entirely Totally Completely Seriously True] Simple Hacks That Will Significantly Improve Your Life [slBuzzfeed]
Bonding over Bond: Superego’s Matt Gourley and Matt Mira of The Nerdist Podcast love James Bond so much they decided to make a podcast about it. Each episode they invite a guest to take a serious — and seriously funny! — deep dive into “the greatest film franchise known to man.” Oh, and it's called James Bonding! (Of course there are Paul F. Tompkins epsiodes, why do you ask?) [more inside]
The entire first episode of John Oliver's new current-events comedy show on HBO, Last Week Tonight, is viewable on its official YouTube Channel. [more inside]