You'll be able to listen to the Portland-taped episode of Professor Blastoff soon enough, so I'm not going to bother recapping the entirety of the show. In brief: It was a lot of fun, and some guest-related awkwardness.
-An extended CCR gibberish singalong featuring the refrain "Cows Wanna Know"
-the suggestion that air quotes are actually "finger bunnies," and subsequent bunny punning
-the first law-themed heckle I've ever heard (I think it was "You're blowing standards!" Does that make sense?)
-A bracing round of "Name That Punky"
-The evening's guest was a third-year law student from Willamette University (hence the lawyer heckle) who... how to put this... didn't seem familiar with the podcast? It was pretty awkward and boring for a while there.
-No non-gigantic T-shirts for sale. Which happens EVERY TIME I try to guilt-buy a shirt at comedy shows. (Something you should do if you get into shows for free for whatever reason, BTW.) Consequently my boyfriend has WTF, Dork Forest, and now Professor Blastoff shirts, how nice for him.
Mississippi Studios kind of rules as a comedy venue, yeah? The show was a bit oversold (thanks to people like meeeee) and a bunch of folks had to stand in the back, but it's a good size and no one forces you to buy overpriced well drinks. Looking forward to seeing Natasha Leggero there in a couple weeks.
So hilarious, right? I think the assumption that I'm a bad friend offended me so much that I didn't even hear the part where I was called unattractive. My least favorite piece of misogyny this week is the stereotype that women can't be friends with other women.
I've heard a lot of men make jokes about it. It's weird that this idea exists; it's so sexist to insinuate that simply because of our gender we're incapable of doing something. (Unless your gender is male and that something is childbirth, having a period, or riding a griffin—then suck it, dorks!) Additionally, it's so demeaning to suggest that we're incapable of something as intrinsically important to the human condition as friendship. It's like saying, "Hey, because of your chromosomes you're incapable of genuine sexless love!"
Women definitely can be friends with other women. I'm friends with some women; I'm not friends with all women, because I'm not friends with all HUMANS. That is just one difference between humans and puppies. I don't feel like I'm in competition with women for straight male attention. Can I be in competition for quiet Netflix and pizza attention? Then everyone's a winner! Except the pizza, RIP: rest in pizza.
Whenever I hear a girl say, "I just don't have any girlfriends. I get along better with guys," I'm like "stay the hell away from her because underneath her skin face is an evil demon that'll suck out your soul." Be friends with other girls. It's fun, like a trampoline for your heart.
The idea that women can't befriend other women is a notion concocted by straight men in a lab of dark sciences. It's an implement to keep us apart, to keep us from uniting and combining our powers to overthrow them (or in other words, to collaborate and make art that may puncture the glass ceiling). Molly Lambert wrote an amazing article titled In Which We Teach You How To Be A Woman In Any Boys' Club, where she asks, "Why do dudes think you're in competition with the other girls? Because if you're in competition with the men, you might be better than they are."
Recently I was out at a comedy club and I heard a male comic call women "catty." That adjective gets under my skin. Mrs. Merriam Webster defines it as "biting sharpness of feeling or expression," but it just seems like such a gendered insult. How come whenever men call each other horrible names or insult each other laughingly, no one says "oh, they're just being catty"? I think this stereotype is super insulting, to women and to cats. But if I can leave you guys with one message or thought, it's that I made a friend! High five!
That's been my least favorite piece of misogyny this week. Tune in next week to find out what normal household product could be committing muuuuurder!
This prickly GQ interview with Ricky Gervais is fascinating, because it touches on all kinds of awkward issues that are really important for comedians who become popular. It even begins awkwardly:
GQ: You've often said one reason the character of David Brent worked so well is because he has a blind spot about how people see him.
Ricky Gervais: Yeah. That's exactly what we're laughing at.
GQ: Do you ever worry that could be true about yourself?
Ricky Gervais: This will sound arrogant: I don't worry about it at all. I think I'm pretty self-aware. I think I know what I'm doing. You know when you've been a prat, you know when you're being a prat, you know when something sounds pretentious. But you're right—by definition you don't know. It's funny, Christopher Guest said to me—we were talking about comedians we used to like and if people go off the boil—and he was basically saying: "What if we become the people we don't rate anymore? What if we lose it and we don't know it?" And I went [grins], "Who cares?"
GQ: Surely you've already heard people saying that you've lost it?
Ricky Gervais: Yeah. But then I sell 30,000 tickets in an hour. So what have I lost?
The interviewer, Chris Heath, asks all sorts of great questions about what it means to portray a vain, narcissistic character for so long that people start to believe you're that vain, narcissistic character. And Gervais mostly blows off the questions, which is maybe a telling way of answering those questions.
AND! Not only can you watch Tobias' fairly homoerotic characters in action, you can also use his handy green screen performances (called "Insert Me Anywhere") to put him in your OWN home movies! Check it out here—or as he so deftly puts it, "My bits may startle you!"
It was at Stumptown, Portland's small-press comics convention. We were on mushrooms. It was pretty surreal, and not all that funny at the time.
My least favorite piece of misogyny this week is a poll referencing the death of feminism, and Rush Limbaugh. A poll in the right-wing Washington Times said that only 28% of Americans label themselves feminists. That implies that the other 72% label themselves as idiots and jerkhead, labels applied using Gloria Stienem's tears as the adhesive. I don't understand how you can not call yourself a feminist because to me feminism is the idea that women deserve equal rights, the right to not feel objectified, the right to equal treatment, and the right to wear nightmare bunny suits whenever they want.
In response to this new poll, conservative radio talk show villian Rush Limbaugh said that he wants to take credit for the death of feminism. I bet if Feminism could talk it would be like, "Right back atcha!"
Limbaugh said on May 2 that for the last 28 years he has been "warning about [militant left wing feminism]. It is I, El Rushbo, and it might be said that I have succeeded in stigmatizing it." First of all, don't give yourself a nickname that would be too dumb for a fraternity hazing sweaty bro sadness party. Second of all, Rush Limbaugh isn't stigmatizing anything. The people who listen to his show already agree with him on everything. Including how to part your hair to hide the demon horns.
What kind of horrible human being wants to take credit for growing disinterest in civil rights movements? "Oh, the subjugation of a group of people is no longer maddening? The world is becoming less kind? I did this. All me. High five!" What kind of person would celebrate that? The kind of person that shouldn't have time to broadcast a radio show because they're too busy plotting to destroy Spider-Man?
Anyway. You don't have to be a bra burning, man hating, estrogen-bath taking amazon to be a feminist. Be a good decent person. Feminism, the belief that everyone deserves equality, isn't dead. And if it were, I think it would haunt the fuck out of Rush Limbaugh. This has been my least favorite piece of misogyny this week. Tune in next week to find out if the polyjuice potion will fade or if our glamourus heroine is stuck this way!
Comedian/podcaster Marc Maron is at Powell's on Sunday, reading from his new book Attempting Normal. I liked the book okay—it started out brilliantly, with some great, personal writing about Maron's first marriage, his days as young comic in Boston, and his life-long search for meaning through books and music. I particularly liked what he says about the massive collection of books he keeps in his famous garage: "Reading is like a drug. When I am reading from these books it feels like I am thinking what is being read, and that gives me a rush," and "Every book is a self-help book to me."
Writing those sentences it just hit me: Attempting Normal begins as a self-help book, in the sense Maron is using the term; in the sense that learning about how other people live and think can make us feel less crazy and alone. My copy is heavily dog-eared for the first 100 pages or so, but all my underlining dried up toward the middle, when the book starts to read more like a hastily compiled essay collection, full of anecdotes you'll probably recognize if you listen to Maron's podcast with any frequency. On balance, though, I'd recommend it.
The Powell's reading is gonna be packed, but you all knew that, right?
And then there's this:
I'm thinking about crashing the @nerdist show @heliumcomedypdx this weekend.
— marc maron (@marcmaron) May 10, 2013
So if you're a huge fan, you might wanna keep an eye on Maron's twitter account, and consider buying tickets to see Chris Hardwick at Helium in case Marc shows up for a guest set. (I'm lukewarm on Hardwick's standup, but he gets a life-pass for some of the great programming he puts out through his Nerdist empire.)
UPDATE: And of course, Maron will be appearing on Live Wire tomorrow night, along with local author Monica Drake and io9's Analee Newitz (who's also reading at Powell's tonight, in conversation with Douglas Wolk)
Beloved Portland stand-up comedian Ron Funches' sitcom just got picked up, everyone. And it really and truly couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Seriously, there is no one on Earth nicer than Ron Funches.
But Ron didn't get cast on a sitcom because he's nice (well, maybe, how the fuck would I know). He got cast because he's damn funny. Getting cast was great, getting picked up is even better. Hopefully the sitcom's good, too.
This Fall, look for Ron Funches on NBC's Undateable. Here's the network's description:
When confident slacker Danny Beeman (Chris D’Elia, “Whitney,” ”Glory Daze”) takes Justin (comedian Brent Morin) on as a roommate, Danny unwittingly inherits Justin’s group of romantically challenged friends. Seeing himself as the ultimate player, Danny decides to teach the crew (who he dubs “The Undateables”) everything he knows about “the game of love.” For their first lesson, Danny takes the guys to an event hosted by his sister, Leslie (Bianca Kajlich, “Rules of Engagement”), who is a single mom with dating difficulties of her own. At first, Danny’s advice seems to pay off big-time: The shy guy talks to a girl, the no-filter dude learns it’s never OK to ask a woman when she’s due, and his nebbish roommate, Justin, goes home with a mystery woman. It’s not until the next day that they figure out it was Leslie! Talk about a bunch who just can’t get lucky! From the executive producers of “Cougar Town” comes a hilarious new comedy about the “do’s,” “don’ts” and “duhs” of dating. From Emmy-nominated executive producer Bill Lawrence (“Scrubs,” “Cougar Town”), Jeff Ingold and executive producer/writer Adam Sztykiel (“Due Date”) “Undateable” is a production of Warner Bros. Television and Doozer Productions. Scott Ellis (“Guys with Kids”) directs the pilot episode.
This is Fucking. Wonderful.
In a break from tradition, Zach Galifianakis interviews dopey James Franco AND features the newest video from Lonely Island called "Spring Break Anthem"—which is both horrifying and insanely sweet. You'll see why.
[This is the first in a new Blogtown series "My Least Favorite Piece of Misogyny This Week," by local comedian Barbara Holm. You can catch Barbara live at tonight's benefit for Planned Parenthood at the Jack London.]
My least favorite piece of misogyny this week is everything going on with Chris Brown and his new song. Why is Chris Brown still allowed to make things? Can't someone put a condom on his metaphorical implement of creation? Gross. It's been another week of antifeminist debauchery for the slimy miscreant.
Chris Brown is famous first and foremost for beating up his girlfriend, Rihanna. Second, he is known for making a video giving men advice about how to keep their girlfriends in line. (Spoiler: it wasn't with cookies and scavenger hunts!) Third, he is known as some sort of musical artist, I guess. And finally, as the thing crows ominously circle against a dark grey horizon while puddle of mud plays. Not the band—the sound of a puddle of mud. Because that would sound gross.
Chris Brown released a new song this week and it got retweeted by millions of his fans. The fact that Chris Brown still has fans is like innocent children willingly asking the Sorting Hat to be put into Slytherin. It's like, holy crap, what happened to you to make you attracted to this evil entity? The song itself is widely thought to be a tragic unrequited love song about Rihanna, but it wears that suit like four heyenas atop each others' shoulders in a trench coat. You don't get to write sappy Ben Gibbard-esque songs about heartbreak if you embody everything that ruins love in the world. Actually, even Ben Gibbard is getting too handsome to write those songs now.
The lyrics go: "Don’t let this shit come between us." Rihanna, buddy: Let it come between you. Let lots of things come between you—like an ocean, walls, a big guard in a knight suit with a light saber, and a restraining order. "Girl if you love me better prove it." Rihanna, if you love him, you better go to therapy. "I can’t win, I can’t win for losing/ Don't even matter if you screamin’ yeah." What? Wait. What? "Tell me what did I do to make you hate me so much." I can't tell everyone what Chris Brown HASN'T done to make us hate him so much. I think everyone should be hating him a lot more. I think it would feel good to embrace the hate, like a warm bath with bubbles.
Okay, folks, ladies, gentlemen, babies, kitty cats, do not buy Chris Brown's new album. (Also, yes, I keep referring to him by his full name because I refuse to develop any sense of familiarity.) Don't listen to his song! This has been my least favorite piece of misogyny this week. Tune in next week to find out if our stumbling young heroes can make the jump in the getaway car!
While the premiere episode of Inside Amy Schumer—starring the absolutely filthy/hilarious comedian Amy Schumer—doesn't debut until tonight (Comedy Central, 10:30 pm), you can watch it right NOW on the Comedy Central site. Added bonus? Unlike tonight's showing, this one is completely uncensored which means while you can watch it right now, it's in your best interest to NOT WATCH THIS AT WORK. Unless you have the coolest boss in the world who just so happens to be Amy Schumer.
He opens by messing up an audio cue. Clearly he'd never practiced with that particular song. Not a huge deal. Then he chuckles at his own joke. Kind of an amateur move, but everybody's rooting for the guy. Let's get to some real jokes.
Probably his greatest reaction of the night is in the first few minutes. "I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I'm clearly not the strapping young Muslim Socialist I used to be." It's a great line for the president. For a late night comedian, it's an old joke. An obvious one. But it's funny to hear the president say it.
And that's the theme for the rest of the night. Old, uninspired jokes made brilliant by having them come out of the Chief Executive. He follows the socialist remark with a joke about Eric Holder and one about how badly NBC is doing. Both are extremely well trodden in the late night space but they hit great because the president is saying them.
The rest of the set is a combination of some harmless Photoshop jokes (the president with bangs) and more tired jokes. Fox is conservative, CNN got some reporting wrong, Taylor Swift sings about breakups. And.. and... and...
The parts where he really shines are when he does a bit of crowd work "I've got 99 problems and Jay-Z is one of them! [pause, finds Bill O'reilly in the audience] That's a rap reference, Bill." and when he tells a joke only the president could tell. "People say I should have a drink with Mitch McConnell. … YOU have a drink with Mitch McConnell!" That joke doesn't make any sense from anybody else but from President Obama it's amazing.
He didn't write any of it, of course (which caused him to chuckle after a couple jokes like he hadn't seen the punchline coming). And Conan has writers too. But the other handicap Conan had was he had to follow the president. That's not a task any comedian would take lightly. To make matters worse, the president ended his set with a five minute serious discussion of the tragedy in Boston. THAT is hard to follow.
Conan was meatier, more daring, and more original. He was great, if a tad angry sounding at times. And he should be better. The president was great at telling jokes for a guy who spent the day running a country. Conan would be pretty bad at being president for 10 minutes once a year, and if he didn't nuke something, we'd probably say he was a better president than a real president.
Hate is such a strong word, so I try not to use it very often. Here's a complete list of things I hate: Cupcakes, mermaids, end of list. And mostly I'm just disappointed in cupcakes for being so much worse than real cakes. So really, the only thing I hate is mermaids.
This Train song (sent to me by an alert reader who knows my feeling on creepy fish-women) doesn't do anything to sell me on them. The video features Michael Bluth walking around the Pro Bowl while a young Hawaiian boy plays his mini-ax and a mermaid swims around in the shallows. There is nothing sexy about this!
Please stop with the mermaid nonsense. Not only is it gross, it doesn't make any sense. If you breed animals, they don't evenly divide their bodies between the two parent species. A liger isn't just a lion head on tiger haunches. Since they couldn't have been bred this way, they must be the product of some kind of unholy human-fish-centipede experiment. STOP ALLOWING THIS TO EXIST IN POP CULTURE!
DO YOU REMEMBER this hilarious Tweet that comedian Nathan Fielder sent out last week?
Well, I do, and the results were soooooooo funny! Check out some here!
Anyway, over the weekend Nathan tweeted his phone number, telling his pranking followers that if they got in super-duper trouble with their parents, the folks should call the number and Nathan would inform them that it was all just a big, dumb funny joke. HOWEVER THIS IS NOT WHAT HE DID. He actually left this message on his machine:
"Hi, you've reached Nathan. Please leave a message. Oh, and if you're a parent calling because your kid said that I asked them to pretend to be a drug dealer, I've been getting a lot of those calls and I know nothing about that and had nothing to do with it, so they're probably just using me as an excuse. Okay, thank you!"
Whaaaaaaaa??? Punkers—you done been PUNKED! Hear the message here.
Were you thinking about eating lunch outside today? What are you—an idiot?? The sun will burn your pale white skin alive! Better to stay in the nice, air-conditioned indoors, grab a sammy, and watch the premiere episode of Maron from IFC. It's kind of like Louie—except with comedian/podcaster Marc Maron instead. It's gorgeously shot, and while not particularly ha-ha funny, it IS amusing. And way better than having your skin burned off.
Maron debuts on IFC, Friday, May 3 at 10 pm.
If you haven't watched comedian Nathan Fielder's verrrrry funny Comedy Central show Nathan For You... watch it! It's verrrry funny. And now Nathan's being even more funny by asking his Twitter followers to play the following prank on their parents:
Experiment: text your parents "got 2 grams for $40" then right after "Sorry ignore that txt. Not for you" Then tweet pic of their response.— nathan fielder (@nathanfielder) April 24, 2013
The results are HILARIOUS!! Hit the jump for my two faves and read even more here!
Portland comic Andie Main is volunteering at Bridgetown this year, and she's documenting her experiences for a comedians-eye view of the fest. Main's next local performance is on 4/24 at the comedy showcase Secret Weapon at Mississippi Pizza, 9:45 pm, $5.
There are downsides to really thinking about it, though. "Hmm... $.92/piece seems pretty high. Am I really paying a dollar every time I have sex? Does that make her a prostitute? Weird. I thought we were in love."
Plus you can find brands you didn't know existed. "Rusty's Brand Ultra Thick." I didn't know that existed, but it's only $.83/time-doing-it.
The weirdest thing was, as a force of habit, I still did the thing I do in normal stores where I bought a couple other items so the checker wouldn't think I was only interested in sex. I'm thinking about sex AND printer ink. See? Not a sex addict.
Amazon wasn't fooled either. I had a bunch of stuff in my cart but as soon as I added the condoms, all my recommendations instantly turned into sex toys. "People who bought condoms also enjoy blow up dolls." What? No they don't. Those are completely different demographics! If I want a blow-up doll, I'm not super concerned about having half blow-up babies.
Next time you're buying printer ink and want to get the free shipping, I highly recommend ordering a 24 pack of Rusty's Ultra Thicks.
Well, good, I was really concerned that bitter old racists were underrepresented at Bridgetown this year. The legendary watermelon smasher Gallagher will be in Portland next weekend, appearing on live podcast tapings for Walking the Room, Probably Science, and the Paul Goebel Show.
The last time Gallagher was in Portland, he and Marc Maron taped an episode of WTF in a hotel room—an episode that was cut short when Maron pressed Gallagher on his penchant for racist, homophobic jokes, and Gallagher became the first guest ever to storm out of a WTF taping. You should listen to it, if you haven't.
For those keeping track at home, a couple other local comics were just added to the festival lineup: Jimmy Newstetter, Phil Schallberger, and one of my very favorite locals, Christian Ricketts. (Sorry 'bout that column, Ian.)
I know it sounds like I'm constantly shilling for this festival, but... fuck. It's so good!
Tonight and tomorrow night, Jon Lovitz is at Helium! Jon Lovitz! Lovitz has cracked me up ever since SNL; chances are excellent that he'll be fantastic this weekend. (And, ah, he also might discuss his taxes. Fun!) Hey, let's you and me take a few moments to watch some stuff!
So, want to win tickets to see Lovitz's standup? Yeah? Good, because I've got a pair to give away to either the 10 pm show tonight or the 10 pm show tomorrow night—your choice!—and I probably won't lie and say I gave them away while actually keeping them for myself. Probably! If you want to enter to win, email me no later than noon today (Friday, April 12), make sure your subject line is "Energizer," and tell me which 10 pm show you want to go to, tonight or tomorrow. At noon, I'll pick a winner at random and email them back! WILL IT BE YOU?
There's been a lot of talk about the Bridgetown Comedy Festival on Blogtown recently—and oh boy, is there gonna be more in the next week or so—but if you're not quite ready to shell out for a festival pass, here's a lead on a solid show at Helium tomorrow night:
Locals Ian Karmel, Sean Jordan, Anthony Lopez, Shane Torres, Jacob Christopher, and Todd Armstrong will be performing (coff), Gabe Dinger's hosting, and if you call Helium and tell them Ian Karmel sent you, you'll score free tickets to what's otherwise a $5 show.
Here's what you do: Call Helium at 888-643-8669. Say "Hi, Ian Karmel said I could get free tickets to Thursday's show?"
Then... enjoy your free tickets to Thursday's show.
Also, take a gander at Ian's column this week, in which he spotlights a handful of great local comics who won't be at Bridgetown this year.
This sounds fun—a show called Picture This! invites animators and illustrators to do live sketches while a comedian performs. They're coming to Bridgetown, and they're seeking one more illustrator for their live show.
Illustrators, comics artists, and animators are invited to apply. Participating comics are Myq Kaplan (The Late Show, Conan), Moshe Kasher (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Lately), Jermaine Fowler (MTV, Guy Code), Jared Logan (VH1, Best Week Ever), Phoebe Robinson (Sirius XM), and Cornell Reid (Comedy Garage).
Here's a phrase I'm told is important:
- Artist must be comfortable using a Wacom/Cintique/or other digital drawing tablet and Photoshop
You also must available for a daytime rehearsal on April 20, as well as for the show itself, from 6:30-9 pm at the Hollywood. If you're interested in participating, send work samples to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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