Robin Williams explains his quick-witted improv

During a 2001 appearance on Inside the Actor's Studio, Robin Williams was asked to explain how he pulls off his incredible, high-speed improvisations; by way of answer, he ad-libbed a five-minute bit that is pants-wettingly hilarious.

(via Reddit)

Ralph Wiggum: an appreciation of the only child on the Simpsons

In a beautiful essay on The Toast, Mallory Ortberg argues that while Bart, Lisa and Millhouse are kids, Ralph Wiggum is the only child on the Simpsons, full of childishness that's endearing and true.

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Groucho Marx on comics and depression

"I'm sure most of you have heard the story of the man who, desperately ill, goes to an analyst and tells the doctor that he has lost his desire to live and that he is seriously considering suicide.

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'Sista Girl' Felicia A. O'Dell's ultra-low-budget cooking videos are what the internet needs

"Motherfucker, this is not prison food." If you haven't seen "Sista Girl" Felicia A. O'Dell's cooking videos, which have been making the internet rounds this week, man, you're missing out. Her YouTube channel is called Sista Girl.

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Tim and Eric and Dr. Steve Brule are going on tour

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Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are known for live performances as weird as their television show, "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!." This Fall, Tim and Eric are going on a North American tour with Dr. Steve Brule (John C. Reilly) of "Check It Out," and the experience promises to be unmissable.

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Book Club: A Storm of Swords Daenerys V and Tyrion VII

With the completion of Season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Ivan and Red dig back into the Boars, Gore, And Swords book club, where they cover the chapters of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series that correspond to the previous television season. No book spoilers past the TV show!

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Boars, Gore, And Swords book club: Strong Belwas’s Bowels

With the completion of Season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Ivan and Red dig back into the Boars, Gore, And Swords book club, where they cover the chapters of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series that correspond to the previous television season. No book spoilers past the TV show!

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Boars, Gore, And Swords book club: Wanton and Treacherous by Nature

With the completion of Season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Ivan and Red dig back into the Boars, Gore, And Swords book club, where they cover the chapters of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series that correspond to the previous television season. No TV spoilers!

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Police Squad! was cancelled because the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it

Police Squad!, which hit the air in the fall of 1982, was a thirty-minute comedy on ABC created by Zucker Abrahams and Zucker, who’d had enormous success two years earlier with Airplane!. A broad parody of television crime shows (perhaps especially, of Lee Marvin and M Squad), Police Squad! ran for only four episodes before it was jerked by the network -- for reasons explained in the quote that titles this post (uttered by Tony Thomopoulos, President of ABC Entertainment). The two further episodes that had been produced were aired off the following summer.

In retrospect, it seems clear that Police Squad!'s only crime was timing. As Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, said in 2010:

If Police Squad! had been made twenty years later, it would have been a smash. It was before its time. In 1982 your average viewer was unable to cope with its pace, its quick-fire jokes. But these days they’d have no problems keeping up, I think we’ve proved that.

Indeed, six years later Zucker Abrahams and Zucker took Police Squad! star Leslie Nielsen– along with the concept and the approach– back to the big screen with The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, which was both both a critical and a box office success. It was followed by The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult.

Readers can see for themselves -- all six episodes of Police Squad! are now available on You Tube. Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Mick Jagger calls the kettle black

Mick Jagger takes the piss out of Monty Python, and himself, in this promo for the comedy troupe's imminent reunion gigs:

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MUST-SEE Zombie High: teen zombie romcom produced by Canadian high-schoolers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0bwo9rgPA4

Vincent writes, "'Zombie High' is a 32 minute movie made by the hard-working film students at Oak Park High in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It was conceived as a tribute to Shaun of the Dead and John Hughes, with a bit of Army of Darkness thrown in." This. Is. STUPENDOUS. The writing, production values, acting, and SFX are nothing short of inspired. These are some amazing teen filmmakers.

Zombie High (2013)

Game of Thrones s4e10 season finale [Boars, Gore, and Swords]

“The Children”, Season 4, Episode 10, of HBO’s Game of Thrones packs a lot of paternal angst into the season finale of the fourth season. Ivan and Red are joined by Oakland based comedian O.J. Patterson, the force behind the San Francisco Bay Area comedy blog, Courting Comedy.

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Father's Day: Groucho sings "Father's Day"

Once again, my favorite Father's Day anthem: Groucho Marx sings Father's Day.

Colbert viewers learned more about super PACs than news-junkies


In Stephen Colbert's Civics Lesson: How Colbert Super PAC Taught Viewers About Campaign Finance in Mass Communication and Society [paywalled], a study by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, scholars surveyed people whose knowledge of campaign finance issues came from watching The Colbert Report's segments on super PACs. They concluded that, when compared to people who learned about campaign finance from traditional news sources (as opposed to a satirical program), Colbert viewers had a better grasp of the issues, thanks to the satirical structure and the use of narrative. The study specifically calls out the traditional reporterly convention of the "inverted pyramid" as a poor way to capture interest and convey nuance to an audience.

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Women in Game of Thrones [Boars, Gore, and Swords]

Since this season’s “Breaker of Chains” episode, Game of Thrones’ handling of women and sex has been under intense scrutiny, and with a break in the show over Memorial Day, we dedicate an entire episode to bringing on two of our favorite guests and comedians to discuss exactly these topics.

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