Editor Adam Stein posted this charming 2003 short from back when everyone involved was in a very different place in their career. Directed by Miguel Arteta and written by Miranda July, who also stars. Read the rest
Dan Nainan is a 35-year old who often speaks for the Millennials: he crops up in piece after piece as a secondary source, reinforcing whatever angle the story takes on this most endlessly fascinating of generations.
Ben Collins writes, however, that he's actually a corporate-gig comedian in his mid-fifties. Moreover, the spokesmillennial thing isn't some clever, media-trolling prankery: Nainan insists he's 35, even as public records says otherwise. He obviously wouldn't pass for his claimed age--even his pro headshots are tell-tale--but seems to be doing quite well for himself as retirement age approaches. Which leaves the rather unsettling question: why?
I get it, I told him. It’s time to tell the whole story, I said. Being in your 40s and leaving Intel to become a millionaire comedian is even more impressive than some guy in his 20s making it in comedy like everybody else, right?
So tell me, are you 35 or 55?
Then a pause.
“I’m 35,” he said. “The mistake is in my birth record.”
A few minutes later, he said he wanted to talk to his lawyer before he said anything else.
Discussion centers, fairly, on his representations to the media and our mindless complicity in publishing them. There's also a some spiteful pleasure being had shaming him for his apparent vanity.
I'm struck by the thought that it was once common and reasonable for bachelors to be evasive about their age. The reasons for doing so are largely historical now, but way back when it made it harder for people to find material to blackmail or expose you or otherwise screw with your professional life if there was something about you that could unfairly compromise it. Read the rest
Dave Allen was an Irish comedian popular in the UK from the 1960s until his death in 2005. His reputation is as a cantankerous irreligious fellow, but this family-friendly moment is widely held to be his best sketch. Someone on YouTube thinks it's the best British TV comedy sketch of the 1970s. There's some pretty stiff competition on that front, if you ask me. (Mastermind, from The Two Ronnies, is the best British comedy sketch of the 1980s. Dead Parrot was 1969.) Read the rest
The end-of-year episode of Jesse Thorn's Bullseye podcast (MP3) highlights the funniest bits from 2016's best standup comedy albums, an hour and a half of seriously funny stuff that I've enjoyed more than any other podcast I've listened to this week. It's been a bleak 2016, and this is a tonic. Read the rest
John Oliver talked HBO into letting him release his whole 29-minute, must-watch show on resisting the normalization of Trumpism, with its endorsement of rape; torture; mass-deportations; elimination of environmental, health and safety safeguards; and Islamophobia. Read the rest