The highlight of my podcast week is the Friday nights when the BBC Friday Night Comedy podcast includes an episode of The News Quiz (as it does this week: MP3), and the highlight of the News Quiz is always Jeremy Hardy, who makes me laugh so hard with his incredible deadpan delivery and quick wit that I'm often in danger of wetting myself.
I just bought a full seven seasons' worth of Hardy's radio show, Jeremy Hardy Speaks the Nation from AudioGo (which sells them without DRM as MP3s!), and spent a solid week in comedy heaven. If you like fast, funny, lefty comedy that acerbic, smart and unrelenting, this is just about your best entertainment buy.
Above, an episode of Robert Llewellyn's Carpool show, wherein he gives people a drive and interviews them with cameras all around his car.
The campaign to rename West 121st St in NYC for George Carlin has nearly succeeded, but is being blocked by a single vote -- and faces opposition from his boyhood Catholic church and school. A fundraiser at the Gotham Comedy Club tomorrow night will feature an all-star standup cast to raise money to support the cause. (via Reddit)
The July 27 episode of the WTF podcast has an excellent hour-and-a-half interview with Cheech and Chong. It turns out they had very interesting lives before they got together to form the incredibly successful comedy duo. Tommy Chong was the guitar player in a Motown-label rhythm and blues band, and Cheech Marin was a music journalist and Vietnam war protester. I imagine both of them are close to 70 years old now, but they sound exactly the same as I remember them on their LP records from the early 1970s. This was a delightful interview.
One of Community's most notable and popular writers, Megan Ganz, has announced in a Reddit post that she's taken a position at ABC's Modern Family. While it's sad to see her go, it's hard to blame her for leaving when there is constantly a question about Community's future. But at least we'll get to see two more episodes in Season 4 that were written by Ganz, and she'll be staying on to oversee the editing of those two episodes ("Paranormal Parentage" and the season finale, "Advanced Introduction to Finality"). Said the scribe:
We filmed the bottle episode in chronological order so this was the first line that we shot and I remember sitting at the monitors at 7am on the first day thinking, "If they call action and no one runs in here screaming 'stop the TV-equivalent of presses,' then I will have written a line that will appear on a television show. I'll be a television writer." And the director did call action–as they do–and so I was. Just like that. ...
This isn't the end of me and Greendale. Community was my world for four seasons and my job for three, and has hold of my whole heart like a bad-news high school boyfriend. I'll never really get away. The chemistry is too perfect and the writing room couches aren't really that uncomfortable to sleep on and I just can't stop writing for Britta. Plus I still have to do my editing pass on the finale. I think I left a box in my office, too. Bobrow probably misses me. Better stop by on my way home.
Ganz's voice on Community will definitely be missed, but I prefer to see her gainfully employed rather than suddenly silenced or underutilized. I will probably also really, truly have to start watching Modern Family now.
As part of its first comedy issue -- or as I like to call it, "The Sexiest Humans Alive" issue -- Vanity Fair has featured a photo shoot and (unembeddable) interview with the lads of The Lonely Island, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone. They provide exactly zero information on their future plans and talk about fake cookbooks instead, and I'm okay with that. (via Vanity Fair)
(Video link) In this preview of IFC's Portlandia holiday special, Candace and Toni, the persons who run feminist bookstore Women & Women First (Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein), have been surprised with a last-minute babysitting request from Candace's son, played by Bobby Moynihan, who can no longer be bribed with free vagina pillows. Alas, another victim of the patriarchy. "Winter in Portlandia" will air Friday, December 14 at 10:30 PM EST on IFC. In addition to Moynihan, Jim Gaffigan and Matt Lucas will be stopping by! (via IFC)
What's the deal with texting? Are you being sarcastic? Are you mad at me? Are you typing this while on the toilet? I don't wanna be a meme! Did you ever stop to think about how incredibly perfect Seinfeld would be in today's social media-crazed world? Thanks to the newly formed Modern Seinfeld Twitter account, you can get a 140-character (or less) idea at what a current episode of the "Show About Nothing" would cover. And when you consider all the "nothing" we do all day and how much awkward human behavior it causes, Seinfeld could probably find enough material to last twenty years. (via Twitter)
I note that a number of news outlets are reporting about her post-treatment (?) phase as "cured," or "cancer-free," and wince at that language because the disease is never that simple, and those terms imply something that we hope for but cannot guarantee. But it sounds like her course of treatment was successful and that she is in an excellent place.
I am not glad Notaro has cancer. But I am glad people with cancer now have someone like Tig to point to all that is laughable, and all that is darkly humorous, about the experience of being a person with cancer.
From the wonderful blog "Vintage Scans," a page from Lifemanship lesson from Stephen Potter, 1957 (11th impression). Potter was a British writer known for dry, mocking, self-help books, and the TV and film projects they inspired.