British coronavirus policy explained

An old Mitchell and Webb skit, contra Voltaire; if you know them, you already know which one it is: "I'm not saying do it. I'm just saying to run it through the computer to see if it would work." Read the rest

Post-apocalypse game show: "Hello, good evening, and remain indoors!"

British comedy duo Mitchell and Webb created their "The Quiz" sketch format years ago, depicting a dilapidated and miserable TV game show broadcast in the wake of an apocalyptic "event" that means you really should stay indoors. Prophetic!

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Gillian Anderson does ASMR to promote her show, Sex Education

To promote the new season of her show, the British comedy Sex Education (now streaming on Netflix), Gillian Anderson does a nearly four minute ASMR video. In her character of Dr. Jean Milburn, Anderson purrs and whispers, scratches and tickles the mics, open, pours, and sips wine, and does a number of other classic "braingasm" audio tricks. For X-Files fans and nerdy boys n' girls who've crushed on Anderson for decades, it might all be too much.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Russian comedian who dissed Putin flees country

"I didn't plan to be persecuted simply for joking," he said.

Uncovering two lost comedy albums from cult comic Dick Davy, who once championed civil rights and antiracism

Jason Klamm from the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) writes, "In late 2018, I uncovered the true identity of comic Dick Davy. Since starting his archive, I've come across some real gems, but in August, one find took the cake. His niece, Sharon, mailed me two records that had been sitting in a box, and it turns out these are unreleased acetates of material no one has heard in almost sixty years. I had Firesign Theatre archivist Taylor Jessen transfer and do a quick clean-up of them. This episode discusses their contents and what their future might be." (MP3) Read the rest

Perfection: "Frère Jacques" featuring Ricky Gervais' infectious laughter

A delightful moment of "Frère Jacques" performed by composer Luke Thering and comedian Ricky Gervais. More of Luke and Ricky below:

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TIL: John Mulaney has an upcoming kid's musical comedy special

Today I learned (on Conan O'Brien's podcast) that comedian John Mulaney has made a children's musical comedy special for Netflix. What?! Terrific!

The show's official description states he and his "kid pals" "tackle existential topics for all ages with catchy songs, comedy sketches and special guests in a nostalgic variety special."

On Conan's podcast, he further describes it, "We have a lot of songs about anxieties and fear. There's huge, kind of, Broadway-scale numbers. There's small cameos from beloved people. There's show-stopping cameos from people. And there's lots of little interviews along the way... I cannot explain it well, and I never could pitch it well. And I sometimes couldn't discuss with my collaborators exactly what I was picturing but it is now done... I am more happy with it then I have been with anything I've ever done."

*That* is saying a lot coming from Mr. Mulaney. Count me in!

John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch will premiere Christmas Eve.

Here's its trailer:

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Key & Peele: "If Hogwarts were an inner-city school"

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele reveal the "deplorable conditions at Vincent Clortho Public School for Wizards."

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Famous comedians have turned to the same sleazy tactics as CEOs and politicians to protect their in-progress jokes

Consequence of Sound was the first to report that Pete Davidson has begun handing out NDAs to all audience members at his recent comedy gigs. Imagine buying a ticket, then showing up at a performance, where they give you a paper full of dense legalese threatening a $1 million dollar fine if you share anything about it anywhere in your life. This isn't just limited to videos on your phone; you're prohibited from even talking about the jokes you heard.

And if you refuse to sign? Here's a refund, there's the door. (Although hey, at least they're nice enough to offer you a refund.)

It's a ridiculous idea, one that reeks of the same entitled financial bullying that have kept people like Jeffrey Epstein, Donald Trump, and Harvey Weinstein in power, doing what they do. It's a tough guy act, saying "Respect my authority, or pay the consequences." In those other situations, however, someone might feel pressured into going along with the NDA to save their job or reputation; in Davidson's case, the only thing you lose is the privilege of seeing a live comedy show, I guess.

On one hand, I know that if I did sign the paperwork, I probably wouldn't be able to enjoy the show, knowing that I was there under duress, and that any comment about it that came attached to that little blue checkmark on my Twitter account might completely ruin my life.

On the other hand, the NDA's not going to work anyway. Read the rest

What if everyone could hear the omniscient narrator, and the narrator was Nick Offerman?

Brilliant fun from Kevin Tenglin and Erik Kissack featuring Nick Offernan as a narrator with entirely too much influence over proceedings and Shawn Parsons as a hapless gunslinger. A 16:9 version is on YouTube.

Filmmaker Eric Kissack tells the story of a lone gunslinger who walks into a saloon and begins to hear a voice -- the all-knowing narrator.

In a small town in the Old West, a weary man enters the room. Suddenly, an omniscient voice begins to narrate the scene, revealing who the gunslinger is and what he's about to do.

But the characters in the film can hear the voice, too.

The narrator quickly divulges the deepest, darkest secrets of the people in the saloon. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the narrator wants nothing more than to see a "ballet of death."

Featuring the mellifluous voice of comedian Nick Offerman.

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Actual police reports dramatically read by Port Townsend residents

Evidently Port Townsend, Washington has a real sense of humor. Read the rest

Gaze upon the disturbing Zuckerberg and Trump puppets from the new incarnation of 80's series Spitting Image

Children of the 80's will remember the disturbing puppets from satirical puppet show Spitting Image and the video for Genesis' Land of Confusion.  Co-creator Roger Law has confirmed that a pilot has been filmed, with hopes of a new series focusing on major celebrities like Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg.

Jeff Westbrook, a writer on The Simpsons and Futurama, is serving as show-runner, and caricaturist Adrian Teal is working on the puppets.  You can get a glimpse of the Trump puppet in action in this clip:

(Images via Avalon and The Guardian.) Read the rest

Look at new SNL cast member Chloe Fineman's spot-on impersonation of Elizabeth Holmes

I haven't watched Saturday Night Live in years, but I might start again just because I like Chloe Fineman's impersonation of Elizabeth Holmes so much. Read the rest

Have you seen the entire Mr. Creosote sketch from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life?

The Mr. Creosote sketch from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life went viral this weekend after director Quentin Tarantino was alleged to have said it's the only scene in film he was ever disturbed by. Watching it, it struck me that I'd never actually seen the whole thing, and that you might not have, either.

I read somewhere, perhaps Michael Palin's autobiography, that under the hot studio lights and the long, technical takes, the food matter on the set began to reek and one of the extras vomited for real. Read the rest

Analyzing 800 daily tweets that say "Today was the day that Donald Trump became president"

Every day, for reasons best understood by herself, Megan Amram ("it's this weird, sexual, anti-comedy comedy that's 'in' right now") posts "Today was the day Donald Trump finally became president" to her Twitter feed. Read the rest

Trailer: The Art of Self-Defense looks terrible in the best possible way

From the look of things, The Art of Self-Defense looks to be full of toxic masculinity and Iron John bullshit--to hilarious effect. Jesse Eisenberg is at his best in movies where he plays the straight man: deadpan, confused and terrified.It looks like that's all going on here.

I haven't been interested enough in a film to bother seeing it in the theater, for a while now. This flick might just break my watch-it-at-home streak. Read the rest

Crowdfunding season four of JourneyQuest: a CC-licensed fantasy-comedy show that treats its fans with respect

Ben writes, "First featured on Boing Boing in 2010, the fan-supported TV series JourneyQuest has continued for nine years(!) and is now Kickstarting a fourth season. It's an open world with a copyleft license, proving that encouraging sharing, remixing, allowing commercial derivatives, and not treating fans like criminals can still lead to success." Read the rest

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