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Would you rather... Dino v. Omelette

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Courtest of Jim Real, the Master of Would You Rather:

WOULD YOU RATHER...

Be a crime fighting dinosaur

or

Have free brunch for life?

Discuss. I'll post the answer next week. And yes, there is a correct answer, this is not a subjective excercise.

Who knew Leno had some New Sincerity in him?

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Any man who gets pulled over on the LA freeway for speeding in a steam-powered car can't be all bad, right? (login required, or use bugmenot)

The Great Communicators

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This week, a classic from The Sound of Young America vaults. The theme of the show is "The Great Communicators," a tribute to Ronald Reagan. Our guests are Patton Oswalt and Chris Hardwick.

Each of these guys is a standup comic, but each is perhaps best known for (perhaps slightly embarassing) television series. Chris was the host of MTV's "Singled Out" in the early 1990s, a job which he followed up with a stint hosting the syndicated dating show "Shipmates." Patton is the co-star of CBS TV's "The King of Queens," a sitcom in the much maligned fat-guy-hot-wife genre. It's definately the best of those, though.

Chris is half of the music duo Hard N Phirm, who have often been heard on The Sound. He's also due to perform alongside KG from Tenacious D in a musical called "Rock of Ages," which features some of the "great" hair metal tunes of the 1980s.

One of my favorite shows in our history, certainly one of the funniest.

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Finally, some real satire!

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The always-wonderful Eugene Mirman has a new post up on his "Hello. I'm Eugene." blog. He takes on the heady topic of the Iraq war with typical Mirman aplomb.

Many of you were too young to remember when the second Iraqi war broke out a few years ago. You were probably still glued to Kurt Loder on MTV announcing that the latest Green Day influenced band was finally at maximum handsomeness.

The post contains some sweet movies, by the way.

Link

Eugene on The Sound of Young America (MP3)

Newsradio Season Three DVD is now available...

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It took NBC/Uni quite a while to get Newsradio DVDs in the pipeline, and when they did, series creator Paul Simms supposedly pulled it out of the pipeline for a while to add extras, but they're here, and they're wonderful. Season 3 just became available, and Season 1 & 2 have been available for some time.

Newsradio was an astonishingly underappreciated show in it's time. It had a loyal and significant following, but it was overshadowed by Seinfeld in the press and on NBC. Seinfeld was a game-changing show, but Newsradio may have been the second best sitcom of the 90s.

On last week's Sound of Young America, Andy Daly talked about how difficult it is to be a great straight man. Dave Foley's effortless work on Newsradio made it look easy. The best TV straightman since Newhart, says I. It's tough to get laughs working against the wackos, and Foley did it consistently.

And that's to say nothing of the wonderful work done by the rest of the cast. Phil Hartman was of course the most heralded among them, but everyone else deserves kudos as well. Andy Dick did the most consistently excellent work of his life as dim-witted cub reporter Matthew. Stephen Root was stunningly fantastic as the bombastic boss Mr. James. Maura Tierney and Khandi Alexander both got tremendous humor out of their sometimes-straight-woman, sometimes-nutty-woman roles. Even final season additions Jon Lovitz and Patrick Warburton distinguished themselves.

I had the chance to drive Dave Foley around for SF Sketchfest 2006, and we talked a bit about the show. He described it as the best job he'd ever had, and a joy to be a part of. It was certainly a joy to watch.

LA Comedy: Once you go black...

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Great lineup for this week's Comedy Death Ray at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles. Thye bill includes our pal Jasper Redd (pictured), one of the best comics to come out of San Francisco in the past few years.

The show's tonight: Tuesday, February 28th. For more info, check out FunBunchComedy.com. You can make reservations here.

Also... check out our show from July featuring an interview with Comedy Death Ray's founders/honchos, Scott Aukerman and BJ Porter (as well as CDR regular Greg Behrendt): MP3 Link

Politicos v. Colbert

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Great piece in today's Times about Steven Colbert's quest to interview 434 of the 435 members of the House of Representatives. (Colbert says Rep. Randy Cunningham of California (R) is "dead to me").

Colbert's already talked one congressman into punching him, and another into allowing Colbert to comb his moustache.

I was a little dissapointed to read that Barney Frank of Massachusetts, one of the funniest congressman (a slight distinction no doubt), was the only one who said he wouldn't do it again. He said Colbert was "Two Stooges short of a good routine." Bah humbug. If you didn't want him to make fun of your gayness, Barney, maybe you shouldn't have gotten caught with that male prostitute.

One of the odd transformations that the Daily Show franchise has undergone over the course of the Stewart Administration is away from the Ali-G-esque "we're real reporters" act of the early days, and towards complex comedy set pieces. Actually, they've lately been moving away from field reports all together in favor of studio bits like "This Week in God."

There's no doubt that Stewart is a wonderful TV host, who manages to be both likeable and snarky, a tough task. And the folks the Daily Show hires are almost without exception fantastic. But whent he subjects are in on the act, the whole thing loses a bit of it's power, doesn't it?

Personally, I'm very excited about a show called American Lives, coming to Comedy Central this summer. It stars, among others, past Sound guests Zach Galifianakis and Matt Walsh, as a fictional newsteam, travelling the country interviewing real people and having semi-improvised interactions. It's produced by one of the fellas behind Ali G, and it sounds like a winner to me. Walsh is one of the best straight men in the business, and as Galifianakis showed in the Comedians of Comedy, he's an amazing talent, whose comic live wire act is totally engrossing.

Dr. Katz on DVD May 9th

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The Sound of Young America unknowingly broke this story a month or two ago when H. Jon Benjamin was on the show, but Comedy Central made it official today. Dr. Katz is finally coming to DVD May 9th.

"Dr. Katz Professional Therapist: Season One" is a one disc set featuring all six episodes. The release also contains the following: "Shrink Wrapped," an original Squigglevision short; "Short Attention Span Theater" shorts; "The Biography of Mr. Katz," the animated original pitch idea to the network; and audio commentaries from comedians Dave Attell, Ray Romano, H. Jon Benjamin (Dr. Katz's son, Ben), series star and co-creator Jonathan Katz and co-creator Tom Snyder.

Comedians who appeared on the couch in the first season include Dave Attell, Joy Behar, Bill Braudis, Anthony Clark, Dom Irrera, Laura Kightlinger, Andy Kindler, Wendy Liebman, Larry Miller and Ray Romano.

Ray Romano's appearances on Dr. Katz are about as good as it gets, if you ask me. People complain about Romano because they associate him with the very traditional Everybody Loves Raymond, but the fact is that he's one of the funniest guys in the world, and his style is wonderfully suited to the Dr. Katz format.

If you've never heard them before, I hiiiiighly reccomend Jonathan Katz's pieces for The Next Big Thing, which mostly feature Katz as the host of a bizarre call-in show called "You're On the Air with Jonathan Katz." Discussions include national holidays and the Galapagos Islands. Benjamin and other great comedians are the callers.

Hang it Up: Poor Escalator Etiquette

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Why are you standing on the left? Why have you suddenly stopped walking, causing me to bump into you? Why is your luggage blocking my way? Why can't you learn some escalator etiquette?

Hang it up, poor escalator etiquette!

Keep it Up: Elbow Patches

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Elbow patches are a great way to prolong the life of a favorite sportcoat, and they lend everything you do a professorial air.

Keep It Up, Elbow Patches!
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