Mitch Hedberg

Move This To The Top of Your Queue: Five Reasons Why You Should Rediscover "Home Movies"

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"Move This to the Top of Your Queue" is our new feature that tells you about wonderful shows or movies that have just appeared on (or will soon disappear from) your favorite online streaming services.


What to watch: Home Movies

Where to find it: Netflix streaming added all 52 episodes last month; there are five episodes from Season 3 on Hulu; and a set of 15 episodes are available for free at Adult Swim.


Ah, summer. When kids are free. Released from the constraints of school, they finally have the time to be ignored by their parents and abused by their soccer coach all day long. If they get lucky, however, there are also days when they can hang with their friends, let loose their imaginations, and, perhaps, create a series of short but alarmingly sophisticated cinematic dramas that comment (albeit somewhat obliquely) on their most challenging life experiences.

The 1999-2004 classic Home Movies follows eight-year-old aspiring filmmaker Brendan Small (voiced by . . . Brendan Small) and his friends Melissa (Melissa Bardin Galsky) and Jason (H. Jon Benjamin) as they take the challenges of being a kid and channel them into short but ambitious films. Typical episodes revolve around whatever movie idea Brendan has cooked up that week. And we’re not talking about the type simple movies you'd expect from children this age. Plots range from a rock opera about Franz Kafka to sci-fi epics about spacemen fighting the super villain team of evil George Washington, Picasso and Annie Oakley. Frequently, these films mirror the children's more stressful "real life" experiences - and these kids are going through quite a bit; but one of the show's greatest comedic pleasures is watching how the children face those challenges with a level of maturity that far exceeds that of the adults who purportedly care for them.

Brendan lives with his recently divorced mom, Paula (initially Paula Poundstone, then Janine Ditullo), with whom he has a relationship that skews closer to friends than mother and son. And then there’s Coach McGuirk (H. Jon Benjamin again): an overweight, often drunk, galoot of a man who attempts to coach Brendan and Melissa’s soccer team while giving them outrageously terrible advice.

I love the show, but haven't seen enough of it to consider myself a connoisseur. So I've brought in our resident Home Movies expert, Dan Sai, to help show us around the series.

After the jump, you can find his top five reasons why you should set aside part of your sunny summer for Home Movies. (And yes, it includes loads of delicious clips!)

Podcast: The College Years: RIP Hedberg

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Guests: 
Al Madrigal
Guests: 
Marc Maron

The College Years is a look deep into the vaults of The Sound of Young America. Take a journey with us every week as we post a new program from our salad days.

Today's theme: RIP Hedberg

In this episode, Jesse begins by announcing the unfortunate passing of comedian Mitch Hedberg. After reflecting a moment on Hedberg's work as a comedian, Jesse speaks with Al Madrigal about Hedberg's influence on the world of comedy. Madrigal then talks about his upcoming feature at the 826 Valencia Comedy Benefit.


Then we hear from radio host and comedian Marc Maron. He speaks about his role in "alternative" comedy and work as a radio personality. Maron also looks back on Hedberg's life and talks about how the passing of some comedic role models affects comedy as a whole.

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