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LA: Win tickets to Cinefamily Comedy Festival...

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You may have noticed that we're sponsoring a really awesome comedy film festival in LA.

We'll be giving away tickets to some awesome movies throughout the festival, but here's two great flicks to start us off. To enter, email our intern John at with your film preference, full name, and two favorite words and definitions - one real, one fake. A pair of tickets will go to the author of our favorite real word, and our favorite fake one.

Saturday night at 10:45, there's a screening of "TV Carnage," a bizarre and amazing collection of insanity, including a main feature called "One Man Force" that promises to be a gem of disastrous cinema. As the Cinefamily folks put it: "TV Carnage barfs up its frenetic celebration of the human thought process with a magical odyssey of alternative judgment calls and creative decision making."

Above, an example of the kind of madness that will be shown in the shorts program.

At 8PM Saturday night, a screening of the documentary "Winnebago Man." Documentarian Ben Steinbauer tracks down the man in the legendary viral clip above, and finds much more than he expected - a rich, brilliant, heroic American figure. A huge hit at SXSW this year.

Congratulations to our winners, Mariel and Riley!

TSOYA Classics: Two Sides of a Coin (July 22nd, 2006)


We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

Guests Dave Attell and Michael Showalter. Dave Attell is a celebrated standup comedian, and the former host of Comedy Central's Insomniac. Michael Showalter is best know for his work on MTV's The State and Comedy Central's Stella; he also wrote and directed the feature film The Baxter.

Listen to This Week's Show

Download This Week's Show (mp3)
Subscribe to TSOYA Classic: iTunes / Feed

Pledge Update


Thanks to some awesome volunteers who came by this weekend, a huge number of pledge thank yous are going out this week.

All of the t-shirts will be mailed this week, and all of the thank you gifts except for the Mustache TVs, which had a slight delay in printing.

We'll have one more volunteer day in a week or two to put together Mustache TVs, but besides those, everything should arrive within the next two weeks. Enjoy!

Jordan Morris on Wiretap, redux


Jordan once again appeared on our friend Jonathan Goldstein's CBC radio show Wiretap this week.

Ep. 100: Old Home Week with Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick

Guest Chris Hardwick joins Jesse and Jordan to talk about The Bonnie Hunt Show, Jesse's high school reunion, and more.

Download This Episode (MP3 Link)
Discuss the episode on the forum
Subscribe in iTunes / Podcast Feed

* Enter the second annual high five contest!


* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Need advice? ASK JUANITA!
* Share your Momentous Occasions and Moments of Shame!

Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.

Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "Arrive Having Eaten"


Longtime Podthoughts readers know that the podcast medium has spawned two basically-new genres of show. The first is the venerable TTWGBAC, or, for shorttime Podthoughts readers, the Two Twentysomething (or Thirtysomething) White Guys (or, occasionally, Girls) Bullshitting About Culture. (Content obvious.) The second, your Podthinker hasn't yet bothered to label, so he's just been calling it You Look Nice Today, which, for those really new to the podcast scene, is the name of the hi-larious program that pioneered the format, or in any case perfected it. In this genre, two or more co-hosts make comedy, or at least attempt to, by making preposterous statements in reasonable tones of voice, then improvisationally scale up the prepostrosity in conversation. It's usually broken up by short bumper tunes and titled with a phrase that doesn't make much sense. Perhaps we'll call it Ridiculousness Uttered Flatly, Segmented By Music (RUFSBM).

Arrive Having Eaten [iTunes link] is something of a hybrid of the TTWGBAC and the RUFSBM, though with a strong lean toward the latter. Linked up by Skype (presumably), Kentucky-based co-host Ben Compton and Ohio-based co-host Erica Minton trade ridiculous and/or preposterous lines about certain sectors of culture — Twitter, say, or movies like Con Air — and about life's vicissitudes — like being de-friended by real-life friends on Twitter and watching Con Air on VHS until the audio track wears off. Though Erica seems to drive the conversation and Ben picks up the rear with the quips-in-response, they operate on what it feels appropriate to call the Jenga model of RUFSBM podcasting: keep pulling out blocks of ludicrousness until someone, usually Erica, collapses. In laughter, than is.

With each RUFSBM — or, for that matter, TTWGBAC — your Podthinker listens to, it becomes clearer that their listenability hinges on how well one knows the hosts' particular tics and inclinations. As with regular friends, the more familiar you are, up to a point, the better time you have. Therefore, the success of an RUFSBM hinges on the prospective listener's willingness to hang in there while they get to know the hosts. Upon first play, Ben and Erica certainly seem affable and articulate enough. Jovial. Reasonably energetic. Few especially eccentric qualities — or positively or negatively distinguished characteristics of any obvious nature — emerge to latch onto, unfortunately, but there's nothing repellent either.

If you're in need of a new regular download, though, hang in there. Your Podthinker is pleased to report that he'd fully warmed up to Ben and Erica after no more than three or four episodes. There's laughs. There's good times. There's schemes, harebrained and otherwise. There's priceless phrases like "'tato stampin'." Ben sometimes works a tad blue, but the content is nothing one wouldn't share with an especially forward-thinking family. Plus, it's quite well-produced, which is often the Achilles' heel of these projects. While Arrive Having Eaten doesn't make much of an effort to come out and grab you, there's smile-inducing entertainment to be had on that there podcast if you're willing to swim on out to it. A mixed metaphor, yes, but you're hereby dared to prove it inaccurate.

Vital stats:
Running since: June 2009
Duration: 15m-25m
Frequency: just about weekly
Archive available on iTunes: all

[It's podthinker Colin Marshall you want? colinjmarshall at gmail.]

"America. All she stands for." - Hank Kingsley


Episode one of the Larry Sanders Show. My favorite television show of all time, bar none. Even more than The Simpsons or Seinfeld or anything.

Click through for parts two and three, then buy the DVDs, download/steal the whole series, and for God's sake watch it.

I love Larry Sanders SO MUCH.

Zach Galifianakis in the New York Times


The Times Magazine this week features an extended profile of Zach Galifianakis, Real American Hero and one of my favorite TSOYA guests.

I saw his new movie, The Hangover, last week, and thought it was very funny. Zach really couldn't be a more compelling figure on screen, and he just destroyed the packed audience in the screening I saw.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll


Directed by IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade

Interview: Peep Show Co-Creator Jesse Armstrong


Jesse Armstrong is one of the co-creators and writers of the BAFTA-winning BBC sitcom Peep Show. (A BAFTA is like a British Emmy.) Now entering its sixth series, with a US version in development at Spike TV, Peep Show is a funny, but cringe-inducing, depiction of the lives of two twenty-something flat mates, played by past TSOYA guest David Mitchell and comedy partner Robert Webb (above). Its first season recently became available in the US on Hulu. No less an authority on UK comedy than Ricky Gervais called it "The only British thing that I was really blown away by in the last few years."

Armstrong has also written for other acclaimed television series, including the sketch series That Mitchell & Web Look and the political satire The Thick of It.

MaxFun Contributor Matthew Phelan spoke with Armstrong from the UK.

Matthew Phelan: You've said that you and co-creator, Sam Bain, and the show's stars [David] Mitchell and [Robert] Webb, met in something called a "writing team experiment" within the BBC …

Jesse Armstrong: Yeah. [laughs] It was fascinating because there is a definite mystique around American writing techniques in the UK--the long runs, the more successful audience figures. We have a problem getting mainstream comedies to work and people often think that it may be something to do with [not using] the team system. I think there are interesting things about having teams of people on a show, but I definitely don't think it's a magic bullet.

So, this was a really ill-thought-through plan to create a British, team-writing situation. The people behind it thought that, to do a team show, you got six people (in this case who didn't know each other) in the room with a producer and a one-line idea--which was, "What if there was house that was squatted and these people all lived together." We wrote the script between the six of us. Each taking, one sixth of the script and we came up with this horrible, kind-of "Frankenstein's monster" as anyone would imagine. Anyone with any knowledge of the US system knows that you still have a show creator who writes the pilot, sets the tone.

So, that was disastrous, but we went into it not knowing David [Mitchell] and Robert [Webb] and came out knowing them quite well, as we sniggered behind our hands and went, "Oh, god. This is terrible what we're doing, isn't it?"

Click "Read More" for more with Peep Show Co-Creator Jesse Armstrong, including audio of the full interview.

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