comedy

Armando Ianucci and Steve Coogan on The South Bank Show

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The South Bank Show is a long-running British arts & culture magazine show, from what I understand. Below, two of the kings of UK comedy, Armando Ianucci and Steve Coogan, discuss their craft. If you're not already familiar with their work, try seeking out "The Day Today" on the video sites.

Above, Cougan, below, Ianucci.

Podcast: Comedy by the Numbers with Dr. Gary Rudoren and Prof. Eric Hoffman

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Show: 
Bullseye

Prof. Eric Hoffman and Dr. Gary Rudoren are two of the world's foremost researchers in the field of humor. Their new book, "Comedy By the Numbers" contains "The 169 secrets of humor and popularity." They promise that you don't need to be funny to be funny -- just memorize their system, and you'll quickly be impressing the cool kids.

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Live and in your face!

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If you haven't stopped by the Live page lately, we've got some really kick-ass "Sound of Young America Presents" shows coming up in the next week or so.

In New York:

Brooklyn Vegan & Klaus Kinski present Rock & ROFL is Monday night at Piano's. From 8-9, there's awesome comedy, including our pal Will Franken and lots of great NYC comics. From 9-12, there's awesome music... we can't give away the lineup, but there's a super-secret guest on the music side who's a past TSOYA guest. If you don't know who it might be, pick up a tiny telephone and call a friend who loves indie rock for a hint.

The Variety SHAC is April 3rd at the UCBNY. This is an awesome monthly comedy and music show from four really talented New Yorkers: Shonali Bhowmik, Heather Lawless, Andrea Rosen, and Chelsea Peretti. They always have amazing guests, to boot. If you haven't been charmed and laugh-ified by these ladies yet, you soon will.

And this Thursday night in San Francisco, Club Chuckles is at the Hemlock Tavern. Prank the Dean has played this show before, and it's an amazing showcase for alternative comedy and funny and outrageous music. This month, you can see TSOYA favorite Brent Weinbach recording his CD, and hear music/performance from Dynasty Handbag. The show's producer told me he wants the place jammed for both shows (early and late!), so he's only charging five bucks(!) to get in. Very worth your time.

Go! Enjoy yourselves! With our blessing!

Barack Obama-sistible

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I'm not here to endorse candidates, but I will say that Jon Glaser and Detroit Octane have convinced me of ONE candidates "Barack Obama-sistibility."

Above: the music video that's sweeping the nation. Below: the making of.

"This is a building that deserves my piss." - The Internets Celebrities

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I wish all internet videos were hosted by The Internets Celebrities, a pair of funny, lumpy, charming guys from New York City. Their videos thus far have been a sort of hip-hop corrolary to Jonah Ray's similarly funny Freeloader's Guide to Easy Living series -- a guide to living cheaply in the Big City.

This video above, their latest, is a how-to on finding a place to urinate in New York City. Bear in mind that this video is about peeing, so if that bothers you (or your employer), don't watch.

The Kids in the Hall hit the road!

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From the press release:

The 2008 tour, titled “Live As We’ll Ever Be”, represents a new era in the troupe’s collaboration, and is comprised of completely fresh material which simultaneously reflects who they are now and their patently off-kilter take on ordinary life. Favorite characters from the television series appear in entirely new situations, sharing the stage with new KITH personas which are destined for the same level of cult adoration. In a world where most entertainment tries to play it safe, “The Kids in the Hall” steadfastly refuse to follow the trend, preferring instead to slaughter sacred cows and look at the world – and each other – with refreshing honesty.

Join The Kathies, Headcrusher, the Sales Guys, Buddy Cole, and people you’ve never met before (but somehow recognize from your everyday life) on an adventure into the bizarre and side-splittingly funny.

Tour Dates as of March 7, 2008:

April 2008
4th – Merrillville, IN Star Plaza Theatre
5th – Milwaukee, WI Riverside
6th – Columbus, OH Mershon
9th – Austin, TX Paramount
10th – Austin, TX Paramount
17th – Boston, MA Wang Centre
18th – New York, NY Nokia Theatre
19th – New York, NY Nokia Theatre
20th – New York, NY Nokia Theatre
22nd – Houston, TX Verizon Theatre
23rd – Dallas, TX Nokia Theatre
24th - Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater
25th – Omaha, NE Civic Music Hall
30th – Philadelphia, PA Keswick Theatre

May 2008
1st – Providence, RI Providence PAC
2nd – Niagara Falls, NY Seneca Casino
4th – Baltimore, MD Lyric Opera House
8th – Anaheim, CA The Grove
9th – Los Angeles, CA The Orpheum
10th – San Francisco, CA War Memorial
11th – Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer
15th – Seattle, WA WaMu Theatre
16th – Vancouver, BC Boulevard Casino
20th – St. Louis, MO The Pageant
21st – Nashville, TN Ryman TPAC
22nd – Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
23rd – Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
24th – Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Center
25th – Charleston, SC North Charleston PAC
30th – Detroit Royal Oak
31st – Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square

June 2008
1st – Green Bay, WI Weidner Center

The Rossitano Report

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Being a record of all hats worn by Judah Friedlander as Frank Rossitano on NBC television's 30 Rock, which is the funniest show, as compiled by Maximum Funster Craxworth. Visit.

Breaking: Bob & David's pilot picked up!

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David Cross is reporting that HBO has picked up the pilot he and Bob Odenkirk wrote for HBO. Of course, this doesn't mean it'll end up as a series, but it's a very big step in that direction. These are two of the smartest, funniest guys in the world, and HBO is a network that is dedicated to quality more than any other on television. There's reason for hope, people.

Podcast: Ben Karlin of The Onion, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report

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Show: 
Bullseye

Ben Karlin was an early editor of The Onion before heading to Hollywood to work on film and television projects. He eventually helped create the Jon Stewart version of The Daily Show as it's head writer and eventually Executive Producer. He was lead writer on the Daily Show's enormously succesful book, "America: The Book." He co-created The Colbert Report, then quit, in part to edit the new book "Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me." The book is a collection of essays on, well, the subject in the title.

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The Dana Carvey Show on Hulu

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The Dana Carvey Show aired on ABC when I was a teenager. You know how people are always talking about the huge impact The Ben Stiller Show had on them? That's how I felt about The Dana Carvey Show.

At the time, I didn't know who Robert Smigel, Steve Carrel, Stephen Colbert, Louis CK, Dino Stamatopoulos, Spike Feresten, Dave Chappelle, Jon Glaser or Charlie Kaufman were, but each of them were contributors to the show. What I did know was that Skinheads From Maine was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen. In fact, when I had a brief opportunity to gush to Stephen Colbert last year, that was what I gushed about.

Dana Carvey is an interesting performer. He can be fantastically funny, but like another Bay Area legend, Robin Williams, sometimes that humor can be overwhelmed by... I dunno... broadness and a whiff of desperation. Here, he's surrounded by a spectacularly capable crew of writers and performers, and while he's occaisionally a bit over-indulgent (do we need interstitials from the Church Lady?), he's generally superb. The rest of cast, including the lesser-known figures like Bill Schott is uniformly excellent, as well.

The show has been astonishingly difficult to find for many years. Relatively recently it's shown up in digital form (I spent college scouring the interwebs looking for it), and now, it's in convenient digital form on the new multi-giant-conglomerate media site Hulu. I urge you to check it out.

One odd side note: for some reason, episode one, which featured the "controversial" opening sketch with Bill Clinton feeding a broad variety of barnyard animals at his teat, is not featured in the lineup.

Below, Skinheads From Maine, touchstone for 15-year-old Jesse.

"Nice sunset, there."
"Yeeeauhh. Weathah's the only thing the Jews don't control."

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