comedy

Podcast: Comedy: Morgan Murphy and Andy Kindler Live

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Show: 
Bullseye

Andy Kindler (above) is a legend in the world of alternative comedy. Since bursting onto the comedy scene in the early 1990s, he's appeared on innumberable television programs performing standup, including several appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, for which he is now a field correspondent. Within the comedy world, he's best known for openly mocking the standup world in his annual "State of the Industry Address" at the Aspen Comedy Festival. Andy's set was recorded live at the Westside Eclectic in Santa Monica, California.

Morgan Murphy is one of the fast-rising stars of the comedy world. She wrote for and appeared several times on Jimmy Kimmel Live, before quitting to pursue standup full-time. She's toured nationally with The Comedians of Comedy and Neil Hamburger, among others. Morgan performed as part of TSOYA Live at the SF Sketchfest.

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If you enjoyed this show, try these ones:
New York Stories with Cartoonist Roz Chast
Tim & Eric
Joke Warfare with Terry Jones and Dino Stamatopolous

Improv Everywhere: Food Court Musical

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A kindly homosexual tries to teach Jesse to dance in one ill-fated night

Improv Everywhere (previously on TSOYA), if you don't already know, are an organization of fun-loving people whose goal is to "cause scenes." I'd call their works pranks, but their goal is not to dupe people, but rather to create moments of wonder and amazement in ordinary places. They call them Missions.

IE is based in New York City, where founder (and committed MaxFunster) Charlie Todd is based. Last year, they were taping a pilot and shot a few missions here in LA. Charlie was kind enough to invite me to participate, and one of the missions he created out here has finally been posted on the IE website: The Food Court Musical. Essentially, a group of ten or fifteen people, seated in various spots in a mall food court, stood up and played parts in a complicated musical number called "Can I Get A Napkin Please?"

I can't say enough about how enjoyable the whole process was, from soup to nuts. Everyone involved was super-awesome, from Charlie to the IE regulars to the UCB folks to the random people who came in from craigslist. The song is wonderful, and I realized about halfway through that the star was also Jordan, Jesse Go!'s cheap video game reviewer.

The mall chosen to be the site of the mission is in south LA -- you might know it as the place Chris Rock interviewed people coming out of a Magic Johnson theater one time for the Oscars. We actually performed the song a few times during the course of a day, and the reactions on the patrons ranged from, "white people are crazy! I find that amusing." to "white people are crazy! I find that confounding." The editors chose to highlight the former, but watch for a lot of the latter on the edges of the frame.

Fortunately for you, my brief solo (as "Man in Suit") was cut, as was all of my (extensive) dancing, but I think the finished product is a lot of fun, and you can still spot me reacting to a thrown broom and in the closing tableau. Check it out for yourself below.

This is fucking hilarious.

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Probably the only thing funnier than this video of John Legend and Stephen Colbert dueting on the song "The Girl is Mine," is the original video, with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney on that fucking hayride.

Edit: a bigger Paul McCartney/MJ duet fan than I has pointed out that the hayride was in the video for the OTHER hit MJ/PM duet, Say Say Say.

Podcast: TSOYA: Patton Oswalt

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Show: 
Bullseye

Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt makes his record-setting twelve-kwajillionth visit to The Sound of Young America. He's now a movie star -- voicing the rat Remy in the new Pixar Animation film Ratatouille. He's also got a brand new comedy CD, called "Werewolves and Lollipops," out on the Sub Pop label. It's always a pleasure to talk to one of the masters of comedy.

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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past programs:
Patton Oswalt on KZSC's "The Collector's Item," talking about his favorite songs
"The Symphony" with Patton Oswalt and Masta Ace
Another old interview with Patton Oswalt (MP3)

Elsewhere:
Patton in the AV Club
Patton in Modest Proposal Magazine
Patton on Death Valley Driver.com

Podcast: Tony Millionaire, creator of Maakies and The Drinky Crow Show

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Show: 
Bullseye

Tony Millionaire is the creator of the comic strip Maakies, which runs in alternative newspapers around the country. The strip has also birthed two television adaptations: a series of shorts that ran on Saturday Night Live in the 1990s, and now a new longer-form series which premiers later this year on Cartoon Network [adult swim]. The strips are known for their combination of distinctive and often complex line art and typically profane humor. The newest collection of Maakies strips is "The Maakies with the Wrinkled Knees."

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If you enjoyed this show, try these ones:
New York Stories with Cartoonist Roz Chast
Tim & Eric
Joke Warfare with Terry Jones and Dino Stamatopolous

Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland this weekend...

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I've been corresponding on and off with the founder of the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland for a few months. He's a guy with a tremendous passion for comedy and a lot of resourcefulness, and he's put together a remarkable festival that's not to be missed. Many of the best alternative comics on the West Coast, both famous and not famous, will be at the festival, and it'd be tough to go to a show and not see something amazing. And hey... Patton Oswalt is headlining! Past JJGo guests like Chris Fairbanks, Jonah Ray and Bucky Sinister will be performing, alongside heavyweights like the very funny Tig Notaro, Brent Weinbach and Eddie Pepitone.

If you live in Portland, this is an event that is NOT TO BE MISSED. The tickets are on a wristband basis -- and wristbands are only twenty bucks. Be there or be square.

Pretty Women.

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Funny women weren't allowed to be pretty, huh? Someone should tell Tina Fey to find a new hero.

Alessandra Stanley, the New York Times' TV critic, has a huge piece in this month's Vanity Fair with this thesis:

"It used to be that women were not funny. Then they couldn’t be funny if they were pretty. Now a female comedian has to be pretty—even sexy—to get a laugh."

This thesis is not true.

Many of the women Stanley writes about in the piece are funny (nice to see the extremely talented Kristen Wiig getting some shine). Some are not (how is Chelsea Handler getting *more* famous?). Overall, though, the achilles heel is that thesis: it's fucking dumb.

Here's another section-leading paragraph to ponder:
"It’s hard to remember or fathom, but there was a time when Phyllis Diller had to dress in drag to attend a Friars Club roast. There has been a epochal change even from 20 years ago, when female stand-up comics mostly complained about the female condition—cellulite and cellophane—and Joan Rivers and Roseanne Barr perfectly represented the two poles of acceptable female humor: feline self-derision or macho-feminist ferocity. (The fact that both those pioneers are now almost as well known for drastic cosmetic surgery as for comedy is either a cautionary tale or a very sad punch line.)"

Huh? Twenty years ago, was Ellen Degeneres complaining about cellulite and I missed it? How about Paula Poundstone? Those are the first two female comics I thought of from the era, and they're both completely at odds with this crackpot assertion. Both pretty good looking, too, if not heterosexual. And you know what? Before she became a freak show, Joan Rivers was quite good looking as well.

Honestly, the article is such a fucking mess that I really have a hard time following it, much less criticising it. Amelie Gillette does a nice job mocking it over at the AV Club. Why not just read that? You won't have to hear about how the new breed of comediennes are "almost beautiful." (actual quote).

Anyway, none of this is an attempt to defend any of the hoary cliches about women and their alleged lack of funniness. Women most certain can be funny, and many, many women are hilariously funny. The worst part about the article is that it seems to want to make me choose between its inanity and that of Christopher Hitchens. So instead of buying into that baloney, why not check out this very old TSOYA with Dr. Joanne Gilbert talking about her book "Performing Marginality," a scholarly (and coherent) look at women in standup.

Jordan interviews Will Ferrel, Andre 3K, Will Arnett and Woody Harrelson

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I am a good interviewer. Jordan Morris "Boy Detective" is a great interviewer.

SEE ABOVE

QED

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse Go! Eps. 53 & 53A: Whipped Her False Lover

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This week on the show Jesse and Jordan are joined by comedian Jasper Redd. Much is discussed, including an article about a guy named "Jesse Thorne" in the New York Times. Be sure to download both parts of this week's episode: 53 and 53A. Only episode 53 is in the player below, and depending on your settings, iTunes may only download the most recent episode and leave 53A behind.

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Human Giant Season Two is Coming!

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TSOYA Pals Human Giant have a second season of comedy hurtling towards your television. You can already download episode one of season two in iTunes, or for free using Amazon Unbox, though for the latter you'll need a special player (wtf, amazon?).

Hard to imagine that it was only ten months ago that the HG fellas first visited The Sound. Or that it was only a few years ago when we first saw HG director Jason Woliner's brilliant and hilarious Dick Cheney's Alive!.

Kudos to you, Human Giants! You are a delight to us all!

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