comedy

Podcast: Steve Agee and Brian Posehn from The Sarah Silverman Program

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Show: 
Bullseye

Brian Posehn and Steve Agee are co-stars on Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program. They play Steve and Brian, the title characters nerdy, gay neighbors. "The Advocate" writer Dave White described them as "everything the gay characters on Queer as Folk and Will & Grace were too afraid and unimaginative and busy chasing their own boring tails to be: fat, bearded, nerdy, bickering, dude speaking, glasses wearing, karate chopping, video game playing, covertly masturbating, metal T-shirt–wearing malcontents. In other words, these are homosexuals I understand: My circle of friends finally represented fictionally on television. And I feel validated by a sitcom for the first time."

When they're not acting, they are both standup comics. Posehn has toured extensively with The Comedians of Comedy, and Agee frequently appears around the country with Silverman.

You can view and download the program above; to download a high-quality video via torrent, use MySpleen. If you need an invite for the 'spleen, email me, and tell me your favorite TSOYA moment.


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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
Brian Posehn
Sarah Silverman (MP3)
Patton Oswalt

Podcast: Ask the Optimist by George Saunders

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Show: 
Bullseye

Our most ambitious production ever -- an adaptation of George Saunders' hilarious story "Ask the Optimist," from his most recent collection, The Braindead Megaphone. Produced by me (Jesse Thorn) with video & puppetry by Brian Hogg for Hoggworks.

You can view piece in video form above, or in listen to the radio/podcast version below. We convinced George's publisher to let us run this piece by arguing that it might "go viral," so please share! And for some perspective on George's work, don't miss this interview I conducted with George and ran a few days ago, or this show, which features an older interview with George.

Featuring an all-star cast:
The Optimist - Andy Daly
Mad - Jen Kirkman
Hurt But - Jonathan Coulton
W - James Adomian
Small Penis - John Hodgman
Not Altogether Hopeful - Maria Bamford
Turkey - Jonathan Katz
Ralph, the New Optimist - Dan Klein
Judy - Xeni Jardin

Please share your thoughts on this program on our forum!
Download This Show (MP3)
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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
Moustaches, Etc with Andy Daly and Richard Montoya of Culture Clash
On the Road with John Hodgman & Henry Rollins (MP3)
Analog & Digital with John Vanderslice and Xeni Jardin & Mark Frauenfelder

Podcast: George Saunders

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George Saunders' satirical fiction won him a prestigious MacArthur "Genius" grant in 2006. His new book, "The Brain-Dead Megaphone," collects his recent non-fiction writing. I sat down with George for a live stage conversation about his life & work at the Beverly Hills Public Library Auditiorium. This is our first ever interview which includes a metaphor which begins, "If the brain can be said to have a sphincter..."

Don't miss our first interview with George, which you can hear here. Also, stay tuned for more Saunders-iana next week, as we offer some of his works in audio form.

Please share your thoughts on this program on our forum!
Download This Show (MP3)
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Review the show in iTunes
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Please allow our low-bandwidth server a little time after you click "play"

Embeddable Audio Player Code (Copy and Paste)

Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
What's Wrong with This Country (George Saunders & Henry Owings)
Miranda July
Worlds of Wonder (Chris Elliott & Terry Gilliam)

Myths about "30 Rock"

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Since 30 Rock won an Emmy, a lot of urban legends have spread about the show. Here are two of the most egregious:

* "The show started poorly." No, it didn't. It was always funny, you just had an attitude at first, and/or didn't get it. Is it tighter than it was in the first episode? Yeah, sure, like any sitcom. But it was great from the start. You're just covering your ass.

* "The show's success is largely due to Alec Baldwin." Yes, Alec Baldwin is funny. No, he is NOT the only or even main funny thing on the show. He is just the thing that you were already familiar with, Mr. TV Writer. Actually, Tracy Morgan is funnier, and Jack McBrayer is just as funny.

The television press made the same sorts of odd psuedo-attacks on the Office in the early days, which they now seem to regard as the greatest show ever. I think we're lucky to live in a world where these shows are on network television.

That said... I hope they straighten out the Rachel Dratch situation this year. She is one of my favorite comic actresses, but she was awful on the show last year. Not because she did a bad job portraying her various characters, but rather because her broad characterizations broke the tone of the show. She was performing them as written, but she consistently felt shoehorned in to the show's world. Wait... except for the cat wrangler. I liked the cat wrangler.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I shouldn't blog before 9AM.

Update: Todd Jackson has some great thoughts on all this on Dead-Frog.

Lupe Fiasco - Dumb it Down

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Lupe can rap his ass off, right?!

So... what was wrong with this?

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I keep hearing these rumors that David Letterman slammed Paris Hilton, or he wouldn't let go of the jail thing, or whatever. All I see is David Letterman being the greatest television host of our time, one of the funniest people ever, and Paris Hilton being a cypher as per usual. And then a commercial for perfume.

Gimme a break, America.

Below: Letterman and Sarah Silverman talk about it a bit, before continuing to both be talented and funny.

More Tom Lehrer

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When I was in Tom Lehrer's class on the history of musical theater at UCSC, he would always mock my announcements about The Sound of Young America, but he would always let me share them. Whatta guy.

Above: a little bit of satire that's as apt today as it was back then... "Send the Marines."

Below: a bit of hilarious freelance misanthropy: "When You Are Old & Gray."

I'm not entirely sure who this 6funswede character who uploaded these vids is, or where he got them from, but God bless him. Don't miss "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park," an all-time classic.

Onion: The Situation in Nigeria Seems Complex

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In The Know: Situation In Nigeria Seems Pretty Complex

More amazing work from the folks at the Onion's video team. This might be the funniest one yet. Wait... no... maybe the hobo murder in congress is better.

Plumber, m'am.

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