comedy

Jordan Morris: How to Spend Your Tax Rebate

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From Slate V.

Mike Daisey's "How Theater Failed America" in NYC

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MaxFunPal Mike Daisey, last heard on our Live in NYC show a year and a half or so ago, has a brand new show. Given the title, "How Theater Failed America," I'm guessing it has less severed limbs and blood-soaked snow than the story he told on our air, but it still sounds pretty great to me. I saw Mike, (who I have decided is the official Monologuist of MaximumFun.org), perform in LA a month or so ago, and he was just as hilarious and electrifying as he was in New York.

Here's the details:

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
Starts May 16th--Six Weeks Only
Fridays and Saturdays @ 7:30pm,
Sundays @ 7:00pm
BARROW STREET THEATRE
27 Barrow Street @ 7th Ave. South
Tickets: telecharge.com or 212.239.6200

I'm not going to reprint all of Mike's rave reviews, so let's go with a favorite, from the New York Times: "A sardonic rebuke to the corporate types who hold American theater hostage and a powerful sense of the wonder of theater. The entire room was quietly rapt...a remarkable performer."

And guess what?

Mike's extended a special offer for MaxFunsters... use this direct link to the online box office, and use the code MDHTFA and you can get twenty dollar tickets to the show. That's a hell of a price. And you can call 212-947-8844, use the same code, and get the same sweet sweet deal.

(Above photo: Mike at TSOYA Live, shot by Anya Garrett)

How to Succeed in the Music Biz, by Erykah Badu

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Erykah Badu is a really funny lady.

Comedy Babies: Patton Oswalt and David Cross

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Ain't they adowable?

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: Comics and Comix with Chris Elliott, Art Spiegelman and Matt Walsh

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Show: 
Bullseye


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

This week, Pulitzer-prize-winning comix artist Art Spiegelman (above) talks about his book "In the Shadow Of No Towers," a collection of large-format newspaper comics about September 11th and its fallout.

Then we talk with Chris Elliott, long-time foil to David Letterman, co-creator and star of the cult sitcom Get A Life, and now comic novelist. His first novel was "The Shroud of the Thwacker."

Finally, we talk with Matt Walsh. In addition to appearing in many movies, Walsh is a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade. He also starred in the semi-improvised semi-reality sitcom Dog Bites Man.


Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

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It's the first of May, people!

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All you Jonathan Coulton fans know what starts today.

Fat Bald Hodgman Controversy: Jesse Fires Back!

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I don't like to get involved in CELEBRITY SPATS, but you can't insult FRIENDS OF THE PROGRAM and get away with it.

Earlier this week, the public radio financial "news" program Marketplace ran a piece comparing Mac and PC owners. It primarily contained the sort of information you might expect -- allusions to Priuses and lattes and the like. Which would have been fine... BUT FOR THE FACT THAT IT ALSO CONTAINED VICIOUS SLANDER.

Perhaps that slander would have slipped unnoticed into the ears of our nation's Prius-driving, latte-sipping public radio listeners, if it weren't for eagle-eared Matt Tobey of the CC Insider. Tobey, a righteous warrior in the cause of JUSTICE, pointed out a vicious, unfounded accusation buried within the piece. "Reporter" Andrea Gardner claims, with reference to the Mac v. PC commercials: "the PC guy is overweight and balding."

Excuse me?

Pardon me?

HOW DARE YOU?!

As we all know, the PC is portrayed by John Hodgman, the handsome, Yale-educated comic writer and former professional literary critic.

And as all of us with ANY SENSE know, JOHN HODGMAN IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT BALDING!

It may be that the esteemed Mr. Hodgman is slightly overweight, though he's been looking quite trim and health lately in my view. HOWEVER: he has a full, healthy head of hair. He certainly has more hair than I, a NOT-BALD MAN TEN YEARS HIS JUNIOR.

I have registered with the Marketplace staff my EXTREME DISPLEASURE with this IMMORAL AND POSSIBLY ILLEGAL DISCOURSE. I have even recorded it for their benefit, and they promise to REPLAY this recording on this coming TUESDAY during their so-called "program."

If you wish to register your opinion of their opinion of a GREAT AMERICAN, Mr. John Hodgman, you can use Marketplace's comment form here.

(Above: NOT BALD, BUT VERY FUNNY)

UPDATE:
More from CC Insider
And from Mssr. Hodgman

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO!: Ep. 60: Age 27 Season

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Jesse and Jordan discuss words to live by, dongage, reconciliation and much much more.

ACTION ITEMS:
* Have you undertaken some endeavor you were certain would prove your worth as a person, only to fail miserably?
* Have you ever been to or been a member of a social club? What's it like?
* Vote in March of Time Madness!

CONTINUING ACTION ITEMS:

* Review the show on iTunes.
* 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.
* Have personal questions for Jesse and Jordan? Call 206-984-4FUN and tell us what they are!
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.

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

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

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A message from Joe Garden, American.

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For the past several years, Onion writer Joe Garden has been openly campaigning to replace Conan O'Brien as host of NBC's Late Night when O'Brien moves to an earlier time slot next year. Numerous news outlets are reporting that NBC will soon announce that they have chosen a replacement for O'Brien, and it's not Garden. Instead, it's serial at-self-laugher and failed movie star Jimmy Fallon. Garden has issued his first public statement regarding the situation EXCLUSIVELY here on MaximumFun.org. It follows. - Jesse

An open letter to the viewing public:

You may have heard that Jimmy Fallon has been named the next host of Late Night.

Even though I have been running for host of Late Night for two years now, this sadly comes as no shock.

We all know how this works. Shady deals are made in smoke-filled back rooms, and the next thing you know, there's a new host of Late Night. I call bullshit on that.*

There are those who are begging me to quit my bid for the host chair. They're saying that it's time to put aside the rancor, and that my campaign can only rend the fabric of unity asunder.

Well, you know what?

The American people don't quit, and they deserve a host of Late Night that doesn't quit either!

The people ever got a chance to have their voices heard. This is why we need to write to someone. Anyone! Pick an executive at NBC and write him or her (but let's face facts, it's a he because only an active member of the patriarchal hegemony would choose Jimmy Fallon as their host for Late Night) a disappointed POSTCARD, saying that you never had a chance to have your voice heard, and that they can't silence the voice of the people forever.

Tell them that you want it put to an election, fair and square, and that you will respect the outcome.

Tell them that we brought democracy to Iraq, and that we will damn sure have it on our shores too.

Actually, don't just write anyone.

Write NBC
Attn. Rick Ludwin
Programming Department
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

And even though he is obviously a fascist, it's probably not a good idea to refer to him as such in your postcard. Be nice. Be cordial. Be firm.

This isn't over yet.

Chin up, stay strong, and VOTE JOE!!

Your next host of Late Night,

Joe Garden

*I am sorry for the strong language, but these are tough times. I promise that, as your host of Late Night, I will never work blue like that.

PS-In order to show your support, you can visit my website or join my facebook group.

Saturday Night Live has always been like this.

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I'm tired of the discourse about Saturday Night Live. I'm sick of hearing that they're "more like Saturday Night Dead." I'm sick of hearing about their inconsistency. I'm sick of hearing about their moments of brilliant satire. Every story I read about the show in a mainstream publication makes me want to punch myself in the face.

Here are some things Saturday Night Live is and always has been:
* A lot of fun.
* Live.
* A remarkable achievement.
* A seminal program in the world of comedy.

Here are some things Saturday Night Live is not and has never been:
* Consistent.
* Pithy.
* Dead. (Possible exceptions: period after original cast, before Eddie Murphy and period after Eddie Murphy, before Phil Hartman et al)
* Satirical.

Saturday Night Live is a wonderful phenomenon. On a Tuesday, a team of spectacularly talented people get together with someone who's famous but probably not funny. On Saturday, they put on a 90-minute variety-comedy show. That show showcases their talent, even when the sketches run on a bit long or are unfocused. It runs live on television, the only fictional program that does so in the United States. The stakes are high, and even when something falls flat, as it often does, it's a great ride, buoyed by the best performers of their kind.

Jane Curtin was on "Wait... Wait... Don't Tell Me" this past weekend, and she commented on watching the early seasons of the show for the first time on DVD. She said they were mind-numbingly boring. She's right. Saturday Night Live has always been boring. Stripped of context (topicality, Live-ness, now-ness, sleepiness), SNL is a fair amount of boring stuff in between some great heights. We're pulled along by the immediacy of the show and the skill of the cast and the knowledge that something awesome could happen at any second. When SNL makes Michael Jordan even a little funny, The next morning we remember the winners and forget the snoozers. And there's nothing wrong with that.

And politics. How many times have you heard from the media about Saturday Night Live's effect on the political world? Al Gore's lockbox? Tina Fey's odd Hillary rant? "Saturday Night Live is at its best when they target their satirical cannons on the oft-absurd world of politics." Bullshit.

Here's the facts: Saturday Night Live does not do satire. They sometimes do topicality. The closest they've ever come to satire was Chevy Chase's bumbling Gerald Ford, but even that was more about Chase's penchant for pratfalls and Ford's actual, literal physical awkwardness than it was about Ford's general incompetency. Satire is a representation of something that so convincingly takes the form of that thing that the absurdities of the thing are revealed, simply by the thing being in a different context. It's certainly a powerful form of comedy, but it's different from Norm MacDonald saying, "I'm Bob Dole" a lot. (Though that was fucking hilarious). Or Dana Carvey talking funny as George Bush. Or talking funny as Ross Perot. Or talking funny and eating french fries as Bill Clinton.

Here's what SNL really is: it's a playground for our most talented comic performers. It's a place where they can walk a tightrope in front of a live audience with a day or two of rehearsal and an athlete or singer for a straightman, and we can watch and see if they fall. That's a great thing! Think of the cast of the show right now! What a pleasure to see Fred Armisen's strange, hilarious character turns. It's great to see Bill Hader raise an eyebrow in consternation while Kristen Wiig makes some really, really hilarious and upsetting face. It's super fun!

So, my message to the media (and to the guy at the office who always has an opinion about comedy) is this: let Saturday Night Live be what it is. There's so much to enjoy.

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