Mimi Pond

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman of 'Corporate' and Graphic Novelist Mimi Pond

Matt Ingebretson
Jake Weisman
Mimi Pond

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Photo: Jesse Thorn

Jake Weisman and Matt Ingebretson on their new Comedy Central show 'Corporate'

Technically, the new Comedy Central show Corporate is a workplace comedy. But it's so much darker, weirder and universal than that. The show follows the lives of Jake and Matt, two junior executives in training at Hampton Deville. Every character on the show is a little depressed and angry about working for a soul-sucking giant multinational corporation. Matt and Jake have just enough power and money to keep working there, but not enough to make any real impact in the company. Corporate goes beyond your standard office comedy and dives into deeper themes like the capitalism, art, suicide, and even the meaninglessness of life. Corporate has a great supporting cast including Lance Reddick, Anne Dudek, Aparna Nancherla, and Baron Vaughn. Deadpan humor and satire is tough, but Corporate really nails it.

Jesse sat down with co-creators and stars of Corporate Jake Weisman and Matt Ingebretson to talk about getting the shows tone right, what it was like pitching the show to a corporation, and why they cast Lance Reddick, who played Cedric Daniels on The Wire to play the CEO of Hampton Deville. Plus, they talk about how magic mushrooms helped them write some of the episodes -- you don't wanna miss that!

Click here to listen to this interview on YouTube!

Photo: Jagrap via Flickr Creative Commons

The Craziest Day Of My Entire Career: Mimi Pond

Mimi Pond is a cartoonist whose work has appeared in the National Lampoon, the LA Times, and the New York Times. For almost a decade she had a regular full page comic in Seventeen Magazine. She's also a television writer. Mimi wrote one of the most iconic episodes of the Simpsons ever made: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire." In that episode, Homer doesn't get a Christmas bonus from Mr.Burns and Homer gets a job at the mall as Santa to pay for holiday expenses. The episode introduced us to the Simpson's family dog, Santa's Little Helper. That episode also introduced the world to the Simpsons -- it was the first episode of The Simpsons to air on television. Mimi's also written for Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Designing Women.

Before all that, Mimi worked at a handful of diners in the 70's as a waitress. She's written two graphic novels loosely based on her time as a server. The first was "Over Easy" in 2014 and the most recent is "The Customer is Always Wrong." We asked her to tell us about the craziest day of her career, and she had a lot to say about one particular dinner shift when the head cook disappeared.

Mimi Pond's book "The Customer is Always Wrong" is out now.

Click here to listen to this segment on YouTube!

The Outshot: 'Understanding Comics'

Finally, for this week's Outshot: "Understanding Comics" by Scott McCloud. It's a graphic novel about understanding comic books that assumes you know nothing about comics. If you've never picked up a comic book before this is a good place to start.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on YouTube!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Nat Faxon, Mimi Pond & Werner Herzog

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Nat Faxon
Mark Frauenfelder
Werner Herzog
Mimi Pond

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"It read like an independent movie": Nat Faxon on the Dark Comedy of 'Married'

Nat Faxon is an actor. You maybe saw him on Ben and Kate. He co-wrote the Oscar-winning script for The Descendants, which starred George Clooney, and also co-directed and co-wrote The Way Way Back. Faxon's been working as an actor since the early 2000s. Mostly in bit parts, the sidekick, the comic relief. Now he's got a leading role on Married, a new comedy on FX.

Married is a dark comedy about a married couple, played by Faxon and Judy Greer. The couple has been together for ten years and is growing apart, tugged in separate directions by their children, a lack of steady unemployment, and uncertain finances.

Faxon talks about how the show relates to his real-life married life, why he enjoys just being an actor instead of running the show, and the uncomfortable situation in which he first met George Clooney.

Married premieres this Thursday on FX.

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Mark Frauenfelder Recommends: 'Forbidden Island' and 'Citizen Keane'

This week's recommendations come from BoingBoing founder and Gweek host Mark Frauenfelder.

He suggests checking out Forbidden Island, a co-operative game. It's a simple premise: collect four treasures from a sinking island.

He also recommends Citizen Keane: The Big Lies Behind the Big Eyes, a biography about the sketchy past of Walter and Margaret Keane, the couple who painted the kitschy pop-art paintings of teary, big-eyed children.

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Michael Tullberg / Getty Images / Getty Images Entertainment

Werner Herzog on "The Day I Became an Artist". Spoiler: There Isn't One!

It’s fair to say that Werner Herzog is a one-of-a-kind filmmaker. He’s made critically-acclaimed documentaries, like Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. And some art-house staples like Fitzcarraldo. But he also made Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans -- where a crack-smoking Nicholas Cage has hallucinations of iguanas and a breakdancing Mafioso. And don’t forget that Herzog was the SUBJECT of a film called Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.

So, it should come as no surprise that there wasn't one day when he became an artist. He sort of always knew. He tells us about growing up in Bavaria, how walking the Albanian border taught him more than film school ever could, and why he just wasn't impressed by the first moving images he saw.

Werner Herzog has a new Blu-Ray boxset coming out later this month from Shout! Factory. It collects sixteen of his earliest films -- most of them on Blu-Ray for the first time. It's called Herzog: The Collection.

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Diners, Drugs, and Punk Rock: Mimi Pond on 'Over Easy'

Mimi Pond was an art school dropout in 1970s Oakland, and she was trying to figure out what to be. She walked into a diner and asked for a job application. Instead of a resume, the manager asked her to tell him a joke. She got the job. Her new graphic novel and fictionalized memoir, Over Easy, is based on her time waiting tables at said diner.

Pond found herself surrounded by storage room sex, assorted sniffables, and a cast of characters so big she couldn't fit them all in her memoir.

She discusses why she always knew she'd be a cartoonist (even as a kid), the mastermind and hiring manager behind the "anarchic punk opera" that was her workplace, and the very specific, improvisational nature of waiting tables.

Her book is out now.

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The Outshot: Vegetables, Swimming Pools, and Good Vibrations

The Beach Boys had a lot on the line in 1967. How do you follow up huge commercial hits like "Surfin' USA" and "Barbara Ann", and the experimental, influential Pet Sounds? Jesse explains why 1967's Smiley Smile is great all on its own.

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