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The Roots f. Dice Raw & Peedi Crakk - Get Busy


I feel like it's been six months since I've seen a hip-hop video *not* directed by Rik Cordero. He must be charging $20 apiece, two for $35.

Also: am I mistaken in thinking that ?uest is getting his Milton on?

Anyway, Kamal is killing it with that keyboard line, and Peedi and Thought kill it on the mike. Half Mandrill half Mandala? That's ill, BT. Also: Dice Raw gets line of the song award for "I'm kinda like W.E.B. Dubois... meets Heavy D and the Boys."

Richard Feynman Needs His Orange Juice


Can there be any doubt that this man is the greatest sciencist of the 20th century?!

Can there be any doubt that this man has got to have his orange juice?


via metafilter

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


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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Errol Morris talks with Werner Herzog in The Believer

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Morris on Herzog: "...what I do understand in his films is a kind of ecstatic absurdity, things that make you question the nature of reality, of the universe in which we live. We think we understand the world around us. We look at a Herzog film, and we think twice. And I always, always have revered that element. Ecstatic absurdity: it’s the confrontation with meaninglessness."


Private to EM: Please make some more happy movies, the sad ones are freaking me the fuck out.

Previously: Believer co-editor/founder Vendela Vida on TSOYA

Bay Area Meetup is TONIGHT!

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Yay Area Representatives: MEETUP IS TONIGHT!

You'd better go to the Edinburgh Castle to check out Mary Van Note's awesome show "Comedy Darling," featuring MUSIC from TSOYA favorite Brent Weinbach, who in a previous life was a professional pianist! You can also check out the Edinburgh Castle, the only pub in San Francisco that is VERY CASTLE-LIKE.

More info HERE.

Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland this weekend...


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.

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


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



Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "On the Page"


So there I was checking out what listeners to Filmspotting and Creative Screenwriting also listen to. It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a podcast about movies. I didn’t want to do another show where two guys just go back and forth about what they've seen recently. I decide to check out On the Page (iTunes link). It’s about lessons in screenwriting. Good, something useful. I see the picture that displays Pilar Alessandra’s millionaire dollar smile. A female voice, that’s another positive sign. So I listen to an episode. Five seconds in I hear that sound. The familiar, rich tones of Matt Belknap the Producer’s voice. The man behind the greatest podcast on Earth, Never Not Funny was waiting for me as I embarked on a journey in screenwriting tips and exercises. Sometimes life just loves you.

The truth is of the all the podcasts Belknap produces On the Page is the one where he spends a lot of the time in the background. He may be silent for a lot of the show but you know he’s keeping those sound levels stable. No problem, Alessandra is a real fun host. She’s a screenwriting teacher who has taken her good advice to the world of podcasting. Each week she brings in at least one guest and together they’ll go over one aspect of the screenwriting craft and/or business. Writing competitions, writing for comedy and pitching a script (that comes up a lot) are tackled in a lively, informative manner. On the show Alessandra comes off as that one really cool teacher you had near the end of a school day whose class you really looked forward to. She sounds like she’s having a lot of fun and the feeling is damn infectious.

It’s refreshing to hear a screenwriting teacher who isn’t dogmatic in her lessons. Alessandra doesn’t spend a lot of time telling you exactly when X incident should occur on Y page. Instead we soak up the experiences of those who have gone before us, the show’s guests. For Never Not Funny fans some of the guests will be familiar. Pete Schwaba goes over what it’s like to create your own independent film. Pat Francis, Alessandra’s husband actually, tells his experience writing for reality television (oh yes, you have to listen to understand). On NNF Francis can be a little too schticky for my taste but as a guest on On the Page he’s great! Alessandra’s interview here and on other shows are knowledgeable and precise.

Alessandra and Belknap keep the shows to about thirty to forty minutes. That’s about the perfect running time for most podcasts. In that space you get a lesson, a ten minute exercises for your own screenplay and some listener mail is answered. With its fast pace On the Page is an educational podcast that’s funnier than a lot of comedy podcasts out there.

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