Posts Tagged ‘entertainment


Late Night Hosts Provide Hurricane Relief in the Form of Laughs

Anyone living in reality has heard of (or experienced) Hurricane Sandy’s path of destruction throughout the northeastern United States. But to the surprise of many, late night hosts and NYC residents David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon taped their Monday night episodes during the inclement weather. Despite staff shortages and the lack of a live studio audience, the two hosts peddled their one liners to the giggles of cast and crew.

In the face of an impending hurricane, Letterman and Fallon had their share of funny moments, with Fallon at one point playing to an audience of only one guy in a NY Mets hat. But the determination of these comedians to bring laughter to a struggling nation should be a reminder of comedy’s true meaning. Laughter is a momentary escape from reality, a breath of renewed life and a reminder that sometimes the best remedy to life’s problems is to step back and laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Tig Notaro

This is not the first time comedians have braved tragedy under the old adage “the show must go on.” Letterman and his Late Show crew come to mind for their September 17, 2001 taping. As television reeled constant news coverage of the World Trade Center attacks, Letterman was one of the first entertainers to return to air. Similarly, NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani’s post 9/11 Saturday Night Live appearance reaffirmed to the country that it was OK to be funny again.

Similarly, stand-up comedy giant Richard Pryor revolutionized the craft by incorporating unpleasant, real life experiences into his routine. And earlier this year, comedian Tig Notaro transformed her recent tragedies, from a breast cancer diagnosis to the sudden death of her mother, into what is now being praised as a legendary stand-up routine.

Trey Parker was once quoted as saying “Either everything is OK to make fun of, or nothing is OK.” While this type of thinking, when done wrong, has gotten some comedians in trouble (see: Gilbert Gottfried, Daniel Tosh), Letterman and Fallon prove that sometimes a belly laugh is the best cure to a shitty day.


The New (And Better) Justin Bieber

If Youtube made Justin Bieber famous, then why not these kids??

Rock and roll looks increasingly dead in 2012, just look at the Billboard charts. But perhaps these kids will bring it back some day. So keep on rockin!


Seinfeld and Friends Go for Coffee

It’s fascinating for ordinary folk like me to see celebrities just being celebrities. But that’s exactly what you get with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s new web series that’s not so much about his vast collection of vintage cars or afternoon trips to big city diners, but more in the vein of what made his namesake series, Seinfeld, famous: anything and everything.

Moments of stubbornness involving Larry David were inevitable.

With Comedians, we get a personal look at Hollywood’s most revered comedic figures doing what they do best –  talking, thinking, dissecting, worrying, ranting, complaining, laughing. Seinfeld achieves with this web series what him and former collaborator Larry David originally had in mind for their massively successful 90’s sitcom. We see comedians outside the limelight and in real life. We witness them ponder and construct life into a joke, and we get to marvel at how incredibly quick witted these minds are.

I enjoy Comedians for exactly that reason.  It lacks the rehearsed scriptedness of an ordinary TV interview.  It’s loose, fast and unrestrained, the very atmosphere a comedian thrives in.  We get a glimpse at famous funny people doing something we rarely see: simply bullshitting.  And as much as we’d like to believe that a standup routine is a glimpse into a comedian’s soul (think Richard Pryor, Louis C.K.), Comedians presents something even more honest – living life and figuring out how to make it funny.

The only show I can compare Seinfeld’s new series to in terms of realness is Fishing with John, the long, lost “fishing” show hosted by actor John Lurie.  In each episode, John takes a celebrity friend fishing in an exotic location.  Devoid of any knowledge of how to fish (or host a television show), the episodes typically digressed into what Comedians aims to achieve – unique, honest conversations between talented people.  So honest, in fact, that awkward silences and ridiculous moments were not uncommon (see Tom Waits put a fish down his pants or Matt Dillon and Lurie dance for a good 5 minutes).

Interestingly, this is an ordinary occurrence on Fishing with John.

Overall, I think that Comedians gives it’s viewers a fresh and rare look that only someone of Jerry Seinfeld’s stature could provide.  With loads cash and Hollywood connections, Seinfeld is surely not doing this for the next great hit.  He is revisiting the idea that served as the genesis of his sitcom more than 20 years ago – that a comedian doesn’t stop working when they leave the stage.  Rather, their job has just begun.


The Strangest Videos on Youtube

Youtube has truly revolutionized the way we watch video content.  While network executives and film producers used to control what media saw the light of day, now anyone with a camera and rudimentary internet skills can publish whatever they like.

Giving ordinary people the ability to publish videos for the entire world to see has frightening potential, and Youtube littered with some of the strangest things out there.  Trust me, I have spent many hours as an empty shell of a human being, compulsively mining Youtube’s archives for no particular reason (mostly during breaks from my crippling masturbation habit).  So, I have decided to put together a list of the most peculiar things I found.

This list was not done with the intention of uncovering precious internet gems.  There is nothing viral or Tosh.O-worthy about these videos – no Rebecca Blacks, Kony 2012’s, or Charlie biting his brother’s finger here.  This is a list of abandoned thoughts, broken ideas and half-assed production value.  These videos had only one criteria: weird.

Washing Machine Porn

I like wearing clean clothes, who doesn’t? (answer: hipsters).  I am fortunate enough to have a washer and dryer in my apartment, but unfortunate enough to have to pay $2 for each load.  So as I browsed Youtube one day for an instructional video on how to hack those bastards for free, I came across something strange – there seemed to be an odd amount of videos showing the various cycles of people’s home washing machines.

This wouldn’t seem too strange if one or two people were posting these videos, but there appears to be and entire community of users who enjoy watching clothes spin around for half an hour.  The guy in the video above actually gets requests to film different washing machine models, and his videos have thousands of views!

Ever wonder what a 1986 Sears Kenmore looks like when it washes clothes?  Well, here it freakin is!  Or are you dying to see how they wash clothes in Germany?  Check this out!  Got an hour of free time? Why not watch this guy do his laundry; 26,000 other users did!…  My brain hurts now.

Hey look, it’s Ian!  Yay!

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this piece of work, but from what I can gather this is a regular web series hosted by Ian, and we should all look at him.  Apparently this Ian guy had hopes of creating a video blog where he uses his unique and witty jabs to tear apart current events.

But none of that seemed to happen.  “Hey look, it’s Ian! Yay!” only lasted two episodes (the first can be found here), if you don’t count this menacing preview that reached an audience of 88 people.  The rest of Ian’s Youtube channel features videos of children playing and this nightmare inducing clip of what it must look like when a baby trips on acid.

Look, this Ian guys seems to have meant well.  He looks like a decent father, and judging by his decorations, he must be a religious man.  But his web series sucks.  It’s unprepared, strained and awkward.  Also, he’d got an unsettling, psychopathic look about him that is only aided by his need to shake a stuffed monkey to the camera.  Your video sucks, dude, and thus deserves relentless ridicule.  As long as videos like this are public, assholes like me are watching.

The Holy Mountain + Sleep = Intense Mindfuck

The next entry on the list is an exception because it is not some strange, throwaway crap, but the amalgamation of works by two acclaimed artists: filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky and metal band Sleep.  See, Sleep released the seminal stoner-rock song “Holy Mountain” in 1992, and some wise Youtuber  got the genius idea of laying that song over footage of Jodorowsky’s 1973 cult film, also conveniently titled “The Holy Mountain.”

A quick note here.  I described Jodorowsky’s movie as a “cult film.”  However, I believe the “cult film” label does not do it justice, especially in an age when films as popular as “The Big Lebowski” and “Napoleon Dynamite” enjoy cult status.  That term is an understatement for The Holy Mountain, a film so pointless, grotesque and unnerving that it took over 30 years for an official US video release.  Throw the crunching guitars of Sleep over top of that and you have one frighteningly intriguing video.

Sleep’s 9 minute song eerily overlaps with the footage of this film, approaching Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz territory.  And for those unwilling to sit through the entire duration of this video, please do: the clip’s climax involves a smoldering jar of human excrement.  Too weird to pass up!

The Warrior Brothers

John-Paul Riley and Dave Ruechelle are amateur wrestlers, and lovers apparently, who started a Youtube channel chronicling their growth as submission fighters.  I’ll let Riley describe the philosophy of the “Warrior Brothers” in his own words:

“What is a warrior-brother? Three things which bind warrior-brothers one to the other: A passion to fight each other, a passion to love each other, and a passion to grow together. This is about bringing the sacred back to unarmed combat between warriors. It is honorable, sacred and F*****ING hot all at the same time.”

Now I’m not one to criticize these two men for doing what they love.  But Riley’s channel contains dozens of wrestling videos, and such a large library is bound to contain material for comedic fodder.  Watch Riley describe how he got his bruises, or watch Dave gingerly pick lint from his friend’s belly button.  I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of moments that seem too private to display on Youtube.  These videos taught me less about the fine points of grappling and more of how to feel uncomfortable in my own home.

Doggone Review

Ok, I have to admit that this last entry is not a creepy internet find but a regular web series created by some friends of mine.  Watch the video and like the Facebook page or I will come to your house drunk and verbally assault your family.


The Dark Knight Rises: A mediocre review

Like many people, I saw “The Dark Knight” and thought it (and by “it” I mean Heath Ledger) was awesome.  So I skipped out on some sleep Thursday night in favor of experiencing the greatest cinematic event in recent memory, the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

OK, I must make note of one fact before continuing with this review.  There is something about Mr. Nolan’s movies that automatically lose my attention.  The preachy monologues, constant scene shifts, overbearing score, insane attention to plot details…  Watching movies like the Batman series, The Prestige and Inception are so cluttered and overstimulating to me that paying attention for the entire film is a downright task.

For those too lazy to go see the film: picture people looking worried for 164 minutes

Films like this usually trigger my ADHD, and the Dark Knight Rises was no exception.  My mind began to wonder at about the time Bruce Wayne decides to come out of retirement, which undoubtedly costed me some vital plots points.  But fuck it: this is the mediocre review, and the shit that goes on in my brain is far more interesting than discussing Alfred’s weird man-crush on a dude that dresses up as a bat for shits and giggles.

38 minutes and 43 seconds in:

I began to think about names for my future son, and concluded that Vincent would make a pretty badass kid.  Vincent is a masculine name; no 8 year old punk will mess with my boy Vincent in the school yard.  But what about Victor?  Vic has a nice ring to it and still sounds badass.  People would call Vincent Vinny, and I don’t like that – too stereotypical pizza slinger.  Or would they mostly call him Vince if he specified it upon meeting new acquaintances?  Should I avoid all this muddle and name him Vic instead?  Hmmm… How about Vincenzo?  This dilemma continues in my brain for nearly 5 minutes.

53 minutes and 19 seconds in:

Someone two rows away pulls out their phone and its bright screen catches my attention.  This careless patron reminded me of a blog I read about a journalist who used his iPad screen to illuminate the face of an inconsiderate texter during a movie.  What balls that guy had.  Would I have done something that clever?  Probably not.  I would have most likely shifted around and grumbled under my breath…  But who the hell brings an iPad to a movie theater?  Who the hell can afford an iPad?  Or even needs one?  You know what, fuck that pretentious, sport jacking wearing journalist for even blogging about his passive-aggressive victories in the first place!  This mind-rant lasted a few minutes as Batman got his ass stomped by Bane.

1 Hour, 40 minutes and 53 seconds:

I begin to fall asleep.  My head slumps to the side and startles me awake.  I guiltily look around the theater hoping to find other sleeping patrons, but everyone is wide awake.  How can that be – it’s almost 2 in the morning, for balls’ sake!  And this dark theater is killing me.  What is it about a dark room combined with a glowing screen that puts me right to sleep?  Maybe that’s why moths fly towards light bulbs at night.  There’s something comforting about that warm, radiant glow…  Maybe I should pull a Strange Brew  and unleash a jar of moths into the theater so I can get a refund for this shitty movie…  Ahh Strange Brew… What ever happened to Rick Moranis….??

My last thought before drifting back to sleep

Approx. 2 hours and 25 minutes in:

A loud explosion wakes me up.  I had slept through a sizable chunk of the movie and Gotham City had fallen into complete chaos at this point.  So I sat expressionless as the epic climax to the batman series drew to a close, and a few people in the theater clapped while the others sauntered to the exit.  As I walk down the lighted staircase, I begin to ask myself what other product would I pay $12 for and get so little use of out of, choosing to sleep instead enjoying my purchase?  Is that why Hollywood is showing decline?  Are idiots like me choosing to save their money by watching movies at home, at their own leisure?  But more importantly, it was at this moment, walking out of the theater and thinking about my thinner wallet, that I realized I probably need medication to manage my attention deficit.

I give Nolan’s final installment of the Dark Knight series a B-


Great product ideas

I’m guessing there aren’t too many wealthy entrepreneurs with tons of start-up money reading my blog.  But if there is, my roomate and I came up with some new product ideas – just send me $1000 in cash and the ideas are yours.

Ok.  Who’s sick of seeing bumper stickers like this:

I know I am.  So how about a bumper sticker for the pessimist!  Introducing “I Don’t Heart Bumper Stickers.”

And how about a house warming gift that could liven up any back porch or patio.  The new “Wind Chime Kazoo!”

I know these ideas suck. Fuck you.


Ten things to do (instead of reading my blog)

Lists are a pretty big hit on the internet these days.  So big, in fact, that the NY Times recapped last year’s top ten best top ten lists.  So I figured I’d try my hand at one.  Here are ten wholesome activities that are likely more rewarding than reading this blog:

  1. Spend time with loved ones.
  2. Iron tomorrow’s wardrobe.
  3. Pay attention to your pets.
  4. File losses on your late tax return.
  5. Hide your unlicensed handgun in a safe place, far concealed from where the authorities will find it.
  6. Finally break the news to your long-time fiance that you’re gay.
  7. Inform your neighbors that those loud, banging noises coming from your apartment last night was merely you masturbating.
  8. Warn your children that you can punch really, really hard.
  9. Use the internet to track down someone whose facial features closely resemble yours.  Pay this person to regularly visit your ailing grandparents.
  10. Put a picture of you making love to the mailman’s wife in your mailbox.
  11. Pollute your own shitty blog with pointless lists.

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