Archive for December, 2008
I want to draw attention to some links acronymically-branded commentators DW and QI left some posts ago .
The first is a ridiculous archive of the BBC radio panel show “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue,” which I am ashamed to admit I had never heard of. It was a spin off of the ‘70s BBC comedy radio show “I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again,” which I had heard of, merely because it’s always mentioned in formative histories of Monty Python as John Cleese was a writer/performer. The majority of the panelists were on another seminal UK comedy group—The Goodies (that never got popular in the US and of whom I’ve only seen in one sketch on some Secret Policeman’s Ball benefit)—that Wikipedia compares either to The Monkees or Stella… take your pick.
If any improv/comedy friends actually are still reading this blog you can understand the impulse that created “I Haven’t Clue” in 1974… they thought, “Why are we putting so much work into actually writing this dumb radio show for so little reward… let’s just wing it without scripts”. And so they did. And it ran continuously up to last year (and is coming back in the near future; the “chairman” or host recently died and bummed everyone out.)
A weird mix of shortform-style improv games (only played the pun-abusing British casual manner as opposed to the manic eager-to-please shit US ComedySportz style), meta radio nonsense bits, and singing.
I’ve stuck mostly to the last 10 years, enjoying a lot of guest stars I recognize from QI. As I’m getting into the ‘90s, there’s more names I remember fondly from the UK Whose Line Is It Anyway (the UK show was a revelation when it appeared on Comedy Central; the USA one is a fetid turd in a wineglass full of AIDS blood).
John Cleese is in some of the very earliest ones from the ‘70s. Unless you’re mad for Cleese, I’d stick to the ‘00s with great appearances from Rob Brydon (who was the only funny thing in Tristram Shandy), Stephen Fry, Jeremy Hardy (QI), Bill Bailey (one line in Hot Fuzz), etc.
It’s way too British in parts for me to follow; I get about 50% of it. And the older the episodes get, the more incomprehensible the reference, mostly political figures (which Wikipedia helps with). The other odd British-US disconnect is when they sing popular songs (to the tunes of other popular songs) which makes me believe: a.) all comedians in England are required to know a massive amount of old-timey music hall novelty numbers b.) the “hits” that international stars like Elvis or Tom Jones are known for are completely different than they’re know for over here c.) Their Top-40 is totally Bizarro-inverse from ours of the same era; “Teenage Dirtbag” was a mega hit in England it seems.
Commenter QI gets fewer points—another fundamental difference in US-UK culture is that they don’t seem to care who wins on these “game shows” and points are thrown about like confetti. You lose an Empire and all of a sudden you stop caring about the most important thing – FUCKIN’ WINNING! USA USA USA!—for recommending a BBC radio show I’ve already heard (some wag posted them on YouTube with a still picture as the visual): David Mitchell’s The Unbelievable Truth.
MP3s of The Unbelievable Truth (Ep 1-6 only)
I went to superdeluxe.com for the first time in twelve million years and discovered it gone. Cakey with it. So… no one can ever watch Cakey again. Suck it, nerds!
The world’s greatest living rock band The Kung Fu Monkeys are doing a show this Saturday. It’s a matinee, and they’re having a seven-piece extended combo up there, with horns.“We’re headlining, for perhaps the 3rd time ever in our existence,” says lead singer James, “”We’ll likely go on between 4:30 or 5 or so (all the bands are sharing equipment)”
Saturday starting at 3 at Pianos on Ludlow. I think there’s a $5 entry.
Rudolph the Red–Nosed Reindeer (1964)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
Get your head out of the oven. Matt DeCoster is doing a trapeze show.
For people who don’t know, Matt DeCoster is the ridiculously hard-boiled actor/comedian seen here—
—who with I was on Monkeydick and I directed his sketch show with Will Hines, flyer below
So, aside from being an improv comedian and a trial lawyer, he also is a trapeze artist. Yes, I know.
Alt-trapeze shows tend to be the same crowd as alt-burlesque scene—Busty Bedford Ave girls with tattoos and Bettie-Page-bangs and a lot of drag queens. Then Matt DeCoster comes out (with what Rob Huebel calls a “gay porn body”) in a spangly unitard and you’re waiting for him to start “cleaning up the bar” in the style of an 80s JCVD action-adventure. But instead he does the most physically grueling trapeze act you’ve ever seen.
Wednesday, December 17. 8 PMZipper Factory,
336 W. 37th St.
btwn. 8th & 9th Aves., at 8 pm.
Admission is $20
Matt sez: “These shows tend to get crowded and to start late. I believe you can make a reservation at TheZipperFactory.com.”
If you’re not convinced, watch this clip of Matt nearly killing a guy (UCB Manager Alex Sidtis) at the UCB Theatre Fight Club boxing match—Weapons of Matt DeCoster
For reasons I can’t quite determine, mrghost.net is down.
I apparently registered it with a non-standard GoDaddy account and hosted it with an alien 5DollarHosting account, both of which refer to (and send password reboot requests) long-dead email accounts.
I’m trying to resolve this.
In every Catalan navity scene there is a figure taking a dump behind the Baby Jesus. It is called the Caganer or “shitter.” It is often made in the likeness of a celebrity or world leader.
I first heard of Caganers on my favorite television program, QI (which makes Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me look like it’s taking a dump by comedy-panel-quiz-show comparison despite often featuring my hero Paula Poundstone.)
Take it away, Stephen Fry—
The UK Telegraph presents a slide show of this year’s crop.
This all was confirmed by college chum Mo, who picked up not only the caganer but the Caga Tió as a part of her personal Christmas traditions on a trip to Catalonia.
Catalan children beat presents out of a pooping log on Christmas with sticks—where has our American Christmas spirit gone?