Archive for August, 2007

Here’s a great interview with Vernon Chatman and John Lee (Wonder Showzen), Chuck Tatham (Arrested Development) and my comedy hero, Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show, SNL, Derek & Simon, Tom Goes to the Mayor) moderated by one Mr. David Cross.

Money shot:

“I say, if you wrote three essays that were a paragraph long that made m laugh out loud, I would hire you. Because ideas are harder to get at than structure. – Bob Odenkrik

(NOTE: To read the article, just click on the first pic and then choose “Original” in the upper right corner. Nice and big and easy to read.)

Dead Frog has its own theory.

Money shot:

With the ability of young talent to really get themselves out there over the web and the number of Sketchfests and Improv fests that bring young troupes to cities where talent reps can see them in person, I’m not entirely convinced that the U.S. Comedy Arts Fest is entirely necessary.

He has a point. The net has become a 24/7 comedy festival. The only problem is, that like comedy festivals, you need to be a name or have some kind of buzz to get noticed. Then again, maybe that’s not a bad thing. There’s a lot of crap out there that is just a waste of time. Still, there are some very funny videos out there that will never be seen because they are lost in the shuffle. The cream does sometimes only rise to the middle.

I have another question: when is the comedy bubble going to burst? Back in the 80s, comedy clubs were everywhere. The market quickly became saturated with rooms run by proprietors who wanted to make a quick buck and comics who had no reason to be on-stage other than to fill a slot. The weight of bad comedy and redundancy eventually collapsed the stand-up renaissance, with some notable survivors. Are we on the same road now? Internet-ily, can sites like SuperDeluxe, FunnyorDie, MyDamnChannel and CollegeHumor maintain an audience? (I think CollegeHumor can, for the sole reason that there will always be college students.)

Will shows with smart, subtle non-family related humor like Flight of the Conchords and 30 Rock eventually turn people off? Will we tire of absurdist comedians like Demetri Martin, Eugene Mirman and Zach Galifiniakis? Will The Comedians of Comedy lose their young audience to the responsibilities of marriage and families?

I don’t have an answer other than “God, I hope not.” For me, these are the comedians and shows who are breaking new ground. It is still a very exciting time for comedy. The market is showing that experimentation has an audience; non-traditional comedy has as much acceptance as the traditional version. I do think the bubble will eventually burst, history shows that to be inevitable. I just hope that the survivors are the ones who aren’t afraid to keep experimenting.

Wow! Lots of video today.

Here is Woody Allen’s classic “The Moose” via Jesse Thorn’s TSOYA blog. It’s a fun bit that I’ve heard about but never seen (God Bless YouTube). It’s very absurd for the time (1965) and pretty funny which is probably how it obtained classicocity. More than anything I am struck by how young he is and how much FUN it looks like he is having.

It’s going to be a great season!

Best line: “Saw Ratatouille. Walked out. Didn’t buy it.”

Now where’s the 3o Rock promo?

Turns out it was all according to plan!

Thanks The Apiary.