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August 29th, 2014

This Week in Comedy: Summer's End

poehler-emmys-Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, and The Colbert Report won Emmys while Amy Poehler was snubbed for the 11th time.

-We had an inside look at the return of Superego with Matt Gourley, Jeremy Carter, Mark McConville, and Paul F. Tompkins.

-We discussed whether or not Modern Family really is the best-directed comedy on TV.

-Janet Varney shared what she’s learned from interviewing women in entertainment on her Nerdist podcast The JV Club and why you should keep your childlike enthusiasm.

-We dug up the many one-season sitcoms and news parodies of Comedy Central.

-Saturday Night’s Children featured Alan Zweibel, writer of famous SNL characters like Belushi's Samurai and Gilda Radner's Weekend Update regulars Emily Litella and Roseanne Roseannadanna.

-Scottish comic Daniel Sloss talked about the art of telling critics to piss off.

-Our exclusive Second City Archives video this week had Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert singing the Obvious Song together in 1993.

-This Week in Web Videos highlighted Lily Du and David Craig’s Fruiting 101.

-We had an interview with Alex Edelman, the 25-year-old comic from New York who won the Best Newcomer Award at Edinburgh Fringe. READ MORE

A Rep From Sanrio Clears Up the Hello Kitty Confusion on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

Earlier this week it was revealed that Hello Kitty is not in fact a cat but a little girl, despite looking exactly like a cat and being named Hello Kitty. To clear up the confusion, last night Jimmy Kimmel invited a representative from Sanrio to come on Jimmy Kimmel Live and explain the announcement further, and he delivered a powerful message about how true friendship transcends all.

"11 p.m.: I sip a mug of kratom tea, which is a legal vitamin that makes music sound better to people. It also makes you very hungry. Under its influence, I wolf an enormous turkey sandwich while listening to Brain Salad Surgery and become one with the glittering cosmos. My mouth glistens with a galaxy of mayonnaise. Turkey is … a dinosaur, I think, disoriented, and fall asleep dreaming of myself flying a pturkeydactyl so close to the sun that it becomes perfectly roasted and embraces me with a pair of enormous brown drumsticks. Food is truly a miracle."

- Poet and author Patricia Lockwood chronicles five days of her eating habits for Grub Street.

Hope Cantwell on Fake Names and Wordplay in Tweets

hopecantwellHope Cantwell is a legal assistant and teacher living in Nashville, Tennessee. She’s been published in Vice and when I spoke with her recently she told me she welcomes any opportunity to write and is starting a free local paper with friends in Nashville. Cantwell, who tweets under the handle @hopiecan, also shared that she was voted wittiest out of her graduating high school class of 84 students, and she talked to me about three of her tweets, the first people she remembers following, and why she’s drawn to tweeting fake names and wordplay.

Cantwell: Most of the crap I tweet is rooted in my reaction or feelings about an experience (how droll!). With this one, I stopped in a coffee shop I'd never visited before and was feeling out of place and flustered. It's one of those places with just regulars, you know? And they're camped out in their usual spots with their Peter Nappi boots propped up on the table for everyone to see while they switch back and forth between reading The Stranger and The Nashville Scene. It was crowded and I just didn't know where or how to be, so while I was waiting I imagined the sort of person who would enter that environment, deem themselves the least pretentious person in that space, then proceed to call that space a kaffeehaus. And that thought cracked me up. Any time I can tweet the word "haus" I seize the opportunity. READ MORE

Eugene Mirman Makes the Coolest Malt Liquor Ad Ever on 'The Approval Matrix'


Here's a sneak peek at Monday night's episode of SundanceTV's The Approval Matrix, in which host Neal Brennan wonders what happened to being cool and enlists Eugene Mirman to star in a malt liquor ad that updates the smoothness of '80s Colt 45 commercials with today's idea of coolness — a Game of Thrones fan who gets really mad if you rudely take the "Cold 45" he wanted to give to his friend Xavier.

Inside the Return of 'Superego' with Matt Gourley, Jeremy Carter, Mark McConville, and Paul F. Tompkins

superego season 4
On September 1st, the incredibly funny podcast Superego is returning with the debut of its long-awaited fourth season. The semi-improvised sketch show will return from its year-plus hiatus with comedian Paul F. Tompkins, a frequent guest on seasons past, officially joining the group full-time as a regular cast member alongside Matt Gourley, Jeremy Carter, and Mark McConville. Since its launch in 2006, Superego has grown to become one of the comedy podcast industry's best and most elaborate programs and has attracted a slew of famous person guests like Jason Sudeikis, John Hodgman, and Gillian Jacobs, just to name a few. I recently had the chance to interview Gourley, Carter, McConville, and Tompkins about Superego season four, trying to get David Sedaris to do the show, and the upcoming Shunt McGuppin album. READ MORE

A Lot More 'Simpsons' Is Coming to FXX After the Marathon

FXX's 12-day Simpsons marathon has been a huge success for the network, having tripled the channel's typical viewing audience on its premiere night last week and making FXX one of the top five basic cable networks each night since. Vulture reports that FXX has taken a hint from the wild success of the Simpsons event and announced their post-marathon schedule, which will include 24 hours of Simpsons episodes per week. Episodes will air Mondays from 6:00pm through midnight, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00pm through midnight, Fridays from 6:00pm through midnight, and Sundays from 4:00pm through 8:00pm, so if you missed any of your favorite episodes during the marathon, you'll have plenty of chances to catch up again in the near future.

Todd Glass Tells Jon Stewart About the Time He Busted Out of the Shed

Standup Todd Glass stopped by The Daily Show last night to promote his new book The Todd Glass Situation, and the two covered Glass's decision to come out of the closet back in 2012 (or as he calls it, "bustin' out of the shed"), how it's affected his standup, and a hilarious memory involving his passion for setting tables.

Today's Funniest Tweets

Johnny Knoxville Is Developing an Autobiographical Comedy for ABC

Rivers Cuomo isn't the only star to get the autobiographical sitcom treatment this week. Deadline reports that Johnny Knoxville has signed a two-year first-look deal with ABC Studios to develop new projects under his company Hello Junior! Knoxville has sold one project to ABC under the deal already with an untitled Southern family comedy inspired my his own "unconventional childhood," with Knoxville attached to serve as narrator. Knoxville signed a similar two-year deal with Paramount Pictures back in May, so his upcoming projects will be for both the big and small screens.

Jack Black, John Oliver, Gillian Jacobs, and More Show Up in the Trailer for 'Harmontown'

Last year it was announced that Community creator Dan Harmon would be touring his live show/podcast Harmontown around the country then turning it into a documentary by director Neil Berkeley, and a new trailer was just released. This sneak peek features stars like Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Gillian Jacobs, Chris Hardwick, and John Oliver attempting to explain who exactly Harmon is and includes some special appearances by Chevy Chase (in the form of blog screen caps and footage of the now infamous voicemail message). Harmontown debuts in select theaters as well as VOD on October 3rd.

"Well, he's got that Southern charm. He's genuinely interested. He's engaging. He's a very positive person. He can see the good in everything. I think he'll go to that other character that he plays on that show because that's part of him, too. He'll mix it. But once you're out there and there's a live audience, everyone's playing a different version of themselves. You know? There's a camera in front of you. There's an audience. You automatically are different. I just think people will see this other side to him, because he has this whole bag of tricks people haven't even seen yet."

- Amy Sedaris — current star of Netflix's BoJack Horseman and longtime friend and collaborator of Stephen Colbert — talks about Colbert's upcoming takeover of Late Show in a new interview with The Daily Beast.

The Trailer for Jon Stewart's Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Is Here

While John Oliver was hosting The Daily Show last summer, Jon Stewart was hard at work on his first movie Rosewater based on the book Then They Came for Me by Maziar Bahari. The first trailer was released today, and the film stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Golshifteh Farahani, Kim Bodnia, Nasser Faris, Haluk Bilginer, Jason Jones, and Dimitri Leonidas and is set for a limited release on November 7th.

This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Natasha Lyonne Does 'How Was Your Week?'

The comedy podcast universe is ever expanding, not unlike the universe universe. We're here to make it a bit smaller, a bit more manageable. There are a lot of great shows and each has a lot of great episodes, so we want to highlight the exceptional, the noteworthy. Each week our crack team of podcast enthusiasts and specialists and especially enthusiastic people will pick their favorites. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.

How Was Your Week? - Natasha Lyonne 

julieLEIGH: If you are over bonobos as a monkey group, then you're in for a treat with this week's How Was Your Week. Spoiler alert: both host Julie Klausner and guest Natasha Lyonne are also over bonobos. Now that that's settled, we can go full Holocaust, which is how Lyonne prefaces the conversation between her and Klausner about growing up religious where everything was always about Hitler. And if you blame a lot of stuff on him, you're in good company. If you don't, think of this as an opportunity to learn about all the things you can blame him for. And yes, you can relax. They do cover Orange is the New Black. Lyonne talks about what overlap between her own past and her character's backstory, even veering into territory she categorizes as "Things I'd rather not talk about." Also, if you've got an opinion on the Ice Bucket Challenge, which, of course you do, we all do, be sure to listen to the monologue upfront to hear Klausner articulate so wonderfully exactly what's going on with that. So, as we learn in the episode, we can blame Hitler for a lot of things. But not listening to this episode? That one's on you. READ MORE