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October 21st, 2014

Today's Funniest Tweets

Learn the Meaning of "Ridiculous" with Grover and Aziz Ansari

Here's a clip from Aziz Ansari's recent visit to Sesame Street, where he and Grover were tasked with using chicken costumes, stove top hats, and extreme levels of silliness to explain the word of the day "ridiculous."

TV

Take a Trip Through the Life of Reggie Watts with Matt Besser and The Vandals

Here's a clip from this week's episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! that runs through the many wacky moments of Reggie Watts's life set perfectly to the ska tunes of Matt Besser and The Vandals. Poor Reggie just can't catch a break.

Amy Sedaris Gives Tinder a Try on 'Seriously Distracted'

Above Average and PopSugar's new web series Seriously Distracted premiered its first two episodes today, and you can watch Amy Sedaris's debut as PR boss JD LeGrand above. LeGrand's first attempt to find a date on Tinder unfortunately results in a "Freudian swipe," but hopefully she'll find a way to recover from the humiliation. Watch the first episode with Orange Is the New Black star Kimiko Glenn below, then catch new episodes on Above Average every Tuesday at 11:00am. READ MORE

SNL

Five 'SNL' Cast Members Who Were Also 'Daily Show' Correspondents

In its 40 years of scouting talent from The Groundlings, Second City, and standup clubs, SNL has never felt any competition in the major leagues of comedy star-making. When The Daily Show debuted on Comedy Central in 1996, however, Lorne Michaels and company finally met their match, with stars like Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Rob Corddry, and Ed Helms all carving out their niches on the mock news show. Over the summer these two worlds officially collided when The Daily Show poached SNL writer Michael Che and elevated him to onscreen status as its newest correspondent, only to see Che swap back to SNL to take over Weekend Update co-anchoring duties. Aside from Che, five other performers have spent time at both The Daily Show and SNL; here they are in no particular order: READ MORE

Aparna Nancherla to Audience Members Who Record Shows: "Don't Be a Jerk"

Comedian and current host of weekly New York standup show Whiplash Aparna Nancherla wrote an interesting blog post today about last night's show, which featured a surprise performance by Chris Rock that quickly turned sour after several audience members started recording his set on their cell phones. Similarly, Hannibal Buress has been making headlines this week over a six-month-old bit he performed in Philadelphia last week calling Bill Cosby a rapist, which would've never made the news had it not been for an audience member recording the joke then uploading it to the internet. Unlike Buress, however, Rock's appearance at Whiplash last night didn't go viral; Nancherla says he ended up leaving "barely over a minute or two after he got there" thanks to the cell phone addicts in the audience. Here's an excerpt from Nancherla's blog post:

Comedy is a rather unique performance art form in that even in its creation, it relies on testing it in front of an audience. Not everything will work, but there has to be an implicit agreement to be there and be present for it. Trying to record things on your phone is a part of the time we live in. Some of us are so mindlessly on our devices all day that you might not even consciously realize how much space they take up in your lives. Nobody experiences anything anymore just for the sake of experiencing it. You know what’s cool about live performance? You were there for it. You got to hear something that was just meant for you. Not for hits or views or clicks. And artists make their living by their ideas. To take them and then get to decide what you want to do with them is unfair and a straight-up violation of another person. And that’s the thing. Chris Rock is a person.

Nancherla ends by advising audience members to "respect art" and "try experiencing a moment without sucking the soul out of it. You can always gasp write about it later and what it meant to you or faint tell it in person to friends so they can relive your experience of it." More solid advice: "Don't be a jerk." The whole post is well worth the read over on Nancherla's blog.

Megan Amram Is Going on a 'Science…For Her!' Book Tour

Megan Amram's new book Science…For Her! comes out on November 4th, and she's celebrating the launch with a book tour in the US and Canada. The tour will make stops in Los Angeles, Toronto, Brooklyn, Portland, and more with some special guest appearances from John Hodgman, Megan Mullally, and Amram's mom. Click through for complete book tour information, then check out Amram's super sexy promo video with Nick Offerman, Rich Fulcher, and Steve Agee here. READ MORE

Jim Gaffigan Explores His True Passion in 'Food: A Love Story'

foodalovestoryJim Gaffigan kicks off his new book, Food: A Love Story, by explaining his pedigree for writing about food. It's fair to say that anyone who's seen his standup will need no convincing that he's the man for the job. In fact, his food-love is so well known that he casually mentions the “lunatics on Twitter” who send him photos of crispy bacon, and concedes that many of his standup set lists could double for grocery lists.

Food, like his first best-selling effort, 2013’s Dad Is Fat, is a collection of light-hearted, conversational essays, some of it culled from his standup. It picks up exactly where that book left off — we’re back in the New York City two-bedroom apartment he shares with his wife and five kids. The family plays a role in this book as well, and pictures of his adorable brood eating all variety of foodstuffs are sprinkled throughout the pages.

The book starts with a geography lesson, as he moves around the country discussing the various gastronomical specialties around the United States: from­ seafood in the northeast (he’s not a fan) to barbecue and Tex-Mex in the south (he’s a big fan). He also embraces, as New Yorkers do, the snobbery that comes with the deliciousness of even our most basic meals. “I love my children,” he writes, “but I can’t articulate the depth of feelings I have for a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese.” He then moves leisurely through other culinary delights, as if he’s rummaging through your cabinets and commenting on the things he finds. READ MORE

"I think the reason that comedy maybe gets lower ratings than the reality shows or dramas is that there's a lot of different places you can do comedy, you can get comedy elsewhere, you can find comedy online. I think that what's nice about our show is that … there are people who look for alternative stuff that I think will appreciate this show as well as people that [like] big, straight-up network comedy. It's sort of a mixture of both."

- Star of NBC's new comedy Marry Me Ken Marino explains why comedies have the biggest ratings struggle to The Wrap.

Alan Tudyk and the Joy of Playing Idiots

NEWSREADERSAlan Tudyk is one of the more recognizable faces acting today, even if his name and voice hide behind his characters. Tudyk has been on Broadway, starred in a beloved TV show, and has done voice-over work for animated hits including Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, and Disney’supcoming feature Big Hero 6. He was also Steve the Pirate in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Tudyk once attempted standup, but after facing a threatening heckler, he joined an improv troupe, learning a skill that has aided his acting career.

He most recently signed on as the new host of Newsreaders as it begins its second season Thursday night at midnight on Adult Swim. He plays Regan Biscayne, a character Tudyk calls “an idiot.” READ MORE

'Conan' Gives a Live Run-Through of the CDC's New Ebola Patient Protocols

Conan did a great service to its viewers last night by providing live coverage of a CDC patient transportation run-through using their brand new Ebola protocols, which may or may not involve a swingers-only casino riverboat cruise and a chili cook-off.

Ice Cube Gets Angry and Adorable on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

During his visit to last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, actor and rapper Ice Cube was tasked with reciting some very sweet lines about rainbows, Crate and Barrel gift cards, and apple picking in the toughest, angriest way possible. Watch his interview below: READ MORE

Today's Funniest Tweets

SNL

'SNL' Writer Leslie Jones Is Now a Featured Player

leslie-jones-snlSNL just made an excellent (and long overdue) casting decision by promoting writer and sometimes-performer Leslie Jones. Deadline reports that Jones has officially been added as a featured player, and her first credited episode will be this Saturday's episode hosted by Jim Carrey. Click through to watch the SNL appearances Leslie Jones has made as a writer so far as well as her standup appearance on Late Night last month: READ MORE