While watching Seth Rogen host SNL for the third time last weekend, I was reminded of two other three-peat hosts from earlier this season: Paul Rudd in December and Jonah Hill in January. Rudd's episode felt like extended promo for Anchorman 2, with the host failing to capture that lightning in the bottle with cast members that made his previous stints so memorable. Hill, however, seemed to enjoy himself every bit as much as he did his first two appearances.
Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and Jonah Hill are, of course, hugely successful alumni from Team Judd Apatow, but their careers have taken diverging trajectories. Rogen and Rudd have [...]
A few weeks ago, South by Southwest offered an advance screening of the first two episodes of Mike Judge's new sitcom, Silicon Valley. It was shown as part of the festival's Episodic section, a new addition this year. Janet Pierson, Head of SXSW Film, stated the decision came after seeing how well the premiere of Lena Dunham’s Girls did in 2012, and she viewed it as a way to broaden the festival’s offerings — and stay vital — at a time when TV is offering so much interesting work. Judging from the reaction of the 600-plus film and tech nerds piled into the Austin Convention Center's Vimeo Theater, SXSW was [...]
Writing about comedy has become a cottage industry in recent years as the swelling popularity of live and online humor has birthed a new audience for comedy journalism, whether it's Jason Zinoman's New York Times pieces or Splitsider's own blow-by-blow reporting on the industry.
But outside of the standup, sketch, and podcast worlds, there's also been a larger, centuries-long search to understand the fundamental nature of humor. It's the sort of quest that electrifies certain comedy nerds while making others wince at the idea of slicing open something as mysterious and subjective as laughter. It also begat E.B. White's famous 1941 quote: "Humor can be dissected, as a frog [...]
Since premiering in January, Comedy Central's Broad City has been gaining momentum as not just television's funniest breakout comedy but one of the freshest concepts to get the TV treatment in a while. While it has the sketch mastery roots of Kroll Show, the offbeat weirdness of Portlandia, and the Millenial female-driven New Yorker theme of Girls, Broad City has remained singularly new and exciting thanks to the onscreen chemistry and deft rapport of series creators/stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. Ahead of tonight's season finale, here's a look at why Broad City killed it this season, and why we can't wait until Glazer and Jacobson get to do [...]
Bad Words, an inappropriate exercise in audacity starring Jason Bateman, works exceedingly well if you'd laugh at a full-grown adult with life experience and a job stealing candy from a baby. Appalling, you say! Never, you say! Now imagine the adult swiping that lollipop, laughing in that baby's face, and moonwalking away. Even if you don't agree with the act, you have to admire their spirit.
More than confidently-directed by Bateman, Bad Words (his feature directorial debut) follows Guy Trilby, a casually mean but focused adult entrant to the national spelling bee — yes, the one usually meant for children. The setup is quick and painless for all but the parents [...]