"Sitting with my mother in the beauty salon one afternoon, I come across an article about obsessive-compulsive disorder. A woman describes her life, so burdened with obsessions that she has to lick art in museums and crawl on the sidewalk. Her symptoms aren't much worse than mine: the magazine's description of her most horrible day parallels my average one. I tear the article out and bring it to Lisa, whose face crumples sympathetically, as though the moment she'd been dreading had finally arrived. It makes me want to throw my needlepoint supplies in her face. Do I have to do everything myself?"
The New Yorker ran an excellent article last week about Mad magazine's big anti-smoking push during the '60s, which resulted not only in tons of hilarious tobacco ad parodies but some fake smoker-friendly inventions that, had the industry paid any attention to the small ad-free satirical magazine, could've potentially kick-started the e-cigarette boom decades earlier. From the article:
But the truly prescient invention was the "smoke simulator": a cork-tipped Pyrex tube containing small amounts of water, which, like the metal rod, would be inserted into a cigarette. Once the cigarette was lit, the cork at one end of the tube (edible, of course) popped out, and the water [...]
"But when I stood in the dining room and demanded attention I was reminded of things I already secretly knew about myself. I wasn’t shy, I liked to be looked at, and making people laugh released a certain kind of hot lava into my body that made me feel like a queen."
- Amy Poehler has a sweet piece in The New Yorker about her first part-time job at an ice cream parlor.
SNL's co-head writer Colin Jost has a funny new piece in The New Yorker today in which he previewed this summer's unlikely movie sequels, including Even More Descendants, Jurassic Park 1-D, and What to Expect When You're Expecting to See 'Trouble with the Curve.' Don't go to the cinema without reading this handy guide first!
"So many times I’d write a sketch set at, say, a marriage counselor’s office and I was so naïve and unsophisticated working in television that I would literally have the opening line of dialogue be, 'Well, here we are at the marriage counseling center.' When you’re coming from the world of print, it’s not obvious that the characters can just walk by a sign that says 'marriage counseling center.'” – The thoroughly impressive Simon Rich talking to Co.Create about how he is able to write for so many different mediums and how,when he first started atSNL, he was at one point fallible.
"Throughout the show, these jokes created pauses for laughter, welcome little breaks in the onslaught of science, that allowed our brains to track, like undersea robots, the terrain that was laid before us. When Nye asked Gallo a high-minded question about the ages of ice and of water and their relation to the origin of life on Earth, Mirman said, 'Yeah—where did life begin? Just curious.' He added, 'And don’t say a really cool garden.'"
- from The New Yorker's new piece all about Eugene Mirman and Bill Nye doing a live version of Neil deGrasse Tyson's Nerdist web series StarTalk, which combines comedian guests with science experts.
Here's a video of the "excruciating" September 18, 1970 episode of The Dick Cavett Show, in which guests John Cassavetes, Peter Falk, and Ben Gazzara appeared to promote Husbands but were completely sloshed and ignored all of Cavett's questions. In a new piece for The New Yorker, Cavett reflects on the episode as "one of the most interesting evenings of my life" and his worst show ever:
Joan Rivers would’ve killed them. There was a kind of a sad aspect to it, really. I like all those guys. I knew them, each and all, individually. Not that we hung out a lot. But I was very fond of John, I [...]
The New Yorker has a new article out today called "How Podcasts Conquered Comedy," an in-depth history of how the newish medium has changed the comedy landscape and the careers of standups like Marc Maron, Nikki Glaser, and more.
The New Yorker just launched its iPhone app today, a slick little number that allows you to read David Grann's reportage on the subway without New York Post readers giving you the stinkeye. In order to educate readers and potential subscribers on the ins and outs of the app, the magazine hired Lena Dunham to make a little instructional video for them. It's a strange one, made to look like some sort of public access talkshow from the 80s or 90s in an alternate universe in which everyone knew what iPhones and iPads were and Jon Hamm was on public access. It's like if Tim and Eric got [...]
"Jeremy, a man I am no longer in touch with, was someone I once considered a friend. It started out very simply: one day I received a text message from a phone number I did not recognize. Intrigued, I replied, and thus began an intimate and illuminating correspondence."
- Shouts & Murmurs in this week's New Yorker comes from none other than Michael Cera, about an actor named "Michael Cera" who ends up involved in a strangely beautiful text message relationship.
The makers of Very Semi-Serious, a new documentary taking audiences behind the scenes of the New Yorker cartoons of the past, present, and future just opened a Kickstarter in hopes of gaining funding to finish production and complete post-production. Featuring illustrators Matt Diffee, Emily Flake, Zach Kanin, Robert Mankoff, and tons more, the documentary is nearly half way to its $75,000 goal as of this writing but still has a ways to go in case you're feeling charitable and/or love New Yorker cartoon backstories.
Former SNL writer Simon Rich's new novella Sell Out is being serialized this week in The New Yorker. You can check out Part 1 of 4 now. The next three parts will be released tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday. It follows a fictionalized version of Simon Rich meeting his immigrant great-great-grandfather who was preserved in brine for 100 years after a factory accident, only to find himself baffled by his descendant Simon's carefree lifestyle as a screenwriter. Rich's collection of short stories The Last Girlfriend on Earth just came out last week, so between that and this novella, 2013 has already been a incredibly productive year for him as an [...]
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