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Watching The State's Revival of 'Sex a.k.a. Weiners and Boobs' at San Francisco Sketchfest

As as an uber-fan of the famed nineties sketch group The State, it delights me that several of the members have continued to collaborate over the last twenty years. In 1998, a few short years prior to the production of the comedic masterpiece Wet Hot American Summer, State members Michael Showalter, David Wain, and Joe Lo Truglio wrote and produced the play Sex a.k.a. Weiners and Boobs over the course of four days. Showalter, Wain, and Lo Truglio and a majority of the original cast reunited this past weekend during the San Francisco Sketchfest to perform the play for only the second (and perhaps the last) time.

As David Wain explained in his introduction, a play pulled out last minute from a play festival being produced by a good friend. David Wain, Michael Showalter, and Joe Lo Truglio immediately told the producer that they would perform a play called “Sex” to ensure that people would see it. Four days later, audiences were treated to the story of Jack Greenberg, the new sheriff of Teaneck, New Jersey, and his battle to eradicate the evil Tad Theaterman, narrated by an old farmer as if it was a fable to be a lesson of heroism and determination. READ MORE

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All the Interesting Tidbits from This Weekend's 'Party Down' Reunion

This weekend, Party Down cast members Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino, Martin Starr and Ryan Hansen reunited for a Q&A moderated by Paul Scheer at Cobb's Comedy Club as part of the San Francisco Sketchfest. It was awesome.

From their interactions with each other, I'm convinced the characters they played are not all that different from their actual personalities; the dry wit of Adam Scott, the goofiness of Ken Marino, Lizzy Caplan's sarcasm, and Martin Starr's “stoner” persona all shone through. But fortunately Ryan Hansen is much more much more likeable than his insufferable character, Kyle.

You can't get a bunch of comedic actors together and expect straightforward answers, so most of the questions were answered with banter and bits — but despite that, some sincere information was revealed as well. Here are some highlights: READ MORE

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The Newbie's Guide to How I Met Your Mother

I remember what I thought when someone told me I should watch How I Met Your Mother. Firstly, what does that title even mean? And wait, what? It’s a network sitcom? And there’s a LAUGH TRACK? Ugh. Not for me. My comedy taste was more alternative — I watch Adult Swim for Pete’s sake.

Reluctantly, I picked up the first season on dvd on clearance and sat down one weekend. They had me at the pilot episode. Now seven seasons deep, How I Met Your Mother (or HIMYM to the insiders), has been one of the most consistently funny and touching show in my rotation. The first six seasons are now available on Netflix Streaming, and it’s worth watching during a weekend bender — believe me, a 22 minute episode is not enough to satisfy.

Sitcoms, especially multi-camera network ones,  can lose their steam easily, but HIMYM has kept my interest by succeeding in the following: READ MORE

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The Quiet, Dark Comedy of Young Adult

Young Adult is not only one of the best comedic films of the year, but one of the best films of the year. It’s about time comedic performances can be considered brilliant performances.

It’s wonderfully sublime, hilarious, dark and poignant, made possible by the perfect combination of filmmakers, writers, and actors. The plot is quite simple — a recently divorced, former popular prom queen Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is now making a living ghostwriting a series of young adult novels. After her high school boyfriend sends her pictures of their newborn baby, Mavis decides the only time she was happy was with him, so she returns to her small hometown of Mercury, Minnesota to reclaim her past love. She reunites with former classmate Matt (Patton Oswalt) who becomes her confidant and friend. The film doesn’t necessarily succeed because of the story as a whole, but rather the simple actions and choices of the characters, their use of comedy to protect their vulnerability, and the depiction of their moments alone. READ MORE