Class is back in session.
Class is back in session.
Keeping with today’s theme, we’re going to address the recent rumblings about Queen Latifah’s sexuality. Last month word spread across the blogosphere that Queen Latifah declared herself a lesbian at the Long Beach Pride Festival on May 19th. But she later denied those reports, explaining that her unity with the gay community does not necessarily equate with her coming out of the closet, and she refuses to comment further either way. And we respect her feelings on the matter and her preference to keep her private life private. But we don’t care either way; you be you, Queen. What do know, however, is that the girl can play ball, for whatever that’s worth.
Take a look at this classic highlight from the 1994 MTV Rock’n’Jock B-Ball Jam and draw your own conclusions. Or don’t. Or do and keep them to yourself. That’s your right too.
Also, Dan Cortese.
We joke a lot on this blog about people ripping us off – Stephen Colbert, Entertainment Weekly, Paul F. Tompkins (which resulted in a bitter Twitter feud) – but when were never as wounded as we were when we saw a new Vulture post presenting their “Map of the Comedy Zeitgeist.” Why did we find this so alarming, so soul crushing? Well, because it’s essentially an updated (and much, much prettier) version of our Judd Apatow Chart, which we used to launch this blog those three years ago. Sure, the idea that there are these overlapping connections in the comedy world, most of which are tethered to the likes of Apatow, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, and Paul Rudd, has been oft-explored for several years now. But never before has there been a graphic representation that feels so close to ours, so similar (and yet so much more visually appealing). Thus, we will not rest until we receive the credit we are due. In protest we will continue to read, appreciate and occasionally steal from Vulture.
Are we being paranoid? Hyperbolizing? Take a look and you decide.
Well, it seems that Kathie Lee and Hoda had the same reaction to the Grammy awards as every ignorant, idiotic Facebook and Twitter user out there:
But great zing, KLG! Vaudeville is calling!
Although, we don’t hear you questioning the safety of The Rolling Stones. That could be just as, if not more, dangerous than an arcade fire.
A couple of months ago we had the search term “toothbrush the state video.” Unfortunately, we were unable to come up with that sketch for you, and hung our heads in shame. But guys asked for it again, and while we can’t provide the whole sketch for legal reasons (Viacom is particularly protective of their content), we can offer an excerpt from it. Today redemption is spelled “J-u-m-p-e-d-t-h-e-s-n-a-r-k.”
And while we’re speaking of Michael Ian Black (well, by “speaking” we mean “uploading a video that stars”), we implore you to check out “Michael & Tom Eat Snacks,” the amazing new podcast in which Black and his Ed co-star Tom Cavanaugh eat, and discuss, snacks (well, one snack per episode). Just another podcast we’ve recently fallen in love with (sounds like Mondays might have to be our podcast day).
Last Monday on the WTF podcast host Marc Maron presented his riveting interview with comedy legend Gallagher, which finally gave us the impetus to listen to the much buzzed about podcast. The interview, which ended early when Gallagher took offense to Maron’s “douchey” tone (as Gallagher’s manager later described it) and stormed off, was truly a fascinating discussion about comedy, even with Gallagher’s digressions about photons and electrons. We enjoyed the interview so much that we wrote about it here last week (we also basically report on any half-way relevant Gallagher news), which is why today’s search term is “gallagher wtf.”
But the best part about that interview is that it introduced us to the world of the WTF podcasts, the archives of which are packed with even more interesting, enlightening, insightful interviews about comedy. We soon downloaded the WTF app to our Droid and while spending 2 hours in traffic one day and an 1 1/2 hours the next we consumed Maron’s discussions with the likes of Dave Foley, A.D. Miles, Rob Corddry, and Ken Jeong. They were all no holds barred interviews that touched as much on the principles of comedy as much as they did on personal foibles, psychological defects and inner demons. Basically, comedians are fucked up. But on WTF they’re completely open and honest about it, simultaneously making the world of comedy both appealing and repulsive. But, like the podcast, there never seems to be a dull moment.
We could also sing the praises of Maron, but we’ll leave that to this New York Times profile. So instead we’ll add that we’re psyched to listen to his interviews with Judd Apatow, David Cross, Adam McKay, Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia. Meanwhile, you should go to the WTF website or iTunes and subscribe to the podcast immediately. AND if you still need some convincing, here’s a few recent interviews that we really enjoyed:
We were pleased to encounter some well-earned commendations for Bosom Buddies this week, from two relatively varied sources. First, in the AV Club‘s truly excellent Primer on 1980s sitcoms, they list Buddies as one of the cult hits from the decade that played with traditional sitcom conventions. Article scribe Todd VanDerWerff continues:
Bosom Buddies, which debuted on ABC in the fall of 1980, has a reputation as one of the worst shows of all time in some circles, but it’s actually a surreal work of near-genius and the only good show to ever emerge from the Miller-Boyett factory. Miller-Boyett assigned a young writer named Chris Thompson to work on a TV spin on Some Like It Hot, and he cast Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in the lead roles…Thompson, who would go on to work on The Larry Sanders Show, filled the series with strange sight gags and mostly abandoned his central premise as soon as he possibly could. The show allowed Hanks and Scolari to improvise freely, often leaving the script for far funnier, stranger tangents.
Some might question the rank of “near-genius,” but we’re here to defend it. We recently used Blizzpocalypse as an excuse to revisit the series, and it’s impressive how well it holds up. And, as a bonus, there are jokes that I didn’t get upon first viewing that, with the benefit of age and wisdom, I now understand (although, there are still others I didn’t get then and don’t get now). However, we’re not exactly sure that we’d qualify the program as “surreal;” certainly, the premise that Hanks and Scolari, in the roles Kip and Henry, were required to dress in drag in order to maintain residence at a “hotel for women” was somewhat off-beat for the time, but, as the writer mentions, since the show was loosely based on Some Like It Hot it’s not exactly a novel premise. But VanDerWerff is right on when he notes that they wisely jettisoned the drag plotlines, in favor of letting the talented cast (including Holland Taylor, Wendie Jo Sperber, Donna Dixon and Telma Hopkins) utilize their immense chemistry and crack timing in more successful, less gimmicky storylines.
(we urge you to go over to the AV Club and read the comprehensive essay as soon as you finish this post. You’ll need to set aside a good 20 minutes, more if you want to watch the accompanying videos (primary source materials), but it’ll be worth it. And be certain to also study their 1970s sitcom Primer, either before or after (however, we do take umbrage with the 80s Primer’s criticism of the shows that comprised TGIF. Certainly, those sitcoms don’t represent the best the decade had to offer, but they have their redeeming qualities. However, that’s a defense for a later post.))