The Green Room with Paul Provenza

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Mar 172017

This Showtime series is so good it’s unreal.  Simple premise: a few comics chat half an hour about comedy.  I’ve never seen a single minute of it that wasn’t great though.  I think a big part of it’s the execution.  The guests are seated in a semi-circle facing each other, not the audience.  There’s a “host,” but he’s more of a participant – he doesn’t interview them, nor is it a panel discussion.  They’re all intelligent and speak intelligently – there’s no playing to a crowd whatsoever – but it never gets heavy.  It’s 20% Q&A, 30% stories, and 50% them ripping on each other.  It’s what late-night talk shows should be.

This link (while it lasts) is season 2 ep 1, with among others Gary Shandling, Ray Romano, and Bo Burnham.

I’m working my way through Season 1 atm.  The first episode was awesome.  The second one’s making me laugh so hard it physically hurts.

Apple sucks

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Nov 072016

Apple and Microsoft still running neck-and-neck for title of “Most Evil Tech Company in the US.”  Some things never change.

“Rick and Morty” does “The State of Georgia v. Denver Fenton Allen”

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Jul 272016

This is pretty great.  This video from Comic-Con is Justin Roiland from Adult Swim series “Rick and Morty” reading an insane courtroom transcript from a June 2016 Georgia murder trial, word-for-word, in the voices of characters Rick and Morty (with minimal animation added).  For more info see these posts from College Humor and  If you’re not familiar with the show, scroll-down and check out the opening scene from episode 1 first.

Bo Burnham

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May 222016

They say it takes 15-20 years of touring to make a good stand-up comic.  In this case “they” is a whole bunch of venerable comedians, including Louis CK and Doug Stanhope.  It’s a weird art form (for lack of a better term) that is demanding in unique ways, and there’s apparently no shortcut – it simply takes that much experience to be as good on stage as those guys are.

Bo Burnham’s currently 25, and a lot of his stuff on YouTube (including the clip below)  is from a few years ago.   What he does isn’t exactly stand-up, but he’s got that glow you see in a few really smart and talented kids (Donald Glover also comes to mind), and I’ve enjoyed the hell out of what I’ve seen so far.  I can’t wait to see what his act looks like in a decade…

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May 162016

Louis CK has a cool website where you can buy some of his shows very inexpensively with minimum hassle.  He has a great mindset/attitude about this sort of thing – highly recommend his excellent Charlie Rose interview:

“When I Thought I Was Going to Die ” – Louis C.K.

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Jan 092016

Louis C.K.’s jaw-dropping, hilarious story about a harrowing airline flight with a cartoonishly-reckless pilot.  Sounds too crazy to be true, but for what it’s worth I’ve read some comments from people claiming to be air-traffic controllers saying that the sort of ad-hoc decisions he describes do sometimes happen.  Either way, it’s an epic story.

The Professor Brothers – Bible History #1 (Sodom & Gomorrah)

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Dec 142015

I disagree with your truly hard-core religious fundamentalist on a few points, be they Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or whatever:

  1. That book you’re in-love with?  Totally a good book, or else it would hardly have stood the test of time.  It’s historically-important, beautifully-written, and thought-provoking: but not thought-ending.  If you thumb to a random chapter and start reading, it should ideally make you start thinking, not stop.  No reasonable God would grant you the capacity for critical-thinking just to test your faith.
  2. The notion that 100% of said book is literally the word of God is, well, a little unrealistic.  Don’t get me wrong – if God has actually appeared before you and specifically made a point of confirming that he wrote or approved every word of it, then yeah, who am I to argue?  But historical records suggest pretty strongly that the great venerable religious texts were cobbled-together from oral traditions that predate reliable written history, then re-complied and re-written multiple times by people who may have been motivated by political as well as spiritual motivations.
  3. If there is a God, it’s really hard for me to imagine that he lacks a sense of humor, and/or that he expects you not to have one as well.

That said, here’s the story of Lot.  Enjoy!