Tag Archives: comedy

Stuff That Happened. Also, I’m back!

10 Oct


stuff that happened bird

IN WHICH I FIND COOL STUFF ON THE INTERNET SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO! 

A collection of kickass stuff I find on the internet.

Cool Stuff // And Also… // Articles // Videos // Trailers & TV/Movie News

DI Cool Stuff BarJONATHAN FRANZEN LEARNS TO SMILE!!!!! ~ Jonathan Franzen is the novelist who wrote The Corrections and Freedom. Additionally, because of several essays detailing his disdain for twittere-books, and the modern world— he’s also revealed himself to be a huge grumpy-bus. So it was surprising/refreshing to read an interview Franzen conducted in which he’s actually HAPPY about something. Franzen finds his German equivalent and they talk about how everyone is stupid but them. Whatever makes you happy you adorable little curmudgeon! [Salon]

HARRIET TUBMAN KNEW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF ROWDY KIDS! ~ Drug them! How else will they stay quiet?! (NOTE: My mom used the same method when she had to take us on long car rides.) [Mental Floss]

DI other stuff bar– “wicked chivalrous!” a cartoon by Kate Beaton [Hark! A Vagrant!]

– A chart that diagrams how the brilliant minds and geniuses of our time spent their day. (NOTE: There is no information on how much time each of them spent blogging) [Mic]

– “Anti-Oppressive Baby Animals” combines social justice with adorable animals. Is it oversimplifying complex issues? Maybe. BUT LOOK AT THEIR FUZZY WUZZY FACES! [Anti-Oppressive Baby Animals]

– “10 Female Gangsters”… just in case you want to know about women who are also criminals [Mental Floss]

– Lea DeLaria plays Boo on the series Orange is the New Black. In these two pics, she just plays an adorable person. [Tumblr]

– Amazing picture of Florida at night taken from the International Space Station [imgur]

DI articles barThe Scourge of “Relatability” (Rebecca Mead // The New Yorker)

Poet Patricia Lockwood Dreams of Roasted Pturkeydactyls (Sierra Tishgart // The New Yorker)

Not Just Another Wednesday Night (Erin Judge // So Make It Up)

DI videos bar– Sita Sings the Blues is a full length movie on Hulu (though enterprising folk could probably find it elsewhere) that is an animated/musical take on The Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic detailing the trials and (mostly) tribulations of Rama and Sita. [Hulu]

– In honor of The Simpsons marathon that happened, here is one of my favorite clips ever (“TRAMAMPOLINE TRAMBOPOLINE”) [Tumblr]

 

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Stuff That Happened!

23 Dec

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IN WHICH I FIND COOL STUFF ON THE INTERNET SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO! 

A collection of kickass stuff I find on the internet.

Cool Stuff // And Also… // Articles // Videos // Trailers & TV/Movie News

DI Cool Stuff BarA WEEK WHERE NOBODY LEARNED ANY LESSONS!!! ~ Welp- it was an exciting week in “STORIES THAT FLOODED MY FACEBOOK FEED WITH UNASKED FOR OPINIONS.” It started with Megyn Kelly saying that “Santa… is white.” Kelly said this during a discussion over an article that was published at Slate entitled Santa Claus Should Not Be A White Man Anymore. The ensuing shitstorm was epic. A million articles were written about why Megyn Kelly’s remarks were awful. The lesson everyone SHOULD have learned was: NEVER EVER ENGAGE ANYONE AT SLATE!! They LIVE for that, you guys! When FoxNews contacted them to do a segment, I imagine everyone at Slate experienced a collective orgasm. Technically, I agree with Slate on most issues and I STILL always leave the site in a spluttering rage. Slate writes articles with the sole purpose of upsetting you (why else would they have AN ENTIRE TAG entitled “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!? Really, Slate? I’m doing grilled cheese wrong? I DOUBT IT, you arrogant assholes.). [ThinkProgress]

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN IS COMING FOR YOU!~ Following in George W. Bush’s footsteps, George Zimmerman has turned to art therapy to quiet the demons in his life. Zimmerman recently put a painting he did on Ebay in hopes that the sale would help him combat his financial woes (i.e. MASSIVE COURT COSTS). In the description of the painting, Zimmerman says, “My art work allows me to reflect, providing a therapeutic outlet and allows me to remain indoors 🙂.” The smiley emoticon at the end isn’t me editorializing- that’s Zimmerman being all cute and jokesy (it’s hilarious because he gets in SUCH PREDICAMENTS when he leaves his house!). Zimmerman isn’t going to remain indoors forever though. The person who has the winning bid on Ebay gets a DOUBLE treat because Zimmerman has promised to deliver the painting to their door. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?   [NY MAG]

BROOKLYN IS NAMED LESBIAN CAPITAL OF THE NORTHEAST~ Marty Markowitz declared Brooklyn, NY “The Lesbian Capital of the Northeast!” Marty Markowitz (I CAN ONLY SAY HIS FULL NAME) is the Borough President of Brooklyn… which I didn’t know was a thing. It should be noted that this statement was issued with pride (no pun intended). Marty Markowitz believes that lesbians have, “made unbelievable contributions to the quality of life in our city and our borough” (awwww). Brooklyn beat out Amherst, Northampton, Manhattan, and Provincetown– and from what I can determine– NO ONE HAS TRIED TO CORRECT HIM! Who knew Borough President carried such authority?! WHY STOP THERE, MARTY MARKOWITZ? How about lesbian capital of THE UNITED STATES! THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE! THE WORLD!!! [Gothamist]

DI other stuff bar

– I WANT THIS KID’S CHILDHOOD! [ViralNova]

– “Troy McClure Film or Actual Terrible Movie” [Mental Floss]

– “40 Most Insane Things That Happened This Year In Florida” [Buzzfeed]

– “Royal Burn” a mashup by Bvnny [Bvnny]

– “A Treasury of Children’s Insane Christmas Wish Lists” [Deadspin]

The Daily Show correspondent, Jessica Williams, interviewed a sad little man from Forbes and asked him how his political policy (i.e. taking away after-school lunch programs for poor children/SNAP) was different from The Hunger Games.  (SPOILER: IT ISN’T THAT DIFFERENT, YOU GUYS!) This is a GIF set of the best part of the interview and you can see the entire interview here. [The Daily Show]

– 50 Awesome Quotes by Neil DeGrasse Tyson [TwistedSifter]

– The best punishment for politicians who don’t believe in science [Upworthy]

– Artist transforms her apartment into intricate dreamscapes. These are amazing! All I can turn my room into is the junk yard from Labyrinth. [Colossal]

– Beautiful comic about winter. It reminds me of The Snowman– but for adults. [Buzzfeed]

DI articles barWill Ferrell and Adam McKay talk about Anchorman and how it strays from “the rules of comedy”  (Terry Gross // NPR)

Inside the Box: People Don’t Actually Like Creativity (Jessica Olien // Slate)

‘Slut-Shaming’ Has Been Tossed Around So Much, It’s Lost All Meaning (Callie Beusman // Jezebel)

George Carlin on How He Came Up With His Material, Advice To Young Comedians, and His Influence (Larry Getlen // Splitsider)

DI videos bar– Penguin Falls Down [YouTube]

– How to Read Science News [It’s Okay To Be Smart]

– “Proof That Every Country Song Was Exactly The Same In 2013” [Buzzfeed]

– “Dance of the Snowflakes” from SNL. This is basically my experience with performing stand-up comedy distilled into a 4 minute skit. Also- John Goodman makes an excellent snowflake. [SNL]


DI trailers and tv news bar

  • Judd Apatow is teaming up with Keegen-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (from Key & Peele) to make (WHAT I CAN ONLY ASSUME WILL BE) an awesome movie [Bleeding Cool]
  • J.K. Rowling is writing a play that will serve as a prequel for the Harry Potter books [Daily Mail]
  • BriTANick might get a movie [Variety]
  • Jennifer Saunders says she wants to write a movie for Absolutely Fabulous. Now, all that is left to do, is peer-pressure her until she delivers. [Jezebel]

This is what EVERY Bon Iver song sounds like to me…

11 Dec

“I Got Stuck” ~ Kollektivet

Poor fella.

 

If you want more Kollektivet, check these songs out. Between Ylvis and Kollektivet, Norway is winning at fun songs.

Stuff That Happened This Week (April 29 – May 5)

6 May

STHTW freddy mercury and wolverine

IN WHICH I FIND COOL STUFF ON THE INTERNET SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO! 

A weekly collection of kickass stuff I find on the internet.

Cool Stuff // And Also… // Articles // Videos // Trailers & TV/Movie News

**NOTE: There is some salty language in here.**

DI Cool Stuff Bar

The Best Thing To Come Out Of A Sorority EVAR ~ This is my favorite thing ever. The leader of some sorority sent out a profanity-laced e-mail BLASTING her fellow sorority sisters. The pure concentrated fury in this letter is amazing. In the wizarding world, they would have called this e-mail a howler. This girl got a lot of crap for writing this- but I salute her. Frankly, I think it is full of valid critiques. Like, for example: Don’t be a boner at a party. Totally legit advice. You guys, all she was doing was trying to hold the girls in her sorority to a certain standard– and “cunt-punt” anyone who fails to measure up. Her only crime is caring too much… and being surrounded by “stupid cocks”. [Gawker]

I Just Found My Hero (And She Is A Bi-sexual Swashbuckler… Because Of COURSE She Is) ~ Her name is Julie D’Aubigny and she was a master swordsman, she set a convent on fire, and basically did whatever she wanted. She makes the Three Musketeers look like Care Bears. She basically is like the real-life manifestation of Xena.  [Badass of the Week]

I Will Hear NO UNKIND WORD AGAINST BEYONCÉ ~ The title of the article was What Beyoncé Could Learn From Ke$ha. The title alone elevates my blood-pressure. Both Ke$ha and Beyoncé recently released documentaries about their lives as performers. For those of you who haven’t seen either documentary– they basically reveal what we already knew about both ladies: Beyoncé is a majestic graceful angel and Ke$ha is a bawdy pirate-person who likes to Par-TAY! So what could Beyoncé learn from Ke$ha? How to appear more human. Apparently, failure makes people seem more accessible, and Ke$ha isn’t afraid to show people that she isn’t perfect. Recently on Conan, Ke$ha revealed that she writes songs with her boobs. The last time she was on Conan, she admitted to having sex with a ghost. These are the failures that make her human. Coincidentally, NOT doing this kind of shit is what makes Beyoncé a beloved queen admired by all. This isn’t a slam on Ke$ha. I love her. She is an adorable maniac who writes fun songs. I’m just saying– Beyoncé doesn’t need to learn SHIT from Ke$ha. I don’t need Ke$ha to know that we all have problems/setbacks/failures in life. I am INTIMATELY AWARE OF THAT FACT because I am a HUMAN PERSON. I want someone out there who can deal with problems/setbacks/failures with grace and style. [The Atlantic]

DI other stuff bar

– Is this a line from The Great Gatsby or an angsty Tumblr user? (You guys, IT IS REALLY HARD TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE) [Buzzfeed]

– 50 Comedians You Should Know And Will Know [Vulture]

– Canada has space dollars!! [Laughing Squid]

– A collection of tweets from Anna Kendrick [Tumblr]

– Disapproval Matrix [Ann Friedman]

DI articles bar

Bow Down Bitches (response to Sarah Dean’s article Who Is Beyonce Calling A Bitch? // UTNE.com)

Meditation On Knowing And Not Knowing [excerpt] (Debbie Millman // Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays On The Intersection of Life & Design)

Amy Schumer, Funny Girl (Jason Zinoman // The New York Times)

DI videos bar

– Wil Wheaton Explains To A New-Born Girl Why Being A Nerd Is Awesome [Laughing Squid]

– Barack Obama and Conan O’Brien at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner [The Comics Comic]

– Curse Me Good. A super-cut of awesome slams and put-downs from the movies. [The Mary Sue]

– The Hollywood Reporter’s Comedy Roundtable with Cecily Strong, Anthony Jeselnik, Kristen Schaal, Rob Delaney, and Nick Kroll. [The Hollywood Reporter]

– Stephen Colbert and Alan Cumming parody “Accidental Racist” with “Oopsy-Daisy Homophobe” [Entertainment Weekly]

– The Gregory Brothers (same group that does “Auto-Tune The News”) do a new song called: The War On Drugs Is  A Failure [The New York Times]

DI trailers and tv news bar

– Chris Hardwick is getting a show. And that is awesome. [Deadline]

– Sarah Silverman is gonna headline a HBO Comedy Special. [The Hollywood Reporter]

– Lonely Island guys are putting out a new album [YouTube]

“Remember that time Chris Tucker opened for Jenny?”

1 May

Last week, I went to Georgia and it was pretty awesome. I met a person named Dorito, saw a post office that doubled as a jail, and performed on the same stage as Chris Tucker.

Yes. The that Chris Tucker.

The famous one.

Blayr and I were in Atlanta to perform at the Laughing Skull. Laughing Skull is a pretty sweet comedy club in downtown Atlanta. They have some pretty prestigious comics perform there. We were performing at the open mic (and even then there is a long list to get a spot).

Laughing Skull also really pushes the skeleton motif to the limit. There are skeletons everywhere.

skeleton over stage

Have a great show… also– I’m going to haunt your dreams for the next month or so. Break a leg!

There is even a terrifying demon skeleton with laser eyes that crouches right above the stage. It is just hovering over you the entire time you are performing.

Three comics into the show, Blayr said we could go backstage. I don’t know how she managed that, because there weren’t any other comics hanging out behind stage (I guess she’s just cool like that…?). Whatever. I don’t question her mad skills anymore.

Behind stage, there was a small lounge/greenroom where the four of us basically sat in a tense silence.

I endeared myself to the host by asking where we were in the line-up every seven minutes (hosts LOVE THAT).

He looked like he was nearing the end of his patience around the 24th time, so I went out behind the stage and did some stretches.

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Famous Comedian Lenny Bruce and Almost-Famous Comedian Blayr Nias.

I stretch before shows because one of my teachers told us a story about a student who was so nervous during a presentation, she locked her legs and passed out midway through. Which sounds horrifying. As someone who lip-sycnced through all of my school recitals to further minimize my contribution, the idea of my body completely betraying me and thrusting me into the spotlight is my number one nightmare come to life.

So I stretch.

Anyway, right before I’m supposed to go on, a guy in a baseball cap came backstage flanked by two other dudes. The guy wearing a baseball cap was smiling and just radiating confidence. I couldn’t see who it was but he shook my hand and in that moment, I knew that he was going on stage next.

He knew it too.

I didn’t know who he was- but he had a posse, for chrissake. Of course he was going on stage next.

If you don’t know Chris Tucker, he is an incredibly energetic fella– like a tiger on cocaine.

I am not incredibly energetic.

There is absolutely no reason I need to stretch before my set. There is little to no movement involved when I am on stage. If they could, small birds would roost on my shoulder.

Chris Tucker did about 20 minutes of material. Judging from the gales of laughter I heard from the greenroom, I think he did well (I did not hear any of it because I was having a chat with the host and trying to make a good impression so he wouldn’t remember me as the moron who kept bothering him).

So, after Chris Tucker was finished with his set, I waited to go on stage (for reals this time). While the host was introducing me, someone in the audience called out, “I would hate to go on after Chris Tucker.”

Thanks, sir (read: asshat). That thought hadn’t crossed my mind.

To their credit, my three friends in the back started chanting “Jenny! Jenny! Jenny!

They get 8,492 karma points for being awesome (enjoy your next life as a dragon, you guys!).

My set went pretty well– and not just well considering I had to follow a celebrity. It went pretty well. I’m pretty sure that even the guy who thought I would suck was laughing (Haha! In your face, you doubting douchebag!).

So, yeah. From now on, I’m just going to say Chris Tucker opened for me.

I think he’ll be okay with that.

And even if he isn’t, it’s okay because he doesn’t know who the fuck I am.

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I’m Chris Tucker!

Nikki & Sara Live… for real!

13 Apr

You guys! I got to meet Sara Schaefer and Nikki Glaser and it was awesome!

They performed at UNC last week along with Lewis Black and J.R. Havlin.

Lewis Black performs stand-up all over the US, but most people know him from The Daily ShowJ.R. Havlin is a writer for The Daily Show and Sara Schaefer and Nikki Glaser host their own show on MTV (Nikki & Sara Live). It was a pretty impressive line-up.

nikki and sara 05

When my mom heard that I met successful comedians who have jobs and get paid, (something I’m not sure she believes actually exists) she was thrilled. “That’s great! These things are a great networking opportunity.”

Yes, mom …in theory.

My friend, who knows me better, had a better grasp of the situation and just laughed in my face. “Was it a catastrophe?” she asked, already knowing full well that it was.

For any other person, meeting these two comics would have been a great networking opportunity. When they say to “make a memorable impression”, however, I am pretty sure they don’t mean “make that person fear for their life.”

Friend: It probably wasn’t as bad as you think.

Me: At one point, I told Sara Schaefer that I stalked her on the Internet.

Friend: Yikes.

I am mega-awkward, you guys.

People throw the word “awkward” around a lot. Everyone claims that they are soooo awkward, but in the end they rarely have the stories to back it up.

Allow me to explain the difference:

awkward versus normal

And it’s cool. I make it work. While I don’t flourish in social situations, usually I can pass for a normal human person. If I maintain a stoic front, no one knows that inside, my internal dialogue consists only of a sustained scream.

But when I’m around people I like or respect, it all goes to shit.

To help you better understand, I made another chart:

meeting someone I like or respect

So, basically, I’m not at my best around people I look up to.

During their time at UNC, Nikki and Sara did a panel discussion in the afternoon… to which I arrived late. I tried to get there on time, but  parking in Chapel Hill is a hellish nightmare and I had to park on the side of a mountain which was forever away from the main campus . And because we are experiencing such BEAUTIFUL sunny weather, I looked like a bedraggled swamp monster by the time I got there. I spent most of the panel trying to bring my body temperature down to an acceptable level (i.e. whatever level that would allow me to stop sweating like a maniac).

Afterwards, Sara and Nikki stuck around a little bit to talk to people. They were both incredibly gracious and thanked us all for coming, and we all went our separate ways.

Except en route to my car, I realized Nikki and Sara were also walking toward Franklin St. and I was

Remember: When meeting new people- it is important to respect their boundaries.

Remember: When meeting new people- it is important to respect their boundaries.

inadvertently shadowing them (like a stalker).

In an effort to appear like less of a creeper, I attempted to make small-talk with Sara Schaefer.

It was a disaster.

At this point, I wasn’t just battling innate bashfulness, I was coping with a colossal caffeine high. My three cups of coffee had finally decided to kick in.

I wasn’t just making awkward small-talk—I was doing it at the speed of light!

I cannot stress how nice she was. She answered all my questions and talked with me the whole way to Franklin St. She deserves a medal because I don’t even think I was speaking words at one point.

My favorite part was when she asked what college I went to.

Me: Oh– uh, Guilford Greensboro.

Don’t bother googling that college.

It doesn’t exist.

Friend: You couldn’t remember what college you went to?

Me: I mean… I remembered. I was just having trouble …speaking words.

Friend: Wow. She probably thought she was talking to a stroke victim.

The next day, when Brittany (my awesome UNC friend who hooked me up with tickets to everything) invited me to talk with the comedians after the show, I declined. I was grateful for my previous encounter with the two comics and I knew I hadn’t gotten any better at being an adult within the past 24 hours.

Not only did I successfully steal this poster, they both signed it. Victory!

Not only did I successfully steal this poster, they both signed it. Victory!

Instead, I went upstairs to steal a poster so I would have a souvenir of the performance. As I was busy working poster off the wall, the door beside me opened and all the comics who performed came filing through.

In an effort to stave off a panic attack, I chose to throw all my focus behind stealing this poster–which is a brilliant plan: “Don’t mind me, I’m just stealing things...”

Recognizing me from yesterday, Nikki Glaser came over and offered to sign the poster– because she is a super nice person.

I honestly have no idea what I said– or if I said anything, but I do know that I flattened myself against the wall like a scared injured bird.

Me: [head in hands] I shouldn’t be allowed around people. It’s always a disaster.

Friend: Well, surely being able to talk to people in your field won’t be a skill you need in the future.

Me: I hate you.

Yes, I am a graceless idiot and this might sound like a tragic mis-adventure, but that weekend was totally a win.

In my life, awesome things are just inextricably entwined with awkwardness. That is just how it is.

Ultimately, I got to meet and talk to two ladies I like and respect.

I’m not only a huge fan, I’m incredibly indebted to them.

They helped me get better at comedy.

When I’m in a creative slump, it helps me to look to people who are doing what I want to do. If it’s trouble with writing, I turn to writers for advice. When I am struggling with comedy, I turn to comedians. Nikki and Sara are part of that creative crew that I turn to when I’m feeling discouraged.

I’ve watched Glaser in A Day in the Life of a Female Comedian about twenty times, read Schaefer’s Advice to a Young Comedian (& Myself), watched their stand-up clips, and listened to them on podcasts talking about their own struggles with comedy. It’s been incredibly helpful and made whatever problem I was facing seem much more manageable.

It is also encouraging to see them succeed.

They have turned writing and being funny into a career. I basically want to be them when I grow up (which, I know, is a weird statement to hear from a 28 year old… and it is possible that Nikki Glaser might actually be younger than me… but, whatever, NEVER MIND THAT!).

The point is, meeting them was awesome.

I’ll never forget it.

(Although, I fervently pray that they have no recollection of me whatsoever.)

carpe diem bitches

Hey, remember January?

19 Mar

January was a pretty great month.

My calendar looked like this:

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(The circles are shows. There are a lot. Which is awesome and makes me want to do awesome air kicks all day.)

I also got invited to do my first podcast.

Why haven’t I posted about the podcast until now?

Because I am hilariously bad at self-promotion!

Anyway, in January, I sat down with Michelle Maclay and John Sideris to be interviewed for their podcast, “Small Town Funny.” It was mega-fun and made me feel like a professional comedian.

Michelle and John are two local NC comedians that I have performed with and have often (graciously) included me in some of the shows they run. “Small Town Funny” is a pretty cool little podcast that interviews comedians and asks them about their writing/creative process and how they come up with jokes.

The discussion, of course, wanders to other topics.

My episode talks about Armenians, my strange academic career, what goes into producing a show, and the virtues of Greek people. Everyone is hilarious on the episode and merriment is had by all.

We recorded the episode at Michelle’s- but “Small Town Funny” is moving into an actual recording studio. WCOM 103.5 will start broadcasting “Small Town Funny” in the coming weeks (because this podcast is legit and cannot be stopped!).

Anyhoo- listen to my episode. You can go to the site and check it out (or download it on iTunes).

Afterwards, you should leave a comment.

Just know, that it will be hard to top the first comment:

Picture 1Thank you, Sir Walter Raleigh. You are doing everything right.