To celebrate the remastering/re-releasing of our classic episodes in the Albums section of iTunes, we're revisiting "Strange Sex," with Marc Maron, our first episode.
And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.
A few years ago, Paul Feig was enjoying a relatively successful career as a TV director. His ode to adolescence, Freaks and Geeks, had a short run but was critically acclaimed. He went on to direct pivotal episodes of The Office, take a turn on Mad Men, and make the rounds on 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Arrested Development, too.
But Feig's work in film was a little rockier. His first two studio films struggled to find audiences, and he was serving time in "movie jail", the unofficial lockdown for directors who helm flops. But he got a third chance, directing a talented cast of women in Bridesmaids. And that time, it hit.
His new film, The Heat, pairs Melissa McCarthy with Sandra Bullock in the traditional buddy cop genre.
Feig talks to us about how his childhood magic hobby led to a career in comedy, why he prefers directing women to men, and the undue box office pressure on films starring women.
The Heat is in theaters nationwide on June 28.
The New Yorker’s television critic, Emily Nussbaum, joins us to talk about TV you should be watching. She recommends the upcoming Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black, from Jenji Kohan, creator of the hit Showtime dramedy Weeds. Kohan's new show follows the life of a middle-class woman sent to prison when her drug smuggling past catches up to her. Nussbaum also recommends the Comedy Central sketch show Inside Amy Schumer, hosted by Schumer and filled with exaggerated takes on some of her favorite topics: sex, porn, relationships, and how to take a compliment.
Orange Is The New Black's 13 episode season premieres on Netflix on July 11.
Inside Amy Schumer airs Tuesdays at 10:30/9:30c on Comedy Central. The show was just picked up for a second season.
Want to suggest these TV picks to a friend? Click here to listen, embed and share these recommendations from Emily Nussbaum.
Comedian Ophira Eisenberg is happily married and she's got a pretty steady day job, for a comic (she's the host of NPR’s quiz show Ask Me Another). But her life wasn't always so settled. Eisenberg’s new memoir, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy, tells us how she got there -- by accident. She made a choice early on that dating was supposed to be fun, not a desperate and frenzied search to find "the one".
She describes the best way to make the transition to living in New York City (just don't tell anyone back home!), what to say when your date asks you if you want to see "something special", and her newly optimistic philosophy on marriage.
Screw Everyone is available now.
Do you need to be a chef to be able to cook for yourself? The answer is no, and the proof is in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.
Erin and Bryan open a fresh can of "Butt Whip" on Pakistan's homsexual hypocracy, everything Miss USA and beauty pagaents, Putin's new Super Bowl ring, and Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference's plan on winning young voters with hilarious abortion jokes. With special comedy crush, Karen Kilgariff.
Do you like my body?
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Comedian Dana Gould joins us to talk acting method, taco spills, and conspiracy parents.
Download episode 274 here. (right-click)
Get in touch with us at spy [at] maximumfun [dot] org or (206) 339-8328.
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(click here for the full recap)
Alison Becker joins Jordan and Jesse for a comparison of spa experiences, an exploration of American Girl dolls, and a discussion of a new exercise technique.
We're sorry for missing last week's episode, but we think you'll agree that the show has improved with one week's rest. Like, this week, we talk enthusiastically about horses. When was the last time we had the energy to do that?
Suggested talking points: Fat Pipes, Syncing Up, Horse Stack, Morrissey Hair, Ironic Tiesto, Whistlin' Sarah, Papa Pockets
Interview by Chris Bowman, edited by Chris Berube.
Nat Luurtsema is a busy stand up comedian with a penchant for extra curricular activities. Well, activity. Writing. She’s written a book Cuckoo In The Nest in which she recounts a time not that long ago when, at the age of 28 she had to move back in with her parents. There area lot of deep breaths involved with your parents hanging over your shoulder while you make tea, or banning microwave use because you set a bowl of Weetabix alight. She loves her parents but as you can imagine, there was a period of adjustment.
She’s just written a feature length screenplay called Lex Has Body Issues and an award winning short called Island Queen (in which she also starred). The film, directed by Ben Mallaby, is about a woman named Mim who has never left the island she calls home. She decides to do something drastic. She gets pregnant. What follows is funny, horrifying and sweet. Luurtsema claims she’s unaware of the workload until she stops to think about it. Which is understandable because she doesn’t seem to have enough time to stop.
International Waters: Your book Cuckoo In The Nest is about having to move back home. When did you realize that was the only option?
Nat Luurtsema: It was about 11 days before we had to vacate our flat, and I had spent 6 weeks saying “in a film everything happens at the last minute, so it'll be fine”. It was a flawed plan and when we hit 7 days before homelessness my boyfriend and I both agreed we'd have to go back home to our parents and try to find a flat from there. Given we'd struggled to find anywhere while we were in London I couldn’t see how relocating to Watford and Bath was going to improve our chances.
IW: Being a funny person did you see the potential for humour in the situation right away?
NL: It did seem ridiculous and I found the whole situation funny at first. Then after a month reality started to bite, I was a nocturnal person living with two people who got up at 7am and I was lonely and bored and couldn't see the situation improving any time soon. So I started blogging to smear my misery all over the internet.
IW: The sweet, affordable therapy that is blogging! Often our parents will treat us like the children we once were (and admittedly sometimes can still be). How did you get past that?
NL: I didn't! I just struggled against it for 6 months in an ultimately futile protest. That's why I took to blogging, because it's the only place I could ever get the last word. That's why I write. It's the only aspect of my life over which I can exercise any sliver of control.
IW: You wrote the screenplay for Island Queen. The story does really well to strike a balance between funny and touching. How did you come up with the idea?
NL: Thank you! That's so kind of you - Island Queen was the first short I've ever written and it taught me so much. I've just completed my first feature-length screenplay - it's a comedy thriller called "Lex Has Body Issues" and I can't wait to get it filmed. The story of Island Queen is really grotty and based on a story I read that said some very under-populated places in Iceland were having to temporarily shut their sperm banks… and I will say so more as I realize anything I say next is a big fat spoiler.
IW: You've written for the stage, a book, and now both short and feature length films. How difficult is it to switch from one style of writing to the other?
NL: I love it, it’s like a holiday from stand-up, where you have to present your whole self to an audience and hope they like you. That’s my biggest problem, I’m not an easily-likeable comic, so I love film and books because it’s just my writing I’m presenting to people and I feel safe to be bolder and nastier with my comedy.
IW: "Not an easily-likeable"? Why do you say that? Any stand-up stories?
NL: I was a very awkward, shy act when I started, and I think this was me at my funniest. Then I did 3 years of gigging around the country and trying to be one of those charming friendly acts (the bastards) and now I've realized I'm funnier just being uncharming me ;> As I say in my act, other comics can hop on stage and remark on how they look like a particular celebrity, I don't. I look like your ex's mate from work that you never warmed to. The laugh this gets makes me happy and sad.
IW: How would you describe your style of comedy?
NL: Argh. Gah. The hardest of all questions! I don’t know, I’ve never pinned it down - Really, I’ve written about 10 words here and deleted them - it just changes depending on what mood I’m in - the jokes are the same but I can be sweet or scathing or filthy or prim. Now that reads like a 'business card' in a Soho phone box! I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be difficult but I lack any objectivity and no one has ever kindly summed me up. That’s what I want for Christmas.
IW: Is stand-up something you still enjoy then?
NL: I love stand-up, it's the 'Thing' I always dreamed of doing and it's my main job. But it's funny how I get opportunities to do other things thanks to people liking my stand-up - things like writing, acting, voiceovers, and they are so much easier than stand-up. They're not easy, they're different challenges but stand-up is insane, it's like a constant fight with a prickly hedge. You're endlessly pulling your own personality apart to find and dissect your funniest bits, always working on new bits, and even the bits that always work can stop working without any warning and then you have to try to discover why. So "enjoy" is probably not quite the right word! But I'd be lost without it. Though if a boyfriend ever treated me this badly my mum would stage an intervention and an assassination.
IW: Loving something that doesn't love you back and pulling your personality apart sounds terrifying. It also sounds like something more people should do from time to time.
NL: Yes, it's like an emotional workout - it breaks your muscles to have them grow back stronger. Or leave you emotionally broken. I find I can enjoy it more when I have other things on which to prop my flimsy shriveled self-esteem. That’s where Jigsaw and my book and my films come in handy and make my stand-up much better. It’s like having a career harem.
IW: Chris Hardwick (@nerdist) has something he calls his confidence theory. Basically, he says that confidence comes from having options. In a strange way having a few projects on the go takes the pressure off.
NL: I agree completely! I get all my confidence from knowing when I step on stage that this gig cannot make or break me. I suppose I do a lot of things, it never seems so until I summarise it - but I write in a very focused, rapid way, my feature film reached a third draft within a fortnight, and I wrote a 70,000 word book in 5 months. If I enjoy writing something it comes together very quickly, which makes me want to abandon anything that happens more slowly, but I have to be disciplined as stand-up is so much slower to create, much more trial and error and fiddling with every single word. I also don't sleep very much, that might be the key to it. 1-4am are the most productive hours for me, then I sleep until 8am and that's enough for me.
IW: Those are some magical hours, the epiphany hours. What piece of advice have you been given that’s stuck?
NL: I think the most useful philosophy I've ever heard came from Sarah Millican, who said (and I'm sorry Sarah, I couldn't find the exact quote!) that you have 12 hours after a bad gig to brood about it, and then stop. And the same goes for gloating over a good gig. This is very useful if you often have to travel miles back from your gigs, you can do all your sulking/gloating in the privacy of your own car and emerge into decent society as a non-self-obsessed dickweed.
In collaboration with SpeakeasyDC, RISK! brings its hilarious live show to the Washington, DC! Our theme is "So Emotional: Stories about feelings gone wild." Featuring Kevin Allison, Amy Saidman, Daniel Sullivan, Stephanie Garibaldi, Keith Mellnick and Jenny Splitter.
RISK! is a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.”
RISK!'s monthly LA live storytelling at the NerdMelt. Featuring:
Mather Zickel ("Newsreaders", "The Ten", "Childrens Hospital", "Arrested Development")
Nathan Rabin (former Head Writer for The Onion's The AV Club, My Year Of Flops, You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me)
Cameron Esposito (TBS' Just for Laughs Chicago, Host/Creator of Put Your Hands Together & Wham Bam Pow podcasts)
Moshe Kasher (Author of Kasher in the rye, champs podcast, hour special "live in Oakland")
Hosted by Kumail Nanjiani (HBO's "Veep", "Franklin & Bash", "Portlandia", "Newsreaders").
RISK! is a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public” hosted by Kevin Allison, of the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe The State. The award-winning live show happens monthly in New York and Los Angeles. It’s featured people like Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Nealon, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, Lili Taylor, Rachel Dratch, Andy Borowitz and more, dropping the act and showing a side of themselves we’ve never seen before. The weekly podcast gets hundreds of thousands of downloads each month. Slate.com called it “jaw-dropping, hysterically funny, and just plain touching.”