The Blog of Young America

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Podcast: The College Years: Mace Detective Gets His Man (Or: Jordan's Amnesia!)

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The College Years is a look deep into the vaults of The Sound of Young America. Take a journey with us every week as we post a new program or two from our salad days.

Mace Detective, Private Detective is back on the job in this week's trip back to the College Years, as he solves murders and drinks fruity beverages. Jordan Morris later attempts to recover from amnesia caused by an unknown source.

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Podcast: TSOYA Classic: Laugh Riot

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We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

In anticipation of KZSC's comedy festival, Laugh Riot, we're joined in studio by comic crooners Hard N Phirm. Also, recorded comedy from Brent Weinbach and Jasper Redd.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

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Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe, Ep. 14: Human Leech

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In the early 1960s, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe roamed the streets of San Francisco, microphone in hand, roping strangers into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. Today, their humor is a cultural touchstone for artists as varied as Henry Rollins and The Upright Citizens Brigade.

These recordings are from the Sharpe family archive, which is tended by Mal's daughter, Jennifer Sharpe. You can learn more about Coyle & Sharpe on their website or on MySpace. Their recent box set is These 2 Men Are Imposters.

This week, Coyle & Sharpe discuss the prospects of a 7 ft., 300 lb., antennaed Human Leech. Don't worry, he will carry you on his shoulders while you sleep.

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Jordan Morris' Guide to Hollywood

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I'm not going to let personal differences between me and Jordan stop me from highlighting his excellent work for the Fuel network. Like this piece, a guide to Hollywood.

Paul F. Tompkins Video Interview

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The one and only Mr. Paul F. Tompkins visited MaxFunHQ yesterday. We did an extensive interview that you can hear in audio on the podcast in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, though, I've prepared a VIDEO version of the proceedings.

You can watch it above, or download it directly from Google video, although the quality may be slightly compromised. If you'd like the iPod-optimized high quality download version, you can get that too... due to it's relatively large size, I'm distributing it via torrent here on MySpleen. MySpleen requires an invite, so if you need one, just email me with your email address and (for security purposes) your favorite TSOYA moment. You don't have to go into detail, I just don't want randoms asking for invites.

Here's the embed code for the video, if you'd like to add it to your blog, webpage or myspace:


And be sure to check out Paul's brand new album "Impersonal," which is available at Store.Aspecialthing.com for just ten bucks.

Norm MacDonald: Greatest man ever?

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When I saw this sketch the first time, I think in high school, I couldn't stop thinking about it for about a year afterwards. God bless the internet for bringing it back into my life.

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse, Go!: Ep. 30: Jordan, Jesse, Drama!

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As the podcast turns...following a call to The Best Show on WFMU, Jesse is forced to make a heartbreaking decision.

Introduction
Jesse and Jordan are hanging out in the local billiard parlor.
Movie Talk
Jordan gives a "thumbs up" to Live Free or Die Hard, etc.
Listener Calls


This starts out with a discussion of casual racism in LA, but works its way into some miscellaneous calls.
Project Breakout


There's a new comedy competition at projectbreakout.com: Sketch Comedy VS. Stand-Up. Visit the site for details on how to enter!

Miserly Jordan


That miserly Jordan takes a step toward being less miserly when he buys 10 dollar ice cube trays.

Zoo Animal Showdown!
Monkey vs. Lion

Listeners call in with their thoughts on, and we find out the winner of, Monkey Vs. Lion!

Next Match-up:
Elephant Vs. Sloth

Who will you send to the next round? Vote today!

Stupid Listeners, Funny Calls!

We had quite a few responses to last week's stupid challenge, but one takes the cake. We'll give you a hint: It involves peeing all over the floor.

Hang It Up, Keep It Up


Let Jesse Thorn be your moral compass with the long awaited return of HIU-KIU.

A Tough Decision


AND YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS THE EXCITING CONCLUSION TO THIS WEEK'S SHOW. TOO IMPORTANT TO TEASE!! HERE IS SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION.


ACTION ITEMS:


*Vote in the second round of the Zoo Animal Showdown! Visit the forum for details.
*Have you ever done something stupid? Think you can beat today's calls? Call in and tell us about it.

CONTINUING ACTION ITEMS:

* Review the show on iTunes.
* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Have personal questions for Jesse and Jordan? Call 206-984-4FUN and tell us what they are!
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.

Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.

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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

Spinning Wheel Gotta Go Round

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For those who remember my recent interview with Dr. Oliver Wang, we had a discussion of "Spinning Wheel," an example of a song O-Dub is so intruiged by that he'll buy records blind just to hear a cover of it.

Today over on Soul-Sides, Oliver posted a set from his old KALX show The Ozone featuring a mini-set of Spinning Wheel covers.

Above you can watch my favorite Spinning Wheel cover, by Mr. Hank Kingsley on the Larry Sanders show. It starts a minute and a half into the clip.

"What can I say, Hank? You're a quadruple threat. You're a singer, a dancer, a raconteur... ... ... and a singer again because you're just that good." - Bob Odenkirk as super-agent Stevie Grant

Just Blaze on BET

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Cool little interview with hip-hop superproducer (now superblogger) Just Blaze on BET's 106 & Park. He introduces the throwback video of the day, Freeway's "What We Do," featuring Beanie Siegel and Jay-Z, maybe the best Rocafella track ever. And the video features Body from the Wire, so that's a good look.

Bonus moment: Just DJs the "beat-of-the-day" game. You know the producer was like, "and then you'll DJ the beat of the day!" Then Just's hand reaches into his crate for "Shook Ones," and the producer continues, "and it's going to be Rihanna!"

The Top Ten Sketches of All Time

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The man who goes by the handle "BillBrasky2620" on aspecialthing.com is a librarian by trade, and he's nothing if not thorough. Below, this comedy expert among comedy experts offers his top ten comedy sketches of all time. With our apologies to Abbot & Costello and Your Show of Shows.

#10 Dave Chappelle - Clayton Bigsby
I feel a little less strongly about this one than some of the others on this list, but I felt that Chappelle should be included, and this was one of the best sketches he ever did (impressive that it was in the first episode ever aired too). The last line of the sketch still packs a considerable punch, and it makes me wish that he was still doing stuff like this.

#9 The Day Today - Rok TV
I'm not really sure if this counts as a sketch, it's really a series of sketches in the context of a parody of MTV, but it's one of the best parodies of MTV ever, and amazing when you consider one person (Chris Morris) is essentially playing every single character in this sketch. There's a willingness to go into dark areas here too, which Morris would eventually do even more in Jam and the Brass Eye pedophilia special. Not just the Fur-Q stuff, but little things like the Ian Curtis joke, show that Morris was willing to push the barriers of what might have previously been considered acceptable in comedy.

#8 At Last the 1948 Show- Four Yorkshiremen
Not a Monty Python sketch, but the version I linked to here is the one from Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl. Basically, any sketch which is based on progressive exaggeration to an absurd end owes a debt to this sketch. Could Kristen Wiig's "one-upper" character have been inspired by this?

#7 Upright Citizens Brigade- Ass Pennies
This is probably the best example of the UCB's style of humor, their particular brand of odd agressiveness- I guess you could call it a "punk" approach to comedy. I don't think the concept for this sketch could have ever come from anywhere but Ian Roberts' head, and his commitment to pursuing an idea that would not even occur to most people (to an almost scary level) is what made their TV show so unique.

#6 SNL- 60 Minutes
The 1984-85 season of SNL is a really underrated season in the show's history, and maybe one of its best ever in my opinion. Most of that was due to what Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer brought to the show- an emphasis on filmed sketches that told a story and tried to make the characters as realistic as possible, while still being funny (basically what Guest continues to do today in his movies). The Synchronized Swimmers sketch is another good example, but this one is such a bizarre premise, with such well-defined characters (including Martin Short's Nathan Thurm) that I think it wins out.

#5 SCTV - Half-Wits
One of my favorite types of humor is the humor of people who have difficulty understanding things or grasping simple concepts- the Mr. Show "Flat Top Tony and the Purple Canoes" conversation and the guard scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail are other good examples. These sketches from SCTV were pioneers of the form, and really laid the groundwork for endless game show sketches on SNL since then (the Celebrity Jeopardy sketches are pretty much direct descendants).

#4 Mr. Show- The Pre-Taped Call-in Show
There are many Mr. Show sketches which could be included on this list, like Shampoo or The Audition, but this is in my opinion the show's greatest achievement in terms of producing a timeless piece of sketch comedy. Congratulations, Dino and Brett Forrester, for having the patience to think this through and making it airtight, completely grounded in logic while still being insane at the same time.

#3 Kids in the Hall- Citizen Kane
There doesn't seem to be a video of this online, which is a shame, because a lot of the humor derives from the performances of Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald, and this sketch is maybe not as funny reading it on the page as some of the others on this list. Nevertheless, this has possibly one of the best endings to a sketch of all time (and a good example of how violence can be funny in comedy).

#2 Peter Cook and Dudley Moore- One Leg Too Few
This probably isn't the best version of this available (it's from a 1987 edition of Comic Relief), but this is a really funny and well-constructed sketch. As the Wikipedia entry on it says, it is "a classic example of comedy arising from an absurd situation which the participants take entirely seriously, and a demonstration of the construction of a sketch in order to draw a laugh from the audience with almost every line."

#1) Monty Python- Dead Parrot sketch

I don't think I really need to say too much about this. Sure, you could make the case that the Cheese Shop sketch or the Argument Clinic are equally deserving of placement on this list, but I don't think anyone could argue the fact that the parrot sketch is an all-time classic of sketch comedy.

And here's a special bonus, in honor of our author's nom-de-internet... Bill Brasky at the Airport

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