Mark Frauenfelder of BoingBoing and the Gweek podcast joins us again this week to talk about some of his current favorite things. Mark suggests a turn at the multiplayer iPhone game Spaceteam, which is all about yelling techno-gibberish at friends. In the mood for something a little more quiet? Mark also recommends The Magazine, a minimalist, ad-free digital publication "for geeks and curious people."
Simon Rich got his first book deal in 2007. Since then, he’s published five books, received a nomination for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, contributed regular essays to the New Yorker, and worked on Saturday Night Live as a staff writer (which he recently left for a top-secret writing job at Pixar). How old is he? 29. Basically, Simon Rich has his act together.
The characters he writes about? Not so much. His latest book, The Last Girlfriend on Earth, is a collection of vignettes about lost characters coming to terms with love. And these aren’t your typical stories of romance and heartbreak; in true Simon Rich fashion, his stories make the mundane profound and vice-versa. (No one else can write a story about God’s girlfriend and follow it up with a touching monologue from a prophylactic’s POV.)
Simon sits down with Jesse to discuss the autobiographical elements of his stories, the appeal of writing from a child’s point of view, and how love is a lot like heroin.
Simon Rich’s new book of essays, The Last Girlfriend on Earth, is available in bookstores everywhere.
Digging through old stuff from your childhood can be a lot of different things – insightful, hilarious, wistful, nostalgic. But in comedian Eugene Mirman’s case, it was just embarrassing. In this clip from his latest special, Eugene describes a childhood relic, found in his parents’ basement.
Eugene Mirman’s new special, An Evening of Comedy in a Fake Underground Laboratory, is now available as a combination CD/DVD.
Conventional wisdom amongst standup comics dictates that a crowd has to be on your side before you can make them laugh. It’s good general advice, but it’s not advice that Bill Burr follows – and he’s all the better for it.
Bill Burr’s comedy is, in a word, aggressive. It’s not just that he looks and sounds tough, qualities that have landed him voice acting work in Grand Theft Auto IV and guest appearances on Breaking Bad. Aggression and confrontation are at the core of Bill’s act; he’s not afraid to curse out unruly audience members or start a set with a joke that, in a lesser comic’s hands, might totally alienate a crowd. But his comedy isn’t all tough-guy machismo. He’s just as likely to direct a rant at himself as he is others, a quality that makes his work all the more hilarious and human.
Bill spoke with Jesse a few years ago to talk about Bill’s style of comedy, challenging himself and audiences in his act, and every performer’s most dreaded nightmare: having to follow a dog or child onstage.
This interview originally aired in October 2010.
On this week’s Outshot, Jesse tears the house down with a timeless live album. It’s Solomon Burke’s "Soul Alive."
Here's where you can find some of our favorite people this week:
Asheville, NC - They Might Be Giants at The Orange Peel on Sept. 28th;
Atlanta, GA - Adam Corolla at the Tabernacle on Sept. 30th;
Baton Rouge, LA - Brian Posehn at the Manship Theater on Sept. 26th and 27th;
Bloomington, IL - The Comedy Attic will feature Jackie Kashian and Maria Bamford on Sept. 22nd, 23rd and 24th and Doug Benson (taping an episode of Doug Loves Movies) on Sept. 26th;
Canton, MA - The Hold Steady will appear at the Life Is Good Festival on Sept. 24th;
Chicago, IL - They Might Be Giants with Jonathan Coulton at The Vic Theater on Sept. 23rd;
Colorado Springs, CO - Doug Benson at The Black Sheep on Sept. 21st;
Des Moines, IA - Demitri Martin will appear at Hoyt Sherman Place on Sept. 23rd;
Detroit, MI - Chris Tucker will perform at the Fox Theater Detroit on October 1st;
Louisville, KY - The Improv will host Marc Maron on Sept. 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th and Doug Benson on October 1st; Bob Edwards will be appearing to promote his new book, "A Voice in the Box: My Life in Radio", at the Filson Historical Society on the 22nd;
Madison, WI - Dave Atell will at the Comedy Club on State on Sept. 23rd and 24th;
Miami Beach, FL - Chris Tucker will be at the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater on Sept. 24th;
Nashville, TN - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at the Cannery Ballroom on Sept. 27th;
New Haven, CT - Das Racist will play at Toad's Place on Sept. 29th;
New Orleans, LA - Chris Tucker at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Sept. 23rd;
New York, NY: Colson Whitehead will be doing a book signing at McNally Jackson Books as part of the New Yorker Festival on October 2nd; He'll also be participating in a panel discussion about Alternative Realities at SVA Theatre on Sept. 30th;
Omaha, NE - Demitri Marin will be at the Omaha Music Hall on Sept. 24th;
Ottawa, ON - Greg Proops will be performing "Whose Live Anyway?" at the Centrepointe Theater in Ottawa, ON on Sept. 23rd;
Providence, RI - Das Racist at The Met on Sept. 30th;
Raleigh, NC - Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson performing "Two Kids, One Hall" at Goodnights on Sept. 29th, 30th, Oct. 1st and 2nd;
Richmond, VA - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at the The National on Sept. 29th;
Salt Lake City, UT - Jimmy Pardo at Wiseguys Comedy Club on Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st;
Sayreville, NJ - Brian Posehn at the Starland Ballroom on Sept. 30th;
Seattle, WA - Demitri Martin at The Neptune Theater on Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st;
St. Louis, MO - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at The Pagaent on Sept. 24th
Tulsa, OK - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at Cains Ballroom on Sept. 25th;
Ventura, CA - Doug Benson at the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club on Sept. 28th;
Washington, DC - Das Racist at the 9:30 Club on October 1st.
Bill Burr doesn't approve of facelifts.
"Would you rather be 45, and look 45, or be 45 and look like a 28-year-old lizard?"
Andy Kindler will be at the Playboy Comedy Lounge of the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas August 25th to 27th.
Bill Burr will be at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, NJ from August 25th to the 28th.
Colson Whitehead will be at the University of Wyoming in Laramie tonight, August 22nd.
Childish Gambino, Mobb Deep and Blu & Exile will be in Mountain View, CA as part of the Rock the Bells Festival at the Shoreline Amphitheater on August 27th.
Jackie Kashian and Maria Bamford will be performing at the Helium Comedy Club in Portland, OR on August 25th, 26th and 27th.
Jimmy Pardo will be at the Funny Bone in Virginia Beach, VA on August 25th-27th.
Kumail Nanjiani will be performing the Meltdown Show at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles on August 24th with Brent Weinbach, Jen Kirkman and Brett Gelman.
Marc Maron will be at Hilarities in Cleveland, OH on August 25th-28th.
Tig Notaro will be at the Tin Roof in Charleston, SC on August 24th and at the Calendonia in Athens, GA on August 25th.
Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson will be performing Two Kids, One Hall at Zanies in Nashville on August 25th-28th.
Wyatt Cenac will be appearing at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse in Arlington, VA on August 26th.
Here is a quick list of cities and venues where you can catch some face time with your favorite MaxFun performers during the coming week. Click on the name of the venue for ticket info.
From time to time, of course, there are shows which are likely to be so popular that I wouldn't recommend waiting until the week of the performance to buy tickets. I'll list one or two of those separately each week. Buy now:
This video, made by Bill Burr with our pals from LAist, is a real gem. It's half an hour of Burr driving around and offering his committed opinions about crap in Los Angeles. Bill has such a remarkable energy - so much anger, so much passion, but a real sweetness, too. He's also funny as shit.
Bill Burr is a standup comic. His ferocious style is leavened by the fact that he often trains the ferociousness on himself. His latest special, now on CD and DVD, is Let It Go. He also hosts the Monday Morning Podcast, which is about football and the vicissitudes of the life of Bill Burr.
Burr talks with Jesse Thorn about why he makes it difficult for himself on stage, about shouting down crowds and about fighting to be a better person.