comedy

The Comedy of the Schlub

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Sharon Waxman, a former TSOYA guest and a reporter with a great talent for finding the angle, has an interesting piece on the Judd Apatow ouvre in the Times today.

The question she introduces to the debate is an important one, and she quotes Mike White (the man behind such wonderful films as "School of Rock" and "The Good Girl"):

“To me, I definitely stand in the corner of wanting to give voice to the bullied, and not the bully. Here’s where comedy is catharsis for people who are picked on,” he said.

“There’s a strain in ‘Knocked Up’ where you sort of feel like something’s changed a little bit,” he continued. “My sense of it is that because those guys are idiosyncratic-looking, their perception is that they’re still the underdogs. But there is something about the spirit of the thing, that comes under the guise of comedy, where — it’s weird. At some point it starts feeling like comedy of the bullies, rather than the bullied.”

Apatow writes to Waxman:

“I think there is a nerd’s fantasy involved in many of these films. We all wish that somebody would take the time to get to know us, and love us, warts and all.”

He added: “I always wanted to be given a shot. And the sick part is this: No matter how many shots I get, I never completely lose the feeling of inadequacy that makes me wish I would get a chance to prove myself.”

The line between nerd-schlub and bully-schlub is a fine one. I think a great illustration might be the films of Adam Sandler, where while the protagonist is often a weird outsider type, and invariably a man-child, there's little attention paid to the real feelings that are so central to "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." Often in Sandler's films, acting like an emotionally stunted jerk is almost the reason for his triumph.

I haven't yet seen "Knocked Up," and I'm very excited to, but this will give me something to consider between now and then.

Podcast: Kasper Hauser Comedy Podcast: SkyMaul Page 7: Pepper Self-Spray

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This week: Pepper Self-Spray, from SkyMaul (click image to enlarge)

Please continue to subscribe and review the show! You can also check out KH's videos on YouTube.

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Buy Kasper Hauser's new book: "Skymaul"

Podcast: The College Years: Cartoons 4/18/02

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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.

In this week's second show, Gene, Jesse and Jordan discuss cartoons with animator Liz Holtzman and talk about how horrible TSOYA's listeners were at contests with Spike Decker of Spike & Mike's Film Festival.

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Dr. Katz Live in LA

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At the Comedy Central Stage...

14 & 15 Monday and Tuesday

DR. KATZ PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST: LIVE!

Jonathan Katz, Tom Snyder, H. Jon Benjamin and Laura Silverman plus special guests stars

Calling all Dr. Katz fans...he's back, and the office is open, but for better or worse, some things never change. Ben still hits on Laura to no avail, Laura still can't be bothered-by anything, and they both still manipulate Dr. Katz with ease as he treats some of his favorite patients from seasons past in this live re-enactment of the hit ground-breaking animated Comedy Central series.

Limited Seating
All Shows Are Free
Call for reservations
(323) 960-5519
All shows begin at
8:00PM (unless otherwise indicated)

Jen Kirkman on "Standup Get Down"

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"There are two things I don't want to do: go see Grindhouse or have kids."

(via The Coming)

Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe Ep. 6: Prison Camp

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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 varies 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 as a man from Montana to help them in their agricultural facility. They're looking for someone to control the laborers using guns and electrical shock.

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America comes together.

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Bill Moyers interviews Jon Stewart on Moyers' newest PBS series, Bill Moyers Journal.

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These are two serious, serious genuises of their respective crafts.

Podcast: Anne Beatts, Original Saturday Night Live Writer

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Anne Beatts
Show: 
Bullseye

Anne Beatts is a legendary pioneer in comedy writing. She was the first female editor on the National Lampoon, wrote for the National Lampoon Radio Hour, and was an original writer on Saturday Night Live. After leaving SNL, she created the critically-acclaimed sitcom Square Pegs, which featured a breakthrough performance from Sarah Jessica Parker.

Today, Beatts is a screenwriting professor at the University of Southern California. She also teaches sketch comedy writing workshops privately. You can find out more about the courses on her MySpace page.

You can see portions of our interview in video form here and here.

You might also enjoy these shows:
Zines with V. Vale and Josh Karp, author of "A Futile and Stupid Gesture" about Doug Kenney and the National Lampoon
Belushi! with Judith Belushi Pisano and Tanner Colby (MP3)
New York Stories with Roz Chast and SNL Castmember Bill Hader

Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally
The Sound of Young America is underwritten in part by Project Breakout

Jerry Lewis on Pauline Kael & critics...

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Dick Cavett talks with Jerry Lewis about being an auteur and dealing with critics. Including how much he loves Pauline Kael, a "dirty old broad" who'd never said anything good about him, ever. Great stuff.

First of May!

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First of May! First of May! You-know-what starts today!

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