Just a quick note of some of the funnest content I consumed last month (in no particular order):
– After consistently stealing the spotlight from Seth Meyers on his Late Night show, Amber Ruffin has earned her very own topical late-night comedy conduit, The Amber Ruffin Show. Apparently it airs on NBC’s new streaming service Peacock, but they’ve been nice enough to post clips on YouTube for all of us around the world to see. Hurrah!
– Cole Escola recycled a clip from his hilarious/horrifying home-made sketch-show special “Help! I’m Stuck! with Cole Escola” (love that title!), specifically touching on the topic of “Gender Reveal” parties, which were in the news again recently when celebratory fireworks seemingly sparked a devastating wildfire in California… so, not just super-creepy, but also super-deadly!
– Samantha Bee shared a video of her rather un-glamorous struggles to pry/chisel-open the consolation prize she was sent after losing the Emmy for “Outstanding Variety Talk Series” to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. SPOILER: It’s a $28 bottle of “champagne”! Certainly not worth the injuries she could have incurred, during her battle to unbox it!
– Alice Lowe talked to the Guardian about her “teen obsessions”, revealing her goth-y roots, and a fetish for bearded men that I found comforting in my delusional solitude…
– Paloma Faith released a new single/video titled “Better Than This”, which is either about a troubled relationship or a troubled civilisation… or possibly both…? The vid seems to be evoking a 1980’s-yuppie-horror vibe, and may even be referencing an old movie that I don’t recognise… regardless of the inspiration, it’s certainly not for the squeamish! Apparently Faith has been working on a whole new album while she’s been on lockdown, so at least there’s something to look forward to in the near-future…?
– I finally got around to watching The Pistol Shrimps (2016), a documentary about the eponymous all-female (recreational) basketball team, which happened to feature Aubrey Plaza as a star player. She doesn’t take centre-stage in the film itself though, which mostly profiles her lesser-known team-mates, such as Molly Hawkey, Angela Trimbur, and Jesse Thomas, while (loosely) following a competitive season of “balling”. It’s all very low-key and (relatively) low-stakes*, but also very amusing, uplifting, and inspiring… a “hang out and chill” kinda flick, perfect for these stressful/isolating times. I’m also pretty proud of myself for spotting Stephanie Beatriz, who appears here in her capacity as a member of the L.A. City Municipal Dance Squad, who perform halftime shows during the games… sadly she isn’t featured very heavily in the doc, and isn’t even credited on IMDb!
– Renee Plaza posted a hack-edited homage to 90s-era Charmed, co-starring her sister Aubrey and a selection of cheap wigs. I’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on in this video plot-wise, but Aubrey gets to do her “crazy eyes”, so that’s gravy to me. I should also recommend a socially-distanced skit in which she and Sarah Ramos re-created the “Doggy Chow” scene from Showgirls, with Aubrey as Gina Gershon/‘Cristal Connors’, and Ramos as Elizabeth Berkley/‘Nomi Malone’. In happier times, this might have sparked a bidding war over a feature-length adaptation, but sadly all we have for now is that brief snippet…
– I (very) belatedly discovered that some kind soul had posted the promo video for a song called “Lorraine’s Car” by Cake Like, one of my fave 90s rock bands. I’d always “known” that their lead singer, Kerri Kenney-Silver, went on to appear in comedy shows like Reno 911 and Superstore, but I’d never really been able to connect the voice to the face in my brain before now… so seeing her lip-syncing and strumming away here really helped in that regard. Meanwhile, the direction by David Wain, and a cameo by Ken Marino make it well worth a watch for fans of their work!
* In the sense that no-one gets mauled by a tiger, or anything like that…
** A quick Google led me to the show’s Wiki-page, which reveals they were riffing on the episode “Primrose Empath” (S03E06), with Aubrey playing Shannen Doherty as ‘Prue Halliwell’, and Renee playing everyone else!