Just a quick note of some of the funnest content I consumed last month (in no particular order):
– Chloe Fineman took inspiration from Netflix’s Inventing Anna (based on the true-life story of convicted Russian-German “con-artist” Anna Sorokin) to remodel herself as a “boss ass bitch”, and assert her wonkily-accented dominance over the rest of the SNL cast and crew (#47.14). Meanwhile, a beautifully perverse sketch about inflatable toilets (co-starring host Oscar Isaac) was cut for time, but lives on in the YouTubes! Then Zoë Kravitz hosted ep #47.15, which included some great sketches, such as the one with wary shoppers trying to wrap their heads around the concept of “grab-and-go shopping” (link), the one with a hole-obsessed quiz-show contestant (link), the one with a highly disturbing “Maid of Honor” speech (link), and the (cut-for-time) one with some raggedy gas-station “Romeos” (link).
– The 25th season of South Park was kinda short, at only 6x eps (not counting the Covid specials), but still surprisingly funny and thought-provoking after all these years. Having cruelly ignored the show for so long, I wasn’t 100% up-to-speed on all the characters and settings, and some of the voices sounded a little “off” in the opening ep, but that old Park magic shone through all the same, with jokes that swung joyously between the topical and the surreal, the silly and the satirical, the cute and the contentious. Happy Anniversary, you guys!
– Patti Harrison appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers to talk about her new movie The Lost City (co-starring Sandra Bullock), and to bravely speak out against reading as a pastime.
– Lupita Nyong’o got a little more coverage from the Oscars than she may have been anticipating, as an unwitting front-row witness to the now-infamous altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock, co-starring in the clips which have been playing on a non-stop news-loop ever since. Meanwhile, Amber Ruffin lost her mind while recapping the events for Seth Meyers.
– Watching that David Byrne interview last month inspired me to search out NPR’s recording of his 2012 concert with Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent), in support of their collaborative Love This Giant album. The staging starts out a little basic, but pretty soon they’re dancing in-step with their eight-piece brass section, casting a spell with their strange, juddery choreography… and their singing’s damn fine, too!
– Róisín Murphy performed a live acoustic version of (Moloko’s) “The Time Is Now” on The Late Late Show with Jamie McCredie, in aid of the Irish Red Cross’s fundraising appeal for Ukraine, which raised over €2 Million.
– Adult Swim posted a trailer and a little clip from the forthcoming (second) season of Three Busy Debras (written by and starring Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari, and Alyssa Stonoha), dropping April 24th. Squeee!
– I belatedly binged the first season of Dicktown (2020), in preparation for the new season that aired on FXX throughout March. This “short form” animated sitcom is written by John Hodgman and David Rees, who also voice the main characters (‘John’ and ‘David’), a pair of high-school-enemies-turned-best-friends/private-detectives, solving small-scale mysteries in their eponymous hometown. The character design recalls classic Scooby-Doo cartoons, though this series is aimed squarely at adults, with plenty of cussing/drinking/sexual-references, and ongoing friction between the “middle-aged” heroes and their “millennial” client-base. The humour is a low-key combo of witty, satirical, silly, and crude, with occasional moments of genuine sweetness and pathos. I dig it. Recurring guest-stars included Heather Lawless as ‘Jen the Waitress’ (eps #1.6-7/9-10), Obehi Janice as John’s longtime crush (and actual cop) ‘Heather Culbreth’ (#1.7/9), and Anna Akana as “vintage” video/vinyl-store clerk ‘Meg’ (#1.2/5). One-time voice-artists included Zach Galifianakis (#1.1), Kristen Schaal (#1.8) (as a witch!), and Janet Varney (#1.8).
– I “discovered” a new singer/songwriter going by the unassuming name of “Gayle”, via an inferior cover of her hit single “ABCDEFU”… which is a laidback-but-sweary kiss-off to an unworthy ex, taking the time to scorch their “art” while sparing their blameless dog. Bless.
– Caitlin Doughty exposed (pun!) the Victorian “grift” of so-called “Spirit Photography”, and even modelled for a couple shots herself, using authentic old-timey equipment (courtesy of NYC-based artist & forensic photographer Jolene Lupo).
– The Linda Lindas released a super-fun black-and-white video for their latest single, “Talking To Myself”, which sees the band being stalked by lookalike dolls intent on taking over their lives. Oh noes! They’ve also sat for several interviews, and appeared on the cover of Kerrang! magazine, to promote their hotly-anticipated debut album Growing Up, which will finally be unleashed on April 8th. On the down side, I was disappointed to discover they’d collaborated on a “limited-edition clothing capsule” (!?) with the fashion brand/store Opening Ceremony, which sells T-shirts costing $180! That’s not a typo!! ONE-HUNDRED-AND-EIGHTY DOLLARS!!! FOR A T-SHIRT!!! WTF!!!???
– Perennial faves include Meg Tilly‘s Cozy Tea Times (link), Ryan George‘s Pitch Meetings (link) (which also have their own channel now?), Star Wars Explained (link), Bailey Meyers‘s gaming streams (link), Jon Bailey‘s Honest Trailers (link), and Honest Game Trailers (co-written by Meyers) (link)!