Just a note of some of the funnest content I consumed last month (in no particular order):
– Vulture crunched the numbers, and calculated how much screen-time each SNL cast member received during the 47th season, as well as how many “Cut for Time” sketches they appeared in, and how often they got to yell the show’s famous opening catchphrase (“Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”). Fun fact: Ego Nwodim (at 5.39%) actually scored higher than Kate McKinnon (at 4.77%), though that’s obviously because McKinnon was off filming other projects for several weeks! Still, hopefully the (relative) newbies have proven their worth this year, and will be racking up higher percentages next time around.
– Netflix marked (American) Pride Month by organising/airing a feature-length stand-up special, which was billed as “the largest-ever gathering of LGBTQ+ comics”, so snaps to them for that. Among my personal “Stand-Outs” were Billy Eichner, Margaret Cho, Joel Kim Booster, Scott Thompson (as ‘Buddy Cole’), Patti Harrison, and Tig Notaro (who received a geeky-“fangirl” intro from Sarah Paulson!). Booster was also treated to his first solo stand-up special, Psychosexual, which I greatly enjoyed despite his deeply offensive pro-cat agenda. I can only assume that disgruntled feline-phobes are responsible for the implausibly low rating this show currently has on IMDb…?* Or maybe he’s really on to something with his conspiracy theory, and the dogs are down-voting him to bury the “truth”!!!
– The Beeb re-upped an old Later with Jools Holland special from 2001, in which Radiohead gave an hour-long performance of material from their albums The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, and Amnesiac. Well worth watching, if only to see how cheery/chummy Thom Yorke is when he’s chatting to the audience between songs!
– In the run-up to the release of Kate Berlant and John Early‘s special Would It Kill You to Laugh?, Buzzfeed posted a list of “The 10 Things That Influenced [Their] Comedy”, and I was intrigued to note that there were two separate Lisa Kudrow projects on there (Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997) , and The Comeback (2005–14)), and two Jennifer Saunders projects too (French and Saunders (1987–2007), and Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2012)). As for the special itself… er… if I’m being completely honest, I kinda wish they’d stuck with the opening premise of two former-co-stars-turned-feuding-frenemies reuniting after a long and bitter separation, to reminisce and reconcile… with more clips from the fictional shows/movies they made together, and maybe some fake courtroom/news footage, along with testimonials from friends/family/lawyers, etc. There was so much potential there that went totally untapped, and after such a juicy set-up for the faux reunion-show, it was kind of jarring to keep switching to other unrelated characters and scenarios. That said, I did really enjoy the other sketches once I’d adjusted my expectations… especially the one with the “book club” bluffing, and the one where Berlant doms/harasses Early after a shoot.
– Meanwhile, I also got to see Berlant’s guest-appearance in I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (ep #1.6), playing the owner of a very distracting “party house”, who forcefully volunteers it as the venue for a co-worker’s intervention… and I won’t say anything more than that, except that it quickly spirals into hilarious pettiness and absurdity. Oh, and kudos to whoever dressed that set (and cleared the rights), because it’s a masterpiece!
– Netflix teased their upcoming Wednesday Addams solo-series, starring Jenna Ortega as the O.G. Goth-girl… and so far she looks pretty much “on point”.
– Taylor Tomlinson “tried 9 things she’s never done before” for Allure, including improvising a puppet show that takes a very dark/disturbing turn.
– The Beeb finally made good on their Ellie & Natasia pilot from 2019, and commissioned a short series of sketches from Ellie White and Natasia Demetriou. My personal faves included the one with the flirty dental assistant (co-starring David Morrissey) (#1.1), the one with the “wild swimmer”, the one with the “pixie cut”, the one with the “21st Century Sex Guide”, the one with the “choccy” cake, the one with the “candle making class”, and all of the “Internet Nails” ads!
– I binged my way through S2 of Three Busy Debras, and (for tragically obvious reasons) my fave ep was probably the one where they all started seducing each other over the course of three brunches (#2.4)… though the “whodunit” ep was also very good, and I loved Annette Toutonghi’s performance as ‘The Inspectress’ (#2.6). Shout-out to Sarah Sherman who appeared in ep #2.2 as a gibbering/buck-naked basement-dweller, and Patti Harrison who appeared in ep #2.5 as a big-time art-gallery-curator with the improbable name of ‘London England’!
– Skunk Anansie, St. Vincent, and Róisín Murphy all performed at Glastonbury Festival, and caused me varying levels of anxiety with their ambulating antics: Murphy chose to begin and end her set with a sort of “wandering troubadour” jaunt between a curtained-off backstage area and the actual stage, occasionally changing outfits/accessories mid-song or nipping off for a new pair of trews while the band played on… St. Vincent chose to shimmy down to scale the security barrier in front of the stage, with roadies holding her steady as she sang out over the teeming crowd… and Skin of Skunk Anansie took it even further, climbing over the barrier and wandering through the parting mosh-pit, to scream directly into their grateful faces. Thankfully, no one came to any harm, or even flubbed a lyric, but those were some real arse-clenching moments for me personally!
– Nova Twins had a pretty busy month… first they released the Scott-Pilgrim-inspired video for their new single “Choose Your Fighter”, then their second album Supernova came out (charting in the Top 30), and then they played a couple shows at the world-famous Glastonbury Festival too (though sadly I haven’t found any footage of those online as yet). Overall, they’re smashing it!
– The “alternative-rock super-group” 3rd Secret released a charmingly low-tech performance of their track “Rhythm of the Ride”, from the self-titled debut album… prompting me to become mildly obsessed with their supremely charismatic lead-singer Jillian Raye, who previously fronted Giants in the Trees (both bands share a couple of the same musicians, most notably Krist Novoselic).
– Way back in April, Taskmaster returned for its thirteenth “season”, with Bridget Christie, Ardal O’Hanlon, Sophie Duker, Judi Love, and Chris Ramsey competing over the course of 10 episodes, building to last month’s finale, which [SPOILER] saw Duker take the trophy home, along with a battered-looking rice-cooker, and the teeth of Christie’s children (don’t ask). This was then followed by a second “Champion of Champions” special, with Ed Gamble, Kerry Godliman, Richard Herring, Lou Sanders, and Liza Tarbuck foolishly returning to the fray… though, sadly, none of my preferred competitors won the day. Boo!
– Perennial faves include Meg Tilly‘s Cozy Tea Times (link), Ryan George‘s Pitch Meetings (link), Star Wars Explained (link), Bailey Meyers‘s gaming streams (link), Jon Bailey‘s Honest Trailers (link), and Honest Game Trailers (link)!
* 5.5/10 at time of writing. :(
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