42 posts

Audio Book Review: Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date

never-have-i-everA few weeks ago I took a drive from San Antonio to New Orleans. This is a drive I’ve done numerous times, but not since I graduated from college in 2006. Back then, I would bring my big ‘ol CD case that held 64 CDs and pick out my favorite albums as my road companions and just drive for 8 or 9 hours. This time I decided that I would find an audiobook to keep me entertained for the nearly 600 mile trip.

After perusing the iTunes audiobook store, I picked out Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney. The book outlines the first 25 years of Heaney’s life without ever having a date. Being able to relate to this author’s Forever Alone status, I thought I would give this one a try. Continue reading

The Three Best Comedy Specials on Netflix Instant

Netflix_envelopWhen I was a kid, in order to gorge on comedy specials I had to ask my grandma to drive me around to the six video rental stores within 3-5 mile radius of our home. Because there was so much overlap between each store’s collection, it was a rare treat to find something new. Once upon a time you basically had to be on a sitcom to get a special released on video.

Now, of course, we live in the golden age of streamlined digital production and instant streaming that has cut way, way down on production costs and now comics at all levels can afford to release specials. Continue reading

Marc Maron Onstage: Faking It As a Matter of Integrity

287x500_5269885780_a3ba18d3b3 (67pct)For dedicated fans of podcast savant Marc Maron, it can be a real challenge to list all the amazing aspects of his WTF podcast.

First there are the jokes; those are pretty good. Then there are the incredibly revealing interviews with comics and other performers.

Plus there’s the astonishingly consistent quality of those conversations: By now most of Maron’s guests know what to expect from the interviews, so they could easily prepare some boilerplate responses — but almost none of them does. Also there’s the incredible volume of podcast material available: 375 WTF episodes and counting, each one an hour long or more. And there’s the fact that practically every WTF episode has been made available (temporarily) for free — which for a product of this impossibly high quality seems to defy not just the rules of show business, but of capitalism itself. Continue reading

Podcast Savant Marc Maron… on Television? WTF!


I don’t know how many of my compatriots realize this — but we currently live in a golden age of American comedy. And this glittering era doesn’t follow from anything projected onto various screens by Adam Sandler or Jim Carrey or Tina Fey. Nor is it due to anything written or directed by Seth MacFarlane or Judd Apatow. And it’s not because Charlie Sheen left Two and a Half Men, finally allowing the flagship brand of televised network comedy (cough!) to reach its true potential.

Instead this golden age has resulted because Marc Maron — a formerly little-known standup comedian with more than two decades of performing experience, but little lasting success — has been producing his uniquely tense and revealing comedy podcast for more than three years now. Continue reading

Is Seth MacFarlane A Jackass?

Maybe the better question would be: Is Seth MacFarlane the jackass? In the June 18th edition of The New Yorker, there appears an article that should be one of that magazine’s typical pop culture pufferies; clever, knowing, in-depth, but not too taxing. You know the ones: Tad Friend usually writes them. I usually eat them up. I’m not looking for a scathing take-down of Andrew Stanton or The Artist or Anna Faris, I just want more information than I knew before, a few telling details, some cultural context, a little inside dope and a diverting read. Continue reading