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Updated: 2 hours 25 min ago

‘The Simpsons’ future is decided

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 18:42

The Simpsons are staying on Fox for at least another two seasons as the network announced the renewal on Monday, not like anyone was truly worried about the show’s future. Seasons 27 and 28 will push the longest-running sitcom to 625 episodes. “I’ve outlasted Letterman, Jon Stewart and ‘McDreamy,’ because I have something they don’t: a costly 200-donut-a-day addiction,” Homer Simpson commented.

At this point, The Simpsons are simply an assumed entity on television. As long as the show runners want to make the show, Fox is happy to have its cash cow on air. The only thing that has ever been an uncertainty has been the show’s cast of voice actors, who have become multi-mega-absurd rich after over two decades on air. Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer have gotten into some tussles with Fox executives over salaries. It seems like there were few nasty spats during this round of negotiations.

Fox has continued to benefit greatly from <em>The Simpsons</em> over the past 25 years of production through its 20th Century Fox Television company. They made a landmark deal with FXX to put Homer, Lisa, Bart, Marge and Maggie into syndication on cable for the first time ever in 2013. Its Family Guy crossover episode was a hit and celebrities continue to get excited about making a cameo on the animated series. Despite co-creator Sam Simon’s death earlier this year, The Simpsons seem no closer to death than before.

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Watch Punch-Out!! Parody Video Of Boring Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao Fight (VIDEO)

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 18:15

Who needs the real Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight when you can watch a Punch-Out!! parody? The folks at Noober Goober Gaming have created a spoof of the bout that is more entertaining than the real thing.

Fans have been clamoring for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight for years, and it finally happened this weekend. But many were disappointed at the boring match featuring two past-their-primes stars. This Floyd Mayweather: Punch-Out!! version of the fight was a spot-on parody of viewers’ frustrations.

The Punch-Out!! parody begins with a hilarious summary of the real Mayweather-Pacquiao fight terms. Before the person playing the fake game can even get in the ring, he must agree to make less money than Mayweather, get drug tested daily, and not demand a rematch. At first, the user says no and automatically loses the match.

Once the user does accept the terms, he finally enters the ring (as  Manny Pacquiao) against a much-larger Floyd Mayweather. While cartoon Pacquiao lets the punches fly, his counterpart does nothing but block and hug.

Throughout this Floyd Mayweather Punch Out!! parody, the ref keeps warning the boxer that hugging is not allowed. Yet Mayweather continues with his effective strategy against Pacquiao.

“There’s no blueprint on how to beat my hugs,” Mayweather says in this Punch-Out!! parody.

In subsequent Punch-Out!! rounds, Manny Pacquiao keeps up the attack, while Floyd Mayweather does nothing but block Little Pac’s punches. Soon, even the virtual Pacquiao must admit, “This must be really boring to casual fans.”

Virtual Mayweather responds, “”It doesn’t matter. We already got their money.”

Finally, in Round 12 of the Punch-Out!! parody, Manny Pacquiao is too tired to continue. This allows Floyd Mayweather to secure the knockout win with just one punch.

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Laughter and the art of survival

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 12:02

I just finished watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for a third time on Netflix, and I’m having some feelings about it. Namely, wow. They really did it. They managed to make a sitcom with a central premise that revolves around a victim of kidnapping and abuse. Yup, that actually happened. And the narrative is so spot-on that many elements of the show’s storyline appear to be lifted directly from a few infamous abduction cases, like the 2002 disappearance of Elizabeth Smart and the Cleveland kidnappings, uncovered in 2013. If you haven’t had the chance to sit down and binge watch yet, friendly reminder: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a SITCOM. This isn’t exactly what you’d call fodder for a high-quality laugh track accompaniment. (If there is indeed such a thing). But somehow, it all works. It not only works, but it works on a number of complex, and yet on some other very simple and basic human levels. It speaks to our national obsession with trauma-induced notoriety, and turns the concept neatly on its media-hungry head –  a winsome survivor, choosing not to wallow in resentment and public sympathy, but instead seeing her escape from captivity as a chance to really live, and to live well.

Obviously, the show is captivating enough to constitute three season-one repeat viewings. It also makes me wonder if Tina Fey voraciously devours as many survivor memoirs as I do.

But wait, record scratch – what’s up with that premise? Let’s talk about the guts of the show before diving in to all that pesky symbolism and grander meaning. If you don’t know by now, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows the everyday adventures of its titular character who, up until the day the show begins, had been living underground in a rural Indiana bunker with three other women and their kidnapper. In keeping with the myriad instances of religious cult-inspired abductions, the perpetrator is an archetypal maniac: a bearded preacher who convinced his victims the apocalypse had ended the world, as pretext for keeping the women isolated indefinitely for, well, one assumes more sinister purposes than canning vegetables and singing church hymns.

The first episode opens with the rescue of the women by a SWAT team, and it’s revealed that they’d been held down there for 15 years; three of them were taken as teenagers. A character clearly inspired by Charles Ramsey watches the action unfold and is interviewed – then autotuned – by media sources covering the event. “White dudes hold the record for creepy crimes, but females are strong as hell!” he observes, as the captives, dressed in Mormon fundamentalist prairie garb and long, chaste hair braids, are lead out of the bunker and back into a life of freedom.

If the show were a tearjerking Diane Sawyer interview or CNN Crimes of the Century episode, this would be where Kimmy’s story ends. But, being a sitcom, where the goal is tears of laughter, not of sorrow, the ending of her nightmare is really the beginning of her new life, with all its bumbling and awkwardness. And Kimmy Schmidt, played by an adorably winsome Ellie Kemper, embraces living free with the kind of wide-eyed vigor normally reserved for hyperactive toddlers. She moves to New York City, eats candy for dinner, and scores a full-time gig as a nanny/housekeeper/general member of The Help to the wealthy Voorhees family. She befriends a motley crew of Manhattanites and never lets on that she’s a woman with a past; she wants to be accepted as is, without any exhaustive pity from strangers. She is focused on moving forward, even as her fashion sense and vocabulary reeks of the past. (Kimmy has been kidnapped since 1998; she’s full of rainbow-colored garments and Hanson references). She is, as the title asserts, and the narrative demonstrates, unbreakable.

This indomitable spirit is central to the success of Kimmy Schmidt, both series and character. The show’s own backstory is that of a consummate survivor: it was originally slated as a mid-season replacement on NBC, but, perhaps due to the risks associated with such a potentially off-putting premise, the network dropped the show and left it to be snatched up by Netflix, giving the streaming service another massive accolade on its TV rescue resume. Not without good reason, the show is being touted as the natural successor to 30 Rock’s comedy kingdom, and indeed, Tina Fey’s distinctive writing style can be easily distinguished in almost every aspect of Kimmy’s 13 initial episodes. She does goofy, nonsensical bits of dialogue and exposition quite well, that Tina. With Kimmy, she also touches on something that I’ve long understood to be a basic life truth: there is definite power in the ability to laugh your way past the pain of traumatic events.

I like how The Atlantic put it in an analysis of the series: “[I]t quickly becomes clear that Kimmy’s past has a bleaker and more specific narrative purpose: Her memories are the PTSD-inducing kind that fuel flashbacks, nightmares, random fits of anger, and distrust. While much of the show finds glee in Kimmy’s propensity for gaffes and ineptitude for slang, it’s equally interested in how her cheeriness is a necessary façade for her inner pain. In other words, her past is much more than an excuse to have Kemper play the cute, out-of-touch oddball in the mean city, which sets Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt up as an unusually earnest and upbeat member of the dark comedy genre.” But apart from the inevitable layer of rose-tinted, Hollywood gloss, Kimmy’s approach has its roots in very real mechanisms of survival.

Consider the story of Elizabeth Smart. In mid-2002, the Mormon teen was abducted in the middle of the night, from her own bedroom in an affluent neighborhood. As her parents and siblings slept, Smart was ushered out of bed and dragged off into the woods by an intruder who broke in through a kitchen window. The horrific story captivated national interest, and as the months dragged by, most assumed Smart was likely dead. She was, in fact, being held against her will, by a woman named Wanda Barzee and her husband, Salt Lake City street-preacher Brian David Mitchell, who told Smart that God had commanded him to take her as his second wife. (It’s worth noting that Mitchell’s mugshot bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Kimmy’s kidnapper, the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne). In her 2013 memoir, My Story, Smart describes a number of nightmarish, stomach-churning instances of abuse that occurred over the course of her nine months in Mitchell’s custody. Among other things, he starved her, raped her daily, forced her to drink alcohol, and tried erasing her identity by changing her name to “Shearjashub,” after an obscure male character from the Bible. In spite of all this, one thing I hadn’t expected upon picking up the book, however, was just how funny Smart is. Make no mistake about it – very little of what she describes can be considered even remotely close to what most normal people would consider hilarious. Yet, there’s a pithy, sarcastic undertone that populates Smart’s memories of Mitchell; as much as she’s afraid of what he’ll do to her, it’s clear that she’s also rolling her eyes and snorting with derision at him, at least on the inside.

“Mitchell had one of his sacks and he opened it up and pulled out a rubber ball. He and Barzee started tossing it around,” Smart writes, in a memory from the Fourth of July. “They invited me to throw it with them, which was difficult because of the sagebrush and weeds… Still, I joined in. We threw the ball in a triangle. Wow! Isn’t this great, I thought sarcastically. Here I am, playing catch with my new friends! I could have been down in the city, having a barbecue with my own family, looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, not worrying about getting raped that night. But instead, I got to be up here in a dirty white robe, throwing a ball around with two of the most evil people in the world.”

Even in her darkest hours, it’s remarkable that Smart — and the Kimmy Schmidt character — seems to have detached herself from the present horror and was able to perceive some of the utter ridiculousness in her kidnapper. If humor is a coping mechanism, than passages like these go a long way toward explaining the core of Smart’s ultimate survival-ism.

Another survivor of a well-known kidnapping case, Michelle Knight, wrote her own memoir in 2014, which chronicled the decade she spent at the mercy of Ariel Castro. In a media maelstrom that would come to be known as the Cleveland kidnappings case, Castro was a middle-aged school bus driver who kidnapped three young women from the streets of Cleveland between 2002 and 2004, and held them captive in his home for more than 10 years. Along with Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, both teenagers when they were taken, were abused physically, mentally, and sexually by Castro on a daily basis. Knight’s book, Finding Me, like Smart’s, also describes a few instances of the victim using sarcasm to defang her menacing perpetrator:

“One time, while he [Castro] was drunk and talking too much, he told me that he was in some kind of Spanish band with some other dudes,” Knight writes. “‘I play the guitar. The band is really good.’ He smiled like he’d won a Grammy or something. I wanted to scream, ‘Do I look like I give a damn about your stupid band?’ There I was, chained to a pole in a nasty, dirty basement in dirty, bloody clothes, red marks all over my body from the chains, my arms and legs tattooed with bruises from his beatings – how could the bastard think I gave a shit about his freaking band? But I just shrugged my shoulders.”

It may not seem like much, given the gravity of what was going on around these women, but there is a lot of power in these passages that show the victims’ humor. Which brings us back to Kimmy Schmidt. Like Smart and Knight, Kimmy has been through the gauntlet; to hell and back is something of a gross understatement. The external narrative of the series doesn’t shy away from invoking gallows humor to tell Kimmy’s story, either; in one episode, there’s reference made to the “scream lines” on her face. In another, Kimmy starts dating a boy, only to find the relationship flounder after physical intimacy is attempted, and Kimmy responds to his kisses by trying to beat and strangle him. “I must have learned how to do it wrong,” she mopes, in perhaps the show’s darkest allusion to what happened during those 15 years in the bunker. It would be utterly chilling to ruminate on, if Kimmy herself were not so determined to live on, be happy, and put the abuse of the past firmly behind her.

As the second anniversary of the Cleveland kidnapping victims’ rescue approaches on May 6, it’s important to talk about laughing in the face of evil. It’s important to recognize that, while the circumstances and acts committed against someone may be far from funny, latching on to even the tiniest bit of ridiculousness in a wicked person can often be the weapon that empowers an otherwise defenseless victim. This is one of the more powerful lessons offered by Kimmy Schmidt, and it has real world applicability in the experiences of survivors like Smart and Knight. (Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, the two women who survived Castro’s house of horrors along with Knight, have also recently released their own memoir, Hope, about their experiences in captivity. I haven’t read it yet, but I hope to find them also rolling their eyes at Castro as often as Knight does in her book).

Laughter can’t always get you out of a living nightmare, but it certainly can help empower you to shrug off the shackles of fear. It can help you rise above the horror or extraordinary abuse and become the very thing your perpetrator wants you not to be: unbreakable.

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Texas Councilman Leaves Microphone On While In Bathroom During Meeting! Watch Video Of ‘Naked Gun’ Moment Where Georgetown Council Member Forgets To Wash His Hands And Mayor Rachael Jonrowe Tries To Keep Composure

Sun, 05/03/2015 - 18:07

A Texas councilman accidentally left his microphone on while using the bathroom during a meeting. And the hilarious video is quickly going viral.

The council meeting in question took place in Georgetown, Texas last week. Rachael Jonrowe, the city’s mayor pro-tem, was talking about infectious diseases when she realized she could hear the unidentified council member peeing in the restroom.

After a brief giggle fit, Jonrowe went back to discussing the serious matter at hand. But when the sound of the toilet flushing filled the auditorium, she lost it once again.

By the time the councilman returned from the bathroom, the entire panel was laughing. The guy who forgot to turn off his mike then turns to another council member, who seems to explain what happened. Things continued (relatively) normally from there, and many are giving Jonrowe credit for acting as professionally as possible.

A YouTube user posted the hilarious moment online, where it already has more than a million views in less than a week. Commenters soon noted that the councilman forgot to wash his hands when he was in the bathroom. After all, there was no sound of running sink water coming from his microphone. Check it out for yourself below!

The entire moment was reminiscent of the classic comedy film Naked Gun. In that movie, a character played by Leslie Nielsen forgets to turn off his microphone during a press conference, so when he uses the bathroom, everyone in the room can hear it. At least the Texas councilman didn’t pass gas too!

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Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow Gets Own Movie On ‘Saturday Night Live’! Watch Video Of Spoof ‘SNL’ Trailer

Sun, 05/03/2015 - 14:32

Black Widow finally got her own movie on Saturday Night Live. In a hilarious spoof of male-dominated superhero films, SNL introduced a spoof trailer for a Marvel rom-com starring Scarlett Johansson.

Johansson, of course, plays Black Widow in the various Avengers movies, the latest of which hits theaters this weekend. The films have been box-office blockbusters, with Black Widow in particular stealing the show. This has led many to wonder why Johansson’s character has not yet been the subject of a standalone Marvel film. So far, there are no plans for a Black Widow movie, and leaked Sony emails imply that Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter doesn’t think a female-led film is worth making.

Now, thanks to Saturday Night Live, we have a hilarious (yet sadly accurate) idea of what such a film would look like. When Scarlet Johansson guest-hosted the series this weekend, she starred in a spoof trailer for a new movie called Black Widow: Age Of Me.

“You wanna know, why no Black Widow movie?” a narrator says at the start of this SNL trailer. “Does Marvel not know how to make a girl superhero movie? Chill! Marvel gets women.”

But instead of kicking butt and taking names, Black Widow spends much of this spoof acting like a typical rom-com lead. She thrives at her fashion internship, eats Chinese food with her fellow Avengers, and falls in love with Ultron.

“So, who’s the guy?” Thor (Taran Killam) asks Black Widow in the Age Of Me trailer on SNL.

Black Widow then responds: “Why do you always think there’s a guy, Thor?”

He fires back: “Honey, you’re putting ketchup on your cereal!”

Of course, when Ultron starts destroying the city, things quickly turn for Black Widow. So she runs away to Paris and starts a romance with the Hulk (Bobby Moynihan) instead. Check out the fake Saturday Night Live trailer for yourself below!

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Samantha Bee exits Daily Show tonight

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 19:51

Tonight will be Samantha Bee’s final night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Bee, the most-tenured Daily Show correspondent, will depart for TBS to host her own comedy series where she will apply “her smart and satirical point of view to current and relevant issues.” Comedy Central loses yet another star talent and gains another fierce late night competitor.

Samantha Bee is just one of many beloved pieces of The Daily Show that have moved on to the next phase of their careers. After killing it as Daily Show guest host, HBO went ahead and gave John Oliver his own weekly late night show, Last Week Tonight. Larry Wilmore took over the 11:30 slot with The Nightly Show when Stephen Colbert was plucked from Comedy Central to take over for David Letterman at Late Show. Bee’s own husband Jason Jones said farewell to the program last month to star in his own TBS sitcom (which Bee will executive produce). Of course, we all know the biggest change-up at The Daily Show is behind the desk as Jon Stewart himself will step down on Aug. 6 to be replaced by 31-year-old African comedian Trevor Noah.

Bee was one of several in-house names tossed around the media (and at least one Laughspin writer =cough=) as a potential successor to Stewart. She joined the show way back in 2003, always displaying the sharp, reserved wit necessary to deliver biting satire. Tapping Bee instead of Noah would have also given Comedy Central the opportunity to put a (qualified) woman in a host char amidst a testosterone-filled late night scene. If TBS develops her untitled show properly, she could seriously build a powerhouse late night combo at the network alongside Conan, not unlike Colbert did when he launched his Daily Show spin-off The Colbert Report.

Comedy Central promised its viewers that The Daily Show “will endure for years to come.” This applies not just to Stewart’s reign as host but to the quickly-changing cast of correspondents who appear to be getting younger and younger. Remaining as correspondents are Jordan Klepper, Al Madrigal, Aasif Mandvi, Hasan Minhaj and Jezebel favorite Jessica Williams, with Lewis Black and Kristen Schaal acting as occasional contributors. The departures of Bee, Jones, Wilmore and Stewart drops the average age of the cast by six years from 42 to 36. Noah will be the fresh face of an old show that hopes to remain just as relevant as it has for its past seventeen award-winning years. Bee, Jones and Stewart leaving represent the end of an era. Hopefully this new one will be just as brilliant without these stars.

Tonight a retrospective of my 12(!) years @TheDailyShow. Prediction: my salty tears short circuit the NYC electrical grid: full blackout.

— Samantha Bee (@iamsambee) April 30, 2015

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Chris Rock Weighs in on Mayweather vs. Pacquiao For HBO Sports (Video)

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 14:02

Chris Rock has worn many hats during his illustrious career: writer, producer, actor, director. But sports commentator? It maybe a new chapeau for his collection but it is one he wears very well.

While being interviewed for HBO Sports recently, Chris Rock gave his take on the long awaited bout, set for May 2nd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Always open and honest about his comedy, Rock is no different when it comes to his boxing analysis.

“I’m going to pick Floyd [Mayweather],” he said. “Floyd has never been out of shape and I haven’t seen Floyd lose one round in like 15 years.”

Rock, a HBO comedy special headlining staple, didn’t pull any punches when talking about Mayweather’s hesitation to get in the ring with the Filipino world champion boxer. “There’s a reason [Mayweather] has been avoiding this fight. He didn’t just not fight him because he was mad at Bob Arum or something…[it’s] the same reason Mike Tyson didn’t fight Riddick Bowe. And they are from the same neighborhood.”

The Top Five star will have a chance to see if his prediction will come true this Saturday night. But until then, Rock is almost certain of the outcome of the bout that many are calling “The Fight of the Century.”

“Even though I am picking Floyd,” Rock said. “I’ve never seen an athlete with that level of confidence not have it bite them in the ass at some point.” He added, “I wouldn’t be shocked if Pacquiao won, but I am going to pick Floyd.”

Jon Stewart Blasts The Nerd Prom a.k.a. the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (Video)

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 12:00

Love him or hate him, you have to respect Jon Stewart. The stand-up comedian turned late night voice for a political generation is known for calling out news organizations, political leaders and celebrities on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

But, with the social “perfect storm” that occurred over the weekend — namely, the “ecstasy” of the White House Correspondents Dinner and the agony of the Baltimore riots over the death of Freddie Gray — fans of the show knew that their fearless anchor would be chomping at the bit to tackle the dichotomy of both issues.

And boy did he deliver.

Employing puns for Guardians of the Galaxy, The Big Bang Theory and Superbad, and using Daily Show correspondent Jennifer Williams to portray a character straight out of The Hunger Games, the staff and writers of the Emmy Award winning broadcast hit another home run with their scathing commentary on the priorities of news reporting.

“Whilst the A-list of America’s media political complex fiddled on this Saturday night,” Stewart said. “Not 40 miles from the District of Mimosia, actual news was occurring.”

He added on CNN’s choice to cover the red carpet of the Dinner versus showing live footage of the Baltimore protests, “CNN got shamed by Twitter, shamed about their editorial priorities by a group who violently clashed over the blue/black white gold [dress] question. And the worst part is how incredibly aware and simultaneously dismissive they were.”

For more Daily Show goodness, check out the entire segment below:

The Daily Show
Daily Show Full Episodes,  More Daily Show Videos,  Comedy Central Full Episodes

What’s the deal with Seinfeld and Hulu?

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 13:12

Hulu has bought the digital streaming rights to the oft-quoted NBC comedy Seinfeld. The video streaming service must have been tired of seeing competitor Netflix constantly in the headlines and cut a deal with Sony Pictures TV for all 180 episodes of the sitcom for nearly $160 million. Hulu announced the deal at its upfront presentation on Wednesday. Subscribers will be able to start bingewatching episodes in June.

Netflix recently paid top dollar for streaming rights to the other decade-defining sitcom Friends, as well as a slew of original feature films from comedy’s biggest names. But arguably one of modern comedy’s biggest names is Jerry Seinfeld. Hulu, whose premium service Hulu Plus falls far behind Netflix and Amazon Instant Video in subscription numbers, has been trying to keep up with its own acquisitions. Hulu teamed up with Comedy Dynamics to feature popular stand-up comedy specials on its site. Last year they also acquired the rights to cult comedy series Party Down and ordered Amy Poehler’s USA Network pilot Difficult People to series. Attempting to attract binge-watchers with proven TV favorites, Hulu bought the rights to CBS’s 300+ episodes of CSI in February. The Seinfeld deal will be the first time that Jerry Seinfeld’s observational sitcom will be available in its entirety to stream online. Quipped the comedian, “You can watch the show whenever you want. I mean you could just put the DVD in, but I guess no one wanted to do that.”

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Dildo Urn Holds Loved Ones’ Ashes As Part Of 21 Grams Memory Box (PICTURES)

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 17:45

Ever thought about putting your loved ones’ ashes in a dildo? Probably not. But thanks to a new urn, you can do just that.

The dildo is part of memory box called 21 Grams (the supposed weight of the human soul) that is going viral online. The product also includes a scent diffuser and a speaker, in case you want to remind yourself of your loved ones’ favorite perfume or song.

But of course, most people are focusing on the ashes-holding dildo. “After a passing, the missing of intimacy with that person is only one aspect of the pain and grief,” designer designer Mark Sturkenboom said. “This forms the base for 21 Grams. The urn offers the possibility to conserve 21 grams of ashes of the deceased and displays an immortal desire. By bringing different nostalgic moments together like the scent of his perfume, ‘their’ music, reviving the moment he gave her her first ring, it opens a window to go back to moments of love and intimacy.”

So how did Sturkenboom come up with this idea for the dildo urn? He had the revelation while helping an old woman carry groceries.

“I sometimes help an elderly lady with her groceries and she has an urn standing near the window with the remains of her husband,” he told Metro. “She always speaks with so much love about him but the jar he was in didn’t reflect that at all. In that same period I read an article about widows, taboos and sex and intimacy and then I thought to myself ‘can I combine these themes and make an object that is about love and missing and intimacy?'”

The finished product debuted at Milan Design Week earlier this month. The memory box will be customized for each client and handmade to order, though the exact price remains unclear. Sturkenboom has only sold one so far, but he insists interest for the dildo urn has increased since the Milan showing.

“I tried to open a new window for the way we reminisce about someone and find a dialogue for these feelings people are struggling with when somebody passes,” Sturkenboom concluded to Dezeen. “We live in a time where we are able to manipulate life, adjust the way that we look, where the possibilities are endless if it comes to body enhancements, but there is one thing we still cannot answer, the unavoidable passing of life. But I can sure try.”

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Kevin Pollak talks ‘Misery Loves Comedy’ documentary (Laughspin Interview)

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 13:27

Kevin Pollak’s Misery Loves Comedy is not just an adventure into the mindspace of stand-up comedians but an exciting exploration into the universal human conditions of misery, joy and hope. What started with the question, “Do you have to be miserable to be a comedian?” eventually evolved into a guide through the world of live performers. Pollak’s documentary, which raised over $54,000 on Kickstarter, features some of the nation’s top stand-up comedians— Jim Gaffigan, Lewis Black, Marc Maron, Jim Norton, Janeane Garofalo— as well as celebrated actors like Bobby Cannavale, Jason Alexander, William H. Macy, Christopher Guest and Martin Short. Also in the movie are family members of deceased greats– Kelly Carlin, Lynn Shawcroft (Mitch Hedberg’s widow) and Freddie Prinze Jr. (in a rare interview talking about his father). The How I Slept My Way to the Middle author takes the viewer to the emotional core of making humor with over 60 in-depth and candid interviews.

Misery Loves Comedy begins with the thesis that everyone suffers from what Kevin Pollak calls the “Hey, look at me!” Disease. The first act of this film wonders why someone chooses “Hey, look at me!” as a career. From there, we hear comedy icons explain the thrill of being on stage, the shameful personal fallout that occurs after bombing and putting in those 10,000 hours (a Malcolm Gladwell reference Pollak makes often, including in my previous interview with him). We hear stories of extreme jealousy and figuring out where one fits in this cruelly inconsistent industry that is show business. Finally, the original reason for the documentary reemerges as he asks his subjects, “Does this job require being miserable?” The answers may shock you in what, in my humble opinion, is the best stand-up comedy documentary to date– largely because Misery Loves Comedy strikes at the core of every one of the fucked up souls who feels a compulsion to grab a microphone and talk to strangers—not with strangers, but to them—on a nightly basis. Misery Loves Comedy will make you laugh, cry and feel empathy towards these lone snipers whose sole purpose is to bring joy to an audience.

I interviewed Kevin Pollak earlier this month as his film prepared to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival. We discussed the inherent loneliness of stand-up comedy, jealousy, and the depression and suicide that has robbed us of great comedic minds like Robin Williams.

In the documentary you had that quote, “Comedians are veterans of a shared combat experience. Not foxhole buddies, more like snipers with similar stories of kills and misses.” Beautiful. You use a lot of war metaphors, now that I look back at my last interview with you.
I think I stumbled across the analogy of being in sniper nests as opposed to foxholes. As an actor working on a movie on location, especially for a month or several months, you’re away from home. You’re with this group of people in this town. You’re working 12 hours a day, five days a week—you’re not even seeing your family when you go home, in most cases. So you are sharing a foxhole for that period of time. And you’re connected by it for life. Even if you’re shooting in your home town—in my case, Los Angeles (not where I’m from; I’m from San Francisco and we’re trained to hate Los Angeles and I still do)—but when shooting and getting to sleep in your own bed, even then you’re only getting to see your family at night for a couple of minutes before you go to sleep and have to get up at the crack of your ass the next day. So, five days a week, a minimum of 12 hours a day—you’re in the trenches with these people. As a comedian, you travel the country or the world and you’re not with anybody. You’re staying in a hotel by yourself. You’re going to the press in the morning by yourself. You get on stage by yourself. Then it feels to me more like we’re snipers, going from tower to tower seeing how many kills we can register. To a performer, the expression, “I killed,” or “I didn’t” has been around forever.

So I was just trying to find some common ground that people could relate to, I think more than anything. And Greg Proops, who’s one of the great intellects of our business, his reaction to me saying that wasn’t in the film by accident. He was so startled by it, by the notion, you see the shift in his face before he asks, “Did you write that?” Where he’s listening and then, whap!, beaming smile, which is when the moment of joy occurs from relating to the terminology. That is the same battle we’re waging when we go on stage with the audience. We’re trying to create that moment of connection to what we’re saying. That was one of the reasons that his reaction acted as sort of a bigger metaphor for me in terms of what performers are after.

You talk about as the thesis for the movie the “Hey, look at me!” Disease. What exactly is the “Hey, look at me!” Disease?
As I say in the film, children suffer from “Hey, look at me!” I don’t know why I decided to call it a disease. They’re children. They need attention from infancy into child years. They know what attention brings. It brings either the mother or the father or both. It brings picking me up, changing me, feeding me—whatever those things are are the initial reasons for craving attention. You need something initially. Then eventually you just need the attention. It stays with us as adults, otherwise Facebook wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar company. Everyone needs attention. In the case of Facebook, if you have a page you’re somebody.

My curiosity with the type of person who then chooses “Hey, look at me!” as a career, as a profession, as a livelihood, as an artistic expression—you know, painters can paint in a vacuum of their studio and then put that painting out into the universe and whatever happens to it happens to it. Ultimately, they’d like somebody to appreciate it, but they’re not craving the attention when they paint. Whereas as a performer gets on stage or a filmmaker spends a year of their life [on a film], you want the reaction. When Jon Favreau in the film talks about facing studio executive saying, “Change this. Change that,” he says, “No. If you change that, I walk.” But if he plays the film for an audience and the audience doesn’t laugh, he immediately rolls up his sleeves and says, “Okay, let’s figure this out.” So I think it’s on the audience to go from craving attention to then doing something with that attention. The need and desire to entertain becomes the focus, instead of just, “Hold me, feed me, pick me up, love me.” It goes beyond that.

You had a lot of people who weren’t comedians in the documentary. There were some people I understood, like Tom Hanks who had done some stand-up. Then you had guys like [Boardwalk Empire‘s] Bobby Cannavale, who was great in it, and I was like, “What’s he doing here?”
Well, I realized that once I got into the larger thesis, which is, “Who chooses ‘Hey, look at me!’?” then if you’ve been on stage the way that William H. Macy and Sam Rockwell and Bobby Cannavale have been, and you’ve been on a stage in a moment when you were creating laughter, then you know what it’s like to stand naked on a stage and illicit laughter from strangers in the dark. There’s not much of a difference. You’re protected by a play and a script. You’re protected by other people in the play. But in the case of Sam Rockwell, I saw him here on Broadway in A Behanding in Spokane. He had a monologue where he stood alone to the audience with a curtain behind him. He was still portraying a character while he was doing that monologue, but there are very few moments when an actor feels more naked than that. So I wasn’t having them in the film because I knew they had acted in little tiny moments of a movie or a TV show and got to recreate the moment over and over again until somebody said they got it right in front of a camera, but because they had stood in front of an audience is what made them important to the conversation.

And also to get William H. Macy to say, “I’d put a gun to my head rather than do stand-up.” You can’t write that!

We saw some interesting things in the doc. We saw Martin Short share that story of—
Being jealous. Of not being able to share in another friend’s success, from someone who we don’t think feels that way about anything.

He just seems like such a cheery person.
He is, by the way. That’s the beauty of the film, and the reason why, “Do you have to be miserable?” became the third act and not the whole film. I wanted to get to know these people. I wanted to understand—I wanted the audience to understand what it’s like to choose this life, what it’s like to go through the process of being in this life and what it’s like to lose your amateur status and put in your 10,000 hours, bombing. I wanted the audience to experience all of these things. Then as we see these people’s tellings of these experiences, we’re actually making our own decisions and opinions of whether they’re miserable or not. So by the time we get to the end and I put the question to them, someone like Jim Gaffigan can deflect it by saying, “Not miserable. But maybe annoyed.” Or in the case of Marc Maron, who has used misery beautifully on stage and beautifully on his podcast, to see them represent their lives in those first two acts, and we see whether they’re miserable or not, that was kind of the notion.

You get a Martin Short talking about feeling jealousy to the point that he refers to that [place in a restaurant] as “Breakdown Corner.” He is that hilarious person that you think he is.  If the film captures him being honest and truthful about a moment in his life, as he described it, “I was lost at the time. I hadn’t decided what was my career path, therefore couldn’t celebrate the success of a friend who had.” That’s part of the journey I felt was amazing and impossible not to include in the storytelling of the film.

Right. Someone so bright showing a dark moment we didn’t even think they were capable of.
It’s just human. Misery is the human condition. There’s no way to avoid it. Whether it’s every day or a few times, if you’re lucky, there’s no way to avoid misery. And then the artist—whether your’e a painter, a comedian, a songwriter or a filmmaker—you have to articulate either your own misery or universal misery, where the audience says, “You’ve just shown a light on what it’s like to be a human.” You have to figure out how to articulate your misery or our misery in an entertaining way. And I think that becomes the joy of being a performer is solving that puzzle.

You’ve used the 10,000 hours motif a lot. You used it the last time we spoke. You used it on WTF with Marc Maron recently. So it sounds like you’re saying that that Martin Short moment is part of those 10,000 hours. He hadn’t discovered his true path yet. When you were going through that stage of finding your voice and your path, did you ever have similar feelings of hopelessness or jealousy?
I don’t think hopeless was an emotion that I felt because I started so young and had attention for being funny so young. By the time I got into professional [performing] at 17, 18, 19 years old, then coming up the ranks of the San Francisco stand-up comedy scene by the age of 20, when I had set-backs and disappointments throughout the rest of my trajectory—and I still do because it’s part of the human experience—hopelessness wasn’t the feeling that a lot of my fellow artists go through. It’s more like a sense of wonderment at either the unfairness of life, the randomness of decisions and opportunities, and the insane good luck or good fortune that one must have at various points to succeed. Those become the hurdles and the painfully disappointing and depressing moments in life. But they never created a sense of hopelessness for me.
I think it’s just the way you’re wired. For a lot of brilliantly successful performers there’s been a sense of hopelessness. I mean, Freddie Prinze Jr. talking about his dad for the first time in the movie, clearly his dad burned white hot from the age of 19-22 and then ended his life on the sense of feeling hopelessness at the height of his success.

Suicide and deadly drug addictions seem to be a thing that pop up in the comedy community unfortunately too often: Robin Williams, Richard Jeni. I liked what David Koechner said, “Why be miserable?” But he does say, “But something has to be wrong with you.” What was your answer to your final question in the documentary of, “Do you have to be miserable to be a comedian?”
I don’t think you have to be miserable. I think you have to figure out a way to articulate or entertain with either your personal misery or the misery we share as people. I think misery is a great topic for any art form. It really just becomes a way of how to articulate. In terms of the suicide rate and the drug and alcohol abuse, I think it’s true in all the arts. I think it’s because the struggle itself to succeed, because of the randomness and the luck necessary to make certain levels of success, because of the unfairness and the unjust nature not only of life but of show business—I used to have a mantra in my mid-20s that was, “Chachi’s a millionaire.” There was no rhyme or reason that that teenager walked onto a set of a television show and became a household name on the cover of magazines. It’s just pure happenstance. He was the one selected to play Chachi. That was it. He needed to have talent so there was a case of opportunity meeting preparation, but in his case it was the preparation of a 13-year-old! So that sort of randomness and what not I think fuels the depression. I think it makes it so that Martin Short can talk about being jealous of Bill Murray because Bill Murray got the luck, he got the moment before Martin did. And then Martin put it on himself by saying, “I was lost. I hadn’t decided what I was going to do.”  Then it circles back to get out of your own way and be proactive in your own trajectory.

Misery Loves Comedy is now available on VOD, iTunes and other on-demand platforms. It also currently plays at the IFC Center in New York City. Pay for this one so they’ll keep making more things like this, you cheapskates.

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Dave Chappelle Booed During Detroit Show! ‘Drunk’ Performance Video Has Fans Demanding Refund, But Was The Heckling Crowd Too Harsh?

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 12:45

Did Dave Chappelle deserve to be booed during his stand-up show in Detroit? New video shows the comedian facing an angry crowd after he appeared drunk and slurred his words during a Detroit stop on his comeback tour.

Chappelle played two shows in Detroit’s Fillmore Theater last Thursday, and reviews indicate the first performance went great. But things quickly went downhill during his second set that night. Sources told TMZ that the comedian arrived to the stage an hour late. He then spent most of the set rambling and slurring words instead of telling jokes.

The crowd quickly grew restless, with one fan yelling, “Let’s hear some of the act!” Not to be deterred, Dave Chappelle fired back, “Well, sir, it’s a little late for that. Right now I’ve got to get off stage because 2 o’clock in the morning.” Several other audience members then replied that it was only 1 a.m.

And the Dave Chappelle trashing did not end with the boos. After the show, many rushed to the Fillmore Theater Facebook page and demanded their money back. So far, the theater is not budging, insisting it has no control over the quality of the acts.

“Horrible don’t go,” wrote Heather Becker. “Second show last night was ridiculous. Walked out. Did not get what I paid for….. refunds please!”

Added Tony Harder: “Can we get a refund lol was at the 2nd show and he was wasted lol crowd wouldn’t shut the fuck up.”

Others, meanwhile, defended Dave Chappelle’s Detroit show, insisting the booing got out of hand. “Dude did a spectacular job,” insisted Keith Dewberry. “He didn’t do many jokes, but he freestyle it all night. Crowd interaction was great. Someone wud yell something and he wud make it a joke. #funny..i understand some ppl were frustrated with the flow of show but all the stuff he was saying was funny. Ppl need to lighten up.“

Added Andrew Suski: “I was at the 2nd show. It was a one of a kind! I feel it was as RAW as it gets… would love to see the routine one day.”

Some even blamed the crowd’s booing for Dave Chappelle’s disappointing performance. “I just watched Dave Chappelle be verbally harassed for an hour and a half by a disgustingly drunk Detroit crowd,” Jake Blankenship wrote on Twitter. “He couldn’t get a word in.”

Of course, Dave Chappelle is no stranger to heckling crowds. Back in March, a fan was arrested after throwing a banana peel at the comedian during his New Mexico show. And in January, Chappelle walked off stage in the middle of his set after being booed by a Connecticut crowd. So it’s no surprise that the comedian is taking this Detroit incident in stride.

“Out of the 50 shows on the tour, Thursday was definitely not his best set,” an unnamed Chappelle representative said. “On the flip side, the incident inspired some additional sharp-witted material and (Friday) he came back with a vengeance.”

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John Legend Calls Out Bill Belichick! Spygate Joke Goes Viral After WHCD Photo Shows New England Patriots Coach Checking Out Chrissy Teigen; How Did Belichick’s Girlfriend Respond To Picture?

Sun, 04/26/2015 - 18:40

John Legend may have had the funniest line of all during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. While Cecily Strong and Barack Obama were making jokes on stage, the “All Of Me” singer hilariously trolled New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick for checking out Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen.

Belichick was one of the celebrities invited to the annual gala. Model Teigen was there as well, and one hilarious photo captured Belichick (along with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Wisconsin basketball star Frank Kaminsky) looking at Teigen’s “assets.”

BELICHICK YOU DOG! http://t.co/vRMrc0eRQY pic.twitter.com/wBjYlgKJrO

— Feitelberg (@FeitsBarstool) April 26, 2015

So John Legend took the opportunity to throw a little shade towards Bill Belichick. Legend retweeted the picture of the coach and Teigen with the simple caption, “Spy gate.”

Spy gate https://t.co/msQHB4iKoE — John Legend (@johnlegend) April 26, 2015

This, of course, was a reference to the Patriots’ infamous Spygate scandal back in 2007. That year, a Patriots employee was caught videotaping an opponent’s defensive signals during a game, a violation of NFL rules. Belichick was later fined $500,00 for the transgression, while the Patriots were fined another $250,000 and lost a first round draft pick.

Chrissy Teigen also got in on the fun after the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. On Saturday, she tweeted “Let me live,” to John Legend in response to his “Spy gate” joke. And on Sunday, she wrote to her followers, “None of the guys were looking at my ass. They were just wondering why I don’t have one which is a reasonable concern.”

And luckily for Belichick, his girlfriend, Linda Holliday, was equally a good sport about the Chrissy Teigen photo. Holliday, who was at the WHCD with the coach, posted the incriminating picture on Instagram with the caption, “I mean, honestly, who didn’t check her out in this photo?!? I think I even looked! #PrettyLady.”

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Jim Norton talks about being Contextually Inadequate, political correctness, and the future of the Opie and Anthony Show on The Laughspin Podcast (Audio)

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 13:00

Always engaging and never compromising, comedian Jim Norton doesn’t fear talking openly and honestly about what’s on his mind.

By day, he is the co-host of the re-branded Opie Radio talk show (formerly the Opie and Anthony Show) on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. By night, he is one of the hardest working stand-ups in the business, constantly refining his material at New York-based night clubs like the famous Comedy Cellar located in Lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.

Norton’s creative efforts has yielded a third comedy special on the pay cable network Epix — called Contextually Inadequate — in where he attacks headline-making topics head on with the uncanny vision, humor and intelligence the seasoned stand-up comedian is known for. Below are a few excerpts from the exceptional conversation between Norton and Laughspin editor Dylan Gadino. To get the best experience, check out the full episode on iTunes on via Soundcloud below.

On what material he choose for his specials:

“You can’t please people. Some fans go, ‘it’s too topical.’ Then, if you are really dirty, ‘it’s all tranny jokes and sex jokes.’ So I just do what I want to do. It is a time capsule. If you look at Carlin or Pryor or any of the greats, even if some of the material is evergreen, they would do a lot of topical stuff… So even though mine, maybe, has much shorter of a shelf life, I don’t care.”

On why people hide behind internet anonymity:

“I’ve always complained about internet anonymity and people get confused by that…I am a guy who never wants you to get in trouble for what you say. So I am a guy who supports people who say things and get in trouble for them. If everyone supported people who got in trouble for what they said, if we lived in a culture where you weren’t penalized for voicing an opinion that might suck, then internet anonymity wouldn’t be needed.”

On the future of the Opie and Anthony radio show:

“It’s a volatile radio show…when you get three personalities that are that aggressive in their thinking in the same room, the fact that there hasn’t been a blow-up every three months is fucken miraculous. So, I still have hopes that the show will continue some day after a cooling off period. I really do. And I am not a blind optimist either.”

On how fake outrage and political correctness has taken over society:

“Part of it is that we’ve brought this on ourselves because a lot of people are legitimately reacting to a tremendous history of homophobia, racism, sexism. That’s not a made up thing…we’ve taught people to react that way because they’ve been subjected to that treatment. And then there’s the line they cross when now it’s just an excuse…and it’s those times when you know it’s not racist and you know it’s not sexist or homophobic, why do they react that way? Sometimes A) they just misinterpret it, and B) just like all of us, they just want to win the argument, so they grab the thing they can use — sexism, homophobia, racism — and it’s bullshit. And that’s what I think hurts the cause.”

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Jim Norton prefers baby wipes to toilet paper…and other personal revelations (Video)

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 16:08

Have you ever wondered if Jim Norton prefers chocolate vs. vanilla or blondes vs. brunettes, then check out this Lightning Round Q&A video featuring the Louie comedian. The short video rallies off a bunch of questions ranging from sexual preferences to how he prefers to wipe his ass. If you can’t get enough of Norton, don’t worry. His latest one-hour stand-up special Contextually Inadequate premieres on Friday at 10pm EST on Epix!

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Aziz Ansari Netflix series is happening! Streaming service continues to build case for comedy dominance.

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 13:30

Netflix continues to amp up its original comedy offerings ordering a series from comedian Aziz Ansari. Netflix ordered 10 episodes of the unnamed series which Ansari co-created with Parks and Recreation co-executive producer Alan Yang.

Ansari and company are keeping details about the project on the down low. All we know is that Ansari stars alongside H. Jon Benjamin, Lena Waithe (Dear White People) and Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric fame. Noël Wells and Kelvin Yu will also appear. Terrorist-hunting Claire Danes is also slated to guest star. Filming has already begun in New York City.

Netflix has a great history with Aziz Ansari after producing two of his hit stand-up specials Buried Alive and Live At Madison Square Garden. The video streaming service has been lauded for its dramas in Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Daredevil. Now it beefs up it comedy offerings beyond stand-up specials and into original programming. It started with a historical movie deal with Adam Sandler, followed by a Judd Apatow-produced Pee-Wee Herman sequel, a multi-movie deal with the Duplass brothers and Ricky Gervais’s Special Correspondents starring Eric Bana. On the episodic front, we’re anticipating the Wet Hot American Summer reboot in July, a Bob Odenkirk/David Cross series, an animated series from Bill Burr and their recently-released NBC acquisition The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been a popular and critical success. At this point, I think my cable box is just serving as an expensive living room ornament.

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Conan O’Brien’s response to Conan writer Andrés du Bouchet’s Twitter rant is perfect

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 13:07

Conan O’Brien took to Twitter to respond to one of his staff writer’s public war on late night comedy. Andrés du Bouchet (@dubouchet)has been a writer for O’Brien since 2008 when the red-headed comedian was at NBC on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. du Bouchet stayed on subsequent Team Coco staffs at The Tonight Show and Conan.

On his Twitter Thursday night, the writer ranted about the apparently dire state of late night television. du Bouchet called for “a severe motherfucking shakeup” in late night. “No celebrities, no parodies, no pranks, no mash-ups or hashtag wars.” Sounding like someone who maybe didn’t fit in in high school, he dubbed shows hosted by the likes of Jimmy Fallon and James Corden “Prom King Comedy.” Although there have always been at least one or two late night hosts who appealed to the masses at any given time, he still complained that “you’ve let the popular kids appropriate the very art for that helped you deal. Fuck.”

The Conan staff writer later apologized on Twitter, including his excitement for Stephen Colbert’s upcoming tenure as host of Late Show in September. Before deleting all of the controversial tweets and self-deprecating follow-ups, he anticipated his “inevitable dressing down” back at the Team Coco offices. Well, he didn’t need to wait until work.

Conan O’Brien publicly chastised his longtime employee telling him his focus should be less on lip-synching videos and more on writing. Fans seemed to agree as thousands have since favorited the Tweet. Hopefully du Bouchet will be teased on Monday at the office so the writer’s room can focus on embodying its network’s slogan: Very Funny.

I wish one of my writers would focus on making my show funnier instead of tweeting stupid things about the state of late night comedy.

— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) April 19, 2015

The Conan host has still not deleted his tweet.

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Jon Stewart announces Daily Show departure date. Win tickets to final taping (Video)

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 17:41

Jon Stewart announced that the end of his historic reign at Comedy Central will end on Aug. 6. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart loses its iconic host after 16 years behind the satirical-news desk. Stewart annonuced his retirement back in February to the shock and surprise of his fans. He told viewers that they didn’t deserve “an even slightly restless host” and that he had no specific plans for his future. There is no premiere date set for The Daily Show’s next host, Trevor Noah.

In a recent Guardian interview, Stewart pointed to the current “incredibly depressing” state of the news as one of several causes of his burn out. “Honestly, it was a comibination of the limitations of my brain and a format that is geared towards following an increasingly redundant [political] process.” He also looks forward to spending more time with his son Nathan, 10, and daughter Maggie, 9.

Fans have always been able to attend tapings of The Daily Show in New York City for free. For Jon Stewart’s final Aug. 6 taping, tickets will be raffled off via Omaze.com to raise money for New York Collaborates for Autism and the hosts’s Night of Too Many Stars. The most basic $10 contribution gets you 100 entries for 2 tickets to the taping, a hotel room and a flight here to New York for those who live out of town. The more philantrhopic choices include prized memorabilia from the show and Daily Show schwag. The one person who gives $15,000 will receive the Daily Show with Jon Stewart banner that has been hanging outside of the studio on 11th Avenue for over a decade as well as 150,000 entries into the lottery.

Go here to enter the lottery to attend Jon Stewart’s surely heartfelt final episode of the Comedy Central series he transformed into a political powerhouse that has informed young people of the bullshit that is the United States Congress. Watch Jon’s announcement from Monday night’s show below.

The Daily Show
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook,Daily Show Video Archive

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Inside Amy Schumer third season premieres tonight on Comedy Central. Prepare to be pleased.

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 13:02

Oh, Amy Schumer, how will we ever stop having gi-normous comedy crushes on you if you don’t quit being so goddamn awesome? But actually, a better question probably is, why would we want to stop in the first place? After the smash success of Inside Amy Schumer‘s first two seasons, a lot of pressure must be riding on the Schum crew to keep coming up with killer, bite-sized comedy that stimulates both the brain and the belly laugh. Thankfully, the third season of the Comedy Central hit (premiering tonight at 10:30 pm ET!) is every bit as committed to conjuring up the best of Schumer’s peculiar perspective. Even better? Comedy Central announced this morning that Inside Amy Schumer has been picked up for a fourth season.

Maintaining its sketch/stand-up/street interview format, Schumer is often the butt of the best jokes, just as frequently as she plays the cheerful instigator. One particular sketch that stands out from the first episode is its titular piece: “Last Fuckable Day.” Here, Amy is joined by Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, gathered together for a picnic to celebrate JLD’s final afternoon as a quantify-ably “fuckable” actress. Quipping about the dichotomy between aging female and male actors while wearing shit-eating grins, the gang sends Louis-Dreyfus off to sea in a ceremonial canoe, and simultaneously rings in what is sure to be Schumer’s most thought-provoking season yet.

Be sure to check out the season premiere of Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central tonight. If nothing else, we promise you’re about to learn what those big-bootied dancers in so many videos really do with their butts. (Hint: consult your local library for a copy of Everybody Poops).

Get More: Comedy Central,Funny Videos,Funny TV Shows


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Three Ex-Cops Smoke Weed For First Time In Years! 4/20 Video Shows Former Police Officers Supporting Pot Legalization

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 19:21

Three ex-cops celebrated 4/20 by smoking weed for the first time in years. And while getting hilariously high, they discussed why pot should be legalized.

This clip of former police officers smoking marijuana comes from the folks at Cut Video, who a few months ago gave us the viral video of grandmothers trying marijuana for the first time. For this 4/20 clip, producers found three ex-cops with varying degrees of experience.

David worked as a reserve officer for seven years, while Rene was on the force or 27 years. There was also Robert, who joined the police academy in 1970 and stayed on the job until 1986. All three admitted smoking pot in the past, though it’s been several decades since any of them picked up a joint.

But the three ex-cops gathered in Washington, where marijuana is legal, to smoke weed on video. In between puffs, they talked about their views on pot legalization.

“I think it should be legal, I think it should be more widely available for medical reasons,” Robert said in this video of ex-cops smoking weed. “It’s like the last piece of prohibition.”

When Rene countered that pot could be a gateway to other drugs, Robert fired back, “If you look at it, everyone who is a heroin addict started off drinking milk. I mean that’s the argument about marijuana and I’m not sure that’s true.”

But even Rene understood the benefits of legalizing weed. “The real good reason for legalizing marijuana, is some of that stuff you can buy on the street now you never know what it’s cut with, so you really don’t know what’s going to happen to you,” the ex-cop said while smoking marijuana. [With pot,] you got a quality product. You know what it is, where it came from and what it’s going to do to you.”

Robert added: “And it also costs more to put somebody in prison [for drugs] — not jail, but prison — than it costs to send them to Harvard.”

When not discussing pot legalization, the three ex-cops spent the rest of this 4/20 video munching on chips, playing games and conducting a field sobriety test. (Unsurprisingly, they all failed hilariously.) And they had so much fun that they all agreed they would smoke marijuana again if given the chance.

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