Archive for July, 2010

Koldcast’s 15 Most Under-Appreciated Comedians

July 26, 2010

Koldcast.tv is a great site for digital content of all sorts, but today I found a simple blog post that I found incredibly interesting.  As a MONSTROUS comedy nerd, I tend to value and follow certain comedians that most people don’t care at all about, if they’ve ever even heard of them.  Which is quite a shame.  Because for every unfunny JB Smoove and Pauly Shore character out there that has struck enormous mainstream success, 30,000,000 other MUCH-funnier, MUCH-more-cerebral, MUCH-more-deserving comics are still struggling with a fan base not much bigger than their immediate friends and family.  That’s why this list of the Under-Appreciated made me so happy!  And while certain people on here have just recently blown up (or are just about to) the list still mostly rings true for these funny people.  First, here’s the actual link to the post itself.  Below I have quickly and succinctly gone down the list and analyzed Koldcast’s suggestions.  If for nothing else, it would be a small victory if just one of these artists received a smidgen of recognition off of this list.  So, without further ado:

1.  Andy Kindler

While Andy Kindler IS great, he just recently landed the VERY cushy, coveted title of being a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing.  Kindler has been doing comedy for YEARS and after all the writing gigs and stand-up, it is extremely refreshing to see him in such a great position.

2. Matt Berry

Berry is actually one of my favorites from this list.  I fully agree that his voice is like a soothing chorus of angels against a light thunderstorm in the background of my mind.  He is absolutely hilarious on Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and exceptional, as well, on my favorite, The Mighty Boosh.  American audiences need to wise up to this man’s incredi-mazing-ness right quick.

3. Peter Serafinowicz

Another incredibly talented Brit who seems to appear all across the board, but still hasn’t achieved that massive name success that so many comedians bank on to further their careers.

4. JB Smoove

This entry I outright disagree with (as referenced above).  His style of EXTREME over-the-top comedy punctuated with random yells and the most trite, predictable comedy I have seen in years, keeps you rolling your eyes and groaning through his entire set.  To add insult to injury, Comedy Central just recently gave Smoove a half-hour special to MC.  While I love Comedy Central dearly, they do have a problem with just handing loud, overbearing, unfunny people money (i.e. Carlos Mencia).

5. Andy Daly

Andy Daly has been plugging away at the comedy scene for years now.  While he’s not quite my brand of ha-ha, he has been at it for years continues to weave in and out of random groups and circuits with relative ease.

6. Aisha Tyler

Tyler is hilarious and represents a demographic with almost zero representation in the comedy world, the demographic of fangirl.  Tyler’s comedy is hilarious and generally tends toward the nerdy side, which usually leaves audiences either scratching their heads or simply disregarding what she says as not true, because the woman looks like an Amazonian.  She’s incredibly tall and gorgeous, to boot, so when she starts on a Slave Leia Cosplay story, many have trouble imagining her going to lengths to perfect the tin bikini.  Content aside, she is INCREDIBLY deserving of greater recognition and more roles in front of larger audiences.

7. Michael Hitchcock

Hitchcock I, myself, have not heard of, yet I have seen Waiting for Guffman.  That being said, an acolyte of Guest’s is usually not right up my alley.  His humor is generally too dry for my tastes (and as an avid fan of Stephen Wright, that’s TRULY saying something).  What I’m trying to say is that I can’t pass judgment, though I would like to.

8. Jessica Walter

Walter is someone I know when I see her, but, once again, I don’t know enough to comment!

9. David Pasquesi

Ditto.

10. Terry Crews

Terry Crews has always been hilarious.  With his Old Spice campaign and his role in the upcoming move The Expendables, I don’t know if this man needs much more exposure.  Mr. Crews may be right where he needs to be.

11. Molly Shannon

While I do dearly love Molly Shannon, I will say this, she has had more than her time to shine.  Shannon was a formidable presence on SNL during its third most popular streak, in which Tina Fey was writing and Will Ferrell was still performing every minute of.  Shannon even had multiple engagements after SNL, with movie and TV deals (remember Kath and Kim, anyone?) yet simply couldn’t capitalize.

12. Kristen Schaal

Schaal is an all-around talent, more-often-than-not actually taking to the stage, rather than the screen.  Her work transcends SO many different formats, however, and it would be lovely to see what she could do on a larger scale.

13. Nick Swardson

Swardson is hilarious.  His illustrious stand-up career has never seen a lull and he has consistently had his hand in Happy Madison’s productions, either writing, performing, or both.  In the Fall, however, Swardson will finally get his own sketch show on Comedy Central!

14. Amy Sedaris

Sedaris seems to have been everywhere and seems to have done it for the last 15 years.  I first came across her on Stranger’s With Candy, but between hawking her book and just making guest appearances, she pervades ALL FORMS OF MEDIA.  She even narrated a PBS special on the history of American comedy.

15. Robert Smigel

Smigel has written for SNL and Conan and is responsible for Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, The Ambiguously Gay Duo, and DAAAAAAAAAAAAA BEARS!  In some form or another, people know Robert Smigel.  They just don’t know…Robert Smigel.  I’d be very interested to see what the man is up to currently, and what he has in store for the future.

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Johnny Depp Slated to Play First American Dr. Who

July 2, 2010

Hello, my pretties!  It’s been so long since I’ve spoken with you (all three of you), but this Summer has easily been the most hectic of my life.  So I’m currently trying to readjust.  While doing so, however, I wanted to fire back up the rantsite and dish on some Who-news that I just received word of via Twitter (I don’t care what anyone says, that site is just plain genius), hopefully I’m not too rusty at wringing my fists in the air while attempting to type words.  I have only recently fallen under the spell of the Dr. Who-nomenon (See what I did there?) that has dominated the BBC on-and-off for the better half of the century, and after falling for it, it has become impossible to revert back.  David Tennant is my current favorite portrayal of the good Doctor with Matt Smith following closely behind (It takes a LOT of work to make bow ties cool).

Long story short, I’m just starting to get into the show and TRY to understand the YEARS of backstory that come with the character.  Part of the appeal of Dr. Who, for me, anyway, is that it is a thoroughly British show with the most strictly British writing teams, fan bases, producers, and talent.  It appears to exist much like the Doctor does himself, in a microcosm outside of the norm.  For the Doctor, that norm is time and space, as he can transcend either.  For the show itself, that norm is Hollywood and hyper-mainstream-American production.  Of course, if a product is garnering money, buzz, and cult attention, Hollywood will never be far behind.  Just today, news broke of Johnny Depp being in talks to star as the first American Dr. Who in one of the film installments to the series.  While multiple bloggers have already weighed in on the obvious casting, my favorite points have still been made by Tom Chivers at the TelegraphHere’s the article.  Basically my problems are as follows:

1. Hollywood will see Depp interested/starring in the role and automatically consider the series to be viable, at which point they will acquire it with their boatloads of money and ruin everything the series has ever strived towards, all in that order.

2.  Depp is an American.  While I may seem like a Benedict Arnold by renouncing my own American people’s ability to play British, I would submit that we do it all the time.  Much flap was made about the casting behind The Last Airbender (which I hear is a really great flick, BWAAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAAA), and I myself have decried the crime that is remaking Let the Right One In a year after the original simply because American audiences don’t fancy subtitles.  So I would further like to submit that an American Dr. Who could only work with an extremely adept actor (Depp does pass this qualification relatively easily) who has as expansive a knowledge of the Who-niverse as any British citizen would (Which I doubt Depp has).  Dr. Who is so thoroughly ingrained in British culture that you can find references to the series throughout the last 6 decades across all different forms of pop culture.  What I’m trying to relate is that a British actor, born and raised in the United Kingdom, will arguably bring a working knowledge and informed relationship to the Doctor that any average American will only be debriefed on in rehearsals and table-reads.  Unless, of course, Depp has had a life-long love affair with the series of which I did not know about.  I’m always open-minded!

The bottom line is that Dr. Who exists outside of the sphere of Hollywood influence that has SO oftentimes ruined the nearest and dearest characters closest to our hearts.  Dr. Who represents a foreign commodity that is not ours.  Almost a cultural natural resource of the United Kingdom.  And in the last 50 years or so, Hollywood has managed to become a major colonial force in the cultural world.  Exploring and acquiring foreign entries into pop culture and twisting them to become thier own.  Look at Kath and kim, Death at a Funeral, and Dragonball, just to name a few (This is a great list of roughly 17 total entries from the AV Club).  With a penchant for ruining franchises that have experienced great runs on their own, I am extremely trepidatious of this deal, to say the least.  That being said, it would be interesting if former Who showrunner Russell T. Davies got all the elements right, properly brought the Doctor overseas and then exploded the phenomenon onto American soil, making the Doctor the most popular he’s ever been.  Man, I play a great devil’s advocate.