Entries tagged with: the state

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Michael Ian Black

Comedian and actor Michael Ian Black (The State, Wet Hot American Summer) releases his new memoir, Navel Gazing, this week. It's actually his second memoir (You're Not Doing It Right came out in 2012), and is subtitled "True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (but also my mom's, which I know sounds weird)." This time he looks at middle age and his attempts to fight it:

Once you hit forty, it is no longer possible to pretend you will remain forever young. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration, a man like me, aged forty-three, can only expect to live an additional thirty-eight years. In other words, I am past my life's midpoint; calling myself middle-aged is a disservice to the entire field of mathematics. Yet, I don't feel like my life is halfway over. I feel exactly as I did ten or fifteen years ago. But somehow whole decades have elapsed in the time I've spent upgrading my iPhones through their various iterations. Worlds have whirled around meEntire species have gone extinct as I drove around parking lots looking for a betterspaces. Then one day, I look up and and a government agency is informing me I am no longer a zesty young man, but a just-past-middle-aged adult with adult responsibilities and a mortgage and the first signs of erectile dysfunction. This moment eventually happens to all of us, the moment when you first sense that the road you are traveling may, at some point, have an end. And when that realization hits, it does so in the sudden, jarring manner of a car crash: "Oh, shit!" you may think at the moment of impact. "I'm going to die."
You can read a longer excerpt from Navel Gazing over at Black's website.

Michael will be promoting Navel Gazing with a few events in the NYC area this week. On Tuesday (1/5) he'll be at the Tribeca branch of Barnes & Noble (buy the book at the store to attend ); then he'll be at Jersey City's Word Bookstore on Wednesday (1/6) (pre-order the book for guaranteed admission); he'll also be talking about the book with Mo Rocca on Thursday (1/7) at Symphony Space (tickets); and finally he'll be at Brooklyn's BookCourt on Friday (1/8) at 7 PM (RSVP).


The film Wet Hot American Summer came out Summer 2001 and didn't do much at the box office but had cult hit written all over it. A satire of '80s summer camp movies, it was written by David Wain and Michael Showalter of The State and featured most of the rest of that comedy in the cast. It also starred a lot of folks who'd soon be a lot more famous -- Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, and Elizabeth Banks, to name a few -- and featured songs by Shudder to Think's Craig Wedren. You probably know all this.

Director David Wain, and pretty much all of the original cast (including Cooper, Rudd, Pohler and Banks), are going back to camp for an eight-part miniseries, subtitled "First Day at Camp," that will air on Netflix this summer. Also appearing on the new series: Chris Pine, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, John Slattery, and Jason Schwartzman. And probably more. They just debuted a trailer for the miniseries, which doesn't show much beyond the names of the castmembers, but you can watch it below.

Continue reading "'Wet Hot American Summer' coming back as Netflix miniseries"

festival supreme

Tenacious D's Festival Supreme is back for a second year, this time happening at LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park on October 25. The laffstravaganza (with music too) features over 40 performers, and if you are into comedy it's a pretty "holy crap" lineup, including The State, Workaholics, Metalocalypse, Cheech & Chong, The Eagles of Death Metal, The Dan Band, Peaches, Doug Benson, Dr. Demento and lots more (including the 'D themselves). Full 2014 lineup is listed below.

Tickets for 2014 Festival Supreme go on sale Friday (5/30) at 10 AM PST (that's 1 PM NYC time).

Continue reading "Tenacious D's 'Festival Supreme' 2014 lineup: The State, Cheech & Chong, Metalocalypse, Workaholics and lots more"

by Bill Pearis

The Polyphonic Spree at BV-SXSW 2013 (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
Polyphonic Spree

As you may know, Bonnaroo is happening this weekend in Manchester, TN, kicking off today (6/13) and going through Sunday (6/16) across a dozen or so stages and tents. Everybody knows about the big names -- that include Paul McCartney, Bjork, Tom Petty and many more (stream it live) -- but there are some  cool things going on away from the main stages, too

The Polyphonic Spree (who played a BVSXSW day party this year) play the Cinema Tent tonight (6/13) at 11 PM, performing The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack in its entirety (!). Then the band are doing a second secret Bonnaroo set at 2 AM by the Fountain.

There's actually a lot of cool stuff going on in the Cinema Tent. Matt & Kim will host a panel discussion called "How to Make a Fun Music Video" where they'll also perform live (Thursday, 4:30 PM); Mike Birbiglia (who performs in the Bonnaroo Comedy Theatre) will present his terrific film Sleepwalk with Me (Friday, 5:45 PM); Reno 911/The State folks Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant will show their new comedy, Hell Baby (Friday, 11:55 PM); Police Academy human sound effects machine Michael Winslow will perform on Friday (9:10 PM); and The National's Matt Berninger will present the new documentary, Mistaken For Strangers (6/16, noon).

Chris Gethard, who famously walked to Bonnaroo from L.A. last year, will be doing a bunch of things there this year:

Last year I did The Chris Gethard Show which is an experimental, crazy thing, but this time it's just stand-up. I have a pretty in-depth exploration of my Bonnaroo experience last year that I may tell on stage and see how the crowd likes it. I would call my act stand-up but I'm less of a joke writer and more on the confessional, philosophizing or whatever end. They're true stories. I'm playing Thursday and Friday. Then Saturday I'm hosting a look at public access TV with clips from my show and other public access shows that inspired mine. Things like Uncle Floyd--which I grew up with in New Jersey--and Chic-a-Go-Go from Chicago. Also, clips from my favorite prank call footage on various public access shows. And a lot of it will be clips from The Chris Gethard Show that I'm really proud of. But overall I just want to have fun and meet a lot more people. - [Fuse]
Other comedy things -- besides what BV's Klaus Kinski already wrote about -- include The Improvised Shakespeare Company, who combine improv comedy with Elizabethan theatre, will be performing with Bob Saget for two performances on Sunday. Should be interesting.

There's good music away from the three main stages too: Deer Tick cohort Jonny Fritz (formerly Corndawg) will be tonight (New Music On Tap Lounge, 10 PM) and Friday (Sonic Stage, 12:45 PM); Ex Cops play the New Music On Tap Lounge on Friday at 8 PM; Canada's awesome White Lung play the Cafe Where? stage on Sunday at 7:45 PM; and Georgia rockers Royal Thunder play the New Music On Tap Lounge on Sunday at 8 PM. And look out for Mac DeMarco all over the place.

And last but not least, John Oates is the butt of a lot of good-natured ribbing, but you'll get to hear his side of the story when he performs and participates in a Q&A on the Solar Stage on Friday at 5 PM. Here's you chance to learn the real story behind "Maneater" without constant interjections by Daryl Hall.

Check out the full Bonnaroo Schedule (scroll down, down down for smaller stages) for more.

ShowalterIan Black

When I first saw Michael Showalter was appearing at a bookstore tonight (2/16) to promote a book, I thought, "wasn't that last year? Is it a new book??", but then I realized it's because the paperpack version of "Mr. Funny Pants" was recently released. Grab a copy. #TeamBev

You can also catch Michael tell some jokes at Union Hall on 2/25 as part of Heart of Darkness with host Greg Barris, and other guests Kate Berlant, Dr. Clayton Curtis, The Mast, and The Forgiveness. Tickets are on sale.

In related news, Michael's Stella/State partner in crime Michael Ian Black also has a new book, but actually a new book, and his will be out, in hardcover, on February 28th. You can pre-order You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations at Amazon.

And Michael Ian Black also has a bunch of promotional appearances planned around the release of his book including one at the Strand and one at Greenlight. They're all listed below...

Continue reading "Michael Showalter & Michael Ian Black have new books & are appearing places"

Michael and Michael

Executive produced by Black, Showalter, Jim Biederman ("Whitest Kids U Know," "I'm With Busey") and Lou Wallach, "Michael and Michael Have Issues" stars Black and Showalter in a new twist on narrative and sketch comedies that features the long-time comedic partners as the hosts of their own fictitious sketch show. Sketches will be interspersed throughout the narrative thread of each episode."
Michael and Michael is a new show that premieres on Comedy Central on July 15th. That same night, the State/Stella veterans "will perform comedy sets leading up to the live broadcast of the show" at The Bell House in Brooklyn! Tickets are on sale.

Last Thursday, M&M shot "a theater scene in front of a live audience". Videos below...

Continue reading "Michael & Michael Have Issues - on TV & live in Brooklyn"

DOWNLOAD: Neil Hamburger - At Least I Was Paid (MP3)

Neil Hamburger

Well, what else do we need to say about this? "America's Funnyman" ("The World's Funnyman," actually) has decided to sing America's music at last! The country crooning of Neil Hamburger (though some would call it moaning) fits the white blues that is country music to a T! Neil's life story is perfect fodder for the "tear in the beer" genre as well - and Neil's original tunes, such as "At Least I Got Paid," "Three Piece Chicken Dinner" and "The Recycle Bin" bring his personality to the fore. His crack "Nashville West" band includes such luminaries as Dave Gleason, Atom Ellis, Prairie Prince, Rachel Haden and Joe Goldmark, all of whom play and sing their country-fried hearts out to create a sound that is decidedly old-school honky-tonk. All this plus cover versions of John Entwistle, Mark Eitzel and Billy Edd Wheeler add up to a powerful singing debut from America's newest hat act, Neil Hamburger!
Neil Hamburger Sings Country Winners is out this Tuesday April 22nd on Drag City! Some tour dates and a video at the end of this post.

I recently mentioned that Bob Odenkirk and David Cross would soon begin work on a pilot for HBO. Lo and behold, production of David's Situation begins May 9th, 2008 in sunny Los Angeles, with a live audience and everything. This show can't be completed and devoured by my eyes and ears soon enough. If anyone goes to the taping, tell me everything.

In related news, not only is Bob Odenkirk co-writer and director of David's Situation, but it turns out he'll also be playing Mike Birbiglia's older brother in Mike Birbiglia's CBS pilot Mike Birbiglia's Secret Public Journal, a pilot you can read about here.

much, much, much, much more below.....

Continue reading "Klaus Kinski's Comedy Canon (04/21/08)"

I am a Wonderful ManFor fans of The State, there is some good news and some bad news floating about. The bad news is that the highly anticipated State DVD has been put on hold by our friends over at MTV. This truly pisses me off. From the official State website:

* * * NOTE (Nov 1, 2007): We are sorry to report The State DVD is now NOT being released this fall. We worked closely with MTV to make a great DVD set with lots of extras for the show, and the DVDs are completed, but they has chosen not to release the set at this time. We don't know why.
The fact that the DVD project is done makes me hopeful that MTV will snap out of it and get this stuff in stores at some point in time. Until then, shame on you MTV.

There's plenty of good news to off-set the bad. First off, The State is reuniting for a new sketch movie. For reals! Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black have been touring (and I don't just mean blogs). They'll be at Irving Plaza on December 1st (tonight). The Michaels also recently released CDs that you should buy because they're really really funny. Also, The Ten DVD is coming out on January 15th. Also, read this. -Klaus

DOWNLOAD: Michael Showalter - Erotica (radio edit) (MP3)

The State will always be near and dear to my heart. For that reason alone (not that there aren't other reasons), Michael Showalter is pretty much welcome at BrooklynVegan.com any time he feels like stopping by - even if the only reason he came over today was to promote his new CD.....Only when he needs something.....Always him, him, him....

Sandwiches & Cats

Hi guest blogging all day and I'm getting that weird typing disease where you have to wear a wrist brace. I want to say it's called Rosacea but I'm pretty sure that's not it. I've been told to introduce myself: I'm Michael Showalter (I live in Brooklyn.) I was on The State, and Stella, and Wet Hot American Summer and The Baxter. I have a comedy record out today that is called, "Sandwiches & Cats." Two of the things that I love the most. Here's a video of me recording dialogue for a song that's on the record about "how to make a sandwich." Is it weighty subject matter? That depends on who you ask. Some people take sandwiches very seriously. -Michael
Check out the video Michael is talking about, below.....

Continue reading "the MICHAEL SHOWALTER blog tour stops here"

David WainThe more I read the reviews and the more I rewatch the trailer, the more I'm beginning to think that former Statesmen David Wain and Ken Marino might have created a classic with their upcoming film THE TEN. The film is basically 10 short films about each of the ten commandments. Many film twats are quick to remark that this concept has been done already in Krzysztof Kieslowski's supreme masterpiece Dekalog, but being that this film is from the geniuses that brought you The State and Wet Hot American Summer, I can assure you that the approach in this film will be much different, and much, much, much, MUCH funnier.

The film will have its nationwide release on August 3rd with some festival dates (including a July 21 Hamptons Film Festival screening), but New Yorkers will have a chance to attend a big "An Evening of Comedy & Music Celebrating the Release of The Ten" in New York on August 2nd at the Blender Theater at Gramercy. The shinding will be hosted by director David Wain, and will feature Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, Craig Wedren (a longtime State collaborator), Mr. Blue, Rashida Jones and Peter Salett (who is also playing The Living Room on July 18). Tickets to the event go on sale TODAY AT NOON.

Which reminds me, Michael Showalter's CD-taping shows at Union Hall are already sold out. More comedy shows that hopefully aren't sold out by the time you read this, BELOW....

Continue reading "Klaus Kinski's Comedy Canon (06/29/07) [The Ten]"

DOWNLOAD: Patton Oswalt - Dukes of Hazard (MP3) (info)

Tickets are on sale for The Dave Hill Explosion w/ John Hodgman & Jonathan Coulton @ UCB, Crash Test with Aziz Ansari @ UCB, and a special Tinkle show at Southpaw with David Cross, Todd Barry, and Jon Benjamin. Slovin and Allen and Reggie Watts are hosting ROFL at Joe's Pub. Patton Oswalt is playing a free show at Sound Fix.


Jon Benjamin paid a guy to serenade Eug and Bobby for the Invite Them Up anniversary. Oliver and Schaal look on from the back room. (April 25, 2007)
More recently, Demetri Martin, Aziz, David Cross & Nick Kroll were at Bonnaroo, and Flight of the Conchords played Gramercy Theatre.

Louis CKI am also beyond giddy to report that HBO Video will be releasing Louis CK's live 1 hour special Shameless on June 26th, 2007. That's a Tuesday people. Shameless is CK's third HBO special, and further reinforces my opinion that he is easily one of the best comedians out there. He takes nauseatingly banal topics such as family life, childhood, and sex and riffs about them in such an unexpectedly blunt and graphic manner that you can't help but be drawn in. To celebrate this release, we are giving away TWO copies of Shameless to two lucky winners. Send an e-mail to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM and tell us what comedian you think should really release a DVD ASAP. Two winners will be picked at random and notified.

More comedy (including a Louis CK DVD clip) belooooooow....

Continue reading "Klaus Kinski's Comedy Canon (06/19/07)"

Flight of the Conchords

We hosted a Flight of the Conchords (FOTC) contest. Some winners won passes to a screening of the first episode of the new HBO series. Now EVERYONE - even those who don't have HBO (like me) - can watch the first episode thanks to the kind folks at HBO.com. Look for appearances by UCB, Rififi and Union Hall regulars Arj Barker, Eugene Mirman, and Kristen Schaal.

Kristin SchaalSpeaking of Kristen Schaal who was also a guest on the 24 Hour Human Giant Marathon on MTV, we asked all those entering the FOTC contest to tell us who their favorite stand up comedian was. We got something like 50 comedian names total, but these were - by a small margin - the top seven:

your favorite comedians
1) Demetri Martin
2) David Cross
3) Mitch Hedberg
4) George Carlin
5) Aziz Ansari (tie)
5) Brian Posehn (tie)
5) Kristen Schaal (tie)

That's right - you like Kristen Schaal as much as you like Aziz Ansari who you like just as much as Brian Posehn WHO LOVES METAL.........

Continue reading "Flight of the Conchords, Human Giant, Kristen Schaal, YOUR FAVORITE COMEDIANS, Michael Showalter, Brian Posehn & MASTODON"