Goodbye Mailbox: A Short List of my Favorite Sketches from The State

state1Over the last year, I have written a number of articles about the music I’ve spent my life listening to, poking and prodding and digging around to see how it all affected me, how it made me grow as a person, how it helped me, defined me, or influenced my life and personality. There was a lot to sift through, but it was a joy to revisit and re-experience it all again. And now that musical nostalgia highway has got me thinking about other aspects of me that the pop culture I grew up with molded like so much clay. Like my sense of humor. Where did that come from?

Thank God for VOD! – They Came Together

I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!

theycametogetherThey Came Together

And just when you thought I was all horror flicks, thrillers, blood and guts, and social commentary, here I come at you with a romantic comedy. A romcom. Or, in this instance, all of the tropes and beats of a romantic comedy completely ripped to pieces and then reassembled with a knowing smile and a wink by a killer ensemble cast and the comedic genius of a bunch of former members of The State*. They Came Together is a romantic comedy, but it’s a hyper-self-aware romantic comedy that bleeds absurdity and goes so far with its poking as to surpass satire. It’s an odd and hilarious film.

Underrated: Joe Dante’s “The ‘Burbs”

burbs“I want to kill everyone. Satan is good. Satan is our pal.”

Like so many others, I first saw The ‘Burbs, Joe Dante’s brilliant comedic ode to suburban rut and paranoia on cable when I was a kid. To say the movie has stuck to me like some lost, drunken night’s tattoo is to understate its impact. It’s a film I have gone back to time and time again over the last 25 years, be it via a worn and fuzzy VHS copy recorded off of HBO when I was in grade school, or the DVD copy I scored years later. I never grow tired of it. The story, the scenes, the dialog are so engrained within my psyche, that quoting lines from the thing has become a kind of litmus test as to whether or not we can be friends (see also The Monster Squad).

When Bad Science Goes Good

rickmortyFor years and years Adult Swim, the longtime bastion of geeks, misfits, stoners, pop culture revivalists, and the perpetually adolescent has been the haven to an array of quirky animated series, a platform for a myriad of network castoffs, nostalgia purveyors, surreal mind-fucks, and bad taste. Everything from a dead-in-the-water series that suddenly finds massive popularity (Family Guy), to anime* (Cowboy Bebop), to the comedic reinterpretations of characters from our childhood (Robot Chicken/Space Ghost Coast to Coast), to pure and warped stoner candy (Aqua Teen Hunger Force) has surfaced and thrived on this late night block of programming on the Cartoon Network. Often times it’s crudely made. It can be absurd. It can be vulgar and immature. But it’s usually pretty damn funny. People like me call it home.

35 Albums in 35 Years: 1989

In an ongoing attempt to bleed my opinions all over your computer screen, I’m selecting one album from every year that I’ve been alive that has some sort of significance to me…and then writing about it.  Welcome back to 35 Albums in 35 Years.

 

weirdaluhf1989: Weird Al Yankovic’s UHF Original Soundtrack

Album Review: Andy Kaufman ‘Andy and His Grandmother’.

Image courtesy of Drag City Records

ANDY
(laying it on thick)

We are all gathered here today to
bid one final farewell to Anthony
Sebastian Clifton — who passed
from our midst far too soon. The
world has lost the greatest superstar
of all time … and I … have lost my …best friend.
But grieve not, my brothers, for
Tony need not be forgotten.
Fortunately, he can be remembered
forever … through this magnificent …
(pulls album out from behind podium)
DOUBLE MEMORIAL ALBUM. $18.95!

– Andy Kaufman & Bob Zmuda, ‘The Tony Clifton Story’ unproduced Screenplay, 1st draft 1/1/1980

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