A.V. Club Best Comedy Albums of 2011

This is a great collection of 2011 comedy albums including Tig Notaro, Rory Scovel and of course, Louis C.K. Do you agree that these are the best?

Here are my two favorite videos from the story, they are dueling opinions about religious belief systems from Patton Oswalt and Marc Maron.

 

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Congress Fail: They are the 9 Percent – Gallagher On Topic

 

Gallagher: On Topic
They are the 9 Percent


Congress has never been the most popular dame on the promenade. No matter what poor schmuck is sitting in the White House or how bad the country is doing, the Legislative branch always gets spanked over something for doing nothing.

That’s not in any way a defense for the criticisms against them. I mean “doing nothing” in the most literal sense of the phrase. Coma patients in hospices whose basic bodily functions are controlled by machines accomplish more in a day than a so-called “politically balanced” legislative branch ever could.

Recently, our legislative boys and girls are at a total standstill. One side, the House, has been taken over by the Tea Party wing of the Republicans, and the other has a Democratic majority but all the filibustering makes it impossible for anything to get through and the only time a Democrat would stand up to a Republican is one of them asked if they could use their seat.

And even this prestigious body of “un-accomplishment” and DC politics gone mad has not only sunk to a new low metaphorically. They’ve also done it numerically and you know when math and politicians are involved, there are going to be a lot of empty aspirin bottles in the Capitol’s trash cans.

Their most recent rating among Americans who think that the Senate and the House are doing a good job is 9 percent. That’s not a typo. Their rating is in single digits. To put it another way, if you ever brought home from school a test in any subject that had a grade of 9 percent, your parents would order your teacher not to let you use pencils because of the physical risk they present to yourself and your classmates.

And before any of you zombies on either side of the political clusterf*$* try to turn this into a purely partisan opinion, take this to heart: the right-wing leaning Rasmussem pollers took a similar query of their flock for their approval of Congress’ work and they got a whopping 9 percent. As for the left, the rest of the mainstream media polling came up with the same number.

So the people, as they say, have spoken and how has Congress reacted to this bad report card? They put aside discussing anything close to meaningful about job creation, the economy and even taxes and decided instead to push forward with a bunch of meaningless legislative bull-hockey over regulating the amount of porn federal employees view on their office computers, keeping federal health agencies from limiting the amount of starches in school lunches and a wave of anti-abortion measurements that would only make sense of fetuses paid taxes. [Read more...]

Everybody Loves Gladstone

OK, not everybody loves Gladstone. Unless leaving insulting comments to unleash your pent-up frustrations left over from adolescence is love. But we do.

Have you seen the HBN ep sponsored in part by Comedy Rants? It’s a chilling tale of dreadful party ideas and wicked gay puns. Tomorrow/Monday is the 4th and final episode of the fan-sponsored mini-season of Hate by Numbers. If you want to see more HBN, visit here to learn details and make a donation here. Keep the good hate alive.

 

Hannibal Buress Gets Upset Easily

hannibal buress 2

Hannibal Buress plays The Punchline in Atlanta Friday, Oct. 21 and Sat the 22nd.  Buress is a stand up comedian from Chicago who currently resides in New York City. He’s appeared on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen, and Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham. He’ll also be appearing in the upcoming documentary “The Awkward Kings of Comedy” He isn’t really awkward though. Sometimes he is. http://hannibalhannibal.tumblr.com/

“If Steven Wright, Mos Def and Dave Chappelle had a baby, that would be disgusting, but it would sound like Hannibal Buress. The funniest young comic I’ve seen in years.” – Chris Rock

 

Gladstone’s Great Things That Suck – REM

So the other day REM announced they were calling it quits, and I know that like many of you my first thought was “wait, they’re still a band?”  Well, apparently they were and in light of their announcement, I e-mailed the girl who broke up with me twenty years ago to let her know we were through. 

Why am I being so mean?  After all, there was a time when REM were hailed as an important band.  But that time was known as the 80s.  The decade that brought you other bad ideas like acid rain, deficit spending, and the snap bracelet.  The truth is that REM amounts to little more than a breath of non-processed fresh air during a decade of uninspired house music and hair metal. 

Look, no one is more surprised by how little I care about REM’s demise than I am. After all, there was a time when I was a fairly large REM fan. I still think 1986’s Life Rich Pageant is one of the greatest pop rock albums of all time.  That’s right. Of all time. So why all the hate

Because REM is one of the shockingly laziest bands of all time. They reached a point that many other great band reach where they had the power to progress as musicians and make their own rules, and they used that power to become increasingly safe and boring.

Compare them to U2.  Both bands require songwriting in the collective sense because unlike the Beatles or the Who or even a band like Bon Jovi no one in the group is an accomplished enough songwriter on their own.  And much like U2, REM featured guitarists who were not technically virtuosos, but who had developed unique sounds. 

But unlike U2 they did not try to grow as artists.  They did not experiment with changes in sound or style or songwriting. A few years after the Joshua Tree, U2 did Achtung Baby and Zooropa.   A few years after Out of Time, REM wrote Everybody Hurts – a song so cliché and absurd that the first time I heard it, I laughed out loud, thinking the boys were parodying saccharine boring G/C/D cheeseball inspirational music. I was wrong. So very very wrong.

The songwriting stalled and Stipe decided to use less and less of his vocal range on every single album.  Their instrumentation remained unchanged as did their songwriting. Zero musical growth rate, which I guess is OK if you’re the Ramones, but they weren’t.  They were just four guys from Georgia who had a neat sound reminiscent of the Byrds who polished their product to perfection in 1986 and then repeated it until everyone including themselves apparently lost interest.

 

gladstone

Gladstone

Gladstone is a columnist for Cracked.com, the creator and star of the Hate By Numbers video series, and the author of the forthcoming novel Notes from the Internet Apocalypse. Most of his stuff can be found on his site.

 

Museum of Morgan – Said I Loved You But I Lied

Navigating The Music Video Landscape
Video: “Said I Loved You But I Lied”
Artist: Michael Bolton
Year: 1993
 

Remember music videos? A now long lost art form thanks to MTV2 programming such as “Jersey Shore,” “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom.” Now – we slink away into the internet searching for our fix. On YouTube lies all of the nostalgia that comes with lip syncing and staring directly into the camera (or away for dramatic effect.) I just so happen to love the bad ones. 

Far before you hipsters thought he was cool because he crested the high seas with The Lonely Island on the track “Jack Sparrow” … Michael Bolton was the stuff of adult contemporary mom dreams. Armed with enough squinting to merit a contact lense prescription, hair cascading from his scalp like a hunky hero from a romance novel and a wardrobe provided exclusively from the Natural Wonder store at a mall circa 1994, this video provides a perfect example of why the midlife ladies used to swoon.

michael-bolton-liedI have to be honest, I had no idea that Michael Bolton cared so much about nature. The video is set across the glorious landscape of Phoenix, Arizona. On first glimpse you may have thought that the video was an early inspiration for the Disney classic “The Lion King.” There are several points here where Sultry Voice McGee sings directly into a circling helicopter shot. A shot that almost screams “Circle Of Life.” But the landscape alone doesn’t even scratch the surface on the natural beauty the video expresses. It’s littered with shots of clouds passing by (I believe to show us this is a dream.) There are horses, hawks and semi naked women galore. And my oh my the fire … there is fuck tons of unnecessary fire. I often say to myself when watching this video. “Be careful horses! Watch out for that fire!”

Our crooner broodingly wanders through this setting recalling the memory of a long lost love. Much of that memory is her, a beautiful model, making out with him while splayed across the boulders of the Arizona desert wearing nothing but a silk sheet. Any shot of her is purely in black and white, to represent that she is his past. A memory never to be forgotten. He moves along, like a ghost, remembering this beautiful woman. And as he does he tricks us with the lyrics. [Read more...]

Lewis Black: A Look Back in Anger

A great look at Lewis Black through the years.

Hate by Numbers: Afro Bomber – Gladstone

Gladstone just loves to give the press a hard time, and who can blame him? Though I think he gives CNN a little more credit than they deserve. I see some frizzy Jewish hair going on with Mr. Gladstone, he might be hiding something under there…

Hate by Numbers: Real Steel – Gladstone

HBN 72: Is “Real Steel” The Worst Hugh Jackman Movie Ever?

 


 


In the return of the fan-sponsored Hate By Numbers, Gladstone asks – is Real Steel the worst Hugh Jackman movie ever? (Yes, including Van Helsing). Check out more HBNs at http://www.kafkamaine.com/hatebynumbers

Louis CK Honors George Carlin

Louis CK speaks about George Carlin and the inspiration George had on his career. This was shot at a tribute ceremony for George Carlin at the New York Public Library in March of 2010. The intro is by George’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, who has been doing a lot of work supporting the comedy community and honoring her Dad.