BEST EPISODES of Marc Maron WTF PODCAST!

Catching Up

PODCASTS : Currently Listening to WTF. There is a reason why people who hate interviewers and hate interviews decide to do this show.

Marc Maron manages to be actually concerned and interested in what these people have to say, and just wants to have a conversation with them and it illicits a trust in the interviewed and the listener. And it comes across. There is a reason President Obama chose this podcast to give arguably one of the most potent public interviews/conversations a seated President has ever given.

There is something about audio that lends itself to an intimate conversation better than video. It involves the listener in the theater of the mind, and you end up actually listening to people rather than just watching the spinning plates, the stock in trade of most tv talk shows.

Airing since 2009, now in its eighth year, The first three years of the WTF Podcast it was strictly comedians. But the names became ever larger so that by the end of 2011 he was interviewing movie star level comedians.

2012 was when it really transitioned from a comedian interview show to just a great ‘whoever interests me’ interview show. And 2015 with the startling appearance of President Obama on the show is when it rocketed into the Stratosphere of world wide prominence, with now a whole new level of guests appearing.

Episode #327 from 2012 starring Jimmie Walker, was recommended by another great podcast… 11oclock Comics, and became my first introduction to Marc Maron and WTF. That episode, a brilliant show that is a wonderful history of comedy, it remains one of the best episodes, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Mark Maron’s WTF is arguably not just one of the best ‘podcast’ shows, but is orders of magnitude better than any ‘talk show’ you’ll find on TV, or cable, or streaming.

Here are a few episodes that stand out for me as, not just this show done well, but really pivotal and important additions to culture and the history of entertainment.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, just some of the ones that stood out to me.

Without further ado they are:

#327 JIMMY WALKER 2012 Brilliant and informative history of post 60s comedy and the comedy clubs
REMEMBERING ROBIN WILLIAMS August 11 2014 – Heartbreaking and an essential listen
#523 BOB NEWHART 2014 Excellent
#544 ANDRE ROYO 2014 Fun
#593 HENRY WINKLER 2015 Rich
#605 TOMMY DAVIDSON 2015 Engrossing
#613/614 PRESIDENT OBAMA 2015 Podcast of the Year
#621 SIR IAN MCKELLAN 2015 Riveting and charming, and a masterclass on being an actor and surviving it
#622 WYATT CENAC 2015 Compelling
#624 SINBAD 2015 I like that he stood up for Bill Cosby, as Cosby remains very much THE comedian of much of the pivotal years of the late 20th century, and remains a person I hold in high regard
#638 SIR PATRICK STEWART 2015 Genius and very open about a harrowing coming of age
#684 WILLIAM FRIEDKIN 2016 Brilliant
#761 MIKE SHANNON 2016 Unexpectedly charming and nuanced
#783 BIll PAXTON 2017 Wonderful
#804 WALTER HILL 2017 Great and Bittersweet stories. Including playing part of episode #783 at Bill Paxton’s funeral

Hear these and more here:

https://wtfpod.libsyn.com

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Holiday Gift Guide : 5 BEST COMEDY Albums of ALL TIME & The Final Word on Bill Cosby!


From Redd Fox to Bob Newhart to Bill Cosby to Eddie Murphy, here are the best comedy albums of all time:

wonderfulness

REDD FOXX UNCENSOREDuncensored

THE BUTTON-DOWN MIND OF BOB NEWHARTbuttondown

IN LIVING BLACK AND WHITEdickgregory

EDDIE MURPHY COMEDIANeddiemurphycom

BILL COSBY WONDERFULNESSwonderfulness

If you have to start with one album, start with Bill Cosby’s WONDERFULNESS, just hilarious. Now I know it’s popular because of the controversy to demonize Bill Cosby. Here’s my first, last, and best measure on Bill Cosby, it is a line from a Sam Peckinpah movie… “When you side with a man, you stick with him and if you can’t do that, you’re like some kind of animal.”

When I was a kid growing up in the 70s and 80s it was Bill Cosby who defined so many of the opportunities and enjoyment and broke so many of the barriers to pave a way for a young, punk kid like myself and millions of others to dream bigger, aspire better.

From an accomplished college sports figure to a ground breaking televsion actor in the beloved ISpy series to a world acclaimed commedian to a producer of kids’ television shoes (FAT ALBERT!), to a great, classic series of 70s movies, to a really groundbreaking 80s television series,to a civil rights and human rights fighter, and economic fighter…. the accomplishments of Bill Cosby are staggering for any ten people, but that he fit all this into one life… is the stuff of legend. To call him a Renaissance Man is apt.

Is he guilty or innocent of these accusations?… That’s for a court of law to decide rather than this televsion lynching the American Mass Media has been fond of with prominent people of color. This assassination by media is out of proportion, by a generation grown and raised on the tearing down of idols.

Guilty or Innocent, a man’s falling down must be weighed against his standing up. And if many of us presume to not have committed the perceived sins of Bill Cosby, neither have those same rock throwers committed the triumphs and the groundbreaking accolades of a Bill Cosby. We are none of us Saints, and most of us Sinners, but I posit that the good Bill Cosby has done, is larger and grander than the good his detractors have done.

You want to stand in judgment of a man’s evil, then you have to be capable of also judging or equaling his good, and none out there speaking against Bill Cosby have fought as tirelessy as Bill Cosby to make the world better… and Cosby has made the world… for punk kids like myself… better.

I heard the comedian Sinbad, a man who knew and learned from Cosby, state the same, he can not judge on some strangers’ accucations, but only on how Cosby impacted his life. And for Sinbad, and myself, and generations who grew up in a world precipitously devoid of opportunities for people of color, Cosby’s impact is overwhelmingly to the good. Cosby always used his talent and his resources to carve out such opportunities for others.

And now because of suspect accusations, that if true hints at someone who needs counseling over incarceration, all that good is what…. forgotten? Made Moot? You strip him of honorary titles? Really?

Here is the secret to those of you misguided enough to think that way… the price of greatness is sometimes perilous and steep. The soldier we thank for his service is back from blowing off some kids face, the president we applaud… has rained down fire on civilian targets, the sports figure you idolize is an adulterer and flawed father…. none of us are saints, and most of us are sinners, and the best we can hope to do is weigh a man’s good and his bad, and decide which part of that equation touches us the most and be ruled by that.

How you view the soldier with blood on his hands, depends on whether you are close to him or close to those he killed. In an imperfect world it’s the best we can do…side with those who have sided (if only tangentially) with us.

As a young kid turning into a young man, Cosby gave me the gift of laughter, of hope, of options, of the pleasure of seeing TV change into something more representative of the ethnically diverse nation it was supposed to speak to. So I can only judge him based on that, his personal failings beyond that are perhaps for those close to him or affected by them… to be offended by. And if criminally liable for a court to determine, however, where this shouldn’t be played out is in trial by media.

Shame on those schools and organizations quick to pull bestowed honors based on the lip service of media’s mob.

“When you side with a man, you stick with him. And if you can’t do that, you’re like some kind of animal.”

So that ends my rant and stance on Bill Cosby. His albums are still hilarious, and his achievments… still achievements.

Here endeth the lesson.

The COMIC STRIP Returns?!!!! THE HOUSE OF DUELING MIDNIGHT #1

Yeah, yeah.. it’s pretty stupid, and horrible. But I have to admit… it made me chuckle. 🙂

As far as why… Well I’ve been meaning to put up a couple strips for a while. And have been trying to network, collaborate with a couple of artists, but I’ll let you in on a secret, artists aren’t really the most reliable bunch for collaborating or networking with… at least the ones I’ve been dealing with.

So rather than wait on people to grow up, I decided to just ‘what the heck’ it, and just go ahead and create and post something that would make me laugh.

Hence this very brief, very juvenile ‘cut and paste’ cartoon courtesy of one of the free cartoon generators out there, The art is crude, but the insane story and words and madness is all me. Hope you enjoyed it. If you do, leave a comment and some likes!

It’s a work in progress experiment, that will improve if you guys will stick in there with me. Thanks!! 🙂

Movie Review: Tim Burton’s DARK SHADOWS 2012

Movie Review: Tim Burton’s DARK SHADOWS 2012

Well today I got the chance to see Tim Burton’s 23rd feature film, DARK SHADOWS. Starring Tim Burton’s actor of choice Johnny Depp, the film is a humor tinged send-up of the long running Gothic soap opera of the same name, DARK SHADOWS.

Rather than go for the Gothic horror element of the original, Tim Burton instead crafts a horror tinged comedy set in the 70s. There’s more of TEEN WOLF in this film than of THE WOMAN IN BLACK.

Add a soundtrack laced with the popular songs of the 70s, that seemingly has nothing to do with the film in question, some broad humor that misses rather than hits, and some groan inducing product placement (MCDONALDS, WHEETIES, MS. BUTTERWORTH all three product placements wasted on me, since I don’t like or purchase/patronize any of those) and you have a film that doesn’t exactly scream… hit.

That said, it’s innocuous enough, and works its way eventually to a satisfactory if unremarkable ending.

It’s not a movie you’re going to consider much if at all when you leave the theater, and in that way it’s like more than a few Burton films. I think both Burton and Depp together have gotten into this habit of making films of a type, with Depp playing these increasingly buffoonish and foppish characters, set in fairytale worlds that are variations on a, possibly, overused theme.

But these are the films Tim Burton likes to tell, so you get what you get. However for my tastes when Tim Burton tries to play it straighter and more serious, as in films such as BATMAN and SLEEPY HOLLOW, is when his films are at the most effective.

Also Johnny Depp is too fine an actor to continually play nothing more than the outlandish fool in successive Burton roles, I would love to see him play a role straight, or explore a character without winking at the audience. Watching Depp in these Burton roles is often like watching a sharp blade continually and purposely… being dulled.

I think DARK SHADOWS would have benefited from more Gothic and less comedy. But we have what we have. And even in a weaker effort, Tim Burton’s set design and visuals are always cinematic feasts.

So DARK SHADOWS isn’t necessarily a bad movie, it’s just not one I would suggest paying to see in the theater, or even being in a hurry to catch on rental, unless you’re a Burton fan, then by all means. But for the rest of you, DARK SHADOWS is a film you can afford to leave… in the shadows.

Grade: C-.

Must See Film of the Day! Buster Keaton’s THE SCARECROW

Must See Film of the Day! Buster Keaton’s THE SCARECROW

Don’t like comedies? Don’t like Silent Films? Don’t worry.

Take 20+ minutes out of your day and watch this amazing Buster Keaton short… for free!

You’ll be glad you did and you can thank me later. Just imaginative and fun and funny. Grade:B+/A-.

View it here!

Television Reviews: Dan Harmon’s COMMUNITY Season I DvD!


Having just watched all of the first season of COMMUNITY, I thought I would jot off a quick review, that I think would have been very helpful to myself before purchasing this series.

I was swayed by the reviews which unfortunately had this being the best thing in the universe, with little to no moderating reviews. Having watched the series, I have to say while not horrible, I did have some problems, and in the scheme of things find myself far closer to the 2 star grades than the 5.

The show is not horrible. It has its moments, at times it’s brilliant, one of the standout episodes being PAINTBALL.

And the cast has talented character actors, that could be interesting characters. Unfortunately by the time you get halfway through the season writer/creator Dan Harmon, has fallen into the rut of not developing most of the characters beyond stereotypes.

While I think he’s trying to do something interesting with some of the characters, most notably the character of Abed played by Danny Pudi, who I think is great (Though I understand how Arabs may not really dig the idea of an Indian playing an Arab. Not an isolated incident in Hollywood). Unfortunately for every Abed it seems you also have to get a Troy.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Donald Glover, but I think the character of Troy falls back into the happy medium of White writer writing weak or flawed or sexless or emasculated or non-threathening Black Male characters. You see that a lot in television, and hell going back to vaudville, writers working out their issues of fear and race through “humor”/ridicule. But god we’ve seen that same tune sung so often, that it is a glaring, and boring, and uninteresting stereotype. I would rather a writer not have Black characters in the show, rather than drag the characters into the show to do his version of Step and fetchit. To bring characters of color in, only to break them down. Be it Buffy, or Smallville or the first season of the new Dr. Who, etc.

And the craziest thing is these writers think they are being edgy, and cutting edge, and original, and liberal, when what they are being is very predictable, very 1920s, very tired, and very bigoted. Note to Dan Harmon… tokenism… it is just what it sounds like.

The dumb over-compensating funny Black jock was just about passable the first half of the year, because at the very least you had the romantic subplot that gave you a hint there could be more there. But by the end of the season you have the dumb-over compensating funny Black Jock eunuch, which is oddly enough also a reoccurring Hollywood staple.

Nice one, Dan. Didn’t see that coming.

It’s just tired, tired writing.

I mean, and this is not to fault the actors, they do the best in the horrible stereotypes they are given to work in, and it’s a testament to their skill that I like them, despite the limitations. But I’m nagged incessantly by the fact that I would like them a lot more if they were more than their foibles. I would like them a lot more if they had contrasting cool Black characters to play off of. It would be great the day Black characters can be represented by their “Peirce” but also have their “Jeff”. Or have their “Shirley” but also have their “Britta”. Have the same diversity of quirky and cool characters that White actors get.

Unfortunately, that’s what tokenism does, it gives only a narrow view, to a broad people. And usually it’s the worst, most dismissive, most denigrating view possible. Which listening to Dan Harmon in the commentaries he comes across as more than a bit dismissive and denigrating.

All in all, by the end, I felt the show does a disservice to Harmon to write it, and it does a disservice to Glover to perform it. Add to this the character of Shirley (My God, is that a call back to “what’s happening?”!!) the sassy, but matronly, Black woman. My God we haven’t seen that a thousand times. Black women seemingly to White writers in Hollywood, can only be perceived as Hors (ala Halle Berry) or as sassy, bossy matrons, but nothing in between.

Good, one Dan. Way to be original.

Let’s try something new. How about something crazy, Black guy gets the girl. The hot Black, smart girl. Or the Hot White, smart girl. Wow, imagine that. Oh, wait… that would mean moving out of the 1920s.

So yeah by the end of the season, the blatant stereotyping, took away from what I thought was otherwise an interesting show.

I mean at the price it currently is of like $12 for the entire season, it’s worth getting if only to see the paintball episode. Then sell the thing when done. You’ll make out far cheaper than renting. But just realize, you’re going to see something perhaps a little more flawed than Amazon reviews lets on. Grade: C+.

Community: The Complete First Season — Buy it Here