Aparna Nancherla Headlined an Awesome Hunger is No Joke

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Last Friday I went to my second Hunger is No Joke show at The Pageant in Saint Louis. This year's headliner was the very funny Aparna Nancherla. The Hunger is No Joke shows that I have been to are always good, and they represent a great cause. The majority of the proceeds go to food shelters in and around Saint Louis, and we the audience get to see some top notch comedy. The first time I went, 2 years ago, I saw John Mulaney, and he subsequently blew up. Hopefully the same happens for Nancherla. But, before I get to her, there were some openers.

The host of the night was a local radio DJ, Tim Convy. He does a morning show on Y98 FM, and I have to say, he was a perfect host for the night. He had some solid bits like, how people that work in radio all use a radio voice, including janitors. He talked about being a keyboard player in a band, and how they never really led to many hookups. He told some solid, frequently funny stuff. I found myself chuckling at most of his material.

Convy introduced the first opener, a comedian by the name of Angela Smith, and I found her enjoyable as well. She is a local comedian, and her bits about growing up in Jefferson County here in Missouri, were very funny and very real. She also talked about her love life, but in a different way. She mentioned the dating app world and went into some good material on that whole front. The story she told about a guy "complimenting" her by telling her she was built like a "brick shit house", had me cracking up. The fact that she talked about her mom, who was in attendance, and gave out her real phone number, so guys could send her nudes, was great. She seemed to be having fun on stage, and it really rubbed off on the audience.

The third, and final opener, was my favorite. His name is Kenny Kinds, and he has a way of delivering jokes that I love. He comes off very serious on stage, and when he hits the punchline, his face barely moves. He reminds me a lot of Hannibal Burress, and that is a huge compliment. He told so many great jokes. I loved when he talked about trying to offend white people, and he said the best thing he has come across so far is telling them he doesn't know who Wilco is. That was great. His story about going to a bar to a show to see a band he liked and not remembering the name of the beer he had, but what was on the bottle instead, was riotous. To hear him say that he screamed the words, "WHITE DEVIL" during a silent moment of the show was awesome. I also liked him talking about realizing that he was older when he went to take a picture with his phone, and the screen was turned around. He mimed what old people look like when they have trouble reading something. It was great. I also enjoyed his bit about sleeping with older women because they know what they want. He capped this off by saying that he once saw the biggest sex toy he had every seen. He compared it to the Goodyear Blimp, and quoting Ice Cube's song, "It Was a Good Day". Kenny Kinds is awesome. Seriously people, if you don't know him, or haven't heard him yet, he is well worth your time.

After this, we got our headliner, Aparna Nancherla. I have been waiting awhile to see her live. I love her dry sense of humor. I love the way she tells a joke. I like her voice. I have liked her on any TV show I have seen her on. This show was a big deal to me, and she did not disappoint. She is such a funny, well rounded comedian. She was perfectly able to jump from joke to joke. She has a great way of connecting with the crowd. She tells personal stories. And, she does it all like the seasoned pro she is. Some of the highlights for me where when she talked about being catcalled in New York. The whole "skinny bones" story about one catcaller was hilarious. The other story she told about the guy questioning the time of day while trying to catcall was just as good. She talked about her struggles with anxiety, and the meds that go along with it. Being a person that lives with anxiety, and takes meds for it, the whole bit about dropping pills on the ground was masterful and so relatable. When she went into the audience to talk about dating, and dating sites, it was perfect. Everything she said was a homerun. But, the best joke of the night was about the worst date she had ever went on. I don't want to spoil it because it was her closer, but it was cringe worthy and relatable and so god damn funny. She really crushed. I was so happy that I finally got to see her do her thing live. She is the real deal, and now that she is a headliner, hopefully more people will begin to respect what a great comedian she is.

Aparna Nancherla, along with the rest of Hunger is No Joke, crushed it Friday night in Saint Louis, and I was glad I was there to see it.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is well aware that Wilco is one America's Greatest Band

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Chris Gethard Delivered a Great Comedy Show in St. Louis

Last weekend in Saint Louis, at Helium Comedy Club, Chris Gethard did 5 shows over 3 nights. I was fortunate enough to be at the second show, 7:30pm on Friday, and he was great.

First off, his opener, who is a writer for his show, was really funny. His name escapes me right now, I believe his first name is Carmen, but he was real funny. He had a bunch of different bits that I really enjoyed and found very funny. One was him reading reviews of his standup from various publications, and stuff like that always gets me. The other one, which was my favorite, was his impressions of his step grandpa telling jokes, and his impression of his brother picking up girls. He was real funny, and it was a very good way to start the night.

Then, it was Gethard's turn.

I am a big time fan of his. I have read all of his books. I go out of my way to watch movies that he is in. I was stunned when I saw him in very bit parts on "Parks and Rec" and " The Office". His own show, "The Chris Gethard Show", is insane and genius. And his HBO special from about a year or so ago, "Career Suicide", is one of the best specials I have ever watched. So, I was obviously excited to see him do an hour on Friday.

Gethard did nor disappoint. He is a great story telling comedian. My son asked me what kind of jokes he tells, he mentioned "knock knock" jokes, but I had to tell him that he is a story telling comedian. I let him know that Gethard takes a moment from his life, even tragic moments, and he finds a way to make them funny. That was exactly what he did on Friday. He came out of the gates hot, giving his opener a hard time. From there on out, I was completely entertained by every story he told.

Some of my favorite stories he told included things like him talking about going on a trip to Orlando with his wife in February. He told the audience how they both had already done Disney World, so they wanted to find something different. He then went into a good 10-15 minute long, hilarious story about a place called Gator Land that they visited. His comparison, between Gator Land and Disney World was wonderful. The stories about the things he saw in Gator Land had me crying. My favorite part of the bit was when he said that, in the Midwest, he has to put this joke in the middle because a place filled with gators isn't that crazy to us. He then proceeded to talk about how, when he traveled on route 66 across the US, when he stopped near a gator farm in Missouri just before getting to Meramec Caverns. This story ruled because EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US in the audience understood, and knew the place he was talking about. He brought up people's plans for the apocalypse, and this was great. He made a great point, that none of us really know what to do, but all of us with glasses, we would be goners the moment our glasses broke, and he is right. He also told us that he asked his dad what he should do when the apocalypse happens, and he said, "follow the rats". That was absolutely hilarious. He talked about how messed up 16 year old dudes are. This started somber and down, but, in only a way Gethard can do, he turned it into something funny. I never thought that when he started this story that I would be cracking up by the end. His story about his parents going out to a comedy show when he was in high school, and him inviting his buddy over so they could drink beers was riotous. The whole deal of getting the beer from a pizza place, to him and his buddy, who was much bigger than him, pounding the 30 pack, to his parents getting home earlier than he expected, to the interaction between him, his friend and his dad, was picture perfect comedy. What made this joke the best though, was everything that happened with his mom when she found out he had been drinking. It was amazing. The closing story was a thing of beauty. He talked about the rough neighborhood he grew up in, and one day entering the bus, only to be pelted by ice cubes. He then told us he found out that everyone was chucking ice cubes, so he joined them. The story he then goes into, and again, this is his closer, so you know he is bringing it, is something that needs to be seen by comedy fans everywhere.

Chris Gethard is a wonderful, an tremendous standup. He has earned all the acclaim that he gets. He is an awesome crafter of jokes. He has a very special quality that is very niche to him. I highly recommend all fans of live standup go see him if he comes to your city. I know that I am very happy that I did.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. His first visit to Meramec Caverns was filled with wonder and horror. He was filled with wonder by the big ass cave. His terror came about because of his jerk ass older brothers constantly telling him the cave was falling in. Good times were had by all.

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Cloves and Fedoras: "Zack Morris is Trash" Delivers the Truth on One of Television's Greatest Monsters

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Cloves and Fedoras is Seed Sings reviews for little known pieces of pop culture.  Feel free to contact us with your own submissions of undiscovered gems that must be known.

I'm not big on watching TV or videos on my phone. The screen is too small, and unless it is about 5 minutes long or shorter, I am not interested. But, there is one particular shot clip show that I love watching on my phone, and that is Funny or Die's "Zack Morris is Trash".

Now, I used to love "Saved By the Bell". I watched it all the time with RD, and when he moved away, I watched it by myself. RD and I even went so far as to wear Zubazz pants and have a Screech Powers day, for which we were deservingly ridiculed by friends and family. I even listened to April Richardson's phenomenal podcast, "Go Bayside" two full times through the entire catalog. After listening to "Go Bayside", I decided that I wanted to give "Save By the Bell" another chance. Luckily for me, it was streaming on Netflix, and I was able to start watching the very next day. I did, and I was so disappointed in what I was watching. This show that I adored as a kid was truly, truly awful. There is not one redeeming thing about "Saved By the Bell". RD and I have argued about this on the podcast, but I feel like I am 100 percent right. The show is terribly acted, poorly written, horrifically directed, misogynistic and, almost always, pretty racist. Maybe my mind was turning on it just from listening to comedians I like destroy it on "Go Bayside", but still, the show is very bad.

One day I was scanning Facebook and I saw a new Funny or Die video entitled, "Zack Morris is Trash". I was immediately intrigued strictly by the title. I have always thought, and it was only further hammered home by April Richardson and her guests, that Zack Morris is a horrible person. He takes advantage of his friends, family, school mates, pretty much anyone he comes in contact with. He will also stop at nothing to get his way. He is like a big baby. And, when things don't go his way, he never learns his lesson. He just whines and complains and causes awful things to happen to the ones he is supposed to love, just to get his way. He is the quintessential narcissist.

Well, "Zack Morris is Trash" takes this narrative and runs with it. The narrator, who's name I don't know, but he is so great at his voice over job, takes several instances from past episodes to explain why Zack Morris is trash. Some examples from season one include how he took photos, unknowingly, of his female class mates and printed out calendars and sold them to other students. He then gets mad when a modeling rep sees one, tells Kelly that she can travel the world as a model, and she decides that she wants to do it, leaving Zack behind. He of course convinces Kelly that she will let everyone down if she leaves, and he thwarts her chance at stardom just so she will stay at Bayside with him. There is another one where he goes on a date with a girl in a wheelchair, unbeknownst to him until later, and how he takes it way, way too far. He starts a wheel chair basketball game at school for her. He complains that there is no handicap seating so loudly at a theater that he embarrasses the young lady. He makes a big speech about hos much she has overcome, once again embarrassing her, this time in front of the whole school. He clearly only cares about himself, and the "good deed" he thinks he is doing. Another great one with a "good deed" is when he helps out the homeless family in that god awful Christmas episode in the mall they did. That "Zack Morris is Trash" is more than worth your time. There is the Yom Kippur episode where Zack fakes being Jewish so he can go to a Dodgers game, then messes with Jesse's step brother and breaks Lisa's heart all in 22 short minutes.

There are so many more great mini episodes to watch from season one of this wonderful internet show. The narrator, as I said before, is amazing. He rips Zack Morris to shreds every time. He breaks down all the evil, maniacal and mean things he does to the people he is supposed to care about. The breakdowns at the very end are my absolute favorite part of the show. This is when the narrator quickly goes through all the bad stuff Zack did, reprimands him for it and shows sympathy for all the people that got hurt during his personal take downs.

The reason I bring this show up today is because season 2 just started. I of course watched the first episode, it was about the ski trip and teacher's strike from a later season. I'm so happy that this is back. I look forward to the new one coming out every week. I went back and watched all of season one after seeing the season 2 "premier". "Zack Morris is Trash" is the best internet show right now, hands down, and if you even watched just one single episode of "Saved By the Bell", "Zack Morris is Trash" is must see internet television. It is wonderful. Thank you Funny or Die, thank you so much for this wonderful show.

Watch "Zack Morris is Trash" right here.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Do you like "Zack Morris is Trash" Check out the great works creator Dashiell Driscoll on Funny or Die. Just watch the horror of recapping the "Mr. Belvedere" episode where a kid gets AIDS. You read that correctly.  

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I am Done with Gross Creep Louis CK

 Enjoy this picture of a puppy before you read. You will need it.

Enjoy this picture of a puppy before you read. You will need it.

I had some other things I wanted to write about today, but Louis CK is a god damn creep.

I had heard the rumors about what he did backstage about a year ago, but I was such a big fan, I brushed them off. I figured that it was all untrue. He has 2 younger daughters, so why would he do something so repulsive I would tell myself and my friends in conversation. He had big time hit shows, he was creating unique and new material, he was always working, so I just assumed that he had no time to do the stuff that he was being accused of. And for awhile, that seemed true.

Yesterday that all changed. I read early in the day that he was pulling the premiere of his new movie, that was supposed to open that day in New York, due to a "damaging" report that was going to come out. This made me go back and rethink everything I had originally thought about these allegations. Maybe he really did do these horrible, awful and disgusting acts. Why else would he, and the studio, pull his movie. And sure enough, the story came out and 5 women said that he did lewd things in front of them backstage at comedy clubs. I was so angry.

Louis CK is the first person that I have been a big time fan of to be accused of doing something this awful and grotesque. The Kevin Spacey stuff is horrific, but it was not a shock to me. The "president" is a god damn creep, so I believe every single woman that has come out and said that he has done truly awful things to them behind closed doors. All these senators that are perverts, of course I believe that. I read some stuff about Matthew Weiner being accused of harassment. Again, that doesn't surprise me. Same thing for Jeremy Piven and Brett Ratner. Both those dudes are creeps. But, the Louis CK stuff really shook me to my core. As stated, I have defended him for a year. I have gone on the podcast and the site and claimed he is the best standup ever. I have heaped praise on all of the things he puts his name on. I was an undying true super fan of his.

Then this bull shit comes out. I'm so disgusted that I said all these nice things about such an awful and disgusting human being. Anyone that does/did the things he did/does to women are truly awful people. Why would any women ever want any guy to do the disgusting stuff that Louis CK did in front of them? Why is this something that he thought would be okay? Why did he think he could get away with it? How stupid do you have to be? And again, he has 2 youngish daughters. How would he feel if a man did what he did/does to women behind closed doors to his daughters. If anyone did anything close to what CK did in front of my daughter, the police would be contacted immediately, and I would make it my point to ruin that person's life. This is so wrong and so disgusting. It makes me sick because I used to, as little as a few weeks ago, defend him. How could I be so naïve? It is truly upsetting.

Oh, and his response today, to say it is all true, screw you man. That doesn't make it okay that you are owning up to it. You are as creepy as Spacey, the "president", all the senators, Matt Weiner, Brett Ratner, Jeremy Piven, any guy that thinks that they can do whatever they want to do in front of women. You disgust me Louis CK. I will never, ever look at you the same way ever again. There is no coming back from this, at least from my perspective. Any time I see your face or name attached to anything, all I will think of is how gross and mean and disgusting and what a  bully you are. And for the women coming out and sharing their horrifying stories, you deserve a medal. You are putting your life on the line, and you are outing these despicable men that think of you as objects and not people. This disgusts me to no end. The fact that a guy gets some fame and thinks he can do what he wants to grown women is truly disturbing. I don't buy CK's excuse that he "has problems" and that he owned up to it today. None of that matters because you already treated these women as less than you, and you scarred them for life. That is the problem. These women couldn't lead normal lives because of what you did to them. And again, you are a father to 2 young girls. How god damn stupid and depraved do you have to be.

I'm done with Louis CK forever. Once I was his biggest fan, but now, after all of this, I will never respect him. I will not watch his stuff and I will never listen to his standup again. I hope this gives you as much pain as you gave those women that you did these lewd and disturbing things in front of. You are a creep Louis CK, and I will never look at you the same way again.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. 

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RIP Dick Gregory

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This past weekend we lost 2 world renowned comedians, Dick Gregory and Jerry Lewis. Now, Lewis was a legend, but he was also not such a nice person. He said hurtful things about female comedians and made some unsettling, very racist movies early in his career. Honestly, the best thing I can say about Lewis is, he gave Matt Groening the idea for Professor Frink. That is what I will remember the most about Lewis. I'm sorry he passed away, but he was known as a mean man that did not say nice things about women. I'm sorry, but it is true.

Now, Dick Gregory on the other hand, he was not only a great comedian, but he was a great man and an active man. Gregory was born in my home city of Saint Louis. Now, full disclosure, I knew Gregory was a comedian, but I knew him more as an activist and all the charity work he did. I knew of some of his famous jokes. For example, the joke when he went into a segregated restaurant, the waitress told him they don't serve "colored" people and he said, "that's fine. I wanted the fried chicken anyway". Then, when some guys came up to him in the restaurant and said, "we are going to do to you whatever to do to that chicken", and Gregory took it, kissed it and said, "line up boys!". That is brilliant stuff. So yeah, I knew he was a funny man. He was also the first African American to appear and stay on the couch after his performances on "The Jack Paar Show". He made sure that he could stay on the couch to speak his mind, and they let him. He was a trend setter. His comedy was of the political/satire nature, because of course. He was the perfect person to do this type of humor.

Dick Gregory began his standup career while he was in the military in the 50's too. This had to shape his comedy mind, and later, his political mind. He was also one of the first African American comics to be accessible to everyone, not just one audience. His comedy was universally loved and he was adored by everyone. He also attributes his launch to Hugh Hefner who spotted him in a club and started to get him gigs all over. He would always mock the "establishment" in his routine, kind of laying the groundwork for his later life's work. He continued to do standup all the way into the 2000's, even appearing on wild shows like "Wondershowzen", and was still beloved. He left standup and fully became an activist in the early 2000's. Don't get it twisted though, he was politically active all the way back to the 60's, it was just in the 21st century where he dedicated himself completely to activism. Dick Gregory was a man that was at Selma. He ran for mayor in 1967 for the Freedom party. He then ran for president for the same party one year later. He was always politically involved, he just did more later in life. He spoke at many conventions, college gatherings, cultural movement and protest stuff. He marched, he spoke on TV, he was always there to speak up and speak out for the voiceless. Gregory was an avid feminist. He went to many rallies for feminists. He spoke with and for feminists groups. Gregory was a man that many people, no matter age, color or gender, wanted to hear speak. They wanted to know what was in his brilliant mind.

Dick Gregory was a great man. Dick Gregory was a great comedian. Dick Gregory was a great activist. Dick Gregory was the type of person that all people should strive to be. He was a wonderful man that accomplished many incredible things in his 84 years. He will be greatly missed. RIP Dick Gregory.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. 

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Better Late than Never on Chris Gethard's "Career Suicide"

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I know that I'm a little late to the party, but I just watched Chris Gethard's 90 minute comedy special on HBO, "Career Suicide", and I was enthralled. This was more one man show than stand up special. Gethard is a very different and unique voice in comedy these days. He's introspective and smart and pours his heart out and tells people about all his psychological problems. Yes, a lot of comedians do this now, but the way Gethard delivers this message is unique to only him. I had heard a lot of good things about this special. Many, many people were talking about it on social media and on podcasts. I had only known Gethard as a character actor and a writer previous to this. That is why I did not watch it when it premiered. I didn't know what to expect. I recorded it about a week or so ago, HBO reruns everything all the time now, and I finally watched it in its entirety last week.

This special completely blew me away. Yes, Gethard was funny and told a lot of jokes, but he opened up his entire life's book, warts and all, to the audience in the theater, and all of us watching on TV. He told us about all of his struggles that he still deals with to this day. He recounted very funny stories about his college days, but it was told under the guise that he may have actually been an alcoholic. He recounted a story where he continually blacks out and does stuff like, run around the streets of Rutgers University with a Batman mask on, and telling 2 gentleman than he did not know that they needed to leave his house, but these guys wanted Gethard to finish the story he was telling, which Gethard had no idea he was telling. He let everyone know that he drank 2 entire bottles of Mad Dog prior to all of this happening. It wasn't until he saw a shrink when he realized he may have an alcohol problem. It was funny, but also very revealing and, at sometimes, sad.

Gethard also told us the story of the first time to told his mother that he thought he was suicidal. This was sad. I really felt for him. This is a very tough subject and you have to be at your absolute lowest if you consider taking your own life. He was very eloquent when describing this situation, and just when I felt like I was going to cry, he tells a killer joke about how his mother sounds exactly like Edie Falco when she was on the "Sopranos". That is his gift. He can tell these hard and tough stories and wrap it all up with a joke that will make you laugh until you cry, if you aren't already crying.

I also really enjoyed his stories about shrinks and, how some are just in it for the money and others are actually there to help you. Full disclosure, I see a shrink 2 times a year. I have anxiety issues, and my doctor has changed my life. So, that made these stories very relatable to me. He has had his struggles with his feelings towards seeing shrinks, and then accepting that he needed this, and then how one doctor screws him over, but he eventually found his perfect doctor. Again, not funny, but not meant to be funny. this is why I looked at this more as a one man show than a comedy special. He talks about his current shrink a lot, and it is so funny, but at least for me I can see where he is coming from. His shrink has changed his life, even if she may not do things by the book. I loved this part of the show.

His talks about prescription drugs, and how they have helped him out so much, again for me, very relatable, and this was funny. He talked about all the side effects that some prescription drugs have. I have dealt with a lot of the same issues, I'm just not as funny at describing it like Gethard is.

I really enjoyed when he would talk about his many odd jobs in comedy and writing. When he talked about how he got his first writing job and had to travel across the country by himself, I could not take my eyes off the screen. It was funny, scary and beautifully told. The bit about the train is tremendous. He talks about performing at Bonnaroo a few years back and describes his relapse in a very funny way. I was shocked that he was so forth coming with all of this information. It was heart wrenching, but also very funny at times.

My personal favorite story was when Jack McBrayer "dissed" him during an Asscat show, and everything that happened after that. He goes into great detail about being paralyzed by fear and eventually running off stage after McBrayer said what he said. He also goes about it a very funny way in revealing that it was McBrayer who "dissed" him. Seriously, go watch how he divulges this information. Writing about it does not do it justice.

He then goes on to talk about how he runs away to Jersey after this, calls his shrink, gets some crazy information from her, going into a restaurant and freaking out all the customers. Look, this 15 to 20 minute story is the gem of this wonderful one man show.

Gethard finishes the show by talking about how, if you need help, get it. He talks about all the people that have contacted him with the same problems that he has faced, and what he has done to try his best and help them. He implores everyone to get help if they need it. He caps it off with talks about his love for Morrissey one more time, he mentions this a lot through the show.

I loved "Career Suicide". Chris Gethard is great at what he does. I love how open he is with everything. This special could lead to some big time stuff for him, and that makes me happy. I was late to this, but I highly recommend, if you haven't already seen it, watch "Career Suicide". It is one of the best specials I have seen in a long, long time.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He one time suggested that his psychiatrist should get into hip hop. He could be called MC Shrink Rap. The doctor order more sessions.

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RIP Charlie Murphy

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I finally got a chance to sit down and take a breath today in between feeding my kids and cleaning my house, and god damn if the news wasn't disheartening once again this year. No, I'm not talking about our abomination of a "government", and their many stupid actions, I'm talking about the loss of another actor/comedian/writer that has been a part of my life since I was 11 years old. Today we lost the great Charlie Murphy.

Charlie Murphy was a tremendous comedic actor, if he was in the correct role. Most of my generation knows of Charlie Murphy from his real Hollywood stories that he did on "Chapelle's Show". That will be his great legacy, and those stories are wonderfully absurd, hilarious, and most important of all, true. The stuff he says in those stories, and the things that happened are now part of our society's vernacular. I say, "cocaine is a hell of a drug", all the time. I don't do drugs of any kind, but that quote is so memorable, and came to us courtesy of Charlie Murphy's story about hanging out with Rick James. I used to try the, "what did the 5 fingers say to the face" joke all the time, but always chickened out when it came to its conclusion. His story about Prince being a great basketball player put me into the deepest wormhole I've ever gone on in the internet. And, when I finished my research, it was all true. Prince was an all state point guard in high school. But, I also walk around and say, "Game, Blouses" whenever I win anything. The player haters ball on "Chapelle's Show" was another big time hit for him. It was a perfect showcase for his brash sense of humor.

The stuff he did on "Chapelle's Show" will be his lasting legacy for sure, but he did so much more, at least in my life. As I said at the top, I remember the name Charlie Murphy being mentioned to me as an 11 year old. My father went on a trip for work, and when he returned home, he told me and all my brothers about this great movie he saw called "CB4". The movie starred Chris Rock as a wannabe gangster rapper who steals his identity from Charlie Murphy's Gusto. "CB4" is one of the greatest movies ever made, it is wonderful satire, and Charlie Murphy is one of the main reasons that movie is such a classic, at least in my home. He is so gritty, yet hilarious in that movie. He trades comedic scenes with Chris Rock, who is an all time great comedian/comic actor, with ease. The stuff with the car chase and in the club is classic satire comedy of real and wannabe gangsters. I was 11, and I thought it was funny even though I didn't get it. I watched "CB4" again around the holiday's, I got it as a gift, and now that I get the jokes, I loved the movie, and Charlie Murphy's performance, that much more.

After seeing "CB4", I, like most people, continued to follow Chris Rock, but Charlie Murphy was always on my radar. Yes, he is Eddie Murphy's brother, but he was so much more than just a famous person's sibling.

Following "CB4", I saw Charlie Murphy pop up in things like "The Players Club". That is by no means a great movie, but Murphy is very good in his minimal role. Then the "Chapelle Show" became the enormous hit that it was, and that opened up so many more chances at good roles for Murphy. He was great as a thief/criminal in the terrible movie "King's Ransom". But, his role was what got me through that movie, and it was simply because he was in that movie as to why I watched it. He was tremendous in the very underrated movie "Roll Bounce". That is a great movie about roller skating, but it is touching and funny, and Murphy is excellent as Victor, the garbage man. He then played a bunch of bit roles in low budget movies, but he was still steadily working, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Most actors would do anything to be a working actor, and Murphy made it to that level.

Murphy then found a second life as a voice actor. He was the voice of Ed Wuncler III in one of my favorite cartoons, "The Boondocks". It was a great fit, and Murphy nailed that character that I had read in the comics and they now turned into a cartoon character. Whenever I go back and read old "Boondocks" comics, I always picture Murphy as the voice. He did some more voice acting, 2 episodes worth for Adult Swim's "Black Dynamite" cartoon series. Again, it was the perfect fit for him. He was in every single episode of another Adult Swim show, "Black Jesus", and he, and that whole series for that matter, were phenomenal. That was a very good show, and Murphy excelled.

So, yes, he got famous first for being Eddie Murphy's brother. Then, he went out on his own and was tremendous in "CB4". Then, he became himself with all the success and wonderful things he did on "Chapelle's Show", which led to him becoming a steady working actor. He had a great career.

What makes his untimely death so sad for me, I did not even know he was sick. I had no idea he had leukemia. This is a very sad day. Charlie Murphy meant a lot to me in what I looked for in a comedic actor. He kind of shaped my taste for what I look for when I watch comedies. He will forever be remembered, at least by me, as Gusto. And for that I am forever grateful to Charlie Murphy. This death, as a fan, really shook me up.

Rest In Peace Charlie Murphy. Now you can tell your hilarious and true stories wherever you are right now. You will be greatly missed.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

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A Great Hannibal Buress Show is Just What We Needed after a Crappy Week

 Being funny with a mic can cure a lot of our ails

Being funny with a mic can cure a lot of our ails

Last night I got a great break from the horribleness that is going on in our country right now. I got to see comedian Hannibal Buress at The Pageant here in Saint Louis.

I'm a big, big Buress fan. I loved his show "Why? With Hannibal Buress" on Comedy Central, I think he is great on "The Eric Andre Show", his writing on stuff like "SNL" and "30 Rock" has his stamp on it, but most of all, he is a world class stand up. That is what he does best, in my opinion. This was the third time that I have seen him live, and it was as great as the first time.

We did get an opener, Willie Lynch Jr, and he was very funny as well. He touched on many things, like being a vegan, a new dad, a college grad paying student loans, all very relatable things to the crowd. I really enjoyed his short set, and I think he could become a bigger comedian, quite possibly, a headliner.

Then, we got Buress. He was great. He opened his set by immediately addressing what a shit show this country is now based on who the electoral college elected, but instead of using that as the basis for his whole set, as some other comedians would do, Buress did 10 minutes on it, only touched on it one or two more time throughout his 90 minute set, and that was it. I respect the hell out of that. He did not use it as a crux. He said his peace, then went on to do his regular set, and it was hilarious.

Like I said, this is the third time that I have seen him, and there were some familiar jokes, but the majority of his set was all material that I have never heard. Buress loves sports, I do too obviously, and he did some great bits about being a bandwagon fan, gambling on teams and a chance encounter between his father and Bulls/White Sox owner, Jerry Reinsdorf. He also did some good stuff about Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. The sports stuff, as far as comedians go, can be hit or miss, but Buress' stuff was all a homerun for me. I laughed pretty hard at all the sports jokes.

Buress also did some stuff that has become a new thing at his shows. He has always had a DJ with him, the great Tony Trimm, but this time, Trimm added a lot more than just music. There was a great bit about a Reddit thread that had someone, a fan, that had recently been intimate with Buress, commenting on the experience, for all the internet to see. Buress and Trimm put her words on a big screen behind them, and Buress made hilarious comments about the stuff that this person wrote. Trimm also played the role of straight man very well. Buress would talk to him from time to time throughout the show, and Trimm would have only one or two word responses, which led to Buress doing some great improvised stuff that all worked. Trimm did bring the music as well. Buress did his bit about rappers talking about waking up "in the mood", which I have seen before, but he had some new riffs on this, and Trimm was there to play the songs for him. Buress did his Riff Raff bit, fans will know what I'm talking about, and it was as funny as it always is, again with some help from Trimm.

The best thing that he and Trimm did together though, was when Buress talked about what he wanted to do at his funeral. The subject of funerals was brought up when Buress said the worst thing he had been to all year was his Uncle's funeral. He said that it was like most funerals, sad, dour and upsetting. This led to Buress talking about what he wants to do at his funeral when he dies, and clearly, Trimm was his camera man for all the hilarity that ensued. Buress had a video of himself introducing everyone to his funeral, and then his face melted. He then talked about splicing in videos of him doing weird shit, so the crowd would be thrown off. He had a video of himself humping a Keurig Coffee Machine, Trimm put his spin on it, and I was laughing at this image so hard, I had to cover my face with my hat. I was in literal tears. There was some other stuff, Buress doing random things, showering, working out, and saying, "I can't do this anymore, I'm dead!". This was the highlight of the night for me.

After this great, new bit, Buress did a little crowd work, finding a pregnant lady and telling her he'd buy her baby for 10,000 dollars. It was very funny, especially when he kept asking her questions, never letting her off the hook. He also talked about getting in shape, getting older, doing more movies, investing his new found money, just basic stuff from a 33 year old comedian that is currently blowing up right now.

This show was exactly what me and my two friends needed after a very crappy week. It was great to get away and laugh for a couple of hours at random jokes and observations. I was so glad that this show happened last night, and I want to personally thank Buress for putting on an excellent show. Hannibal Buress is fast becoming a very big name in comedy, and I highly recommend seeing him if he comes to your town, you will not be disappointed. Go see this guy do stand up, he is great.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. If you are an aspiring stand-up in the St. Louis area, tell Ty and he will review your show. Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Another Great Show from Louis CK

 The mic had some funny behind it last night

The mic had some funny behind it last night

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Louis CK live at the Scottrade Center here in Saint Louis. This review is going to be short and sweet because I don't want give away any of his bits, jokes or stories, because everyone needs to do themselves a favor and see him live in you ever have the chance. He owned the stage for over 90 minutes last night. The upper level was closed down, but the rest of the arena was filled, and he had us all in the palm of his hands for his whole set. His set was all fresh material as well. I'm a huge fan, he's my favorite comedian working right now, and I have seen every special, but last night, I hadn't heard one single joke. It was awesome. It's kind of like seeing a band two nights in a row, but the set list is completely different. That is always a treat, and so is the fact that CK does new material on every tour. He is an absolute genius. Like I said, I don't want to give away bits, but he had some great stories about trying the finest things in life, Matthew Mcconaughy, old people dying, his kids, public schools, all of it was just incredible. The way he moves on stage, the very little, but very necessary movements with bits, is second to none. He can play arenas and have the absolute attention of the entire audience. I didn't hear people talking around me. No one was on their cell phones. Very few people got up from their seats during his set. It was pure comedy gold.

The three openers, Joe List, Joe Machi and Rachel Feinstein were all very good as well, and they all only did about 10 minutes each. It was a great appetizer to what was a great meal of comedy. Everything about this show was just perfect last night.

I have seen CK before, but I brought my dad with me because he is getting into stand up much later in his life, and there were times that I looked at him and he was laughing harder than I was. Please do yourselves a favor and go see Louis CK live if you have the chance. If you are a lover of stand up comedy, you have to see him live. He is the best stand up working right now, and I don't see him slowing down any time soon. Thank you so much for such a great show last night Mr. CK, and I cannot wait until you come back. Epic show and a great night.

Go see Louis CK.

Ty 

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Will you be performing in St. Louis, tell us about it and Ty will come to your show. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

Doug Benson Breaks in a New Comedy Club with Some Classic Stand-Up

 At least the mics worked well at the new venue

At least the mics worked well at the new venue

Last night I saw Doug Benson at the new Helium Comedy Club here in Saint Louis. Doug Benson was good, as he always is. He came on stage first, as he always does, and gave us a little taste of comedy before he did his full headlining set. If you have ever seen a live Doug Benson show, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's a preview. Benson comes on stage and introduces the show. He usually checks his Twitter feed to see what people in the particular town are tweeting prior to the show. It's Benson's version of crowd work, and it always lands very well. He picked out a few people's tweets, some were there, others were not, and he reads them aloud and answers them with a joke. I really enjoy this part of his show. I like that a headliner like Doug Benson likes to give his crowd a little preamble before the main portion of his show.

Benson then introduced his opener, a very funny comedian from Ohio named Jeremy Essig. Essig did about 15 minutes of pretty decent standup. He joked about one ladies love for Busch beer. He made fun of his age and his hairline. He talked about how he pissed off famed game show host via Twitter, Chuck Woolery. He talked about being in between dreams while falling asleep with the television turned on. It was all pretty funny stuff. I enjoyed this opener.

Then Benson came back on stage to do his 45 minute set. It was very funny, as always. What I like about Doug Benson's stand up is the familiarity of the structure. Every time I have seen Doug Benson live, he usually has the same set up to his jokes, but the meat of the joke and the punchline always evolve. For example, each show I've been to, he always talks about his love for UFC and how he likes that one of the fighters calls himself the "Mexicutioner". He makes a comment how that sounds like a racial slur, but the fighter is actually of Mexican descent. Then, he goes into a new version from that set up. Last night it led into a whole bit about Donald Trump and how backwards and racist that asshole truly is. It was very funny. He also brought up his old movie, "Super High Me", and he had the original test that he took in that movie from 8 years ago. It was funny for how non topical that test has become. He does this at most shows, but his crowd work during this bit last night was incredibly funny. He also talked about his deep love for marijuana, but he always finds a way to make it relevant and funny. Doug Benson's stand up is tried and true. He is a professional that knows what he is doing on the stage.

He ended the show playing one of his games from his excellent podcast, "Doug Loves Movies". He brings up a special guest and last night he brought up Helium's headliner all weekend long, Bert Kreischer. Bert Kreischer is very funny to begin with, but when he is hanging with Doug Benson, he is even funnier and last night was no exception. Benson always rips on his lack of movie knowledge and he did it in spades last night. They played Last Man Stanton last night where the contestants have to name as many movies as possible from one actor, actress or director. The subject was Clint Eastwood last night and the game lasted longer than I thought it would, but that was good. The competitors were all very good, with Kreischer being the lone exception. This was just as funny as the rest of the set and it was an excellent ending to a very good show last night.

The only gripe I have, and it is very tiny, Helium is still very new. The staff seemed to have a hard time getting everyone seated at the start, delaying the show by 15 minutes and the waiters and waitresses were a bit too loud for my liking, but that is so small, I don't think it made too much of a dent. I still had a very good time. Helium is going to be the new spot for comedians here in Saint Louis because it is a genuine comedy club and I'm sure they will iron out any future problems with ease. Anyway, Doug Benson was hilarious as always and I'm glad I went to the show. I had a great time and I really enjoy seeing him do his stand up live. Doug Benson is a must see stand up for live comic fans.

ed note: The opening comedian spells his last name Essig, not Essec. Our fast fingers need to be accompanied by slower eyes. We apologize and have fixed the error.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He fulfilled his two drink minimum last night with a couple of no gin and all tonics. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

Great Movie Comedies Vol 1: "Caddyshack" & "The Big Lebowski"

 The greatest jokes ever live on the reels

The greatest jokes ever live on the reels

As you all know by now, I'm a fan of comedy. I've written and talked about it a ton both on the site and podcast. I love stand up comedy, television comedy and, today's topic, comedy movies.

Today I'm going to talk about 2 specific comedies that I adore, but there's so many others I could talk about. Movies like "Billy Madison", "This is Spinal Tap", "What We Do In The Shadows", "Napoleon Dynamite", the list could go on for days. Those are all great and all classics. I really love a good comedy. A movie that makes me belly laugh and doesn't take it self to seriously, it gets no better than that. A great example of that, "Anchorman", but that's not one of the two I will talk about today, but it deserves mentioning. There are also older, classic comedies that still hold up to this day. Movies like "Some Like It Hot" or "Duck Soup" or "Kentucky Fried Movie". All older, but all still absolutely great and worth checking out. But, the two I want to specifically talk about today are "Caddyshack" and "The Big Lebowski". Not only are these two of my favorite comedies, they're two of my favorite movies of all time. They're both timeless, hilarious and just flat out well made movies. Everyone involved with both movies really hit a home run. The actors, writers, producers and directors really struck gold.

Let's first talk about "Caddyshack". This has to be one of the most quotable movies ever made. Talk to anyone that's seen it and I guarantee they will quote something from "Caddyshack". There is so many famous lines and speeches in this movie. Bill Murray has multiple moments that are absolutely splendid. Take any scene, be it when he is pretending he's at the Masters and smashing flowers or when he is ogling the older women and telling them to "bark like a dog for me" or when he cleans the pool after what is believed to be feces floating around and he picks it up, smells it and takes a bite and exclaims that everything is okay and the rich lady passes out. Bill Murray is the star of this movie by far. But, we get excellent performances from Chevy Chase, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe, Sarah Holcomb and Rodney Dangerfield. Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield are phenomenal in this movie. They too, much like Murray, have equally quotable lines and moments. Chevy Chase's scene when he is putting and talking to Danny Noonan(O'Keefe) about life and handing him lessons is very, very funny. And everything Dangerfield does in this movie is comedy gold. Rodney Dangerfield truly did not get the respect that he deserved. He is one of the greatest comedy actors of all time. "Caddyshack" is a classic.

"The Big Lebowski" is almost the exact opposite of "Caddyshack", but that doesn't make it less funny. Where "Caddyshack" had great improvisers and great comic actors, "The Big Lebowski" is one of the best written comedies of all time. The Cohen Brothers dabbled in comedy, with the excellent "Raising Arizona", but they're more known for their more dramatic stuff. What makes "The Big Lebowski" great, they blend drama, action, and most importantly, comedy to perfection. This has to be one of the weirdest, yet most hilarious movies I've ever watched. It is so good. It starts out great and continues to be great for two hours. It's also very weird, but that adds to its charm. Any scene involving Jeffrey Lebowski(Jeff Bridges) and Maude(Julianne Moore) is absurdist comedy gold. The scene when the two of them are talking about sex and her weird roommate is just sitting there listening, reading and laughing is genius. It's so bizarre, yet hilarious at the same time. John Goodman and Steve Busecmi are spectacular in this movie too. Goodman is the loud and obnoxious ex Vietnam vet and he is so good. When he pulls the gun on the guy for going over the line and forces him to mark it 0 is awesome. Also, when he talks about "the Jesus"(John Turturro), and his troubled criminal past, absolutely hysterical. Busecmi is great as their quiet bowling buddy that just wants to be involved. The arguments he and Goodman get into are great. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is also very good in his limited role and so is Tara Reid. But, Jeff Bridges is the star and he totally nails this character. He's so good, I associate Bridges as "The Dude", no matter what role he's playing. Everything he does is memorable and he is very believable as this stoner stuck in a crazy situation. And what makes is so well written as I wrote earlier is, everything that comes out of the actors mouths was all written. There's no improvising in a movie that seems it's almost exclusively improvised. That's some next level writing and the Cohen's are some of the best. "The Big Lebowski" is a terrific and bizarre comedy that everyone should see.

These are just two of my favorites, but I wanted to single these two out because they're different, yet equally hilarious. If you haven't seen either of them, stop what you're doing and watch them now. When you are done laughing, you will be thanking me.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Tomorrow you can hear Ty talk all about great comedy movies on The X Millennial Man Podcast. Ty is on twitter, go follow him @tykulik.

Ty's Mount Rushmore of Comedy Greats

 I was pretty funny back in the day

I was pretty funny back in the day

I'm a huge fan of stand up comedy. I go to a ton of shows, I own a lot of comedy records, I watch specials on Netflix, Comedy Central, Showtime, basically any channel that puts comedy specials on and I listen to, primarily, comedy podcasts. I just love comedy and I devour it.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what four comedians would make my personal Mount Rushmore of stand up comics. A lot of people have crossed my mind. I'm a bit too young for guys like George Carlin or Bob Newhart. I like their stuff a lot, but it was well before my time. Some people my age really like guys like Adam Sandler, Dane Cook and David Spade. I used to like all three of these guys, mainly Sandler, but as I've grown up, their comedy does nothing for me now. It's hackneyed and tired. I'm a humongous fan of the alternative comedy scene that's blowing up right now, but, guys and girls like Doug Benson, Jen Kirkman, Maria Bamford, John Mulaney, Pete Holmes and The Sklar Brothers, just to name a few, have a long, long way to go to be on anyone's Mount Rushmore. I also love improv comedy. I really like people that can make you laugh by simply using a suggestion from the audience. People like Matt Besser, Eugene Cordero, Jon Gabrus, Amy Poehler and Lauren Lapkus are super, super talented, but they don't make my cut. I love all of these comedians, but there are four that stand head and shoulders above the rest, in my opinion. I'll count them down from four to one and tell you why they made my Rushmore. Let's get started.

Coming in at number four is the wonderful Tig Notaro. She's a comic genius. Her delivery is so perfect for her style of comedy. She's has a monotone, slower delivery that, when she hits that punchline, it totally pays off. She's silly without acting silly. She has a very calm demeanor while on stage. Her new special was fantastic, but I always go back to her album "Live". This was the album she put out right after she was diagnosed with cancer, she had a very rare, very intense disease that was literally eating her insides, her girlfriend just broke up with her and her mom unexpectedly died after hitting her head. She had all these terrible problems going on and she went on stage and let it all out for the audience that night. It's sad, it's heart breaking, it's devastating, but she makes it funny. She is such a tremendous comic that is finally getting the respect that she deserves. Tig Notaro is a powerhouse and everyone needs to check her out. She's awesome.

The third head on my mountain is Hannibal Burress. He's the youngest one on the list, but he is an absolutely hilarious stand up that is totally blowing up right now. He's part of the alt scene, but he's also a huge sports fan and a fan of rap music. That's not very common in the alt scene right now. He has some great bits about the NBA and when he makes fun of rap lyrics in his live shows, it's some of the funniest stuff I've ever seen. He also talks about the problems with meeting people and being young in Hollywood. He has some great bits about things I'd never think was funny. Talking about pickle juice or his first name or searching for jobs, he makes these everyday problems hilarious. I've seen him twice the past two years and each time, he absolutely destroys. I know he's gained a lot of notoriety for his Cosby bit, but he was up and coming well before that blew up. He is also a very funny writer and actor. He wrote for "SNL" and "30 Rock" and his stuff was great. He's also got his own show on Comedy Central, which I've written about, and he's fantastic on "The Eric Andre Show". Hannibal Burress is only going to get bigger and bigger. He's on his way to super stardom.

Number two was my introduction to the world of stand up comedy, Brian Regan. I was given his first stand up album by a friend of mine and I listened and laughed at that record so much, I had to buy three more copies because I kept wearing them out. He is also a "clean" comic. That means he doesn't swear during his live sets. In this day and age, that's incredible. He is a show man in every sense of the word. He is constantly moving on stage, his facial and body expressions add so much to his shows and he is the master at delivering a punch line. It's been said, in the comedy community, that he's one of the hardest comedians to follow. He crushes so hard, that the audience is all laughed out by the time the next comic comes up. That's the highest compliment a stand up can get, if you ask me. I've seen Regan five times live, and each show is better than the last. He sells out arenas and theaters no matter where he goes and his fans adore him. He's the only stand up that I've seen that does encores. He comes out and does one of his many famous jokes and the audience eats it up. I'm so glad that I was introduced to Brian Regan, He literally changed my life when it comes to stand up comedy. I had to find more people that did this because it was so funny and so great. Without Regan, I may have never gotten into stand up comedy.

Which brings me to the only comedian that surpasses Regan and that's Louis C.K. I mean, he is literally a genius. He's one of the hardest working people, not only in comedy, but in show business. Not only does he star in the best show on TV, "Louie", but he writes, directs, edits and produces it. That's so much work and he does it so very well. He also releases a new special every year with brand new material. Imagine how hard that must be. To come up with an entire new hour in comedy has to be one of the hardest things to do. I hear other stand ups talk about how it takes them 18 months to 2 years to come up with a new hour. Louis C.K. does that every single year, while doing his show and acting in movies and other TV shows. In his stand up, he talks about everyday life and it's completely relatable. He talks about kids, work, family and friends and he does it very vulgar and very, very hilariously. Go back and watch any one of his specials and I guarantee you will love it and laugh your ass off. There is nobody better in the comedy game right now than Louis C.K. I cannot end this blog without mentioning that he wrote and directed one of mine and out editor's favorite movies, "Pootie Tang". Next time you watch "Pootie Tang" think about that and you will fall in love with the movie. Louis C.K. is a true comedy genius and he's a once in a lifetime legend that I will always hold in very high regard. He's the best.

So, that's my Mount Rushmore of stand up comedians. I love these four people and I love that they are all still producing new material. It gets no better than these four comedians.  

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. His current source of high comedy comes from the jokes his three year old hears in pre-school. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

Beware the Bullying Nerds of Twitter

 The Star Wars dog is trying to explain his views to the sports dog

The Star Wars dog is trying to explain his views to the sports dog

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed yesterday, as I'm want to do, and I came across a tweet from Doug Benson that made me very upset. Now, first of all, I'm a humongous Doug Benson fan. I've seen him do standup multiple times. I've gone and watched him do a live podcast. He, in fact, introduced me to the world of podcasts and as many of you know, I'm an enormous fan of many podcasts. I own all of his comedy albums. I've spent a lot of my personal time and money on Doug Benson stuff. But, this particular tweet from yesterday just rubbed me the wrong way and I can't shake it.

In his tweet Doug Benson said, "if your Twitter avatar is of something involving sports, I don't care what you have to say about Star Wars". So, first of all, he's entitled to his own opinion, I get that, but, why does he feel he still needs to attack people that play and/or watch sports? I wonder if he was bullied as a young kid by a jock, but why does he have to lump every other sports fan in with this one particular asshole? Yes, I've played and watched sports my entire life, but I have never once bullied or picked on someone for not playing sports, or for liking Star Wars. And, furthermore, I've known many more "jocks" that have many other outside interests than just sports, Star Wars being one of the main ones. I'm sorry for this one or maybe two jackasses that teased you, but don't lump the rest of the people that like sports in with these people. It's not fair to pigeonhole every "jock" as bullies and jerks. That's a very, very small number of douchebags. Anyone that picks on someone else is clearly insecure and has deeper issues.

But, I'd like to ask Doug Benson personally, do you not care for or like Mike Schur(co creator of the American "Office", "Parks and Rec" and "Brooklyn 99") because he has a baseball player as his avatar? Do you not like Nick Swardson since he's a huge Minnesota Vikings fan and just a fan of football in general? Do you not care for Brody Stevens since he played and still watches a ton of baseball? Do you not get along with Joe Mande or Hannibal Buress because they are both huge NBA fans? And what about your personal driver and opening act, Graham Elwood? Do you not care about his opinion since he's a big time football fan? I'm sure there's dozens of other contemporaries of yours that like sports a lot that you're alienating with this one tweet.

It's also pretty sad that a tweet can dredge up this much anger, but that's the world we live in with all the social media nowadays. Also, you may need to think about growing up and getting over this particular bully. First of all, you are a 50 year old. This person that picked on you did it over 35 years ago, I'm sure they've forgotten about it, so maybe you should too. Also, you are 50, like I just said, and you ask young girls on Twitter to send you side boob pictures and pictures of them in their BB-8 underwear. GROW UP! You are old enough to be a grandparent. Stop asking girls that could be your daughter to send you pictures via Twitter. Maybe, you should lay off the weed too. If I've said it once, I'll say it much more during this blog, YOU'RE 50! GROW UP! I know that weed is your whole "image", but you have to stop doing it sometime. I'm worried for you and I don't even know you personally. I'm scared you're going to drop dead from undetected cancer or something else and I don't want you to die because I really enjoy your comedy. Also, stop throwing donuts at the crowd during your shows. Stuff like this is why foreigners hate America. We act so privileged and just throw food in a vast arena. It's wasteful and gross. Just stop it.

I'm sure you won't read this or, if you do, you'll block me on Twitter, but so be it. I'm a "jock" that has never bullied anyone and your tweet really offended me. I have many other outside interests including comedy, music and movies, but you wouldn't care to know that since I like sports. You've now become the bully. You are doing exactly what this person did to you over 35 years ago, but instead of just picking on or alienating one person, you're doing it to hundreds of thousands of people. I'll still listen to your comedy and your podcast, but not with the usual giddiness because I know you will judge me without getting to know me since my Twitter avatar is of me in my basketball gear. You won't even give me a chance and that's the real shame. I'm sorry that I like sports, but I will never lose my love for sports no matter how much you bully the sports loving community.

Another person that's guilty of judging books by their cover in the alternative comedy world is Chris Hardwick. He has a vendetta out for hipsters. As you all know by now, I don't particularly care for hipsters with beards, but Chris Hardwick must be ignorant to how much of a hipster he truly is. He is the biggest hipster in all of comedy. Just go back and look at that shiny silver suit, with the extremely skinny tie you wore during your last standup special. Go back even further and look at the way too short, way too tight t shirts you wore when you hosted "Web Soup". And now that "nerd culture" is the hip thing, you are the leader of the biggest hipster uprising in the history. I don't care that you can name Pi to the 100th degree and I definitely don't want to watch you saying all the digits on "The Meltdown", that's just bad TV. You may also be the biggest whore in all of television. The last thing I want to watch after "The Walking Dead" or "Breaking Bad" is you and your hipster friends discussing the episode that we just watched. I also don't need to see you handing out points to your comedian friends on your ripoff gameshow "At Midnight". That show is a complete waste of time.

Chris Hardwick and Doug Benson have become the people that they hated in high school. Sure, you guys were nerdy and into things like comedy and movies when you were younger and some douchebags thought that it was okay to pick on you, but now, you've turned into the bullies. You guys have a platform where thousands of people listen to you and instead of using it for good, you're using it for revenge. That's a pity. I thought you'd both be bigger than that, but I guess you guys aren't above the same bullies you detested in school. That sucks. As I said before, I'm sure you guys won't even glance at this, or if you do, you'll just ignore or block me, but, I felt that this needed to be said. Not everyone that likes or plays sports is a bully. Quite the opposite in fact, most of us are nice people and if you took the time to get to know us, you'd realize that. But, you'd rather just go on Twitter and bash us without giving us a chance.

You guys are the true bullies.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture Editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man. The only numbers of Pi he knows is how many slices in a whole one. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

Marc Maron's interview of Lorne Michaels was mostly gristle and very little steak

 Sometimes a sword, sometimes a surrender flag

Sometimes a sword, sometimes a surrender flag

Last Monday, Marc Maron finally got his white whale.

He had an interview with Lorne Michaels. Saturday Night Live has been a big obsession for Maron. He has interviewed many SNL cast members. He is always very forward with these people. He wants to know about their audition. He wants to know about fellow cast members. He wants to talk about certain hosts and musical guests. But, most importantly he wants to know about Lorne Michaels. He has so many questions about Lorne Michaels. It can get uncomfortable at times and you can hear in some of the interviewees voices that they're uncomfortable with the barrage of questions about Michaels. Sure, most of them aren't on the show anymore, but they don't want to speak ill of Michaels. In most cases, he gave them their break, and without him, they probably wouldn't have a real career.

I, for one, like when Maron pushes the envelope. I like all the questions, because I want to know too. I'm from Saint Louis and New York and SNL are like mythical beings to me. I have a real love hate relationship with SNL, and I want to know all I can. I like to hear from these people about their experience. I like knowing that SNL is a cutthroat place to work, and you have to stay on your toes if you want to keep your job. But, much like Maron himself, I want to know about Lorne Michaels. He is a mysterious show biz person and he seems to be a real hard ass. He, at least on the surface, doesn't seem like a guy that takes crap from anyone. He's a star maker and may be a career ender, if you cross him.

I've been listening to Maron's podcast since the beginning. I'm a big fan of his and I look forward to listening to his podcast every Monday and Thursday. He's gotten pretty big recently as well, the interview with President Barack Obama putting him on everybody's map. I weirdly looked forward to this interview as much as I did the Presidents. As I stated before, I love SNL and I was very interested to see how hard Maron would come at Lorne Michaels. Maron has had a bone to pick since he wasn't picked to be on the show when he auditioned back in the 90's. He's brought this up a lot, so when I saw that Lorne Michaels was going to be on last Monday, I figured he would press him hard on this, and a lot of other things. The fact he wasn't picked for SNL has always been a big bone of contention for him. I figured, finally, some closure.

Then, I listened to the interview. It was fine. Maron asked some questions and Lorne Michaels answered in kind. But, the questions were softballs in my opinion. He just kind of lobbed some stuff to Michaels and he answered very predictably. It kind of felt like Maron was told by Michaels people that he could only ask certain questions, and to not push him too hard on the tough questions. The interview was like an appetizer. It was good, but not filling. We just got the tip of the iceberg. This was a two hour interview also, so the fact that nothing was pressed on Michaels, in two hours, left me disappointed. When Maron did ask about his audition and the process of not being selected, Michaels gave a very typical answer. He told Maron that "his voice wasn't right for the show". Yeah, no duh Lorne Michaels. Maron is a foul mouthed comedian. He is filthier than Norm Macdonald on his filthiest day. Maron assumed that he would be a Weekend Update guy, and while that fits his identity, his style isn't a good fit at SNL. We all already knew this. This was no revelation.

After they settled Maron being passed over, the rest of the interview was very blasé. It was like a pat on the back session after that. Lorne Michaels praised Maron's comic voice and what he's done with the podcast medium. I say again, we all know what he's done. They talked about doing an internet show before the internet was popular. Not that big a deal. Maron never really asked any really tough questions. When it comes to Lorne Michaels, he couldn't have been more congratulatory of himself. He gave himself the credit for young generations wanting to be on TV and do comedy. He credited himself for making Jimmy Fallon a late night star, something which makes me angry because I cannot stand Jimmy Fallon. He said that he's never forced anyone out of SNL, and that he's still friends with "pretty much everybody". He couldn't have been more pleased with himself. I understand what he's done for late night TV, and how big he made SNL, but show some humility. He claimed that while he wasn't the guy in charge for 5 years, he never watched the show. I believe that, because he comes off as arrogant, so why would he watch something he had nothing to do with?

I guess, overall, I was just disappointed with the interview. It left so much to be desired. And even at the end, when Maron does his usual sign off, he said he got closure. I don't know, because as a listener, I felt like he could've gotten so much more out of this once in a lifetime interview. My excitement was dashed pretty early on in this WTF episode, but not all of them can be winners. I think even Marc Maron would agree with me about this. I should also temper my expectations because, not every interview is going to be President Obama's interview. I love WTF and I'm a big Marc Maron fan, but this episode just left me wanting more.

Oh well, this Monday he has Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe on. Hopefully, this one will be better.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He figures Lorne Michaels should have more humility after the Donald Trump SNL appearance last week. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

The Excellent and Uncomfortable Humor of "Nathan for You"

 We're saving this one for Nathan

We're saving this one for Nathan

Let's all take a minute to soak in the genius that is Comedy Central's "Nathan For You".

The show is in its third season now and it just gets better and better. The first season was a very nice surprise. He put out the basis of the show. He's a business school grad and he wants to help small businesses grow. This is all played for laughs because, his ideas are insane. The two notable ideas from season one were, the poop flavored frozen yogurt and the pig saving another animal from drowning in a lake. The latter idea became a viral sensation. People thought this was a real event and it even made it on national news. To watch Nathan Fielder and his team put this all together was hilarious. I love that it was blown this much out of proportion.

In the poop flavored frozen yogurt episode, I believe it was the series premiere, he convinced a small frozen yogurt place that the only way they could compete with the heavy hitters in town was to have "unique" flavors. He convinced this store owner that poop flavored yogurt would not only drive customers to his store, but it would put this guy on the map. This, of course, didn't work out and the guy nixed the idea after one day. Very, very funny. Season two brought us the infamous Dumb Starbucks. This was genius on so many levels. He used an iconic logo, bringing in tons of customers, and all he had to do was put the word dumb in front of Starbucks. This was, much like the pig story, nationwide news. Everybody talked about this. It was on every news network from MSNBC to my hometown, Saint Louis', local news. Everyone knew of this prank. He also had a running gag throughout all of season two that was great. He kept asking random people how he could be more approachable and cool. These people gave him what they thought was good advice. It was terrible and Fielder did everything they said. He dyed his hair jet black, he wore very skinny jeans and deep, deep V neck shirts. He looked like a total douche. When he met new people and they commented on how bad he looked, he'd confront the people that gave him the advice, and their whole tone changed. They'd claim that they didn't tell him to wear such skinny jeans, or the necks were too deep in his shirts. But, if you go back and watch, he did everything, exactly as these folks told him. Once again, very funny.

So far, we are two episodes into season three, and it's just as good as the first two, if not better. The first episode has Fielder helping an electronics store owner who's losing customers to Best Buy. Fielders theory, Best Buy takes competitors coupons and matches them, so Fielder tells the store owner to have a big store wide sale on TV's, selling them for 1 dollar. There's a whole plethora of hoops to get through to get the cheap TV, but the whole idea was to buy out all the TV's at Best Buy for a dollar using this competitors coupon. Best Buy won't match because this is absurd, but Fielder is so determined, he threatens to take Best Buy to court. He quickly finds out that he can only win if the owner of the small electronics store is determined clinically insane. He takes this man to a psychiatrist, tells the, therapist, confidentially, that his friend is insane, and she agrees. But, they again quickly realize that they won't be able to beat Best Buy, they're too big and powerful. I know this all sounds nuts, but it's so funny and really awkward. It's great TV. Last nights episode had a couple of different ideas. One was a ranch that wouldn't allow anyone over 220lbs to ride a horse. Fielder gets the idea to attach helium balloons to bigger people, thus causing them to feel lighter and get these people horse rides. Good idea, but too pricy and too ridiculous. Nathan even scolds two on lookers for laughing at the gentleman that has three huge helium balloons attached to him while riding a horse. In the second part of the episode, he explains that a company called Tiaga, a jacket maker and a brand he loves, is in bed with a holocaust denier. This upsets him and he comes up with his own line of soft shell jackets with a holocaust education attached. When he pitches this to a store, they let him do a trial run, all done up with holocaust literature, pictures of holocaust victims and even an oven with a fake skeleton in it. Needless to say, it was extremely uncomfortable, wrong and nixed by the owner immediately. All the awkwardness from Fielder, the store owner and even a rabbi was uncomfortable in every possible way, but also extremely hilarious. His final idea in the episode was setting up a "man zone" in a women's clothing store. As he puts it, "a place for bros to hang while the lady shops". His first hang out session doesn't work so well, and Fielder decides that he needs to talk about sex to get the guys to hang out longer. The stuff these men say, on camera, is appalling and hilarious. Fielder delivers the best line of the night. When the guys are first hanging out, he leans back in his chair, trying to be cool, and says, "all I need when hanging with my bros is a mother effin beer". Those exact words. Fielders awkwardness makes this great on so many levels. I love this show. It's fantastic and awkward and goofy and funny. Nathan Fielder is a true comedy genius and this show is a must watch.

I'm so excited for the rest of the season and I hope there's many, many more to come.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He learned all about business from the "Buddy Bands" episode of "Saved by the Bell". Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

Rob Lowe is the current MVP of Television Comedy

 Rob Lowe has a new show? I'll watch that for a while.

Rob Lowe has a new show? I'll watch that for a while.

Today I'm going to take my time to talk about how Rob Lowe is killing it on TV.

Not only is he back, but he's starring in comedic TV shows. I knew he had comedy chops when I was a kid since he was so funny as the bad guy in "Wayne's World", but before and after that, he appeared in pretty much straight dramas. He was on procedurals, in dramatic movies and was part of the "brat pack". He's always been a good actor, but I'm a comedy nerd and I love comedy. Those are my favorite types of movies and shows. If you can make me laugh in a 30 minute TV show or a 2 hour movie, I'll be your biggest fan. Hell, until recently, I used to stick up for Adam Sandler come hell or high water, but he's a nut job. That's another blog for another day though.  

Recently, Rob Lowe has made me not only a fan, but his appearances on recent shows like "Parks and Recreation" and "The Grinder" have been appointment viewing in my household. I also hear very good things about the animated show "Moonbeam City" on Comedy Central. I haven't seen it, but I've heard that it's pretty good. It's a spoof of 80's cop procedurals and Rob Lowe voices the main character. I'll probably start watching it soon since Lowe is involved, and the good reviews don't hurt. But, let's first look at his role on "Parks and Recreation". Lowe, playing the super upbeat, super in shape Chris Traeger was so funny. His addition, along with Adam Scott turned "Parks and Rec" into a great show. It was already good, but those two made it great. When they joined, the dynamic was, Lowe was the good guy and Scott was the bad guy. They played city financial planners and one of them had to be the good guy. This role was perfect for Lowe. Not only is he very handsome, but he also seems like a genuinely nice guy. First, all the female characters would comment, playing it for jokes, about how attractive he was. They all thought that the happy go lucky thing was just a front, assuming that someone that attractive couldn't be this good of a person, but he's also a really good guy. He first approaches Anne, played by Rashida Jones, and at first she rejects him, but they end up together. They have a typical TV relationship, and when Chris eventually breaks up with her, he does it so nicely, she doesn't realize he's broken up with her. Rob Lowe does this to absolute perfection. He later dates Jerry Gergich's daughter, Millicent, and she actually breaks up with him because she thinks he's too old and can't keep up with her. This is a shock to the Chris Traeger character. He's never been dumped, but what's worse, in his opinion is, the fact that she didn't think he could keep up with her. He's the most in shape person in all of Pawnee, but he is getting older, and time always wins. This was an interesting spin on this character, because we, the audience, saw doubt in Traeger's eyes for the first time. Rob Lowe played this very, very well. He was sad, but the sadness was played to many laughs. It was excellent. He and Anne decide to have a child together in the second to last season. They don't want to date, but Anne wants Chris to father the baby since he's perfection in her eyes. And Anne is pretty attractive as well, so they both agree that they'd make beautiful children. She eventually gets pregnant, and after awhile, they decide to couple up again. They even talked marriage, but they decided that as long as they loved each other, they wouldn't need a ring to symbolize it. They moved to Michigan in the season six finale and Lowe plays this to tears and laughter. Anne has Leslie and we all knew that would be emotional. Chris, on the surface, seems to only have Ben Wyatt(Adam Scott), but it's revealed that Tom(Aziz Ansari), Andy(Chris Pratt) and even Ron(Nick Offerman) like Chris. They revealed that they will miss him, and give him a meaningful present as a goodbye. This was played to some tears, but it was mostly laughter. Rob Lowe was phenomenal on "Parks and Rec", and it put him back on my radar. I remembered his excellent work in "Wayne's World", and "Parks and Rec" reaffirmed that he could do comedy.

Early this fall, I saw commercials for a show called "The Grinder". It stars Lowe and Fred Savage. Lowe was an actor on an "SVU" type of lawyer show called "The Grinder" and Savage is his younger brother that is an actual lawyer. Lowe's show comes to an end and he moves back to his hometown to live with his brother and become a real, bona fide lawyer. I know, the premise sounds stupid, but this show is hilarious, and it's due to Lowe and Savage, mostly Lowe. It's nice to see Fred Savage act again because he's a pretty good actor. He's been directing a lot lately, but he's just as good in front of the camera as he is behind it. But, the star and main voice of comedy on this show is Rob Lowe. He's always narrating his life, asking ridiculous questions and some how, some way, winning unwinnable cases, just like he did on his TV show. Two things I really like that he does on the show are, one, whenever he's questioning someone about a case, he has sunglasses on and he slowly takes them off, a la David Caruso when he was on a cop procedural. Clearly this is the writers and Lowe poking fun at that, and it's hilarious. The other thing I like, he makes Fred Savage's younger son watch all the old episodes of "The Grinder" with him, and that's how the episodes start. It's Lowe and the son watching an old episode of his show, and them critiquing it. This is also, very hilarious. "The Grinder" is one of the better new shows to come on TV in awhile, and everyone needs to start watching it if you aren't already.

This brings me back to the reason for my blog today, and that's the fact that Rob Lowe is, quickly and easily, becoming one of my favorite comic actors and just crushing it in general. I know a celebrity of his fame doesn't need anymore accolades, but what he's doing right now requires some kind of recognition. Rob Lowe is a great comedic actor, and people need to realize it.

Keep doing what you're doing Mr. Lowe, because it's working and you are making weekday TV better with your roles.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He thinks Rob Lowe learned comedy while filming "Schoolboy Father".  Practice safe sex and follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

Tracy Morgan brings some glory back to SNL

 Tracy Morgan is bringing comedy sunshine the dark landscape that has been SNL.

Tracy Morgan is bringing comedy sunshine the dark landscape that has been SNL.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming from me.

I know I've been blogging a lot about basketball and sports lately, and I'm still going to do that, but now I'm going to get back into the groove and give you pop culture from a lot of different angles. I'll get back to movies, TV shows, music and everything else starting today.

Today, I'm going to tell you about the sheer greatness that was last Saturday's SNL. Tracy Morgan, making his triumphant return to TV, crushed as the host of the 41st seasons third episode. The season premiere, featuring Miley Cyrus wasn't very good, and Amy Schumer did a better job on the second episode, but Tracy Morgan, hosting the third episode, hearkened SNL back to it's glory days. He seemed so comfortable and calm on that stage. This was the perfect place for him to make his official return to TV. As I written before, he's most comfortable at 30 Rockefeller Center and that's where his career took off, both on SNL and "30 Rock".

I did want to touch on the cold open before I get to the meat of the episode. My wife and I usually never watch cold opens because they're always political and we, quite frankly, don't care for humor involving politics. But, due to some social media searching, we both found out Larry David would be making an appearance. I'm a HUGE Larry David fan and this piqued my interest. So, we watched the cold open, hoping that it would be worth it, and boy was it totally worth it. David played Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. I can't think of a better character for him to play besides himself. This was a grand slam, getting David not only to appear, but also to play his doppleganger, Bernie Sanders. He was absolutely hilarious, and had you told me the lines David was reciting were actual Sanders quotes, I would've believed it. Bernie Sanders is a total nut job, and Larry David played that almost as perfect as comedian James Adomian does. Seriously people, if you liked David's impression, check out James Adomian's impression, it's better. Needless to say, the cold open set the tone for this being a really, really good episode. Oh, and I didn't even mention that Alec Baldwin showed up playing, a senator I think, named Jim Webb. But, David's appearance outshined everyone else on the stage.

Now, let's get to the return of Tracy Morgan. First of all, during the monologue, he started to talk as if he had a stroke. I was taken aback, but he immediately said he was joking and I was already laughing. The monologue was very good. None of the singing that usually goes on now, in fact, he talked about his old show "30 Rock" being prophetic about his accident. Which reminds me, he said that maybe the accident made him smarter because he now knew what prophetic meant and how to use it in a sentence. Back to the "30 Rock" episode. It was on the same stage, obviously it wasn't a real "30 Rock" episode, and cameos were made by Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer and Alec Baldwin once again. They all reprised their roles from the show and talked about Tracy Jordan being in an accident. Morgan appeared as Jordan and let everyone know he was okay. This bit was played to many laughs. And, it's always good to have old friends and cast members appear on SNL. Pretty much all of the sketches were hilarious, and they brought back two beloved characters that Morgan played while part of the cast.

The first character they brought back was Brian Fellows. They did the Brian Fellows Show and anyone who watched when Morgan regularly did the show, knows how insane and bizarre this sketch is. It was just as crazy, with Fellows at one part, accompanied by a dream bubble, thinking about a beaver smoking cigarettes. He also yelled his titular line, "I'M BRIAN FELLOWS!".

It was great. During Weekend Update, we got a cameo from Tina Fey, hilariously making fun of Playboy not being a nudie magazine anymore. She even showed off some of the poses she always wanted to do, if she ever got a chance to pose for Playboy. During Weekend Update, while Michael Che was talking to his always upbeat neighbor, Willie, Morgan showed up as the bum who thinks he's way more important than he really is, Woodrow. Woodrow was Willie's life coach and the two of them sang a sweet, but very sad song. This was a great use of this character.

Some of the other good sketches were, one where, it was set up like a musical and all the cast members were joyously singing what they were doing. Well, when Morgan showed up, he sang what was literally on his mind. For example, one of his lyrics were, "I just peed". It was so weird, but Morgan made it funny because that's what he does. There was another weird sketch that Morgan made work called "Where's Jackie Chan At?". Morgan and Keenan Thompson played two guys that simply asked the question, where's Jackie Chan at. They had callers and even a person to person chat with Chris Tucker, played excellently by Jay Pharoah, and no one knew where Jackie Chan currently was. I loved this sketch, because I'm still trying to figure out, where's Jackie Chan at. They did one of their premade videos and it was very funny. The "movie" featured Pharoah, Shasheer Zamata, Taran Killam and Morgan. Killam and Zamata are a couple at the bar and Killam's character is clearly upset. Apparently, Morgan's character said something to her in passing and Killam was waiting for the right time to broach the situation. He finally does, and it's revealed that Morgan's character wants to dance. They keep saying, "you want to dance", insinuating a fight, but Morgan literally means dancing. He even has ballet flats on to prove how serious he is. They get into a whole back story about how Morgan's dad never let him dance, and made him act tough, and finally Zamata says she will dance with him because his story is so sad, but Morgan says he needs to dance with Killam because, "I can't lead, I don't know how". It ended with the two of then getting ready to dance, it was pretty funny.

The best sketch of the entire show was the first sketch after the monologue. They did a "Family Feud" sketch and I was in stiches the whole time. First of all, if there's a better impersonation of Steve Harvey than what Keenan Thompson does, I haven't seen it. He does a spot on Harvey impression, going so far as to call everyone player. It's great. During this sketch, we find out that the two families involved in the game are Tracy Morgan's new family, he got divorced six months prior, and his ex wife and three kids. This was a very, very funny premise for a sketch. We first met Morgan's ex wife, played by Leslie Jones. She's a star and needs to be on this show much, much more often. The kids are played by Pharoah, Zamata and Che. Morgan's new wife and family were as lily white as they come. His new wife was played by Cecily Strong and his kids were the new cast member, his name escapes me at the moment, and Vanessa Bayer. The only question asked during the feud was, "name something someone forgets". Jones rings in first and exclaims, "COMMITMENT!", clearly still upset about the divorce. She gets the answer right and her family gets to play. Pharoah answers, "not coming to your son's clarinet recital because it's not manly" and Zamata says, "not being there as a male role model, so now I have to strip". They each get strikes, and when they get to Che, he's gone to the other family because, "they're happy and always smiling". The whole time, Morgan is yelling back at his ex wife and children and it's hilarious. This was a great sketch to open with.

Obviously, I loved this episode. Tracy Morgan was phenomenal and exceeded my expectations by a million miles. I'm so, so happy that he's healthy and back doing what he loves. The comedy world has missed you Tracy Morgan, but your future looks bright after your triumphant return to SNL.

Welcome back.

"The Jim Gaffigan Show" Season Finale and Looking Forward to Season 2

 All set for the next great show

All set for the next great show

This past Wednesday the season finale of the first season of "The Jim Gaffigan Show" aired.

I wrote about the show after the premiere and, as I wrote back then, I really enjoyed the episode. The season only got stronger as the first season went on. The show consistently got better and funnier. Gaffigan is a hilarious comedian and he and his wife wrote a very, very good show. Michael Ian Black and Adam Goldberg were pretty fantastic in their roles. Michael Ian Black was Jim's wife's ex boyfriend. It's quickly revealed that he's gay now and he and Jeanie are best friends. He's a realtor, but that's not what made him so good in this role. He and Jim Gaffigan are not friendly towards each other. Their scenes together are great. Every time they were on screen together, it was hilarious. Adam Goldberg plays Jim's comic friend Dave that still lives with his mom in her nursing home. He's the complete opposite of Jim Gaffigan. He has no wife and kids, therefore, no responsibilities. I didn't know what to expect from Goldberg in this role, he seems like an intense dude, but he was really, very funny. I enjoyed him a lot. Ashley Williams plays Jeanie, Jim's wife. As I mentioned in my previous blog, she's really excellent on this show. I knew nothing of her before, but I really liked her on this show. Besides Jim Gaffigan, she was the best one on the show by far.

There's other primary characters, the Gaffigan's nanny, the people that work at the deli, the children, but the one non main cast member I want to point out was Macauly Caulkin. He played himself and he would show up in random spots throughout the season. He was an employee at a coffee shop, you saw him walk out of Scores Strip Club with a date, he showed up at a party full of comics, and he made an appearance in the finale hanging out with Alec Baldwin. It was so bizarre and excellent. I loved that he took this role, and the fact that he played it so well. Kudos to Macauly Caulkin.

But, I'm here to talk about the finale. It was really good. The show has already been renewed for a second season, so I think this kept the writers and actors at ease, and they all had a really good time doing this episode. The finale started with Jim Gaffigan and Dave going to lunch at the Katz Deli they frequent throughout the season. Dave is telling him that he's going to Melbourne, Australia for the Melbourne Comedy Festival. It's a one month commitment and Jim lets him know that he turned down his offer because of his wife and kids. He has five children after all. They both run into another comic, John Mulaney, and he and Dave are talking about the great time they're going to have in Melbourne. Gaffigan seems jealous of what the two of them are planning. He definitely wants to go, but he just can't. His house is also all getting over the stomach flu, adding more insult to the injury of him not being able to go to Melbourne. This does produce a hilarious line from Gaffigan talking to Dave. Dave is "scared" to visit his house because it's "crawling with disease" and Gaffigan counters this by saying, "you ever puked while having diarrhea? You go right through the five hole". Absolutely hilarious. Gaffigan returns home and all the kids may or may not have lice. There was an out break at the school and Jeanie, always one to over prepare, is making sure no one has lice. This annoys Gaffigan. He is tasked to watch one of the kids in the tub and he looks away for a split second and another one of his children throws his laptop in the full bathtub. This makes Gaffigan extremely angry. He's yelling at his wife and kids and he needs to leave the house to get some air. He feels like he's suffocating. While out, he runs into his preacher and tells him, in a fit of rage, that he wishes he never had a wife and kids. He then sees Steve Buscemi about to get hit by a bunch of bicyclists, steps in the way and he gets knocked out. Then, the "Scrooged" effect comes into play. Buscemi plays his guardian angel and takes him around town in a world where he never met Jeanie and they never had kids. In this world he's a filthy comic, we all know Gaffigan works clean, and his comic friends hate him. He has a full head of hair, but he looks like an a hole frat boy. He now lives with Dave. In this universe, Dave is the responsible one, threatening to kick Gaffigan out if he doesn't stop bringing home loose girls and not paying his part of the rent. His preacher thinks he's a crazy homeless person and doesn't try to help him. But, in Gaffigan's mind, the worst thing of all, Jeanie owns a bar and is married to Michael Ian Black's character, who's put on a lot of weight. Jeanie looks like a punk rocker and proclaims to Jim that she would never marry him and that she hates kids. Meanwhile, Michael Ian Black is a huge fan of Gaffigan's and tells him his standup is not only great, but it makes him love all food. Everything is different, for the worse. After the Jeanie from this universe claims she hates kids, she punches Jim in the face. This takes us back to present day in real time. Gaffigan wakes up, realizes everything is normal again and immediately runs home. We get to his house and his real wife Jeanie is cooking in the kitchen. His real children all come to hug him and Gaffigan is happy once again. When Jeanie asks him why he's acting so weird, he says he had a dream that a television network filmed a bunch of actors portraying their real lives. Then, the cast of "The Gaffigan Show" all appear and start singing "Auld Lyn Syng". They all proclaim they're excited for season two and the finale ends.

It was a great ending to a great first season of "The Jim Gaffigan Show". I'm excited for season two and I'm happy that Jim Gaffigan has a platform to put his family friendly standup and stories on the air. Thanks TV Land and Nickelodeon. You guys made a great choice. And thank you Jim and Jeanie Gaffigan for sharing these excellent stories with us.

Bring on season two.

Ty

Ty is the pop culture editor for SeedSing and the co host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Ty does not envy the choices one makes when they have diarreha and have to puke. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

John Hodgman doesn't do your Normal Comedy Show, and that is Good

 Boats + Maine = Comedy

Boats + Maine = Comedy

Last night I went with a friend of mine to see comedian, podcaster, and actor John Hodgman at the Ready Room in St.Louis.

I didn't know what to expect from Hodgman's standup show. I knew, prior to the show, who he is. He's been a correspondent on "The Daily Show" for years. He appears on a television show I enjoy quite a bit on FXX called "Married". He has his own podcast, "Judge John Hodgman" and he appears on many other podcasts as a guest. And yes, almost everyone knows him as the PC in the old Apple Computers commercials. But, he just started his own standup tour, and like I said before, I didn't know what to expect. Everything he's done before has been a mishmash of comedy, drama and total absurdity. He was straight forward as the PC. He's a married guy that's sex crazed on "Married". On his podcast, he simply judges things. People give him two topics and he picks a winner, simple as that. When he's a guest on other podcasts, he's usually a glorified version of himself. On "The Daily Show", he's a smart ass street reporter.

That's what I expected going into last night, "The Daily Show" version of John Hodgman. And, he did deliver on that version, but his show was so much more. I was very pleasantly surprised at all the stories within the two main stories he told. He seemed to be more a humorist than a standup. That made me happy. Yes, he was his character from "The Daily Show" except more vulnerable. He told the audience that every story was 100 percent true, and we all believed him. It was different from other standup shows I go to in it's structure. The majority of standup comics tell stories or they have jokes that come at you nonstop. The only time most comedians stop is to let the laughter stop and then bam, they hit you with another joke. That's what I'm used to. Well, last night, John Hodgman was on stage for almost 90 minutes and he told two total stories. I'd never seen anything like this before. What made it so enjoyable to me was the fact that I was never bored. You'd think that if you only heard two full stories in 90 minutes you'd get bored, but that wasn't the case last night. And yes, he'd tell little mini jokes in the stories. He's a comic, comics tell jokes. But, he's not your typical standup. Like I said before, he's a humorist, as pretentious as that may sound.

His first story was about his summer home in Massachusetts. He regaled us with stories about taking trash to a dump and having to make up stories due to his own insecurities. We learned that he has two children that are at the age where their parents are too old to hang out with. He and comedic musician John Coulton are long time friends. He told us how the both of them got super high, went swimming in a river and made cairns. The best part of this story was that college students slowly drove past them, turned a corner and came back to where they were, Hodgman extremely frightened at this point, and were shocked that the two of them were hanging out in their small town. The college students were huge fans of both of them. There were many other stories and bits attached to this first story, and they were all great.

The second story was about his other summer home in Maine. It was at this point where I heard one of the funniest things in standup that I've ever heard. After telling us that he had a second summer home, he said "welcome to a night of white privilege comedy"! That was hilarious! He knew that it wasn't relatable, but he managed to find a way to make it absolutely hilarious. We got stories during his second part of his show about how sad and gloomy Maine is. He told us about a tourist shop that has all the trappings of your typical tourist shop. You couldn't use the restroom there, there was aisle after aisle of crappy toys and souvenirs and, of course, they sold fudge. I was happy to hear that he doesn't care for fudge because, "it's disgusting and looks like shit". His exact words and I couldn't agree more. I hate fudge. My favorite part of this part of the show was him talking about buying a boat. Another unrelatable story that he made very funny. He told us all about the maker of the boat and how he was a famous guy in the town they have their summer home in. Apparently this guy was a huge asshole and he only made 107 of these "peapod" boats. He told his wife that, just to have fun, they'd bid on the opening bid. The boat was being sold at auction. He asked around and the townspeople told him that the last boat sold for over 10,000 dollars. So, he figured opening bid was enough and someone would eventually outbid them. Well, the opening bid came in at 3,500 dollars and his wife raised the placard. But, no one else was bidding, much to Hodgman's dismay. Finally someone pushed the bid to 3,600 dollars and he thought they were in the clear. Not the case. Hodgman's wife was caught up in the auction and bid 3,700 dollars. After seven minutes of no one bidding, the boat was sold to them. So, now he owns a boat. The story he told of the townspeople congratulating him and his wife for how cheap they got the boat was very funny.

Just when we thought the show was over, Hodgman pulled out a ukulele and played two folk songs. Nothing humorous about the songs, just two sweet, very nice folk songs. And, my goodness does he have a very good singing voice. I was shocked and loved every second of how he ended his show. It was completely off the wall and super, super cool. Go out and see John Hodgman's Vacationland if he's coming anywhere close to you. It's not your typical standup show, but you will enjoy yourself.

I know I did.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the co host of the X Millennial Man podcast. It is funny how many comedy shows Ty attends. Follow him on twitter @tykulik.

The Great Characters of "Key and Peele" Will Be Missed

 Toss out the tv, there is nothing good on anymore

Toss out the tv, there is nothing good on anymore

Last week one of the greatest sketch comedy shows on TV aired their final episode.

"Key and Peele" has their series finale last Wednesday. I know I'm a week late, but I needed this time to reflect on what made "Key and Peele" so great. This show came out of nowhere to me. I knew of Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele from their appearances on "MadTV". They were the only ones on that show that left an impression on me. I'm a SNL fan, so "MadTV" was, basically, a joke to me. It came and went, and people may say, look at Will Sasso he's been mildly successful, or look at, I've already run out of names after one person. Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele came later, and they were the only memorable ones on the show. When I heard, three years ago, that they were working on a sketch show for Comedy Central, I was excited. I like both of them, and they each would pop up in movies or shows every once in a while, but the fact that they were getting their own show, had me intrigued.

The first season of the show was just as great as I hoped it would be. In the first sketch of the first season, they put out one of the most quotable and memorable skits that lasted all the way through the five seasons, coming to an end in the final episode. Two husbands were hanging out, with their wives in other rooms, and they were complaining about their significant others. They would get to the end of the complaint, lean in and whisper, "I said biiiiiiitch", and each of the guys would congratulate the other one for standing up to his wife. But, when the wives would enter the room, both men would tense up and say, "we aren't talking about anything". It's one of, if not their most, memorable sketches. Through all the seasons we were also introduced to recurring characters like Wendell, Luther(Barack Obama's anger translator), Andre and Meegan, substitute teacher Mr. Garvey, the East/West Shrine Bowl players(some of the funniest names I've ever heard), MC Mom and many, many other hilarious characters. Wendell, played by Jordan Peele, was a nerdy, loner that would order a pizza, or go to a sex addicts group and make up wild stories. He would always claim to have way more friends than he actually had, his friends were his action figures, and his stories got larger and less true as they went on. Barack Obama's anger translator, Luther, was one of the best characters on sketch TV of all time. Keegan Michael Key played Luther, and Jordan Peele would do his spot on Obama impression, and when Obama spoke, Luther translated every word into a super loud, very angry speech. In the final season we even got a Hilary Clinton anger translator to argue with Luther. It was very funny. Luther was such a popular character, he actually spoke at one of Obama's recent speeches. It was great. Andre(Key) and Meegan(Peele) were your typical mid twenties, douchey couple. Andre was a total pushover, dressed head to toe in gaudy Ed Hardy gear, and he would literally follow Meegan to the ends of the Earth. Meegan was the epitome of a bitchy, over privileged, snotty twenty something year old. Her high pitched tone and the way she treated people was so grating, that everyone who came in contact with her hated her, except for Andre. They almost broke up in the final episode, but Meegan tricked Andre into staying together. The East/West Shrine players had some of the funniest, most ridiculous names I've ever heard. Key and Peele's portrayal of these players were spot on. Some of the names included Hingle McCringleberry or X Wing @aliciousness, just absolutely absurd. Some rumors were, they got the idea for this recurring sketch when they heard there were real players named D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Those are real football players, with Clinton-Dix actually appearing in one of the East/West sketches. MC Mom seemed to be almost a throw away character, but the further she got into her rap, the better the sketch became. This portrayal by Peele was phenomenal and it brought back one of "Key and Peele" most famous catchphrases, "Put the Pussy on the Chainwax!". Fans of the show know exactly what I'm saying with that catchphrase. Substitute teacher Mr. Garvey was the best recurring character on this show. Played to perfection by Keegan Michael Key, Mr. Garvey had an anger that only a substitute teacher could have, and he pronounced all the students names wrong. For example, Aaron was pronounced A a ron or Denise was pronounced De Nice. It is such a funny, yet at the same time, true sketch for all of us who've ever had a substitute. There's so many more excellent characters that they both played, but these are my favorites.

When the show premiered, they used to do it in front of a studio audience, a la "Chapelle's Show" and I really liked that. In the third season, they switched to the two of them driving in a car on a long stretch of road with the desert to each side of them. I was frustrated at first, but as it went on, some of the funniest moments were produced between the two of them simply talking to each other. In the long run, it was clearly a set up to end their very first sketch, the "I said biiiiiiitch" sketch, and it totally paid off.

Both of these guys will continue to work because they're so talented and I'm glad that Comedy Central gave them a platform so more people could find out how funny they are. The two of them wrote a movie that will be filmed soon, and both are working in TV and movies very consistently now. I will miss you "Key and Peele".Wednesday nights will not be the same without you, but you ended the show at the right time for yourselves and it was a very pleasing ending to fans like me. Thanks for the three plus years and five seasons of some of the most hilarious sketch comedy I've ever seen.

You guys definitely put the pussy on the chainwax.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the co-host of the X Millennial Man podcast. With all of his shows ending, what will he watch next? Supergirl? Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.