Welcome To FebruMurray, Our Month-Long Celebration Of The Great Bill Murray

Murray 1Hello friends, if you’ve been a fan of this podcast over the years, you know that February is a special time when we celebrate our lord and savior, Bill Murray. It’s an annual tradition that we like to call FebruMurray, because the word February blends so nicely with Bill Murray’s last name and because Groundhog Day is in February, and because Monuments Men came out in February, and because back off, man,

In celebration of FebruMurray 2015, each episode of the podcast will be wrapped with Bill Murray affection, concluding in a bit of reflection on one classic Saturday Night Live Bill Murray sketch. Why SNL this year when we usually focus on Murray’s films or his work as an ambassador of fun? Because this is that iconic show’s 40th anniversary year, shut your face it’s still awesome, and because that’s what we wanted to do.

In addition to flying the FebruMurray flag during each episode of the podcast, we’re also going to attempt to highlight a Bill Murray SNL sketch here on the site for you to watch and enjoy. So do that…

Saturday Night Live – Chevy Chase & Bill Murray… by ClassicPL

To start things off, we’re giving you two sketches since I didn’t think to do the sketch posting thing until about 40 minutes ago and it’s the second day of the month. Both of these sketches feature Murray in song, and while that shouldn’t be a surprise considering the popularity of Murray’s Nick Winters character, the first one isn’t technically a lounge lizard sketch, but rather, a bit that paired Murray with Chevy Chase on the February 9, 1980 episode (above).

Chase was hosting for his second time since he bolted the show in the second season and reports about his behind-the-scenes scuffle with Bill Murray (who basically replaced him in the cast) had leaked out. Seeking to play with that, Chase and Murray staged a chummy medley of songs. It’s a fun moment, but if you ask me, Murray completely blows Chase off the stage.

The second clip is full Nick Winters, but it’s not from Murray’s heyday in the 70s. Tasked with kicking off the 25th Anniversary Celebration, Murray and Paul Schaffer teamed up for an awesome performance of Bruce Springsteen’s “Badlands” after Murray went through the crowd, teasing Drew Barrymore and some of the other luminaries in attendance. It’s a cool clip, but the story of why Murray wanted to sing “Badlands” is why I chose this clip.

From Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller’s Live From New York oral history:

There’s some lyric in “Badlands” that’s really appropriate for what we did, for what we’d done. It wasn’t “Born to Run” and just doing a classic song, which is what we always used to do; “Badlands” was more about what our experience had been. It was really about us. And Paul was like, “Badlands?” And when we started singing the song, his eyes lit up and he got it. He looked at me and he got it. Marilyn was still arguing and Paul said, “It’s going to be “Badlands”. – Bill Murray

Hopefully Lorne Michaels gives Bill Murray ten minutes, a microphone, and free reign once again when the show celebrates its 40th in two weeks.


Review: ‘Louis C.K. Live At The Comedy Store’

louieIt’s kind of pointless to write a review about a stand-up comedy special since the presentation doesn’t usually allow for analysis and the material is so subjective, but here I am on a Friday night wasting yours and my time. The reason for this is because I worship at the church of Louis CK… and I have an ego that allows me to think that someone might care what I have to say about CK’s sixth hour long comedy special. Can I convert you to The Church of the Schlubby Provocateur? Let’s find out.

Filmed at LA’s historic Comedy Store, Louis CK’s latest special — which is available exclusively through his website for $5 — follows the recent trend of small-scale specials like those offered up by Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, and Wyatt Cenac to name a few. Hell, Maria Bamford shot a special in her parent’s living room — the point is that the stadium concerts and larger venues seems to be falling out of favor, especially for more cerebral acts.

For CK, this marks a major departure since his last special, the HBO produced Oh My God, was filmed in the round at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix with about 3,000 people in the audience. Main room capacity at the Comedy Store? 450. This may seem like a minor detail, but it seems as though the club atmosphere allows for more intimacy and the prospect of silence. And that’s something that CK uses as a weapon during the weirder moments of this hour, like when he purposely pushes his impression of a sex-starved housewife beyond the point of awkwardness, seemingly delighting in the crowd’s initial hesitancy. There’s just more give and take with a small room. The contrast between quiet (when people are listening) and laughter (when they’re reacting) is nice.

CK’s aim also seems smaller in this special. In Oh My God, CK covered our innate want to murder, relationships, aging, and death. But while aging was merely grazed here with a bit about re-assigned noises, death is tackled in a personal way, linking the death of a family pet to a story about the time he happily told a neighbor that everyone dies. Personal analogies serve as an entryway to a conversation about race and growing up in Boston as well, mixing nicely with CK’s favorite target: entitled assholes. Assholes on the train, assholes on a plane, etc.

Near the end of the special, CK takes bigger swings in the midst of a dizzying but enjoyable run that somehow jumps from a story about a bat attack, to a meditation on the durability of sexism by way of a story about rat fucking, and a clever comparison between terrible girlfriends and the war on terror before closing things up with a mostly flat bit about the Wizard of Oz. Though I’m pretty sure the point was in the execution, not where CK wound up.

Overall, Live at the Comedy Store is an easily digested hour that should enhance CK’s reputation as a fiercely smart comic with a penchant for taking us to uncomfortable places with his storytelling that, in the end, seem a lot more comfortable than we thought that they would be.

Is this as good as Chewed Up? No it is not, but for a comic with six specials since 2006 (for contrast’s sake, George Carlin did 14 in 31 years) and a constant presence in pop culture and on television, it’s impressive that CK is showing no real signs of slowing down and that most of us aren’t nearly tired of his shtick.

Louis CK Live At The Comedy Store is available now for purchase by clicking here

Ever Wonder What R2-D2 Was Saying?

WONDER NO MORE! That scholar among men known as Eclectic Method painstakingly poured over the whole 13 hours and 17 minutes of the Star Wars hexalogy (that’s the proper term, not ‘sextology‘ which I can’t say without giggling,) and deciphered what each bleep and bloop actually meant.

Weird, you mean he was speaking some strange robot language the whole time? I thought he was just extremely filthy and Lucas had to bleep out all of his lines.

Show’s what I fucking know…

via eclecticmethod

President Obama Says Sony “Made A Mistake” By Benching ‘The Interview’

ObamaWe’re going to talk about the overall topic in the next episode, which should go live tonight or tomorrow, but The Interview and Sony’s decision to cancel its release has been the biggest story of the week and the rare one that bridges the gap between entertainment news and real news. And it’s always a bit frightening when that happens, because it can lead to things like the President of the United States of America speaking fondly about stoner heroes James Franco and Seth Rogen (a Canadian, no less!) during a press conference.

Besides calling Pineapple Express the most important film of the last 20 years (it was implied), President Obama also took off the gloves when addressing the Sony hack scandal and The Interview‘s cancellation. That wasn’t surprising, but it was surprising to see him rough up Sony over their decision to bench the film after receiving terroristic threats from a group of hackers that have been linked to North Korea. In his remarks, the President said that Sony, “made a mistake” and said that he wished that the private company would have consulted him.

Here’s a full quote, courtesy of CNN.

“We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States, because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they’ll do when they see a documentary that they don’t like, or news reports that they don’t like — or even worse, imagine if producers or distributors or others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended,” Obama said.

“So, you know, that’s not who we are. That’s not what America’s about. Again, I’m sympathetic that Sony as a private company was worried about liabilities and this and that and the other. I wish they’d spoken to me first. I would have told them, do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks,”

The President also spoke strongly about the need to persevere in the face of terroristic threats, referencing Boston’s decision to run the Boston Marathon the year after the Boston Marathon bombing.

With Obama publicly wagging his finger at Sony and the North Korean hackers threatening further action if they release The Interview in any way, the question is, will Sony push back by justifying their actions in the face of growing public dissatisfaction with the precedent that has been established, or will they push back and release the film via VOD or on DVD despite fears about these threats? Time will tell, but I don’t envy the person who has to make that decision.

As for what the US response will be to North Korea’s actions, the President refused to give specifics (for obvious reasons), but did say that there would be a “proportional response”.

Source: CNN

Batmobile Officially Revealed by Zack Snyder

Batman-16While the first two full (and un-official) glimpses of the new Batmobile weren’t bad to look at, they’ve got nothing on the glorious symphony of pixels that Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder unleashed on the twitter.  [read more>>]