Monday, July 13, 2009

This Week In Mildly Pleasant Comedy

Not a whole lot happening this week, probably thanks to Harry Potter and the Only Movie Anyone’s Going To Talk About For the Next 2 Weeks.


Black Dynamite – The trailer for this over-the-top blaxsploitation “spoof” got a lot of buzz some 6 months ago, but all the early screenings produced were a bunch of so-so reviews, most of them indicating that the film was a one-joke wonder that went on way too long. Maybe it’ll make for a decent rental.

500 Days of Summer – The reigning king and queen of Indie Quirk, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, star in this well-reviewed relationship comedy (the creators are very clear that it is “not a romance”, and indeed seems to be more of a comedy about a failed relationship than something you’d see Sandra Bullock drop a wedding cake in). There are musical numbers and a lot of 4th-wall-breaking meta gags; opens limited this week and will go wide over the course of the rest of the month. Probably funnier and more nourishing than any of the standard-issue rom-coms in theaters now.


The State – MTV’s very first sketch comedy show is finally out on DVD… minus any of the original music. Still, for hardcore fans looking to replace their worn out VHS tapes, this set should provide some relief. I always felt The State was sort of the not-as-funny basic cable version of Mr. Show, but they had some decent bits in there. Most of the alums from this series r (the two most visible graduates being Tom Lennon and Michael Ian Black) went on to do stuff like Stella, Reno 911 and Wet Hot American Summer. If you’ve never seen the series, it’s definitely worth checking out at least on Netflix as a notable chunk of 90’s sketch comedy history.


Michael & Michael Have Issues – Speaking of The State, the reliably funny Michael Ian Black and his cohort from Stella and a bunch of other projects, Michael Showalter, have a new sketch comedy show premiering at in the post-South Park 10:30pm Wednesday slot on Comedy Central. The concept is basically a sketch comedy show inside a show about a fictional sketch comedy show, which is sounds complicated until you realize it’s the same basic concept behind The Muppet Show. All of the clips on the show’s website are pretty darn funny; looking forward to this one. Here’s hoping Comedy Central decides to keep it on for more than 8 episodes.


7.15 – Dana Carvey: Ever since The Master of Disguise and that utterly foul HBO special he inflicted on the world last year, Dana Carvey has become Komedy Kryptonite. Tune in on Wednesday to hear his unfunny Arnold Schwartzenegger impression on Conan! Or maybe he’ll bust out his tired-ass George HW Bush routine! Either way, you won’t laugh!

7.17 – Seth Green: Eternally busy Robot Chicken overlord Seth Green stops by, presumably to promote the show, his upcoming new animated project Titan Maximum, and his various Comic-Con appearances next week.


7.16 – Bill Engvall: For those of you let down by the lack of Jeff Dunham appearances this week, Bill Engvall is on Fallon. Surely his hilarious country-fried comedy stylings will tide you over.


Van Wilder: Freshman Year – The unending juggernaut of shitty direct-to-video college comedies bearing the “National Lampoon” name rolls on this week, still abiding by the unwritten law that if you’re designing the cover for a direct-to-video comedy then the cover ABSOLUTELY MUST feature the movie’s cast flanked by a pair of female legs. This is the second (third?) Van Wilder sequel, which surely nobody asked for. How many times can you watch a smuggy smirky guy outwit the stuffed-shirt dean and bed the Hot Chick With A Conscience while simultaneously foiling Chug-A-Lug House and stumbling into a sorority panty raid? I guess National Lampoon thinks the answer is three! Although it’s zero, if you have any sense of taste or reason at all!

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