Go to Paul Scheer's Yowie page to sign in at the appropriate time and date.
One thing you don't have to ask Scheer: When is Human Giant getting back together?
Answered! Scheer, Aziz Ansari and Rob Huebel, along with Jason Woliner, will all be in one place at one time to talk about and screen Human Giant footage on Nov. 14 at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles.
The story of the day was the Heene family in Colorado that launched a weather balloon, with 6-year-old Falcon possibly inside (but definitely not by the time the balloon landed about 90 miles later). They posed in front of a contraption and appeared on ABC's Wife Swap, with the TV program saying they were building a "flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm," and that the episode was "destined to become a classic!" The kid's name was Falcon? And Falcon and his brothers were in a music video?! Called "Pussified"?!?! Well. Yeah. Um. Clearly a wild, odd story, no matter how it turns out. Comedians were showing all sorts of emotions and takes on the saga as it was unfolding. Shock. Awe. Snark. Cynicism. Disbelief.
Amid all of this, Aziz Ansari reminded us all that Human Giant taped a sketch for their MTV series that nailed it. Sort of. Witness the balloon cops of "Hot Air Balloon Patrol." Too soon? Prescient? Both? You tell me. Roll it:
While you were sleeping, partying or doing whatever it is that you did last night (you know what you did), the guys from Human Giant, plus Scott Agee and Comedy Death-Ray's Scott Aukerman, went to a midnight screening of the Crank sequel, sat in the back row and did a liveTweet of it on their Twitter feeds, combined for posterity via Twitflix hashtag. See the Twitflix Crank discussion here if you're OK with spoiler alerts. Weirdly, the gang at Ain't It Cool News got miffed about the whole thing, as Aziz Ansari recounts in this post. I agree with Ansari's position on this one, because while it might not be cool to text and Twitter about during any performance, there are some things so silly that warrant special treatment. This also reminds me how far our tech-sharing skills have come in just the few years since Snakes on a Plane (see: my minute-by-minute blog rundown of Snakes on a Plane). So, to recap, you should not text, Tweet, surreptitiously photograph or record a movie or a live comedy performance, unless you have the permission of the performers or if the entire thing is so silly that everyone agrees it should be documented for posterity.
Labor Day weekend in Seattle means the biggest music and arts fest of the year there, aka Bumbershoot. A decade ago, the weekend attracted names both big and small in music to come together in celebration of culture and all things good and fun, with one show or maybe two devoted on the side to comedy. Well, one look at the 2008 Bumbershoot comedy schedule shows how far we've come, with three full days and nights of funny in multiple venues this weekend. Human Giant will be there. So, too, will Janeane Garofalo, Marc Maron, Tom Rhodes, Doug Benson, Hannibal Buress, Jessi Klein, TJ Miller, Nick Thune, Michelle Buteau, the People's Republic of Komedy, Vince Averill, Tig Notaro, Greg Behrendt, The Sound of Young America Live!, UCB-LA's MySpace show, and many more.
It's also a time for sad and glad news. Sad? Final weekend for the Mainstage Comedy crew on Queen Anne (as reported by the Seattle Comedy Blog). Waiting for the full story on that development. On the other hand: Glad?
The Comedy Underground finally gets to reopen in its new location a couple of blocks over in Pioneer Square at 109 S. Washington St., with a grand reopening debut UPDATED: The Comedy Underground's people report they're moving the Sept. 9 for the Mitch Hedberg CD release/tribute show over to Laughs in Kirkland because it's possible the new Underground won't be ready in time and they don't want to miss the chance to celebrate the CD release in "Mitch's comedy home."
If you follow the comings and goings of Human Giant (and since it's the best sketch comedy show on TV these days, you really should be), then you may have noticed this week that the guys went crazy blogging about their attendance at the after-party Monday night for the latest season premiere of MTV faux-reality melodrama, The Hills. In fact, they even used their photos to create a tabloid romance shomance for their own director, Jason Woliner, via their Tumblrs. You can relive the magic moments on the blogs of Paul Scheer, Aziz Ansari and Rob Huebel, that includes this photo:
So I had to ask Paul Scheer more about this odd pairing. I mean, yes, they're both on the MTV, but why were they at this afterparty together, exactly? Scheer not only replies, but offers up a great cameotastic teaser for Season 3 of Human Giant on MTV:
It was really funny because we totally didn't belong at that party. The only people that were there, was the cast of THE HILLS, their immediate family, the executives that worked on the show and of course Joe Francis. So I'm sure most of the cast, were like who are these guys but assumed we must have been important enough to get to hang in their makeshift green room. Heidi and Spencer did however know who we were and they only would take a picture if we guaranteed them cameos on the show, which personally was a win/win for us.
Indeed. Win, win! And of course, why wouldn't Joe Francis be there?!
Only now unwinding from my second tour through the Upright Citizen Brigade's Del Close Marathon, which ended Sunday night (though starting the tour after an all-nighter to Washington, D.C., and back probably contributed to the fatigue on my end), and wished, as I did last summer, that I had gotten to see more of the 150+ improv and variety shows that happened during DCM10. At least two video cameras captured some of the highlights, which I expect to see online one of these days at UCBComedy.
The Marathon is crazy for improvisers and comedy fans alike, with shows running almost continuously (save for a couple of breaks to clean the theaters) at the UCB home in Chelsea and three nearby theaters from Friday afternoon to Sunday night. Comedians come from all over the country to participate, and even then, to fill all of those hours, the Marathon's programmers schedule some completely off-the-wall shows. I cannot speak for the daytime shows from last weekend, but during the primetime and late-night hours, the atmosphere -- hot, sweaty and reeking of alcoholic sweat -- really favors the louder, crazier uptempo shows over the improv groups that actually try best to honor Del Close and his Harold long-form. It's not a fault of the performers. But after you've seen "Gary Busey" prove he's the smartest expert in the universe, it's hard to pay close attention to all that's going on in the Scramble. And the Marathon peaks at 2:30 a.m. Sunday during the half-hour lunacy that is Match Game 76, and when Horatio Sanz as Heath Ledger's Joker launches a smoke bomb, well, even a troupe hoping to parody Close has no chance. I spent my entire DCM10 at the UCB (sorry, big-time shows at the FIT, but maybe we'll meet again in 2009), and the best shows I saw over the weekend were strong in concept, structure and execution.
James Adomian as "Gary Busey" during The Smartest Panel of Experts in the Universe Ever.
Photo by Keith Huang
I didn't make it Bonnaroo this weekend, but thousands of other music and comedy fans did. And more than a few of them already have weighed in with their opinions of the massive Tennessee festival.
Stereogum took plenty of pics, loved Chris Rock, thought Reggie Watts was "custom built for a music festival setting." Entertainment Weekly also thought Rock fared well on the main stage "opening" for Metallica on Friday night. The AP provides a more basic overview from Friday day and night, but followed up with a more thorough account and a quote from Louis CK: "60,000 people is too many for stand-up...even if 40,000 people love you, you're still bombing really hard." David Carr of the New York Times was among those who felt Chris Rock had a more difficult time getting his jokes across to the hipster rock kids and Southerners. A reporter from Atlanta's Creative Loafing laughed a lot and enjoyed the A/C in the comedy tent, but laughed hardest at an audience member who started peeing everywhere during the show.
While Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel are entertaining the music festival crowd at Bonnaroo, their Human Giant co-star Aziz Ansari is busy getting himself cast on network primetime television in the NBC spinoff of The Office. As Ansari writes on his blog: I haven’t been this excited since Lisa lost on “Top Chef.” Which would be since Wednesday night. More details in Variety, which reveals that the spinoff show still hasn't been figured out just yet. Hmmm.
The season two finale of Human Giant airs on the MTV on Tuesday, April 15, but this video has just leaked to the Internets. Rob Huebel tries his darnedest to intro a news piece for "Meth in Montana." Enjoy!
Remember that "Crimetime" sketch that Human Giant has screened for a year now but had trouble getting on the air? You can remember them talking about it at the UCB in December 2007. Well, here it is, as seen in the second season currently airing on MTV.
Coincidentally, the guys from Human Giant talk shop at 6 p.m. today at the Paley Center for Media. A new episode airs at 11 p.m. tonight, and you can see all of their sketches here.
Still time to enter the "Human Giant Loves Threadless" T-shirt contest, with prizes that include a new Sanyo Xacti Digital Camcorder, a custom Let's Go tracksuit signed by the Let's Go guys, an autographed Human Giant poster, answering machine messages by the guys, signed bonafide T-shirt gun, sweatbands from the T-Shirt Squad, deck of cards from Illusionators, a $500 Threadless Gift Certificate (can be redeemed for $200 cash) and $2,000 cash. Submit a design that complies with the theme "Old Fashioned Fun" by April 15. More rules and notes here.
Also, the guys from Human Giant will appear April 1 at a forum at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. Special guests include Paul's grandmother!?
Another video just sprung forth with fun funny funness about the second season of Human Giant on MTV. The season starts March 11. Take that, paps! Decidedly, absurdly, NSFW.
On a tangent...for whatever reason, when I upload a Funny or Die video on Internet Explorer, it doesn't show up on Firefox. Anyone know why that is?
Developing: Paul Scheer of Human Giant writes to announce that he has gotten a part "in the new Jack Black/Michael Cera film Year One and due to a scheduling conflict, we must change/cancel some tour dates." What's that mean? The guys report that, for now, it means...and I'm quoting them here:
San Francisco - Rob and Aziz will do the show without Paul.
Portland - CANCELLED
Seattle - CANCELLED
Cambridge - Being rescheduled for April hopefully…
DC - Being rescheduled for April hopefully…
Philadelphia - Being rescheduled for April hopefully…
Williamsburg - Being rescheduled for April hopefully…
NY (Paley Center/Museum of TV and Radio) - Being rescheduled for April hopefully…
ALL SXSW SHOWS - Good to go!
Here's some newsy news! The second season of Human Giant may not debut on MTV until March 11, but through the power of iTunes, you can download it already. It's not an Illusionators trick, either! But it is Season 2: Duffel Bag of Death. Click here!
And here is a NSFW teaser video:
Based on the past couple of Human Giant appearances outside of their UCB-NY home (well, OK, not that far outside their home, in separate visits to Rififi), I've borne witness to some funny stuff in the making, both for their upcoming live stage tour and their second season on MTV. Aziz and Rob bring their T-shirt squad to life and prove that sometimes, you don't want such an intimate environment. Rob takes on both Aziz and Paul in a trail-mix promotion gone awry.
As for videos bound for MTV, the Illusionators are back and face an Imus-like situation, which results in Omar from The Wire joining the gang, and a separate sketch brings back the kids from Shutterbugs and proves that Aziz, Paul and Rob weren't kidding last summer when they claimed to be fans of CBS' Kid Nation. If you look at the troupe's production stills, you can see where they've put the kids in charge this time!
If you clicked on my Google calendar, you'd see that Human Giant (Aziz Ansari, Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel) are busy rehearsing sketches at the UCB Theatre in NYC tonight and next Monday night for a live stage sketch tour of the USA. Advanced tix to the UCB rehearsals are sold-out, but limited tix available at the door each Monday. But you also could simply wait and see the finished product, as Human Giant has released its tour dates. Tickets already on sale via Ticketmaster for some dates -- please click on my Ticketmaster button on the right-hand column for easy access! Here's the schedule:
Feb 18 - Telluride Comedy Festival
Feb 22 - Los Angeles - UCB-LA
Feb 23 - Los Angeles - UCB-LA
Feb 28 - San Francisco - NoisePop Festival at the Mezzanine
Mar 1 - Seattle - The Triple Door
Mar 2 - Portland - Aladdin Theatre
Mar 5 - DC - The Black Cat
Mar 6 - Philadelphia - North Star
Mar 12 - Cambridge, MA - The Middle East
Mar 13 - Brooklyn - Music Hall of Williamsburg
Mar 14 - SXSW Comedy Showcase (more info coming soon!)
Mar 15 - Mess with Texas 2 (more info coming soon!)
Aziz Ansari has switched his blog to the newfangled hippity hoppity Tumblr format. Today we learn that Human Giant will have a best-of highlights reel from last year's 24-hour MTV marathon included in its Season 1 DVD package that comes out March 4. That includes musical guests Mastodon, Ted Leo, The National, other guests Gbenga Akinnagbe, Fred Armisen, Will Arnett, Todd Barry, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Hader, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, John Krasinski, Eugene Mirman, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Kristen Schaal, Leo Allen as the Comic with the Beard of Bees, Andy Blitz as Osama Bin Diesel, Jackie Clarke as the Standards Lady, Nick Kroll as Fabrice Fabrice, Craft Services Coordinator, Brett Gelman and Jon Daly as Cracked Out, Brett Gelman as Billy Crystal, Jon Glaser as Jim the Writer, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney as Paul’s Uncles Gil and George, Adam McKay as caller Alan Harkett, Rob Lathan as Quick Lips Lathan, Megan Neuringer as Sexy WebCam Girl, Patton Oswalt as the caller Douglas from Murfreesboro, KY, Rob Riggle as Cliff Carver, Head of Security, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone as the Leprechaun Brothers, Eric Slovin as the Leprechaun, and The Borat Army.
Oh, and Human Giant is back hosting late Monday nights at the UCB in NYC. Tonight features Todd Barry and Jessi Klein and if you get in, it's only via stand-by.
Comedy Central is promoting its new season of half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials by asking its participating comedians with whom they are feuding. Here, Michael Showalter playfully takes on Human Giant for not recognizing The State as their greatest comedic influence.
In jest, perhaps. But Showalter sure doesn't take all comparisons of comedy troupes quite as lightly. Back in July, Showalter hosted the first anniversary party for Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with a bill that included Eugene Mirman, Todd Barry, Janeane Garofalo and David Cross. Things were fun and dandy until Garofalo got sidetracked during her set (surprised?) and started talking about how she'd watched the movie Beerfest the night before and was laughing out loud (for real, an actual instance of LOL). "I didn't understand the Broken Lizard thing until Beerfest," Garofalo said. She then wondered if that's perhaps that's why Stella didn't succeed on Comedy Central. Perhaps you need to know the guys to laugh at their jokes. That was her premise. She moved on to Tony Snow's cancer, her best friend, her sleeping and TV viewing habits, touring with Henry Rollins, and other matters.
When Showalter returned to the stage, he called Garofalo out on comparing Stella to Broken Lizard. Garofalo reminded him that Wet Hot American Summer (very much a State/Stella production that also featured Garofalo) and Super Troopers (the first Broken Lizard comedy film) debuted together at Sundance. That didn't make Showalter feel any better about it. "I'm not angry. I'm hungry," Showalter said. Then he added: "To me, comparing Stella to Broken Lizard is like comparing The Police to White Tiger. But that's just me. So fuck Broken Lizard's butt." Garofalo insisted that perhaps Showalter wasn't giving them enough of a chance, saying that their comedy may be funnier for audiences who already know and understand what they're about.
David Cross, who went up afterward, began with an aside to Garofalo: "That went swimmingly. That could not have gone smoother." Laughs. "Well, that's what can happen from wearing your honest pants." Cross then proceeded with his set, deciding not to weigh in further on this particular feud.
Photographs from earlier that day/night after the jump...