Earwolf debuted a new online home page and design over the holiday weekend, and this week welcomes two new additions to its rotation of comedy podcasts: The Apple Sisters, plus Affirmation Nation with Bob Ducca.
Each Monday, The Apple Sisters -- Candy, Cora and Seedy Apple -- bring you all of the great radio shows from the 1940s to help support the boys of WWII. Their first episode, "Our First Time," will learn you all about the girls "and their favorite firsts," as well as a visit from an extra special guest, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Affirmation Nation with Bob Ducca (aka Seth Morris), described as "Earwolf's stepfather," comes complete with plenty of life lessons to share. Earwolf says Ducca will contribute daily insight Mondays-Fridays, unless something new comes up in Ducca's life to distract him. His first episode, "Hand Putty," is online now.
The redesign also includes two new features: Yourcast, wherein other podcasters can buy listings in the directory to support Earwolf while promoting their own shows; and On Tour, wherein fans can find out when and where the many performers in the Earwolf network will be performing at a venue near them.
Welcome videos from both new podcasters after the jump! Get to know them, in case you're not familiar with them already...
The calendar may say Nov. 10, 2010, but it's already Thanksgiving for The Apple Sisters, your favorite female trio that's forever retro.
Remember when they got a little corny over corn? Now The Apple Sisters have set their sights on gravy with this new fake ad, just in time for their early Thanksgiving special show tonight at Largo in Los Angeles. It's called Thanks for Stuffing! And $7 of every ticket benefits Mercy Corps to feed the hungry. The show, set in 1943, features appearances by Paul F. Tompkins as FDR, plus Natasha Leggero, Sean Gunn and other surprise celebrity guests.
Sponsored, of course, by Drippins, the "champagne of gravy." Roll the clip!
Everyone is hungry for laughs this year, and cue the rest of this metaphor, because the fifth annual edition of Sketchfest NYC certainly delivered with a healthy appetite (Zoinks!) of fun times, served up with a side of...you know what I'm trying to say, right? Food was on the brain and onstage in many of the highlights from this past weekend's celebration of sketch comedy in the Big Apple. Harvard Sailing Team reimagined the callback auditions for a Pizza Hut ad. Elephant Larry screened a "viral video" for Subway that never went viral, in a special edition of The Rejection Show. Kristen Schaal claimed that her comedy partner had gotten turned into a stuffed bird. Rue Brutalia handed out rolls of Rolos and compared fast-food sandwiches in a job interview. Pangea 3000 interrupted a sketch to eat ribs. The Apple Sisters modeled "ration fashion" featuring watermelon muffs, hats and shoes. The 3rd Floor served up pancakes to one lucky audience member. Kevin McDonald put on his one-man and one-guitarist show, "Hammy and the Kids" (ham not included). Let's review some of these things in further detail, shall we?
The Apple Sisters made a triumphant return to NYC, having all moved out within the past year to Los Angeles and showcasing a new 1943-era radio programme set aboard the USS Sketchfest Intrepid en route to Hawaii. Cora, Candy and Seedy were looking to get lei'd with the seamen, but first had to deal with a mutiny, a pirate, an emergency SOS call and more. Quite saucy and sassy, these broads! A fun moment when the captain declared: "You can't just ovulate all over the ship!" To which Candy replied: "Well, what am I supposed to do with this?" thrusting her hands to her pelvis. Funnier still, when the ladies modeled their "ration fashions," with actual juicy watermelons getting all over themselves and the theater floor. "Anybody hungry?" Cora asked afterward.
Also on Thursday: Kristen Schaal made her fourth Sketchfest NYC appearance, but first without comedy partner Kurt Braunohler (who was performing in Tennessee at Bonnaroo); Team Submarine took on "Who's On First" but with 69 jokes; Rue Brutalia played good-cop, bad-cop to investigate the ultimate riddle: Who farted? and also unveiled a sketch that somehow didn't work when they tried it in a Brooklyn hip-hop club; A Week of Kindness fashioned an awards show completely around Bee Movie; Murderfirst wanted to prove that being loud, fat and naked makes any sketch idea funnier (did it work?); Sam and Timmy from The Whitest Kids U Know tried to tell a story about when the kids got interviewed by High Times; and Olde English deconstructed the plot to Pixar's new hit movie, UP, to such a degree that you wonder how the film ever got made in the first place.
I turned on the radio Monday morning and began hearing Christmas songs, thought, well, at least it's December. Which means it's also time for Kimmy Gatewood to start singing us through her advent calendar. Kimmy, one of The Apple Sisters, just moved from New York City to Los Angeles, but that's not going to prevent her from getting into the holiday spirit. Only 24 days to go! Sing along if you know the words...
Bob Odenkirk treats us to a peek today at the upcoming sketch showcase at the 26th annual Montreal Just For Laughs festival. Odenkirk will co-host with SNL's Bill Hader. Odenkirk's wife manages Hader, he says, "so that's how he got swindled into it. The shows are the 16th and 17th... and will also feature Casey Wilson (SNL), Andrew Friedman and Michael Naughton (Naughton but Friedman), and the groups Sach and Dixon, the Apple Sisters, Back Pack Picnic, and Dance Party of Newfoundland. I know nothing about the groups. The festival picks them, and they do a fine job of it."
Here are some linky links so you can learn more about each of them...
the apple sisters
dance party of newfoundland
the groundlings (main stage cast includes Andrew Friedman and Michael Naughton)
This weekend marks the fourth annual SketchfestNYC. Plenty of videos and interviews on the festival's online home page this week to get you excited about the shows, happening June 12-14 at the UCB Theatre. Tickets: $10 show/$40 night/$100 full pass. Here's a video to pump you up...thanks Dirty Jean & Thunderchief!
The full SketchfestNYC schedule:
Saturday, June 14
2:30pm: The Onion News Network Panel Discussion
4pm: The Sound of Young America Live
6pm: Team Submarine + Hey You Millionaires
7pm: Becky & Noelle + Blitzkrieg
8pm: Summer of Tears
9pm: Elephant Larry
12am: Closing Night Craptacular
This is the most important music video that you may ever watch that has ever come out of the 1980s glam metal band tradition. It comes from a band called Naughty Town. This song is so spot-on that you could play it on the radio today (yes, today, Wednesday, April 16, 2008) and rock fans would call in to their DJs and say I like it, play it again, please? And no one would know the difference. Kudos, also, on the video execution. Clean. Crisp. Huzzah! So, what are we waiting for? Roll it! Then email it to everyone you know and play it again and again...
Credits: Bryan Olsen and Mark Douglas wrote it. Tiffany Graeff directed it. Barry Rothbart edited it. Naughty Town are: Bryan Olsen (singer) Mark Douglas (guitarist) Dan Siegal (drummer) Roger Hailes (bassist/dancer) Andres du Bouchet played the judge and Kimmy Gatewood was nine.
Not since Better Off Dead have I heard a better endorsement for corn. It's got corn in it! The Apple Sisters just released this commercial for Corndy, now in Applevision. Enjoy.
Over the years, I've witnessed some of the uglier facets of comedy contests as both a participant and as a judge. Last night, however, I saw the sunnier side at the ECNY Awards (please don't call them the Emerging Comics of New York anymore) ceremony at Comix in New York City. Even before the showcase started, you could see something special happening. Comedians got dressed up. There was a red carpet. Small, to be sure, but still there and still red with correspondents talking to a camera in footage that presumably will wind up on the Internet. A very festive air. And so nice to see a scene -- or at least a distinctly unique scene -- come together in celebration of the art of comedy. Host Jon Friedman said they changed the name of the awards KFC-like to just ECNY to show they were rewarding all sorts of comedy, not just the emerging kind. At the same time, though, it would've been nice to really see all of New York comedy represented in the room. When the ceremony ended, several comedians had to turn around and go back to their table because they didn't have their proper receipts on hand for the door guys. We spent the night in a traditional comedy club with traditional item minimums and rules, and yet we could've used a few more traditional club comedians. Maybe next year?
Anyhow. I was saying how nice the night was, right?
Some highlights: The show opened with a six-minute video montage of the nominees speaking directly to the camera. Well-edited. And made funnier after Joe Mande said it'd be creepy if this montage turned out to be their memorial video. Friedman, not only hosting the show but also an organizer and a nominee for best host, acknowledged the conflict, quipping: "This for me is a lose-lose." Later, when he lost, he immediately asked the other "losers" in his category to play his Rejection Show. Another big laugh line from Friedman: "I was told to be very Seacresty." Scott Bateman provided professional animated videos to list all of the nominees. And most of the award presenters brought it, too. Matt McCarthy, presenting best director, opened the proceedings with a wicked Stanley Kubrick from the set of The Shining. Andres Du Bouchet delivered the opening and closing lines from Act 1 of his upcoming fictional one-man-show (100 and Me Percent?) that went over so well, he almost wasn't joking when he said, "I can tell it's going to be a big hit." The Whitest Kids U'Know went to see a psychic yesterday for help determining the best sketch group winners. Carolyn Castiglia joked: "It's great to see so many comedians get dressed up to get drunk and cry. Usually I do it naked and covered in pizza!"
What else? All of the musical comedy nominees performed during the show. Only Reggie Watts got a standing ovation. And didn't win. Eddie Brill received the first "lifetime achievement award" and really took it to heart, confessing in his speech, "I've never been more nervous." They also debuted a new soap opera parody from A.D. Miles called "Horrible People" that'll begin airing soon online on My Damn Channel. I sat next to Jordan Carlos and Andrew WK. Carlos was nice. WK was nice, but awfully quiet aside from his brief stint as a presenter. The show limited acceptance speeches to 30 seconds, but the show still lasted close to two-and-a-half hours. The afterparty at Comix lasted just as long. At said afterparty, Nate Sloan from The Apiary wanted Todd Jackson from Dead-Frog and I to dish our "hot tips." I'm no Gossip Girl. XOXO.
The winners! Congrats to all, for whatever an ECNY Award is worth, you got one! Hooray!
Best Director: Kurt Braunohler
Best Improv Group: I Eat Pandas
Best One Person Show: Nick Kroll (Fabrice Fabrice)
Best Sketch Comedy Group: Harvard Sailing Team
Outstanding Achievement in Flyer or Postcard Design: The Apple Sisters (Matthew C. Johnson, Keith Huang)
Best Technician: Pat Baer
Best Short Comedic Film: Minesweeper: The Movie (Elephant Larry)
Best Website, Original Content: The Onion News Network
Best Website, News and Commentary: The Apiary
Best Host: Eugene Mirman and Michael Showalter, Tearing the Veil of Maya
Emerging Comic Award: Joe Mande
Best Musical Comedy Act: The Apple Sisters
Best Female Stand-up: Kristen Schaal
Best Male Stand-up: John Mulaney
And for those of you playing the Full Disclosure Home Game, four of the five producers of the ECNY Awards also were up for awards (the exception: Alex Goldberg). Friedman (host) and Carol Hartsell (tech) didn't win. Alex Zalben (sketch) and Nate/The Apiary (website/news) won. I was not nominated. Snub? Jackson joked to me that I was too new to New York City to get a nod and would have to wait my turn, like Barack Obama. I'll take an Obama comparison, so thanks, Todd!
UPDATED/CORRECTED! I cleaned up a couple of things in this post that weren't entirely clear when I first wrote them (thank you, commenters!). Also, if you want to see what I look like, as well as Dead-Frog's Todd Jackson, there is a lovely picture of us taken last night by Rachel Kramer Bussel!
Today is the final day for open voting for the ECNY Awards, which used to stand for Emerging Comics of New York, but now just is ECNY to honor other kinds of comedians, sort of how KFC decided it was much more than merely Kentucky Fried. The awards ceremony is Jan. 28 at Comix. And the show promises to be a hoot. Jon Friedman hosts. Look for live performances and pre-taped magic, and for a sneak peek, I caught up with ECNY's producers as they got some of the nominees on camera. So I got them getting them on camera. Here's a fun snippet with The Apple Sisters...
Who will be getting your votes? Perhaps more importantly, who'll get my votes? I'm on the "Industry Committee," which means not only do I get until Jan. 20 to place my votes, but also that the Industry Committee's votes count for half of the total -- perhaps they got that concept from Dancing With The Stars, in which the judges get 50% of the say, the audience the other 50% through call-in votes. Since I still have some time before I fill out my ballot, perhaps you can help make the case for your favorites or get me to take a second look at someone I may have overlooked.
As it stands, my thoughts are...
Christmas is coming, and who cares if the goose is getting fat, because where are the comedy audiences? Probably off to their families, much like the comedians themselves. But the holidays also tend to bring comedians together, too, with holiday-themed parties, shows and sketches. Tonight in New York City, you have several opportunities for holiday ha-ha-hoedowns. Yes, really. Such as and therefore like (sorry, watching a repeat of VH1's Best Year Ever whilst typing not a good idea) here are a few shows you might want to mark on your calendar, except that it's tonight, so no need for calendar-marking...
Auntie Sara's Big-Ass X-Mas Spectacular and Afterparty, 7 p.m. at Ochi's Lounge, downstairs from Comix -- hosted by Sara Benincasa, with Oren Brimer, Ces Marciuliano, Diana Saez, Sean Lynch and Pat Stango
The Apple Sisters Holidoozy of a 1940s Christmas radio show, 7 p.m. at The PIT
Holiday Dazzles, 8 p.m. at the UCB, hosted by Eliza Skinner and Carolyn Castiglia, and featuring Adira Amram, Ann Carr, Katina Corrao, Jessica Delfino, Becky Drysdale, Robert Keller, Nate Kushner, Tom Middleditch, Matt McCarthy, Glennis McMurray, the New York Neo-Futurists, Mindy Raf, Mike Still and more.
And finally, last but not least as they say, it's the Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy Christmas Show, starting sometime in the 8 o'clock hour at Rififi, with Andy Blitz, Chelsea Peretti, Bobby Tisdale, Santa Claus, Brian Kiley, Mike Burns (on his last night in NY) and special surprises.
But what about last night, you ask? Last night I got to see some of this holiday razzle dazzlematazz up close and in person, thanks to the Slightly Buzzed show put on by Jon Friedman and Stuckey & Murray (no Stuckey this night, as he's off to Alabama). First up, The Apple Sisters. I'd heard more than slight buzz about these three ladies, and they lived up to it last night with their musical ode to Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus and the Three Wise Men. They pack a wallop, these three! Fast, fun, full of surprises. Here's a photo that barely captures that:
Sean Crespo followed with a Christmas miracle story about rescuing a small bird from the clutches of Central Park South. Murray, sans Stuckey, sang a love song for a Jew. Eliza Skinner presented one of her hilarious theatrical pieces from her one-woman show, Eliza Skinner is SHAMELESS! Adam Wade didn't talk so much about the holidays as he provided evidence that while he may have peaked in the sixth grade, he's still scrappy. Scrappy-Doo! Adira Amram and Ann Carr presented something so wild that if I were to have photographed it, the picture would've blown your mind. They'll be performing their Christmas sketch again tonight at the UCB, so you can go see it there and then. Let's just paint the opening for you, though: Amram is Hal the Square Snowman, and Carr is Randy the Red-Balled Reindeer.
Friedman, for his part, showed a short film that he'd written the screenplay for in college. Sean W. Cunningham filmed it. And it is "Santa Claus and the Jew." Friedman read some of the YouTube comments for it and offered that perhaps the comments would be different if they knew his backstory on it. It's about Friedman wondering why, as a child, Santa never visited his house. In the video, the explanation, and the truth, hurts.
After the jump, a photo of Jon Friedman and I in happier, sunnier times!