Talking Comedy’s Mafia Ties, Steve Martin, and the Podcast Boom with Stand-Up Historian Kliph Nesteroff
Initially, former comedian Kliph Nesteroff didn’t like being labeled a historian. But with The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy, out now from Grove Atlantic, Nesteroff’s produced one of the most comprehensive and accessible accounts of the art form to date.
As streaming overtakes the home video market – and limits viewers’ choices – a handful of distributors are still fighting the good fight, serving an underserved minority of cinephiles by hanging on to a seemingly outdated medium. …Read More
Industry scuttlebutt has it that Willis was let go, which certainly isn’t an unprecedented move for Mr. Allen. …Read More
Filled with typically caustic, funny and sad observations about life and art, Woody Allen’s latest interview with NPR also contains a rare segment of the director — who has (somewhat) weathered accusations of child molestation — talking about his personal life.
Happy birthday, Papa Hemingway! Many outlets are celebrating the famously concise and manly writer with tributes to his bon mots, but we thought we’d do something a little more appropriate for the 24/7 online news cycle — so we asked the beloved author to weigh in on a few of the most thinkpiece-worthy headlines of the moment. He obliged, being conveniently long dead, and therefore in the public domain.
For a little while there, it looked like we were on a one-off, one-on pattern w/r/t the quality of Woody Allen’s annual feature film — You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger was followed by Midnight in Paris, To Rome with Love by Blue Jasmine, and thus last summer’s wildly mediocre Magic in the Moonlight would seem to indicate we were due for another good one. Alas, Allen’s latest, Irrational Man, is not that good one — in fact, it’s a picture so dire, its problems so base and elementary, that I’m honestly not sure he still has good ones in him.
In light of the high quality Louie has maintained in pretty much every area over the course of its four and half seasons thus far, it’s easy to forget that it started out as a very different kind of show. C.K. has talked pretty openly about the heavy influence Woody Allen’s had on his work, and in its broad strokes, the progression of the show lines up fairly closely with that of the Allen filmography; he started out doing something that was almost purely for laughs, an extension of his stand-up act that was filled with blackout sketches and visual/verbal cartoons. But even in that first season, there were hints that he had more on his mind, and when he wrote his character an Annie Hall-style nervous romance (“Daddy’s Girlfriend,” aka the Parker Posey episodes), the emotional stakes were raised; the comedy became more grounded, more about the real world, and more concerned with genuine emotion. All of which is a long way of getting around to noting that last night’s episode, “Untitled,” was in many ways the closest thing he’s done to that inaugural season in quite some time: a bizarre exercise in pure absurdity.