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Death of a punchline

Yesterday was a sad day for a lot of complicated reasons. Music fans everywhere are lamenting the loss of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, one of many people’s childhood icons and one of the greatest performers of all time. Meanwhile, hacky comedians everywhere are mourning the death of Michael Jackson, alleged super creep turned punchline. Let’s not forget, though, that before he became the go-to reference for lazy humorists everywhere, he was just an unbelievably talented kid singing about how he had no idea what he’d grow up to be…

Bill Murray, Party Dogg

According to Page Six, everyone’s favorite Ghostbuster/melancholy comedic actor, Bill Murray, has been spotted multiple times in the past year partying with 20-something Brooklyn hipsters. His MO, apparently, is showing up unannounced, engaging in random conversations, and then leaving a room full of partygoers bewildered. Well, I guess if I were Bill Murray, I’d do it too.

Thanks to Chris Garcia for the tip!

Overheard at the Rooftop Comedy offices

“There’s no ‘E’ in the word ‘vagina,’ anywhere.”

“Yes there is. Next thing you’re gonna say is there’s no ‘Z’ in ‘penis.'”

Michael Roof

In all of the Aspen hullabaloo, we neglected to comment on the unfortunate death of one of our favorite comedians, Michael Roof. He passed away on June 9 at the age of 32. Most people knew him for his roles in Black Hawk Down or the xXx movies, but here at Rooftop we knew him for his outrageous and hilarious bits that we couldn’t wait to put online.

There was always a small office celebration whenever we found out he would be coming through one of our partner clubs and you could often hear him quoted around here, though I’m sure we never did him any justice. This is my favorite clip of his, and I think it adequately demonstrates his amazing commitment and energy. Rest in peace, Chicken.

Standup Women [Stand]Update Vol. 2!

Hey everybody –

Here I am again, as promised, with all the funny lady news you can stomach.

  • Tina Fey won a Golden Globe or two for 30 Rock, and had a couple choice words for her internet foes.

  • Stand-up comic, Daily Show correspondant, Flight of the Conchords actress, and improv all star Kristen Schaal has an interview up at PunchlineMagazine.com. In it she talks indie comedy, the future, and the impact of Sarah Palin on women in comedy.
  • Apparently Ann Coulter says the crazy things she does in the name of COMEDY. She is a COMEDY writer. Ohhhh. So she’s like Seinfeld! That makes TOTAL sense… what?
  • Renowned psychic Paula Roberts predicts that 2009 will be the year of some epic Sarah Silverman/Tina Fey catfight. I hate that term ‘catfight’. It’s so sexist. Can we just call it a dumb bitch battle?
  • Though they are still woefully underrepresented, a few ladies made it to the Top 20 of the Comedy Central Stand-up Showdown. Punchline Magazine recaps. Our very own Lisa Landry is in there!
  • Among the funny people set to appear/perform at this year’s San Francisco Sketchfest, some amazingly hilarious women: Rachel Dratch, Tig Notaro, Janeane Garofalo, Maria Bamford, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Laraine Newman… and me! (I’m with Things We Made on the 31st). It all starts this Thursday!
  • Amy Sedaris narrates the new six-part PBS series Make Em Laugh. It’s about comedy. Promise. As a promotion, they released an online-only episode about the WWW.
  • Being the token Golden Girls fanatic in my (vast, vast) circle of friends, many have alerted me to a current phenomenon of homemade GG merchandise selling like hotcakes all over the internet. Necklaces, tote bags, plush dolls, and more. Kind of creepy. Kind of amazing.

Now I’ll leave you with my Standup Women pick of the week! The EXTREME Maggie Faris (of extrememaggie.com) brings you: “Dink!”

Point/Counterpoint: Happy Hanukkah! vs Uuggghhhh


Ed. Note: As a holiday gift to all loyal reader of the RooftopBlog, Emily H herself has single handily brought back from the dead Point/Counterpoint (much like Lazarus). It’s probably going to be a one time thing though, so uh, don’t get comfortable. Regardless. Here’s Emily H, and her stomach.

Point: Happy Hanukkah!
by Emily Heller

Happy Hanukkah everybody! In honor of the season, I thought I’d share with you my latke recipe!

Now for those of you who don’t know, latkes (LOTT-kuhz) are a traditional type of potato pancake  eaten by Jewish people.  My dad taught me how to make them. While they are time intensive, they are delicious and totally worth it.

Get these things together: 6 potatoes, flour, 1 or 2 eggs, onions, oil, salt, pepper, apple sauce, sour cream.

The recipe is pretty simple – grate up a bunch of potatoes into a bowl. Try to pour out the extra moisture or pat it with a towel. Mix in some eggs, flour (Matzoh meal if you’re going to be traditional), salt, pepper, and grated onions. Garlic too, if you like. Make sure the onions are grated or chopped really fine so they don’t screw up the consistency of the batter. Mix by hand. It feels gross. Add in flour til it gets a nice consistency for making patties.

Meanwhile, heat up some vegetable oil in a pan until it’s real hot. You’ll know it’s ready when you drop a small piece of something in there and it immediately starts bubbling and crackling like crazy.

Grab a small handful of the mixture and smoosh it down into a patty. Then carefully drop it into the oil. Flip when golden brown. When it’s done, remove it from the oil and place on a paper towel or cheese cloth to absorb some of the extra oil. Serve with apple sauce and sour cream and it is so amazing.

Latkes are traditional for Hanukkah because it’s a celebration of when some people were locked in a temple or something and they had to make a small amount of oil last for eight days and it did and it was a miracle! So the oil that you cook the latkes in represents God’s love and miracles!

Normally my dad makes latkes on Christmas morning. But my parents are watching their weight this year, so I had to make myself as many latkes as I could handle this weekend. Making latkes for friends is good too because it gives you a chance to talk about the meaning of the holiday. Also, everyone loves latkes. Happy Hanukkah!

Emily’s stomach, you have the floor, after the jump.

Standup Women (stand)Update 12/08

Hey everybody. Welcome to our newest, and yet, most beloved feature: the Standup Women (stand)Update! The latest news (in brief) about women in comedy. Here’s a little run down of the latest!

– First off, Lisa Landry’s album made the list of Top 10 Comedy Albums of 2008 on iTunes! Congratulations, Lisa. Now all of you go buy it.

– Tina Fey gets a huge spread in the most recent issue of Vanity Fair, with fancy photos by Annie Leibovitz and an article by Maureen Dowd. They talk about the scar, Sarah Palin (of course), her marriage, and her resemblance to alter-ego Liz Lemon. However, a good chunk of the article focused on the fact that Fey is admittedly the end-product of a huge makeover. When she started writing for SNL, she was pudgy and unkempt but then she lost weight and “glammed up,” and that’s when they put her on Weekend Update. It’s almost disheartening to hear what a huge difference it made:

[Former SNL writer Adam] McKay recalls Fey telling a story about her heavier days. “Steve Martin walked right past her at the coffee table, and then, after the makeover, he was like, ‘Well, hel-looo—who are you?’ ”

Steve Martin: kind of a sleaze apparently.

– This trailer for ‘Spring Breakdown,’ starring Parker Posey, Amy Poehler, and Rachel Dratch looks amazing. Too bad it’s only getting a DVD release. WTF? I’m trying to get stoned and go see this with my mom! Not get stoned and… rent it… with my mom.

– Were you wondering what to get me for Christmas and/or Hanukkah? WONDER NO MORE! I AM SO SERIOUS.

– Maybe you can buy it for me at the new Feminist Bookstore? Holler at Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen aka Thunderant.

That’s all for this week. I’ll leave you with my pick for my favorite Standup Women clip of the week! Surprise, surprise: It’s Jessi Campbell. My hero.

Oh, and if you have any hot tips, let me know! emilyh (at) rooftopcomedy (dot) com!

John McCain. Truck Nutz.

It seems like the big post-election question (other than what kind of puppy the Obamas are getting) seems to be: where is the Republican party going to go now? It’s obvious that there needs to be some re-thinking and strategizing happening. The clunky, directionless McCain campaign lost by reaching to the religious right at the last minute, while the sleek, sexy, l33t Obama campaign did the internet all over the Republicans’ faces. So how is the GOP regrouping?

Rest assured, the best and brightest are on it. Why, just saunter on over to rebuildtheparty.com where user-submitted strategies were discussed, voted on, and eventually incorporated into a 10-point plan for the future. I read the whole thing. It is super boring.

Reading the user-submitted ideas was pretty interesting, though. Especially this one espousing greater inclusion, less emphasis on religious morality, etc etc. Basically: social liberalism. Curious to see how other members of the party felt about this proposal, I clicked through to the comments. It is quite the lively discussion. There are a few Christians on there saying over and over again that accepting baby killing and sodomy is a bad bad bad idea, a few Republicans saying it’s necessary, a few liberals just on there to gloat, but overwhelmingly, the message is: Truck Nutz.

Take this exchange, for example. A user named Goal Oriented writes:

I think our Conservatism needs more capitalization, not less. For example “conservative” this looks WEAK. “CONSERVATIVE!!!” THIS IS FORCEFUL, POTENT, and AGGRESSIVE. THIS IS THE PARTY WE NEED TO BE. Say goodbye to conservatism and Conservatism, this is the age of the CONSERVATIVES!.

In response, CamionetaCajones writes:

I agree with gaol oriented:

“I think our Conservatism needs more capitalization, not less. For example “conservative” this looks WEAK. “CONSERVATIVE!!!” THIS IS FORCEFUL, POTENT, and AGGRESSIVE.”

Say it loud, I’m TRUCKNUTZ and I’M PROUD!

Or this, from NuttyNuttyBoy:

All yer small “c” conservatives are belong to TruckNutz!
All yer small “c” conservatives are belong to TruckNutz!
All yer small “c” conservatives are belong to TruckNutz!
All yer small “c” conservatives are belong to NUTZ!

Or my personal favorite, from someone who has taken on the moniker ‘Michel Foucault':

In this central and centralized humanity, the effect and instrument of complex power relations, bodies and forces subjected by multiple mechanisms of “incarceration,” objects for discourses that are in themselves elements for this strategy, we must hear the distant roar of trucknutz.

The future’s so bright, I gotta wear… truck nutz.

To read the whole discussion, head over here.

Minneapolis!

USA! USA! More specifically: MSP!MSP!

So check it out, y’all: I, Emily H, Rooftop intern, got to go to Minneapolis, home of the world-famous Acme comedy club. All our favorite Acme comics did a really great job of showing me around town and generally proving that Minneapolis is the best comedy place ever, filled with the best comedy people ever, and also: lots of lakes.

Adventures in Minneapolis, after the jump!

HALLOWEEN!

It smells like candy up in this piece!!! Spooky spook-o-ween, spook-o-lanterns! Allow me to steal this opportunity to share with you my FAVORITE HALLOWEEN VIDEO EVER!!! Stay spooky!!!! And enjoy!!!