Archive for category Uncategorized
- Nick Cave on piano, playing his song Into My Arms
- The guy on the left at the beginning? John Cale
- The quality of Cave’s piano on this song
When I started this blog four years ago, I looked forward to fostering an audience that would get into discussions in the comments section. For whatever reason, however, my blog has never generated a great deal of comments. Until recently that is, when I started getting a flood of spam comments.
I have better things to do with my time than filter spam, of course.
So while I appreciate those of you that have commented over the years, the era of comments are over. Unless of course you want to comment on my Tumblr page, or if you are pals with me on Facebook.
Article first published as Ryan Dunlavey on Action Philosophers Play Adaptation on Technorati.
Action Philosophers, the comic book series by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, has been adapted for the theater by award-winning playwright Crystal Skillman (who happens to also be Van Lente’s spouse). The play has been acclaimed for capturing the flavor of the comics series’ comedic exploration of several world philosophers. Action Philosophers is currently in a limited run through October 16 (Thursday & Friday at 8 pm, Saturday & Sunday at 7 pm) at the Brick Theater (in cooperation with Impetuous Theater Group). Dunlavey recently took the time to share his thoughts with me via email on the comic series’ successful transition to the theater.
When you and Fred first developed Action Philosophers, did you ever envision it being adapted for theater?
Never. I arrogantly believed that it was completely unadaptable to other mediums and it would exclusively live and die on the comic book page, but Crystal Skillman, director John Hurley and the actors have done a fantastic job of proving me wrong!
Interestingly enough (maybe only to me) Action Philosophers originally came about when I asked Crystal to collaborate on a comic with me, but then Fred got to me first!
Article first published as Conan O’Brien Visits NBC’s Jimmy Fallon on Technorati.
Wednesday night viewers of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon were witness to the brief return of Conan O’Brien to NBC. O’Brien, temporarily back in New York, is prepping for a week-long run of his TBS show at the Beacon Theater, starting on October 31.
While barely two minutes in length, the short visit made for a great TV moment, along the lines of Paul Newman’s “Where the hell are the singing cats?” bit (shown in this YouTube clip at the 6:55 mark) from David Letterman’s first CBS show back in 1993. Wednesday night’s Conan appearance clearly took the audience by surprise. But he and Fallon were savvy enough to interact for so brief a time, it did not become awkward for the audience.
The visit ended with Conan retrieving Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, from behind one of Jimmy’s sofa cushions. Judging by the comments section at the TeamCoco blog many Conan fans hope that this is a sign that Triumph might be returning to the show’s comedic team. (Oddly enough, TeamCoco fans seemed divided on the fact that Conan had grown a beard again while on vacation).
When Conan left NBC in early 2010, NBC forbid Conan from using certain characters (The Masturbating Bear, for example) in his post-NBC creative pursuits, as the network claimed intellectual ownership of characters and sketches developed as part of the show. In terms of intellectual property, however, there is some question if NBC actually owned Triumph, given that the character was developed by Robert Smigel.
Back when I saw Conan in the final Atlanta stop of his 2010 Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour, I was surprised to see a taped Triumph bit, as well as a Walker, Texas Ranger clip montage (though the Lever was renamed the Chuck Norris, Rural Policeman Handle). Of course, this was not on television. But I still hold out hope (along with many other Conan fans) that the physical retrieval of Triumph might be a precursor to his comedic return on Conan. Time will tell.
Last night David Letterman had Sean Young on his show. Some of you may ask, why? In fact, indirectly Letterman tries to justify why he had her on, listing some of the films she had worked on “from Blade Runner to Ace Ventura: Pet Detective“. Then once she came onstage, Letterman pointed out the last time she had been on Letterman’s show was 1993.
The booking was clearly an ac of kindness on Letterman’s part. She had no movie to promote and no project on the horizon. She made it clear, she was on the show to let Hollywood know: “I am available to work.” In the discussion, Young did not acknowledge that she had recently gone through treatment for alcohol addiction as part of VH1′s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (earlier this year).
I always appreciate when Letterman books guests like this, who have publicly struggled but are striving to get their career back on track. I have no proof, but I wonder if he decided to start booking guests like this after the 1987 Crispin Glover appearance, where the actor apparently was trying to pull some sort of Andy Kaufman-esque prank (Wikipedia has a nice summation of the appearance contextually), that ended with Letterman fearing for his safety, walking off the set and cutting to commercial. When the show returned Glover was gone. A few weeks or so later, Letterman again booked Glover, in hopes that Glover could explain his actions to mixed success.
Watch this interview with Young, as it is clear that Letterman is rooting for Young’s recovery (on a personal and professional level). She discussed the Catwoman incident (when Young tried to get cast for the 1980s Batman sequel by confronting the folks making the movie, in her own homemade Catwoman costume), and then much to my surprise–oh I will not spoil it. There seems to be some continuing denial on Young’s part about how she got where she is today. But she still tries to convey an attitude of “I’ve learned my lesson, I am ready to work.” Just watch the entire interview, and if you are like me, you will find yourself rooting for Young (and enjoying the comedy bit she does poking at herself ).
Here’s hoping that Sean Young gets some calls from interested Hollywood types soon.
(Side note to Talking with Tim consumers reading this piece via Facebook, sorry for the embed code that gets tossed into the FB version of the post. Click on the FB link and it will take you back here to the site where you can view the video and dodge all that embed code.)
Thanks to a tip from Pop Candy, I found out about a multi-source interview regarding the history of the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York magazine. But my favorite interview from it may be with Conan O’Brien. Consider this snippet.
One night they asked me to do the [“ASSSSCAT”] monologue, and I said, “What happens?” Because I’m a guy who likes to prepare. And they said, “Don’t prepare—just take a word from the audience, start talking, and see what happens.” So someone shouted out “Dog!” and I started telling this story about a night that I pissed my dad off because I refused to take the dog out, and how he blew up—how I could hear him running down the stairs to get me. I told it in this comedic way, and people were really laughing, but I realized that I had, like, a sense memory of this big conflict I’d had with my dad in 1979. It was actually therapeutic.
John Hughes died two years ago today. To observe this sad anniversary, I offer a link to the 2010 Oscars tribute to him (unfortunately Oscars blocked embedding) and also a 1991 tribute to him, when he was named Producer of the Year by the National Association of Movie Theater Owners.
In the past I have expressed my admiration for all things James Garner, and The Rockford Files in particular. Today, I was watching an episode of Rockford Files from season 1 on Netflix Instant (it is also available via Hulu), Tall Woman in Red Wagon.
Watching this particular episode, I was struck at how slow (compared to present day) the narrative pacing was with show’s back then. Watching shows from this era demand a certain level of patience, admittedly. But I love the pacing, I appreciate the storytelling nuances that are possible when the time is available. For instance, in the scene excerpt below, Rockford is trying to gain control of the situation, by closing the door while talking to the doctor he’s trying to gather information from. He almost loses that hard-earned rapport when his client offends the doctor, asking a detail of his credentials, an effort that Rockford admonishes thereby regaining the doctor’s trust. As for the question of the doctor’s credentials, I love the reveal at the end of this scene, that required a shift in the scene. Again, compared to present day storytelling, the pacing is glacial. But the details revealed are just exquisite to me.
To hear Kevin Clash’s natural voice, it’s amazing he’s Elmo. When I hear Frank Oz’s natural voice, I always hear Fozzie the Bear. Not so much with Clash. Here, thanks to the Archive of American Television, he talks about the development of the character.