You guys, this video makes me laugh so hard, and then it makes me uncomfortable, and then it makes me laugh again. Happy Friday!
You know how sometimes you come across a really cool idea and say to yourself, “This is perfect! Why didn’t I think of this?” And then you’re like, “And also why aren’t I famous enough, talented enough and connected enough to make this happen?” That was how I felt when I found The JV Club, a podcast where Janet Varney interviews lovely ladies about their adolescence. Do you want to hear Christina Hendricks talk about being Goth, or June Diane Raphael talk about Anne of Green Gables, or Gillian Jacobs talk about Mannequin 2? Yes, you do! This is positive, supportive lady talk, and I love it.Check it out!
Over the weekend, I got to watch Portlandia with my two favorite brothers. It was a delight. One of our favorite sketches involved Carrie Brownstein’s character hiring an adult babysitter to watch her husband. The woman playing the babysitter was hilarious, and in this behind-the-scenes video they explain how awesome she is.
In case you didn’t know (but you probably did, because I talk about it all the time), my brother Alex is in a comedy group called Baby Mountain. I can definitely say I’m their number one fan, and not even just because of my brother. I just think they’re so funny. Over the weekend, their school did something called the 48 hour shootout. Here’s an explanation from someone who didn’t really pay attention when she had it explained to her (me): each team gets a prop, a title, a genre, and a line, and then they have 48 hours to make an entire short film. This is the one my brother worked on…OR DID HE?
Why don’t I have a Baby Mountain t-shirt yet? I deserve one. I am the best hype girl.
I feel like it’s my duty to keep you guys updated on how nice Ben Schwartz sounds, like in this interview with the AV Club.. I’d also like to reiterate that by “celebrity crush” I usually mean “celebrity I’d like to be friends with.” Listen to him describe his work ethic:
At the very beginning, I was a page at Letterman, and I freelanced for any place that would let me write any word. I wanted to do this so badly. Then when I got a tiny bit of success, I was petrified that I was going to lose it. I still feel it. House Of Lies finished filming, and I don’t know when I’m doing Parks again. The second that happened, I thought, “Fuck, I have to start writing. I have to keep myself working, because why else did I move to Los Angeles? If everyone else is working 9 to 5 every day, why shouldn’t I?” I wrote those postcard books, I’ll do short films for free, I like to keep myself creative. But there is an essence of “When does it end?” That drives me, and also gives me terrible stomach problems. The anxiety of not knowing what my next gig is keeps me hungry. I’m doing exactly what I’m doing, and I don’t want to fuck this up. There will be days where I’m not writing, but I’ll think back to when I was a page. I’d wake up at 6 in the morning, write monologue jokes as a freelance writer, go work the first page shift, sleep in the security office, work the second page shift so I could get some money, then I’d go take classes from 7 to 10 at UCB, then watch every show I could and take the last train home. I’d get four hours of sleep, and I did that for about two years. That guy would hate me if I took the day off today.
Maybe you don’t have time to read this whole article about Carrie Brownstein. I didn’t think I did, either, but then Lauren posted it on my wall and I was at my parents’ house, and, well…it’s a good read, you guys. I learned lots of things. In case you don’t get around to it, here are the best lines.
-”Brownstein and Armisen began building a friendship, but, given that they were living on opposite coasts, they decided that they’d have to work on something together. As she put it, when you’re not dating somebody, “it begins to seem kind of weird if you’re flying around the country to see him.””
-”Armisen and Brownstein text each other every night before bed. Brownstein says of their friendship, “Sometimes I think it’s the most successful love affair either of us will ever have.” Both claim that it wouldn’t work if they were romantically involved. “It would be colder, because we’ve both treated our romantic relationships in a cold way,” Armisen says. “Carrie and I are more romantic than any other romantic relationship I’ve ever had—that sense of anticipation about seeing the other person, the secret bond. But things don’t become obligatory. I’m not thinking, I’m doing this because you’re my girlfriend; I’m just thinking, I love Carrie.””
-”Bill Oakley, a former head writer for “The Simpsons” who had moved to Portland, has helped out on the show. He says, “I’ve spent a lot of time in writers’ rooms. They’re pressure cookers. In most cases, they’re heavily male. You work long hours and many of the people in them have a really negative view about themselves and life.” The “Portlandia” writers’ room, however, is collaborative and laid-back. Some meetings have been held in the loft of the director Gus Van Sant, who has become friendly with Brownstein. “Gus’s dog was wandering in and out,” Oakley says.”
-”In one sketch, Toni, played by Brownstein, reproves a woman who has written an appreciative account of her boyfriend’s sexual technique for the store’s “journaling class.” “I feel like it was a brag journal,” Toni says. “And what a journal should be is a document of misery.””
-”In the bathroom were posters seeking roommates for group houses, including this one: “We are into open and honest communication, dumpstering, crafts, music, raw/living foods, biking, natural building, permaculture, living in shacks and trailers and all kinds of fun stuff like that. We are a vegan house, except that some of us do dumpster dairy.” (When I mentioned this to Brownstein, she said, “If I were into dumpster diving, dairy is the last thing I’d dive for.”)”
-”When Miranda July tried to explain why she and Brownstein had stayed friends since their riot-grrrl days, she began to say the word “ambition,” but hesitated. Instead, she said that they shared “a steady focus on what we are going to do next. We’re always asking each other, ‘What’s the next project?’ And, that being the throughline in our lives, more than relationships, that becomes pretty meaningful, at a certain point.””
-”It had taken a while, she said, for her to shed the sense that it was unseemly to “take credit for something you did. So Fred is so nice, because he never came from that scene. And it’s not about being self-aggrandizing. It’s just about taking a moment to be proud of yourself, that you worked hard and feel good about it.” Maybe, she mused, it helped that he was a guy.”
-”Brownstein mentioned how hard it was “to stay sharp on tour,” and said that she did a lot of reading. She had James Baldwin’s “The Devil Finds Work” and Hawthorne’s “The Marble Faun” tucked into her travel bag in the van.”
-”But Fred is someone whom I deeply trust, he’s already an extension of what I’d call family…We drove home late and I dropped him off at his hotel. Sometimes I get confused and think, Are we supposed to kiss goodnight? But, the truth is, I don’t want us to kiss, I want us to teach each other how good it can be to stick around.”
Okay, you’re welcome, now go read the whole article!
This Bill Murray and Gilda Radner story will probably do the trick!
I’m a warm-blooded human being, so of course I think Donald Glover is attractive. Let’s not kid ourselves.
He’s got a Miranda July level of productivity and creativity. It’s confusing because he’s so talented and so good looking; there is absolutely no reason he needs to be so good at both, because I’m pretty sure he could be successful on either the looks or talent alone. He’s like if Ryan Gosling was also great at stand up. Not fair and also unnecessary. Donald Glover hit it big with his group Derek Comedy’s Youtube videos, then he wrote for 30 Rock, then he quit to do stand up, then came Community, then came Childish Gambino, then came my deep confusion/attraction.
Childish Gambino makes for a complicated listening experience. This is his latest video, which is both great and creepy. It’s got a real An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge thing going on (oh, did you guys forget I majored in English? BOOM) while also dealing with a lot of other things too.
I’ll be honest. It’s hard for me to accept that the guy who raps lyrics like, “This Asian dude, I stole his girl, and now he got that Kogi beef / My dick is like an accent mark, it’s all about the over Es” is also the dude who looks like this:
He’s no Drake (no one is), but he’s close. CG reminds me of Lil Wayne, but with more highbrow references (Sufjan Stevens instead of Shenaynay, not that there is anything at all wrong with Shenaynay). NY Daily News recently published this article about Camp, his new album, which I’m really excited about. I love this quote from him, taken from an interview on a blog called Poop or Chocolate because, sure, that’s a great name.
Lately it’s been like I have a calling. I’ve always felt like the stuff that happened to me when I was a kid happened for a reason. And I’ve always felt like I had something to say and that what I’m doing is important. And I don’t let anything get in the way of that. If I really want to do something I can do it, and I’ve always felt that way. Never wavered from that. Lorne Michaels once said something to me that really stuck, and I’ve never seen it not be true. He said truly talented people are only faithful to their talent. Which might explain why he has people sign contracts for like seven years. Because if you’re really going after something, if you really have a goal, the only thing that’s gonna stop you is you. What I love about Kanye West is his willingness to be like “Fuck it. I’m gonna do it and I’ll deal with it later.” To take that leap. Because people who are real innovators; your Kanyes, your Michael Jordans, your Steve Martins, your Salvador Dalis, your Jim Hensons; nobody’s gonna tell them they’re too anything. Except for them. And since I have this unique perspective of having seen the world from all these opposing viewpoints, and I also happen to be creative, I feel like it’s my responsibility to expose the dichotomies that exist so there can be dialogue and understanding. I feel like that’s my calling. So what do I want? I want everything. Not because I’m greedy, but so I have all the tools to reach as many people as possible.
Today I was driving to work at 6:30 a.m., drinking a green smoothie out of a mason jar, exhausted because I stayed up too late reading, having a one-woman car dance party to Will Smith’s Miami, when I thought to myself: Damn, girl, you are just too cool for anyone else in this city.
Then I thought of one of my favorite Variety SHAC sketches, which prominently features Miami and dancing.