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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Go See Some Comedy: Greg Behrendt, Emily Heller, and More

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 11:30 AM


It's the week of Thanksgiving. If you're a regular person, that means you're enjoying some time off work and cooking. Or protesting Black Friday. Hopefully, not trampling a Walmart employee to death.

Holiday weeks are great weeks for comedy in San Francisco, because great comedians from here come home to see their families. That's what's up this week.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

The Golden Age of TV Movies: Death Be Not Proud (1975)

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Robby Benson, left, as Johnny Jr, with Arthur Hill as John Sr. - ABC TV
  • ABC TV
  • Robby Benson, left, as Johnny Jr, with Arthur Hill as John Sr.

Welcome to The Golden Age of TV Movies, a monthly column about those wonderful TV movies of yesteryear.

John Gunther
(1901-1970) was one of the most important and respected journalists of his day, During his lifetime Gunther traveled the world, winning great acclaim for best selling tomes such as Inside Asia, Inside Latin America, and Inside USA.

Today Gunther is best remembered for the memoir Death Be Not Proud, in which he chronicled his son's battle with a malignant brain tumor. John Gunther Jr (1929-1947) had been considered a prodigy, a scientist who corresponded with Albert Einstein about physics. He died at age 17, two weeks after graduating from high school. He had already passed his college entrance exams and had been accepted into Harvard. 

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Go See Some Comedy: Chris Garcia & Mike E Winfield

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 11:00 AM


This week's theme is Local Boys Made Good. Get your comedy over with on a weeknight so you can free up your weekend for helping your friend move to Oakland.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, go to the Punchline for Chris Garcia's album taping for A Special Thing Records. This is Chris's first album. We started together in the open mics and did probably hundreds of shows together when we were coming up. Chris is one of the founders of The Business, and during his long residency at the Dark Room, he evolved a standup style that is both personal and punchy. He'll tell long, sweet, often sad stories about his Cuban immigrant family and his dad's Alzheimer's, and then jump into big, undeniable jokes. It's gotten him to This American Life, which is like heaven for San Franciscans.

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Watch This: An Alien Anthropologist Analyzes Breaking Bad on Earthling Cinema

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 1:00 PM


Earthling Cinema is one of the primary series on one of my favorite educational YouTube channels, Wisecrack, whose motto is "Laugh Harder, Grow Smarter." Hey, I like doing both of those things! It’s currently Breaking Bad Week, and Cinema host Garyx Wormuloid — a alien from the distant future who tries to make sense of the long-destroyed planet Earth via our pop culture — studies all five seasons. Also, each episode about five minutes long, so seriously, you have time for it.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Golden Age of TV Movies: Congratulations, It's A Boy! (1971)

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 2:00 PM

  • ABC TV
Welcome to The Golden Age of TV Movies, a monthly column dedicated to those great TV movies of yesteryear. 

In Congratulations, It's A Boy!37-year-old playboy John Gaines finds that he's a new dad — of a 17-year-old. His newly found son B.J. (Darrell Larson) was the product of a long-forgotten one-night stand. After mom's death, B.J. comes looking for the dad who never knew he existed. He shows up at three o'clock in the morning.

First aired on September 21, 1971, Congratulations, It's A Boy! is a charming comedy-drama about two lonely guys who need to belong. After stumbling and falling several times, they find what they're looking for in each other. 

Immature and irresponsible, John isn't too happy about his new houseguest. Nor is he happy with his life. Pressured by his wealthy parents to marry a girl he doesn't really love (Diane Baker) and to take over the family business, John feels smothered. He drifts in and out of a series of meaningless affairs. B.J., who goes to church on Sunday mornings, is the more grown-up of the two.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Subscribe to This: Extra Credits on YouTube

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 4:00 PM


I'm not as much of a gamer as I used to be (RIP, Festival Game Palace), but I'm trying to become more of a gamer than I currently am. I inherited an Xbox 360 last year, have completed Beatles Rock Band, and am currently making my way through BioShock, mostly because of its similarities to last year's second-best film, Snowpiercer. I even occasionally play games that were made during Obama's second term!

I also like to keep up with gaming culture, which is no less vital than movie or television culture. Indeed, how much more money video games make, it's arguably the most vital of the three. And that's where the terrific YouTube channel Extra Credits is indispensable.


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Friday, April 10, 2015

Subscribe to This: Wisecrack on YouTube

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM


Like the rest of us, I watch a lot of movies and televsion shows, and try to read a lot of books — I'm currently making my way through Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed, which I can't recommend strongly enough — but I also watch a lot of YouTube, particularly the educational channels. Learning new things is fun! Especially when it's presented by people who try to actually make it fun without talking down to their viewers. Among my favorites is Wisecrack, which describes itself as "the channel where you'll learn your ass off."

Three of their best recurring shows are Thug Notes, 8-Bit Philosophy, and Earthling Cinema.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

S.F. rules, N.Y. drools, implies highly scientific sketch about Internet

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 5:24 PM

At right, YouTube. Courtesy YouTube.
  • At right, YouTube. Courtesy YouTube.

When decided to cram the entire Internet into the microcosm of high school, we couldn't help but notice how many of these kids are probably using "hella" on a regular basis. Surprising? Hardly. An opportunity to mock New Yorkers? Absolutely.

Below, a geographical breakdown of the sites and apps mocked in the video, because somebody had to. 

Bay Area crew
Twitter - San Francisco
Wikipedia - San Francisco
Instagram - San Francisco
Reddit - San Francisco
Google - Mountain View
Facebook - Menlo Park
YouTube - San Bruno
Netflix - Los Gatos
Geocities (Yahoo) - Sunnyvale
Silk Road - (Anywhere there’s somebody in need of a hired assassin or black-tar heroin, although convicted mastermind Ross William Ulbricht, Dread Pirate Roberts and San Francisco resident, was famously arrested at the Glen Park Library)

New York City?! 
BuzzFeed - New York City
Kotaku - New York City
Unworthy - New York City
Vine - New York City
Vice - New York City
OKCupid - New York City
Huffington Post - New York City

The Fly-Overs
Clickhole (The Onion) - Chicago
Snapchat - Venica, Calif. (developed by two Stanford students)
Hulu - Los Angeles
Kik - Waterloo, Canada
Snopes - California
UpRoxx - Culver City, Calif.
The Chive - Austin, Texas
Alibaba - Hangzhou, China

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Monday, November 17, 2014

San Francisco Man Uses Girlfriend Application to Meet Women

Posted By on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 3:35 PM

  • YouTube

If you think about it, online-dating profiles are basically dating resumes. Users scroll through the profiles of other users and contact the ones who best meet their personal criteria, much like an employer sifting through resumes to determine whom to hire. Although unlike searching for a job, people looking for a date don’t fill out and submit a dating application for a specific person — but what if they did?

One San Francisco-based YouTuber decided to do just that (he has asked that his last name be omitted because he doesn’t want his YouTube life to interfere with his business life, so we will refer to him here on out as simply Bachelor Chuck).

Called TheSureChuck, Bachelor Chuck’s YouTube channel is composed of several videos that are combination pranks and social experiments, mostly centered around picking up girls. In one video he wanders the beaches of Santa Cruz with a speedo, a red rose and a Borat-like accent, asking various women to marry him, and in another video he pretends to be blind as an excuse to hit on female passersby.

For his most recent video, Bachelor Chuck posted up at San Francisco State University with a large sign reading “Girlfriend Application” and a clipboard containing an actual — yep — girlfriend application, which contained questions ranging from “what’s your occupation?” to “How many sexual partners have you had?”.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PBS Digital Studios' Everything But the News Planning Second Season

Posted By on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Co-creators Noah Pink and Steve Goldbloom. 'Da fux an Uber? - EVERYTHING BUT THE NEWS
  • Everything But the News
  • Co-creators Noah Pink and Steve Goldbloom. 'Da fux an Uber?

When Everything But the News launched in February, the laugh-out-loud comedy left this viewer wanting more. And when PBS released the video "PBS Reporter Fail | SXSW Music", a commercial plug for EBTN, it went viral with more than 150,000 views.

"We really fooled people," Steve Goldbloom, co-creator and star, says laughing. Goldbloom explains that viewers -- and Buzzfeed -- couldn't tell if the clip was real, or fake. "I think they just didn't know what the hell was going on," he says. "The fact that that promotion looks real, and confuses people, is totally inline with our product."

With a collective 70,000-plus views on YouTube the series just wrapped up its first season on April, 16. Goldbloom tells SF Weekly that due to the success, he and PBS Digital Studios are developing a new season, and possibly expanding the program.

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"