Actress/writer Sharon Horgan (right) is amongst the first ranks of British comedic talent. Up there with Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan and The League of Gentlemen. But I don’t mean to compare her solely to males, I’m merely comparing her to other writer-performers. Horgan’s so good that, like her closest contemporary Julia Davis, her work so thoroughly transcends the notion of “female comedy” or “comedy for women” that it would be ridiculous to insist upon it.
Still, Horgan does happen to be a female, and a very attractive one at that. The series she is best known for Pulling (the second series comes out today on DVD in America) follows the travails of three single women in dead-end jobs and even worse relationships. Her acting style is similar in many ways to Warren Beatty or Gary Shandling’s awkward hemming and hawing, half-finished sentence school of acting (ugh, there I go with male comparisons again). With creative partner, Dennis Kelly, she knows how to write for her strengths. Like Gervais and Larry David, Horgan is a master at finding uncomfortable truths in the in-between moments of life. It’s tempting to describe Pulling as Sex and The City meets Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Sadly, the suits at the BBC—for whatever DUMBASS reason—decided not to renew Pulling for a third series. They did commission a one-off ending to the series, so it was neatly tied-up, but boy did they drop the ball on this one… However, the BBC’s loss is America’s gain as Horgan has reportedly signed a deal with HBO (Great move, HBO!)
Here are two more scenes from Pulling, one where Horgan’s Donna meets an old friend on the street and a second clip featuring fan favorite Karen in a typically awkward encounter in the supermarket.
More Sharon Horgan brilliance: In this painfully observed scene from Horgan and Kelly’s ensemble comedy for Channel Five, Angelo’s, husband and wife police partners, Dave and Karen visit the fertility clinic.
The Now Explosion was an early attempt—ten years before MTV—to make a music video network. The programming on The Now Explosion consisted mostly of professionally produced music videos of the era, but they also generated dozens of hours of homegrown music videos featuring lip-sync and amateur performers slathered with tons of primitive special effects (and this was 25 years before YouTube!).
The “Now Explosion” first aired in Atlanta on Channel 36 in 1970. It was a Top 40 music program which, along with airing the current songs of the day, showed images to go with the music, all to the patter of an unseen DJ. Images came from promotional films and videotapes from the bands’ management, but the show’s producer, Bob Whitney, also created in-studio and on-location film and tape images to play with the songs. He created psychedelic visual effects over the images, producing rapid zooms, shapes morphing on top of images, multiple colors and images. The show is a very good depiction of the music, cultural imagery, and clothing styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Not much survives from The Now Explosion, although many hours were recently preserved by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection in Georgia.
The Now Explosion website
An interview with Atlanta reporter, Miriam Longino, about her efforts to uncover the history of The Now Explosion
I had a total blast watching this! Dan Meth says, “When people ask ‘What are your cartoon influences?’, it usually stumps me?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s this video worth?
Brought to you by the fine folks at yellowBird
The Firesign Theatre will be reuniting for a series of four shows in Los Angeles, October 14-17th, at the intimate Barnsdall Gallery Theater at 4800 Hollywood Blvd. Called “The Beatles of Comedy” by The Library of Congress, this will be the first Firesign performance in their hometown in over fifteen years! The Four or Five Crazy Guys will also be signing things and relaxing with fans after each show.
I’ve been a Firesign Theatre fanatic for over thirty years now. I’ve spent countless hours listening to the sound of their voices and I consider what they do to be a uniquely American art-form. Put me in the room with another Firesign fan and I can bullshit with them for 24 hours straight. I can’t wait for this!
Forward Into the Past: The Firesign Theatre live in Los Angeles (Buy Tickets Here)
Here’s a creepy “save the date” invite for an event created by Elixir Designs:
If what you do is ostensibly what your competition does, then why do your customers choose you? Because you do it differently. And, you want to do it better. We help our clients cultivate their authentic differences. Then we communicate them in ways that their customers trust.
Our tangible work-the graphic evidence of the design process- embodies the client?
It looks like funkmaster supreme, Bootsy Collins has jumped onto the celebrity restaurant bandwagon—made a mint for BB King and Kenny Rogers, didn’t it? But I suspect in Bootsy’s case, it looks like he just licensed his name and some of his memorabilia to restaurateur, Jeff Ruby.
If you take the 3-D virtual tour around Bootsy’s, now open in Cincinnati, Ohio, you’ll notice that some of the memorabilia doesn’t appear to have belonged to Bootsy after all. Like I don’t believe that he ever had a poster of the young Beatles in his home, do you? Who made the decision to hang that up? “We need some things that white people like, too. All white people love the Beatles, don’t we?”
I also do not believe that Bootsy has ever personally eaten the vegan sushi.
We want the funk! Gotta have that funk YOWWWWWW….
Thank you Chris Campion!
The British Film Institute has restored a long forgotten short film of Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan:
The BFI regards the restoration as a significant one, a “missing link in British comedy history”. The institute’s curator, Vic Pratt, said: “You are able to see them at the beginning of their careers. The film captures the moment as they are about to revolutionise comedy with the Goon Show and it’s really important for that reason.”
A DVD of the film will be released next month and while the movie is, as Pratt admits, “a bit rough around the edges”, it is not as bad as Sellers remembered.
Sellers, in particular, shines in his two roles as an old major and a smooth talking salesman, Arnold P Fringe. “In Peter Sellers, you see a talent that was fully formed from the beginning and he clearly knows how to use the camera,” said Pratt.
In other news about Sellers, an insecure love letter written by the actor is being auctioned off that gives insight into the tempestuous union with his second wife, Swedish beauty Britt Ekland:
He wrote: “I have a dreadful fear at the back of my mind that you might leave me. I love you so desperately, and think you are so absolutely wonderful in every way, that I find it very difficult to understand why you married me. You who are just the most lovely thing in the whole world. What do you see in me? I’m not handsome. I’m not tall. I’m not special in any way.”
He described himself feeling “quite faint and ill and terrible and wretched and awful” as he imagined other actors wanting to sleep with his wife. “Without any doubt I am a raving idiot and I ought to have my head examined.”
Clearly feeling insecure about his marriage, he questioned why such a ?