This week’s episode starts out with a discussion about how exciting it is when we post these podcasts and the post podcast ritual we partake in. Then the conversation turns to Kevin’s ongoing travels and the fun week Joel is looking forward to as it is Kite Week in the Nation.
Of course, the conversation turns to Kevin’s new “yo’ mama” jokes. We get really deep into the classic, timeless “yo’ mama” or “blonde” jokes. They also let language breathe and grow by changing the definition of “diverge”.
Joel then digs into the Hat ‘O Comedians and pulls out Tracy Morgan! This brings up the big comedy question of girl’s names on boy comedians. This leads to the laugh and then follow up laugh rule of comedy. The discussion turns again, but this time they discuss The Fault in Our Stars film which was an unlikely comedy to come out in 2014. Christopher Guest and his Best For Show, Waiting for Guffman films are mentioned and diverge with comments on Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard. We touch on the Production King of Comedy: Seth Rogan and his lackie James Franco.
So, then the duo does “What If“, one of their most popular segments.
We start the year out with a bit of a different thing from last season. Kevin has left Joel in the lurch, so to speak, by deciding to do the 199 days of travel. This week he’s in the Westernmost Mountains. They talk about his Sherpa (Korojo), Joel’s photography website and other intriguing travel related things. Joel asks some stirring questions about New York City and how traveling there really is the only place a comedian needs to go as his/her pilgrimage.
Then we get into the comedian of the week as picked out of the Hat O’ Comedians! This week, as the title says, it’s Richard Pryor. Before really getting into it, we discuss Mike Birbiglia’s rise to fame due to our support.
We let our students know that the Pry guy is dead, but he lives on in many other famous comedians’ voices and eyes: Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, Eddie Griffin, Eddie Murphy, Steve Harvey, Kevin Hart, Bill Cosby. Basically all the black comedians. Who was the white version of Dick? Well, it was Gene Wilder in the Mel Brooks films.
Then we share a new segment: Kevin’s Klassic Kranks!
Joel also mentions his accidental podcast: voice memos.
We will be doing Give Us A Handle with Kevin and Joel, if you have a circumstation, let us know!
We start the podcast with a sad message about the end of the semester of The JK Around podcast (season 1). We mention School’s out for the summer by Alice Cooper. It’s time for summer vacation! It’s time for recess.
We discuss the different climates in other parts of the world and how they don’t build very much character from whence to draw one’s comedy. We list many things that the Nation has which makes us richer of character.
Garry Shandling said, “As a comedian, you need to have something to pull from. You need to have life so you can pull comedy from it.” And we confirm that there’s no comedy in basketball, even in the film “White Man Can’t Jump”. And a city like New York is rich with Latinos, Delis and snow: it’s funny!
Winner of the Last Comic Standing, she is a big, loud, scary, ambiguously female comedian! We discuss her subtle surprise comedy which comes from cultural stereotypes. What are they?
To set the stage for Cho’s comedy, we first discuss her rich heritage from the history of China to amazing Asian cuisine!
We get into the rich discussion of gender classifications. And how these things get confused with the various Asians with ESL speech. This leads naturally to an interesting discourse about bigotry and the moral slip and slide of various cultures. It’s hard to talk about these things without mentioning black slavery, so yes, they go there!
Cho wears a lot of make-up like Mimi from the Drew Carey show. To help understand Cho, we describe Drew Carey’s career and that of Wayne Brady! Using the genius of Wayne Brady, we can see where Cho gets her depth.
Then we ground our students and John Travolta.
Then the gang describes some of the lovely gifts that they’ve received because of the show. This leads to honouring the brilliance of blond jokes. And then there’s a sneak peak into how the boys conduct their business meetings with Gil, their manager.
Assignment: Expose your arsenal to us on Facebook or twitter. Send us images and jokes that are inside your arsenal.
Assignment too: Treat us like the teachers and abuse us online. Send us rude jokes. “Put the gum under the desk” as Kevin said. Because this is a classroom. Be irreverent!
And then we do “What If?” What if Margaret Cho were the stinger on a bee? Would it destroy the comedy infrastructure?!
The episode begins with Joel and Kevin suggesting that Prince could do a cool rock and roll version of their theme song. That gets Joel talking about hippity-hop and how he doesn’t enjoy the “music” or lyrics, but really loves the sexy videos they make to go along with those things.
Then the JK Around exposes their other exploits that go far beyond this comedy podcast. We discuss Kevin’s scoliosis.
And then it’s time to draw the name out of the comedy hat! From Chris Farley to Sam Kinison, we’ve had such great diversity on the podcast out of the hat so far!
Demetri had a show on HBO called “Demetri Martin and the Special Things“. He was doing Drawing Comedy. We explain what that is. And then it comes out that all good comedy has its foundation in reality. All this points back to Marmaduke.
Then the duo discusses their hatred for certain sounds and textures. Joel doesn’t like chalk, Kevin doesn’t like typewriters.
The lesson turns to musical comedy which is something that Demetri practises in the discipline. But is he like Tenacious D? Or is he more like Folk music? Is he Arj Barker doing the Doggy Bounce? Is he anything like Flight of the ConChords (the Australian (New Zealand) version of us)?
They discuss the sparsity of his comedy atmosphere. How he doesn’t have a lot on his sets or tshirts… or expressions on his face (no one actually says that last one). A question for our students would be: Why the sparsity? What is the affect there? Joel’s question to the students would be this: If you look at the show of Pee-wee Herman, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, is that also funny?
The podcast cracks off on an interesting conversation about time, death, tragedy and comedy. They immediately turn the comedy plus time equals tragedy equation on its ear.
Then we reiterate what we’re doing with the show, interviewing amateur comedians in order to stay away from just discussing WHO the people are, but rather, WHAT they do (the comedy). TMZ can enjoy taking strange pictures of what these celebrities are eating, but we’re going to educate our students. This leads to discussing how the paparazzi are run here in the Nation, which is a sensible way of doing things. Hopefully America will bring these ideas in with Obamacare.
Assignment: How many comedians are in the hat (by sound alone)! Please guess on facebook or twitter! hashtag: favourite jellybean flavour.
The tribute unfolds first with his iconic beret, that special look that Sam had. This was his “calling card” (we go to great lengths to describe what that is). He’s in good artistic company with Van Gogh and the guy from myth busters. Yet, other people might imagine Sam in the same camp as a director, a French person, a mime or someone who rides a tandem bicycle.
Is Sam an angry comedian like Lewis Black or Louis CK? Maybe there’s something different. Kevin explains what that might be.
Then the team gets into a very interesting conversation about long hair on a boy. This was forbidden from 1983 to 1995 in the nation. Of course, Sam lived in that place of rebelliance. We discuss Kevin’s history of long hair and a beautiful Old Yeller-type memory.
Then we tell our students how we’ll be coming up with their tributees which will show how well we know comedy and comedians off the cuff (and out of a hat). We mention Wanda Sykes and Frank Caliendo as comedians we both have fought for in the past.
Of course, Jerry Seinfeld is a huge fan of Superman and actually worked with him on some commercials for Mastercard. Is this a moral choice? Should these two titans be selling themselves to capitalism? It just makes logical sense that if you can do good with comedy, you can do bad with comedy. Kevin cites the Flintstones and the Jetsons being on both polar opposites of that coin.
Early-on assignment: Why are the Jetson’s evil because of technology or why are the Flintstones evil and the Jetson’s are not (in 500 words or less)? On Twitter or Facebook.
The duo discuss his show Seinfeld and how important that was to bring Jerry’s speech, perspective and jokes onto the couches, into the ears and minds of the world! And it’s made the world a better place. Where Jerry walks, the grass grows. He was asked to leave New York City because of that.
Then they gush for a bit about how great Jerry’s work is. Rocky is the eye of the tiger then Jerry is the eye of the bite (comedy, laugh, funny)!
The conversation turns to the Zach Shade episode in which we mention the Chinese bit of Jerry’s. This is something in the common vernacular like yada yada. Could Jerry have turned his comedy into gold like Rumpelstiltskin turned straw into gold? It started quotidian (aka quoted) and now it’s colloquial. So what’s the value? Has the value been sucked out of it? These are some deep questions the team deal with.
This podcast gets off to a great start with us reminding our students what we’re actually doing: taking the magic out of comedy. We take care to remind out listeners that we all could die every day and, most importantly, this year, so make the most of it!
But could Ricky’s religion jokes just be a Sarah Silverman type rip-off which goes against what he even believes? Maybe he’s a subversive Christian. He just drinks, masking his pain and making fun of Karl Pilkington‘s round head.
But he did do something good: The Office. It’s a story of David Scott working at Wornham Mufflin, selling paper. What a brilliant concept! Selling paper? Sticky Tack maybe, but PAPER!? Nobody buys paper. It was as brilliant as when ER came on the scene in the 90s. And there is another show in America which all takes place in a paper company with Steven Carrell.
We get right into to talking about our tributee because we learned from our mistake on the Sarah Silverman episode, to stop taking so much time NOT talking about them. Today we tributize a true, classic legend Bill Cosby!
We talk about his penchant for talking about simple things like family and friends. Even if you’re lost in the mall, that can be funny.
Then Joel breaks the dialogism by confusing Bill Cosby for Bing Crosby. But he doesn’t stick to the joke because it’s too silly. Kevin mentions the hard C and K sounds again and they wonder if the “R” in “Crosby” softens the comedy of the “C”.
Right off the top contest: If a consonant follows a hard C or K, does that soften it? Do some consonants not soften it (in a comedy way)?
Then they wonder which was The Bill Cosby Show and just The Cosby Show. Which one was Madeline in? She actually took voice lessons. And they speak of the amazing way she said “Howard” in What’s up doc (show clip).
That’s when Bill Cosby’s signature SIT DOWN comedy is brought up. Sitting in a cigar with a big ole leather chair in his mouth. As if we’re right there in his living room (metaphorically, atmospherically). This is a lesson Mike Birbiglia took to heart, he also doesn’t try in a similar way.
Then, as we often do, we get deep and discuss Bill Cosby on Spy vs Spy and ask “Did he ever grow up from that”? Why does he only talk about himself as a kid? How has Birbiglia matured so much. Why does Bill wear those sweaters? Does he suffer from those artistic quirks as the consummate professional he is?
Then they get into short form comedy. Steven Wright is the perfect example of short form comedy. They nail a couple of his most famous jokes. Concise one liners. They also mention Mitch Hepberg, the modern Wright. He was always so high on drugs that he was addicted to. But we don’t celebrate drugs on the podcast.
After we reintroduce ourselves to the students, we draw attention to the hard C or K sounds again in the podcast. We use Jack Black as an example. Joel highlights rappers caring about consonants and syllables and the Blue Man Group who use many rap-like energies.
We talk about our dream to get Dan Aykroyd into 5 or so of our skitches, but he’s so hard to reach! Dan, if you’re reading this, use the contact page and hit us up! You’ve set yourself up with that incredible name. You’re no casually comedic Bill Murray. Get out of your Taiwanese, Buddhist mountain and come back and do Ghostbusters 3! We talk about Dan playing tennis in the Capitol City.
Then we talk about how funny Sarah Silverman is and how that’s not debatable, but that it is, yet it isn’t depending on how you feel about it. Your call! Then Kevin shares a quote about her not liking unfunny people telling her where the funny is.