Julie Seabaugh served as A&E staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and has contributed to Rolling Stone, GQ, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, The Village Voice, The Huffington Post, Spin, Revolver, Budget Travel, Vulture, Alternative Press, Time Out New York, Time Out Chicago, L.A. Weekly, Seattle Weekly, Nashville Scene, Kansas City Pitch, St. Louis’s Riverfront Times, Phoenix New Times, Dallas Observer, Denver’s Westword, Houston Press, Miami New Times and The Las Vegas Sun.
John Merriman has worked with the Moontower festival since it's inception in 2012. He is the co-host of the festival's long-running interview series "Inside Joke" where he has interviewed luminaries including Steven Wright, Maria Bamford and Patton Oswalt. Before Moontower, he spent five years at the Austin Film Fesival as a film programmer where he helped launch the Comedy Vanguard program and the Funniest Filmmaker in Austin series. He has called Austin his home since 1996.
If y’all aren’t following comedy writer and overall badass Jenny Johnson on Twitter (@JennyJohnsonHi5), you’re missing out on one of the Twitterverse’s greatest and most prolific Tweeters. The Houston writer is willing to say what she’s thinking, and she has more than 300,000 followers who can’t get enough of her.
Unfortunately, this Thanksgiving break, Johnson got into a nasty Twitter feud with hip hop artist Chris Brown that ended with terrifying death threats from Brown’s followers and Brown eventually shutting off his Twitter account for a day.
“I mean, he DOES look pretty rough for a 23 year old…”
While it’s true that Johnson prompted the dispute when she called him a “worthless piece of $%!#,” it’s amazing that her commentary elicited a response from Brown, who one might easily assume is immune to such attacks by now.
After an ample bit of name-calling, some proposed fecophilia and a well-placed spelling lesson, Johnson called it a day. But Brown’s fans (better known as “Breezys”) continued the offensive in Brown’s place.
Luckily, Johnson collected the best (and worst spelled) Tweets for us to enjoy, and those have been retweeted more than 1,500 times. Fortunately, everyone except for Brown’s fans took Johnson’s side on the matter…
It was touch and go there for a little while, but fortunately things seem to have simmered by down.
However, Brown’s reign of terror against women continues in full effect on every medium, and nobody — not even the comedians — are safe. But, like, seriously.
Well, we saw the movie, and we are sooooooooooooooooo glad that we did.
The final installment of the torturously drawn-out tween vamp romp, Twilight, is so incredibly worth the $10 ticket… ESPECiALLY if you’ve never seen any of the previous films or read any of the books. Trust us: you don’t need any prior explanation of what is happening on the screen to delight in it.
The delightfully incomprehensible plot, the unjustified stop-and-start pacing, the Who’s Who in World Vampires Today, the epically boring sex scenes, and THE DIALOGUE are just what the doctor ordered for making it this year’s best unintentional comedy.
Here are just a few of the moments that really captured our hearts and pushed us over the edge of ironically adoring this film. (The following are not spoilers to anyone who has ever read a thing about any of the previous movies. And reading these plot points is nothing like watching Taylor Lautner actually try to “act” them:)
1. Kristen Stewart wrestles a CGI mountain lion in the first two minutes of the film.
2. Despite both being super-fast vampires who do everything at hyper-speed and with inhuman vigor, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson “can’t stop” having the slowest, most unsexy sex ever captured on film. Each time they anticipate eroticism, Stewart reverts to her previous acting style of Unblinking Trauma Victim and all plot momentum screeches to an undead halt.
3. The result of the fateful lovers’ lovemaking is soon revealed in the form of a terribly renderedCGI baby with an even more terrible name. Why couldn’t they find a real baby to put in this movie? Were there no parents in Hollywood desperately flinging their future stars into writer/producer/genius Stephenie Meyer’s face to be the next Breaking Dawn demon spawn? Clearly, nobody (not even centuries-old vampires with dried-up wombs) would fawn over this shaky, off-color 2-D substitute.
4. The only explanation for using the expensive but unsuccessful CGI baby is because of the even-greater potential creep-out factor that an adult cast member immediately FALLS IN LOVE with the baby upon seeing it for the first time. We won’t spoil the fun and tell you who that character is, but there’s no way it’s not squeamishly gross and utterly hysterical in every possible scene this character is seen fawning over/talking about/fantasizing about the BABY.
5. Kristen Stewart finds out she has super powers! She can protect others from harm, but it only works when she grinds her face up like she’s passing a kidney stone and bites her lip really angstily.
6. Robert Pattinson tells Kristen Stewart that he has always underestimated her, and that she is constantly surprising him with her aptitude. Instead of kicking him in the junk, she finds this vote of unconfidence totally sexy, prompting another urgent (but painfully slow) kissing scene. Also revealing writer Stephenie Meyer’s personal stance on feminism/self-esteem.
7. Taylor Lautner takes all of his clothes off in front of Kristen Stewart’s dad. Upon learning the reason for Lautner’s constant disrobing, the father (the supposed “normal” compass for the viewer), immediately converts to full acceptance of such behavior in his world, no further questions asked.
8. The protagonist vampire clan, The Cullens, stage a final battle against the evil vampire overlords, The Voltari, and invite their friends, the other good vampires of the world, to join them. This collection of cosmopolitan vamps reads like the checklist from It’s a Small World: Twilight Edition, including stereotypical leprechaun-looking Irish vampires, tribal-painted Amazon vampiresses, and two Transylvannian extras from the set of Hugh Jackman’s Van Helsing. Not even Judd Apatow could conceive a better plot for a comedy.
9. Dakota Fanning (in all her eye makeup-ed glory) throws a blood-soaked baby vampire into a fire.
10. The ending credits. Honestly, one of the most saccharine, over-produced three minutes of cinematic perfection ever saved on film. I know that there are hundreds of Twi-hards who are crying themselves to sleep every night knowing that this film franchise is complete, and the ending was exactly what they needed to say good-bye to their fantasy vampire alter egos. But, wow. Just: wow. And Green Day? Really?
Overall, a delightful holiday romp for the whole family. Great fun all around. I recommend going to the Drafthouse so you can kick out any tweens who talk through the whole thing. (They are phenomenal during the fight scenes, though. Every single instance of head-ripping action blows their minds.)
Just make sure you’re not laughing TOO loudly throughout the whole movie. Those tear-jerked Twi-hards will shoot you some serious evil eyes after the film is done.
Filmed in her parents’ living room with Dad Joel and Mom Marilyn Bamford as the only audience members, the direct-to-fans special will be available for download from Chill.com on November 28th.
Her parents have long been a part of her routine, but this special promises to bring it to a whole new level of intimacy. “Why bother with an audience of strangers when you can seek your parents’ approval directly?” Bamford says of the unique format.
The delightfully quirky Bamford has three brilliant solo standup CDs in addition to the now-classic Comedians of Comedy tour with Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn and Zach Galafianakis.
We adore Bamford’s gentle brand of controlled chaos more than most, so we’re on pins and needles until this experiment in hysterical familial discomfort comes available.
Look for Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special on Chill.com on Nov. 28!
He’s here most years for SXSW, he practically lives at the Alamo Drafthouse, and he was just here geeking out during Fantastic Fest. He’s here in town so often, he might as well be considered a local.
Alas, Benson is in fact from the Los Angeles area, where he continues building his gradual comedy empire, runs his podcasts and enjoys the benefits of a state that legalized medical marijuana.
Benson started recording Doug Loves Movies back in 2006, and it’s where he truly shines as a quick-witted, movie-obsessed host. Here, he talks with funny celebrities about their tastes in movies and comedy, and then subjects them to a hilarious series of lightning rounds and pop quizzes. It’s always a blast, no matter who the guest is.
Later, he began recording the live stage show he used to host called The Benson Interruption. Here, he sits on stage with the comedian and heckles/helps them with their already great material. Comedy Central made a six-episode late night show of it, which featured the likes of Thomas Lennon, Todd Glass, Michael Ian Black and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Pretty amazing stuff here.
To say that Benson is only the quintessential stoner comedian is reductive. He’s also, conversely, a very busy man, who has taken plenty of smart steps in order to position himself securely in the comedy world.
Benson was on Season 5 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing (he came in 6th), he’s appeared on almost every comedy podcast out there, he’s filmed a few Comedy Central Presents specials, he’s made a couple films, recorded five comedy albums and he became a regular on VH1’s Best Week Ever.
Not too shabby for a dude that was once voted High Time‘s “Stoner of the Year.”
We’re excited to have the squinty-eyed comedian back in Austin again for Fun Fun Fun Fest. He did a set at the Alamo Ritz for FFF Nites. And he’ll be headlining the Moontower Yellow Stage at 5:10 p.m., right after Eugene Mirman and Duncan Trussell make the jokes. See y’all there.
Oh man, just thinking about David Cross coming back to Austin gets us all tingly.
It was maybe three years ago that we saw him live while he was touring for his latest comedy album, Bigger and Blackerer. The energy in the room was unbelievable.
Half the crowd was comprised of long-time Cross fans, who had followed his career from The Ben Stiller Show to Mr. Show and beyond. The other half was recent fans, made believers by his standout performance as Tobias Funke on Arrested Development.
The Cross veterans knew what they were in for with his standup, and the noobs were all just blown away by his hilarious crassness and his riled-up mockery of America.
This was not the closeted, blue-faced Never Nude they knew from their television box; this was a fearless creature made of unrelenting in-your-face comedy.
Fans of his movie and TV work will likely expect a mild-mannered, observational comedian to take the stage and make some funnies. But, if he’s still got the venom inside of him, they’ll be in for a fun surprise.
Of course, it’s possible that success and celebrity (and marriage!) might have reduced that edge in him. (He is appearing regularly on Modern Family, after all.)
But, who are we kidding? Cross is a comedian’s comedian and has plenty of darkness to share with the world. His comedic autobiography is called I Drink for a Reason, after all.
You can catch Cross on the Yellow Stage at 5 p.m. on Saturday night. And then it’s back to the cinema again next year to see him, along with the rest of the Bluths, in the big-screen version ofArrested Development.
Man, this is going to be a really great year for all of us. Let’s all start celebrating now.