This showed up in my Facebook friend feed the other day.
It’s a side effect of Facebook only allowing you to have 5,000 friends. I think this should be considered a web 2.0 mark of popularity: when you’re forced to join your own fan group to reach your fans (rather than starting it yourself - not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
The first webisode of The Office went live on NBC earlier. While these two minute shorts are really just methodone for Office addicts, it’s still The Office.. Of course, my first thought any time the shot cut at Oscar was “where were all the other people who work there?” Probably for the best that the next episode looks to be at a bank. Won’t be so focused on the ensemble then.
I’ve loved every episode of You Suck at Photoshop, not only because it mines laughs from the protagonist Donnie’s pathetic victories. I also think it’s innovative, one of the first web video things I’ve seen that would only work on the web - a first step beyond the “radio with pictures” days.
The format itself - a software training screencast - could be on TV, but that type of video naturally works best right there on your desktop. Because that’s where you’re going to use the software in the first place. Combine that with the use of other applications and web tools, and there’s a rich sense of Donnie’s life (or rather, non-life) just from what we see on the desktop.
And I think that’s also a key - the series uses one of the unique traits to most interaction on the web - anonymity. It elicits the same level of imagination you’ve had when you’ve talked to some troll in a message board forum or a blog comment. You want to fill in this picture of why this guy is being such a tool.
So it’s great to see it back, particularly after what looked like a conclusive tenth episode. But demand was too great, so here we are again with Donnie and a lesson on Smart Objects.
As always, its impressive how they can both teach a function in the program and tell a story. I actually learned something from this.
What I love about this Olde English video satirizing Pixar films is that it makes fun of the animators for both who they are (super-enthusiastic nerdy guys who dress “fun”) and who they aren’t (people who cut corners).
That last line is killer. Impressive how they worked with their own animating limitations too. Videos like this make the loss SuperDeluxe much more felt. (Found via Ben Joseph)
Michael Showalter’s deliciously squirmy talk show brings on Mike Birbiglia to perform stand-up, sitting down. But Birbigs ain’t havin’ it…
My favorite part: every time Birbiglia asserts his desire to have a real conversation, he sneaks in a plug for something, making for a brilliant double barb that gets both host and guest. For someone who’s probably the most “likable” comic of his generation, it’s fun to see Birbiglia send himself up a little.
A second stand-up found in the nigh-upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV is Katt Williams. Here’s a video of his appearance, which gives a bit more of an idea of what the club looks like. (The clicking sound you hear is the filmer’s video camera.)
Williams routine is interesting in that it refers to Liberty City by name multiple times and has a relatively long segment on how difficult it is to buy a car with bad credit. A sort of meta-funny bit for a game that’s all about stealing cars. Can you even buy a car in GTA?
Williams also references a second comedy club that he calls “Club Bullshit” and describes as very small. I’ll put this down for creating an atmosphere of a big city, but who knows? Maybe Liberty City can support two comedy clubs.
A couple of things can be deduced from the exterior:
Ricky Gervais and Katt Williams are likely the only two comics in the game, since they’re the only ones with posters beside the entrance.
2) The club entrance looks to be based on the Laugh Factory TImes Square, which has since closed and is now the TImes Square Arts Center.
I’m a little surprised considering Rockstar’s satirical tone that I haven’t noticed any details that making fun of stand-up comedy yet. Split Sides isn’t even a childish pun. It’s probably there, but it hasn’t come out yet. Perhaps in the form of a radio ads or maybe there’s a poster for a fake stand-up who’s a stand in for a famous real world name.
Oh, and from the comments on the YouTube video we also learn that you can’t shoot the comics. So save that shit for the hookers.
Here’s a look at virtual Ricky Gervais performing stand-up at Split Sides, the comedy club inside Rockstar Games latest satirical video game Grand Theft Auto IV. The audio takes a while to come in, but after a moment you can hear Gervais’s routine, which is about being fat not being a disease. (Watch while you can, GTA IV video, at least today, has a way of disappearing fast.)
That virtual crowd’s laughter is a little creepy, huh?
The bit is kind perfect for the game - the developers love to make fun of American gluttony. This isn’t the previous unreleased material mentioned before, but, according to Pilkipedia, a bit from Gervais’s special “Fame.” (Patrice O’Neal has a similar bit, but I suppose might have been a bit more difficult to render in polygons.) This is only an excerpt, so I kind of wonder how long Gervais’s set is (and if has an opener and a middle).
If any of you folks are getting the game at midnight tonight, Split Sides is located in the Algonquin borough (the stand-in for Manhattan). If you heckle, try to do it with words, not machine gun fire.