This week, Grantland's Rembert Browne dropped by the Hoodie Clubhouse to recap his actually-pretty-fun-sounding adventures at Burning Man, the famed festival/temporary city/art space that sets up shop every summer in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. $400 for a week without money or cell phones and 8 a.m. dubstep alarms? Sign us up! We also assess the legacy of True Blood in light of the announcement of its final season, and our conflicting feelings about the often funny, frequently grating roast of James Franco on Comedy Central. How many ironic gay/racist jokes does it take to make an actual gay/racist joke? We don't have an answer to this question, but that won't stop us from talking about it.
At the will-call table outside the taping of the James Franco roast, I'm handed a manila envelope with my name and affiliation written on it in Sharpie. Inside that envelope, there's a smaller black envelope, and inside the black envelope there's a thicker envelope of glossy white card stock, held together with tabs, like the little document pouch that comes with a new iPhone. The word FRANCO has been die-cut into the top flap, with scorched edges, as if from a brand or a wood-burning kit. Inside this envelope, there is the actual ticket to the James Franco roast, and a pass to the after-party on a little chain, and underneath that, printed on the inside of the last envelope, there is a picture of James Franco making a sexy face. He has a little mustache in the picture. It's kind of the first James Franco joke of the night. Although I guess the truly Francoesque envelope would be a series of envelopes within envelopes within envelopes. Each one would be (deceptively) transparent, but no matter how many you opened, there would always be another layer between you and James Franco and his little mustache.
The American Idol producers must be very tired. They've been retooling ceaselessly for so long that they're getting glassy-eyed and confused, the latest example being the return of Randy Jackson, who had hardly exited the old warhorse as a judge before reportedly being invited back as a mentor for next season, replacing Jimmy Iovine. TMZ is reporting thatAI’s powers that be are attempting to get Scooter Braun onboard (the headline politely reads "American Idol Wants Scooter Braun to Finger Next Kelly Clarkson"), but don't get your hopes up: Braun, apparently, isn't eager to take the job because he doesn't want to get recognized while he's grocery shopping.
If you're unfamiliar with Comedy Central's new seriesDrunk History, here's a primer: A comedian gets incredibly drunk and tries to explain an important moment in history, while actors try to bring their sloshed lessons to life. There, now you're all caught up.
In this exclusive clip from the San Francisco–centric episode that will air Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Natasha Leggero drinks all the wine and attempts to recount the story of heiress/Symbionese Liberation Army abductee Patty Hearst, portrayed by Kristen Wiig. Terry Crews plays a kidnapper in a magnificent fake Afro. Enjoy.
Earlier today, Comedy Central announced its latest roast subject — and it's James Franco! Considering the series usually targets our nation's lower-hanging fruit (the last three roastees: Roseanne, Charlie Sheen, and Donald Trump), it's a pleasant surprise from the network, and should, at the very least, make for a solid change of pace. Of course, and without jinxing anything, the potential for greatness here is high. Ever since Franco shifted gears from aimless B-list pretty boy to sleep-deprived omnivorous Renaissance man, Making Fun Of James Franco has become something of a cottage industry. Which means there's a lot of proven, time-tested material here. And to prove our point? Here's a selective list of James Franco himself, leading the Making Fun Of James Franco brigade.
Music Monday: Pitch-shifting "Get Lucky" converts it into a Michael Jackson–esque jam; a terrible inauguration song in honor of the Netherlands' new king gets pulled for crap lyrics ("I will fight like a lion, nothing will stop me / from keeping you safe as long as I live / The W of William, three fingers in the air, come on"); and Snoop Lion on his reincarnation (it was time to "take the party and put it on pause" for Rasta's sake).
As a stand-up, Anthony Jeselnik has carved out his own space with punchy one-liners that play verbal ping-pong with topics most others wouldn’t touch: disease, rape, cancer, death, baby death. Nothing was off-limits. The idea was, “Fine. If no one else will talk about them, I will.” Now, with his own show on Comedy Central, that sheer abuse of the envelope has moved to late night. Last night, I sat down with Jeselnik right after the taping of The Jeselnik Offensive’s second episode to talk about his early stand-up career, what he took from his time as a writer on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and choosing between comedy and the bullshit that often comes with it.
So I want to start with your stand-up. I remember seeing you do Comedy Central Presents, but when was that?
I want to say I did it in 2009. I remember being on Fallon, and I remember it airing around the end of Fallon, which was in 2010. So late summer 2009, I recorded it.