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.
Over a decade and a half after creating an iconic television character on My So-Called Life, Claire Danes has done it again on Homeland. Just hours before we spoke, her performance, as the manic obsessive CIA analyst Carrie Mathison, was nominated for a Golden Globe. In advance of Sunday’s season finale, Danes spoke about bipolarity, the unreality of nunchakus, and how, when you think about it, actors really aren’t all that different from spies.
Arriving in theaters in New York and Los Angeles today is Senna, the award-winning, Grantland-approved documentary from director Asif Kapadia about the life and tragic end of Brazilian Formula One champion Ayrton Senna. Impressively cobbled together from a mountain of archival video, Senna (being distributed by ESPN Films, among others) forgoes the standard talking-head interviews and voice-over narration and lets the charismatic racing icon tell his own story, in news clips, home movies, and in-car footage. We spoke with Kapadia about the film.