Jimmy Fallon

#Ashtag Week 8: Ashley Nerds Out

Serena Williams Thank you for joining me on another journey into pop culture discovery. As with the previous weeks, I use current Internet trends to guide me out of my pop culture oblivion. This week, we've got some sports floating toward the top of the searches. The NFL is in the spotlight because of an elevator video. I watched the video, and it is upsetting. Let's not dwell on such things here. Let's talk about happy things like that Serena Williams won the US Open. Weee! That "weee" with four e's and an exclamation point is all I can muster. I don't care for tennis. Let's move on.

You may not know this, but I am a fan of video games. I don't play much anymore, so I just learned about the latest release while doing this #ashtag entry. I'm out of the loop apparently even in the world of video games. Who am I? What do I do with my time? The game Destiny has made records as having the most pre-orders in video game history. I watched the trailer, and it looks incredibly rad. It's a first-person shooter and an RPG in an open-world, multiplayer universe. I know what all of that means. Take that MTV VMAs! I do know stuff! If you don't know what those words mean, you probably lack the interest required for me to explain them to you.

Destiny will be released on the PS3 and PS4, as well as XBox One and 360, which is very neat for people like me who still have a PS3 and don't always have access to the new releases. They've even offered a free upgrade of the game if someone on an old console upgrades to a new one. Super neat. Okay, fine, I'm done nerding out now. But you go watch the trailer and tell me it doesn't look cool.

Fallon and Timberlake

I lied. The nerding continues. The iPhone is back, and it's got a bigger screen, it's thinner, it's revved up, and it's got a sick camera. Apple has announced information on the new iPhones, the 6 and the 6 Plus, which will be released on September 19. Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon voiced the first ad for the phones and the Internet collectively wet its pants. Was the pants wetting over the phone details or over the bromantic duo lending their voices to the ad? We'll never know.

The most popular video on YouTube right now is "DuckTales Theme Song With Real Ducks." The name aptly describes what is seen in the video. The opening credits of the cartoon, DuckTales, has been re-created using real, live ducks. It's cute. A lot of time must have gone into the set recreation and into the wrangling of the live ducks. I bet the makers of this video don't know what an Iggy Azalea is either.

Last week, I decided that I would dive into the popular music videos in order to delve as deep as possible into this pop culture pool. Or as shallow, depending on your perspective. At the top is Iggy Azalea's "Black Widow ft Rita Ora." I learned of these two young ladies during my VMA education. They look similar, but at the top of this video, one of them is wearing a name tag with the name Rita on it. I put two and two together and figured out which lady was which. Go me. This vid is styled after the "Kill Bill" movies and even features actor, Michael Madsen. I don't want to spoil it for you, but he wears a cowboy hat at one point in the video. Another top music video is Nick Jonas' "Chains." I guess the Jonas Brothers broke up.

One of the top hashtags this week that is not about any of the aforementioned topics is #iflovingyouiswrong. Apparently, Tyler Perry has a new drama on Oprah's OWN Network called If Loving You is Wrong. The show chronicles the relationships of "a group of husbands and wives that live and love on the same street." I borrowed that quote from IMDB because I really liked the "live and love on the same street" phrasing. I won't be watching this show because I don't have cable (and I don't want to watch it), but I may use this hashtag when I post pictures of my food on Instagram. (I'm still not exactly sure how hashtags work.)

I know the only reason you come back to #ashtag each week is to get your update on my progress in the Kardashian game. I don't want to be an enabler, but I'll oblige and feed your hungry monster. I'm still on the A-list, and I'm part of highly trending couple. I'm also deciding whether to buy a houseboat in Sydney or a loft in Soho. Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts on that decision. #iflovingthisgameisntwrongitshouldbeiamashamedofmyselfandidonotfeelcool

Ashley Bright is a writer/performer at Dallas Comedy House. She’s a graduate of the DCH Improv Training Program and is currently a level 3 sketch writing student. You can see her perform every weekend at Dallas Comedy House.

DCF14: Heel Turn

5903468The act I'm most excited to see at the Dallas Comedy Festival is Heel Turn. This Oklahoma City-based troupe was formed in 2013 by members Ann-Lisette Caveny, Kellen Hodgeson, Tim Huckeby, and Kelly Lawson out of "a shared sense of humor and a love of sports entertainment." As a lover of all things sports-entertainment, AKA pro-wrestling, I enjoy seeing it influence other art forms. The members of Heel Turn took the time last week to speak as one voice about great sketch, the virtues of patience, and Ric Flair. - Ryan Is your troupe named after the popular pro-wrestling form of betrayal? YES! YES! YES!

What are the similarities between pro-wrestling and improv? Pro-wrestling and improv both take a lot of showmanship. There is also a unique give and take relationship between the performers and the audience. Pro-wrestlers, like improvisers, have to take care of their fellow performers, make them look good, and always be prepared to lose.

Who would be the Four Horsemen of Comedy? We'll give the Four Horsemen of Comedy title to the guys working late night: Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers.

Who influenced you growing up? Who excites you now? Growing up we were all big fans of sketch comedy like SNL, MadTV, The State, Kids in the Hall, even All That. Right now we're really loving how much great sketch is on television. We're very inspired by Key and Peele, Kroll Show, Portlandia and Comedy Bang! Bang!

Do you thrive off the energy at a festival? Oooohh yeeeaaahhh! There's nothing like the feeling of performing at a festival. It's a very exciting atmosphere, everyone is jacked. It's like our version of a WWE Pay-Per-View.

What's the best comedy lesson you learned recently? Patience is key. We love to play fast. We also love when improv captivates an audience with slower play and high emotional stakes. We've been working on a happy mix of the two. You know you want to see Hulk Hogan hit that big leg drop, brother. But its so much better to see him get beat down then battle back to overcome the odds with the help of the Hulkamaniacs. Then that leg drop means something.

How is the sketch show coming along? Our sketch show is a work in progress. We're writing scripts based on scenes we've improvised in shows and rehearsals. There isn't much sketch comedy happening in OKC right now, so we're excited to bring it to the stage later this year.

You can form an improv troupe of pro wrestlers and comedians from all eras. Who is in this troupe? What is the troupe's name? This troupe would be insane. We'd go with Chris Jericho, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Dolph Ziggler, and CM Punk teaming up with Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Will Forte, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert. They'd be called WrestleBrainia.

See Heel Turn perform at The Dallas Comedy Festival on Friday, March 21st at 7:00PM. Get your tickets here.