Oprah

#Ashtag #12 All Rolled Up

Raven-Symone and Oprah Twelve weeks a tagged. Yep, we have 12 #ashtags of learning about today's pop culture under our belts. We owe ourselves some silk pajamas or some fancy table linens. That's right; twelfth anniversary gifts are traditionally silk or linen. So, let's just pretend we're reading this from a lovely, linen scroll, okay?

This week's No. 1 and  No. 3 searches on Google involve sports. In fact, many of the top searches this week involve sports. We shall skip those.  The No. 2 search is Blake Lively. The actress is expecting her first child with her husband, Ryan Reynolds. The Internet is very excited about this news. As far as I can tell, the pair does not have a Hollywood couple nickname. I even conducted a semi-thorough search for one. Nothin'. I shall name them "Blyan." No, no, "Rake." Okay. I'm starting to see why one does not exist. Wait, "Ry-Blake?" Nope. There is no J-Lo or Brangelina for these two. "Blynolds?" Okay, okay, I'm sorry.

Teresa Giudice is the No. 4 Google search. The real housewife of New Jersey has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for fraud. Her husband, Joe, has been sentenced to 41 months. Joe admitted that he took out false loans in her name because "her credit was better." Teresa admitted that she needs to learn to read things before signing them. Her new goal is to "become a better person." I bet they get a reality show. I don't know the rules about filming in a prison, but it seems ripe for the picking. I hope they get one. I won't watch it, but I hope they get one.

There are so many top searches this week that aren't sports! I want to tell you all about them, but this fancy linen scroll only holds so much. Commence top search montage now! Okay, get a fast-paced, synthy, inspirational song of your choice rolling in your head. And go! Twin Peaks is back! David Lynch is excited about it. Raven-Symone told Oprah that she's "just a human that loves humans." She doesn't want to be labeled as gay or African-American. Hulk Hogan's son, Nick, is the first male victim of the Fappening. Bruce Jenner appeared in public with long, flowing locks. Montage complete! You may now stop the mental synth song.

Bill Murray

One of the top viewed videos on YouTube this week is "St. Vincent - Bill Murray Sings Bob Dylan - the Weinstein Company." It is exactly as titled. Here is what stood out to me as I watched this video. There is a lawn chair that is a love seat. A classic green lawn chair, but double the width. I didn't know such a thing exists. Just as I got excited about the chair, Mr. Murray sat down, and I noticed the chair rocked. A rocking, lawn chair loveseat! What anniversary is that the present? I desperately need this contraption in my life.

I'm going to try to stop thinking about this seat, so that I can continue. This week, I've once again subjected myself to popular music by way of the top-viewed music videos. I watched the entire video for FIBI's "Love is So Lame." It sounded like a whinier and non-catchy Taylor Swift song. Twice someone who sounded like Jay-Z said, "Turn the lights off" in what sounded like the intro to a rap interlude. The rapping never surfaced. I did not enjoy this song at all. I had never heard of FIBI, but based on this song, I do not like her. I mostly sat through the entire video because I was still in a daze thinking about that chair.

This luxurious, linen scroll is almost out of room, so I must now tell you about the Kardashian game. Kim graciously released an update to allow for marriage. And just like Kim did, you can get married in Florence. The city was added to the game with the update. I cannot maintain a relationship in the game, and will unlikely make it to a Florence wedding. People break up with me because I work too much. My only option to get them back is to charm them with K-stars, which I do not have because I will not spend real money. #realornotthesinglelifesformeiguess

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.

What We're Loving: Watchable Improv Videos, Suddenly Necessary Information, Fictional Fishing Trips

image (2)Each Friday, DCH performers, teachers, and students offer their recommendations for what to watch, read, see, hear, or experience. This week David Allison digs for gold in a dumpster fire, Amanda Hahn decreases your productivity, and Ryan Callahan celebrates the return of the greatest thing ever.

Perfect Harold

Three facts regarding the last twenty years:

1.) An influx of new theaters has created an opportunity for more improvisational comedy performances than ever before.

2.) Websites like YouTube and FunnyorDie have made it easy to consume entertainment anywhere.

3.) The steadily decreasing cost of technology has made it possible for anyone to afford to create/upload videos.

Because of those points, it would make sense that the internet would be overrun with super funny clips from improv shows.  So much hilarity is being created every day on stages all over the US and the increased ease of posting these shows eliminates the excuse that improvisers are just lazy. People should be sending each other emails with subject lines like “Hey Auntie, check out this great organic opening by this team in Des Moines!”

Why doesn’t this happen?

BECAUSE IMPROV VIDEOS ARE TERRIBLE.  Like can’t watch past the introduction of the team terrible (BTW, no one wants to watch this segment, not even your parents).  I don’t understand how a festival organizer can sift through hundreds of videos in this dumpster fire of a genre. They’re the real heroes here.  With that said, there are a handful of good videos of improv shows that you can find online.  They’re passed amongst friends and fellow performers like a secret handshake.  “Oh, you’ve watched The Reckoning’s perfect Harold, you’re cool” or “Man, it sure was nice of that Ted Tremper guy to post all those great Middle Aged Comeback shows.”

Today, or whatever day you’re reading this (Time is CRAZY), I would like to introduce another entry into the pantheon of watchable improv videos.  In fact, I’m actually going to add a whole channel of videos.  The channel is NY Comedy and it’s a collection of great improvised sets from all over New York.  Most of them are good enough, but the real treat is watching the latest cagematch videos from UCBNY.  Cagematch is a weekly show in which two teams perform a set and the strongest one survives to perform the next week.  I’d recommend starting with the groups What I did for Love and F*ck That Sh*t because the confidence and true decisiveness with which each group plays is truly a pleasure to watch.  With a little hope, they’ll be more great videos where these came from. - David Allison

InternetThis is my fourth week contributing to this blog, and I feel like you’ve gotten to know me and my interests pretty well. You know I like awkward moments, learning, and weird people. So enough about me. What about you? What are you into?

…Okay, reader, no matter what you just answered, I have a website for you. One single website for anything you love. My dear reader, this week I am loving Internet is Useful (internetisuseful.com). In fact, right this very moment, I am loving this website. I just discovered it a few minutes ago, and I am already obsessed. Internet is Useful is simply a website to help you find other websites, organized by category. I’m finding websites I didn’t even know I wanted. No… needed.

- Want to find bands and artists that are coming into town and potentially discover new music? Check out gigfi.com. Just type in your city name, and it creates a Spotify playlist of artists that are coming to your city.

- Like documentaries? Find a bunch to stream at documentaryheaven.com.

- Want to know how to get one material stick to another material? (and freaking stay there!) There’s an entire website for that! thistothat.com

- And hey, are you a nerd?? Specifically, are you a nerd that wants to take a day trip?! Well, you’re in luck! Head over to nerdydaytrips.com. You can find a place travel back in time to the Victorian era. Or discover open stages for a variety show of magicians, comedians, dancers, and jugglers.Or you can keep it simple, and just remind yourself of all the Dallas museums you’ve been forgetting to check out or revisit.

Thanks to Internet is Useful, I have wasted so much time tonight bouncing from site to site, ranging from apartment finding websites to fitness websites to intentionally useless websites. Yes, many of the sites listed on Internet is Useful are already popular, but I am positive that you will find something new and helpful (or at least amusing) related to one of your interests. I’m so sure you’ll find something new, that if you don’t, I promise you one nerdy day trip – gas is on me. - Amanda Hahn

Gone FishinLet’s talk about something important. The NBA Playoffs are here, which means  the return of the greatest, most significant, most life-changingest television segment in the history of sentient thought: Gone Fishin' on Inside the NBA. It's back, guys! It's back!

For those unfamiliar with the segment, here's how it goes. When a team has been eliminated from the playoffs, the Inside the NBA broadcast crew (EJ, Kenny, Chuck and Shaq) send that team, and the city it represents, on a fictional fishing trip to signify the start of their off-season. EJ starts the boat, everyone puts on fishing hats, (EJ wears the captain's hat, Shaw a swim cap). They grab fishing poles and introduce a cheesy vacation photo which shows members of the eliminated team and celebrities and from that city, and Kenny Smith, always Kenny Smith,  packed into a boat.

The idea that all these people would actually go on a fishing trip together, all cramped into one little boat, fills me with such joy that I become a child again, giddy and happy, excited by the possibilities of the world. I am literally giggling right now as I type this. I am not kidding. That’s how much I enjoy this segment. I stay up late to watch it. I record it if I might miss it. I get excited right before they show the photo, wondering who will make the  cut.

The best part of the whole segment is that the guys have no idea who or what will be in the picture. Watching them see it, and figure it out, and get the jokes, is fifty-five percent of the fun. The other day, the Chicago Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs. Do yourself a favor and watch.

Between now and Monday six teams will be eliminated from the playoffs. That’s six boats. Six fishing trips. I haven’t been this excited about anything, ever, in my life. - Ryan Callahan