UCB

Book Review: "A Bad Idea I’m About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgement" by Chris Gethard

Chris GethardI’m going to try my best to avoid this post digressing into a love letter to Chris Gethard, but I can’t make any promises. I like weird people. More than that, I like people that help foster weirdness in others. I find an immense amount of comfort in someone that can help people see that they’re not alone in trying to accept themselves and then give those people a sense of belonging to something. This notion is how I stumbled upon Chris Gethard. Gethard is a veteran improviser with Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), a stand-up comedian, an author, and host of his own weird-as-hell late night show, The Chris Gethard Show (TCGS). Just a few things about TCGS: It started as a live UCB show, which then went to a public access TV channel in New York (and then most recently found a home for a season at Fusion Network), and it billed itself as “the most bizarre and often the saddest talk show in New York City.” If I had to use one word to describe the show, it would be “honest.” The show has a topic each week and has a celebrity, usually a comedian, on to help with weird segments and answer calls from viewers during the entire show. TCGS truly gives a voice to its fans and viewers, reinforcing that they belong to something wonderful and weird that anybody can be a part of.

I could go on for hours and hours about how perfect and unique his talk show is, but I’m here for a book review, so let’s talk about that. A Bad Idea I’m About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgement is a collection of short, personal essays from Gethard, released in 2011 (yeah, I’m late, I know). I ordered the book after a recent nose-dive into the back catalog of TCGS episodes. Once the book arrived, I read it in under a week. Now, this might be a normal thing for normal people, but consider that I haven’t read a book in under a week in probably a decade and maybe this claim has more weight.

The collection of essays starts, quite literally, at his birth and spans up to Gethard’s present-day in 2011. Most of the essays are, at surface level, about growing up in New Jersey, moving to New York, breaking into comedy, and other typical “coming of age” tales you might expect to read from a comedian. That doesn’t mean the tales themselves are not gut-wrenchingly awkward and hilarious, but what stands out is how honest Gethard is about his struggle with mental illness and feeling lost because of it.

Gethard is brutally honest about a life-long struggle with anxiety and depression that always made him feel out of place in society. The book gives a voice to so many thoughts that I know I’ve personally had and deals with the question, “Am I going to be okay?” The overarching theme becomes his search for the answer to that particular question, and while the answer may not be black and white, the journey he takes you on to get there will leave you with a lot of hope.

Jessica Dorrell is a Dallas Comedy House graduate and performs in the troupes Wilma! and Summer Girls. You can see her in Stage Fright, a Halloween sketch show in October.

Now You've Done It, Wal-Mart Kid

By Sarah Mowery Over the past 24 hours or so, the Internet has been inundated with news of a 14-year-old boy who was found at a Walmart in Corsicana after apparently setting up shop in there for several days. The kid had been living in secret compounds he built behind the shelves, taking food and drink through holes in the grocery aisles and even taking care of a fish he stole from the pet department. If all that isn’t absurd enough for you, keep in mind that this guy chose to live in a Walmart when there is a perfectly good Target in Waxahachie.

According to the CBS report, Walmart customer Myrna Aguilar said, “You never expect that you’re at Walmart and someone has been living there for four days. That’s crazy.”

Well, Myrna, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you there. I ALWAYS expect when I’m at Walmart that someone has been living there. For AT LEAST four days, maybe more. Possibly with multiple other people. Listen, I’m from Arkansas, I know Walmart. Look at the facts, and you’ll see that it’s more likely than not that someone is attempting to move in to a Walmart at any given moment in this country.

I’m not the only one who’s been struck by this possibility, either - just look at the proof. Last Sunday, I did a show in my hometown with the group I used to perform with when I lived there. We did our usual format, the Harold, and one of the storylines that unfolded was that of a man taking his son camping in an effort to force some classic desperate parent/detached teen bonding a la Mrs. Doubtfire, rest his soul. On the way to their campsite, the two stop at a Walmart for supplies. Preceding a great deal of sufficiently disturbing plot twists including the discovery of an army of evil sweatshop robot employees, the two decide they’ll just go ahead and camp out in the Walmart instead of the great outdoors. Hmm.

The following week during my improv class at DCH, a few people did a scene where they spent the night in Walmart to celebrate the anniversary of their friendship. Interesting.

Living In Walmart Obvious Idea: 2 Myrna: 0

These incredibly coincidental improvised stories raised a couple of questions in my mind. 1: Does everything we improvise become reality? Because, if so, I should probably take a break from doing my sexually frustrated 12-year-old boy characters. And 2: What the hell, Walmart kid? You move into a Walmart, a feat thousands of Americans have only dreamed of accomplishing, and you go and get yourself caught?

It’s not even that I’m mad at the boy for doing what he did. Nay, if he had only succeeded he would have been my hero, the hero of us all! However, he failed to think his mission through, and that fatal mistake is what disappoints me. That’s right, Walmart kid, I’m not mad, just disappointed.

His mistakes were plenty. First, his choice of real estate. Walmart kid thought it would be a good idea to camp out behind the baby aisles. No, Walmart kid, people are buying things over there! Sleep somewhere people don’t go anymore. Like the CD section. He changed in and out of a couple of different outfits to “avoid detection.” My god, Walmart kid, you’re in Walmart! Take advantage of your resources and create some real disguises! As if all that weren’t bad enough, what finally got him caught was a trail of trash leading right to his hideouts. All that effort and you couldn’t manage to pick up after yourself, Walmart kid? Really? Though I’m not convinced what led to his discovery wasn’t the smell from the diapers he’d apparently been using to avoid having to walk to the restroom. Yeah. Uh-huh.

Now you’ve done it, Walmart kid. You’ve gone and ruined it for all of us. As for me, I don’t blame you. Sure you left a massive trail of garbage large enough to get yourself spotted by possibly the most inattentive, aloof employees in all of retail, and you presumably did nothing to cover up the smells that must have been creeping from your hideouts with more ferocity than the poisonous vines from Jumanji, RIP. But I can’t be mad at you, Walmart kid, when our nation has an education system that is clearly not teaching our children the principles of Leave No Trace! I can only hope that the rest of the world will be as forgiving.

Sarah Mowery is a level 3 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She lives alone with her cat and in her free time enjoys applying dialogue from The Lord of the Rings to real life situations. You can check out more of her comedy stylings HERE!

 

What We're Loving: Fake Letters, Bad Movies, Best Friends, Japanese Climax

Each Friday, DCH performers, teachers, and students offer their recommendations for what to watch, read, see, hear, or experience. This week David Allison hopes to cure his loneliness, Amanda Hahn suggests a visit to the bad part of town, Jonda Robinson doesn't leave her house, and Ryan Callahan is exited for climax.  jpegBooks are the worst. In the fight between sitting down to read a book and going to a cool party, going to a cool party is usually the winner. In fact, going to a cool party is like the Mike Tyson of the category. Sadly, Mike Tyson aged and doesn’t have it in him to battle off sitting down to read a book. And thus, the thing I’m loving this week, is a book. Gross.

My pick comes from one of my favorites, Jon Glaser. Even if you don’t remember his name, you’ve most likely seen Glaser as a writer/walk on artist on Conan O’Brien in the 90s, the recurring character Councilman Jamm on Parks & Recreation, or the brilliant show Delocated. Oh, and let’s not forget about that time he got justifiably mad at Pete Holmes. Regardless of what you know him as, you should be aware of his talents as an author.

My Dead Dad Was In ZZ Top is a collection of short, fictitious letters written by Glaser. The concept of the titular story is that a son cleans out the possessions of his recently deceased father and discovers a number of letters written from the dad to the members of ZZ Top, before they were famous. Beyond that fantastic piece, you can look forward to hearing about Van Halen’s alternate band names, Prince’s set list from the bat mitzvah of Steven Spielberg's daughter, and lyrics from when David Bowie sold out and started parodying his own songs. You can actually find a recording of Glaser singing the Bowie song on an episode of the Fogelnest Files if you want to click this link and jump to the 19:53 mark.

So please check out this book so that I can have someone to talk to about the one book per year I read. - David Allison

MV5BMTcxMDkxNTMwNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzc5MjUzNA@@._V1_SX640_SY720_The recent announcement that writer/producer/director/star of The Room, Tommy Wiseau, is coming out with a new sitcom reminded me of all the “so bad, they’re good” movies I watched or planned on watching after seeing and becoming obsessed with The Room. One of those movies was the gorgeously titled Hobo with a Shotgun. It was inspired by the intentionally over the top, silly, fake trailer that appeared in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse. The joke probably should have ended there. But I’m glad it didn’t. Keep in mind, it’s not a good movie (which is partly intentional), but it’s entertaining if you watch it knowing this. It starts out with a hobo moving to a new town where most people have completely lost their moral compass. To establish this, one of the first things we see in the movie is the wealthy womanizer that runs the city decapitating his brother, followed by an unknown female in a bikini gyrating over the blood squirting out of his neck. And in case you don’t understand yet that this is a town filled with scum, to really drive the point home, this town is called Scum Town. It’s unclear why any of the citizens that are horrified and run away screaming from these acts of scum still live in Scum Town, but I suppose all of us make strange choices in life.

For a while, the hobo just wanders around Scum Town, watching these acts happen. But then one of the kids in the town, played by Greg from Zenon Girl of the 21st Century, shoves another kid’s face into a literal PILE of cocaine and tries to kill a prostitute. Then Hobo begins his vigilante lifestyle, beating Greg from Zenon with a sock of coins. After becoming BFF with the prostitute, he buys a shotgun to stop a robbery/baby murder, and so begins Hobo’s killing/corny line rampage.

Overall, this movie is filled with graphic killings, people getting their dicks shot off, pedophile Santa Clauses, doctor-killing robot ninjas, groan-worthy lines, and dramatic speeches that include the title of the movie. If you’re in the mood for something cheesy, heavy handed, and downright cartoonish, ain’t nothing better than our dear friend: Hobo with a Shotgun, available on Netflix. - Amanda Hahn

playinghouse_btsinterviews_600x500Some days are just made for binge watching TV. I had one of those days this week, and at the recommendation of a friend I spent it immersing myself in the USA show Playing House. The show was created by and stars Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham (both from the Upright Citizens Brigade) playing two best friends at very different life stages--Emma (St. Clair) is a single, 30-something business woman who moved away as soon as she could, while Maggie (Parham) is a married, soon-to-be mom who never left their hometown. When it’s discovered that Maggie’s husband is cheating on her, Emma decides to support her friend by moving home to help her raise the baby.

I love these characters and this set-up because the dynamic reminds me of myself and my longtime BFF, and also because, if needed, I would totally raise a child with her. The other characters who populate the show are fantastic as well, with Jane Kaczmarek as Emma’s estranged mother, Zach Woods as Maggie’s brother, and Keegan-Michael Key as my favorite character, Mark, the local cop and former flame of Emma. (I could probably write this whole post about how much I like Mark, and all my favorite Mark moments, but I won’t, I’ll just say he’s cute and great and dependable and helpful and charming and I hope someday to find my own version of him, blah, blah, etc., etc., you get the picture.) A slew of great guests show up along the way, as well.

The show hasn’t been picked up for a second season yet, but my fingers are crossed, because there are things I need to know. If you’re reading this, anyone with any pull at the USA Network, hear my cry: PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HANGING! - Jonda Robinson

show_match_icon.phpIt's that time of year again. The G1 Climax is here! For those of you who are unfamiliar, which I assume is all of you, the G1 Climax is an annual professional wrestling  tournament held by New Japan Pro Wrestling. Yes, it is pro wrestling, but it's in JAPAN. Yes, it's still pre-determined, but you wouldn't know by watching the matches. Unlike the American style, which carries an air of "Trust us, this is all pretend," Japanese wrestling is all about believability. Fighting men, each with his own style, each with his own persona, go to war over the course of two weeks to determine who has the most "fighting spirit." The G1 Climax is the closest thing we'll ever get to the Kumite.

The G1 has produced so many memorable matches over there years. The Vader-Keiji Muto semifinal match from the inaugural tournament in 1991 had the crowd in Sumo Hall so excited that they showered the ring with pillows in celebration. The 1998 match between Genichiro Tenryu and Shinya Hashimoto is the gold standard for lumpy guys beating the piss out of each other. Last year's tournament featured my favorite match of the year, a slugfest between my personal favorite wrestler Katsuyori Shibata, whose gimmick is that he kicks people wicked hard, and Tomohiro Ishii, a bowling ball of a man who takes, and sells absurd punishment, and just keeps firing back.

This year's G1 is the biggest ever, with 22 wrestlers competing, including such people you may know, like A.J. Styles, Doc Gallows (formally Luke Gallows of CM Punk's Straight Society), Shelton Benjamin, and Davey Boy Smith, Jr., and people you should know, like Hiroshi Tanahasi (best wrestler in the world), Kazuchika Okada, AKA The Rainmaker (on his way to becoming the best wrestler in the world), the aforementioned Shibata and Ishii, and Minoru Suzuki, the surly former shooter who once wrestled a mechanical mummy.

I spent a week last August holed up in my brother's basement watching the G1. I plan to do the same this year from the comfort of my own couch, starting tonight. If you are a current or lapsed fan of pro wrestling, I highly recommend. The commentary is in Japanese, but the characters are so clear and the action so entertaining that you'll have no problem following. Every show is available on UStream. - Ryan Callahan

 

#Ashtag: Ashley Gets Her Head Out of the Sand

For those of you who struggle to keep up with everything that's happening in the world, you're not alone. Follow Ashley Bright's journey to become "hip" again.  I fear I am becoming an old fogey at too young of an age. I am not hip to the jive of today's popular culture, and I've been out of the loop for many years. I just recently saw a picture of this Drake guy people talk about, but I could not identify one of his songs. Someone else set up Instagram on my phone (although yes, I do now use it).

It's time for me to get my head out of the proverbial sand. Against my better judgment, I am going to learn about what's cool and trendy these days. It was actually a challenge for me to figure out how to find what is trending these days. But I did it. I watched this week's top videos, which included children reacting to Gameboy and an illustrated debunking of brain myths. I looked at Twitter's top hashtag, #cashnewvideo. And frankly, I'm not exactly sure what it is. It appears to be somehow related to two young gentleman who do vine and YouTube videos. My goal is to learn more about this hashtag business as I continue to do this weekly exploration.

I checked in on the top Google searches for today, as well as the top read Wikipedia articles. Sports. Sports are very in right now. I must admit that I have not watched one second of the World Cup. I fear that makes me a bad American. Worse, I think I'm a bad global citizen. I mean I've overheard many conversations about it. I've seen the Facebook posts about the games, the bars the games are being watched at, or the handsome fellas on the field, but I haven't watched any myself. I don't have cable television, which lends a bit of the hand towards my World Cup ignorance. Without a television, I have to seek out what I watch, and I have not sought out soccer.

The #1 google search today is Josh McRoberts. Sports, I tell ya. McRoberts has verbally committed to sign with the Heat. I like watching basketball, but reading about potential contract, dollar amounts, and whether his addition will sway LeBron made my eyes get sleepy. So, I have nothing more to say on the subject.

Apparently this Wimbledon thing is a big deal?

Did you know Wimbledon 2014 was going on? Me neither. Novak Djokovic won the title in an apparent mental victory over Roger Federer. The only thing this sparks in my brain is that once in a video of UCB's ASSSSCAT, someone made mention of a tiny Roger Federer, which is to say I know nothing.

Miley Cyrus is the #2 google search today. And this is how I learned that she is in a Flaming Lips video. With Moby. I watched this video, "Blonde SuperFreak Steals the Magic Brain," and I did not dig it. It's a reverb-laden acid trip, and if you know my musical tastes, you would know that reverb-laden does not deter me. But this doesn't have many other layers under the reverb except for some squeaky loops and such. I typed that I was a fan of the Flaming Lips, even their newer stuff like Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. I went to confirm that I had the album title correct and saw that it came out in 2002. My idea of "newer stuff" goes back twelve years. Does everyone understand why I need to dip back into pop culture?

I'm ready to learn about what today's young whippersnappers are into. Meet me back here next week, and we'll discover some more. Or I will discover some more stuff that you already knew, and you can laugh at how out of touch I am.

Ashley Bright is graduate of the DCH Improv Training Program and a teacher's assistant. She is a level 2 sketch writing student and intern for the DCH Blog. Find all things Ashley HERE.

 

What We're Loving: Single Use Acronyms, Suicide Prevention, An Abundance of Body Oil

dch_what we're loving_02_28_2014Each Friday, DCH performers, teachers, and students offer their recommendations for what to watch, read, see, hear, or experience. This week Ashley Bright cries alone, David Allison shapes pop culture, and Ryan Callahan will never sleep again.

 

This_american_lifeThis week I listened to the latest episode of This American Life. It's been awhile since I've listened, but I've been a fan of the show for many years. This week, while I sat at my desk alone, I listened and I laughed out loud and teared up. Alone at my desk. Typical This American Life listening for me. This latest episode is #518: "Except For That One Thing. "If you're not familiar with TAL (This American Life for the purpose of this this article only; if you approach me and say TAL outloud, it is unlikely I'll know what you're talking about), each episode has a common theme and each act fits into that theme. This episode features stories about things that are perfect Except For That One Thing. Act One is a radio drama based on a short story featured in B.J. Novak's book, One More Thing. It's about a perfect first date except that the fella is an African warlord. It's funny. Act Two is about how we could all be eating hippo meat instead of cows, if only the Internet was around a hundred years earlier. It's also funny, but this one's educational. Tig Notaro is featured in Act Three, so of course it's funny. And Act Four is when I cried. It's a really good episode. If you download the TAL app on your mobile device, you're able to save your favorite episodes, such as:  Episode 172: "24 Hours at the Golden Apple." That's a good one. Each act of this episode is divided into time segments at a diner off Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. The people are diverse and the interviews are incredibly interesting and entertaining.  For those of you going to Chicago for the Improv Festival, listen to this episode. Listen to it on your way there. And then go to the Golden Apple. And then take a picture, post it, and tag me in it. Please and thank you. - Ashley Bright

gethard120402_560Quick follow up before I get to this week’s recommendation.  A few posts ago, I discussed one of my favorite new shows, Broad City. Due exclusively, I think, to that post, Broad City got renewed for a second season.  Let’s keep changing the world!

Anyone that follows pop culture has a couple of favorites.  Maybe it’s a celebrity that shares a similar set of morals.  Or it might be someone that makes great decisions on what projects to take. Or maybe this person comes across as cool in interviews.  Why we like certain famous people varies greatly, but we’ve all got a few who regardless of what project they take on, we’re going to follow. One of mine is Chris Gethard.

Chris Gethard is predominantly known for his New York Cable Access television program, though you might also know him from his book or improvisational career.  He performed The Chris Gethard Show at UCBNY until 2011, when he was introduced to the free world of Cable Access.  As long as the necessary paperwork is filled out, anyone can make a television show about anything, which is probably why his show is about everything.  The Chris Gethard Show doesn’t really seem to have a discernible structure or consistent format, except that he usually takes calls and is happy to showcase anyone’s talents.  The latter is what makes the show special to me.  It’s an hour of television that makes you feel like you can do anything, because everyone on screen is getting support for the dumbest thing or part of them that they don’t normally allow others to see.  This mindset extends well beyond the show because of Gethard’s interaction with viewers; the dude has literally saved people’s lives.  His post in response to anonymous fan on the verge of suicide is an inspiring piece that I try to look at a few times per year.  The Chris Gethard Show was recently given a pilot order, so they’re not currently doing a weekly episode, but here’s an archive of every episode they’ve ever done.  As I said earlier, everyone has a famous person they like, so search through the list and find one where Gethard interviews someone you know and appreciate, like Amy Poehler or Bobby Moynihan.  Soon enough, you’ll be addicted to the show and bemoaning the fact that there are only three Sandwich Nights. - David Allison

ric-flair-49ers-panthers-orderIt would be a lie to say that I'm loving anything else this week other than the WWE Network. Since its launch on Monday, the Network has consumed me. There are many stripes in the rainbow of pop culture which I cherish, (books, comedy, movies, Criterion Collection Blu-Rays,) but nothing ranks as high as professional wrestling. Now, before I continue, allow me to answer the question that you have in your head. Yes, I know pro wrestling is fake. Just like I know that Robert Downey, Jr. isn't really Iron Man. Just like I know that Westeros is not a real kingdom. Now that I've defensively answered your fictional, judgmental question, let’s move on. I have been a fan of wrestling for as long as I can remember. There's wasn't a first show that reeled me in, nor a single match that turned got me hooked. As far as I can tell, it was always there and I loved it. And I loved everything about it, not just the morality tale of good versus evil, where good will always triumph in the end, not just the fake sport aspect which allows for stories impossible in the real world, but everything about the show: the interviews, the characters, the entrances, the shows within the show. Only in the world of wrestling can a thing like Piper's Pit exist. Only in the world of pro wrestling can a person like Ric Flair exist. That alone is enough to justify the existence of pro wrestling. My life now has two distinct eras: The Before Network Era (B.N.) when life was gray and flat, each day filled with the dull ache of sameness, and The After Network Era, (A.N.) where life is vibrant and lush, each day ripe with joy and endless possibilities. I could watch pro wrestling 24 hours a day. Now I can. It's a godsend. The god in this case being Ric Flair. Woooo! - Ryan Callahan

What We're Loving: Dreams Coming True, One-Armed Push-ups, 9/11 Truthers, Existensial Noir

dch_what we're loving_02_07_2014Each Friday, DCH performers, teachers, and students offer their recommendations for what to watch, read, see, hear, or experience. This week David Allison is tired of your apathy, Sarah Wyatt reminds us there is still good in the world, Nick Scott has some questions about press conference stage craft, and Ryan Callahan unintentionally reveals his psyche.  

Broad CityOver the past few weeks, I've asked a number of people about the show Broad City and I’m starting to feel like I’m the only one watching it. I want that to change. Immediately. Broad City is a brand new Comedy Central show that follows the lives of Abbi and Ilana as they attempt to survive in New York City. Each episode is heavy on the banter between the two, which is always entertaining because of their fantastic chemistry. Plus, there’s usually a cameo featuring Hannibal Buress and his pitch perfect deadpan. What else do you need? Besides the show being really good, the reason I wanted to write about it this week is that these are the shows you need to be watching and supporting! Broad City was created by two improvisers from UCBNY Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. They performed live together for a number of years and in 2009, created a web series that you can and should checkout. The online videos garnered a lot of attention and soon enough, they signed a deal to bring a show to TV. Basically, the path they took is the one that comedians are “supposed to” take if they want to make it. These are the sort of shows that, when successful, give aspiring performers hope that they can carve out a living doing comedy if they want. So watch this show because: a) It’s really funny, b) It’s your responsibility to, at the very least, give it a chance, and c) I want to be able to talk about it with you. - David Allison

pic1This week I'm loving Amanda Hahn. This woman is the most beautiful, amazing creature on the planet. This is not an exaggeration. Amanda is an improviser at Dallas Comedy House. She goes so hard in scenes, it's intense. I once watched her do one armed push ups for at least thirty seconds as a character in practice. She's strong. I am constantly in awe of her. This fine female is kind, cunning, and cute as hell, y'all. She's also super smart. When she's not improvising, Amanda is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Dallas for Cognition and Neuroscience. If that doesn't intimidate you, I don't know what will. She can scan your brain! Your brain! On a computer! This one's got aspirations outside of science though. Her dream job is writing for The Daily Show or the Colbert Report or The Onion. She's not picky. Amanda is also just like the best human being you'll ever meet. She's always so supportive and happy, but not in annoying way, it's genuine, you guys. This week, for no reason, she photoshopped a picture of me hanging out with President Obama. Who does amazing things like that out of the blue?? Amanda goddamn Hahn, that's who. When I asked her if she minded me writing about her this week, she sent me a text probably longer than this post detailing interesting facts about her. She's thorough. One of them was that she loves talking to strangers so if you see an adorably funny, five foot comedy sexbeast running around Dallas, holla at her, cause she's amazing. You can see Amanda Hahn perform at Dallas comedy house with her troupes Dairy Based and Quirk. - Sarah Wyatt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQlRseW2NA

My pick for this week is this clip of a 9/11 truther interrupting a Super Bowl press conference. I have watched this clip over and over since Sunday and I laugh every time. Sometimes written or planned sketches just can't match up to real life. First, Malcolm Smith is wearing a shirt over his shoulder pads. Whenever I see football players do this I find it near impossible to take them seriously. To me they look like Delta Burke drank the ooze from TMNT II to become the Designing Women version of the Super Shredder.

But let's address the actual event: a "9/11 Truther" bum rushes the Super Bowl MVP's post-game interview. So many questions pop up in my mind: Who is this guy? Why did he choose this one moment? What has he been doing for the last decade that he thought now was the best moment to question the events of September 11, 2001? I wonder if Malcolm Brown is pissed that this rando did something more interesting than anything that Malcolm himself said or did in the interview? "I always picture myself making great plays but zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...."

Doing my research, I found out that the truther's name is Matthew Mills, and that he snuck into the press conference BY TELLING SECURITY THAT HE WAS LATE. Security. At the Super Bowl. The one American event that terrorists (or in the opinion of Matthew Mills, our own government) would salivate over setting off a bomb in. All they would have to do is tell the security guard they were late for the game and they would be in.

Also, apparently there was another guy named Matthew Mills who was mistaken as the Truther Matthew Mills, and went ahead and did interviews as him.

But the best part of this whole thing, is Malcolm Smith's reaction. He stares blankly for awhile then asks is everybody is okay. I'm sure what was going on in his head wasn't much more than "Uhhhhhhh..." but I like to think that his silence was a contemplation on the fact that as much we as a society like to place importance on irrelevant events such as the Super Bowl, the mere mention of 9/11 reminds us that everything that happened on Sunday night, including his award, was completely arbitrary. I mean, except for the Puppy Bowl. of course. RUNNER UP PICK: The Denver Broncos offense. - Nick Scott

GalvestonOver the past few weeks, I’ve become obsessed with HBO’s True Detective, the new series created by Nic Pizzolatto. With its combination of police procedural, rural creepiness, marital drama, and philosophical musings on the nature of man and faith and evil and life, True Detective is the best crime drama in recent memory. Pizzolatto covered much of the same terrain in his debut novel Galveston, which tells the story of “Big Country” Roy Cady, small-time muscle for a small-time mobster in New Orleans. Roy’s just found out he has lung cancer, his boss wants him dead, and he can’t resist entangling himself in the problems of a young girl he barely knows. I think it's safe to say we've all been there. The book is dark, brutal, truthful, violent, and at times, deeply funny. Not so much the laugh out loud kind of funny, more the W.C. Fields, “I laugh so I do not cry,” kind of funny. Comedians, writers, performers, human statues, artists of all types will find much to relate to in this book. At its core, Galveston is a book about keeping the world at arm’s length, about the kind of loneliness you can only feel in a room full of friends, about making terrible decisions for reasons you can’t explain. Most of all Galveston is a book about fear; the fear of looking foolish that makes us build walls around ourselves, the fear of being hurt that pushes away anyone who might love us, and that greatest fear of all, the fear that we deserve every terrible thing that will happen to us. Reading this book felt like taking a trip deep into my own mind. - Ryan Callahan