dallas comedy club

#Ashtag Week 7: The Fappening Photos Attached*

Thanks for joining me for another week of my pop culture education. As always, my learning comes by way of top Internet trends. The highest Google searches of this week are all about nudey pics. Jennifer Lawrence is the number 1 search followed by the names of several other female celebrities whose iCloud accounts were hacked. Hackers found a plethora of star nudity and posted it online. Folks got wind of the existence of naked pics and went on a searching spree. Number three of the top Google searches is the phrase, "the fappening", which is the clever name for the leak of all this nakedness. By the way, I already knew what "fap" meant, but I won't be explaining it to you. You can learn about it all by yourself. All by yourself. The most popular video on YouTube this week is "Little Boy Goes Off On His Mom For Getting Pregnant." He's adorable and he uses the word "exasperating." He brings up some solid logic like that babies cry and it is annoying. Sitting next to him in the backseat is his little sister who appears to be under two years old, so I understand his exasperation. Growing up, my sister repeatedly requested a little brother, which constantly upset me. I was the oldest of two daughters and wanted no more little siblings. My sister was enough. I wanted an older brother, but my parents would neither build a time machine or adopt one for me. At the end of this video, the kid resigns to the fact that a new baby is coming, but requests some earplugs. By request, I mean he says "buy me some earplugs." I like his style.

Another popular video on YouTube is "Apple Campus 2 construction video." I will admit that I fast forwarded through the 8 minute video. I'm not sure what is interesting about it. It appears to be an overhead view of a construction site. I'm sure I'm missing something. I wonder if the 1.5 million views consisted of people making it through the entire video without skipping any parts. Someone please tell me what I'm missing.

Last week the improv class that I have been a teacher's assistant for (a great group now in Level 5, check out their graduation show in about seven weeks) got me a book for #ashtag. The book is called Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture by Andy Cohen, a Bravo executive and a producer behind the Real Housewives chain of reality shows. It was a fast read. I did not learn much about today's current pop culture because most of it was about his obsession with soap operas and his start in production back in the early 90s. He met Susan Lucci. My favorite story in the book is when he got to hang out with Dan Rather, who sounds like a charming, manly fellow, but really #ashtag illuminating. It was interesting to read about someone who was in the biz and someone who cared so much about celebritydom. Maybe with some more #ashtag research under my belt, I'll care about it too.

The easiest, most non-informative but totally cool book you should read this week.

Since I learned last week that I am still very much out of the loop of pop music, I am forcing myself to watch the top music videos of the week. And let's be honest, as popular as the video may be, I won't be getting any hipper by watching videos of a construction site or a sassy little kid. So, I watched Drake's "Started From the Bottom (Explicit)." I had never heard this song before, so score one for education. I made it through about half of the song before I turned it off. Just so I don't sound like a complete hater, I'd like to say Rihanna's "Stay ft Mikky Ekko" and Justin Timberlake's "Suit and Tie ft Jay-Z" are also up at the top of this week's YouTube music video list and both of these songs are catchy and didn't make my ears annoyed.

I skimmed through the list of top music videos to find a name I was unfamiliar with and I found a video by David Guetta ft Sia. I've heard of neither of these people. The song is titled "She-Wolf." Listening to it, I had to assume that David Guetta does not provide lyrics, so I went over to Google to find out more. He is a French house DJ and music producer. He's been around for a long time; now I know.

I mean, let's be honest,...this is probably what my Punta Mita view would look like.

And for the update you've been waiting for all week: I'm still killing it on the A-list and I've bought my third home. This one's in Punta Mita, Mexico. #kardashianstillaintgotmy$butgotalottamytime

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.

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!

 

Guardians of the Galaxy, a Most Unlikely Blockbuster

By Mike Corbett This weekend Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy film grossed 94 million dollars, shattering the record for biggest August opening and easily becoming the number one movie in the country. At a quick glance, this seems like it would have been expected, it’s a Marvel Studios film, distributed by Disney, and every single one of those has made several boatloads of money. However, a closer look will show that this film was anything but a sure thing, and its success is actually kind of mind blowing.

Don't recognize anyone? No one does.

Prior to the publicity blitz the film received, the Guardians of the Galaxy were a relatively unknown property. Unlike pretty much every other comic book film created thus far, these weren’t famous characters with decades of stories to draw from. This version of the Guardians of the Galaxy debuted in comics in 2008, spinning out of Marvel’s Annihilation event, a two year long epic story featuring a bunch of alien characters you’ve probably never heard of. But surely fans warmed quickly to these characters and they’ve had a long running series since then, right? Nope, the series was cancelled after seventeen issues. Yet for some reason, Marvel announced plans to make a film based on the characters. Do you know how long Iron Man was around before anyone bothered to make a movie based on him? Forty five years!   The Avengers were around for forty nine years before they got their film, and it took four years and five other films to build up to that point. These Guardians of the Galaxy existed for barely two years, got cancelled and still their film pulled in 94 million dollars in its opening weekend. Maybe you can chalk this box office triumph to Disney and Marvel knowing how to market their products, or the blood sacrifices they make to Satan, but even that doesn’t fully explain the film’s success.   This is not just simply a film full of characters you’ve never heard of, it’s full of weird characters you’ve never heard of.

Arguably the two biggest stars in this film are Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Do you know how much screen time those actors get? Zero, zilch, none, you won’t see them for a single second, because they’re only there to lend their voices to a talking, gun toting raccoon, and a walking tree that can only say a single phrase. Go ahead, read that last sentence again; does that give you a clearer picture of how amazing this film’s success is? That raccoon, Rocket, and that tree, Groot, join up with Star-Lord, played by Chris Pratt, in his first starring role, Gamora, portrayed by green painted Zoe Saldana, and Drax the Destroyer, played by former WWE Champion and inexperienced film actor Dave Bautista. Their adventure takes place entirely in deep space, at a bunch of locales you’ve never heard of and it’s all directed by James Gunn, whose notable film credits include the indie superhero comedy Super, and the gross out horror comedy Slither. This is not the recipe for a summer blockbuster, much less a record breaking one, and yet that’s exactly what happened.

Oh, you’re going to watch a talking tree and a talking raccoon, and you’re going to love them.

Against all traditional logic, Guardians of the Galaxy has become a smash hit. In a world where, not too long ago, people were skeptical of whether or not a Batman film could be a hit, it’s an incredibly impressive feat. Yes, a lot of the praise should be given to the marketing arms of Disney and Marvel for doing such a good job promoting the film, but don’t sleep on the film itself. It’s a great movie; it’s got humor, heart and action. It may be a weird space opera full of talking raccoons and walking trees, but it stands shoulder to shoulder with every other film that Marvel has released thus far. If you had any doubts about this film, there were entirely reasonable, but I’m happy to report they’re entirely unfounded. Cast those doubts aside and go see the movie, because through either witchcraft, human sacrifices, or maybe just some magic from that famous mouse, Marvel and Disney have done it again.

Who are we kidding? It was definitely through witchcraft or human sacrifices.

Mike Corbett is a level 3 sketch writing student and intern for the DCH blog. You can find more about Mike HERE.