“Comedian Eliot Glazer has created a live show that combines his absurd comedic sensibility with his musical gifts. A classically trained vocalist, Glazer orchestrates poorly written pop songs of the nineties like “Too Close” and “S8R BOI” into moving ballads featuring vocal harmonies and critical analysis. The most recent monthly performance of Haunting Renditions sold out at The Bell House in Brooklyn and featured Gilbert Gottfried and Phoebe Robinson. When he’s not serving as executive story editor on New Girl or writing for Broad City with his sister Ilana, Glazer is fully immersed in developing his next set for Haunting Renditions. I talked with Eliot about music, authenticity, and Ashlee Simpson.”
“On top of being a standup comedian and a classically trained actor, Baron Vaughn will soon make his debut as robot Tom Servo in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot premiering April 14th on Netflix. He is well known for his role on the hit show Grace and Frankie alongside comedy legends Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. If that all weren’t impressive enough, Vaughn is also the subject of Fatherless, an hour-long documentary about finding his birth father premiering on April 2nd on Fusion. Vaughn took some quality time to discuss audience discomfort, being Tom Servo, and oceans of joy.”
“Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano created, write, direct, and voice each episode of the animated series Animals on HBO. The duo might still be creating branded content for an advertising agency in NYC if not for the pigeons preening outside of their SoHo office window. Inspired by the city birds, they made an animated short film, giving the pigeons dry humor and personalities. A version of the pilot episode “Pigeons” won Best Comedy Pilot at the 2013 New York Television Festival and caught the attention of Mark and Jay Duplass, who signed on as executive producers. In season 1, Matarese and Luciano imagined and animated an inner life for flies, cats, squirrels, turkeys and more. Season 2 of Animals debuts on HBO tonight with a host of new creatures and crises. Phil and Mike took some time to reflect on the wild life.”
“Comedy Central’s dark comedy Review is returning for a short third and final season. On the show, Andy Daly plays Forrest MacNeil, an idealistic dork who hosts a TV show, which is also called Review. “Life!” Forrest announces as each episode begins. “It’s literally all we have. But is it any good?” Rather than featuring judgments of books or movies, each segment of Review revolves around Forrest trying out new life experiences, each of which is suggested by his viewers. Forrest takes his responsibility to his audience seriously, boldly reviewing experiences like “divorce,” “addiction,” and “murder” that destroy his life. Season 3 reaches new depths of comedic darkness as the show wraps with a wonderfully funny and satisfying conclusion. Andy Daly took some time to reflect on his experience co-creating and starring in Review.”
“On this Purim weekend (March 10-12) Jewish families all over the Seattle area will dress up in costumes, make traditional treats, read from the Megillah (the story of Esther) and watch a funny and interactive shpiel (play) that tells the holiday’s origin story. The lively events are open to anyone and provide a fun opportunity for kids to celebrate and learn about Jewish history and culture.
Although there are many variations on the Purim story, the basics are as follows: Esther was a Jewish woman in ancient Persia raised by her Uncle Mordecai. The villain of the story is Haman, an adviser to King Ahasuerus who has a wicked plan to kill all of the Jews. Esther conceals her Jewish identity and is chosen by the King to be his new Queen. With Mordecai’s encouragement, Esther bravely reveals to the King that she is Jewish and asks him to save her people from Haman’s evil plot. The King respects Esther’s wishes and the Jews are saved.”
“In the third season of FXX’s surreal romantic comedy, Man Seeking Woman, show creator Simon Rich decided to settle down and explore the complexities of a long-term relationship. MSW protagonist Josh (Jay Baruchel) finally meets his match in Lucy (Katie Findlay) and together they grapple with fidelity, ranch dressing, meeting the parents, sex-addict forest creatures, and a child who has a sixth sense for failure. Tune in for the season finale, “Blood,” airing tonight at 10:30pm ET to see what happens when Josh and Lucy get married. Simon Rich took some time to talk about the making of MSW season 3, his former writing life on SaturdayNight Live, and his fear of yaks.”
Photo: Joshua Huston
“Growing up on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Daniel Pak knew that music was in his blood. His father was a jazz pianist and taught him to play scales around age 6. In a few years, he had advanced to performing pieces by Mozart and Beethoven. But it wasn’t until he taught himself acoustic guitar at 13 that his passion was truly ignited. “That’s when I really found that music was more than just lessons. Music was something that would be with me every day,” says Pak.
Pak has fond memories of kanikapila, impromptu music jam sessions with friends. “We’d all go to the beach. Someone would bring ukuleles and guitars, someone would bring bongos. We’d play music and listen to the waves coming in and the palm trees rustling,” says Pak. Today — minus the beach, palm trees and crashing waves — Pak tries to “perpetuate that tradition here in Seattle.”