Tittererer’s Digest #14 (feat. Sleater-Kinney)

Willkommen. It’s Sunday night at 11.37pm and I’m desperate to go to bed. Nevertheless, I know you all care about comedy very very deeply. I know that a Monday without this column will be horrifically off kilter for you and all weird feeling. I know that, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not, you NEED a run down on all things ‘humour’ and you need it now. So I’ll be darned if I’m going to let you down. Very much so in that determined yet tired vein, here’s this week’s Tittererer’s Digest…

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Clip of the Week                                                                                                                       

Now, this is a delight. Carrie Brownstein’s punk rock legends Sleater-Kinney have been on the comeback trail recently, releasing their first album and playing their first shows in nine years. During this hiatus, Brownstein made an unusual, but massively successful cross-over into the world of comedy, teaming up with former SNL cast member (and former Trenchmouth drummer) Fred Armisen to create the wonderfully funny and original sketch show Portlandia. This week, Sleater-Kinney *dropped* the video for their new single A New Wave and it turned out to be another wonderful music-comedy collaboration. The video was created by the makers of the stupendous Bob’s Burgers and features the (animated) band playing in Tina Belcher’s bedroom. The track and the video are both soooo good. FYI: Tickets for S-K’s March 23rd Vicar Street show are still available.

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Honourable mention goes to this clip from Adult Swim’s brand new The Jack and Triumph Show. A timely tonic for 30 Rock fans missing Jack McBrayer being in their lives. 

On TV This Week                                                                                                                     

Vic and Bob’s (obviously) bizarre House of Fools is back for a second series as of last week. It’s the same sort of relentlessly daft nonsense that they’ve been doing masterfully since the early 90’s – from Vic Reeve’s Big Night Out, through Bang Bang It’s Reeves and Mortimer and Shooting Stars. But this time it’s a proper traditional studio sit-com and they’ve surrounded themselves with a truly brilliant band of equally ludicrous accomplices. In Matt Berry, Morgana Robinson, Dan Skinner and Daniel Simonsen (below), they’ve assembled perhaps the only cast of performers that could have sold this material and made this show work as well as it does. It’s breathless, hilarious stuff. Monday 23rd February at 10pm on BBC2

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Podcast of the Week                                                                                                                

There was some rather sad news this week in the world of comedy. Harris Wittels, the 30-year-old writer and producer on the quite brilliant Parks and Recreation was found dead on Thursday of an apparent overdose. He had been struggling with drug addiction for some time. Many comedians have been paying tribute to Wittels in recent days, painting a picture of an extremely talented and funny young man who lived and breathed comedy. As well as Parks and Rec, he’s written on The Sarah Silverman Program, Eastbound and Down – as well as creating the wonderful Humblebrag Twitter account and book. A pretty darn impressive haul of work for a man only just entering his thirties. It makes you wonder what heights he could have scaled had he stuck around longer. Back in 2013, Wittels was a guest on the essential WTF with Marc Maron. That episode is being re-issued this week as a tribute. [Listen/Download Here]

Harris Wittels - Headstuff.org

Any Other Business                                                                                                                 

– The trailer for the full series of Caitlin and Caroline Moran’s semi-autobiographical comedy Raised by Wolves has been released. It looks brilliant. [See It Here]

– Chortle report that Channel 4 Head of Comedy Phil Clarke has hit back at the recent protests and criticism of a sitcom script about the famine by Irish writer Hugh Travers that was recently commissioned by C4. [Read More Here]

That’s it. All is well with the world. Your Monday is safe for another week. I’m off to bed for some seriously self-satisfied sleep and presumably some considerably smug dreams. Gute Nacht!