Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Is Audioslave Dead?

As I've mentioned time and again, I love Audioslave. And I'm starting to worry.

The band says there's nothing wrong. But look at the facts. Their third album "Revelations" was their weakest. On its release, Chris Cornell announced he would work on a new solo album. And there would be no tour, even though their last was one of the best concerts I'd seen.

Now there comes word that Rage Against the Machine will be reuniting for the Coachella festival. Seeing as Audioslave was created after Zach De La Roche quit, his agreeing to rejoin them makes Cornell's role obsolete.

Most Rage fans will be rejoicing (I'm sure Tim Warner's happy) but I'm disappointed. Audioslave still has so much potential as a band and they have yet to reach it. Rage was a potent force on their first album and remained so through their career. They've said all they've needed to say.

Then again, we got two Black Sabbath tours in the 90's and no new studio album. All we got was "The Osbournes". Maybe I'm worried over nothing.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Extreme Maggie

I first saw Maggie Faris at a bringer show at the NY Comedy Club. She was so good I figured she was a headliner. We've been working together at "The World" for a while now and she's still that good.

Maggie does goofy things, whether it's her crowd work, barking or that hat. She also has a website dedicated to her doing goofy things. You can see them at

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Got A Job

And like everything else these days, it's a labor of love. I started reviewing action figures for and my first review is live now. Of course it was twelve figures at once. Nothing like starting slow.

Read my review of Marvel Legends 15!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

David Bowie on "Extras"

"Extras" is back and it's a very different show from the first season. The first episode was interesting but the second went beyond anything in the series before. It's been a week since this aired and everyone who's seen it is singing it. Proabably the funniest thing you'll see on tv this year.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Windows in the Skies

Here's one of the new U2 songs you can't buy on itunes. It's a decent song but a marvelous video. Just look how the editing gets a perfect lip sync out of archival footage.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Oscar nominations

They're in.And I have the same reaction I have every year.

I love it. I love the Oscars and yet I never see the movies. I don't typically go for the same movies that the Academy Awards do, namely historical pics and tearjerkers.

So I always root for the underdog; the few movies I've actually seen. The year "Return of the King" won everything was the year for me. That's why I'm delighted "LIttle Miss Sunshine" got the nod. As a small, quirky comedy this is beyond expectation. And beyond any hope of winning.

I'm also throwing my vote in for "Pan's Labryinth" and "Sands of Iwo Jima". Not because I've seen them, but because I've loved other films from these directors.

God bless the uninformed vote.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Special Free Show This Thursday!

My buddy RG Daniels has been running a show on the Lower East Side (where the cool shows are) called PottyMouths. The next one is this Thursday Januray 25 and he's asked me to host it.

The lineup includes:

Tim Warner
Jordan Ferber
Tracie Jayne
Ed Murray
Elon James White
Craig Hillelson

It all happens downstairs at Julep, Avenue A bet. 1 & 2 Streets. 10 p.m. Oh yeah and it's free.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Aristocrats

Just stayed up until 2 a.m. watching it on HBO. Because I had to.

I haven't seen it since it was in the theater almost two years ago. It's a very different movie for me now.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What I Love About Comedy

You bark in the snow and get no one in. You host the 8:30 show and the crowd never warms up. You wait until 2 in the morning to get up again and by then you're so tired you don't know if you can speak.

But you have such a great set you're up until 5 talking comedy in a diner with Pat Dixon, Eric I, Mike Drucker and Alex Grubard.

That is living the dream.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

TV Guide 50 Best Shows of All Time

This is four years old but I doubt many have changed since then. Some interesting points:

-Buffy is included
-The Next Generation is the only Star Trek Show included.
-I would have traded Bewitched for Sgt. Bilko
-Looks like only American shows were eligible
-I have good taste

1. Seinfeld (NBC)
2. I Love Lucy (CBS)
3. The Honeymooners (CBS)
4. All in the Family (CBS)
5. The Sopranos (HBO)
6. 60 Minutes (CBS)
7. Late Show with David Letterman (CBS)
8. The Simpsons (Fox)
9. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
10. Saturday Night Live (NBC)
11. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS)
12. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (NBC)
13. The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS)
14. Hill Street Blues (NBC)
15. The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS)
16. The Carol Burnett Show (CBS)
17. Today (NBC)
18. Cheers (NBC)
19. thirtysomething (ABC)
20. St. Elsewhere (NBC)
21. Friends (NBC)
22. ER (NBC)
23. Nightline (ABC)
24. Law & Order (NBC)
25. M+A+S+H (CBS)
26. The Twilight Zone (CBS)
27. Sesame Street (PBS)
28. The Cosby Show (NBC)
29. Donahue (syndicated)
30. Your Show of Shows (NBC)
31. The Defenders (CBS)
32. An American Family (PBS)
33. Playhouse 90 (CBS)
34. Frasier (NBC)
35. Roseanne (ABC)
36. The Fugitive (ABC)
37. The X-Files (Fox)
38. The Larry Sanders Show (HBO)
39. The Rockford Files (NBC)
40. Gunsmoke (CBS)
41. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (WB/UPN)
42. Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (NBC)
43. Bonanza (NBC)
44. The Bob Newhart Show (CBS)
45. Twin Peaks (ABC)
46. Star Trek: The Next Generation (syndicated)
47. Rocky and His Friends (ABC)
48. Taxi (ABC/NBC)
49. The Oprah Winfrey Show (syndicated)
50. Bewitched (ABC)

Wikipedia has more info.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Gwyneth Paltrow in "Iron Man"

"Her representatives let us know that she wanted to do a movie like this," said Kevin Feige, Marvel's president of production. "A few phone calls later from all parties involved, and over the weekend it happened."

That's the way to do it, Gwyneth. No bullshit about how you love the character and want to help bring something real to the fans. Nope, just say, "I heard these movies are making a lot of money and people aren't talking about me enough lately."

My favorite part of the article are the bullet points on top:

• Gwyneth Paltrow joining "Iron Man" cast
• Movie to star Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark
• Iron Man is popular Marvel Comics character

They get dumber as they go on. The fourth bullet should be "movies are a popular form of entertainment".

You can read the article here but it doesn't really say anything else.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I just finished all seven seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and it is possibly the best written sci fi show ever broadcast.


I wanted to hate it. I did hate it. I spent a decade hating it. There was no way it could be as gripping or groundbreaking as "The X Files" which ran against it. It was too WB. Too teeny. Too angsty. Too soapy. I didn't care how many of my friends praised it, I was never going to watch it.

But something funny happened a year ago. I watched the dvds of "Firefly" and was one of the 34 people who saw "Serenity" in the theater. And I loved it. So I searched out Joss Whedon's run on "Astonishing X-Men". I loved that too. Then I recalled he wrote the screenplay for "Toy Story". Everybody loves that. Maybe Buffy was worth suffering through Sarah Michelle Gellar.

144 episodes later I still don't like her. But I love the show for two reasons. The first is why I like every Joss Whedon project; the quirky humor, the deep characters and plots with unexpected twists all over the place. But the second reason may be pure luck.

When a show runs seven seasons, it has to reinvent itself at least once. "Star Trek: the Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine" did it well. "X Files" did it badly. But no one did it better than "Buffy". The show was running smoothly as a high school soap parody. But by the end of season three, the characters graduated. Worse, two of the core cast left for the spin-off "Angel". Buffy's next season at first dealt with college but dropped the thread for a more adult approach. What if the characters had to suddenly grow up? What would happen?

And that's the genius. Whenever the show took a risk, it lived with it. Unlike other shows which took a "reset button", "Buffy" grew with every plot twist. Ludicrous ideas were given logical weight. Characters who came in for one episode became cast members. Villains became heroes. Comic relief became tragedy. And it all worked. It didn't happen on "Angel". It may never happen on tv again. By the final episode, I needed to own the series.

But I still like "Firefly" a little more.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Another Play Cole Podcast!

This time Bill Monroe, Mike Drucker and Jon Clarke watch the worst movie ever made. No, not Plan 9 From Outer Space. That's actually fun to watch. It's the epic Batman and Robin!

This one almost beat us. Find out how.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dana Gould clip

There is not nearly enough Dana Gould stuff out there. One album, one HBO half hour, a bunch of Simpsons episodes, that's it. Luckily youtube is throwing up really horrible copies of brilliant stuff like this.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Comedy is a Bipolar Bitch.

It got cold real fast this week so audiences dried up. We had to cancel the 8:00 both nights. That is the only similarity between the shows Monday and Tuesday.

Monday night I hosted the 10:00. It couldn't have gone better. The auidience was warm, primed to laugh and loved everybody. I did about three jokes the entire show. My crowd work killed. I got a laugh between every single comic. Moody McCarthy asked if he could use an off hand comment I made while bringing him up. Pat Dixon detsroyed the room and burned down what was left. At the end of the show a woman came up on stage to tell me how much she loved the show. It was a night anyone could have videotaped and sent out.

Last night was not that. The crowd only liked dick and racist jokes. I watched Lara and Alex struggle until they pulled out their dirty material. All my sex material consists of women that didn't want to date me and getting my wife pregnant. Andrew stopped by. He hasn't seen my act in six months. Last night he watched it fail. The crowd hated me. By the middle of my set, I started to hate them too. I didn't throw my set but I'm sure my frustration showed. After the check two women walked out and Alex and me awkward looks. I left before I had to see any of those people again.

Ed and Tim wrote a song about comedy called "No One Cares". It's absolutely true. No one in that crowd cared how well I did the night before. They don't care how well I do next time. Every time you get up on stage, you're starting from scratch.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Invicible Iron Man

Since last year's Ultimate Avengers, more and more superhero properties have been going straight to dvd with animated films. And less and less of them have been disposable. On January 23, Lion's Gate will release The Invincible Iron Man, the first feature for Tony Stark and a great primer for the Robert Downey Jr. live action film in 2008.

I've always been an Iron Man fan. I love technology. I love superheroes who create themselves without the use of superhuman powers. And I like the idea that even in the heart of danger, he's protected. While it doesn't look quite as good as Hellboy: Blood and Iron, I'm definitely picking this up.

Check out the trailer!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hellboy: Blood and Iron

Speaking of comics, here's the trailer for the second animated Hellboy movie. I caught the first on Cartoon Network and liked it well enough. This one looks better.

Learn more at the official blog.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Masters of American Comics

Renee and I went to the Jewish Museum to see the Masters of American Comics exhibit yesterday. The museum is sharing the exhibit with the Newark Museum so we weren't able to see the original pieces by Charles Shulz or Milton Caniff but what was there was amazing.

The exhibit is spread across four rooms and laid out in a strange way. When you enter you get an entire room of Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan pages. A fun imaginiative comic but hardly an opener. The next room fares much better with Golden Age Superman and Batman pages, as well as a few Kirby Captain Americas. The only non artwork exhibits are here as well; a script page from an early Detective Comics and Superman creator Jerry Seigel's typewriter.

After a corridor of Harvey Kurtzman Mad covers and Robert Crumb pages, we got to the final room. They had saved the best for last. This gallery is devoted soley to later Jack Kirby and Will Eisner. You get close up to original artwork from Fantastic Four, Thor, Silver Surfer and Captain America as well as later works like New Gods, Kamandi and Devil Dinosaur. The Will Eisner half was mainly devoted to The Spirit but Eisner's constant innvovation made every piece different.

If you're any kind of comic fan, you need to go before it closes January 28. And go on Saturday cause it's free. See what they got!

Friday, January 05, 2007


I'm a comedian because there already is a Bono.

We rented U218: The Videos the other night and it's bringing back a flood of memories. I've been into them since I stole my sister's copy of The Joshua Tree in high school.

The only problem with the dvd is it's not complete. The track listing sticks pretty closely to the new greatest hits cd, which itself skips a few important singles. Sure, "One" is there three times (buffalos and sunflowers included) but not this video for "The Fly". I remember Walker and I driving through Brooklyn when this premiered on the radio. We were dumbfounded. "This is U2?" No delayed guitars, no lyrics about Jesus and a disco beat. We didn't know it then but it was a seminal moment for the band.

Walker and I were more used to the wanting-to-be-cowboys phase of the band which ended with "Rattle and Hum". Today this album is overlooked but at the time it was enormous. The dvd only gives us "Desire" and skips the great "Angel of Harlem". You couldn't escape this video in the winter of 1988 but now you can barely find it on youtube.

If you want to see U2 at their most earnest, you need to go to "The Unforgettable Fire". Their only hit at the time "Pride (In the Name of Love) but I forgot they even did a video for the title track. According to the dvd, so did the band.

The less said about "Zooropa" and "Pop" the better. But they could have included the only decent song from that era "Stay (Faraway So Close)".

"Staring at the Sun" by the band's own admission, is almost a great song. At the very least it inspired me to write one of my own best songs.

The rest of those records proved the four of them had lost their minds. But I wouldn't mind seeing "Discoteque" again for pure camp value.

And then there's "Numb".

Maybe some videos are better left unseen.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Police reunion?

Looks like they're following the cardinal rule of reunions: wait for the last solo career to die.

I'll put it this way: Sting just released an album of lute music.

Read more.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Saddam video

So we killed Saddam Hussein the other day.

Now the government is in an uproar because a security guard took a video with his cel phone. I can't believe they're shocked. We live in an age where video is as easy to make as a phone call. Literally. There's video of everything. Ten years ago. Michael Richards would have been a rumor passed around in clubs. Today it's the lead story on the evening news.

And honestly, can you blame the guy for taping it? Cmon, it was built as the most dramatic story in the last five years. The Bush administration worked hard to make us hate Saddam all over again. We tore down his statue. We pulled him out a hole in the ground. We hissed as he cursed and gnashed his teeth on trial. And we're told we're not allowed to see the hanging? Guys, don't sell us a story if you're not prepared to show Act 3. That's screenwriting 101.

I'm surprised it's not the front page of YouTube.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The 10 Worst Superheroes

Bryan Murphy just sent me this. I can't believe there was no room for Speedball.