Archive for the ‘The Sarah Silverman Program’ Category

by Beal

5.  Family Guy “I Dream of Jesus” featuring “Surfin’ Bird” by the Trashmen (October 5, 2008)

foto-trashmen-surfin-bird-1964jpgIn 1963 this extremely annoying song reached #4 on the American Billboard Hot 100, (forcing me to assume that when it came to entertainment, the people of the 1960’s were none too discerning). After the episode was released in the UK in April 2009, the song reached #50 on the UK charts, a feat it failed to do when it was released in 1963 (when British people apparently still had standards). At any rate, this episode is hilarious (possibly my favorite) and it’s all because of this ridiculous song. Peter hears the song while the Griffins are out to eat at an authentic 50’s diner and the owner/manager allows him to take the record home because they were about to throw it away (with good reason). It quickly becomes Peter’s new favorite thing and the ONLY thing he can focus on. Brian and Stewie steal the record while he’s sleeping and destroy it Office Space style, before going to every record shop in town and scooping up every copy so that they will never have to hear this golden oldie again. You didn’t know about this? So what you’re saying is that you haven’t heard. . .

4.  30 Rock “Larry King” featuring “99 Luftballons” by Nena (February 26, 2009)

album-99-luftballonsCold war era German protest song; Deceased grandmother’s last recording of sentimental lullaby? Nena; Nana? What’s the difference? When mayhem and chaos plague New York City (due to some uneducated drivel Tracy spews during his interview on Larry King Live) Liz Lemon requires an escort to Long Island City to fetch her cell phone, which she left in a cab. She drags Kenneth along and the debate begins as to whether they’re REAL friends or if Liz just uses him when she needs something. (He’s a nice guy and all, but can anyone REALLY be friends with Kenneth?) What Kenneth doesn’t know (apart from all social cues) is that Liz desperately wants to retriever her phone because the cabbie that found it, also found “adult” pictures of Liz on it! Here’s the part where Liz makes up a fantastic lie that involves not only a dead grandmother, but a 26 year old international pop phenomenon.

3.  Cougar Town “Into the Great Wide Open*” featuring “Single Ladies” by Beyonce (September 30, 2009)

BeyonceSingleLadiesThat’s right, a show that’s been on for less than two months is making my list AGAIN. And even though my street cred is about to plummet, I do enjoy a little “Single Ladies” in my life (ask Judi why she does or does not hate this song) ESPECIALLY when it’s used in a montage of shameless candid photos from a night of middle-aged mayhem. Remember how the movie The Hangover kind of sucked, but it redeemed itself during the credits when they showed the photo montage of everything that happened during their collective blackout? Well this scene in Cougar Town is sort of like that, hilarious and fun (but without a two-hour build of up “I wish Vince Vaughn was in this movie”).

2.  The Sarah Silverman Program “Maid to Border aka Brian’s Song” featuring “Two Princes” by The Spin Doctors (November 7, 2007)

51WtXlFSboL._AA240_Brian Posehn and Steve Agee play the unlikely “gay neighbors” on The SSP. This video game/pot/TaB/heavy metal loving duo are hardly your typical gay BFF’s. They’re a bit slovenly, argue all the time and smoke entirely too much marijuana (if that’s possible). What’s important though, is that they know and love each other, or so Steve thought. When Brian starts taking daily walks to “listen to metal on his iPod” Steve becomes a little suspicious. And then he discovers something WONDERFUL: The Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes” is the ONLY song on Brian’s iPod. Meaning, he has been listening to this song EXCLUSIVELY for god knows how long, while walking around town skipping to the beat.

Watch clip HERE.

1.  Full House “Joey Gets Tough” featuring “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany (November 25, 1988)

Tiffany-I_Think_We're_Alone_Now-12inNo other pop song is so ingrained in my memory as not a pop song, but the song that “D.J. and Stephanie stayed up late to watch on television.” Talk about being in desperate need of a Tivo! Or hell, a VCR!! When Danny FORBIDS Deej and Steph from staying up late to watch “Tiffany: Live from Tokyo” Joey could have just taped the event, allowing the girls to watch it later. But then we wouldn’t have gotten the angry father catches pajama clad tweens dancing with his irresponsible best friend whom he doesn’t even pay to watch his children. And what time was this damn concert on anyway? She’s “LIVE” from Tokyo, yet, it’s roughly 10 p.m. in San Francisco? That makes it what? 3 p.m. in Tokyo? What kind of shitty mid-afternoon show is this? And who stays up late to see Tiffany “perform” anyway? Couldn’t you just listen to the tape before bed and call it a day? CHILDREN BEEEHAAAAAAAVE. . . .or Joey’s going to GET TOUGH!

*I just noticed that EVERY Cougar Town episode shares its title with a Tom Petty song.

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by Beal

5.  Cougar Town (2009 – Present) – ABC Wednesdays 9:30

Cougar_TownI’m really going out on a limb here, being that only three episodes of this show have aired, but thus far, it is legitimately laugh-out-loud funny. I definitely sing the praises of Courtney Cox. I think she has some serious comedy chops but, it’s not just her, Christa Miller and Busy Phillips are hilarious too. And even though I think the humor in the term “cougar” is lost on me, the show is really funny. Recently divorced Jules (Cox) was married for 20+ years to an 80’s teenager, Bobby–think Wooderson from Dazed & Confused but more funny, less creepy. Her best friend and next door neighbor Ellie (Miller) hates her own baby Stan (who is not so fond of her either) and didn’t smile at him for the fist couple months because she didn’t want smile lines. She bosses Jules around and since they’ve been friends forever, sitting in, sipping wine and playing Scrabble, among other lame activities, she’s upset at Jules’ burgeoning friendship with Laurie (Phillips) who is her young coworker but, more importantly, drunken club trash. Definitely the best comedy of the Fall 2009 line-up.

4. The Sarah Silverman Program (2007 – Present) – Currently on Hiatus – Comedy Central

sarah-silverman-programI love any show that is described by the guide as “an irreverent comedy” and it doesn’t hurt that it stars the hilarious Sarah Silverman as a more selfish and delusional version of herself, her sister Laura, and stand-up comedians Steve Agee and Brian Posehn as gay lovers/stoners/TaB enthusiasts. This show is reminiscent of my all-time favorite comedy Strangers with Candy in that the lead character (Sarah) gets involved in a hot button issue but no matter how well-meaning she is, she fucks it all up (but in a funny way, of course). From poking fun at abortion, to vigilante terrorist hunting, to homelessness and black face, there isn’t a subject too racy for Silverman and her cohorts to mock. Silverman was even nominated for an Oustanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of, well, her bizarro self. Check it out. You might be offended but you’ll laugh.

Check out my favorite scene HERE.

3. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000 – Present) HBO Sundays 9:00


Larry David is probably the funniest man you’d never want to meet. As the creator of Seinfeld, he gives the illusion that his offbeat sense of humor is the best in TV Land. However, in his HBO series, a mockumentary style, fake reality show based on his real life, “offbeat sense of humor” could really be replaced with “off-putting sense of humor.” That said, this show is pee-your-pants kind of funny. There is something wrong with David. To say he lacks social graces is an understatement. He’s hilarious and super witty, but more often than not is so socially inept that much of my laughter is of the nervous variety. “Real” celebrities appear in his show on the regular (as themselves but not necessarily true versions of themselves) and even though they’re his friends, they find his antics to be generally pretty offensive. In every episode, though, when he just barely crosses the line, you can’t help but feel for the guy and then squirm and laugh for the remainder of the program while he awkwardly cleans up his social gaffe. Bonus: The cast of Seinfeld appears in multiple episodes this season (don’t call it a reunion!).

2. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005 – Present) FX Thursdays 10:00


This is the show that turned network television on its ass. A show that could never exist within the strict confines of “appropriate” found a home on FX in the summer of 2005 and I could not be happier. Touted initially as “Seinfeld on crack” I found myself annoyed at the comparison to the funniest TV foursome of all time. However, these fools are quickly on their way to becoming my favorite four interacting characters on television, ever. This dim-witted gang, made up of siblings Dennis and Dee, idiot Mac and mildly retarded Charlie come up with the greatest half-brained schemes I’ve ever seen. Throw in Danny Devito as the more-than-fucked up father figure and I spend a solid 30 minutes laughing my balls off. Totally original plot lines blended with a lot of ridiculously wonderful ad-libbing and a lack of morals or concern for human life make this the second funniest show on television.

1. 30 Rock (2006 – Present) NBC – Premiers October 15 – 9:30


It should come as no surprise that this is the funniest show currently on television. After all, it DID just win an Emmy for it, as well as dozens more in the past three years for its overwhelming hilarity. Last year, Tina Fey entered the hearts and minds of millions of Americans for the first time with her DEAD ON impersonation of idiot VP candidate Sarah Palin, but here at NTO, we’ve been loving her for the past three years as Liz Lemon, producer of TGS on 30 Rock (and for years prior as head writer/Weekend Update regular on SNL). Seriously, TGFTF (Thank God for Tina Fey). Not only did she create and write the funniest show on television, but she got Alec Baldwin to star in it. Now, say what you want about this guy’s personal life or acting career, but you can’t deny that he was BORN to play the role of Jack Donaghy, funniest man on television. This show seriously has more one liners and catch phrases than any show since Seinfeld (yes, I am aware that I’ve no mentioned Seinfeld three times, but it’s the gold standard by which all other comedies are judged). And Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), holy shit! He did nothing for me on SNL and I think he’s mostly playing himself, but I’m okay with that because he’s a riot, a first class idiot for me to laugh with. I wish that something I could say or write would do this show justice, but it won’t, so just trust me and watch it already.

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