19 items from 2016
Last year, Syfy offered fans of the Sharknado series the chance to decide the fate of Tara Reid’s April, with Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! ending on a cliffhander followed by a title card encouraging viewers to determine whether #AprilLives or #AprilDies. Well, the network isn’t making us wait until next month’s Sharknado: The 4th Awakens to find out the answer, as a new promo has arrived online entitled ‘Is April Alive?’, which you can watch right here…
See Also: First trailer for Sharknado: The 4th Awakens arrives online
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens is set to premiere on July 31st and will see the return of Ian Ziering (Fin Shepard), Tara Reid (April Wexler), David Hasselhoff (Col. Gil Shepard) and Ryan Newman (Claudia), while new additions to the cast include Gary Busey as April’s father Wilford Wexler, Tommy Davidson as billionaire tech playboy Aston Reynolds, »
- Gary Collinson
It's the Sharknado news the world has been anticipating! Finally, the answer to the burning question: "does #AprilLive or does #AprilDie?" Syfy is unveiling the results of the first of its kind Sharknado social campaign - which invited fans to determine the fate of the beloved character April Wexler (Tara Reid, American Pie). The results can be seen in a new trailer for Sharknado: The 4th Awakens.
Additionally, Syfy announces the final wave of cameos for this summer's fourth installment, including appearances by Carrot Top, the Chippendales Dancers, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Girardi, Steve Guttenberg (3 Men and a Baby) and WWE Superstar Seth Rollins. Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering, 90210), in his determined fight to protect the world from the sharknado menace, will enlist help from some new friends. Here's what we can expect from these latest cameos.
Andre "Black Nerd" Meadows (YouTube star) plays a Train Conductor, »
Consider this a warning to all Great Whites in the Vegas area.
After the fate of Tara Reid’s April was left up to the audience to decide via online voting at the end of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, a new trailer confirms Finn’s wife is alive and will be back for the next installment of the Syfy franchise, Sharknado: The 4th Awakens. (Watch the video above.)
RelatedSharknado 4 Teaser Trailer: Strippers Join the Battle to Defend Las Vegas
Additionally, a final wave of cameos for the latest Sharknado film (airing Sunday, July 31 at 8 pm), include »
The moment some of you have been waiting for has arrived. And it’s good news, assuming you are Tara Reid fans. Syfy and the folks of the Sharknado movie series have announced that April (Reid) will return for more flying fish fun when the next installment airs in July. This comes following a social media campaign where people could vote on whether or not April ended up perishing from flying Space Shuttle debris using #AprilLive or #AprilDie. In addition to revealing that Reid will rejoin Ian Ziering for more shark shenanigans, the network also announced a number of new D-listers for the made-for-tv movie. They include Steve Guttenberg, Carrot Top, Gilbert Gottfried, David Hasselhoff spawn Hayley and Taylor-Ann, professional wrestler Seth Rollins, and Paul Shaffer among others. They’ll join the previously announced cast that features Vince Neil, David Faustino, Gena Lee Nolin, and Alexandra Paul among others. Sharknado »
- David Eckstein
Syfy today unveiled results of its yearlong Sharknado social media campaign, inviting fans to decide whether Tara Reid’s April Wexler character lives or dies. Watch the video announcement above. The NBCU network also revealed what it swears is the final wave of cameos for Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, this year’s installment of its annual orgy of excess that premieres at 8 Pm Et on July 31. Among the names, Gilbert Gottfried has been typecast as a… »
Maybe you’re a podcast obsessive, filling every spare moment of your commute to catch up on your favorites. Or a single-subject listener, only keeping up with a subject or issue that means most to you. The beauty of podcasts is that they can cater to completists and dabblers alike.
Regardless of your preferred way to enjoy these stories and conversations, it can be daunting to track the latest from every show. To highlight some of the year’s best, here are 10 quality episodes we suggest adding to your listening queue.
Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People – 1. Ron Paul’s Baby
Airdate: March 15th
Why It’s Worth the Listen: In all its various broadcast homes, “The Chris Gethard Show” has been one of the most thrilling weekly experiments on TV. So it makes sense that a Gethard-hosted podcast would have the same comedic blend of empathy and honesty. The show is built on conversations between Gethard and anonymous callers, governed only by two rules: the phone line closes after an hour, but Gethard can’t hang up before then. The host has a keen sense for the unspoken questions, the topics that each caller wants to discuss but can’t quite figure out how to broach. Not afraid to let callers turn the questions onto him, these talks have a way of culminating in a common understanding between strangers, which can be as therapeutic for a listener as it is for the two parties involved. And there’s no better place to start than the premiere, which ends with a moment so cathartic, it’ll make you an instant fan of both the individuals involved.
Listen to These Episodes Next: “2. Passport, Exodus,” “4. The Most Amazing Destruction”
Embedded – The House
Airdate: March 30th
Why It’s Worth the Listen: As an NPR production, Kelly McEvers and the staff of “Embedded” demonstrate one of the essential values of great journalism: the power to use specific stories to generate empathy for groups of people often discussed in the abstract. “Embedded” is a ground-up approach to documenting various cross-sections of communities, highlighting the individuals to present an alternative to the group characterization that often befalls them. The premiere episode finds McEvers profiling the residents of a shared home in Austin, Indiana, where opioids have become an inescapable addiction for its residence. The details are stark, unsettling and unadorned. Perhaps the best proof of the value of a show like “Embedded” is that the people at the center of these stories don’t end after a half hour: an Austin resident was the subject of their first follow-up story.
Listen to These Episodes Next: “The League”
Extra Hot Great – 114: Blindly Watching Game of Thrones
Airdate: April 26th
Why It’s Worth the Listen: Extra Hot Great has been offering its special brand of TV observations over multiple podcast feed and co-host roster iterations. Now well past 100 episodes into its resurrection, the television discussion show has refined its dependable format, complete with a weekly consideration of a TV episode for induction in their Canon (spoiler alert: they don’t always make it, as is the case with the “30 Rock” episode discussed here). But what sets #114 apart is the episode’s installment of the weekly Game Time feature. The gang plays an round of a listener-submitted game called TV Typos (basically, the round-robin game show version of #ChangeALetterRuinATVShow). What follows is 25 minutes of brilliant, dumb wordplay with enough built-in momentum to have each co-host sobbing by the end. It’s a testament to the co-host’s deep bench of TV minutiae that they’re able to anticipate some of these before they come. The seconds between when you can tell they have the answers and the moment they give them are some of the simplest joys you’ll find anywhere.
Airdate: February 16th
Why It’s Worth the Listen: Matt Gourley’s interview show takes a biweekly look at the actors on the periphery of some of most beloved films of the past few decades. While the actor interviews give some choice fly-on-the-wall observations from set, the show’s most compelling episode this year is the talk with Martin Casella, who served as Steven Spielberg’s assistant during the production of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” From impromptu costume decisions to the director’s TV viewing and nutritional regimens, this firsthand account adds a new angle to an established classic. (And for anyone who’s ever obsessed over an Indiana Jones costume, Jeremy Carter’s post-interview discussion of the search for the perfect Indy leather jacket might do the same.)
Keepin’ It 1600 – Ep. 7: Cruz-Kasich Alliance and Special Guest Jon Lovett
Airdate: May 6th
Why It’s Worth the Listen: Amidst an election season that’s alternated between chaotic and soul-crushing in equal measure, it’s been fascinating to filter each week’s craziness through the perspective of two individuals who’ve been buried deep within the past two major presidential cycles. Former speechwriter Jon Favreau and Strategy and Communications Advisor Dan Pfeiffer (both of whom worked on President Obama’s national campaigns and in the White House) are each invested insiders and passionate outside observers of 2016’s descent into madness. A weekly look at the current state of political media, it’s also a dependable repository for great White House anecdotes. Alongside fellow former speechwriter Jon Lovett, the show’s seventh episode featured the trio recounting the choicest lines from the President’s various Correspondents Dinner appearances (particularly those delivered in the immediate wake of ordering the Bin Laden compound strike).
Listen to These Episodes Next: “Ep. 1: Drumpf and the Media and Rubio’s Missteps,” “Ep. 5: Bill Clinton’s Finger-Wagging and Special Guest Kal Penn,” “Ep. 9: ‘Meet the Press’ Host Chuck Todd, Drumpf’s ‘Pivot,’ Polling Mayhem, and More”
Modern Love – 3: Not So Simple Math
Airdate: January 28th
Why It’s Worth the Listen: Sarah Paulson’s central role as Marcia Clark was one of the main reasons the “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson” grabbed the public’s attention in the year’s early months. But Paulson also gave another 2016-best performance in a venue where no one could see her face. Wbur’s Modern Love enlists notable performers like Paulson to perform entries from the regular New York Times column that highlights love in all its forms. Paulson reads Amy Seek’s story of navigating an open adoption with a gentleness that conveys the underlying heartbreak without being manipulative. While other episodes usually succeed on the strength of the performance, this one features a conversation with Seek herself, whose recollection of the events she details in her piece and the six years since is a powerful addendum to a story beautifully told.
Listen to These Episodes Next: “7: In Darkness and In Light,” “9: Seesawing Libidos”
More Perfect – Cruel and Unusual
Airdate: June 1st
Why It’s Worth the Listen: Some of the best new podcasts of the year have focused on institutions, whether they’re more abstract (American Public Media’s The Uncertain Hour focuses on policies and practice within America’s welfare system) or more defined, as with More Perfect’s close examination of the Supreme Court. In its pilot episode, this Radiolab presentation trains its microphones on the pivotal individuals at the center of multiple states’ capital punishment programs. Layered with the trademark attention to atmospheric sound design that makes its parent podcast such a reliable listen, More Perfect should provide a healthy perspective amidst a judicial branch currently in flux.
Listen to These Episodes Next: Once you’ve listened to this and Episode 2, “The Political Thicket,” go back and listen to the Podcast Hall-of-Fame-worthy Radiolab episode “Stochasticity.”
Reply All – #64-67: On the Inside
Airdate: May 11th-June 9th
Why It’s Worth the Listen: This Gimlet show has been the best podcast in existence for the better part of a year now, so to pick just one standout episode is particularly difficult. But the edge goes to the four-episode arc centered on Paul Modrowski, whose blog written from inside prison (where he’s currently serving a life sentence) first attracted the attention of producer Sruthi Pinnamaneni last year. What begins as an investigation of the logistics behind the posting of Modrowski’s expansive online diary eventually uncovers questions surrounding his incarceration. Like the best true crime stories, it balances the details of the central murder cases with a careful consideration of the individuals who allegedly inhabited its timeline. Most popular true crime podcasts keep the perspective of a single narrator, but Pinnamaneni sprinkles in just enough input from regular hosts Alex Goldman and Pj Vogt to add a conversational, illustrative layer to Modrowski’s story. Pinnamaneni’s reporting is extensive and forthright, the kind that will make you want to do your own outside research as soon as the last chapter ends.
Listen to These Episodes Next: “#3 We Know What You Did,” “#44 Shine on You Crazy Goldman,” “#56 Zardulu”
Skillset – #3: This is Bringing Up Weird Feelings for Me
Airdate: May 12th
Why It’s Worth the Listen: Amy Nicholson’s first-person podcast for MTV News is an intriguing blend of below-the-line education and critical insight. Between her forgotten film history written intros and the specificity of her interview subjects, Nicholson helps Skillset feel more like a series of audio profiles than regular taped conversations. These episodes highlight movies not just as a vital art form, but a gateway to the rest of what the world has to offer. (How many other film podcasts would have jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire as their inaugural guest?) This particular episode features a window into the practical, unenhanced feline training that let the cats of “Keanu” steal the spotlight against some comedic heavyweights. And if you’re wondering what a real punk band thought of Jeremy Saulnier’s latest genre triumph “Green Room,” Nicholson enlists The Muffs for some authentic opinions. It’s this kind of extra-layer digging that has this fresh batch of MTV shows (“The Stakes” takes a similarly fascinating route to addressing the unspoken side of politics) already off and running at full speed.
Listen to These Episodes Next: All six episodes so far all have quality hooks, but the Sharlto Copley episode from the pilot is particularly worth a listen.
Start Up – Season 3, Episode 4: Dear Music Fans…
Airdate: May 12th
Why It’s Worth the Listen: Season 1 of Start Up was a rare glimpse inside the creation of its podcasting parent company Gimlet Media, right as the medium was becoming mainstream. Season 2 stayed nested inside a company’s origin story, this time as an outside observer of a dating site’s early months. For their most recent set of episodes, Start Up managed to compress the roller coaster of entrepreneurship in a more compact form. Profiling the unexpected rise and publicly unceremonious end of Grooveshark, Eric Mennel reports on the music streaming site’s early troubles, serendipitous success and eventual replacement in the entrepreneurial space. It’s a familiar arc for the biographies of these kinds of businesses, but through the Start Up lens, these triumphs and tragedies reach further toward each pole than you might expect.
Listen to These Episodes Next: Season 1 launched the entire company, but Season 2’s 10-episode arc on Dating Ring is still great.
Honorable Listens also highly worthy of your time: the aforementioned The Uncertain Hour and The Stakes; 99% Invisible’s ode to trash truck tunes; Mortified’s tale of pining after the vice principal; Lauren Lapkus helps to tackle kids’ impossible questions on The Longest Shortest Time; Candidate Confessional talks to the recipient of one of local politics’ most infamous viral booing sessions; Five Thirty Eight Politics’ audio doc on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright week of the ’08 presidential campaign; the episode of the Washington Post’s Presidential that proves James Monroe was everywhere in early American history; Making the Sausage’s in-depth conversation about music licensing; The First Annual Blank Check Awards (one of the best 2015 year-end wrap-ups you’ll hear); the ongoing You Must Remember This series chronicling the Hollywood Blacklist is a given for a list like this; The Dollop’s overview of the truly unbelievable Fed Ex Flight 705; Buzzfeed’s Internet Explorer compendium of workplace email/chat catastrophes; You’re the Expert’s hilarious panel show with a leading psychologist who studies nightmares; the Planet Money profile of an infuriating-yet-textbook Internet scamming scheme; The Memory Palace’s cryptic look at an American pariah-turned-wrestler; a careful consideration of the future of animation/CGI via Fighting in the War Room; The Gist and Chris Molanphy remember Prince.
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- Steve Greene
A highlight of the Tribeca Film Festival, Ferne Pearlstein's stunning The Last Laugh has Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Robert Clary, Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer, Jeffrey Ross, Alan Zweibel, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Gold, Larry Charles, David Steinberg, Susie Essman, Lisa Lampanelli and Hanala Sagal reflect on questions of free speech, taboos and time limits. Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone is the film's responsive centre.
Jerry Lewis's The Day The Clown Cried, James Moll's The Last Days and Paul Provenza's The Aristocrats open up the discussion and Brooks's comment on Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful leads me to Son Of Saul star Géza Röhrig's response to Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds in my conversation with Ferne and her co-writer/co-producer Robert Edwards.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
If Betty White has taught us anything, it's that being old doesn't mean you're not hilarious. It also doesn't mean you're not really, really vulgar when the battlefield of comedy needs you to drop some serious F-bombs.
By entertainment standards, the roast -- a concept originated by the Friar's Club fraternity way back in 1907 -- is an absolute dinosaur. But it's like a T. rex that assaults you with politically incorrect character assassination and ridiculous celebrity humiliation instead of killer jaws and tiny arms -- old as it is, the roast walks the razor's edge of "too funny" and "too far." Here are five times the comics got that balance exactly right.
1. Charlie Sheen (2011)
- Dan Ketchum
Saying the words "Friar's Club" without scaring away millennials who only speak in memes. Making the celeb in the chair feel honored, but just humbled enough to not jump out a window. Showcasing TV-friendly material that has enough foul language to make Quentin Tarantino blush: The comedic roast walks a whole lot of fine lines -- it's just part of the delicate mix of sick burns, underhanded compliments, and unthinkable vocabulary that makes up the cocktail. But sometimes when you shake that cocktail, it explodes right in your face. Pause to remember five roasts that did just that, and had viewers wincing between the laughs all the way.
Justin Bieber: Too Fast, Too Furious, Too Soon
The 2015 Comedy Central roast of Justin Bieber should've been a momentous occasion -- yeah, it's weird that the Biebs got roasted in the first place, but at least we can all laugh at »
- Dan Ketchum
Of Horses And Men director Benedikt Erlingsson's latest The Show Of Shows (Storyville); Ferne Pearlstein's The Last Laugh with Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Robert Clary, Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer, Jeffrey Ross, Alan Zweibel, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Gold, Larry Charles, David Steinberg, Susie Essman, Lisa Lampanelli and Hanala Sagal (co-writer of Liza Johnson's Elvis & Nixon); Nicole Kidman, Christopher Walken, Maryann Plunkett, Kathryn Hahn and Marin Ireland in Jason Bateman's The Family Fang, screenplay by David Lindsay-Abaire; Contemporary Color, with camerawork by Jessica Oreck, Sean Price Williams, Michael Palmieri, Robert Greene, Wyatt Gerfield, Amanda Rose Wilder, under Dp Jarred Alterman and with Beastie Boys' Adam Horovitz, Devonté Hynes, Nelly Furtado, Nico Muhly, Ira Glass, St. Vincent, Money Mark, Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe, providing some of the music to David Byrne »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The film is narrated by comedienne Christina Pazsitzky and includes interviews with Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli, Adam Carolla, Jim Norton and Heather McDonald. Samuel Goldwyn is planning a limited theatrical release in late summer, followed by a wider digital release.
“Can We Take a Joke?” premiered at Doc NYC in November and is in the midst of its festival run. A special sneak peek week will be held at numerous college campuses starting April 13 with the aim to stir discussion about the importance of the open exchange of ideas on campuses.
The week will be hosted by Balaker’s Korchula Productions in conjunction with the on-demand movie programmer Tugg and New Balloon. The event is being organized in partnership »
- Dave McNary
Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired North American rights to Ted Balaker's “outrage culture” documentary Can We Take a Joke?, with a limited theatrical release set for late summer and a wider digital release to follow. The film examines the outrage — faux and otherwise — that erupts on social media time and again, with a particular focus on how “outrage culture” impacts comedy. Narrated by comedian Christina Pazsitzky, Joke includes interviews with Gilbert Gottfried, Penn… »
Kathy Griffin is remembering Joan Rivers in a new documentary premiering Friday. In an exclusive sneak peek at Joan Rivers: Exit Laughing, Griffin remembers watching her mentor on TV when she was a younger - and being inspired how the late comedian broke ground for female comics. "No matter what she did, she had that fire in her eye. That's what you would see in the male stars as well, but it was a little unique to see it in a female star. She had the same kind of drive that the boys had," says Griffin. "What that said »
- Aaron Couch
Paul Reubens, the actor-comedian behind everyone's favorite gray-suited manchild Pee-wee Herman, may be the worst person to ask about the character's legacy. Before a rare public screening of Pee-wee's Big Holiday at New York's 92nd Street Y Tuesday night, the writer-actor sat down with film critic Joe Neumaier to discuss his career arc from his early days with improv legends the Groundlings to TV icon and film star. A talk with the affable Reubens is more of a free-association, meandering conversation than a standard Q&A, as the hour-long chat »
When you cast a comedian in your movie it.s often because you.re looking for a performer who is capable of taking the initiative to try different things in order to see what works best with the character. This is obviously what the creators of Aladdin were thinking when they cast both Robin Williams and Gilbert Gottfried in major comedic roles for the 1992 Disney classic. However, the voice of the parrot Iago just admitted that sometimes he took advantage of the freedom he was given. In a recent Ama on Reddit the actor and comedian was asked how much of his dialogue in Aladdin was scripted and how much was improvised. Gilbert Gottfried says that he was given a great deal of freedom to improvise, though occasionally he accidentally took it a little too far. The makers of Aladdin were very open to have me improvise. They gave me »
The busy subgenre of documentaries featuring autistic subjects gets a strong new entry in “Life, Animated,” a captivating portrait of a young man for whom Disney animated movies have provided a powerful lifeline to progress, language and understanding. Interweaving clips from “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Peter Pan” and any number of toon classics whose words and images the 23-year-old Owen Suskind has long committed to memory, this latest film from Roger Ross Williams (“God Loves Uganda”) teems with insights into how children’s fantasy can and can’t bridge a developmental gap, but works on an even more basic, emotional level as a warm testament to a family’s love and resilience. Acquired for North American distribution by the Orchard, this winner of a Sundance directing prize could benefit from its accessible hook and generous sampling of Disney clips to reach a wider-than-usual audience for nonfiction titles of its type. »
- Justin Chang
To go along with our list of the 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy, Vulture is taking a closer look at some of the jokes on the list. We've already talked to the writers of Airplane! about the iconic "Don't call me Shirley." Today Gilbert Gottfried revisits the 9/11 joke he told at a Friars Club Roast of Hugh Hefner mere weeks after the attack. It kicked off the trend of jokes being delivered "too soon," which still continues to this day. (That joke, and his legendary version of the Aristocrats that followed, were completely scrubbed from the telecast.) Nate Jones spoke with Gottfried for this as-told-to piece. It was a couple of weeks after 9/11. There was a weird feeling in New York. People were walking around in a daze. I was at the roast of Hugh Hefner, and I just wanted to be the first person to make a really-poor-taste joke »
- Gilbert Gottfried
February’s home entertainment releases are kicking off in a big way, as horror and sci-fi fans have an extraordinary number of brand spanking new titles to choose from this Tuesday. From indie horror to cult classics to cult classics in the making, February 2nd’s Blu-ray and DVD releases truly do offer up something for everyone.
Scream Factory is offering up two modern genre films this week, Hellions and Zombie Fight Club and Cinedigm is keeping busy too on Tuesday with their releases of Extraordinary Tales and The World of Kanako. Vin Diesel’s latest, The Last Witch Hunter, arrives on both Blu and DVD and if you call yourself a Henry Rollins fan, you will definitely want to pick up He Never Died this week as well.
- Heather Wixson
Written and illustrated by some of comics' best, Independence Day #3 will be available courtesy of Titan Comics on April 13th. Also: Convergence release information, Telluride Horror Show's call for submissions, a Director's Cut trailer, details on the Life Tracker Blu-ray / DVD, and a look at the covers for Killbox.
Independence Day #3: "Written by Victor Gischler (Batman, Deadpool) with art by Steve Scott (Batman, Wolverine). Cover A features art by Staz Johnson (Wolverine, New X-Men) and Cover B is by Edgar Salazar (Justice League, Red Sonja).
Writer: Victor Gischler
Artist: Steve Scott
Cover A: Staz Johnson - Previews Code FEB161803
Cover B: Edgar Salazar - Previews Code FEB161804
Publisher: Titan Comics
Page Count: 32 Pp
Onsale Date: April 13th, 2016
Tensions arise aboard the sub as specimens are shipped back for study. Meanwhile, Adams and co. get to grips with their extraterrestrial armaments and discover the real motivation behind the alien crash. »
- Tamika Jones
19 items from 2016
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