Most years, James Rolfe, also known as the Angry Video Game Nerd, puts out at least one Halloween Special and each time, they’re some of his most adventurous videos. They’re always amongst his most memorable, so I thought today I’d pay homage to The AVGN by sharing three of his Halloween Specials and talking briefly about them. I’m gonna take you back to the past (and present) – To watch some Video Game Reviews. Though as a forewarning, the Nerd’s content is Not Safe For Work! Okay, warned now? Let’s do this and drink plenty of beers and watch amusing videos.
Looking for something different to do on a Saturday night? Love a good bit of comedy? A fan of Marvel? Well then we’ve got just the thing for you! The Bristol Improv Theatre are proudly sharing the comedy duo, The Just Us League. If you’ve been looking for an alternative form of comedy that combines both of your love of Marvel films and improv comedy, then this is the show for you. Before you make your mind up, why not check out the Just Us League and see more about the show?
No, nothing is original, because if you go back far enough and dig deep enough you can always find one thing becoming another. Ideas have an ecology in the same way that living creatures do, passing their memetics down from one generation to the next, memes prove successful according to the society in which they thrive, and vanishing where they fail. Occasionally something ancient will rear its head and find a niche, like an intellectual coelacanth, or a pattern will prove so utterly successful that it will reappear in varying forms from generation to generation, like the shark or crocodile.
We all know internet memes, surrealist non sequitur humour, comedy born of masses of minds throwing spaghetti at the internet and seeing what sticks. In so many of today’s memes you can still see the patterns left behind by the Advice Dogs, notably the top and bottom framing font in white Impact with a black outline, and that may still be instantly recognisable there are people joining the internet today who wouldn’t recognise an Insanity Wolf if it stuffed them in a blender and drank the n00b smoothie that poured out. The badly spelled “He Protecc”, you can still see the heritage of Rage Comics, and even the Lolcats that preceded them.
There’s a line of surrealism in humour, the kind of comedy that is seemingly born of chaos and irrationality, through The Mighty Boosh, Reeves and Mortimer, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, back to the days of radio comedy, the Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, and Peter Sellers classic, The Goon Show.
This is comedy of clever stupidity, a fast paced hurricane of bizarre humour, a few well timed misunderstandings and a subversion of expectations, then a curveball thrown into the plot before a punchline that lands like a damp napkin, an anticlimax to completely subvert the very idea of a traditional narrative, but even they had their patterns and running gags.
The doltish Neddy Seagoon would inevitably fall prey to the criminal machinations of Jim Moriarty and Grytpype-Thynne, the lad Bluebottle would get killed in a blundering and obvious fashion, and Eccles would be told to shut up by himself. These things can be predicted, unlike a competition for a land-speed record in a Wurlitzer pipe organ, or the native britons halting war with the Roman invaders for “rough play”.
Give an episode or two a listen, they’re available in vast numbers on YouTube, and you’ll hear the inspiration behind so many comedy greats of today, the reoccurring gags and characters, the erratic tones of speech and rapid fire delivery. You can even hear the mark upon internet meme humour. If you trace it further back we might have a solid explanation for ancient knights doing battle with giant snails.
Nothing is original. A friend of mine engaged me on the topic of infinity a few months ago, and his sister rather tritely observed what a foolish errand it was. I don’t know why he chose the Matrix as his example as something that has a definite beginning and an end, and yet he could barely finish the sentence before I was asking where the Matrix began? Was it on the day of release, the start of filming, in the writing? Or could it be in all of the works that inspired it, the misinterpreted works of Jean Baudrillard, the philosophies and religions, the anime, the sci-fi, all the contributing factors the have their origins extending from the nineties all the way back to year 0HE and the dawn of culture? All of human history building to one film that has in turn gone on to inspire hundreds, maybe even thousands of other works.
Nothing is original, no, not even this article, which started as a half baked idea at 23:00 the night before publishing as I idly re-watched the Punisher and thought “Damn, I need to write something” and instead shovelling Christmas shortbread into my face. It’s not new to say that there are “no new ideas” to be found any more, nor is it new to liken the spread of thoughts and ideas to the spread and mutation of species. Nevertheless, it’s a fascinating thing to look at media as a breeding ground for ideas, and to see their populations rise and fall.
If ever you look upon geeks in hobby shops and coffee places, playing confusing card games and getting heated over nonsensical rules, and thought to yourself “They take a game way too seriously” then the creators of the biggest of those games has an answer for you. Magic: the Gathering, rich in story, wrought with impenetrable rules, and assailed with tournament laws that make all but the geekiest feel saddened, is about to release their first comedy set in thirteen years, the third of the so-called “UN-sets”, Unstable.
So while I wait patiently for my copy of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything… so very patiently… here’s Wizards of the Coast’s other big product release that has my attention. (more…)
In 2009, Sam Raimi released the horror film he wrote with brother Ivan before taking to work on the Spider-Man franchise…
Did you ever see a horror film that made you howl with laughter but still left you creeped out? Because that’s Drag Me To Hell!
Oh, and the Evil Dead series. In short, if you enjoy your horror with a healthy dose of comedy then Sam Raimi is your man. In this he tells the tale of loan officer cursed by an old gypsy woman with a spooky eye, to be hunted by a demon for the terrible crime of not giving her a third extension on her loan. What follows will make you laugh until you vomit and/or the other way around. (more…)
After a few months of waiting, I went to see the Festival of The Spoken Nerd show in Wells last week. I had no idea what to expect from the show but was curious to find out and took four fellow geeks along with me. It was a busy crowd from a very varied age range, that I think spanned from 12 to 50+ and I think it certainly had something for everyone.
Looking for more superheroes in your already super life? Think you’ve got room for watching a superhero fork before your very eyes? Ever wondered what they teach superheroes? In which case, this may very well be the anime for you – It can only be the hugely popular My Hero Academia, a series I have been asked to watch many times, by many people. Will it be as super-good as everyone makes out, or is it a super-flop? Read on to find out more!
Do you love cats? Great, because that’s all that you get in this anime. Do you love bananas? Great, because that’s all that you get to accompany the cats in this anime. This is literally, exactly as the description of the anime suggests, an anime about cats that reside in bananas. Ho boy, I think I’ve lost the plot now. Still, at 3 minutes per episode, you can’t really complain much for the rather cute depictions of cats in bananas, even if it’s one of the stranger concepts I’ve uncovered on Crunchyroll as of late.
With a name like ‘Interviews With Monster Girls‘, you would be excused to think this is an ecchi. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term ‘ecchi’, this is effectively the same way as saying ‘sexy’. As such, I clicked on this one thinking it was going to be yet another harem anime and that I’d turn it over and look for something different. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for this particular anime, although I’m sure there are enough people who would watch it purely for the fantasisation of lady monster nibbling at necks and losing their heads. No really, this is something that happens a fair bit in this anime. Let’s have a look and see what I really thought of it.