It’s a damn shame, but death comes for us all. However, for some of us, it comes way too soon, and the comedy business is no exception. These people should still be alive if there was any justice in the universe.
1. PHIL HARTMAN
Always the number one, because the way he went out was so surreal, wrong and awful, being shot by his drugged-out wife. He was perhaps the greatest performer and hands-down the best utility player in “Saturday Night Live” history – not to mention his beloved work on “The Simpsons” and “NewsRadio.”
2. BILL HICKS
Pancreatic cancer took this soothsayer away before he could really enjoy the praise that’s been rightly bestowed on him after his death. We’d love to hear what he’d have to say about the crap going on today.
3. PATRICE O’NEAL
His combative style burned a lot of bridges in his day, but just as he was really coming into his own success, a stroke robbed us of his genius – and his first album had to be released posthumously.
4. RICHARD JENI
This one was a huge surprise, as the venerable stand-up comic shot himself in the head shortly after being diagnosed with clinical depression and paranoia issues. But he left behind some highly amusing work.
Writer/actor/rocker Carrie Brownstein recently added another credit to her poly-hyphenated resume: autobiographer. The Portlandia star and Sleater-Kinney musician penned Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, a memoir covering her years playing gigs, writing comedy, and producing a sketch show with cohort Fred Armisen.
Brownstein shared an excerpt from her memoir with The New Yorker that details her complicated relationship with her father, his coming to terms with his homosexuality, and how it led up to him coming out to Brownstein in 1988. A compelling and moving read, the essay is highlighted by the final passage wherein her father opened up to her grandmother and the life lesson Brownstein learned by her tragic response.
When my father came out to his mom, my grandmother said, “You waited for your father to die, why couldn’t you have waited for me to die?” I knew then that I never want to contribute to the corrosiveness of wanting someone to stay hidden. Despite all my initial conflicts about trying to reconcile the father I had as a child to the one I have now, I am thankful that he is happy, that he did not waste another second. Now there is someone to know.
Judy Greer is basically the human equivalent of bacon — she makes everything better. In the last year alone she’s appeared in Tomorrowland, Entourage, Ant-Man and Jurassic World, doing her best to elevate often underdeveloped characters. With Greer stopping by Comedy Bang! Bang!, we thought it was high time to celebrate the roles that have made her a national treasure. And to see how she scores so many great roles, check out her universal audition tape.
10. Bran Lowenstein, Love Monkey
This show only lasted three episodes for hit factory CBS, but it was enough to earn a cult following. The story of a bunch of young New Yorkers navigating life and love could’ve been yet another Friends clone, but Greer and an all-star cast gave it a funky flavor that would be more at home on cable today.
9. Shannon, Addicted to Fresno
Greer earned rave reviews for her role in this 2015 film about a sex addict who accidentally kills a guy and needs her sister (Natasha Lyonne) to help her get rid of the body. Combining big, broad comedy with some real pathos, this is Greer at her absolute best.
8. Fern Mayo, Jawbreaker
Greer went from geek to glam in this dark cult comedy that proved she was destined for big things.
7. Alice the Waitress, Adaptation.
Is it any wonder that Greer was the dream girl for writer Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage), considering her mix of beauty, brains and being approachable while also being fierce?
6. Lucy Wyman, 13 Going on 30
Here is Greer in one of her patented best friend roles, showing us that even when she doesn’t drive a scene, we can’t take our eyes off of her.
5. Lina Bowman, Married
Greer can currently be seen surviving marriage on this FX series, which allows her to showcase a wide variety of hilarious faces.
4. Julie Speer, The Descendants
Fox Searchlight Pictures
As home in Oscar-winning dramas as she is in comedy, Greer nails this role of an aggrieved wife who’s just trying to keep her family from falling apart in Alexander Payne’s 2011 film.
3. Ingrid “Fatty Magoo” Nelson, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Greer is perfectly cast as Sweet Dee’s arch rival, who always seems to know the exact wrong thing to say to her.
2. Kitty Sanchez, Arrested Development
Greer, with the help of the always on Spring Break Kitty Sanchez, helped show the world and Michael Bluth that she was a force to be reckoned with.
1. Cherly Tunt, Archer
And then there’s Cheryl, a bondage loving secretary who moonlights as a world famous country singer. If ever there was a role Greer was born to play, this is it.
Did you know that Portlandia and Documentary Now! co-star Fred Armisen is so addicted to television that he can recap any show you throw at him? It’s an astounding feat, one that Seth Meyers had to share with the world in a recent episode of Late Night With Seth Meyers.
Fred is tasked to review last week’s episode of Haven which, due to popular misconception, is not actually a SyFy program loosely based on a Stephen King novel that focuses on Canadian townspeople with supernatural afflictions. Rather, as Fred explains, it’s “sort of a Friday Night Lights type of show,” centered around a small-town football team called The Havens. But because the town is so small, not only can they barely afford a football, they don’t have another team to play against. It’s a character study, really.
For more Fred, be sure to check back here for news on the sixth season of Portlandia, which premieres January 21st at 10P ET/PT on IFC.
Tencious D knows how to rock. Hard. And they’ll be melting faces with the power of their rocking this Saturday, October 10th, at Festival Supreme in Los Angeles. As a tribute to The D and their awesome comedy and music festival, check out some of their most mindblowing-ly insane live performances below. How will their Festival Supreme appearance compare? Better grab tickets and find out.
10. Wonderboy on Late Night w/ Conan O’Brien
The boys get to play dress up in this classic Conan clip.
9. Ben Stiller Joins The D (NSFW)
It’s all fun and games until Ben Stiller crushes your dreams.
8. “Throw Down” on The Late Late Show
The boys’ religious history lesson is a bit more Metal than your typical Sunday school class.
7. “Dude (I Totally Miss You)” Live (NSFW)
KG threatens to leave the band, but can’t resist the silken voice of best friend Jables.
6. “Tribute” feat. Dave Grohl from MADtv
You don’t often think of rock when it comes to MADtv, but when they let The D loose the result was TV gold.
5. All Jazz, All The Time in Milan
Jack announces that Tenacious D is now a jazz band, and somehow still makes it sound hardcore.
4. “Roadie” at SXSW (NSFW)
“Coming to you live at the…what is this place?,” the boys take a moment to honor the unsung heroes of rock.
3. “Beelzeboss” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Lead guitarist John Konesky is possessed by the Devil, and the only way to save him is to rock!
2. “F*ck Her Gently” at Blizzcon (NSFW)
JB teaches us how to make love The D way in this classic performance from the 2010 Blizzcon.
1. “The Metal” Live and Uncut
The only way this could be more metal is if it were not a video clip, but a bar of iron.