I’ve been waiting for Inside Out for quite some time now – as we all have, since this movie was five years in the making – and when I settled in to my seat at the East Coast premiere during Vulturefest, I figured I should prepare myself. I should be prepared to ugly-sob, I should be prepared to laugh through my tears, and I should be prepared to leave that theater feeling like this movie had some kind of real impact on me. I wasn’t even a little bit disappointed.
Okay. Okay. Okay. Take a deep breath, everyone. We’re all okay. IT’S JUST A TV SHOW. No, I’m not crying. You’re crying.
Let’s get right into it. We have lit’rally ALL THE THINGS to talk about. Oh, and it pains me that I even need to say this, but do not read this if you haven’t seen the episode because I am going to talk about Big Death Scenes kbye.
If you thought I would be mature and resist the urge to make a Ginuwine reference now that Dany has finally ridden a dragon, then you would be wrong about that.
I sadly was not able to attend the majority of events in this year’s 2nd Annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival presented by The AV Club & The Onion. These included screenings of Weird Al Yankovic’s classic UHF (with “Al” in attendance), stand up from Eric Andre, Kyle Kinane, and John Mulaney, plus seeing the comedic goings-on of Ellie Kemper, Vanessa Bayer, and rising-star Ian Abramson. However, I was fortunate enough to attend the “Simpsons Writers Vs The Onion Writers” panel, as it was called. Despite what the title suggests, there was no such comedy brawl on the stage of the Athenaeum Theatre, nor were either set of writers even on stage at the same time. However, if there were to be a “winner” in this pop culture battle of sorts, there would be no question that The Onion “won” on this rainy Saturday afternoon.
Before getting into the specifics of the Simpsons portion of the panel, I will say that it was super wonderful to hear a small portion of writers from The Onion (& Clickhole) talk about their creative process, and their favorite parts of working to create some of the sharpest pieces of satire in today’s world. It was a fantastic portion of creative goodness, which I suppose served as the perfect ironic precursor for what was to come.
To be a Simpsons fan attending a panel made up of current Simpsons writers is practically it’s own death sentence. For those who are not currently watching The Simpsons these days (and why would you?), the show is no longer the Comedy Behemoth of its glory days. It’s a mere husk of the same characters thrown into painfully unfunny scenarios. So to hear a panel of writers applauding their “success” is a punishment in itself. And you could feel that energy in the room too, the fans in the audience desperately wanting to engage in facts and jokes from previous seasons of their favorite TV family.
Maybe someday soon we’ll see a reunion panel of class writers from the shows heyday. Until then, D’ohs all around.
(Sorry for the late recap!)
All right, all right, all right. Having a big battle scene before Episode 9 is almost like having Christmas come early, but I’m sure we’ll still be able to settle in for some bona-fide batshittery next week. But! Let’s not jump ahead, even though I do that all the time because I’m easily distracted! Let’s talk about THIS week, where a lot of pretty great things happened.
So, this weekend, Ben and I both did cool pop culture things and figured that we should definitely write about them. I was lucky enough to attend two events at the second annual Vulture Festival run by New York Magazine, and though I definitely wished I had booked more (especially considering that there was a reading of Fifty Shades of Grey as performed by Linda Belcher at the Animated Voices panel), I still loved what I saw.
I was beyond fortunate to see the East Coast premiere of Pixar’s Inside Out, complete with NYMag’s David Edelstein and director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera, and a full review of that completely magnificent film is forthcoming (I want to wait until it’s closer to the release, and also need to deal with all of my feelings about it). The second event I saw was a preview of Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner’s forthcoming Hulu show Difficult People, which was followed by a panel (moderated by Margaret Lyons) with those two angels and, um, the queen of my life, Amy Poehler. I was in the second row partially behind a column – I could see Billy if I leaned creatively and Julie not at all – but Amy was RIGHT THERE. I can tell you that Amy Poehler laughing in front of you is actual magic, but other than that it was kind of a blur from being in heaven and all that. Also, New York was in the midst of a monsoon, so everyone got an emergency alert during the panel, including Billy Eichner, who panicked and leapt into the audience. The three most wonderful people ever spent the rest of the panel discussing the following topics: Louie, how Wendy Williams has the best talk show because she’s not jaded about it, how much Amy loves Thanksgiving dinner, how difficult it is to book Mandy Patinkin because he’s incredibly busy, Debbie Harry and her eternal beauty, that Yentl is actually the best comedy movie of all time, that Amy loves Game of Thrones and has read all the books (!!!!!!), Aloha, what really happened when Julie met Marc Shaiman, and, of course, Nell.
I will come back to Difficult People when it premieres in August – again, I’m not trying to spoil, and what I saw was apparently a rough cut so I don’t want to recap in case it does change – and Inside Out sometime next week, but I just wanted to briefly say how much fun Vulture Festival was, and recommend it highly to everyone. (Their lounges are also SUPER fancy and the wine I got with my drink ticket was delightful.) I’ll be going again next year for sure, and can’t wait to see who and what they feature next spring!