Category: Popular Culture

Farewell, Meltdown. We’ll Miss You.

For 25 years, Meltdown Comics has been a part of our Sunset Square neighborhood. At the end of this week, they’ll close shop, another brick-and-mortar casualty of online commerce. As the largest tenant on the block, Meltdown was the area’s commercial anchor. Its closure will help the landlord, Jack Ilulian, demolish the low-slung retail building(s) consistent...

It Is What It Is

More than “you know what I mean?” and starting sentences with either “Honestly?” or “So…,” the locution on everyone’s lips of late is the quasi-philosophical, quasi-nonsensical phrase “It is what it is.” What do people mean when they say this? Everything is what it is. In rare cases, something isn’t what it seems or appears...

Denying the Dastardly Duopoly

When your country’s government seems to be controlled by characters from professional wrestling competing in a “loser retires” bout, it’s easy to ascertain villainy in every unfair maneuver. The people in the Trump Administration: bad guys. Heels. They cheat. They lie. They’ll do anything to win. Who are the (baby) faces in this charade? Democrats,...

Jacob Tremblay, Child Actor

The Canadian child actor Jacob Tremblay delivers performance of such naturalness and transparency that we forget he’s a kid. His work made us weep in two current movies, “Wonder,” in which he plays a boy with a birth defect (Mom: Julia Roberts), and the extraordinary and moving “The Book of Henry” (Mom: Naomi Watts), in which...

Get a Job

“Get a job, sir!” That’s the advice given to Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski by another person named Lebowski, the Big Lebowski, a patently successful achiever who lives in a mansion filled with commendations and photos with important people like Nancy Reagan, when she was First Lady — of the United States, not California. The Dude...

Judah Friedlander’s “America is the Greatest Country in the United States”

Like their ancestor the King’s jester, modern comedians have implicit license to express out loud what many think but few are permitted to say. The best stand-up comics are truth-tellers. Their magic is to get you to laugh at the truth instead of cry. In his new special, “America is the Greatest Country in the...

The War on Christmas

The War on Christmas is not a fictional narrative promulgated by not-very-bright demagogues and lazy journalists. The War on Christmas is real. For several years now, we’ve witnessed an orchestrated, elaborately planned assault on one of our country’s top-four most important holidays. The malefactors behind this outrage remain unknown, though we suspect in our gut...

Drennon Davis

DJ Yeah is an alligator with a very limited vocabulary: he can say one word. Drennon Davis is the comedian, musician, potential genius with one hand up the gator’s butt and the other on a mixing/looping machine. Davis also performs as himself — and no matter the persona he embodies, he’s consistently funny, embracing the fine line...

Pizza Protest

Finally, what many of us long suspected has been categorically confirmed. No, not that the Democratic primary was rigged by the Clintons and their vassals at the DNC, rendering the millions of us who contributed to and volunteered for Bernie Sanders into suckers at a carnival midway trying to knock down milk bottles nailed to...

Grimy Ghost

Once-a-month, the “underground  comedy show” Comedy Sucks pops up in Hollywood at the Nerdist Showroom. The host, Scott Black, is funny and engaging, and the young and mostly unknown comedians he presents support the show’s title only about half the time. The element that keeps us attending every month are absurdly hilarious video montages created by the...