Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Mike Birbiglia and Terry Gross hang out in new YouTube short

Sleepwalk With Me YouTube account

Mike Birbiglia and Terry Gross in a new short film from Birbiglia.

Comedian/author/"This American Life" personality Mike Birbiglia debuted a new short film last night as part of This American Life's "The Invisible Made Visible" live show. I caught the showing at the AMC Burbank 16, and Birbiglia's video got huge laughs from the live crowd.

The show as a whole was very public radio-friendly, but nothing moreso than this short, which costars the one and only Terry Gross of "Fresh Air." Is Terry Gross always so... Terry Gross-y? Birbiglia delivers you the (not-really-the) answer.

"Fresh Air 2" is another film collaboration between Birbiglia and This American Life's Ira Glass, following the feature film "Sleepwalk With Me" based on a story Birbiglia told on the show, as well as turning it into a stage show and a book. The film's been on the festival circuit and hits theaters everywhere August 24. (That's my birthday, so it's clearly a present for me!) It was written, directed by and stars Birbiglia, and both that and the short film were produced by Glass.


Comedian Patrice O'Neal dies at 41 following stroke

Comedy Central Roast Of Charlie Sheen - Show

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Patrice O'Neal speaks onstage at Comedy Central's Roast of Charlie Sheen held at Sony Studios on Sept. 10, 2011 in Los Angeles.

Comedian Patrice O'Neal died yesterday at the age of 41 due to complications from a stroke he suffered a month prior.

His biggest recent appearance was as a roaster at Charlie Sheen's Comedy Central roast in September. O'Neal suffered from diabetes and, this being a roast, the other panelists let him have it.

"Patrice O'Neal, one of my favorite comics. Patrice has always been destined for stardom, and diabetes. So tonight is not just the roast of Charlie Sheen, it's also a farewell party for Patrice's foot." - Amy Schumer

Charlie Sheen himself went after O'Neal while also taking a shot at comedian Anthony Jeselnik. "The only thing slower than [Anthony Jeselnik's] delivery is Patrice O'Neal's metabolism." Oof.

O'Neal responded to the attacks at the hands of fellow comedians during the roast. "How the f--- can I be too mean after all this s---. I can't believe it. I'm dying of diabetes and you motherf---ers are like, 'Oh, that evil fat f---.'" He suffered his stroke less than two months later.


Bitter Lawyer delivers attorney comedy, new Web series

As a comedy nerd, I sometimes come across some very specialized comedy, and the example of that I'm enjoying today is Bitter Lawyer. It's a comedy site created by, well, bitter lawyers.

Bitter Lawyer just posted the first episode of their new Web series, "The Bottom Rung." It focuses on the lawyers who, rather than signing to a big law firm, end up graduating from law school and doing the grunt work of document review.

It gets into the weeds a bit of the experience of law school graduates, but its also relatable enough for anyone who's ever had an office job they didn't enjoy. The first episode also sets up a relationship story, so it's got elements of romantic comedy. Writer/producer Matt Ritter stars as Dave, opposite Jess Garvey as love interest Paige. You can read Ritter's story of leaving law and moving out to L.A. that ultimately inspired the series.


Google+ goes corporate, launching branded pages - including the Muppets

Yesterday, Google+ rolled out branded pages. Essentially, they're like Facebook Pages, but, you know, on Google+.

Google had resisted rolling these out until they were ready. When companies tried jumping the gun and setting up pages using regular Google+ accounts months ago, Google+ began shutting those accounts down.

Well, Christmas is here for all those businesses that wanted to be on Google+ before.

It's hard to say how successful these will be. Google+ has struggled in its early going, quickly gaining a lot of followers but leaving many scratching their heads about why they'd want to be part of Google+ rather than doing similar things somewhere else, particularly on Facebook.

However, there are some compelling possibilities. The coolest thing I've seen since the launch: A Hangout with the Muppets. For those of you who haven't used Google+ yet, Hangouts are Google+ video chats that manage to rather seamlessly allow groups to chat. Now, the Muppets hangout was fairly structured, but it was the latest in a series of bold attempts by the Muppets to utilize digital media to promote themselves, such as spoof trailers for their movie and other random online videos.


VIDEO: John Hodgman promotes new book 'That Is All' with celeb cameos galore

John Hodgman, he of "The Daily Show" correspondent appearances and the PC in the long-running Mac vs. PC ad campaign, has a new book coming soon to bookstores near you (or, more likely, Amazon and e-readers) entitled "That Is All." He's promoting it in a new Funny Or Die video with music by masters of quirky They Might Be Giants.

The video features a wide variety of celebrities and assorted funny people, including Jon Hamm, Paul Rudd, Brooke Shields, rapper Nas, Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen, 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer and fellow Daily Show correspondents Samantha Bee, Jason Jones and Kristen Schaal. It even features an appearance by the Mac from those Mac/PC ads, Justin Long. Craziest cameo goes to classic talk show host Dick Cavett.

Hodgman appears at Los Angeles's Largo at the Coronet to promote his new book on Friday, Nov. 4 with comedian Paul F. Tompkins, John Roderick from the Long Winters and Rich Sommer from "Mad Men." "That Is All," the last in his "trilogy of complete world knowledge," comes out Nov. 1. (Proof that Hodgman is a hipster: His official site is a Tumblr.)