Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

New Pornographers video 'Moves' features faux-Paul Rudd movie trailer, comedian cavalcade

Indie darlings the New Pornographers' new music video is a Where's Waldo of comedy nerd favorites.

It opens up with a fake trailer for an awful-looking comedy called "Expectant Dads," starring Paul Rudd and Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader. There's a full site for the faux film at ExpectantDadsMovie.com, including pull quotes reviewing the imaginary film and a summary of the plot.

An excerpt, summarizing the plot: "But the two dudes bite off way more than they can chew when they battle with two rival X-Coiners (Andy Milonakis and Robert Blake, Jr.) who trick Nick and D-Bomb into ingesting a chemical (distributed by way of a pot vaporizer called “King Vidor Vapor”) that makes them both pregnant."

The site also includes an ad for the even-worse-sounding "Expectant Dads 2."

This also isn't the first time Paul Rudd and Bill Hader have appeared in a video together; they got a bit, well, intimate for Saturday Night Live's "Kissing Family" sketch.


Comedian Gallagher (yes, that Gallagher) walks out on popular comedy podcast WTF with Marc Maron

Self-described "comedy legend" Gallagher made news in the comedy community today with his appearance on popular comedy podcast WTF, hosted by Marc Maron (who KPCC listeners may also know from KPCC's Comedy Congress). Gallagher made his name in the '80s for his comedy that prominently featured smashing watermelons with a mallet. He ended up being the first guest Maron's ever had walk out on his podcast in the middle of taping a show.

Maron apologized on his podcast for not handling the interview better and perhaps helping keep the conversation on track. Maron noted that he was approached by Gallagher's representation to be on the podcast; Maron's podcast has gained added notoriety recently after an article about it appeared in the New York Times.

The interview started out relatively calm, with Gallagher talking with Maron about Gallagher's career, starting as a chemist and becoming a huge star thanks to his watermelon bit, though Gallagher voiced frustration with his place in comedy and opportunities that had been offered to other comics. The interview turned contentious when Maron and Gallagher started talking about accusations that Gallagher's recent comedy is racist and homophobic, ultimately leading to Gallagher walking out.


New Aaron Sorkin HBO show to look at cable news; sounds very Aaron Sorkin-y

My interest was piqued when I read that writer Aaron Sorkin would be doing a new show for HBO.

Sorkin spoke with the BBC. He says his new show will offer a behind-the-scenes look at cable news. It seems a natural for Sorkin, as his "The West Wing" took a behind-the-scenes look at politics, his "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" took a behind-the-scenes look at a late night comedy show, and his "Sports Night" took a behind-the-scenes look at a cable sports news show. This show sounds like what would happen if "Sports Night" and "The West Wing" mated.

As a friend of mine put it, "Sorkin is such an oddball. I mean, I think he's the best writer in Hollywood. But his muse is bureaucratic process. That's the dramatic context he returns to over and over."

Sorkin says he wants to make cable news and journalism sexy, which he says is held in contempt here in the United States. He's spent time at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC as a fly on the wall as he prepares for this new show; he's already written the pilot and is in the midst of casting it.


Two spaces after a period is wrong. Seriously.

I would like to issue a public thank you, gracias, humongous hug and many other accolades to Slate for their excellent article on why you should never, as much as the urge may strike you, use two spaces after a period.

For example, see the end of this sentence, right after the question mark? Single space.

As author Farhad Manjoo puts it, "the correct way to end a sentence is with a period followed by a single, proud, beautiful space." Typographers began to come to agreement on one space as a standard in the early 20th century.

However, the use of two spaces came into widespread use thanks to the typewriter. Early typewriters used monospaced type (for those of you into fonts, something like Courier or Monaco). Monospaced type, unlike proportional type, leaves more white space between characters and words, so the use of two spaces was adopted to make it easier to see the space between sentences.


Telling your story in 1 sentence

The Atlantic Wire took a look today at a recent attempt by biblical scholars and pastors to summarize the Bible in one sentence. It's interesting because most popular films and books have a one sentence description that most are likely to agree on, but with a book that is both interpreted in vastly different ways by different groups as well as provoking strong reactions, that summary is less cut and dry.

The results ranged from a four-word Latin response to 132 words from Greg Beale, professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Westminister Theological Summary. The responses included attempts to summarize the narrative arc to theological statements to moral lessons and quotes from Einstein.

What stories do you think are the easiest to sum up? Hollywood films and TV shows tend to have a "log line," which serves as a quick summary of the plot and what the story's hook is for an audience. One thing that can get in the way of complex stories making it to the big screen is a story that's difficult to distill down and sell to the public.