photo & text by nacrowe
PRINCETON NOBLE PRIZE-winning psychologist DANIEL KAHNEMAN (who INTRIGUINGLY won his award in ECONOMICS) is the famous for his innovation in the field of COGNITIVE BIAS and PROSPECT THEORY. central to these theorems is the concept that our brain works on a two-tier system that is based on our physical movements. if stationary humans are capable of DEEP CONCENTRATION and the ability to CALCULATE and STRATEGIZE. when in motion and involved in significant physical exertion this capacity is neutralized. dont believe me? multiply 234 times 81 in your head sitting down and again while jogging. its a pretty INCREDIBLE phenomena.
and that two-tiered system is all i can think of when watching former SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE COMEDIAN KEVIN NEALON interview other COMEDIANS on GO-PRO shot hikes in canyons and parks in an around the LOS ANGELES region. its one thing to get a participants views when they are WELL-NOURISHED, CALM and COMFORTABLE and another when they TIRED, SWEATY and DEHYDRATED. NEALON himself was always one who shined in highly IMPROVISATIONAL COMEDY that was COLLABORATIVE and ENSEMBLE-based, so these interviews are GOOD-NATURED and meant to gain insight into what his peers find ABSURD and worthy of sending-up and mocking for our collective enjoyment. COMEDY is a very specific to the individual and can often be an isolating pursuit, not unlike having to take on an imposing unending nature trail, so i appreciate NEALON traversing the same ground and using the opportunity to learn about how COMEDIC WRITERS and PERFORMERS tick. especially under some physical hardship. over the past couple years there have been countless participants, but some notable ones include SARAH SILVERMAN, TIFFANY HADISH, CONAN O'BRIEN, BOB ODENKIRK, OWEN WILSON, DANA CARVEY, JUDY GREER and JACK BLACK.
definitely worth checking out.
photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
comedian JACK BLACK's YOUTUBE channel JABLINSKI GAMES started out as a pre-PANDEMIC CREATIVE EXPERIMENT that seemingly was more about engaging with his two young boys over video games then a master plan for global UBIQUITY. but over the course of the PANDEMIC it transformed into a vehicle to keep things light for his family and communicate HOPE and HUMOR to his fanbase, which at the time was in short supply and much needed. its incredibly endearing to see a grown man with such limitless JOY and ENTHUSIASM for life and to have a kid that is beyond embarrassed by his public outbursts. i cant even imagine.
while the channel does showcase his love for SKATEBOARDING, vintage BOARD GAMES, 80s ARCADE favorites (DONKEY KONG, SPACE INVADERS, etc) and more than a HEALTHY helping of RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2, the focus does noticeably shift when he is involved without outside project. in which case the channel transforms into more of a traditional vlog with BLACK touring with TENACIOUS D or cavorting with DWAYNE 'THE ROCK' JOHNSON or KEVIN HART on some latest iteration of the JUMANJI franchise.
the dude is hilarious, but at the center of his world is his FAMILY and it comes off unambiguously how much he absolutely ADORES his WIFE and CHILDREN. im a big CHRIS FARLEY fan and from the jump i saw similar COMEDIC tropes in BLACK going back to his cameos on MR SHOW, but the two could not be more different. BLACK is INCLUSIVE and very much about including everyone in his LIFELONG PASSIONS for MUSIC and ART while FARLEY was motivated out of a deep well of pain and trauma and saw his own outlandish behavior as a cry for attention and help that ultimately went unnoticed and unmitigated. you cant help but watch FARLEY's work and not become crestfallen that he was unable to secure and find UNCONDITIONAL LOVE like BLACK.
at least that is what comes to my mind when watching JABLINSKI GAMES. definitely worth checking out.
photo manipulation by nacrowe
what no doubt started as a gaming youtube channel for established HOLLYWOOD film actor/comedian JACK BLACK and his two sons quickly degenerated into a case study for the off-the-cuff improvisational comedy genius that is BLACK. whether that be at home giving "health tips," on location at a JUMANJI film set, at DISNEYWORLD with his family or on tour with TENACIOUS D, JABLINSKIGAMES showcases BLACK making everything he comes in contact with ridiculous and absurd. if you ever wanted a sense of the inner dialogue of a comedian at the top of his game, this is probably as close as you'll get.
plus its fun to see his children repeatedly get embarrassed by his public shenanigans. contrary to its name and intent, there is actually very little gaming going on here, which is probably why its my favorite "gaming" channel on youtube.
photo manipulation by nacrowe
for whatever reason, the four seasons of 90s cult classic comedy show MR. SHOW (HBO, 1995-1998) starring BOB ODENKIRK (BREAKING BAD, BETTER CALL SAUL) and DAVID CROSS (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT) is criminally overlooked. an outgrowth of the alternative comedy scene in LOS ANGELES at the time, its cultural impact can be seen in the varying careers of its many collaborators including that of BRIAN POSEHN (METALOCALYPSE, THE BIG BANG THEORY), TOM KENNY (SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, JOHNNY BRAVO), JILL TALLEY (SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, THE BOONDOCKS), PAUL F. TOMPKINS (BOJACK HORESMAN, BOB'S BURGERS, THE DAILY SHOW), JACK BLACK (TENACIOUS D), SARAH SILVERMAN (THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, BOB's BURGERS), JAY JOHNSTON (THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM, MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENHOLE), BEN STILLER (THE BEN STILLER SHOW, ZOOLANDER, DODGEBALL), JERRY MINOR (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, COMMUNITY), MARY LYNN RAJSKUB (24, THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW, PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE), JOHN ENNIS (TWIN PEAKS, WALK HARD, ZODIAC), SCOTT AUKERMAN (BETWEEN TWO FERNS WITH ZACH GALIFIANAKIS), MARLON WAYANS (IN LIVING COLOUR, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) and JANEANE GARAFALO (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, 24, THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW). the "Titannica" skit was referenced in the name of a BLINK-182 song ("Adam's Song") and the show even become the springboard for a TOOL side project (MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN's PUSCIFER) and TENACIOUS D, who themselves had an HBO show that was co-created and co-produced with ODENKIRK and CROSS.
the show takes its sensibility from MONTY PYTHON in that live and prerecorded skits are connected tangentially from segment to segment with no narrative arc. this frees the material to be the focus. a product of the CLINTON-era, much of the focus of the humor is derived from lampooning the stupidity of american life (reality tv, jingoism, sensationalist journalism) and public institutions (the police, government officials, corporate america). in many ways the lack of intellectual curiosity and selfish nature of the american general public is a target just below the surface and for that reason, this show has aged remarkably well.
given the political nature of their comedy, the creators and select cast members have done mix-media tours of theaters over the years. i saw them in NYC around 2003 as they lampooned the build-up to the misguided return american military adventure into the middle east on their HOORAY FOR AMERICA! tour. to me MR. SHOW holds a special place in my heart as they were consciously articulating a perspective and using comedy as a mirror to articulate just how far from our professed ideals we had fallen, especially during a time of compliance and plastic patriotic fervor rooted in raw, uninhibited xenophobia.
again, MR. SHOW still holds up. definitely worth your time to investigate.