The Daily Rock Hatch: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

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Despite a general lack of spandex—save for the occasion rendition of The Day Man Cometh—appearances by the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia at the last couple of San Diego Comic-Cons have proven major hits, inspiring the sort of fan-based pandemonium generally reserved for Joss Whedon and emo vampires.

I jumped at the opportunity to speak with the cast of the FX series about which I often bandy about the coveted title of “funniest show on television” in casual conversation (or, at the very least running a neck and neck raise with The Mighty Boosh and 30 Rock, both former Rock Hatchers).

I spoke with co-stars and co-creators Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton (Mac and Dennis on the show) about a number of things, and naturally had to slip a couple of comics-related questions into the mix. That portion of my conversation with Howerton can be found after the jump.

Spoiler: He says “Spider-Man”—a lot.

[More It’s Always Sunny Comic-Con interviews here.]
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The Cross Hatch Dispatch 8.8.09

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[Above, Eric Reynolds does Smith and Manson. Below, from a Dispatch on the Hill.]

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The Daily Rock Hatch: The Mythbusters

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Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman share what is arguably the greatest geek job on the planet. Sure it’s a bit of an overstatement to suggest that they blow up stuff for a living—but just a bit. The duo’s expertise in the art of special effects landed them a gig on basic cable wherein they deconstruct popular myths in the most exciting—and fun—manner possible.

Suffice to say, the show, which exists at a crossroads between an appreciation of science and a general love of explosions, has taken off in a huge way amongst the geek set, a fact the Discovery Channel happily capitalized upon with a huge promotional push at this year’s Comic Con. It was hard to work more than a few feet on the showroom floor without spotting a slew of giant Mythbusters swag bags.

During the show, we had the opportunity to chat up the duo in Savage’s hotel suite, to get their impressions of this whole comic book thing.

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The Daily Rock Hatch: Noel Fielding

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“It’s like Beatlemania,” answers Noel Fielding, smiling. “I don’t really understand. They screamed for like five minutes. We were just stand there, going, ‘what should we do?’ “ It’s The Mighty Boosh’s second day of their first-ever US tour, and the welcome thus far has been warm–and then some.

Last night, Fielding and cohort Julian Baratt played to a packed Bowery Ballroom. What had been billed as a “secret show” had ended up anything but, with a line of eager and sporadically costumed fans stretching literally around the block. Today is a non-stop gaunlet of interviews for the duo, who at the moment look as if they gotten a single hour of sleep between them.

There are scheduling conflicts and late arrivals and a Jimmy Fallon appearance that’s less than an hour away—a downright whirlwind for stars of the BBC by way of the Cartoon Network series. For me that means roughly three minutes of interview time to record a bit for my podcast, PCMag After Hours. But it gets done, and, in spite of everything, Fielding still pulses with the charm that defines his onscreen counterpart, Vince Noir.

We discuss Comic Con, Dan Clowes, and Barratt’s downright astounding cooking skills. Check out a transcript–and video–of the interview, after the jump.

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The Daily Rock Hatch: Mark Frauenfelder

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If you’re not checking out Boing Boing on an hourly basis, you’re missing out on a nearly limitless parade of wonderful things. If you’re not reading Make: Magazine, there’s a good chance that you’ve no idea how to make an iPod charger out of an Altoids tin. What do these two pop-cultural phenomena have in common? Mark Frauenfelder, naturally.

The spikey-haired happy mutant launched Boing Boing more than 21 years ago. The directory of wonderful things was born in 1988 as a print ‘zine boasting the tagline, “The World’s Greatest Neurozine,” tackling topics ranging from cyberpunk to intellectual property rights.

In 2000, Boing Boing was reborn as a blog, eventually growing into one of the most heavily-trafficked pop-culture resources on the Web. In that time, Frauenfelder has worked as an editor for Wired; an online columnist for Playboy; and has authored, edited, and/or illustrated a diverse range of books. Oh, and he’s also the editor-in-chief of the Santa Rosa-based quarterly DIY magazine, Make.

With a resume like that (and a wife and kids to boot), one suspects that the writer doesn’t have all that much free time for the important things in life, like, say, comics. But he somehow manages to squeeze sequential art into his to-do list, a fact often reflected by his Boing Boing posts.
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The Daily Rock Hatch: Scott Adsit

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It took everything within my power not to stick the name Pete Hornberger at the top of this post, but heck, as much as we all love 30 Rock (and we all do, right?), embracing Scott Adsit’s unhappily married, TV show producing alter-ego would come at the expense of the actor’s other contributions to the comedy world, including a stint at Chicago’s world famous Second City, spots on Mr. Show, and a writing/producing/directing/starring role on the brilliant, if short-lived, Adult Swim Davey and Goliath spoof, Moral Orel.

Oh, and perhaps most impressive of all, as stated in the interview below, the comedian once shared a room with Flavor Flav.

When he’s not making comedy or laughing at ex-Public Enemy members, Adsit is a big comics fan, as evidenced by appearances at a number of comic conventions (including the most recently NYCC) and on the guest list of our favorite live comics comedy talk show, Comic Book Club.

30 Rock returns to NBC on October 15th. In the meantime, Adsit will be appearing in front of the graphic novel shelves at Manhattan’s Forbidden Planet.

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The Daily Rock Hatch: Jesse Thorn

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I first met America’s Radio Sweetheart back in the early aughts. We were in an improv troupe together, along with a dozen or so Santa Cruz students with a wide variety of hygiene habits. Back then he was just a funny guy from San Francisco, though, if I remember correctly, he’d already seen fit to adopt his modest nickname.

In those early years, I watched his talk show The Sound of Young America evolve, co-opted his co-host Jordan Morris for my own radio show (now the co-host of Jordan, Jesse, Go), and generally flexed my authority in as much as the manager for a scrappy college radio station has any authority to flex. Which is to say, none at all.

Even back then it was clear that TSOYA possessed something other shows didn’t—namely Jesse Thorn, a smooth talking an engaging personality with the sort of polish generally lacking from the crap shoot that is college radio, god bless it. Thorn always knew the right people to interview, and he always knew just how to interview them.

Filling in for him one Thursday, Morris and I interviewed David Cross, crashing and burning all the way. Interviewing a comedian takes a very specific sort of skill set—one I’ve yet to fully master, after all these years. Thorn, on the other hand, continues to do it pretty much every week.

The Sound of Young America has continued to live on, outgrowing its college radio roots, and is now syndicated on 25 terrestrial radio stations (via PRI) and XM. Thorn himself is something of a relic of a largely bygone era—a handful of radio show hosts that recall a time when the radio was a vibrant media. As of late, his presence hasn’t gone unnoticed—Thorn has been the subject of write-ups in both Time Magazine and The New York Times.

When Thorn put out a call for “free advertising,” we gladly obliged. Anyone who tunes in regularly to TSOYA know that, on top of his penchant for all things funny, Thorn is also quite the comics fan. Check out what he had to say on the subject, after the jump.
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The Daily Rock Hatch: Tom Scharpling

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In which members of the entertainment community tearfully reveal their geeky comic obsessions, beneath their hardened irony-based exoskeleton.

A great man in our industry once famously proclaimed, “I’m the best there is at what I do, even though what I do isn’t very nice.” In a certain sense, those words can be applied to Tom Scharpling’s career. His public radio show, which boasts the understated title, ‘The Best Show on WFMU,’ is not a mere case of posturing or hyperbole—rather, it’s something of an honest, level-headed assessment of the facts. Even if it isn’t always all that nice.

The Best Show airs every Tuesday at 8PM EST on Jersey City’s WFMU (simulcast on the Web and later converted into handy podcast form for consumption at your own leisure). Over the course of three hours, Scharpling spins records and takes phone calls on an assortment of guests, both real and fake (the latter of which is nearly always performed by ex-Superchunk drummer, Jon Wurster).

I first discovered Scharpling’s show whilst browsing minis at Quimby’s in Chicago. The cashier was playing that week’s podcast over the loudspeaker, Scharpling well into a rant, discussing the merits of the forthcoming Brian Wilson concept record, Pleasure Island. The setting was rather fitting, as turns out. Scharpling, god help him, is big fan of sequential art, regularly reminding his listeners that he could be doing something better with his time, generally involving a large stack of comics.

We put Scharpling through the Daily Rock Hatch paces earlier this week. Check out his responses, after the jump.

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The Daily Rock Hatch: Eddie Argos

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In which members of the rock community tearfully reveal their geeky comic obsessions, beneath their hardened irony-based exoskeleton.

“Modern art,” Eddie Argos proclaims unapologetically in the song of the same name, “makes me want to rock out.” The lead-singer (well, the lead talk-singer) of Art Brut naturally goes on to rattle off a number of side effects of said artistic period on his temperament, culminating with the head butting of a Matisse in Paris’s Pompidou.

The song is standard Art Brut—raucous, hilarious, and catchy as all get out. And naturally, anyone who has picked up the band’s self-titled debut on which the track appears, has little question about the frontman’s opinions on the world of fine art.

Most of us, however, didn’t catch wind about Argos’s sequential art obsessions until recently, when it was announced that the singer would be penning a column of comic criticism for St. Louis-based entertainment publication, PLAYBACK:stl. Argos, a self-proclaimed DC Comics junkie devoted the first installment of his
“Pow! To the People” column to superhero, Booster Gold. He’s subsequently tackled the world of Angel and Captain America.

After a too-long hiatus, we’re extremely excited to welcome The Daily Rock Hatch with a very special geeking out by Eddie Argos. Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Rock Hatch: Jon Spencer

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Jon Spencer

In which members of the rock community tearfully reveal their geeky comic obsessions, beneath their hardened irony-based exoskeleton.

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