January 2009 Archives

Lisa Lampanelli: Queen of Mean

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Life is all about timing. Especially when you're telling jokes that many might view as not funny, and that even more might find downright offensive. Thus, Lisa Lampanelli, the self-proclaimed Queen of Mean, who stars in her first HBO comedy special which premieres today, picks her moments carefully -- very carefully.

Click HERE for my exclusive SuicideGirls.com interview with Lisa.

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"I love the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I love going to the Nuart and seeing the insanity that takes place inside that theater. I think Rocky Horror Picture Show gave people a shelter to feel safe. If you were a freak, if you were a weirdo, if you were fat, if you were skinny, if you were goth, if you were a transvestite, it was OK, come to Rocky Horror Picture Show, you're fine here. And people went there and they embraced it, and everyone felt comfortable, and everyone kind of acted weird and strange and they were comfortable with that, and I grew up in that environment. That's how I basically learned it was OK to be artistic, it's OK to have weird ideas. And I hope that people continue to understand that about Repo!"


Darren Bouseman, SuicideGirls, October 2008.




By definition, you can't create a counter culture experience without polarizing the mainstream culture you're hoping to be countering. With Repo! The Genetic Opera, director Darren Bouseman has certainly achieved this basic cult criteria. Mainstream outlets unanimously derided the film: The Los Angeles Times said the film was "bloody awful," USA Today referred to it as a "preposterous bloodbath," and it has been called "the worst move of all time" by numerous critics.


But Bouseman did not make this movie to please po-faced pen-pushers (those in the horror genre rarely get into the business to seek critical acclaim), and his film is clearly finding its intended niche. While Rotten Tomatoes' survey of professional film writers gave the film a measly 31% rating, those in the RT community gave it a more than respectable 84%. And it was this community that came out in force on Saturday night for the final sold-out stop on Repo's 13 date Road Tour.


By 8.30 pm the line of those willing to "testify" to the legitimacy of Repo's cult status snaked around the block. Many had seen the film multiple times, and most were dressed up in character for the occasion. Cast members Alexa Vega, Terrance Zdunich, Paris Hilton, and Ogre, mingled with the crowd alongside co-writer Darren Smith (seen above signing a cast) and Bouseman. Particular respect should be given here to Hilton, who, with an unfailingly sweet demeanor, showed support for the film in the face of adversity -- much of the critics ire having been directed at her (it's not like she's short of stuff to do on a Saturday night).


After a brief introduction, in which Bouseman embraced the notoriety his film had been blessed with, the fun really began. The audience showed their dedication by being word -- if not note -- perfect. Their semi-rehearsed cat-calls, dances and zydrate-addicted glo-stick waving adding humor to the movie Darren had warned me during an interview in October 2007 was "not intended to be taken seriously."




Repo is now available on Blue-Ray and DVD.

And yes, that is SG Radio's Sam Doumit in the photo (top left) with Paris and Darren!

Click HERE to view larger images.

John Oliver: Comic Crumpet

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A lot of wonderful things happened in 1977: punk exploded, Apple was incorporated, Star Wars was released, transatlantic supersonic flights hit commuter airline schedules, smallpox was officially considered to be eradicated -- and John Oliver was born. 2006 wasn't such a good vintage however, one of the few redeeming features being that it was the year the thinking woman's bit of crumpet from The Daily Show first joined Jon Stewart's band of merry not-news men as their Senior British Correspondent, making something that was already truly awesome even more so.


Before washing up on our shores with his freshly minted visa in hand, Oliver apparently spent an inordinate amount of time at school farting (an activity the British have raised to the level of a national sport). He went on to study a language he was already relatively competent in -- English -- at Cambridge University, which afforded him a lot of free time to pursue the hobby that became his career: being funny. He joined the Cambridge Footlights, a hallowed university amateur dramatics/comedy institution which was founded in 1883 and has produced many notable funny people -- both of the peculiar and ha-ha varieties.


Oliver is certainly a funnyman of the ha-ha kind, though he's not without his peculiarities as we found out in this interview, which was conducted via email for his own safety -- did we mention he's the thinking woman's bit of crumpet from The Daily Show?


Click HERE to read our SuicideGirls interview and find our why he's our favorite bit of alright!

Club SG: 01.04.09

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(photos: Nicole Powers)

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hilip DeFranco is a next generation celeb. Known to many by his YouTube moniker, sxephil, since joining the video-based site on September 15, 2006, he's become one of the biggest stars of its pixelated small screens.

DIY broadcasting from a ubiquitous eggshell and beige room in his home in Atlanta, Georgia, the fast-talking 23-year old self-confessed geek delivers often funny, always sarcastic and biting commentary on subjects as disparate as penis sniffing housewives and the mysterious and convenient (if you're a senior Republican who's into a little election tampering) death of Karl Rove's IT guy, Michael Connell (who was ready to spill his guts -- just not in a plane crash-y kind of way).

It has to be said, The Philip DeFranco Show is a cut above most made-for-YouTube fare. But as his salary begins to match his online status, DeFranco threw a curve ball into his satirical mix, announcing his retirement towards the end of 2009 in a recent show. In the meantime, he's enjoying a new wave of web-based notoriety, as one of Wired.com's Sexiest Geeks, as decided by an annual online reader poll, which he is topping at the time of writing by a very healthy margin.

I caught up with DeFranco while he was in Utah, not staying at his girlsfirend's Dad's house (the trip itself provided the subject for DeFranco's Dec 30th Douchebag of the Day), to find out more about the man behind The Philip Defranco Show and its companion PhillyD.tv blog.

Click HERE to ready my interview on SuicideGirls.com.

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Whether or not you believe in a divine entity, this time of year serves to remind us all that the mighty dollar should not be our de facto deity, and that department stores, however glorious, should not be our surrogate churches. Reverend Billy, performance artist and leader of The Church of Stop Shopping, is a man on a mission to save the souls of those who spend their lives in the service of credit. On an individual, national or international level, the darkness of debt results in hell on earth, damning those who succumb to its power to a future eternally in the red. We therefore asked the good Rev. to shine a light on the shopocalypse. In this special SuicideGirls sermon he shows us the path to redemption -- through congregation (outside of the now literally as well as metaphorically empty malls) and communion with our own vital human spirit -- and offers some surprising commandments for our personal and global, financial and spiritual, wellbeing in 2009.

Click HERE to read Rev. BIlly's very special Stop Shopping message.

Further reading: What Would Jesus Buy?