Saturday, February 28, 2015

Other People's Writing

* Amidst all of the “Parks & Recreation” celebration this past week, the mood was darkened by the news that writer Harris Wittles passed away of an apparent drug overdose.  Aziz Ansari commemorated his friend with this wonderful tribute, and there is no doubt the world lost a unique comic voice far too soon.

* Sticking with the general Amy Poehler theme, Uproxx’s Chloe Schildhause has an oral history about the creation of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

* Let’s hop in the Wayback Machine to a New Yorker profile of Ricky Jay from 1993.  There is no better way to fall down a YouTube hole than to get watching old Ricky Jay routines.  The fact that he’s repeating the same tricks and even the patter in modern performances as he did them 30 years ago is actually perhaps the most impressive part — this guy is a total pro.  Check out the Ricky Jay documentary currently airing on Netflix for more, including another telling of his legendary “block of ice” trick.

* Another New Yorker piece, this one by Reeves Wiedeman just a couple of weeks ago, about a competition between people trying to be “the last man” to avoid knowledge of who won the Super Bowl.  I love that amusingly silly stuff like this exists in the world, and if the Super Bowl ever ends up fitting two teams I hate, I might consider doing this.  Like, if last year’s game had been Ravens/Cowboys, I might’ve just moved to a small cabin in northern Ontario for several months and lived off the land like Ron Swanson.

* The marketing concepts being the Cleveland Browns’ SUPER-EXTENSIVE rebranding is revealed by Grantland’s Brian Phillips.  My poor dad…he became a Browns fan back when he was a kid, which started out great for him since this was right in Jim Brown’s heyday, but the last 50 or so years have been pretty thin.  I still think that the only time I’ve ever seen my father legitimately irate was when Ernest Byner fumbled that ball at the goal line.

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