Day 279: Laughs in the Empire

After the show with the hilarious Jenny Yang.

After the show with the hilarious Jenny Yang.

Me and the missus skipped tonight’s episode of Fresh Off the Boat and the Internet after-show Fresh Off the Show. We’re not weekly TV series watchers, preferring to binge on shows on Netflix whenever we have time, but we always watch FOTB and FOTS.

Not tonight, though. While we missed the show and Phil and Jenny’s always-funny recap, we couldn’t miss Jenny at the Improv in Ontario. She was the host for an event that featured Asian American female comedians and that’s something we don’t get very often in the Inland Empire.

There was no way we were not gonna be in the audience tonight … especially after Jenny tweeted out a code for 50 percent off tickets.

We laughed, we were inspired by seeing each woman (and one man for “diversity”) own the stage, and my wife got a kick out of Jenny giving me a shout-out at during the show.

I like to think my wife thinks I’m cool (I mean, she married me and all), but having the host call out your name onstage? My coolness factor just grew exponentially and I finally get to use the hashtag #humblebrag.

Thanks, Jenny!


Day 140: Letterman

David Letterman

David Letterman

Tonight’s the big finale for David Letterman, who wraps up his late-night run after 31 years.

My cousin showed me the way to Letterman back in the mid ’80s, when a wacky character named Pee Wee Herman was being introduced to America. I loved Letterman and his silly, genre-redefining comedy, from Larry “Bud” Melman to Stupid Pet Tricks, the Velcro suit to Mujibur and Sirajul. By the time he moved to CBS from NBC, I’d lost interest in late-night television, except for the occasional episode of Arsenio Hall or, later, the Conan O’Brien show. For me, staying up late back then was for doing anything except watching television.

There’s something to be said for Dave’s longevity. Late-night comedy has changed a lot in my lifetime and Dave was right in the middle of those changes, taking the torch (along with Jay Leno) from Johnny Carson (who took it from Jack Paar and Steve Allen) before handing it off to Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and the rest of the digital-age hosts.

While Dave hasn’t had his best stuff in years, he was funny whenever I did manage to watch some of his show. It was comforting to know that he was there on CBS, plugging away and available if I happened to turn on the TV after 11:30pm. I’ll miss that.

Farewell, Mr. Letterman.

Day 97: Fresh Off the Happy Hour

Tacos and cupcakes, yum!

Tacos and cupcakes, yum!

Mrs. G. and I didn’t feel like cooking tonight, so it was time for Taco Tuesday at our local taqueria and cupcake happy hour at our local designer cupcake shop. The food was good, filling, and inexpensive, but more importantly it was devoured in time for our favorite show: Fresh Off the Boat.

I’ve talked about my love of the show before (here, here, and here) and while watching the after-show Fresh Off the Show I learned that the final two episodes are airing soon. It’s been a critical success so far, which should guarantee its renewal, but you never know what Hollywood executives are thinking.

So, in keeping with the positive #RenewFOTB vibes on my Twitter feed, here’s hoping ABC does the right thing with this groundbreaking show. I want more adventures of Eddie and the Huang family. I want more diversity on the air. Most of all, I want more quality television.

Day 62: Three Fresh Things

Fresh Off The Boat

Fresh Off The Boat

1. I missed last week’s Fresh Off The Boat due to a previous commitment, but tonight my wife and I weren’t going to miss our favorite television family. It was another hilarious episode, with so many highlights: Eddie suffering the indignity of having his neighbor babysit him as he goes overboard on the sriracha, Jessica’s quotes from Caddyshack, Louis’ Coming-to-America-like McDowell’s move, Eddie’s dream sequence, the billboard, and “Buffalo Things.”

2. The only complaint I have so far about the show? The entire season isn’t on Netflix so I can binge-watch to my heart’s content.

3. There’s a Spotify playlist of the show and there’s plenty from the Golden Age of hip hop. Listen here for your dose of 90s music (Warning: some NSFW language).

4. I know I said three things, so consider this a bonus: A must-watch after each episode is Fresh Off The Show, hosted by Phil Yu and Jenny Wang. It’s a live recap of the show and it’s funny and informative. Check their twitter accounts on Tuesdays for the link to the live feed on youtube.

Day 46: SNL40


Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat


The Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary show is going on right now. Or is it? I recall hearing the start time as 7pm CST, but I’m in PST, so does that mean it started at 5pm?

During one of my first sleepovers in elementary school the highlight of the night was staying up late to watch SNL. I remember seeing Chevy Chase and Gilda Radner, but I don’t remember it being very funny. All of that grown-up humor was lost on me and my third-grade buddies.

A few years later, I absolutely loved Eddie Murphy. I had a VHS tape of my favorite sketches that my brothers, friends, and I would laugh at hysterically. My favorite sketch by far was “Buckwheat Has Been Shot,” with the Stevie Wonder-Frank Sinatra duet a close second (Joe Piscopo at his best). Even after repeated viewings, Eddie still cracked me up.

SNL has never been must-watch TV for me, though. During my 20s and 30s, Saturday night meant going out, not sitting in front of a television. I never set my VCR to record episodes. Yet somehow, through some sort of pop culture osmosis, I knew about the latest skits and catch-phrases, from “Isn’t that special?” to “More cowbell.” It’s comforting in a way, knowing that while I might not see it live, the skits will find a way into my life.