Summary of “The state of comedy in 2019.”

The Muppets were attempting comedy but failing so often, in such flat-footed ways, that I concluded the show did not have what we would recognize today as professional comedy writers who could fill an entire episode with minimally acceptable material.
The stand-up boom had yet to happen, and while HBO began airing its Young Comedians specials in 1976, a comedy fan would be bereft of actual comedy more nights than not.
Of these, 27 could be considered to fall in the comedy genre-which, if extrapolated across the 495 series, indicates that in 2019 there may be as many as 150 writers rooms staffed with comedy writers.
The point isn’t that anyone is watching 150 comedies, it’s that there are 1,000-1,500 professional comedy writers working in television alone, which is an order of magnitude greater than the TV comedy landscape of a generation or two earlier.
More comedy content begets more comedy writers, especially since the funny young people of today have options far beyond the few totems of advanced comedic sensibility of yore.
There is a limitless comedy library in everyone’s pockets, offering easy access to almost every funny moment ever filmed, supplemented by the comedy school of thousands of podcasts committing comedy or commenting upon it.
Your average fan of comedy, or-to invoke a phrase that didn’t exist in the lexicon 20 years ago-a comedy nerd, has a graduate program of comedy knowledge at her fingertips, the likes of which a young Judd Apatow, taping Tonight Show sets with an audio tape recorder in his Syosset, New York, home in 1978 could scarcely dream of.
All the 2019 Emmy nominees for best comedy series are exquisite and hilarious, but they don’t challenge our beliefs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bobby Bones Is Just Getting Started”

Ninety seconds into his welcoming standing ovation at Austin’s Paramount Theatre, everything Bobby Bones.
His morning program, the freewheeling, often confessional Bobby Bones Show, was born and built in Austin over the course of a decade.
Post-show, the line for Bones merchandise took as long as two hours-which fans endured in order to purchase T-shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps, and baby onesies bearing optimistic messages such as “#Blessed,” “Every Day Is a Good Day,” and “#PIMPIN JOY,” a recurring theme in the Bones universe that urges listeners to have a positive attitude no matter what challenges they might face.
In 2014, a year after the Bobby Bones Show moved from Austin to Nashville, four billboards popped up around Music City.
In his 2016 memoir Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book, Bones revealed that he himself had paid for the $13,000 signs.
Bones spent the rest of that morning’s show marveling at the artist getting his break in real time, and egging on his audience to keep downloading.
Nearly six years after moving to Nashville, Bones has expanded from the daily Bobby Bones Show to add the weekly Country Top 30 Countdown.
Bones has a way of getting where he wants to go.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Superfans: A Love Story”

Some fans were also mad that Rey, the orphaned heroine, was revealed not to be secretly of noble lineage, undercutting two years of carefully worked-out fan theories.
In the old days of sci-fi conventions and Bobby Sherman fan clubs, fandom was a subculture reserved for the very young or the very obsessed-or, in the case of the Grateful Dead, the very stoned.
Each fan group demanded a nominal payment of one euro, and their lawyer, Emmanuel Ludot, called the allegations a “Genuine lynching.” Frivolous as it seems, the suit gets at the heart of modern fandom: an attack against a celebrity or a beloved character is an attack against the fans, and it is their duty to retaliate.
The rise of Donald Trump, who was a pop-culture icon before he was a politician, neatly overlaps with the rise of toxic fandom, and Trump has pronounced himself “Not a fan” of Jeffrey Epstein, the Vietnam War, and cryptocurrency.
Fandom, Jenkins told me, is “Born out of a mix of fascination and frustration. If you weren’t drawn to it on some level, you wouldn’t be a fan. But, if it fully satisfies you, you wouldn’t need to rewrite it, remake it, re-perform it.” Nowhere is Jenkins’s constructive view of fandom more evident than at Comic-Con International, in San Diego.
“There’s a fine line to tread on how much you listen to fans, because fans aren’t always right, either. But there are certain things where you should listen to them, because they’re smarter than maybe the super-high-up execs are going to think.”
The fan scholar Mark Duffett has suggested that “Fan screaming may be a form of ‘affective citizenship,'” a communal defiance of ladylike behavior.
Jacob Anderson, who played Grey Worm, pulled a Spider-Man mask over his head. The cast members were asked their favorite lines from the series, and fans cheered knowingly at the answers: “Not today,” “Hold the door,” “Nothing fucks you harder than time.” John Bradley, who played the lovable geek Samwell Tarly, chose one of his lines from the first season: “I always wanted to be a wizard.” Samwell was himself a kind of superfan within the show, poring over Westeros history and confirming fan theories about who was descended from whom.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Death of Hollywood’s Middle Class”

In 2015, Jack Allison, a comedian with a nerdy affect and an impish wit, was a staff writer on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, doing what he loved best: Hanging out with a bunch of other funny people, writing jokes, and downing Twizzlers.
Almost all of the focus on this upheaval has been on viewers’ first-world problem of too many good shows to watch or the corporate gamesmanship between iconic Hollywood conglomerates and the tech giants who seek to usurp them in delivering the world its entertainment.
The tech entrants into Hollywood typically do not sell their shows to other platforms, which means there are no syndicated reruns, and networks, feeling the pressure to keep up, air far fewer reruns.
A writer on a Netflix show is paid differently from someone on a Hulu or YouTube Premium show, because fees are based on the number of subscribers that a service has.
More recently, the WGA successfully loosened the exclusive holds that studios traditionally held over lower-paid writers, which keep them from seeking other employment while they’re working on a show-which meant that if you’d finished working on one season and were waiting to see if the show was re-upped for a second, you couldn’t seek another gig.
Even with these attempts to level the playing field, there is still the fact that a season for a streaming show is typically less than half the length of a traditional network show.
If someone like Allison theoretically went from a network late-night show to its streaming equivalent, say, Norm Macdonald Has a Show on Netflix, or Sarah Silverman’s I Love You, America on Hulu, it’s a completely different financial outlook.
“My husband is a writer and director. The fact that I have that protection, meaning if one of us were to drop dead, we would definitely still have a source of income to take care of our kids. If I’m only on one show and it’s only 20 weeks, what am I going to do the rest of the year? And if the show is 10 episodes?”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “8 TV Shows That Were Creatively Altered by a Writers Strike”

Thirty years ago, the longest strike in the history of the Writers Guild of America began, and lasted a full 155 days, affecting everything from MacGyver to Tim Burton’s Batman.
Writers strikes have a major impact on TV and film production.
Depending on the strike’s length, dozens of film and TV projects can be suspended, delayed, or even canceled, and rebounding when a strike is over isn’t exactly easy, either.
Numerous TV series have had to return from strike to a kind of creative reboot, from rewriting single episodes to devising entirely new finales.
BREAKING BAD An enduring legend about Breaking Bad sprung up around the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike.
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION The 1988 Writers Guild of America strike was the longest in the organization’s history, and its long run cut into the production of a number of series, among them the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The writers strike offered Kring and company a chance to rethink and restructure.
Initial enthusiasm for the series led to a full season order in October 2007, just weeks before a writers strike was declared.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann’s ‘SportsCenter’ Changed TV Forever”

In Patrick and Olbermann’s hands, SportsCenter was the best TV sportscast and, at the same time, exhilaratingly, the best parody of a TV sportscast.
Keith Olbermann’s first SportsCenters with Dan Patrick were like a taste of freedom.
“God, if you could have a teleprompter in life, how much easier would life be?” -Keith Olbermann To watch Olbermann write his scripts was itself a performance.
Before going on air at ESPN, Olbermann watched Patrick host SportsCenter from the set and noticed that many games were ending midshow.
If Olbermann wanted to reach through the TV and grab your lapels, Dan Patrick was more likely to try to blend into the test pattern.
At Olbermann’s goodbye party, Olbermann asked Patrick: “Why aren’t you the same person on the air as you are off the air?” Eight years later, they were hosting SportsCenter together.
Patrick asked Olbermann to remind him: Which parts had Olbermann written and which parts had he written himself?
Patrick asked Olbermann whether he’d leave MSNBC and join him on the 6 p.m. SportsCenter based in New York.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Scandals & Death in the Afternoon: An Oral History of the American Soap Opera”

Romance! Love! Agony! Adultery! Angry aliens! The American soap opera has seen them all, and much more.
Ken Corday, executive producer, Days of Our Lives, and a second-generation soap man: Irna Phillips was the grand pharaoh of soap operas.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, soaps were increasingly welcomed into the daily lives of American women.
Sam Ford, co-editor, The Survival of Soap Opera: I had a high school teacher who came home from school one day, and her mother was talking to her aunt on the phone, saying, “You won’t believe what happened to Joe!” She listened to the conversation, and it was getting worse and worse, and she thought, “My God, which neighbor could she be talking about?” Of course, they were discussing soaps.
Sam Ford: Suddenly every other soap starts pushing their longtime characters far into the back burner, and they each have their super-couple.
Stephanie Sloane, editorial director, Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly: You’re still looking at ratings that some shows on the CW don’t get.
On April 14, 2011, to the dismay of soap fans, ABC announced the cancellation of both All My Children and One Life to Live.
Kay Alden: The potential exists for a return to the very origins of the soap opera format.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Car Talk’s Long Goodbye”

Let’s get something out of the way up front: Ray Magliozzi hates cars.
Ray’s life has been devoted to cars, even if the yuks on the radio were thin veils for how Ray and his brother and co-host Tom Magliozzi actually thought, which was less like your local mechanic and more like an engineer.
You could be irritated by all the laughs, but you also couldn’t deny that Ray and Tom had some serious knowledge about cars, and in a way that you couldn’t really fake.
“By the way, I should mention that hardly anyone knows how to turn an odometer forward,” Ray told a caller named Rick, whose girlfriend’s car had recently come back from the shop with 20,000 more miles on it than when it was dropped off.
Ray has driven mostly regular cars throughout his life, including a lot of American cars but plenty of Japanese cars as well.
He had a Pontiac station wagon, a Chevy Malibu, and a Ford LTD. “My first car was a ’62 Chevy Impala, 120,000 miles,” Ray said.
Ray has little nostalgia for that era of automobile, saying that he would take a modern Nissan Versa over any car built in the ’60s or ’70s, thanks to modern standards of reliability and safety.
Some other Car Talk words and phrases The Boston Globe identified: “dope slap,” or a quick, corrective slap to the back of the head in punishment of stupidity; “urgent haircut,” or the need to relieve oneself; “T.S., Eliot,” or a public-radio friendly way of saying “tough shit”; “schnerdling,” a word with Icelandic origins to mean toilet; and “boat payment,” a unit of measurement arising from Ray’s discovery that the least scrupulous mechanics he knew all owned boats.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Night the Music Died”

Apart from Holly, the biggest local celebrity is Meredith Willson, the author of The Music Man, who hails from nearby Mason City.
Holly’s appearance and attitude said that it was okay to look like a geek as long as you made cool music.
Along the walls are photographs of Holly and the Crickets and Holly onstage at other shows on the Winter Dance Party tour; there are drawings of Holly, paintings of Holly, and original 78’s by Holly preserved behind glass.
The June show featured a performance of John Mueller’s Winter Dance Party, a traveling re-creation of the original fronted by John Mueller, a singer and an actor who played Holly in the long-running Broadway hit musical Buddy … the Buddy Holly Story.
One Clear Lake resident told me, “Jerry and I are good friends, but I’ve never mentioned Buddy Holly to him because it has to be incredibly painful. Four human beings died in his airplane.” Dwyer was sued by Valens’s family in 1959 for $1.5 million in lost income.
Several people told me he still gets angry calls in the middle of the night from Holly diehards screaming some version of “You killed Buddy!”.
Investigators quickly determined that Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper, and the pilot, Roger Peterson, had all died on impact, at about 1 a.m. Mason City Globe-Gazette photo by Elwin Musser.
Erson, who died in 2006, said in a 1977 interview he did with Bill Griggs, the founder of the Buddy Holly Memorial Society, that the musicians played two sets, starting on time at eight with Sardo.

The orginal article.

Summary of “8 Rules to Do Everything Better”

“Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life,” writes investor Ray Dalio in his bestselling book, Principles.
Like Dalio’s, these principles are a foundation for a better you.1.
Whether you want to grow your body or mind or get better at a specific skill, you need to push to the outer limits of your current ability, and then follow that hard work with appropriate recovery and reflection.
Decades of research in exercise science show that this is how you get stronger and faster, and the latest cognitive science shows that this is also how you get smarter and more creative.
The best athletes and entrepreneurs aren’t focused on being the best; they’re focused on constant self-improvement.
In the words of Mayo Clinic researcher and human performance expert Michael Joyner: “You’ve got to be a minimalist to be a maximalist; if you want to be really good at, master, and thoroughly enjoy one thing, you’ve got to say no to many others.”
Who doesn’t want to experience joy? But many Type A people are so driven to keep growing and progressing that sometimes they forget to be fully present for special moments or neglect to pause and celebrate their milestones.
There is nothing fancy about any of these principles, though they do work best when all are applied together.

The orginal article.