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Eugene Mirman Purchased Ad Space to Righteously Object To a $15 Parking Fine

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Eugene Mirman, the voice of Gene in Bob’s Burgers, was fined $15 for parking in the wrong direction in Portsmouth, NH, and he didn’t take it very lightly. In protest to the city’s stringent parking laws, Mirman bought ad space in a local newspaper, addressing the town of Portsmouth for large-scale injustice.Signed “With great disappointment,” the letter placed in the ad space thoroughly defends Mirman’s freedom to rightfully back into a spot. He even uses the state’s motto of “Live Free or Die” to ironically make his point — which went viral on reddit as “The Best Full Page Ad Ever.”

If it wasn’t clear following his letter to Time Warner Cable in a previous cable debacle, Mirman has very little patience for bureaucratic nonsense (especially that which will cost him $15):

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‘Bob’s Burgers’ Will Keep Flipping for Two More Seasons

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TV STILL -- DO NOT PURGE -- BOB'S BURGERS: Join the Belcher family for Season Five of the Emmy Award winning BOB'S BURGERS  Sundays on FOX.  BOB'S BURGERS ™ and © 2014 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Fox’s animated darling Bob’s Burgers will continue for at least two more seasons.The network announced it will keep the Belchers in business for a seventh and eighth season Wednesday.

“Six seasons in, the Belchers have become one of America’s most beloved TV families and we are so happy to keep them in the fold for another two seasons,” said Fox Broadcasting Company President of Entertainment David Madden. “Bob’s Burgers is hilarious, warm, smart, inventive — critics love it and so do fans. Loren, Jim and the brilliant voice cast continue to surprise us in the best ways, and we look forward to seeing what Bob and the family will cook up in seasons seven and eight.”

The renewal shouldn’t be much of a surprise: the show won an Emmy for “Outstanding Animated Program” in 2014 and was nominated for two Emmys in 2015.

The sixth season of Bob’s Burgers currently airs every Sunday on Fox at 7:30pm Eastern.

Aziz Ansari Tackles Race and Relationships in Trailer for ‘Master of None’

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Netflix has released the trailer for Aziz Ansari’s upcoming, semi-autobiographical series, Master of None

Ansari stars as “Dev,” a thirty-year-old actor trying to figure his life out in New York City. The trailer covers both Dev’s romantic (he feels pressured to settle down but is overly selective: “Whoever you’re dating now at this age, it could be who you end up with—it’s a big decision”) and professional (he auditions for roles but is relegated to typecasting) lives, and the way the latter is impacted by casual racism.

Other cast members include: H. Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers; Archer); Eric Wareheim (Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), Lena Waithe (The Comeback); Noël Wells (Saturday Night Live); and Kelvin Yu (writer for Bob’s Burgers). Claire Danes and Noah Emmerich will also make guest appearances.

Ansari’s show will be his third collaboration with Netflix — the first two being standup specials (2013’s Buried Alive; and Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden from earlier this year).

Master of None will premiere on Netflix on November 6, 2015.

Watch the trailer:

Kal Penn to Spoof Fox News With New Comedy Series: Links You Need to See

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Kal Penn has a new series — made with his Harold and Kumar collaborators, Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz — in the works for ABC. According to Deadline, it follows Penn’s character, a wannabe NPR reporter who instead takes a position at a Fox News-ish channel. (The show, titled Fair and Balanced, gets its name directly from Fox’s slogan.) The content of the show is inspired by Penn’s own time in Washington, D.C. where he worked both for Obama’s National Arts Policy Committee and as an associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement; he’s also a VICE News correspondent. In other ABC-related news, the showrunner of the new Muppets series is leaving, and the second half of the first season is allegedly being considered a relaunch (which may not be a bad thing).

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Credence, a film by British director Mike Buonaiuto, is described on its Indiegogo account as “the first Sci-Fi of its kind to challenge the way gay characters are portrayed in film.” As Wired explains, the crowdfunding effort proved to be a success (fueled by a clear desire to end the dearth of rich portrayals within the genre), as the film earned 370 percent of its initial goal, and was recently completed: it launched this week on Vimeo on Demand. The 30 minute apocalyptic film sees a couple trying to send their daughter into space in the last evacuation of a dying Earth. Watch the trailer here. 

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You may not have known that Gummo/Mr. Lonely/Spring Breakers director Harmony Korine is also a painter of massive abstractions. But because of the disappearance of one such ($120,000) massive abstraction (made using masking tape, squeegees and house paint) from the lobby of a building in Manhattan this week, his painting career is being publicized all over the web. In other (pop culture-adjacent) art news, The Creators Project published an interview with Jay Howell, the illustrator behind Sanjay and Craig and the Belcher family on Bob’s Burgers, detailing his “colorful career and work.”

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333sound released their list of the next books in the 33 1/3 series. The upcoming releases of books based on albums will come from 16 proposals (selected from 605); Highlights include a book by Clare Nina Norelli on Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks soundtrack, a book by Amy Gentry on Tori Amos’ Boys For Pele, one by Andrew Barker on The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, and one by Emily MaCkay about Björk’s Homogenic. Check out the 333sound website for the full list. 

 

The Weirdness and Warmth of ‘Bob’s Burgers” Thanksgiving Episodes

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Thanksgiving is one of the big three sitcom holidays, along with Christmas and Halloween. These holidays lend themselves well to comedies: families coming together, over-the-top costumes, awkward and hilarious conversations, and sticky-sweet emotions. Each holiday has its comedic benefits, but Thanksgiving might be the best for family-oriented sitcoms — and no comedy does these episodes better than Bob’s Burgers.

The very basic elements of Thanksgiving are built right into the series’ DNA. Bob’s Burgers is a series that loves blending completely absurd situations (and occasional gross-out comedy) with the warm fuzziness that comes along with a family who truly love each other. (It also helps that it can be a food-centric sitcom; the Thanksgiving episodes really play up Bob’s love, and talent, for cooking.) Nowhere are these elements more apparent than in the series’ Thanksgiving episodes: “Turkey in a Can,” finds Bob sleepwalking and placing turkeys in the toilet night after night, while also stressing about Tina growing up — and growing away from him, as teenage daughters tend to do — because she’s trying to prove that she’s adult enough to take the leap from the kids’ table to the adults’. “Dawn of the Peck,” a wacky half-hour that features Linda and the kids trying to survive a group of wild, murderous turkeys while Bob gets drunker and drunker at home, alone and stressing out about not cooking dinner, because the family ditched him, even though he really wants to cook. The stories brilliantly converge (Bob potty-training a turkey as he reminisces about potty-training Tina; Bob running into his family — and the evil turkeys — while giving in to his overwhelming desire to cook), effortlessly blending the weird and the warmth.

This is because the weird is the warmth in Bob’s Burgers. They are not separate aspects of the series; they’re two characteristics that can seem conflicting on the surface, but instead cleverly work together to heighten each other’s impact. It results in uproariously funny storylines that ultimately evoke a feeling of drowsy, peaceful happiness — sort of like the post-dinner, turkey-induced nap that calms your body after the stress of cooking a feast or sitting through family tension at the table. Bob’s Burgers often employs the same mishaps as many comedic programs on television, particularly family-oriented sitcoms, but with its own unique twists. The turkey doesn’t just get burnt in the oven — it gets tossed in the toilet, rolled in a litter box, and puked on by Linda; Bob doesn’t just get stuck in a blizzard trying to be with his family on Thanksgiving — he is stuck pulling his annoying sister-in-law and her sick cat on a makeshift sleigh down the snow-covered roads. Bob’s Burgers can take the most overdone Thanksgiving episode cliches and flip them into something refreshingly original.

bobs_burgers_thanksgiving_2048_legacyThe heart of the show remains in the eccentricities of Linda pecking at a turkey to gain control over it, or Tina struggling to “play adult,” or Bob climbing into a tree to save a cat who doesn’t seem to particularly like him. The sitcom can be emotional and sentimental, but it’s all juxtaposed with some ridiculous moments (and lots of scenes featuring a very drunk Bob and/or Linda) that make sure it doesn’t go too far into either direction.

Bob’s Burgers actually does all of its holiday episodes right, whether it’s a Halloween episode where the kids go trick-or-treating without their parents or a Christmas episode that doubles as a horror movie on the road. Yet it’s Thanksgiving where the show most consistently shines, perhaps because of the holiday’s emphasis on love and family. Strip away the more complicated controversies surrounding Thanksgiving, and it boils down to family togetherness, whether it’s a blood relation, friends, or the landlord who hires the Belchers to pose as his family to impress his ex. The point isn’t who makes up the family, or what mishaps they encounter on the way to being together. The point is that they all end up together, embracing and celebrating the idiosyncrasies that make them special.

This ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Christmas Song Pays Tribute to the Lifeblood of Holiday Spirit — Booze

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Just in time for Christmas, Bob’s Burgers production house Bento Box Entertainment has released a stocking-sized holiday jingle for the fans. “The Spirits of Christmas,” as performed by Bob’s landlord Calvin Fishoeder (voiced by Kevin Kline), sings the praises of an essential component of any great holiday gathering — hard liquor.

“On bourbon, on vodka, on scotch and on gin!” Fishoeder croons. “Take me back, let the north pole dancin’ begin.”

There’s also some disturbingly complimentary figure skating provided by Felix Fishoeder. (Normally voiced by Zach Galifinakis, though he’s purely a visual fixture here.)

The sixth season of Bob’s Burgers will resume after the mid-season break, beginning January 10, 2016.

The 5 Best Songs We Heard This Week: Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ Highlights, Jodeci’s Domestic Violence Single

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Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean new music is on lockdown. Give these a listen if you’re recovering from Christmas music and/or year-end lists.

Madonna — “Ghosttown”

Following major leaks of her unfinished 13th album, Rebel Heart, last week, Madonna dropped six finished songs from the LP and formally announced its release date this March. Among these new songs, listeners find Madge trying exceptionally hard to stay current as far as pop production is concerned. Much of the time it feels a little disingenuous, even when she’s being “Real”; this is especially true of her Nicki Minaj x Diplo x SOPHIE collab, “Bitch I’m Madonna,” which borders on so bad it’s good (Nicki’s verse is unforgivable though). There is one song where this apparent trend-chasing works quite well: “Ghosttown.” The ballad embraces the post-Lorde barrage of semi-ambient electronic tracks with big choruses, and finds Madonna singing a universally vulnerable message about “your person,” whether it’s your significant other, your kids, or a friend. With its hard-hitting trio of organ, hand-claps, and minor tonality, the bridge slays me.

Jodeci feat. B.o.B — “Nobody Wins” 

One of the 1990s’ most influential R&B groups, Jodeci, released a song speaking out against domestic violence as their first single in nearly 20 years. If that isn’t awesome in theory to you, the song itself should be. B.o.B wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice of rappers to lead this, but the vocals and production — smooth in the foreground, unsettling in the background — make “Nobody Wins” a must-listen.

iLoveMakonnen, Ezra Koenig, and Despot — “Down 4 So Long (Remix)”

Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig bragging about Shmoney Dancing with goth teens: an accurate portrait of Music Twitter in 2014.

All Dogs — “Georgia” 

In this column a few weeks back, I highlighted a new Girlpool song off the second compilation from the feminist zine The Le Sigh. Now the compilation is out (on tape and via SoundCloud), and I have a new favorite song off it: All Dogs’ “Georgia.” If you’re a sucker for Swearin’, P.S. Eliot, Radiator Hospital, or any of the other Salinas Records bands that hit you with the one-two punch of pop hooks and mega feels, I’d recommend Columbus, Ohio’s All Dogs as one to watch in 2015.

The National’s x Bob’s Buskers — “Christmas Magic” 

I know I said no holiday tunes, but you’re a Grinch if you don’t find The National’s second (second!) song for Bob’s Burgers‘ Bob’s Buskers series at least a little charming. Matt Berninger as an animated tree ornament isn’t quite as priceless as St. Vincent soundtracking Tina Belcher trying (and failing) to be a bad girl, but it’s still worth a watch and listen.

The National and Låpsley Become ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Characters and Sing About Bathroom Shame in New Video

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The National and Låpsley have covered a song from Season 6, Episode 19 of Bob’s Burgers, in which the titular animated burger chef gets his hopes for world renown very high when he hears that his restaurant will be profiled in Coasters Magazine. However, just before he’s set to be interviewed, he gets a case of the “panic poops” — but then finds himself glued to the toilet when it turns out that his daughter Louise had put goop on the toilet seat as part of a pranking battle with her brother. Alas, in that episode, dejected by the seeming dashing of his dreams via sticky toilet seat, Bob Belcher sings a mournful — and then hopeful! — song called “Bad Stuff Happens in the Bathroom.”

The National and Låpsley’s just-released (surprisingly listenable as a non-joke, and even a little dark) rendition of the song comes accompanied with a video, in which the band and singer are transformed into Bob’s Burgers-ish characters. Matt Berninger is cast, both in his vocal role and his animated one, as the Bob character, stuck atop the toilet, while Låpsley takes Louise Belcher’s lines from Kristen Schaal.

Watch:

And here’s the original:

 

 

Spoke Art, NYC Pays Tribute to the Many Personalities of ‘Bob’s Burgers’

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The Belcher family has been given a fine-art makeover. Gallery Spoke Art, NYC is hosting an exhibition in tribute to the animated Fox television series Bob’s Burgers. “The personalities of each Belcher family member resonates on a large-scale,” explains Spoke. “Tina’s anxious yet hopeful outlook, Louise’s blind and courageous attitude and Bob’s constant attempts to just keep it together are compelling and universally relatable.” Look for prints, paintings, sculpture and more from artists including the familiar Tom Grillo, the whimsical Ana Aranda, and Rezatron, who created the uncanny family portrait of the Belchers (featured in our header image). The exhibition will be on view through Sunday, October 16. Catch a preview in our gallery, below.

Adorable Illustrations of Pop-Culture Couples

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Nan Lawson’s “Meet Cute” – in which the illustrator captures the profiles of iconic pop culture couples – was a big hit at L.A.’s Gallery1988, so like anything successful in that city, now there’s a sequel. “Meet Cute 2” features inspired pairings from the likes of Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Buffy, Bob’s Burgers, and more; Lawson’s marvelous images of visages are on display through Saturday, which means we just figured out a great Valentine’s Day date for you L.A. folks. But if you can’t make it, we’ve got a few of our favorites to share.

“Do you like sex, Mr. Lebowski?” by Nan Lawson
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