Let’s face it. It’s the Friday afternoon before UK faces off against Louisville for the Governor’s Cup. There is no way you are concentrating on work, so let’s just drop the charade, shall we? Your mind is already focused on more important things, like what is the socially acceptable time to start drinking before a noon football game and which pair of shoes you own are best suited for the inevitable field-storming festivities after the Cats pull off the upset, dashing Louisville’s slim national title hopes and Teddy B.’s Heisman dreams all in one fell swoop. You’ve got a few hours to kill before the biggest football party of the year kicks off, so here are five things to do on the web while you run out the clock on your workday.
1. Dig through the archives of Story, a publication dedicated to telling tales unique to the Bluegrass State.
This weekend is all about the battle for bragging rights in Kentucky, so what better way to spend an afternoon than by reminding yourself just how many unique stories Kentuckians have to share. Story is a Lexington-based publication boasting the tagline “Story: Kentucky has one to tell.” Although it’s been around just over a year, I first discovered it a couple of weeks ago when I visited their booth at the Woodland Arts Fair and picked up a free copy of the Summer 2013 edition. The issue included stories covering topics as diverse as a farm that produces gourmet mushrooms for a handful of Kentucky’s finest eateries and a UK-educated horticulturalist whose landscape design talents are in big demand in China. I devoured the magazine in one sitting and immediately wanted more. Thankfully, I found my fix on Story’s website, which offers several pieces from past issues, including a fascinating look at the resurgence of sorghum thanks to our nation’s growing interest in gluten-free diets. No, really; it’s fascinating! Who knew sorghum was gluten-free?! If you live in Kentucky or just have an interest in cool stories that don’t get a lot of play in more mainstream publications, Story is worth a look.
2. Read this excellent oral history of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn
Over at Splitsider, Elise Czajkowski has compiled a comprehensive look at Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, arguably one of the funniest and most brutally honest comedy TV shows of the last 15 years. Hosted by Colin Quinn — stand-up comedian, former SNL Weekend Update anchor, and comedic jack-of-all trades on MTV’s Remote Control— Tough Crowd originally debuted on NBC in March 2002 but the network chose not to renew it after just three episodes. Later that year, the show moved to Comedy Central where it was the first original series to follow The Daily Show. Featuring a rotating stable of stand-ups — including Jim Norton, Nick Di Paolo, Keith Robinson, Marc Maron, Rich Vos, Judy Gold, and the late, great Patrice O’Neal — the show is most famous for the unscripted discussions (and often harsh ball-busting) between the comics. Czajkowski’s piece includes interviews with most of the key players and provides a rare behind-the-scenes look at the personalities that made Tough Crowd so memorable.
3. Watch all six episodes of the hilariously deranged web series “Next Time on Lonny.”
Everyone and their brothers seem to have a web series these days, but it’s not often you discover one that leaves you wanting more. “Next Time on Lonny” is one of those rare series that sucks you in immediately and seems custom-made for a Friday afternoon binge-watching session. And even though it’s a couple of years old and received coverage in the New York Times, it’s still a relatively undiscovered gem.
“Lonny” is a reality show spoof that follows the exploits of Lonny and his friends as they find themselves in increasingly ridiculous situations (the language and subject matter are definitely NSFW). Each episode — which plays off of the “scenes from next week” clips that are tacked on to the end of most shows these days — basically functions as a standalone segment, rebooting the characters’ world at the outset and lampooning a different theme or genre. From time travel to rap videos to bachelor parties gone bad, there’s something here for everyone.
Created by New York University graduates Alex Anfanger and Don Schimpf, the series served as the duo’s golden ticket to Hollywood, gaining the attention of TV execs and some Tinseltown A-listers, including Ben Stiller. In fact, Stiller’s Red Hour production company is producing a Comedy Central pilot written by Anfanger and Schimpf called Big Time in Hollywood, FL, which, according to Deadline Hollywood, “follows two delusional brothers, who are self-proclaimed filmmakers, as they are kicked out of their parents’ house and end up on an epic cinematic journey.” And if that doesn’t have you excited, there also is a rumored second season of “Next Time on Lonny” in the works.
4. Play Wonderputt.
When it comes to killing time on a Friday afternoon, nothing beats Wonderputt. A browser-based game that could be best described as “mini-golf reimagined by (slightly) mad scientists,” Wonderputt is a classic “get the ball in the hole” game that takes place on an ever-changing course altered by weather, grazing cows, UFOs, meteors, and other unexpected factors. One level is even set within the blueprint for a missile. When was the last time you played mini-golf inside of a missile?!
It’s as crazy and addictive as it sounds. And the best part is the game automatically pauses when you click outside of the game window, perfect for those moments when your boss sneaks up behind you and you need to pretend you’re hard at work on your TPS reports.
5. Catch up on some of the highlights from the first three weeks of Funkhouser.
Your humble Funkhouser writers have been working hard to help make this special little corner of the KSR world a place you want to visit on the reg. If you’ve been busy keeping up with all the excellent football, basketball and recruiting coverage over on the main page and are just getting around to checking things out over in our neck of the woods, here are a few posts you may have missed:
- Pretty Little Liars Won the Internet (And Why It Matters) by Brennan English
- Funkhouser’s Guide to Podcasts — Nerd Edition by Richmond Bramblet
- KSR Defeats Communism: Rocky IV Edition by Kalan Kucera
- MTV’s The Challenge: The Perfect Summer Reality Show by S.E. Shepherd
- Who’s the Best Musician/Band Ever from Kentucky by J.D. Holler
- True Blood Cancelled Following Next Year’s Season. Finally. by C.M. Tomlin
- A Tale of Two Trailers: Gravity by Matt Shorr
There you go. Now you have no excuse for doing work this afternoon. Get to time wasting! And GO CATS!