The other night my cable went out, but not the internet. Instead of merely cursing the dark TV, I went to ShoutFactoryTV.com to enjoy their amazing listing of programs. They’re swapped up quite a few shows and movies for April. This is a fine and legal way to get a glimpse of several of the titles we’ve reviewed on DVD. Here’s the update from Shout! Factory:
POP CULTURE FLICKS & PICKS NOW STREAMING ON SHOUT! FACTORY TV
NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH COMEDY SHOWCASE
It’s no April Fools’ joke! Shout! Factory TV is presenting a slate full of comedy favorites in celebration of National Humor Month. Featuring specials from Kathy Griffin, Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, the Marx Brothers and many more, you’re sure to find your favorite brand of comedy to celebrate the most hilarious month of the year.
KATHY GRIFFIN STAND-UP SHOWCASE (8 specials)
Two-time Emmy® Award–winning comedian Kathy Griffin has been broken records with her series of riotous comedy specials for Bravo. Now you can experience eight of Griffin’s knockout performances together on Shout! Factory TV.
As the queen of Hollywood gossip and purveyor of uproarious tales involving herself, her mother Maggie and a dirty laundry list of famed celebrities, Kathy delivers with unparalleled hilarity and gusto before sold-out crowds on every stage. Get ready for a wild ride behind the scenes of Hollywood as only Kathy Griffin can reveal!
Filmed before a sold-old out crowd at The Wilbur Theatre in Boston, Griffin’s laser-focused wit takes comedic aim at everyone from Bill O’Reilly, the Palin family and Kirstie Alley to Michelle Bachman, Charlie Sheen and The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Whores on Crutches
This riotous special boasts Griffin’s takes on Paris Hilton, Tiger Woods and his affairs, Maggie Griffin’s new book and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Kathy Griffin: 50 and Not Pregnant
Griffin returns to her Midwestern roots with this special at the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee to dish about Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and the 53rd Grammy Awards, the Oprah Winfrey Network, attending a roast of Quentin Tarantino, Steven Seagal: Lawman, Maggie Griffin, Sarah Palin, and performing in Knoxville.
Kathy Griffin Does The Bible Belt
Griffin brings her acidic wit to Knoxville, TN for revealing narratives about The Waffle House, Dancing With the Stars, Griffin’s appearance on Law and Order: SVU, Hoarders, attending a dinner party with Sharon Stone, and Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King at the Texas State Fair.
Balls of Steel
This Emmy-nominated special features Kathy’s riffs on Taylor Swift and Kanye West on the MTV Video Music Awards, Jon and Kate Gosselin, Levi Johnston and Sarah Palin, Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul, Barbara Walters, Michael Jackson, Miley Cyrus, and the Primetime Emmys.
She’ll Cut a Bitch
Uncensored and unrated, She’ll Cut A Bitch boasts hilarious footage that includes The Octo Mom and Sarah Palin, a Maggie Griffin update, texting Sarah Silverman, and more! Appearing before a sold-out crowd at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon, Griffin is in top form dishing about Judge Judy, James Gandolfini’s “ring of fire,” her mother Maggie’s beloved box of wine, hosting the “Shmemmys,” and supporting Suze Orman for President so she can go about flipping the White House “and turning it for a profit.”
She’ll Cut A Bitch was a 2009 Emmy-nominee for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.
Fresh from her Emmy win, Griffin proves she isn’t going to start holding her tongue in this special taped in Costa Mesa, CA. Griffin takes on Kim Kardashian’s wedding, Bruce Jenner, Casey Anthony, Nancy Grace, Marcus Bachmann, The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Orange County, being pantsless during the 2011 Virginia Earthquake in New York City and staying at Anderson Cooper’s house.
Griffin’s latest special takes aim at Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries’ divorce, Nancy Grace on Dancing with the Stars, pajama jeans, forever lazy’s, and ordering pizza with Cher.
STEVE MARTIN SPECIALS
In the 1970s, Steve Martin exploded onto the national scene with a brand of comedy that was so anti-hip it was über hip. But before he turned into a movie star, he’d cemented his legend as a television star and stand-up comedian. Now, on Shout! Factory TV, Martin’s stand-up and sketch comedy performances will have you laughing all over again! These specials deliver moments from one of the most unique and treasured eras in Steve Martin’s celebrated career.
On Location With Steve Martin (1976)
Steve Martin’s HBO special was recorded as one of the network’s On Location series of stand-up comedy specials. Taped on October 31, 1976, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, this previously unreleased show provides a rare and uncensored look at Martin’s early act.
Steve Martin: A Wild And Crazy Guy (1978)
Steve Martin’s first network special for NBC originally featured a mix of comedy sketches and concert footage shot at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Sketches include: Martin as “Turtle Boy,” rodeo-riding a giant turtle; Martin hosting a variety show on which Johnny Cash discusses his research in astronomy; and Martin five years later as a drunken bum.
Steve Martin: Comedy Is Not Pretty (1980)
Steve Martin’s second NBC special was made up entirely of sketches. Highlights include: Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” with monkeys; “The Death of Socrates”; and “Bizarre Oddities of the World.” With Special Appearances by Marty Allen, Richard Deacon, Joyce DeWitt, Phil Foster, Peter Graves, Werner Klemperer, Meredith MacRae, Gary Mule Deer, Louis Nye, Regis Philbin, Carl Reiner and Dick Schaap.
All Commercials . . . A Steve Martin Special (1980)
Steve Martin’s third NBC special serves as a salute to 1970s television commercials. Taking shots at everything from “Suzy Chapstick” to Palmolive to advertising agencies, this special showcased Martin’s genius for physical comedy. Guest stars include Julie McWhirter Dees, Antonio Fargas, Julann Griffin, Anne Lockhart, Louis Nye; Pat Proft, Paul Reubens, The Dirt Band and Robert Klein.
Steve Martin’s Best Show Ever (1981)
Steve Martin’s fourth NBC special was in the spirit of his previous association with Saturday Night Live. It was broadcast live from Studio 8H, produced by Lorne Michaels and featured some original cast members of the show. With Special Appearances by Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gregory Hines, Laraine Newman, Lynn Redgrave, Lauren Hutton, Bill Murray and Paul Shaffer.
Homage To Steve (1984)
Originally released in 1984, this show features Martin’s Oscar®-nominated short The Absent-Minded Waiter (with Terri Garr, 1977), his full performance at the Universal Amphitheatre from September 28, 1979, and “The Comedians Segment” with Paul Simon, David Letterman, Alan King and Henny Youngman.
EXCAVATING THE 2000 YEAR OLD MAN
In the 2000 Year Old Man sketches, comedy legend Mel Brooks plays the oldest man in the world, interviewed by fellow comedy legend Carl Reiner. It’s a classic comedy routine that began as a way for the two best friends to entertain friends at dinner parties, where Brooks would ad lib answers to questions on everything from the creation of fire to Paul Revere’s midnight ride, the discovery of women (“it was Bernie who discovered the female”) to the perfection of a nectarine, riffing on historical figures (“Marie Antoinette? What a cutie!”), marriage, popular culture – anything straight man Reiner threw his way. In an exchange between the comedy legends as themselves, recorded in 2009, Brooks and Reiner recall the genesis of their friendship and the development of the routine that resembled, as described in the program, two great musicians jamming.
Excavating the 2000 Year Old Man highlights some of the best performances of Brooks and Reiner’s often improvised exchanges as originally seen live on The New Steve Allen Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Timex All-Star Comedy Hour, and in a 1975 cartoon special, but also digs deeper into this classic comedic cornerstone as a single source of inspiration for some of today’s biggest names in comedy, a primer on how to do comedy, and one of the specific roots of Jewish humor’s impact on American culture. Comedians Bob Newhart, Paul Reiser, Garry Shandling and Richard Lewis; Leonard Stern, executive producer of Brooks’ television creation Get Smart; and Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, as well as Brooks and Reiner themselves, celebrate the magical chemistry of the Grammy Award-winning comedic interactions of these two men and what it has meant to the larger culture.
THE MARX BROTHERS TV COLLECTION
Shout! Factory TV proudly presents The Marx Brothers TV Collection, which features more than 50 performances on TV programs including The GE Theater, The DuPont Show with June Allyson, The Jack Benny Program, The Jackie Gleason Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Dick Cavett Show, All Star Revue, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Kraft Music Hall, The Red Skelton Hour, The RCA Victor Show, The Perry Como Show, The Arthur Murray Party, Championship Bridge, Celebrity Golf, Celebrity Billiards and many, many more, all streaming on Shout! Factory TV.
“The Marx Brothers TV Collection presents a broad and genuinely rare array of television work from the comedy legends, who still had plenty of laughs left in them after the movies. For Marx Brothers fans — and fans of comedy in general — this is truly must–see TV.” – Robert S. Bader, Marx Brothers historian
PABLO FRANCISCO: LIVE FROM ORANGE COUNTY
Pablo Francisco: Live From Orange Country sends you into the whirlwind comedy of this MADtv star.
The show features explosive material that tears apart everything from love songs and psycho chicks to Viagra and American Justice. With his uncanny talent for creating vivid images using strikingly authentic, off-the-wall sound effects, Pablo keeps the laughs coming.
Other comedy specials now streaming on Shout! Factory TV:
· Mike Birbiglia: What I Should Have Said Was Nothing
· Dana Gould: Let Me Put My Thoughts In You
· Jeff Garlin: Young and Handsome
· Jeffrey Ross: No Offense
· Paul Mooney: Analyzing White America
· Stella: Live In Boston
· Upright Citizens Brigade: ASSSCAT!
· Kevin Smith: SModimations
JACKIE CHAN FILM COLLECTION
There’s more to celebrate this month with Jackie Chan’s birthday April 7! To properly commemorate the occasion, Shout! Factory TV is streaming six action-packed Chan favorites.
BATTLE CREEK BRAWL
Filmed in the U.S., Battle Creek Brawl is Jackie Chan’s first crossover movie into the international arena! Chan stars as Jerry Kwan, a Korean man seeking fame and fortune in Chicago in the 1930s, when his serene life is turned upside-down. The merciless head of a mobster syndicate takes his brother’s fiancée hostage and forces Jerry to enter a no-holds-barred combat tournament: The Battle Creek Brawl in Texas. With so much at stake, Jerry enlists the help of his kung fu master to train him for the ultimate fight, only to go head-to-head with a rival mobster boss hell-bent on snatching the Brawl’s champion trophy.
Hong Kong’s high-flying martial-arts action hero, Jackie Chan, stars as P.I. Ryu Saeba, who’s been hired to find the runaway daughter of a publishing tycoon. Ryu’s first impulse is to turn the job down…until he sees a picture of the beautiful girl, Shizuko (Kumiko Goto). Ryu finds her aboard a cruise ship, and much to the annoyance of his jealous female sidekick Kaori (Joey Wong), Ryu seems more interested in catching Shizuko’s attention than returning her safely to her father. However, his romantic plans quickly go awry when a ruthless gang hijacks the ship to hold the passengers for ransom! Ryu must swing into action to dispatch the bad guys and rescue the gorgeous Shizuko!
Jackie Chan stars in one of his grittiest roles ever as a police detective on the edge, who must race against time to solve a deadly kidnapping case. Based on the shocking true story of a billionaire abducted in a bold ambush, and filled with explosive martial-arts battles, Crime Story pulses with tension and excitement. Director Kirk Wong (The Big Hit) deftly combines acrobatic fight choreography with edge-of-your-seat action for this thrilling and dramatic tour-de-force for Jackie Chan.
Written and directed by James Glickenhaus (The Exterminator), The Protector stars Jackie Chan and Danny Aiello (Do the Right Thing) as a pair of NYPD cops sent to Hong Kong to catch a drug lord who has kidnapped the daughter of his former associate. Also starring martial-arts star Moon Lee (Angel Force) and Roy Chiao (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), this thriller features Hollywood-style action sprinkled with Chan’s death-defying stunts.
Considered, and rightly so, a Hong Kong action cinema classic, Police Story marks Jackie Chan’s initial foray into the stunt-filled action movie that became his trademark. Chan plays an honest cop Chan Ka-Kui assigned to protect a witness whose key testimony could bring down the drug baron, Chu. However, when the witness gets away from Chan, there’s no evidence to put Chu away, and he is set free. Chu goes on a vendetta to frame Chan for a murder. Chan goes on the run. He must quickly find the witness to protect her and prove his own innocence.
POLICE STORY II
Picking up where the first film ended, Police Story II returns Jackie Chan to the role of detective Chan Ka-Kui. Due to his unorthodox police work on the last case, Chan has been demoted to traffic duty…and the vengeful mobsters still have their sights on taking him down. But when terrorists threaten Hong Kong, Chan must track down the suspects. And when his girlfriend May is kidnapped by the terrorists, Chan must confront them, save his girlfriend and save the day as only Jackie Chan can.
GERRY ANDERSON’S CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS
(featuring 6 hand-picked episodes)
Join the fight to save the Earth with Captain Scarlet! Six episodes of the classic supermarionation series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons comes to Shout! Factory TV for a month-long special event this April! Created by the television pioneers Gerry and Sylvia Anderson (Thunderbirds, Space: 1999) Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons provide 100% of your daily recommended allowance of sci-fi and cult classic television.
In the year 2068, Earth’s greatest defense team, Spectrum, is tasked with fighting a cosmic battle against an ancient race from the planet Mars: the sinister Mysterons. Possessing the ability to recreate the exact likeness of any object or person they destroy, the evil aliens set their sights on Spectrum’s number one agent- the intrepid Captain Scarlet. But when their initial attack on Scarlet fails, the Mysterons discover they have awoken what will be their most dangerous enemy. Obtaining the Mysterons’ special power of retro-metabolism, Captain Scarlet has been rendered virtually invulnerable…and completely unstoppable in his quest to protect the Earth from any attack.
SOUL AND R&B CONCERT SHOWCASE
Diana Ross: Live In Central Park
The legendary New York concert special Diana Ross—Live In Central Park comes to Shout! Factory TV this April. Originally broadcast in 1983, Diana Ross—Live In Central Park showcases the historic free concert that Diana Ross gave for the people of New York City over 30 years ago.
To call the event memorable would be an understatement. On July 21, 1983, Diana Ross—already a legendary superstar for more than two decades—arrived in all her radiant glory on the makeshift Central Park stage and began singing her heart out. From her first number, Diana had the audience’s love. She wanted to give them her all and she was well on her way, but nature had something else in mind. What started as a hair-whipping wind and bothersome drizzle soon became a threatening torrential downpour. Diana—soaked through and through but never leaving the open-air stage—braved the rain as long as she could, but ultimately put an end to the show at the halfway mark. Not one to disappoint, Diana promised to return the next day.
And she did! Over the two day event it was estimated that over a million fans attended the two concerts. Initially broadcast live around the world, with Diana’s proceeds going toward a new Central Park playground built in her name, this renowned concert was never again shown on television and remained largely unseen for 30 years.
James Brown: The Night James Brown Saved Boston & Live at Boston Garden
April 5th marks the 47th anniversary of the night James Brown saved Boston, and Shout! Factory TV is proudly commemorating the event.
The Night James Brown Saved Boston
A film by award-wining filmmaker David Leaf and executive produced by Shout! Factory CEO Richard Foos, David Leaf Production and VH1, The Night James Brown Saved Boston focuses on one of the most historic moments in Boston and America’s musical social and political history. On the night Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, rioting began to tear at the fabric of America’s cities. Everybody wondered if there was anyone who could stop the violence, who could bring peace to the streets? The truth is, there was only one man – James Brown. So, on April 5, 1968, the night after Dr. King was shot and killed, James Brown took the stage for a previously scheduled show at the Boston Garden for a concert that was televised live on Boston’s public station WGBH, televised for just one reason—to keep the citizens of Boston off the streets, to try and stop a riot from starting. James Brown, a great artist at his peak, was thus thrust on to the center stage, facing the crucible moment of his career. He wasn’t known at that time as an activist, but that night, he rose to the occasion and kept Boston spell-bound with a musical tour-de-force, a performance that is considered so legendary that forty years later, Bostonians still regard it as the greatest concert the city every hosted.
Through the actual performance footage and the personal reminiscence of James Brown’s band members, the recollections of James’ friends like activist Al Sharpton and personal manager Charles Bobbitt, Boston citizens, those who attended the concert, politicians (like former Boston Mayor Kevin White) and Newsweek’s David Gates, The Night James Brown Saved Boston tells the compelling story of an artist at the absolute peak of his powers using his artistry for the greater good.
James Brown: Live At Boston Garden
With cities around America reeling from sorrow, shock and anger, this is the actual April 5, 1968 concert James Brown gave at the Boston Garden as it was filmed and broadcast that fateful night. Boston PBS station WGBH agreed to televise the performance in an effort to keep the streets of Boston from erupting into violence.
Teddy Pendergrass: Live in ‘82
Filmed at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in 1982, this incredible concert showcases Teddy at the peak of his powers. Performing hits from his four platinum albums — Teddy Pendergrass, Life Is A Song Worth Singing, Teddy and TP — the R&B legend delights the London crowd with energetic soul stompers and steamy serenades. Filmed weeks before a car accident left him confined to a wheelchair, the concert concludes with a rousing rendition of “Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand),” as Teddy is joined onstage by an adorable chorus of London schoolchildren.
In the late ’70s and early ’80s, Teddy Pendergrass was an unstoppable musical force. Having come to fame as lead singer for the hit Philly soul act Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, he launched a hugely successful solo career and became the first African-American artist to earn five Platinum records in a row.
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
This April, Shout! Factory TV presents two classic MST3K episodes available exclusively month-long!
Multiple Emmy®-nominated and Peabody Award-winning Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) is a true cult classic. Its high-camp rendition of B-movies from every genre to the small screen makes it one of the most memorable pop culture shows of our time. Brimming with laugh-out-loud commentaries from caustically hilarious space travelers Joel Robinson, Mike Nelson and their robot pals Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, MST3K was a genuine phenomenon. Its popularity spawned an MST3K fan following that numbers over hundreds of thousands of fans world-wide.
MST3K: Future War
In 1997’s action-packed Future War, a race of evil cyborgs kidnap humans from Earth’s future to use as slaves, and take dinosaurs from the past to use as trackers. A determined slave, the “Runaway”, escapes and makes his way to present-day Los Angeles. There he must fend off the cyborgs and their trackers, the police, and the government, befriended by a prostitute-turned-nun who runs a halfway house.
MST3K: Pod People
While hunting game in the woods, a group of poachers destroys a stash of mysterious eggs in a cave, accidentally setting an alien on a killing spree through the mountains. Meanwhile, a little boy named Tommy finds the one egg that hasn’t been destroyed — when it hatches, out pops the creature Trumpy! But Trumpy’s mother will stop at nothing to be reunited with her son.
Other notable series and movies also streaming on Shout! Factory TV now include:
· REBOOT: Seasons 3 & 4 (Michael Donovan, Kathleen Barr, Garry Chalk)
· ROUTE 66 TV series, Season 4 (Martin Milner, George Maharis, Glenn Corbett)
· THE BRAIN (Peter van Eyck, Anne Heywood, Cecil Parker)
· THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (John Bryans, John Bennett, Christopher Lee)
· SECTOR 7 (Ji-Won Ha, Sung-Kee Ahn, Ji-Ho Oh)
· SHAKMA (Christopher Atkins, Amanda Wyss, Ari Meyers)
· BREAKER MORANT (Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, John Waters)
· DEATH WATCH (Harvey Keitel, Romy Schneider, Harry Dean Stanton, Max Von Sydow)
· OTHELLO (Orson Welles, Suzanne Coultier, Robert Coote)
· COWARD OF THE COUNTY (Kenny Rogers, Fredric Lehne, Largo Woodruff)
· THE GAMBLER (Kenny Rogers, Christine Belford, Bruce Boxleitner)
· THE GAMBLER II (Kenny Rogers, Bruce Boxleitner, Linda Evans)
· THE GAMBLER III (Kenny Rogers, Bruce Boxleitner, Marc Alaimo)
· FIRED! (Annabelle Gurwitch, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Tim Allen, Andy Borowitz)
· FEAR CITY (Tom Berenger, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Scalia)
· NEON MANIACS (Clyde Hayes, Leilani Sarelle, Donna Locke)
· WONDERWALL (Jack MacGowran, Jane Birkin, Irene Handl)
· HOPSCOTCH (Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson, Sam Waterston)
· QUICK (Lee Min-Ki, Kang Ye-Won, Kim In-Kwon)
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.