TCB Debriefing 11/14 & 11/15/23: David Drake, Chicken Run, John Oliver/Pūteketeke, Jon Stewart, Coyote vs. Acme, Jimmy Kimmel/Oscars, Kevin Hart

1. Though self-deprecation is one of the most common modes of stand-up comedy, very few comedians are actually good enough to pull it off as an entire facet of their onstage persona. This is where NYC staple David Drake thrives. Drake’s debut hour, That’s It, special showcases the precarious balance that he achieves of savagely making fun of how crestfallen his life is, but being cool, calm, and collected about it all the same time. Drake’s career as an under-the-table mover or an existential love crisis involving some M or AO rated video game is shared with enough candor, but enough comedic/emotional distance to illicit big laughs/applause for the whole hour. Essentially, the simple, but very hard trick of making fun of yourself as a comedian is getting the audience, on an unconscious level, to know that you’re actually OK (but not so OK that it sounds like you’re flat out lying). A la the name of the special, ‘that’s it’ and Drake does that pretty flawlessly. Enjoy That’s It now for free at your convenience on YouTube here.

2. The charm of Aardman remains undeniable as the sequel to Chicken Run, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, unveils its first official trailer. Their charm as a studio is so strong with stop animation and delightful British sensibilities that we’d wager this will probably fare better than the MCU’s The Marvels and Pixar’s Elemental when all is said and done.

3. John Oliver succeeded in running away with New Zealand’s Bird of the Century contest as the Pūteketeke won with a resounding landslide to the tune of 300K votes (2nd place didn’t cross the threshold of 20K votes) (NPR) after doing a segment on Last Week Tonight, buying billboards all across the planet, and appearing on Fallon to promote. This is proof positive that American/British meddling in the rest of the world is alive and well.

4. Apple might not get away with citing “creative differences” in cancelling The Problem with Jon Stewart this year (Reuters). Stewart’s commentary on China and Apple’s business ties in China might amount to some very (deserved) hot water in Congress for the tech giant.

5. After being shelved as a tax write-off and drawing the ire of a strike-weary Tinseltown and Internet, Warner Discovery has changed course on the live action/animation hybrid Coyote vs. Acme being shopped around for another distributor, which should mean that the general public will get to see it somewhere in the not so distant future (Deadline). To add insult to injury to AMPTP poster boy, David Zaslav, preview screenings from Hollywood/comedy luminaries Phil Lord and Chris Miller only garnered praise making the attempted write-off seem even more brazen and ridiculous.

6. Jimmy Kimmel will return to host The Oscars in 2024 marking his 4th time hosting the legendary awards ceremony (Variety). That still leaves plenty of room to catch up to Billy Crystal and Bob Hope, but we honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Jimmy surpasses both of them (after all, his studio is only across the street from where the awards have happened for so long).

7. Kevin Hart will be the latest recipient for the Mark Twain Prize for Humor, one of comedy’s most prestigious awards, specifically awarded to a comedian that can be credited with changing public discourse with their comedy. Any takers on how many presenters will bring up The Oscars in their speeches “honoring” Hart?

8. We’ll leave you with this: We’d like to wholeheartedly remind you that comedy is, truly and very deeply, subjective.