TCB Debriefing 9/19/23: Dream Scenario, John Waters, Heather McMahan, Russell Brand, Among the Dead, Second City NYC, Jena Friedman

1. It seems like the Nicholas Cage from Weather Man (i.e. an entrancing balance of nuance and “going full Cage”) is back in Dream Scenario, a comedy of literal dreams, from rising star Norwegian director Kristoffer Borgli (Sick of Myself). Simply put, Cage plays a rather ordinary professor who, all of sudden, starts appearing in everyone’s dreams. If that’s not the perfect role for Cage, we don’t know what else would be. Take your first gander at Dream Scenario here.


2. When the word “cult” is being used an appreciative adjective rather than a disturbing noun, there might not be a name more synonymous with that iteration of the word than filmmaker and cultural icon, John Waters. As such, it’s about time that he got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and this week saw that momentous event come to pass. Unsurprisingly, Waters gave what very well be the best Hollywood Walk of Fame acceptance speech ever.

3. Heather McMahan will be the latest beloved, headlining comedian to go the route of self-producing their special and then Netflix buying it as Netflix announced the release of her hour Son I Never Had slated for Oct. 17th (THR). Has Netflix finally gotten closer to the bottom of what seemed like bottomless pockets?

4. With multiple investigations going into allegations of sexual assault, rape, and emotional abuse by Russell Brand, both the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK have removed all content featuring Brand (Deadline). They cited the reasoning of it “…falling below public expectations,” which makes some sort of sense since Brand never really outdid his performance in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (where he played a sex obsessed rock star, mind you).

5. The zombie film and TV subgenre is so expansive that it very well could almost be its own genre separate from horror. Case in point, there is a Japanese, English-language zombie mockumentary in the works from Japanese comedian Shinagawa Hiroshi  and writing duo Midnight Pizza called Among the Dead (Variety). Like the depictions of zombies themselves, zombie films are getting smarter and more complex.

6. Following recovery from both the pandemic and an internal reckoning that changed the entire structure and ownership of legendary comedy institution, Second City, it’s beautiful news to hear that Second City NYC will open its doors on Nov. 16th (Brooklyn Vegan). We’re even more thrilled to hear that former Asylum NYC AD, the amazing Alan Kliffer, will be their Artistic Director.

7. No one does dark humor quite like Jena Friedman, which is why you should take every opportunity to go out and see her shows. Here are four shows she’s lined up for her “Not Funny” Tour, but we won’t be surprised if more dates get added.

8. We’ll leave you with this: If you do 10,000 hours of bad stand-up, you’ll be mastered at bad stand-up.