In this corner, the 16th President of the United States, the man who emancipated the slaves and, in the fictional world, fought vampires. In the other corner, a large pitcher of sugary fluid who bursts through walls for no apparent reason. Yes, it’s a fierce matchup on the Nerdist Channel’s Tournament of Nerds, debating who would win in a fight, Abraham Lincoln or the Kool-Aid Man (technically, he’s not a man, is he? He’s a large pitcher filled with Kool-Aid, which raises questions about anatomy that I’d rather not address here. Or ever). It’s the last matchup of Round 1, so watch closely and make your pick. Will it be one of the greatest Presidents in history or will it be one of the creepiest corporate mascots in history? You make the call.

Subscribe to the Nerdist Channel. It’s as refreshing as a nice cold glass of… Hawaiian Punch? Crystal Light? Something like that.

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louie Season 2 Episode 6 -Subway/Pamela

Pictured above are the reasons that Louis CK is respected, admired, and studied beyond the art form of comedy. In fact, he’s studied and dissected beyond art in general and undoubtedly destined to be a person on some random timeline of innovators of the arts that signified a elemental shift in how art — that’s how all art — is created and then put on display. He hasn’t reached the “Miles Davis changed Jazz five times” point, but he’s on the path there.

Objectively, this is a behind the scenes set photo of Louis CK shooting a scene from Season 2 of his critically acclaimed TV series Louie. Yet, in its subtext, this picture signifies much more.

First, the show Louie is such a pure expression of CK’s comedic psyche that he puts himself in as many aspects of production as physically possible. That’s why he has positioned and maintained himself as the series’ star, producer, writer, creator, editor, and, believe it or not, more. You can see him above looking through the lens of the camera for the next shot. Rare is it that a director, especially on a TV series, would bother to look at the picture through the camera, much less hold it. He’s that hands on. He’s that willing to get his hands dirty, which must be part in parcel of why Louie looks as good as it is emotionally affecting. He knows how to and often does every job on his set, so he knows how to inject his vision into every aspect of the show.

Second, but, more important (or nerdy, if you prefer), CK is holding a 16mm film camera despite the series being shot almost exclusively on a RED camera. The notion that he would shoot something on 16mm instead of easily attempting to recreate a film grain effect in post production is, to some, ludicrous, but, to others like myself, inspiring.

In many film schools, it’s no longer mandatory that you have to learn the actual process of shooting on film. You are now handed a digital camera and shoot and delete away. Without having to process digital footage like its ancient brother, film, the impulse to just shoot anything, knowing all too well that you’re not wasting money on film stock, is much greater. That being said, shooting digitally has brought about great shifts in the landscape film industry actually making a high quality product cheaper to make. Film vs. digital is a debate that’s unfortunately almost over.

Yet, Louis CK holding an Arriflex 16 S is a symbol. It’s artistic innovation with regard to only purity. That camera is more than 50 years old and hasn’t had a new model built in almost just as long. It’s also a camera that CK is more than comfortable with as he’s shot several of his brilliantly absurd short films, arguably the precursor to the Louie we all watch and write essays about now. He was awarded the Webby Person of the Year and still, he’s using a camera that’s well over a half century old.

What has made CK a patron saint of artists everywhere is his own ability to bring his unflinching vision for his comedy together with widespread public acceptance outside the labels of niché or mainstream. His comedy transcends all that categorical nonsense because it’s simply that good and he knows that if it takes him holding a out-of-date camera himself for his own show to do that, Louis CK will do it.

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This week’s Tournament of Nerds on the Nerdist Channel is a battle between Admiral William Adama, commanding officer of Battlestar Galactica, and a couple of clowns. Not just any clowns, but Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. Yes, it’s BSG versus the Juggalos as our competitors try to answer the age-old question: Who would win in a fight, Admiral Adama or Insane Clown Posse?

I know, you never thought about it before. That’s because you’re you, and you’re relatively normal. But someone wants an answer, so here it is. (Oh, Justin and Hal, you have SO much to answer for) So it’s the man who fought the Cylons and searched for Earth against a couple of guys who can’t quite figure out how magnets work and think scientists are lying. You won’t find this kind of debate anywhere else.

Marc Andreyko, Tom Segura, Dominic Dierkes, and John Hennigan judged this one. And you can vote — click the video when you’re prompted.

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There’s been a lot talk lately about comedy and the controversial things that should and shouldn’t be said. I say, let’s bring it back to the funny and let the unfunny and shocking fade into obscurity with this week’s 5 Most Intentionally Funny Videos This Week.

1. Ryan O’Flanagan has an important message about being a victim. Well, he’s trying to have one.

2. Shut Up! Cartoons latest web series Nature Break gives a glimpse into the lives of animals as we’ve never seen them before: ordering pizza and chatting with neighbors.

3. Nathan Barnatt’s viral dancing videos got him on the cover of LA Weekly, which he told several people about in person.

4. Submitted by sketch group Uncle Mom, there is a new definition of what e “supportive boyfriend.”

5. The cleverly edited conversation between a 12 and 32 year old did indeed go viral, which, it turns out is a watered-down parody of this more PG-13 rated “original” with Elisha Yaffe.

Interview with the Future — watch more funny videos


Per usual, I’m taking submissions for the 5 MIFV like the two featured above. Same rules still apply.
-E-mail embeddable video link to thecomedybureau@gmail.com
-Submit by the end of Monday (which would be 7/16)
-Videos must be posted online (i.e. have a time stamp that says so) between now 7/10 and the end of Monday 7/16
-Don’t add any cover letters or explanations; please just send the link

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