At Comic-Con, Conan's bummed out Batman wants to join Marvel's cool kids' table 

Sure, it might be the 10th anniversary of superhero movie benchmark The Dark Knight, but the DC movie universe isn’t exactly the place to be these days. That’s the conceit of the star-studded skit from last night’s kickoff of Conan’s annual trip to Comic-Con, anyway, as Conan O’Brien’s Caped Crusader glumly sidles up…

John Oliver and Keegan-Michael Key rain on your Bitcoin-raining dreams on Last Week Tonight

At the beginning of his extended main story about the financial “Wild West” that is the burgeoning, huckster-crawling landscape of cryptocurrency on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver showed a clip of a guy in a blinking Bitcoin suit explaining what this new economic paradigm actually is. And, while Oliver…

The actual happiest person last night was Keegan-Michael Key

It’s hard to imagine anyone happier than Jordan Peele after last night’s Oscars. His script for Get Out, a movie he said he stopped writing about 20 times because he thought it “wasn’t going to work,” won the award for Best Original Screenplay, making Peele the first black filmmaker to receive that honor. But, after…

The animated trifle The Star passes the Nativity through its ass

C-

It’s a cute idea, making an animated film about the animals of the Nativity—Mary and Joseph’s donkey, the wise men’s camels, the shepherds’ sheep, and so on. Never mind that most of these are later inventions; the texts of the gospels and the Old Testament teem with animals and animal metaphors (not to mention all…

Jason Sudeikis, Keegan Michael Key, and more on actors who are also great improvisers

While Second City has birthed some of the great comedians in the industry, like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Murray, there are many comedic entertainers working who had no formal sketch-comedy or improv experience. In the video above, Second City alums Jason Sudeikis, Bob Odenkirk, Keegan Michael-Key, and more…

Bob Odenkirk, Keegan-Michael Key, and more on how to write a smart political sketch

Injecting political commentary into comedy is nothing new, but with the increasing surreality of the American government, it seems more prevalent than ever. What’s the best way to approach tackling politics in comedy—and at what point does it become too heavy-handed? We asked Bob Odenkirk, Keegan-Michael Key, Jason…

Friends From College doesn’t know how to say goodbye, but says it anyway because it’s the season finale

C+

So we reach the end of the line for Season 1 of Friends From College, a cringe-comedy soap disguised as a bold experiment in unlikable but fascinating characters. Though I’ve communicated my displeasure of the soapier elements of the show – particularly its late-season tendency to ascribe any and all character…

Friends From College introduces even more friends from college, including Seth Rogen, in its wedding episode

C

Here’s a small way that sitcoms have changed over the last couple of decades: It used to be that a “wedding episode” of a comedy would tend to involve a regular character on the show getting married. I’m sure the move away from this didn’t literally begin with Seinfeld, but that show’s explorations of social minutiae…

When Friends from College tries to drink away its sadness, only Billy Eichner really wins

C+

It didn’t work. That’s the abrupt end to the intense build-up of the fourth episode of Friends From College, in which Ethan and Lisa dashed around New York in desperate hope of completing their IVF treatment properly. Lisa took her final shot, Ethan produced a sperm sample, and Lisa’s surgery was moved around, and… it…

On The Late Show, Keegan-Michael Key turns Luther loose in the age of Trump

Keegan-Michael Key was the big guest on Tuesday’s Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and why wouldn’t he be? Apart from being the taller, balder half of one of the best sketch shows ever, Key is—like his comedy life partner Jordan Peele—killing it at essentially everything he does these days. There to promote his new…

A desperate round of IVF makes for the best Friends From College episode so far

B

Friends From College has spent so much time getting into the particulars of Ethan and Sam’s affair, and of Ethan’s flailing literary career, that before “Mission Impossible,” Ethan and Lisa’s quest to have a baby after years of trying wasn’t really at the forefront of the show. There were references to expensive IVF…

Friends From College neglects some of its friend group right off the bat

C

The first episode of Netflix’s Friends From College begins with a man and a woman engaging in some semi-explicit sexual slapstick that wouldn’t be out of place in co-creator Nicholas Stoller’s movies for producer Judd Apatow. In comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek, The Five-Year Engagement,…

Time with Friends From College is a faint reflection of glory days

C+

At least Friends From College has this down pat: The “gang’s all here” regression that occurs when any circle of old friends, close relatives, or old friends treated like close relatives reunites—and the alienating affect that can have on people from outside the circle. Old jokes are rehashed, old grudges dredged up,…

Jake Johnson and Joe Swanberg go clean in the gambling drama Win It All

B-

Movies about gamblers are fun. Movies about reformed gamblers, on the other hand, tend to put the viewer in the uncomfortable position of rooting for the protagonist to relapse. That’s the challenge taken up by Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson—who previously collaborated on Drinking Buddies and Digging For Fire—in their…