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Episode 193 — What Else? What Else?

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Funny that people are talking about Nancy Cooper's (Pamela Murphy) voice when one of the most "unique" and recognizable voices in Hollywood was there in Kristin Schaal. Hers is the voice that I would expect to grate on some people.

 

I don't know, I think it's because so many of the C.B.B. fans are likely male.

 

I'm sure he's well and gone from this thread by now..... But the Chocktaw doesn't know what Wawa is? What's the crackers, Man-Auker?

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Funny that people are talking about Nancy Cooper's (Pamela Murphy) voice when one of the most "unique" and recognizable voices in Hollywood was there in Kristin Schaal. Hers is the voice that I would expect to grate on some people.

 

It probably didn't because Kristen has the most adorable voice in the world.

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I am a huge (an huge?) fan of CBB. And since discovering it, have listened to every episode, catching up on early eps that I missed and I've laughed and listened to every minute. Well, listened to all but two episodes. I couldn't bear to sit through either episode with Pamela Murphy's Nancy Cooper. She is brutal, a drag, and it is painful to listen to. Not in a Harris Wittels or Paul Rust unfunny, funny way, but in a just plain boring, crappy, terrible way. Hopefully she's got other characters or maybe she can be funny as herself? Like i said, I love everything about CBB, don't mean to be a hater, but needed to get this off my chesticles.

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I am a huge (an huge?) fan of CBB. And since discovering it, have listened to every episode, catching up on early eps that I missed and I've laughed and listened to every minute. Well, listened to all but two episodes. I couldn't bear to sit through either episode with Pamela Murphy's Nancy Cooper. She is brutal, a drag, and it is painful to listen to. Not in a Harris Wittels or Paul Rust unfunny, funny way, but in a just plain boring, crappy, terrible way. Hopefully she's got other characters or maybe she can be funny as herself? Like i said, I love everything about CBB, don't mean to be a hater, but needed to get this off my chesticles.

check her out on improv4humans, she's awesome every time she comes in.

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You remind me of people that will say really racist things then justify it by mentioning their one black friend.

I just don't get why it has be 'sexism.' Can't we just not like the character of Nancy Cooper? Seems like people like literally every other female that has appeared on CBB, with Wompler probably on the top of the pile. Until this debate, I never even viewed the podcast guests as male or female, really. I mean I obviously knew who was who, but I just didn't care. It's the whole 'racism/sexism is in the eye of the beholder' thing. If you say something totally innocuous with no intention of sexism, and someone else perceives it as sexist and makes an outcry, isn't it that someone else's fault for dragging into the realm of sexism? Not that sexism and racism don't exist, of course, but I swear half the problems we have with these things stem from people who view everything through a lens of 'oh, that was sexist? did they mean that in a racist way? I bet they did! pariah! apologize for what you said!' when really, people are just being real.

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What a great conversation.

 

I'm late, because I've been catching up on past eps, but at the moment, Nancy is the only character I think I would actually campaign not to have back.

 

I’ve been the minority voice on these boards before in not feeling like the Tim Heidecker anti-comedy shtick fits well with the program, so I was honestly a bit surprised to see that people that don’t dig Nancy seem plentiful.

 

That said, I think Scott’s question is legitimate. I was actually wondering the same thing when I was listening to the episode and trying to parse why I have such a strong dislike for the Nancy character. Here’s where I landed:

 

1. I’m not a big fan of the “struggling comedian character”, in the same way that I’m not a big fan of movies about how hard it is to make movies, or books about authors. It feels like an attempt to score easy self-deprecation points instead of pushing any limits.

2. I’m not a big fan of anti-comedy in general; see the not-a-big-Tim-fan thing above. I have inconsistencies, like a fondness for the Foam Corner, but even then it’s the reactions to the unfunny that I love, not the “jokes” themselves.

3. Nancy is a bit too convincing as a person with legitimate mental problems that I feel like an invitation to laugh at her is kind of shitty. This dovetails with the anti-comedy thing as well, but unlike some "anti-comedy" characters who are so amazingly over the top it’s breathtaking, Nancy just feels like a pathetic, poor, mentally ill person. “Hey, here’s a self-proclaimed Cowboy Poet of the Plains, who thinks random people are vampires and/or mummies and has been on a decades-long killing spree is funny, let’s laugh at him” is a wayyyy different experience for me than “Hey, here’s a dirt-poor woman who seems to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum, let’s laugh at her”.

 

I fully expect pushback on point 3, because it’s super subjective. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t really have a solid leg to stand on other than “this is how it made me feel, and I didn’t like it.” I’m just saying how I felt while listening, and how I reacted, and I hope nobody who felt differently or reacted differently takes this as me sitting in judgement or something.

 

So I’m fairly comfortable that I’m not coming at this from a sexist place, but I think there’s something interesting to unpack about when a character strays too close to feeling like a genuine person who has genuine problems, as opposed to somebody so over the top that there’s no question of confusing them with a real human being. Nancy Cooper hit a lot of bad buttons for me by seeming just real enough that I felt sad for her, and a bit pissed off that I was being asked to laugh.

 

Is anyone else in that boat? Or am I just off in left field?

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I don't think you need to be sexist to dislike that character or other female characters on CBB - there are some characters that I really don't like at all, but in general my policy is that unless a person is wealthy and famous, I probably won't be slamming on them and I'll keep it to myself. Alot of CBB comedians are trying to make their place, they're trying out new things, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Part of me wants to criticize things I don't like because maybe that's constructive for them (as if they're reading this! But who knows maybe some are) and because I love complaining and mouthing my opinions off, but at the same time I don't feel great about publicly slamming people who are trying to make it.

 

This probably deserves it's own thread: is it OK to criticize CBB guests here on the CBB forums? Is it constructive? They are doing it for free, and it's not like we're paying and getting a lousy product for our money!

 

Or is it useful for comedians to have a barometer and see what works and what doesn't? I guess if I was doing stuff, I'd want some feedback, as long as it wasn't mean spirited - meaning it was in the spirit of helping me improve my shit, vs just pooping on me. You need to know if what you're doing works or not.

 

I 've been listening to back episodes of CBB and I just heard Scott mention on an episode with todd glass that he hates it when people criticize, cause they're doing it for free, etc.

 

I dunno.

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Maybe it’s just me, but for me, I just don’t find the character funny. I’m fine with some anti-comedy humor, but what I found most unlikeable about this character was how she didn’t fill in the spaces between deliberately unfunny and simply unfunny. There were several times Scott and/or Kristen set her up and all she could say was ”uhn-hun” or give a serious answer. She either couldn’t or wouldn’t deliver with the funny hahas. Whether it was the character or the performer she wasn’t quick enough to take almost any joke farther. The character hit the same ntoes on her last appearance with the grandma and the washing machines and Charly Brown’s and the bus. When she made the comment about all of her cats I started wondering if it was just the performer I didn’t like. I mean come on, that’s a pretty lame attempt. Lots of Scott reminding her about the humorous aspects of her own backstory or what would be funny about the situation. I liked him not bailing her out on her number countdown though.

 

 

 

Pants Masterson - that was a fantastci post

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3. Nancy is a bit too convincing as a person with legitimate mental problems that I feel like an invitation to laugh at her is kind of shitty. This dovetails with the anti-comedy thing as well, but unlike some "anti-comedy" characters who are so amazingly over the top it’s breathtaking, Nancy just feels like a pathetic, poor, mentally ill person.

 

I think you hit the nail on the head with your post. For me, it has nothing to do with the sex of the comedian or character and nothing to do with her voice. Part of the reason that Wompler and Ms. Lisler are such great characters is that we get a new part of their story every time they're on the show. Both of Nancy's appearances were basically identical if I remember right.

 

I can definitely see my (female) cousin with downs syndrome in the setup/delivery of Nancy's jokes and the "I'm good at that, I can do that" comments. The character's ... peculiarities may be too real. Without the usual character-wackiness it kinda feels wrong. Although I will admit I've laughed at quite a few things that Nancy has said.

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Just got around to this episode and I loved it. Neil Campbell is always a home run in my book but I really enjoyed the Pamela Murphy character. Her complete inability to grasp the concept that she was moving to LA was hysterical.

 

Also lost it when the layers behind Campbell's charac started to unravel.

 

What is the deal with Schaal's stand up special? Did the crowd react poorly or something?

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What is the deal with Schaal's stand up special? Did the crowd react poorly or something?

 

I think it was sort of a bit - but Comedy Central DID move the special to premiere in April, IIRC.

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The Rick Faber "self-loathing teenager" seemed to be crafted as a one-time character, but I loved his schtick ("I am just the worst!"). Chalk another vote from me to hear him meet Marissa Wompler, who is rising up my list of favorite guests.

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Argh - Wompler. St Clair is funny when she's wompler, and a fun guest, but nonetheless that character makes me cringe - she put in zero effort into that character - she's supposed to be 15 but she knows every 80's reference, she knows way too much about sex, about current events, about events from the 80's, about all sorts of adult things - and *nothing* about what 15 year olds like! She's clearly a 35 year old barely pretending to be 15... I know it's a free show and noone's getting paid, but man that drives me nuts. If she at least made fun of the fact that she clearly knows nothing about being 15 and everything that a 30 something year old would know I think it would work, but as it is, it drives me nuts.

 

I know everyone loves her, so I don't feel too bad putting forth that criticism, which I think totally constructive - when you have a character, do a little research! It makes the character better, and it's fun to do.

 

Faber's charater worked cause he's making fun of stereotypes and tropes, but St Clair should hang out with some 15 years olds to make Wompler funny as a 15 year old (vs just being a fun personality, which she is).

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^Makes sense - that's why everyone hates PFT's characters too. Why would Garry Marshall and Ice-T know about sci-fi and comic books?

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Do people hate PFT's characters?? Really? Where did you hear that? Is it on the forums?

 

I love them all! Or most of them at least. PFT is one of my favourite guests, plus I love his podcast

 

Ice T being a sci fi nerd or Gary Marshall being a cryptozoologist isn't real, but the absurdity of it is why it's funny - Wompler knowing every 80's reference and knowing way too much about jobs and college etc is just weak!

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Oh I get it, you're being sarcastic... I'm slow sometimes - but still, if Wompler made a joke about obviously not being 15 and knowing way more than she should know then she could get away with it, and it'd be extra funny, but as it is, she's a funny person, and the character is great sometimes, but when she blatantly knows way too mich and doesn't cover for ir, it's just weak to me

 

Also, PFT makes up things about his characters, but he actually knows who his characters are, their history, their personalities, etc - same with Adomian that's why their stuff is so rich.

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Glancing through this thread it looks like many have already mentioned how awesome Neal Campbell was in this episode...but seriously Rick is a hilarious character! Please more of this guy!!

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btw, just heard the episode with wompler and andy richter, and she was pretty hilarious there... bonerjamz.com...so she's growing on me - but she'd be even funnier with a little reserach

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2. As a fuck you to the people who dislike characters because of a voice, I suggest an episode with the guests: Merrill Schindler, Neil Hamburger, Lil Gary, Nancy, and Lauren Lapkus' student.

 

 

This is a good point (as were the other points you made). Personally, I like this character and I didn't find anything grating about it. I woud like to mention that I remember a lot of people really disliking Lil' Gary in the early days (I always loved him) for his voice. And Merril Schindler makes me sick to my stomach, but I know that's the point. I always appreciate when a comedian is doing something risky, like intentionally having an obnoxious/grating/disgusting voice on a podcast. I mean, Andy Daly makes jokes about beating women and getting them hooked on heroin. That may not trigger the visceral disgust of Schindler's gulps and lick smacks, but there's a different kind of disgust I get from it, and that's a big part of the joke.

 

I do think that there is still quite a bit of sexism among comedy fans. I don't think anyone here intends to be sexist, but I have definitely noticed more disapproval of the newer female characters than newer male characters.

 

What I don't understand are reactions like "please never have this character on the show again." This is a free podcast, it comes out up to two times per week, and it's ephemeral by nature. If a bit falls flat, there's going to be a new episode next week. That's not say there's anything wrong with criticism ... but as far as free podcasts go, I'm more likely to talk about stuff I love and just stop listening to something I'm not enjoying.

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I know women that weren't into Lauren Lapkus' student's voice just because it was so grating and whiny, but I myself loved it (especially when she said "What if you were trying to make love?").

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Listening through CBB/DR again, and this is easily the worst episode: the NJ charachter is really dumb as was the post-interspective teenager. Terrible, terrible episode

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I don't know what you guys are talking about. This was a great episode and everyone was on point. The only unfortunate part was the awkwardness around the (possibly) cancelled special.

 

"Did you ever notice, don't you hate it when there is a Buick Skylark on your front yard, you know what I mean, you know what I'm talking about, what else what else what else what else?"

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Nice to have a bonus Ep, but please no more Nancy Cooper. She's only slightly less ear destroying than Lil Gary.

Oh how I miss lil Gary

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