George Miller, commonly known by his internet pseudonym ‘Filthy Frank,’ is a musician and YouTube personality. He was born to Australian and Japanese parents, and attended Canadian Academy, where he graduated from in 2012. Aside from the comedic and often rap based music he creates under his ‘Pink Guy’ alias, Miller also creates more serious and traditional music under the stage name ‘Joji.’ He first became known for his absurdist YouTube channel, ‘TVFilthyFrank,’ which features music, rants and a bizarre ‘show’ featured in an alternate universe, with all of the main characters played by him.
Miller’s video titled ‘Do the Harlem Shake (Original)’ has been viewed 57.2 million times and spawned the ‘Harlem Shake’ meme. The earliest known video of Miller is a YouTube video titled ‘2cool4u92,’ uploaded to a channel sharing the same name in 2006 and features a young Miller performing a break dance move in front of the camera. Miller created the ‘Filthy Frank’ character during his time on his ‘Dizasta Music’ channel, where he created other content but started gaining popularity once he conceptualized Frank, who is described as the anti-vlogger of YouTube. The first known video on this particular channel was uploaded in 2011, and was titled ‘Filthy Shit.’
John Swartzwelder (b. 1950) is an American comedy writer and novelist, best known for his work on the animated television series ‘The Simpsons,’ as well as a number of novels. He is credited with writing the largest number of ‘Simpsons’ episodes by a large margin (59 full episodes, with contributions to several others). Swartzwelder was one of several writers recruited to show from the pages of George Meyer’s ‘Army Man’ magazine (a short-lived comedy periodical published in the late 1980s; Meyer would also go on to become an acclaimed ‘Simpsons’ writer).
Swartzwelder has been animated in the background of several episodes of ‘The Simpsons.’ His animated likeness closely resembles musician David Crosby, which prompted Matt Groening to state that anytime that David Crosby appears in a scene for no apparent reason, it is really John Swartzwelder. Additionally, Matt Groening has stated that the recurring character ‘Herman Hermann’ (the owner of Herman’s Military Antiques) was originally physically based on Swartzwelder–with the exception of his one arm.read more »
Bill Nye (b. 1955) is an American science educator, comedian, television host, actor, writer, and scientist who began his career as a mechanical engineer at Boeing. He is best known as the host of the Disney/PBS children’s science show ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’ and for his many subsequent appearances in popular media as a science educator.
Nye was born in Washington, D.C., to Jacqueline Nye, a codebreaker during World War II, and Edwin Darby Nye, also a World War II veteran, whose experience in a Japanese prisoner of war camp led him to become a sundial enthusiast. Bill is a former fourth-generation Washington resident through his father’s side of the family. He studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University (where one of his professors was Carl Sagan). He began his career in Seattle at Boeing, where, among other things, he starred in training films and developed a hydraulic pressure resonance suppressor still used in the 747. Later, he worked as a consultant in the aeronautics industry. In 1999 he told the St. Petersburg Times that he applied to be a NASA astronaut every few years, but was always rejected.read more »
Joey Skaggs (b. 1945) is an American prankster who has organized numerous successful media pranks, hoaxes, and other presentations. He is considered one of the originators of the phenomenon known as ‘culture jamming’ (subverting media culture). Skaggs has numerous aliases including: Kim Yung Soo, Joe Bones, Joseph Bonuso, Giuseppe Scaggioli, Dr. Joseph Gregor, and the Rev. Anthony Joseph. When not pranking the media, Skaggs earns his living by painting, making sculptures and lecturing.read more »
Patrice O’Neal (1969 – 2011) was an American stand-up comedian, radio personality, and actor. He was born in New York City and grew up in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. His mother named him after Patrice Lumumba, the leader of the Congolese independence movement. He was raised by his mother and never met his father. At the age of 17, Oneal was convicted of statutory rape of a 15 year old girl and sentenced to 60 days in prison, served during his summer break, so as not to disrupt his schooling.
The act, which occurred when Oneal was still 16, would have been legal in most states, but Massachusetts lacks a close-in-age exception, and has an age of consent of 16. Oneal said his humor helped him to negotiate the harsh realities of prison. Oneal was a star football player at West Roxbury High School, ending his career with 3 letters in varsity football and a state championship his senior year. He turned down football scholarships in order to attend Northeastern University on a public housing grant, majoring in Performing Arts.read more »
Paul Krassner (b. 1932) is an American author, journalist, stand-up comedian, and the founder, editor and a frequent contributor to the freethought magazine ‘The Realist,’ first published in 1958. Krassner became a key figure in the counterculture of the 1960s as a member of Ken Kesey’s ‘Merry Pranksters’ and a founding member of the Yippies (Youth International Party).
Krassner was a child violin prodigy (and was the youngest person ever to play Carnegie Hall, in 1939 at age six). His parents were Jewish, but Krassner is firmly secular, considering religion ‘organized superstition.’read more »
Del Close (1934 – 1999) is one of the premier influences on modern improvisational theater. He was also an actor appearing in a number of films and television shows.
He was a co-author of the book ‘Truth in Comedy,’ which outlines techniques now common to longform improvisational theater and describes the overall structure (he named ‘Harold’) which remains a common frame for longer improvisational scenes. His favorite framework for comedic storytelling was the structures of Wagner’s ‘Ring Cycle.’read more »
Donald Glover (b. 1983) is an American actor, writer, comedian, and musician. Glover first came to attention for his work in the sketch group Derrick Comedy. He is best known for being a writer for ’30 Rock,’ and for his role the NBC comedy series ‘Community.’ In 2011, Glover signed to Glassnote Records under the stage name Childish Gambino; his first studio album, ‘Camp,’ was released in 2011. Glover DJs and produces his own music under the moniker ‘mcDJ.’
His music is of the electronic/remix variety and is often made available for free download via his official site. Glover raps as Childish Gambino, a name he found from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator. His work touches on family issues, schoolyard bullying, troubled romantic relationships, suicidal thoughts, and alcoholism. He has disowned his 2005 album, ‘The Younger I Get,’ as the too-raw ramblings of what he calls a ‘decrepit Drake.’
Ken Nordine (b. 1920) is an American voiceover and recording artist best known for his series of ‘Word Jazz’ albums. His deep, resonant voice has also been featured in many commercial advertisements and movie trailers. One critic wrote that ‘you may not know Ken Nordine by name or face, but you’ll almost certainly recognize his voice.’ During the 1940s, he was heard on ‘The World’s Great Novels’ and other radio programs broadcast from Chicago. He attracted wider attention when he recorded the aural vignettes on ‘Word Jazz’ (1957), which features Nordine’s narration over cool jazz by the Chico Hamilton jazz group, recording under the alias of Fred Katz, who was then the cellist with Hamilton’s quintet.
Nordine began performing and recording such albums at the peak of the beat era and was associated with the poetry-and-jazz movement. However, some of Nordine’s ‘writings are more akin to Franz Kafka or Edgar Allan Poe’ than to the beats. Many of his word jazz tracks feature critiques of societal norms. Some are lightweight and humorous, while others reveal dark, paranoid undercurrents and bizarre, dream-like scenarios. Nordine was Linda Blair’s vocal coach for her role in ‘The Exorcist.’
Michael John Kricfalusi [kris-fuh-loo-see] better known as John K., is a Canadian animator. He is creator of ‘The Ren & Stimpy Show,’ its adults-only spin-off ‘Ren & Stimpy ‘Adult Party Cartoon,” ‘The Ripping Friends’ animated series, and ‘Weekend Pussy Hunt,’ an interactive web-based cartoon, as well as the founder of animation studio Spümcø.
He spent his early childhood in Germany and Belgium, while his father served in the Canadian air force. At age seven he returned with his family to Canada. Having moved in the middle of a school season, he spent much of his time that year at home, watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons and drawing them. Kricfalusi’s interest in Golden Age animation crystallized during his stay at Sheridan College, where an acquaintance of his held weekly screenings of old films and cartoons, among them the cartoons of Bob Clampett and Tex Avery, which left a deep impression on him.read more »