Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A Drag Race duo, a video game tournament, and a stand-up on vinyl

John Mulaney (Photo: Netflix)
John Mulaney (Photo: Netflix)

John Mulaney’s The Comeback Kid on vinyl

I’m already on the record as loving The Comeback Kid, the stand-up special John Mulaney taped in Chicago in 2015. And while my praise for the set had a lot to do with Mulaney’s physical presence onstage, I’m eager for the audio version of The Comeback Kid, because I deserve to hear the comedian’s endlessly quotable thoughts about buying a house (“we didn’t buy a house—a bank bought a house and I’m allowed to keep my shirts and pants there while I pay it off for 30 years”) and weird temp jobs even when I don’t have access to Netflix. You know, like if I’m staying at a remote cabin that doesn’t have wi-fi but does have a turntable? Look, I don’t mean to get too in-my-head about this, but then again, the Drag City edition of The Comeback Kid appears to be something that sprung directly from my deepest hopes and desires. It’s one of my favorite sets from one of my favorite stand-ups, with packaging design that looks like an old Bob Newhart LP and bonus tracks that include the alternately rousing and swooning instrumental Jon Brion composed for the special’s outro and intro. I can’t wait to introduce this thing to my copy of The Button-Down Mind—they’re going to have so many Midwestern neuroses to work out together.


[Erik Adams]

eLeague season three

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Of all the video games people play at a professional level, none are easier to casually watch than fighting games. A new viewer won’t grasp the nuances, but with their moment-to-moment drama and simple one-on-one action, you don’t have to be an expert to share the thrills. For the third season of its esports show, TBS partnered with Capcom to bring the highest of high-level Street Fighter V play to television, and this $250,000 invitational tournament was great. Even with the slick production and some solid video profiles, it retained the boisterous spirit that separates the fighting-game community from other esports scenes. The live audience hoots and hollers right alongside the excitable commentators, and the competitors try their best to play up their personas. The finals have come and gone, but you can still catch the action on the show’s YouTube page or TBS’s on-demand app.

[Matt Gerardi]

UNHhhh webseries with Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova

I was into it at first, but the longer this latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race wore on, the more I got on board with our own Oliver Sava’s lackluster response to the latest season. Thankfully, World Of Wonder, the production company behind Drag Race, has plentiful backup on its YouTube channel, which is packed with reaction videos, makeup tutorials, and fashion tips from past contestants. My favorite, though, has nothing to do with Drag Race except for the occasional shady comment: UNHhhh, the wholly un-Googleable (try searching “Trixie and Katya YouTube”) webseries from season seven queens Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova. It’s basically just the two of them in full drag riffing off of each other while sitting in front of a green screen for between five and 12 minutes at a time, but it packs more laughs into that compact time frame than your average hour-long comedy podcast. Both Katya and Trixie are fucking hilarious, but Trixie delivered my favorite joke so far in a recent two-part episode on “Magic”: “If you can’t handle me at my Miss Cleo, then you don’t deserve me at my Whoopi Goldberg.” Shout-out to the editors as well, who add some truly Batman ’66-worthy onomatopoeias like the “thwoop” of Katya’s signature fan.

[Katie Rife]