Littered with off-color jokes about motor-boating Kate Upton, references to Helen Mirren as a “POA” (“piece of ass”), and a punchline that cites Liberace “before the AIDS,” our taping of THE APPROVAL MATRIX: “Fame Monster” felt like a hilarious bonus reel from a buddy-reunion comedy about a group of frat brothers who are all grown up, but only sort-of matured…
The Approval Matrix
Anyone who has ever seen Chris Rock in action knows that he’s an incisive stand-up comic—and in The Chris Rock Show and Everybody Hates Chris, he has audiences rolling with sharp one-liners and spot-on cultural observations. He’s also starred in a number of movies that range from Kevin Smith’s masterpiece Dogma to cult gems like Pootie Tang. To get ready for Chris Rock’s appearance on THE APPROVAL MATRIX, Mon., Aug. 18 11/10c, check out our salute to the performer’s best work for the silver screen.
Okay, THE APPROVAL MATRIX fans: most of us may be proud of our taste–but where do we actually fall on the matrix? The personality test results are in, and the quadrants of “Highbrow,” “Lowbrow,” “Brilliant” and “Despicable” make for four very touchy match options. Some highlights: 77% of SundanceTV viewers are “Highbrow,” and 40% are “Despicable.” See the full results below, and let the bragging (and retakes) begin.
The premiere episode of THE APPROVAL MATRIX showcased a thoughtful panel of comedians and critics led by host Neal Brennan. Did any of the panelists share your opinions on “Golden Age of TV”? Tell us in the poll!
On THE APPROVAL MATRIX: “Golden Age of TV”, Neal Brennan and panelists Whitney Cummings, Julie Klausner, Willie Geist and Matt Roush discuss America’s love for the multi-camera sitcom. Whether it’s Two and a Half Men or The Big Bang Theory—Tell us your most loved multi-camera sitcom.
On THE APPROVAL MATRIX: “Golden Age of TV”, panelists Whitney Cummings, Julie Klausner, Willie Geist and Matt Roush debate with host Neal Brennan on a number of TV show faux pas: from shame-casting to bandwagon popularity. Whether you think Louie is the kale of TV or not, it’s your turn to pick your favorite single-camera comedy.
THE APPROVAL MATRIX: “Fame Monster” airs Mon., Aug. 18 11/10c, and featured panelist, radio host Frank DeCaro gives us his opinions on Lowbrow-Despicable tweets, Bill Clinton’s ruse and how he’d like to see Julie Taymor.
Which era is the true Golden Age of TV. Is it 1950s which gave us The Honeymooners? Or today with Breaking Bad and Mad Men? Tell us your preferred decade of TV.
THE APPROVAL MATRIX panelist, and TV Guide critic Matt Roush discusses over-sharing, Mad Men’s half-finale and his curiosity for Brad Pitt’s stories.
As Neal Brennan and the crew made final preparations before the cameras started rolling for the first-ever episode of SundanceTV’s new series, THE APPROVAL MATRIX, “Big Jay” Oakerson, a comedian and friend of Neal’s, kept the crowd revved up by vamping with a slew of off-color jokes. Big Jay is typical low-brow brilliant. He skewered people in the audience for what they looked like, where they were from, what they do. Among his targets were a couple of college kids from Jersey, a middle-aged writer of erotic fiction, and an attractive blonde in the second row. No one was safe.
THE APPROVAL MATRIX premieres tonight, and featured panelist, comedian and actress Whitney Cummings gives us her short and sweet decisions on social media, re-framing Lowbrow, and uncensored celebrity.
Article: “THE APPROVAL MATRIX” Host Neal Brennan Talks With Seth Meyers, Brian Lehrer and “Laughspin”
Fans of New York Magazine’s “wildly popular” backpage feature and pop culture devotees around the world are gearing up for the premiere of THE APPROVAL MATRIX, August 11, 11/10C on SundanceTV. Moviefone previews an episode featuring discussion of binge-watching and bad TV endings, while host Neal Brennan appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
New York City-based author, podcaster, and comedy writer-performer Julie Klausner gives her advice to Millennials, admits her fear of James Franco’s genius, and knows exactly who she’d like to see uncensored.
Q: What social media platform encourages the most despicable lowbrow behavior and why?
A: Snapchat. Unless the kids have a new way of showing each other their private parts and I have yet to know about it. Put it away, Millennials!
Q: Which highbrow TV show had the most despicable jump-the-shark moment? What was it?
A: Oh, when Freddy, the “magical black man” character on House of Cards, got an offer for his rib shack to become a chain restaurant. That was the minute I gave up on House of Cards season two. Soon, they abandoned the Zoe death storyline, the deep web was forgotten except for that one guy’s guinea pig, and all that talk about a threeway was really just good old-fashioned gay sex that was commenced once Robin Wright gave her blessing.
This is a tie with Homeland’s entire third season, with all the Brody torture and that time Carrie dipped out of a yoga class as a cover to act on behalf of Brody’s awful daughter. And then she gets caught at the end, and Javadi is like “You’re in good shape. Must be all that yoga.” MUST BE ALL THAT YOGA is not a thing a terrorist says!!!!!
Q: Who is the most brilliant at reframing lowbrow behavior so it seems acceptable?
Here’s everything you need to get ready — get social, get inside, get visual, get ahead — before the premiere on Mon., Aug. 11 at 11/10c.
SundanceTV’s new series, inspired by New York magazine’s pop culture roundup, is premiering Mon., Aug. 11 at 11/10c. To prep, we spoke to showrunner Rory Albanese (The Daily Show) about “showbiz,” working with host Neal Brennan and how it feels to win an Emmy.
Q: How does THE APPROVAL MATRIX show expand on the original New York magazine back-page grid?
A: Mainly because the original version is in a magazine and this one is on the TV. Also, this version is hosted by the hysterically funny and super duper brilliant Neal Brennan, and I don’t use the term “super duper” lightly.
Q: What are you most excited about on the show?
A: I’m most excited about the field pieces that I was a correspondent in. Because this will without a doubt be my one-way ticket to super duper fame and a lifestyle equivalent to that of Leonardo DiCaprio. In fact after these shows air, I’m guessing Leo and I will become best friends and spend all of our free time on yachts covered in models. Thank you, SundanceTV, for turning my life into one of riches and b*tches. (Apparently I use the term “super duper” more than I realized).
Q: How did you meet host Neal Brennan? What makes you a good team?
The host of SundanceTV’s new series — inspired by New York magazine’s back page pop culture roundup — talks about some of the most surprising moments that happened during the shoot and his predilection for lowbrow brilliant news.
Q: What are you most excited about on the show?
A: I like all six episodes, but I’d say my little disagreement with Jon Stewart is interesting. Also, I told Willie Geist that he looks like a stock photo of a white person. So that was nice.
Q: How did you choose the topics that are featured on the episodes? Do you have a favorite?
A: Rory Albanese, Michael Hirschorn and I batted around a bunch. Ultimately, it’s what subjects could sustain a 45 minute discussion. My favorite [episode] is probably “America’s Hall Monitors” about the snitch culture pervading our glorious nation.
Q: How did you meet showrunner Rory Albanese? What makes you a good team?
Stoners might never want to harsh the mellow, but stoner comedies tend to be rollicking adventures. In honor of Neal Brennan, host of SundanceTV’s new series THE APPROVAL MATRIX and one of the minds behind Half Baked and Chappelle’s Show, here are 10 highly-rated stoner movies that offer a nice cinematic buzz—and a few wild rides.
10. How High
This big screen vehicle for rappers Method Man and Redman has a premise that only makes sense if you’re high — the pair get into Harvard after the ghost of their recently departed friend gives them the answers to the entrance exam. Oh, and they summon their friend’s ghost after smoking his ashes. Good luck explaining the appeal of this one to a sober person. But for stoners, it’s a comedic masterpiece.
9. Pineapple Express
Seth Rogen is an affable stoner process server who gets mixed up in a crime caper involving a particularly strong strain of Mary Jane. His rapport with James Franco’s Saul, a laidback pothead dealer inspired by Brad Pitt’s character from True Romance, puts this film squarely in the mold of classic buddy stoner comedies. Only with a lot more gunfire, of course.
Article: “The Approval Matrix” Announces Panelists and Appearances by Amy Poehler, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart
SundanceTV announced today that its newest original non-fiction series, THE APPROVAL MATRIX will premiere Mon., Aug. 11 at 11/10c. Inspired by the celebrated pop culture roundup feature of the same name in the award-winning New York Magazine, the six episode talk show will be hosted by comedian Neal Brennan (Chappelle’s Show, Inside Amy Schumer, The Mindy Project) and executive produced by Rory Albanese (The Daily Show) and Ish Entertainment’s Michael Hirschorn (Best Week Ever) and Wendy Roth (Fix My Family). Each half hour episode is uniquely designed for those both impatient with and fascinated by the pop culture cacophony all around us.
Based on New York Magazine’s Beloved Pop Culture Roundup, the Neal Brennan hosted series will premiere in August.