Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

December 29, 2014 at 11:16am

Nerd Alert! The Head That Wouldn't Die! Downton Abbey! Galavant! Robots! ...

"Marvel's Agent Carter": In the 1946-set spin off of "Captain America," Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) takes on spy missions for Stark Industries. Photo courtesy of ABC TV Network

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Just saying no to the Polar Bear Plunge, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

THURSDAY, JAN. 1

Jay Hollingsworth is one "big dude" (those are his words, as are "I'm six-eight. I weigh right around twoooo much") who tells some big-ass jokes. He was born in Portland, moved from Seattle to Los Angeles and happily refers to himself as "Big Irish." He's a fixture on podcasts including Doug (Benson) Loves Movies and his own HollingsWorthless. Louie Anderson calls him "a great joke writer," and I agree. He's also industrious enough to fly to Tacoma for a week of shows in winter, on New Year's Day no less, and that seems worthy of our mutual respect. Give him a shot; see if he doesn't deliver serious laughs per minute.

JAY HOLLINGSWORTH, 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Tacoma Comedy Club, 933 Market St., Tacoma, $10-$15, 253.282.7203

FRIDAY, JAN. 2

The only downside of compiling my year-end "Carvy awards" for Olympia theater practitioners is that you, our devoted readers, forwent your chance to see all my favorites months ago. I'm happy to report that's not the case for my top pick of 2014, Theater Artists Olympia's The Head! That Wouldn't Die! No, that show sold well enough to justify two reprise performances this week, not to mention two italicized exclamation points. It's a toe-tapping musical that'll put a smile on your face and a song in your heart and other clichés in your brain, then cut that brain full of clichés out and set it in a pan for future audiences to enjoy. It's just so damned! Entertaining!

THE HEAD! THAT WOULDN'T DIE!, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Midnight Sun Performance Space, 113 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, $15, 360.259.2743

SUNDAY, JAN. 4

The art form our English readers refer to as "the telly" returns this week, beginning with the long-awaited Downton Abbey premiere on PBS (9 p.m.). I say "long-awaited," but of course that's assuming you aren't really a recent immigrant from the United Kingdom. If you are British, then you caught Downton's season five starting over three months ago and have probably moved on to Walking with Beasts or The Blue Planet. Also, you say "al-yuMINium" and "adVERTis-ment" and "vitt-amin" and frankly, we're all getting just a bit sick of your superior attitude. Also, Nigella Lawson is getting clobbered on The Taste again, so put that in your calabash and smoke it, guv'nor.

Speaking of stupid jokes about a mythical land, ABC's Galavant premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. It's almost certainly terrible, but it does feature a couple of songs composed by Disney vet Alan Menken. Or you could check out the broadcast premiere of Life Itself, a biography of dearly departed columnist Roger Ebert, at 9 p.m. on CNN. Two thumbs sad.

TUESDAY, JAN. 6

My wife and I caught the Master Chef Junior bug late, but boy, did we. I actually thought about calling ex-girlfriends on the sly, not to catch up but as it occurred to me I may have unknowingly fathered some of these junior-high competitors. Chubby kids with outsized vocabularies and culinary ambitions? An 11-year-old gastronome who referred to another guy's food choices as "pedestrian?" Yeah, remind me to screen calls from Maury Povich. Anyway, season three debuts on Fox at 9 p.m.

Also at 9 p.m., set your DVR for the premiere of Disney's, ABC's, Marvel's Agent Carter. It stars Hayley Atwell as Captain America's former squeeze, then recruits her as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to clear the name of Howard Hughes - I mean Stark! - aka Iron Man's superrich daddy issue. Also: amazing hats.

Tuesday marks the DVD/Blu-ray release of what a fair number of critics are calling the best movie of the year, director Richard Linklater's Boyhood. It's the film that cast Ellar Coltrane at age 6, then followed him to legal voting age at Sul Ross State University. I haven't seen it yet, so I'm rooting for Birdman till a Netflix viewing of this movie changes my mind.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 7

Speaking of boyhood, how much would your kids enjoy building robots out of Legos at the library? Well, today brings your first of several chances, which continue through the spring. Remember to teach your kids how to code Asimov's Three Laws of robot behavior. You and the rest of humanity will be so glad you did.

ROBOTS!, 3 p.m. Wednesday, Pierce County Library, 3609 Market Pl. W., Tacoma, free, 253.272.8801

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and thank the Maker, this New-Year's-Day, post-hangover oil bath is going to feel so good.

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