When the cover of a book hails the author as the “Funniest Person on Twitter”, one might expect that the content of the book would be concise and funny. One might also expect, as I did, that the subject matter be as frivolous as any comedians’ Twitter offerings. However Rob Delaney, released from his 140-character constraints, has written a meaningful collection of heart wrenchingly true tales exuding self-effacing whimsy and smart-guy charm with Mother. Wife. Sister. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage.
While one would think there's not much left for somebody to accomplish after popularizing the phrase “tight butthole,” Adam DeVine's career is only just getting started. After launching into the comedy spotlight on the hit Comedy Central sitcom Workaholics – which he co-created with fellow Mail Order Comedy members Blake Anderson, Anders Holm and Kyle Newacheck – DeVine has since landed roles on Community and Modern Family, appeared in a couple commercials, and had a memorable turn as egomaniac Bumper in the a capella musical comedy Pitch Perfect.
DeVine even managed to find enough time away from writing and filming the upcoming fourth season of Workaholics to host his [...]
Every year, TV networks spend millions of dollars making pilots for shows that never see the light of day. Occasionally, those pilots surface online, and I stumbled upon a whole bunch of them recently that I had never seen on the internet before and embedded them below.
From the Bob Odenkirk-Janeane Garofalo HBO comedy Life on Mars to the US adaptation of The IT Crowd with Joel McHale, from Andy Kaufman's first sitcom role as a robot to a bunch of questionable TV adaptations of popular movies, it's a fascinating bunch of failed comedy pilots that have rarely (if ever) been seen by the general public. Enjoy!
Best known for starring in and co-creating comedy nerd favorites like The State and Reno 911!, Tom Lennon is acting on a different kind of show this season: a multi-cam network sitcom on primetime TV. He's playing the villain on Sean Saves the World, NBC's new Sean Hayes comedy, which just premiered last week. As Hayes's dastardly mustachioed boss Hunter, he's one of the most deliberately unlikable and evil characters on primetime TV.
I recently had the chance to talk to Tom Lennon about Sean Saves the World, playing an bad guy, and the Baywatch movie he's writing with Ben Garant.
Mark Normand is a comedian whose name you’ll soon be hearing a lot more of. Normand was one of the New Faces at this year’s Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, where he filmed a Talk of the Fest TV spot, and earlier this year beat out 63 other comedians to become champion of the Carolines on Broadway Stand-up Comedy Tournament.
He’s frequently mentioned as one of New York’s top up-and-coming comedians, has done sets on both Conan and John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, and regularly opens for Amy Schumer. I recently had the chance to talk to Normand about moving to New York, performing at the Comedy [...]
Bob Belcher and his restaurant may be cursed with an unlucky streak, but even before the fourth season premieres this Sunday, Fox has already renewd Bob's Burgers for a fifth. While portraying a dysfunctional, blue-collar family struggling to stay afloat, the show has successfully challenged Seth MacFarlane's hegemony in the world of animated primetime comedy while attracting a growing fanbase. While the Belcher family continues to struggle, Bob's Burgers continues to grow.
Longtime Community writer Megan Ganz, who joined Modern Family's writing staff midway through last season, is growing up. Gone are the all-nighters spent staring at the newly-reinstated Dan Harmon’s famed story circles. At her new job, Ganz can clock out at 6pm. She has a social life, side projects, and sleep. And bit by bit, she’s learning to write for ABC’s Emmy darling, which (to no one’s surprise) took home its fourth consecutive Outstanding Comedy Series award Sunday.
I recently caught up with Ganz for a long chat about moving from meta-humor to mockumentary, balancing work with everything else, and why she’ll never stop adoring Community from afar.
Pete Holmes is the perfect person to host a late night talk show. The standup and host of popular over-sharing podcast You Made It Weird has everything it takes to be a great late night host; he's charming and silly, he's great at bringing out the best in his guests, and he wanted to be David Letterman as a child. And of course, he's very funny.
Lucky for us, then, that The Pete Holmes Show debuts tonight at midnight on TBS, after Conan. The first few weeks of guests have been already been announced; unlike most late night shows, his show will tape a week in advance. I caught up with him [...]
For a long time, SNL was clearly the biggest incubator of comedic talent in America, turning complete unknowns into movie stars and household names on a regular basis. But over the past seventeen years, The Daily Show has increasingly become close to its equal in the comedy world. For a comedic performer looking to make a name for themselves, becoming a correspondent for Jon Stewart is one of the most coveted jobs around, and for good reason. The show has had dozens of contributors and correspondents over the past couple decades – several of whom you know, but many who you don't. Let's take a look at every one [...]
A cult. A philosophy. A religion.
These are the terms people use to describe improv. The casual outsider would be amazed at how intensely some people view improv. It’s just a way to make jokes, right? Or a some guidelines for brainstorming together in public? Well, yes, it is those things. And to some people that’s all it is.
But something in the language of our culture communicates something grander. And so, those of us who really get into it, we automatically probe all of the advice we get for our scenes for something more.
There’s the content of the advice — the practical usefulness of it — and [...]
Adapting a popular Saturday Night Live sketch into a movie is a difficult task, but Mike Myers is one of the few people who's done it successfully. The first Wayne's World was such a major hit that it made turning "It's Pat" and "Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley" seem like good ideas. After Wayne's World became a massive win for Myers, he began adapting his second and third most popular characters into films. His "Coffee Talk" movie deal quickly collapsed, but in 1998, coming off of the first Austin Powers, Mike Myers started writing a new SNL-based movie.
The resulting project, based on SNL's black turtleneck-wearing host of the West German talk [...]
Marc Maron, who debuted a book and a TV show this past spring while still maintaining his wildly popular podcast WTF with Marc Maron, has had a more productive year than most. Amazingly, he’s also found the time to tape a new special — called Thinky Pain — released today on Netflix. Thinky Pain, shot at the intimate Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, is Maron at his storytelling best: Perched atop a stool, he reminisces about performing with Bill Hicks, stresses about discovering Captain Beefheart years too late, and stages a riveting psychodrama in which he counsels “Fat Marc,” his Pee-Wee Little League self, through a [...]
Adam Scott's new movie, A.C.O.D., hits theaters this Friday, and it's the first lead role he's had in a big Hollywood comedy. In A.C.O.D. (which stands for "Adult Children of Divorce"), Scott plays a guy who finds out he was once a participant in a study of children of divorce. He then gets involved in a follow-up study as an adult, all while dealing with his divorced parents (Catherine O'Hara, Richard Jenkins) reuniting for his brother's (Clark Duke) wedding. The stellar cast also includes Amy Poehler, Jane Lynch, Jessica Alba, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Adam Pally.
In addition to A.C.O.D., Scott is busy with a bevy of other projects, including roles [...]
June Diane Raphael is a familiar face in the comedy world. She’s known for her starring roles in the web series Burning Love and Adult Swim’s NTSF: SD: SUV:: in addition to guest and recurring appearances on the likes of Party Down, Happy Endings, New Girl, Drunk History, and more.
In her time away from TV, Raphael also performs at the UCB in LA and co-hosts the popular Earwolf podcast How Did This Get Made? with Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas.
Most recently, she stars alongside her writing partner Casey Wilson in Ass Backwards, a raunchy road trip buddy comedy about two best friends revisiting the beauty pageant they [...]
By going into so many different directions, formats, plots – you’ve created this sandbox for yourself where it seems like you can do anything. Is there anything you won’t do? Or do you ever have a moment where it’s like, “Oh no. That doesn’t follow the rules of the show?”
Yeah, absolutely. And I like the description of a sandbox. I think that’s a really cool way to visualize it. But there definitely is. Sometimes they’re hard to put into words. Sometimes it’s only me as sort of the – there’s three of us who executive produce the show and have developed it, but really it’s like, if there’s ever [...]
Louis C.K. is a filmmaker.
That is not to undermine his world-class abilities as a writer and performer, but rather to emphasize the role his direction and visual style plays in his comedy.
Historically, audiences have operated under a false perception that in comedy films and television, actors and writers are doing the heavy-lifting and directors set up a wide shot and let the magic happen. In dramas, nobody questions the role of the director in bringing out performances or employing the perfect close-up. They are, deservedly so, regarded as integral pieces of the storytelling.
When considering C.K. in this canon, it is important to look at his career arc. [...]
Jimmy Pardo's comedy is aptly-named. His long-running and much-beloved podcast Never Not Funny is one of the most reliably excellent podcasts in a medium filled with mediocrity. That show is characterized by a loose, stream-of-consciousness style that is carried over into Pardo's new album, Sprezzatura. The word, which dates back to the Italian Renaissance, is defined as "a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it." I recently got a chance to talk to him about why he doesn't release more material and why comedy track names are always terrible.
So I [...]
Comedian Hannibal Buress just keeps getting busier and busier. This year, he returns as co-host on Adult Swim's The Eric Andre Show (which just started airing its second season), while voice acting on China, IL and going on tour with Funny or Die's recent Dave Chappelle/Flight of the Conchords-fronted Oddball Fest and The Eric Andre Show Live next month. Next year will see the debut of Comedy Central's Broad City (on which he has a big recurring role), his new Comedy Central hour special, and FXX's Chozen, another animated series he's lending his unique voice too. On top of all that, he's creating and starring in [...]
As part of the Paley Center’s "Made In NY" PaleyFest, Louis C.K. and Louie executive producer Blair Breard sat down to talk about the show with Time’s television critic James Poniewozik. Before the panel, two of the New Yorkiest episodes of season 3 – “Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 2” and “Barney/Never” – were screened to a packed house that overflowed into screenings rooms. The event was also live-streamed, and will surely be available for viewing at the Paley Center soon. Below are a few of the best quotes from the C.K., including his reasons for taking a year off between seasons, his perspective on doing television versus standup and [...]
Big news in the comedy world went down yesterday when cable network IFC announced that they have a new first-look deal with the comedy podcast network Earwolf, host to popular shows like How Did This Get Made?, Sklarbro Country, Who Charted?, and Comedy Bang Bang, which has already served as the basis for the popular IFC show of the same name. Earwolf's first TV project is a show they're developing at IFC called The Embassy that stars Comedy Bang Bang fan favorite James Adomian (who'll be playing multiple roles) as a hacktivist seeking asylum in the Washington, D.C. embassy of a fictional country called Costa Verde.
I talked to Earwolf [...]