A young Patton Oswalt, pre-King of Queens (and later career shift into being the King of Nerds), was just a hustling stand-up comic, trying to make his way as a 19-year-old performing in a comedy video hosted by your student loan company. No seriously. Not Sallie Mae, or anything as specific as that. Just a vaguely threatening, overarching oligarchical entitty known as “student loans” paid for Mr. Oswalt’s first gig, which the actor/comedian confirmed on Twitter: “First paid acting gig. 19 years old. $300. Educational video about student loans. Sweater vest. Kill me:” Read More
The Daily Show Down: Why John Oliver Is the Best Thing to Happen to Late Night Since Colbert [Video]
I’ve long had a theory about why The Colbert Report is funnier than The Daily Show, and it has nothing to do with the conservative persona that the former’s host lampoons. It’s in the different approaches to comedy by those coming from a stand-up background–like Mr. Stewart–versus comedians coming from a sketch background. Mr. Colbert, a Second City alum, has always been a team player when it came to his Comedy Central spin-off, sitting in on writers’ room meetings and actively taking part in the collaborative process of creating his show. Meanwhile, Mr. Stewart ran his program with a “joyless rage,” with no writer left confused about who was in charge of the jokes. Read More
For anyone taking the subway lately, you might have noticed a familiar-looking ad. An angry-looking man offering his services for cosmetic surgery and a “free consultation.” No, it’s not Dr. Zizmor. It’s Dr. Armond, a “canine plastic surgeon” character created by comedian Nick Kroll for his Comedy Central program, Kroll Show, which premiered last night. And no, the similarities are not an accident. Read More
While those whose homes and lives were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy might not feel much like hearing jokes, two of comedy’s most famous names plan on raising money for Long Island’s victims with their gift of laughter. And they actually plan on going to L.I.! Read More
Recently, we took a trip to Los Angeles, and besides all the driving and the fact that it was way colder out West, the thing that struck us as the biggest difference between to the inhabitants of the only two cities in America is that people in L.A. are all really into their improv classes. We know, UCB and the Pit have dominated Chelsea, and we all know somebody who knows somebody who took a class at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater and now writes for 30 Rock, but in L.A. it’s essentially the new Scientology, but with less famous people.
This is all to say that improv is getting pretty popular among the young, “hip” crowd these days, though lord knows why, because most people are just really awkward at that form of comedy. Which is probably why IFC, home to all awkward comedy (Portlandia, Bunk, and Comedy Bang Bang!) is holding a contest tonight where the winner will receive an improv course at the district with the highest per-capita of 20-somethings who all work at coffee shops nearest to them!
Also, you must have a valid Twitter account to enter. Natch. Read More
Billy Eichner makes a living harassing people, and he’s very good at it. Mostly in his Chelsea neighborhood, he abruptly approaches strangers and assails them with manic interrogations about low-brow culture. However, they do get a chance to make some cash.
It’s all part of his frenetic and hilarious show, Billy on the Street, currently Read More
Jon Hamm Gives Girls Love Advice for Tavi Gevinson’s Rookie Mag; Is Like A Real Life, Messy Don Draper (Video)
Jon Hamm is a curious leading man. After the success of Mad Men, Mr. Hamm made a conscious effort to differentiate himself from Don Draper by appearing almost exclusively in funny roles–everything from multiple SNL appearances to Bridesmaids to 30 Rock to the alt-comedy of Comedy Bang Bang! and Between Two Ferns.
But being a funny dude is taking its toll on Mr. Hamm, as evidenced by his recent appearance on RookieMag.com– that teen girl blog edited by Tavi Gevinson–where he just phoned (vlogged?) in the answers to relationship questions written by high school-aged girls. Read More
Since the launch of Between Two Ferns on FunnyOrDie.com in 2008, people have been clamoring for Zach Galifianakis and Scott Aukermanto turn their short-form experimental interview project into a 30-minute television show. (We certainly wouldn’t have minded if Mr. Galifiankis’ awkward, confrontational interrogations of celebrities replaced the majority of television interviews.)
Before watching last weekend’s Comedy Central’s Comedy Awards, fans of Between Two Ferns finally got a taste of what a 30 minute episode of the show would be like, in the form of Between Two Ferns: A Fairytale of New York. Read More
Splitsider, the comedy blog edited by Adam Frucci and published by those nice folks over at The Awl, is usually great by default: there aren’t a lot of other straight-up humor blogs of any value on the web that aren’t Tumblrs owned by comedians, so the bar is set pretty low. Interviews with funny people, weekly concept pieces, some original writing, a tweet round-up, and boom: you’re the best source of comedy news on the Internet.
But once in awhile Mr. Frucci’s crew finds a truly inspired way to report on comedy trends, like having a bunch of illustrators interpret the horrific-sounding clubs described by Saturday Night Live‘s Nightlife Correspondent, Stefon. Read More
In this week’s feature on podcast culture, we noted the popularity of a variety of comedy podcasts, many of which draw upon similar guest-driven formats. One interview subject noted the difficulty of having helped to define the format. Said podcast pioneer Jimmy Pardo, of Never Not Funny: “It’s a little too incestuous. Read More