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Ali Wong’s next Netflix project is a romcom and it has a trailer

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 16:42

Ali Wong and Randall Park are co-starring in a new Netflix rom-com. The streaming provider released a teaser for their new original film, Always Be My Maybe via their Instagram account. The teaser also announced that the film will be available for streaming on May 31, the last day of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Always Be My Maybe examines the ‘friend zone’

The title of the film is a play on the Mariah Carey ’90s slow jam You’ll Always Be My Baby which is featured prominently in the teaser. The story of Always Be My Maybe follows Wong’s Sasha and Park’s Marcus. The two were once childhood friends, but after not talking for 15 years, they try to rekindle the friendship when Sasha moves back to their native San Francisco to open a new restaurant. Marcus then finds himself wanting more than friendship.

The movie promises to examine “the friend zone” and whether or not Marcus is really in it. In the trailer, Sasha tells Marcus she is seeing someone new—to hilarious ends. The teaser promises that Always Be My Maybe will be a rom-com that you won’t be able to “shut up about.”

Wong and Park wrote the film with Michael Golamco and Nahnatchka Khan directed. Unfortunately, very little of the cast shows up in the teaser, but the film also features performances from Keanu Reeves, Daniel Dae Kim, Michelle Buteau, Vivian Bang, Karan Soni, Charlyne Yi, James Saito, Lyrics Born, and Susan Park.

Wong, Park, and Khan all worked on ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat: Wong as a writer, Park as an actor, and Khan as the showrunner. While Khan directed episodes of the show and other half-hour comedies, Always Be My Maybe will be her feature film directorial debut. The film is one of Wong’s upcoming projects with Netflix. She also stars in the upcoming animated series Tuca & Bertie alongside Tiffany Haddish.

You can watch the full trailer below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

You’ll be singing this song all day long now…you’re welcome. @aliwong and @randallpark star in #AlwaysBeMyMaybe.

A post shared by Netflix US (@netflix) on Apr 23, 2019 at 8:11am PDT

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Josh Gondelman is Dancing on a Weeknight and in our hearts (Review)

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 15:00

Comedian Josh Gondelman is an eternal optimist.

In fact, he sees the world through rose-colored glasses and only expects to die, as his friend puts it, after falling “off a Ferris wheel trying to catch a falling star.”

That kind of jubilant, self-elevating humor prevails throughout the Massachusetts-born comic’s third comedy album, Dancing on a Weeknight. Gondelman is charming and intelligent, engaging with the focus of his material, and overall, just a joy to experience.

Before Dancing on a Weeknight, Gondelman spent five years writing and producing content for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, where he won two Peabodies, two WGA Awards, and three Emmys. In 2016, Gondelman made his late night stand-up debut on Conan, and performed on network television for the first time on Late Night With Seth Meyers.

When he is not doing stand-up, his musings find a home in prestigious publications such as the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and The New Yorker. His resume is impressive and without challenge; his talent is apparent; it was only a matter of time before he began his campaign to calmly conquer the world of stand-up comedy.

Gondelman’s uncanny ability to easily command a room is remarkable. He speaks softly but carries an immense comedic stick, putting a live audience at ease with delightful stories about his pug Bizzy, his 94-year-old great aunt and her “unbeatable swagger,” and the “second greatest moment” of his wedding.

While that may come off as unusual in an age where stand-ups act overly exuberant whenever they can, Gondelman’s out of the ordinary style is a perfectly executed and well received contrast to the norm.

In fact, listening to Gondelman talk about, as he puts it, his “great life” feels very much like the audio equivalent of a spa day trip. You are treated to a very soothing atmosphere created by a calm and collected professional who seeks to leave his client at a better place mentally, physically and spiritually by the end of the visit. He never raises his volume unnecessarily, never introduces stressful topics of conversation, and never deviates from his aim of being the most enthusiastically demure entertainer working today.

Josh Gondelman’s Dancing on a Weeknight serves as a great third outing for the writer-comedian, cementing his place as one of comedy’s newest and brightest stars, or as he puts it, as the industry’s “hipster Mr. Rogers.”

Josh Gondelman’s Dancing on a Weeknight is in stores now via Blonde Medicine Records.

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8 great rape jokes to highlight Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 11:30

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Stand-up comedy has always had a complicated relationship with sexual assault. Rape jokes happen often in comedy. Many notable comedians make them including Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K., Daniel Tosh, George Carlin, and Sarah Silverman. If you Google “rape jokes,” you’ll find a lot of think pieces debating whether or not you ‘can’ joke about the touchy topic. While these jokes are common, some people think they are never funny.

But that’s not true.

There are many amazing rape jokes out there: jokes that don’t make fun of victims and jokes that can teach valuable lessons about listening to women (or anyone who speaks up about assault). That may be because when one thinks of ‘rape jokes,’ one probably thinks of a cringe-worthy bit about how ‘confusing’ consent is in the #MeToo era (hint: it’s not that confusing). For April, Laughspin wants to highlight s0me rape jokes we can confidently get behind.

Wanda Sykes – Detachable Puss

Wanda Sykes never says the word rape in her bit about having a detachable vagina, but it is a rape joke. The joke is in the special Sick and Tired which came out in 2006. This joke has stood the test of time. It takes a strong stance on rape culture and assault without using a single one of those words. She even references Kobe Bryant without ever mentioning his name. At first, this joke washes over an audience with ease, but then there is an aftershock of commentary which creates a heavy joke that you won’t feel guilty laughing at. This special came out 11 years before the #MeToo movement and while many have made rape jokes before 2006, this one feels like one of the first to be fully feminist.

John Mulaney – Subway Station Chase

Men can write rape jokes. Like anything in comedy, it just depends on the joke. This joke from a young John Mulaney is perfect because it examines empathy and does so delicately. Being able to relate his feelings while simultaneously relating to the woman who is afraid of him, is powerful. The joke doesn’t have a TED Talk-y serious feel to it, but it isolates a thing that is difficult to describe. The joke is about perception and how that perception, while wrong in this case, was crafted by society—but the joke doesn’t bash you over the head with its messaging. Instead, you will find yourself laughing at a hilarious story.

Cameron Esposito – Rape Jokes

Cameron Esposito made her special Rape Jokes free to stream through her website and passed all donations to RAINN, America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Not all of Rape Jokes is about rape. Esposito talks about being gay, her bad knee, and an epic joke about going down on women on their periods. But the rape jokes in this special are arresting. Moments of the special feel a bit serious, but the laughs in between make this special work. She tells a story about her own sexual assault at the end of the special. Her description is haunting and even though the crowd knows what the story is about, they can’t help but laugh at the jokes that Esposito sneaks in about Law and Order: SVU and darts and anything else to break the tension she builds up.

Heather Jordan Ross – Rape is Real and Everywhere

Emma Cooper and Heather Jordan Ross started a stand-up show that features only rape survivors. The show, and subsequent tour, has made waves in Canada since 2017. In the show, Ross joked, “I was too busy and too poor to be a survivor… But then I got a better job and got better at comedy, and one day I sat down and ate guacamole and sweet potato fries in the same meal and my body was like, ‘It was rape!'” The entire crowd erupts in laughter and starts applauding. At that moment, Ross smiles. It is pure catharsis. The entire audience laughs with her. Her jokes are far more a celebration of survivorship and the power of women.

Inside Amy Schumer – Football Town Nights

As a comedian, some of Amy Schumer’s jokes have have been extremely controversial, but she did have some classic sketches on her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. The sketch, Football Town Nights, was written by Christine Nangle and parodies Friday Night Lights. Having a sketch that even uses the word rape this much, in 2015, was fairly groundbreaking. The sketch is more than it’s commentary. It is laugh out loud funny, from start to finish.

Hannah Gadsby- Nanette

The funny parts of Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette are not the parts where she talks about her rape, but it feels wrong not having her on this list. Laughspin ranked this special as one of the top 5 specials of 2018 and Gadsby won a Peabody Award for the Netflix special. It wasn’t only funny, it started a major conversation in the comedy community. While there are jokes (despite what some guys will tell you), it is hard to break down any one part of Nanette because the sum is so much larger than its parts. Nanette feels like an anti-joke at moments or even performance art.

CollegeHumor- Wacky Hijinks from ’80s Comedies Were Mostly Rape

The title of this College Humor sketch, Wacky Hijinks from ’80s Comedies Were Mostly Rape really explains the whole sketch and the only joke in it. That being said, this sketch works because it is so simple. Comedy fans have probably seen all of these movies and the sketch centers around describing their plots. The social commentary in this sketch is rather innocuous. Writer Mike Trapp made something truly amazing: a YouTube sketch about rape where the top comments are positive.

Ever Mainard – Here’s Your Rape

Ever Mainard’s joke Here’s Your Rape is hilarious. Her fluctuations between calm and screaming make it almost impossible not to laugh. About halfway through the joke she yells, “You need a man to survive unless he’s following you at night. Then you are going to die.” To which the crowd erupts with laughter. The structure of the joke is perfect, but it is Mainard’s performance that really sells the story.

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HBO orders space tourism comedy from Veep creator

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 10:13

Veep ends its award-winning run this year, but HBO will keep creator Armando Iannucci around when it’s over. HBO greenlighted a space comedy pilot from the Veep mastermind called Avenue 5. Avenue 5 stars Book of Mormon’s Josh Gad, House’s Hugh Laurie, Silicon Valley’s Zach Woods, and Lovesick’s Nikki Amuka-Bird.

Iannucci created, wrote, and executive produces the pilot about space tourism 40 years in the future when the solar system is everyone’s oyster. Notably steering the project is Will Smith who serves as executive producer.

Veep ends historic HBO run

Selina Meyer ends her seven-season reign on HBO in May. The political satire, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, followed a fictional vice president and her team as they tried to make an impact on the country while playing the daily games of American politics. Louis-Dreyfus won six consecutive Emmys for her role as Meyer. She holds the record for most Emmy wins as an actor for the same role. Though he left as showrunner in 2015 to maintain his family life in London, Iannucci won two Emmys for his work on the series.

The Scottish showrunner didn’t lay low after leaving Veep. Since his departure, he wrote and directed The Death of Stalin, another political satire that came out in 2017. Last year, he shot his own adaptation of David Copperfield starring Dev Patel as the titular character. Iannucci utilized both Laurie and Amuka-Bird for the film.

Avenue 5 boasts cast of space tourists

Iannucci’s new show boasts an impressive cast and HBO released a sizable amount of details about the series. Laurie leads the way as Captain Ryan Clark of the space cruise ship Avenue 5. Gad plays Herman Judd, a billionaire hotelier putting the money behind Avenue 5. Woods is Matt Spencer, Head of Customer Relations and Amuka-Bird stars as Rav Mulcair, Head of Judd Mission Control back home on Earth.

Other characters include an engineer, an elderly space enthusiast and retired astronaut, and an imposter described as “a born leader.” Mutiny on Avenue 5?

Though just a pilot order, HBO has little else in development. The only other HBO pilot with the green light is the Game of Thrones prequel starring Naomi Watts.

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Childish Gambino gives away Adidas at Coachella in the most Childish Gambino way

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:52

Donald Glover is hawking shoes in the most Gambino possible way. The comedian-rapper-actor-writer-multi-hyphenate released a nearly seven-minute short film starring Mo’Nique to promote his new shoe line with Adidas.

The shoes are a re-imagination of classic Adidas styles including the Nizza, the Continental 80, and the Lacombe, but the shoes themselves get lost in the bizarre and absurdist filmmaking style of Glover. In the video, Mo’Nique chides and gives Glover advice against the backdrop of Hollywood glamour. The video has a classic Hollywood feel reminiscent of All About Eve or Sunset Boulevard, but the conversations the two comedians engage in are something completely unique.

Donald Glover partners with Adidas, Mo’Nique on digital shorts

The short film is made to sell shoes, but the shoes themselves get lost in it. That may be partially by design. Glover released in a statement, “Rich is a concept. With this project, I wanted to encourage people to think about how their stories can be told on their feet. Value isn’t quantified by what you wear, rather the experiences from them. And you make the decision on what works for you, you live through your own lens. The partnership for me is about being able to exemplify what doing your own thing truly looks and feels like.”

Many rappers have their own shoe deals including Kayne, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and more, but Glover is one of the few—if not the only—comedian to have one.

Glover announced the shoes as his rapper persona Childish Gambino during his set at Coachella. During the set, he also debuted his new film Guava Island, which released over the weekend on Amazon.

Childish Gambino gives away Adidas at Coachella

During Coachella, Childish Gambino airdropped photos of the then-unannounced shoes to attendees. Those who accepted the photo received a pair of shoes, which was a happy surprise for attendees who dropped hundreds of dollars to attend the festival.

childish gambino airdropped a picture at coachella of his adidas collab and everyone who accepted got a pair of his unreleased shoes… pic.twitter.com/JLKsmNb4LM

— jay ➐ (@THEGOODSlDE) April 12, 2019

Now that Coachella is over, the shoes will become available for purchase on April 26 through Adidas’s website. The shoes cost between $80-$100.

You can watch all of the shorts below.

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Late night round-up: Ronny Chieng crushes on The Tonight Show; other late night shows blackball stand-ups

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 14:19

Seth Meyers continues to show no love for stand-up comedy on Late Night with Seth Meyers. He extended his Thursday night show so he wouldn’t have to cut Leslie Jones and her Game of Thrones segment, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, or the instantly infamous Mueller report. He couldn’t extend the show six minutes one time to squeeze in a talented up-and-coming stand-up? What’s the deal, Seth?!

Late night TV had just one stand-up set since we last checked in. The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon had on Daily Show correspondent Ronny Chieng for a tight five last Friday. Aside from that, no other comedians came by to tell jokes in front of a very expensive curtain.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert, despite the host’s alleged feelings towards having on stand-ups (according to the late night comics I’ve spoken with), is usually pretty good about mass batching its stand-up tapings to spread out over a period of time. Conan, at a time maybe the friendliest late night show towards stand-ups, hasn’t had one on in a few weeks.

There’s certainly no shortage of stand-ups ready to break out on national television and an endless supply of veteran comics who’re usually thrilled to do a tight five. Sadly, it seems your favorite comedy stars are spending more time on the couch than in front of the curtain doing what they do best: tell jokes.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Ronny Chieng is one of The Daily Show’s more enthusiastic correspondents. Chieng came by to advocate for having more Asians around to referee the ongoing race war. The Malaysian-born stand-up’s days doing late night sets may be numbered. He leads one of CBS’s potential comedy projects for next season, Super Simple Love Story. If that gets picked up, the next time we see the Crazy Rich Asians star on late night, he may be relegated to the couch.

The way late night comedy bookings have been lately, all funny people may be glued to the couch doing sit-down stand-up.

Also, what’s on Jimmy Fallon’s face?

Late Night with Seth Meyers Late Show with Stephen Colbert Late Late Show with James Corden Jimmy Kimmel Live! Conan

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10 comedians who died on stage doing what they loved

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 13:00

The recent death of British comic Ian Cognito made international headlines because of his comedic timing—he died onstage in the middle of his act. Officials say Cognito died as the result of a heart attack. Though there was shock over the circumstances, Cognito (born Paul Barbieri) wasn’t the first comedian to die in front of an audience, nor will he be the last. A couple of pop culture obsessives, Jeff Abraham and Burt Kearns, have come up with a new book, The Show Won’t Go On: The Most Shocking, Bizarre, and Historic Deaths of Performers Onstage, all about the epic phenomenon of mid-performance fatalities.

The book, out September 3, is a celebration of lives both famous and obscure, that ended “doing what they loved.” Abraham and Kearns give a sneak peek of their upcoming book with a top 10 list of most epic on stage deaths.

Emil Hasda

Comedian Emil Hasda in a Berlin touring company came out for five curtain calls at the Municipal Theatre in Nimph, Poland on March 24, 1904.  On the sixth time, he pulled a revolver out of his pocket, raised the gun to his head, pulled the trigger, and blew out his brains. The reason? An actress in the troupe had turned down his marriage proposal.

Bert Marks

Every night in his act, burlesque comedian Bert Marks threatened to “take his life for love.” On February 4, 1942 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he made the vow, then slumped to the stage as the curtain rang down. Marks had a heart attack and did not get up. He was 41.

Harry Einstein aka ‘Parkyakarkus’

The father of Albert Brooks and the late Bob Einstein performed on November 23, 1958 at a Friars Club tribute to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton hotel. Harry Einstein finished his routine, returned to his seat on the dais and, amid the applause, collapsed onto Milton Berle’s lap.  He was 54.

Al Kelly

The vaudeville and Borscht Belt comic—and “the king of double-talk”—died at the Friars Club in New York City on September 7, 1966, immediately following his performance at a roast of Joe E. Lewis.  Lewis wound up toasting Kelly as the body was carried out. “If you have to go, that’s the way to do it,” he said. “Leave with the cheers ringing in your ears.” Al Kelly was 69.

Jodie ‘Butterbeans’ Edwards

The surviving member of the long-running vaudeville duo Butterbeans and Susie (known for saucy and raunchy numbers like I Want A Hot Dog for My Roll) died of a heart attack on October 28, 1967 as he walked offstage to thunderous applause at the Dorchester Inn outside Chicago. Jodie Edwards was 70.

Frank Fontaine

The singer and comedian who appeared as the cheerful drunk  “Crazy Guggenheim” on The Jackie Gleason Show performed for the international convention of the Fraternal Order of Eagles at the Spokane Opera House on August 4, 1978. During his final encore, he accepted a $25,000 check he promised to donate to heart research. Then he had a heart attack and dropped dead on the stage.  Frank Fontaine was 58.

Joe E. Ross

The burlesque comic-turned-sitcom star (known for blurting “Ooh! Ooh!”), suffered a heart attack on August 13, 1982, while performing in the clubhouse of his apartment building in Burbank, California.  He was 68. Joe E. Ross had been offered $100 for the show. His wife reportedly only got $50 because he didn’t finish it.

Tommy Cooper

British comedy magician Tommy Cooper collapsed from a heart attack on April 15, 1984 while performing on Live from Her Majesty’s, a Sunday night variety show that aired live from Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End. Millions witnessed his death on the broadcast, which also featured Donny Osmond. He was 63.

Dick Shawn

Comedian and actor Dick Shawn was performing his one-man show at the University of California San Diego’s Mandeville Hall on April 17, 1987 when he collapsed face-first on stage.  He lay there for five minutes until the audience realized it wasn’t part of his act. He was 63.

Lasse Eriksson

One of Sweden’s first and most popular stand-up comedians Lasse Eriksson died onstage at the Regina Theatre in Uppsala, Sweden on March 3, 2011.  Eriksson was coming to the end of the comedy show Fyra Lycklinga Män 2 (which translates to Four Happy Men 2) when he suddenly clutched his chest and fell to the floor in front of the audience.  He was 61.

The Show Won’t Go On: The Most Shocking, Bizarre, and Historic Deaths of Performers Onstage is currently available for pre-order and hits bookstores and e-book platforms on September 3.

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EXCLUSIVE: Jim Gaffigan channels inner Craigslist creep in Drunk Parents clip

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 11:15

At this point, I think we’re all in agreement that Jim Gaffigan is a real actor person in addition to being a beloved stand-up comedian. Gaffigan next stars in Drunk Parents, a comedy led by Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek. Laughspin has an exclusive clip of the Jim Gaffigan Show star being a movie star.

Drunk Parents follows two upper-class parents who go broke shortly after their daughter goes off to college. Baldwin and Hayek, the titular parents, are forced to scramble to keep up appearances while figuring out how to pay for their daughter’s tuition. One money-making scheme leads Gaffigan to become their neighbor…requiring him to make a particularly shocking door knock.

Honestly, it’s surprising that the squeaky clean comic took such a racy role.

Daily Show alum Aasif Mandvi also stars as the couple’s wealthy friend, Nigel. Comedy fans will also enjoy seeing Billions star and Bonfire host Dan Soder pop up. Joe Manganiello, Ben Platt, and Michelle Veintimilla also star.

Jim Gaffigan’s acting career blooming

Gaffigan’s acting resume has quietly exploded from an unforgettable scene in Super Troopers in 2001 to a steady stream of indie films in the past several years. He notably starred in the ensemble drama Chappaquiddick as US Attorney of Massachusetts Paul Markham in 2017 and many loved him as the voice of Henry Haber on Bob’s Burgers. Drunk Parents is just one of six movies out this year with the comic.

Amazon tapped the family-friendly funny man to be their first in-house stand-up special. Jim Gaffigan: Quality Time taped in March and is expected out later this year.

The below clip shows Gaffigan playing an odd, creepy sublettor who makes overstepping boundaries an Olympic sport. In order to get extra cash, Hayek and Baldwin rent their friend Nigel’s home on Craigslist. Hayek forgets her keys and has to sneak into the house which kicks off an uncomfortable string of events.

Drunk Parents is now available in select theaters and On Demand including DIRECTV.

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Will Arturo Castro be Comedy Central’s next sketch comedy star?

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 13:39

Comedy Central released a trailer for its next (hopefully) hit sketch series, Alternatino with Arturo Castro. Alternatino will showcase star and creator Arturo Castro’s perspective on relationships, life’s awkward moments, and what it means to be a Latin millennial. The sketch series premieres this summer.

Viewers may recognize Castro from his role as Jaime on the recently departed hit Broad City. “Comedy Central has been my home for the past six years, my literal home,” the Narcos star said. “They have big offices and central heating.” He continued, “I’m honored to be a part of this family and to have the opportunity to amplify the voice of a community that seems to be under siege at the moment.”

The Guatemalan actor is likely referencing President Donald Trump’s neverending onslaught against Latino immigrants.

Aside from Broad City and Narcos, Castro only has a handful of roles in some smaller films and an Australian digital comedy series No Activity.

Comedy Central searches for next comedy star

Comedy Central appears to be positioning Alternatino with Arturo Castro as its next sketch show to launch their next comedy star. According to a press release, the network hopes the show will use “modern Latino identity (misconceptions and all) as a fresh filter to cultural commentary about our daily lives and the zeitgeist.”

The release mentions Comedy Central’s past sketch stars who broke out on the network: Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer, Nick Kroll, Key & Peele (but noticeably excluded admitted joke thief Carlos Mencia). With staple shows leaving ending like Broad City and Nathan For You, network execs are looking for the next big hit in their programming. Many critics think The Other Two will be that hit, but right now the schedule is wide-open for a new, young comedy darling at the Viacom network.

Alternatino with Arturo Castro premieres June 18 at 10:30 p.m. New episodes will stream the next day on the Comedy Central App and at cc.com.

Get excited now and watch the trailer below.

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Los Espookys adds to HBO’s Spanish language library

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:13

Los Espookys has a premiere date on HBO. The new Spanish language comedy series will premiere June 14 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. Los Espookys comes from the minds of Fred Armisen, Ana Fabrega, and Julio Torres alongside Lorne Michaels.

The six-episode first season will follow a group of friends who start a business based on their shared love of horror movies. The series takes place in an imagined version of Mexico City where the strange and eerie are commonplace. The story follows Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) and Ursula (Cassandra Ciangherotti) as they try to engineer spooks and scares. They get help from Ursula’s sister, played by Fabrega, and Renaldo’s best friend, played by Torres. The series will also feature Armisen as Renaldo’s Los Angeles based uncle. Early information about the show suggests a type of zany, magical realism carried by larger-than-life characters.

Armisen, Fabrega, and Torres created the show and wrote the pilot together. The three all have producer credits on the show as well. The series was made by Broadway Video in association with Antigravico and Más Mejor, and Chilean production company Fabula, who were behind the Oscar-winning film A Fantastic Woman.

Spanish language comedy series have become more popular in recent years as streaming services realize the power of an international market. Netflix released originals La Casa de las Flores, Club de Cuervos, and Paquita Salas. HBO has more Spanish language movies than it does series and many of the series HBO has made revolve around drama. However, HBO recently started to build a library of Spanish language comedy programs including Chumel con Chumel Torres, Dr. Reggaeton, and Entre Nos: A Stand-Up Comedy Special. Los Espookys is special because it is the first major Spanish language show in recent memory to prominently feature a comedian that became famous for his work in English, namely Armisen. Los Espookys could thus be HBO’s first big crossover Spanish hit.

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Comedy Central sketch show proposes a White Tax on racism

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 15:00

Chicago-based sketch group 3Peat wants racists to pay in their new sketch, White Tax. The sketch, released as a Comedy Central Digital Original, has the group playing Steve Jobs-like characters at new product launch. They describe the next big thing as “a timely and elegant penalty for people who do racist stuff.”

The group behind the sketch began when several improvers from The Second City and the iO Theater were tired of being the only minority on their teams and joined forces to create a new group to celebrate comedy and Black excellence. The large group features Allison Blair, SNL star Chris Redd, Dewayne Perkins, John Thibodeaux, Lisa Beasley, Nnamdi Ngwe, Patrick Rowland, Torian Miller, and Shantira Jackson. The group’s sketches often examine race, social ills, insufferable people, and what it means to be Black.

Comedy Central building its YouTube content

Comedy Central is building a library of original digital content in a recommitment to web series since its cc: studios days. While 3Peat has worked with Comedy Central before, White Tax is the first of a season that will air on CC’s YouTube channel weekly. Last year, 3Peat’s video for Comedy Central, The Blackening, achieved viral status and made fans hungry for more. 3Peat isn’t the only CC original to recently premiere. Sex Fails, Mini-Mocks, Comedians Solve World Problems, and 7 Minutes in Heaven are all digital content in their first season.

While many of the new digital originals are interview or storytelling-based, 3Peat is pure sketch comedy. Even though the sketch is talking about a serious topic, the group mixes pure silliness into the sketch. Between each instance of someone being taxed for their racism, the group whispers “white tax” in hilarious and absurdist ways. White Tax will have you laughing and thinking about race.

White Tax is episode one of the first season of 3Peat with more promised to come out on Mondays. You can watch the full sketch below.

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Lashonda Lester shines one last time in posthumous album Shondee Superstar

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 13:00

In 2017, Lashonda Lester was riding a wave of stand-up superstardom. She was viewed as the Queen of Austin Comedy and the Funniest Person in Austin for 2016. Lester was opening shows for Marc Maron and was set to star in her own Comedy Central special.

However, tragedy struck on April 6 of that same year when Lester, 41, died due to complications of a chronic kidney disease. Fans and colleagues of the Detroit-born stand-up were devastated to learn the news and mourned her via print and social media.

We’re devastated to learn of Lashonda Lester’s passing. She was a fantastic comedian and a fun person to be around. She will be missed. pic.twitter.com/KXlikbNH0n

— Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) April 6, 2017

I just learned Lashonda Lester passed away. She opened for me last week in Austin. Very sad. Very funny person. RIP

— marc maron (@marcmaron) April 6, 2017

Remembering Lashonda Lester, the Funniest Person in Austin https://t.co/in7tsa8DF3 pic.twitter.com/Hd1M30yHYT

— Splitsider (@Splitsider) April 10, 2017

Now, just over two years since her passing, Stand Up! Records will release Lester’s final album, Shondee Superstar. The roughly 50-minute long tribute compendium serves as a superb testament to her budding greatness and reinforces how devastating her death was to the Austin comedy world.

Lester’s comedy is unfiltered and raw, honest and intelligent. Her style of peeling back the curtain and revealing the truth of a matter, warts and all, is reminiscent of another comic taken from us too early in his life: Patrice O’Neal. Both comics saw the world through a lens of truthfulness, and if they perceived anyone as being less than genuine in any aspect of their lives, they would both critique their target with a comedic ferocity that of a rabid pitbull. They forced comics to step up their game, to strive for greatness through honest and transparent comedy every time they set foot on a stage.

Both O’Neal and Lester developed and maintained a candid connection with their audiences through their forthcoming and lovable natures and, overall, their comedy skills excelled because of it. With Shondee Superstar, Lester’s conversationally comfortable performance resonates greatly with the audience. In this posthumous album, her abilities as a storyteller and comic shine through.

While she touches on serious issues in a tongue-in-cheek way throughout the set, her simple and concise observations on international relations speak aptly to the absurdity surrounding the very political issue. Her take on political correctness and the problem of slutshaming is precise and sharp-witted, especially when seeing how she doesn’t take the matter as seriously as others do. And don’t you dare judge Lester for her love for McDonalds (the story surrounding that revelation is priceless).

Most importantly, though, her candid tales about her health—and the humor she found within the now-known tragic nature of her condition—shows how she (and likely her family) coped with her condition on a daily basis: with overwhelming positivity and optimism. She lived life to the fullest and wanted everyone to follow in her footsteps, as is seen throughout the stories comprised in her set, which makes her loss even more awful to bear.

Lester was a skilled stand-up with the world nestled in the palm of her hands. “She was the queen,” Cap City Comedy Club General Manager Margie Coyle told The Statesmen shortly after Lester’s death. “There’s a reason Austin comedians are torn up today. She was a dominating talent on the verge of becoming a national name.”

With Shondee Superstar, the world gets to re-visit the comic’s brief but powerful reign as Austin comedy royalty one last time. And by album’s end, all will bend the knee and hail the memory of the Queen once more.

Lashonda Lester’s Shondee Superstar hits stores on April 26 via Stand Up! Records.

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Late Night with Seth Meyers will go long Thursday to cover Mueller report

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:23

Late Night With Seth Meyers is going even later Thursday to make time to discuss the Mueller report in depth. Seth Meyers and his writing team hope to leave no joke unturned in its jampacked episode. The show will run 90 minutes to analyze the report in one of his classic A Closer Look segments.

A Closer Look has become one of the signature segments on the show. In it, Meyers breaks down a certain political topic or current event and what it means for viewers. The release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia and the 2016 election seems like a natural topic for the segment.

AG Barr to release redacted Mueller report Thursday

The Department of Justice announced it will release the report on Thursday morning. While some Democrats have pushed for Barr to release the full report, Attorney General William Barr confirmed he is releasing a partially redacted version of the Mueller report. Late Night is often taped around 6:30 p.m. in New York. So the Late Night staff will only have the better part of an afternoon to read and analyze the report before writing the segment for Thursday’s show.

The usually hour-long late night show scheduled both A Closer Look segment and a Game of Jones segment for the same show. With both segments running 10 minutes or more, Meyers and the team decided to stretch the format to accommodate both. Game of Jones is a popular segment in which Leslie Jones watches Game of Thrones with Meyers and provides her running commentary.

Meyers explained the reason for the longer format: “I simply will not stand for the Mueller report bumping Leslie Jones or vice versa, so we decided to make room for both.” If that wasn’t enough for one evening, Thursday’s Late Night will also feature scheduled guests including presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, comedian Amy Sedaris, and singer Toro Y Moi.

Meyers has followed the Mueller Report for some time through A Closer Look segments. As recently as last week, Meyers referenced the report as part of a report on Donald Trump lashing out.

Busy prepping for his show on the Golf channel, Carson Daly probably won’t mind the night off. You can watch the 90-minute Late Night Thursday, April 18 at 12:35/11:35c on NBC.

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BET adds second Lena Waithe show to its line-up

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 15:47

Lena Waithe is bringing her Twenties to BET.

April has been a busy month for the Emmy-winning writer. Earlier this month, BET announced Boomerang, which Waithe is an executive producer on, will return for a second season and this week it was announced that Waithe will join the cast of Westworld’s third season. Now, the cable network wants an additional show from the Ready Player One star.

Twenties follows a queer black woman as she tries to follow her dreams with her two straight best friends.

Lena Waithe adds Twenties to ongoing projects

While a lot is happening for Waithe, Twenties has been a passion project for some time. Waithe originally wrote Twenties when she was in her early 20s.  The show has been in development since 2014 and the series is based on her web series of the same name. BET originally developed Twenties, but TBS ended up ordering the pilot last February. Now, the show is moving back to BET. (You can still see parts of the pilot presentation on YouTube.)

“BET Networks is thrilled to partner once again with the creative visionary Lena Waithe on both ‘Boomerange’ and ‘Twenties’ as she is without a doubt a leading relevant voice of our generation and a disruptor in her own right,” the head of programming for BET Networks, Connie Orlando, said. “BET is committed to the elevation of inclusive and authentic storytelling that viewers continue to expect from the brand.”

“‘Twenties has been a project I’ve been dreaming about for as long as I can remember,” Waithe added. “I think a lot of people were interested but didn’t see the vision. I’m so grateful Scott Mills and Connie Orlando did. I couldn’t be more excited to deepen my relationship with BET. I know audiences have been waiting a long time for this one.”

Waithe is in high demand. She is executive producing How to Make Love to a Black Woman (Who May Be Working Through Some Sh*t) for Showtime as well as a horror anthology called Them for Amazon. If that weren’t enough, she’s working on an untitled project for HBO with Kid Fury.

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Bernie Sanders ain’t happy on Tax Day in satirical video

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 13:04

James Adomian is trying to get you through Tax Day as Bernie Sanders. The comedian and voice actor dusted off his Sanders impression to release a new YouTube video. In the video, Adomian plays the 2020 presidential hopeful as he tries to cram 10 years of tax returns into one day.

The video shows Sanders sadly realizing how rich he is and therefore doesn’t pay enough taxes. The presidential candidate has been vocal on his plans to tax the upper-class and change tax laws to help the majority of Americans.

While many of the Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election have unveiled plans to reduce some of the tax burdens on America’s middle class, Sanders is perhaps the most vocal and radical on the topic. The Democratic Socialist plans to expand the estate tax and would tax estates starting at $3.5 million, with a 77 percent rate on billionaire estates.

James Adomian returns as Bernie Sanders

Adomian, who is best known for his work on Comedy Bang! Bang!, Chapo Trap House, and Last Comic Standing, leaned into his Sanders impression during the 2016 primaries. He impersonated Sanders on Comedy Central’s The President Show and Trump vs. Bernie, a live satirical act where he and Anthony Atamanuik debate as Sanders and Donald Trump. The act was made into two TV specials and an appearance in @midnight.

It is clear from the new video that Adomian is great at being Bernie. In the video, Adomian delivers classic Bernie-isms sprinkled in with satire. From a desk littered with papers, Adomian’s version of the Senator from Vermont angrily says hilarious lines like, “We sold too many of these goddamn books; that’s why I’m rich!” He continues, “22%? They are not taxing me at a high enough rate. Jane, is there any way we can pay the alternative maximum tax?!”

Sanders has frequently been asked for his tax returns, which tend to take a little longer than some expect.

You can watch the full video below.

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SNL recap: Emma Stone is wasted on subpar sketches

Sun, 04/14/2019 - 12:25

Emma Stone came back to SNL for her fourth time as host. Stone’s first time hosting was in 2010 and in the nine years since she has become a hosting fave. While Stone has a lot of experience on the SNL stage, the episode might have belonged to BTS. The show referenced the super popular K-Pop boy band a lot. The screams from the audience every time BTS was mentioned showed how excited everyone was for the musical guest. All BTS aside, the sketches this week delivered a wide range of laughs. Laughspin is here to tell you all the highs and lows from this week’s Saturday Night Live (and don’t worry fangirls, we didn’t judge Korea’s favorite boys Beyond the Scene.)

SNL Cold Open

The execution of this week’s cold open feels sloppy. SNL does so many political cold opens that it’s nice to see them doing something new. This one, however, feels too long and the heightening isn’t linear enough. Having Stone’s Birdman co-star Michael Keaton come on to play Julian Assange also doesn’t quite work. It feels lazy somehow, especially since Keaton doesn’t do an impression.

Emma Stone Monologue

Sometimes when a celebrity hosts SNL for the third, fourth, or fifth time, the monologue gets a little too inside baseball. Stone’s monologue suffered from this. When hosts come back five times, they join the five-timers club; five-timers monologues are always full of inside jokes and references to the point they can be annoying. While it is only Stone’s fourth time hosting, they really lean into the idea of her wanting to be a five-timer.

Fashion Coward

This is a great ad parody. Sometimes commercial parodies feel a little canned, but this one feels really new and inventive. The last line really ends the sketch strong and the writing, in general, is smart and well structured. The base idea of the sketch is funny, but the performance here really elevates the humor.

Dorm Room Posters

It’s really special when SNL does a follow-up to a sketch when a host returns, but the Posters sketch should not have gotten this treatment. Posters first came about when Stone hosted in 2017. While the premise of posters talking to a boy is funny, bringing back this sketch didn’t add anything. The sketch also, unfortunately, relies too much on the joke that a hot girl is dumb, which feels too easy.

Hobby Song

This sketch is hard to assess. There are moments that are funny, but there is something missing. The sketch takes a long time to reveal the turn, which might be part of the reason it doesn’t fully work. The song has fewer jokes in it as you might expect. Some lines of the rap feel very earnest, but the tone is off. That being said, the music video is directed very well.

The View: Jenny McCarthy on Vaccines

This parody of The View doesn’t work. There are two halves of this sketch and one works better than the other. The first half is just the women of The View talking about immigration. The impressions really carry this section, especially Kate McKinnon’s amazing Joy Behar. The second half starts when Stone comes in as Jenny McCarthy. The biggest issue in this sketch is the pacing. It ends abruptly after getting a really slow start and there is something in that pacing issue that really hurts the sketch.

Weekend Update

Weekend Update had two returning characters this week. Neither did anything new this time around, but one was much funnier than the other. Aidy Bryant’s child travel expert character, Carrie Krum, was funny without heightening anything from her last appearence. Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner brought back their Instagram couple characters. This appearance struggled to be as funny as their first appearance. Sadly, Bryant couldn’t carry the entire Weekend Update on her own (Micahel Che and Colin Jost certainly didn’t) to keep this one from drowning.

The Actress

This sketch is so wonderful in its weirdness. The tone of this digital short doesn’t fall in line with anything else in the episode, which makes it stand out in all the right ways. Stone commits so thoroughly to the role that it reminds you how good of an actress she is. There is one moment in this sketch which is an emotional gut punch, which is usually too nuanced for an SNL sketch. This sketch is funny without sacrificing its beauty. If you skip a bunch of sketches to get to this one, we don’t blame you.

Chalmers Reserve Event Wine

This sketch is highly forgettable. There are some funny lines, but it somehow feels dated as soon as it’s done. The best line comes when Stone and Kyle Mooney make fun of their own accents, but the moment is too brief. The Chalmers are originally set up to be funny characters but are almost immediately forced to be straight men as the winemakers’ antics take full attention.

Royal Baby Video

Day does a mean Prince Harry impression. This sketch is full of great impressions and larger-than-life characters. This recurring sketch does a great job of making different jokes each time they make it. While the format is the same as a previous Royal Wedding sketch (below), and of course it is always about the royal family, the world is expanded each time.

Ladies Room

The Ladies Room is a hard sketch to talk about. It starts off as this avant-garde and absurdist piece…but it ends as a poop joke. It covers so much ground and parts of it are good and other parts fall really flat. The singers—played by Cecily Strong, Leslie Jones, and Stone—are really funny in the first half, but the second half just undercuts them. It’s a really lackluster way to end Saturday Night Live.

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British comic Ian Cognito died on stage; audience thought it was a bit

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 13:56

Veteran British comedian Ian Cognito truly had a show that was impossible to follow Thursday evening when he tragically died on stage. The comic, 60, reportedly sat down and put his arms and heads back, leading the audience to believe the routine was part of his act.

“He came out feeling really sick. We just sat there for five minutes watching him, laughing at him,” John Ostojak told the BBC.

After a few minutes, Cognito’s fellow comedians realized something was wrong and rushed onto the stage to help him. They called an ambulance and a paramedic in the crowd began performing CPR, but sadly officials declared Cognito dead at the scene.

Host Andrew Bird, who runs the Lone Wolf Comedy Club event at the venue, told the BBC that the comedian had not been feeling well before the gig started, but insisted on going on stage. “He was his old self, his voice was loud. I was thinking, ‘He’s having a good gig,’” Bird said, adding that Cognito had even joked about his health during his set. He reportedly told the audience, “Imagine if I died in front of you lot here.”

Cognito (his birth name was Paul Barbieri) was born in London in 1958 and had been performing since the mid-1980s.

Comedians mourn Ian Cognito on social media

Comedians immediately took to Twitter to post sympathies and memories of the comic, who many admitted would probably hate, or at the very least, be suspicious of the outpouring of support.

Really sad to hear about the death of Ian Cognito. The thing that’s making me smile is that if Cogs was reading the obits, he’d be going

“Cunt”
“Hate him”
“Another Cunt”
“Oh, I’ve got a story about her”
“Cunt”
“That Cunt owes me money”
“Who the fuck is he?”
“Cunt”

— Christian Talbot (@TheTall_Bot) April 12, 2019

Fucking hell, Ian Cognito, an absolute firecracker of a man, he once stayed over at mine and when we woke up in the morning he was gone. It was a second floor flat and the front door was deadbolted. I asked him how he said he had no recollection. Sleep well friend xx #RIP

— Bethany Black Acceptance Month (@BeffernieBlack) April 12, 2019

Ian Cognito has passes away. Gigged with him when i first started out and he was always so much fun, had his own mythology on the circuit his exploits where legendary. A true maverick. Hope he’s found somewhere to hang his coat in heaven.

— Jack Whitehall (@jackwhitehall) April 12, 2019

Comedian Jimmy Carr added to the lovefest. “Veteran stand-up comedian Ian Cognito has died on-stage—literally. The audience thought it was part of the act. Died with his boots on. That’s commitment to comedy.”

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Late night round-up: Nate Bargatze, Kenny Deforest prevent stand-up blackout

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 13:17

Stand-up comedy was almost blacked out of late night these last two weeks. The Tonight Show was the only network talk show to feature a stand-up in the whole week—the hilarious Nate Bargatze last Friday. This week, Kenny Deforest is the only stand-up this week, doing a killer set on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Ronny Chieng and Aparna Nancherlawill both be on late night Friday night, but we’re not sure if either will do sets or be on the couch.

What’s up, late night bookers? No love for the joketellers? Why does Seth Meyers hate stand-up so much?

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Nate Bargatze is a tremendous stand-up comedian who has impressed the industry on both coasts and all of our landlocked states. Bargatze, who now boasts his own Netflix special The Tennessee Kid, delivers another killer set on late night that you won’t want to miss. He’s one of those rare ‘clean comics’ who can keep the attention of the dirtiest, most perverted mind.

Late Night with Seth Meyers Late Show with Stephen Colbert Late Late Show with James Corden

Kenny Deforest returned to NBC late night to do stand-up. This time Deforest crushes on The Tonight Show and seems startled by multiple applause breaks. Granted, saying the words ‘Queer Eye’ in front of a New York City audience will frequently illicit applause and cheers from excited women. But Deforest’s set took a fun look at toxic masculinity and made me actually laugh at hard loud enough that I was removed from a coffee shop.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! Conan

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6 times Jim Carrey was freaking weird (but we loved it anyway)

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 12:15

Jim Carrey—love him or hate him, his career is full of amazing work. Carrey inspired a generation of comedy lovers over the years with incredible on-camera moments. That being said, he’s got a bit of a weird streak. He is an actor, and actors aren’t actors if they’re not at least kinda weird. It almost seems to be part of the gig. Whether it’s moments from the Man on the Moon Netflix documentary or tweeting his political paintings, the In Living Color alum fills the role of ‘weird actor guy’ well, and he does it with such a lovable panache that his fans gobble it up and stick around for more.

Here are six times Carrey was an utter wackadoo, and the world watched with awe and adoration anyway.

When he wrote himself a check for $10 million

In this interview with Oprah Winfrey, Carrey explains how he would park up in the Hollywood Hills and fantasize about being a success, an idea he admitted getting from reading many self-help books. As part of his desire to be successful and manifest a robust career, he wrote himself a check for $10 million for “Acting Services Rendered” that he carried in his wallet until it deteriorated. Slightly odd? Yah. Charming anyway? You’re damn right.

When he surprised us with his painting skills

This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous! pic.twitter.com/MeYLTy1pqb

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 17, 2018

It can be confusing when actors decide to change up their careers and try something new. The public has a certain image of the performer in their minds, and then—voila! Now he or she is doing something different like running a restaurant or farming alpacas.

So when Carrey started painting and sharing his work on social media, his fans reacted with understandable praise and criticism of the pieces. One particular painting of Sarah Huckabee Sanders won him extra ire for its depiction of her as a witch-like hag. The Guardian called his work “proof that Hollywood stars should avoid the canvas.” The Telegraph called them “terrible satirical portraits”. Meanwhile, The Onion’s A.V. Club showed him some love and called him “actually really good”, another example of Carrey’s uncanny ability to skirt disapproval, even following weird behavior.

Though, if his political satire continues in this direction, he might start an international incident.

When Carrey wouldn’t stop being Andy Kaufman

Carrey terrorized the cast and crew of the movie Man On The Moon in which he played Andy Kaufman. Carrey committed fully to the role, playing Kaufman-style pranks on actors. He put Danny Devito’s car up on blocks. The Ace Ventura star pretty much tormented all involved by “being Andy” every day, whether cameras rolled or not. The antics were so epic that Netflix released a documentary in 2017 called Jim and Andy using real video footage shot by his girlfriend at the time.

When he pissed everyone off at Fashion Week

He pretty much opened with “fuck” in this chin-droppingly awesome interview with E! News during 2017’s Fashion Week. His out-of-the-gate comment was, “I wanted to find the most meaningless thing that I could fucking come to”, a win for anyone who walks out of an annoying conversation thinking, “I should’ve said…”, because he did, in fact, say exactly what was on his mind. Then, he does a brief James Brown impression and explains that we are just clusters of tetrahedrons moving around together. Some called it a breakdown, but the cool kids screamed with delight through it all.

When he played a big, unfunny sad sack in Kidding

Carrey started his career as a comedic actor but went on to display incredible acting chops through more serious roles, such as Joel Barish in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Truman Burbank in The Truman Show. So seeing him go back to the small screen where it all started in a role that is depressing and stressful to watch in Kidding felt downright weird to many of his fans. Variety called the series, “Caught between too many tones and ideas” and an Atlantic review stated, “Jim Carrey is wasted on a bleak TV show”.

Though the show is indeed well-written and Carrey, as usual, gives an incredible performance as Jeff Pickles—an iconic Mr. Rogers-esque fellow— many watched hoping for more laughter. Still, the 76% rating it earned on Rotten Tomatoes proves that most of the show’s audience was not mad, and the audience forgave him for making us sit through such an emotional gut-punch of a show.

When he dated Jenny McCarthy and supported her anti-vaccine crusade

Was Carrey committed to the anti-vax beliefs he spouted during his relationship with Jenny McCarthy, who went on repeated public tirades against them? Or was he simply whipped?

Either way, the comedy icon was forgiven, as he went on to star in dozens of hit films and win the hearts and minds of many—even after using his celebrity power to wax poetic on something as polarizing as the (debunked) evils of vaccinations. Perhaps his apology helped, but one might surmise that he would have sailed through it all, regardless, because he certainly seems to have a get out of jail free card at the ready when he needs one.

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Just For Laughs, Jessie Jolles team up to help you date better

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 11:00

In the eight years Just For Laughs has been putting up content on YouTube, the vast majority of their videos are stand-up sets recorded at their festival events. However, recently they have quietly released a few high production web shows on their account. Just For Laughs is behind a couple of digital shows including How Many Questions, Text or Shot, and Definitely Happened. In those series, each episode features different comedians as guests. However, one of their shows is truly a one-woman experience. Jessie Jolles hosts the show It’s A Date! In each episode, Jolles sits on a couch and gives dating advice. There are no guests, no challenge-based tasks, just Jolles and her thoughts on modern dating.

A comedian talking about dating might not seem very revolutionary, but Jolles is not afraid to get real, talk about feminist things, or piss off commentators. Laughspin’s Rosa Escandon talked with Jolles about dating, mental health, and why digital series work.

Jessie Jolles interview

Laughspin: How did you come up with the series?

Jessie Jolles: The great part is, it came from my own dating life. I was going to therapy—love therapy, love my therapist Doctor Pamela. I kept coming to her and saying, I feel like dating is a waste of my time. And she said, well what if it wasn’t? And I said, what if it wasn’t? So dating just became a big part of my comedy because I used it as a way, if a date didn’t go well, at least I could get material from it. And then, JFL saw something that I had done and then we sort of started coming up with this series, which is essentially tips and advice from someone who’s been dating forever and therefore is probably not who you should be listening to but has very strong opinions.

A lot of comics talk about dating in general in their sets. For you, what makes you stand out?

I think I have taken out “the woe is me.” A lot of my dating humor comes from situations where something is my fault. Truly, a lot of it is my fault. The reason that it hasn’t worked out in the past is there are a lot of hurdles that I have noticed I have to overcome. So there’s a lot of self-deprecating humor in the series, which is just a very big part of me. I think part of dating is making you realize a lot of times the problem lies within you. Then some of the series episodes come from realizations that I’ve made or crossroads I’ve been at. I always joke that whenever I’m in a sexual setting, I want to be taken. But also I’m a feminist and very much think if you don’t get consent, I’ll rip your head off. So that can be confusing to people, including me. The period episode that just came out came directly from somebody who I was dating. Through dating him, I realized the amount of shame that comes from society that we’ve been taught and I didn’t even realize I had felt that shame.

This series does have a very feminist angle. Have you gotten any backlash from that?

Yes. If you read the comments you’ll see a bunch of backlash. Which is okay because I do consider backlash something that means I’m hitting a spot that is sensitive for people and that I am saying things that people haven’t heard before, which is what I want to be doing. I think that it’s scary to say some of the things that I’m trying to say. I was able to say it in a comedic sense before I was able to say it in my real life. For example, to look a person in the eyes and say, “Actually, that doesn’t fly.” I had to work out that stuff on stage and in this series before I could say everything I’m saying and now I’m going to put it to the test.

That’s an interesting process: having it come out on stage before it comes out in real life. Is that something that you think other comedians share?

I know that for myself, I am most comfortable on stage with a microphone. That is where I feel most at peace, most myself, most in tune with myself. When I do stand-up or storytelling, a lot of times, it’s just whatever comes to mind or whatever I want to share. I like to be vulnerable and just say whatever I’m thinking about. I’ve surprised myself with the revelations I’ve had or the things I’ve said that then I have to walk away with and think about. I realize those things came from a very honest, true place. Sometimes the easiest times to say something is when you’re joking. My therapist and I should pretty much just watch my sets and go from there. But you know, I think that a lot of comedians find their happy on stage or when they’re writing and they’re able to be a little removed from themselves. But then when they bring themselves back to it and look at what they’ve done, they can see what is missing in their life or what changes they want to make.

Back to the show itself! What was production like?

Just for Laughs had seen a proof of concept I shot and then I went out there to Los Angeles and shot it with them. My brother directed it. My parents are truly thrilled. JFL helped me make it come to life and obviously gave me this great platform to put it on.

I haven’t seen a ton of digital content from JFL in this way. Comedians already make a lot of digital content, but do you see this as something that is going to get even bigger?

I think what’s so great about digital is the amount of people you are able to reach. As much as I love doing live shows, if you weren’t there, it disappears. I love it as especially as someone who’s been really depressed and can’t get out of bed. It’s nice to know that there’s a link I could click where maybe something can really resonate with me and make me laugh. Those are people obviously I love to reach. The opportunity to reach across the world is amazing. I do think comedy is going in that direction. I mean with all the streaming platforms, everyone’s able to reach so many more eyes.

Are you seeing people from places you would never go to watching this or does it have more of an American audience?

Our Instagram is able to reach a little more worldwide. What I love about online content is it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Even if the episode came out last week and has maybe 10,000 views, it still has a huge life ahead of it. One click or one share, one write up in a different country and that video can become something completely different, which is really cool.

Do you have a plan for the series or what is next?

I believe there’s nine more that are going to come out and they’re all different. I love them all differently like my children. I’m hoping that this will lead to a second season. I could see this as something that could develop into a TV show or even just have different segments digitally so that we could try out different things. I think that the genre is obviously very fun and very infinite. There’s just a lot of opportunity and I’ve gotten a lot of emails and messages from women, especially about the period one, just saying how they are really thankful and also it made them laugh, but also it brought back memories of harder times where they weren’t laughing as much. But it’s nice that they can look back now and laugh and sort of realized if that’s something that they want to stand for too.

Would you say the series is made for women or is it just who ends up really liking it?

I think that I normally write comedy for my younger self. My 20-year-old in-the-middle-of-an-eating-disorder train wreck of a self. A lot of my comedy is for her. I honestly think the series can resonate with men as well, although some of the episodes might not necessarily be for them or they might feel like it’s against them. But the series is for anybody who has ever dated. Obviously, when dating, you date all losers until there’s one winner. That’s the name of the game. But yeah, I like to make content and comedy for the younger me. So wherever she is, it’s pretty much for her.

At the risk of being cheesy, If you could say one thing to women in their 20s right now about dating, what would it be?

I think what I would want to tell them is to value yourself. Have the confidence to realize you’re a badass bitch and you deserve to be treated like a human. If that’s not happening, all the games or all that weird stuff, it’s just a waste of your time and your mental energy. You could be using that energy to take over the world and get promotions and ask for more money and fuck society telling you that [a relationship, even a bad one] is something that you need in your life in order to be happy because you can be happy just being yourself.

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