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Daily Show star discovers drag persona with Bob the Drag Queen

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 13:20

Jaboukie Young-White got a full drag makeover from Bob The Drag Queen—and he slayed. The two got together for a video for the queer magazine them to live their drag fantasies and deliver a few laughs. The 11-minute video features the two talking about being queer, coming out, doing comedy, and what PC culture means to them all while Bob beats Young-White’s face for the gods.

A correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Young-White also acts with notable roles in Rough Night, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Crashing. While the young comedian seems to do it all, Young-White reveals in the video that he has never done drag before.

Bob The Drag Queen is a New York City-based drag queen who is best known for winning Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Since winning Drag Race in 2016, Bob has released the comedy special Suspiciously Large Woman and started the comedy podcast called Sibling Rivalry with fellow RuPaul alum, Monet X Change.

Bob shares that he started drag to get more attention doing stand-up comedy and even teases that you can watch his first set online shot at New York Comedy Club.

Jaboukie Young-White, Bob the Drag Queen bond over comedy, queerness

The two bond over being queer and doing comedy. They get serious about coming out and how the media impacts the queer community. On a funnier note, Bob gets personal with Young-White asking if he is on Grindr (sorry boys, he is not) and if he considers himself a twink.

Bob manages to sneak in a few drag tips into the video like how you can fake a tuck and how socks can be used to make fake breasts.

In the end, Young-White fully transforms and looks drop-dead gorgeous complete with wig, skirt, jewelry, and a full face of make-up.

You can watch the full video below.

The post Daily Show star discovers drag persona with Bob the Drag Queen appeared first on Laughspin.

Netflix renews Ricky Gervais dark comedy After Life for Season Two

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 12:54

Netflix renewed Ricky Gervais’s dark comedy After Life for a second season. The little show that could, with only six half-hour episodes, was renewed by the streaming giant less than a month after the first season’s premiere. Gervais created and directed the series.

Gervais plays Tony, a man who had a perfect life until his wife dies of breast cancer. Now, he is on a mission to punish the world. After deciding to not go through with suicide, he decides instead to say and do whatever he likes. Instead of pushing people away as he intended, he actually ends up bringing people closer to him.

The series received many rave reviews from critics and seemed to receive even greater praise from audiences. On Rotten Tomatoes, Season One earned a 68% rating from critics and a 93% audience score. The outspoken comedian’s social media has been full of posts about the show since it debuted and he is clearly proud of his project. The British curmudgeon retweeted many fan comments and posted multiple times about how touched he is by fan reactions.

Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos remarked that “After Life has moved audiences from laughter to tears around the world…We are so proud to play host to Ricky’s brilliant stand up comedy, specials, original films, and series and join in the joy of the fans with his latest hit.”

 

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Once again, I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your amazing comments about #AfterLife. I’ve never had a reaction like it. I have a spring in my step as I skip towards writing series 2.

A post shared by Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:54am PDT

The post Netflix renews Ricky Gervais dark comedy After Life for Season Two appeared first on Laughspin.

Kumail Nanjiani cast to go back in time in new movie

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 12:10

Kumail Nanjiani will star in the upcoming comedy-adventure film Any Person, Living Or Dead. Nanjiani will lead the history-based laugher as a reclusive scientist with a homemade time machine.

Despite his best efforts to use the device to solve the world’s problems with the help of historical leaders, things go very, very poorly. Unfortunately, great thinkers like Shakespeare and George Washington and medieval men are not accustomed to modern ways (such as not being racist and not committing murder). Eventually, the hero scientist needs to hunt down these past figures before they ruin the future of the world.

The film is based on a short story by former Saturday Night Live writer Simon Rich. Jonathan Krisel, who was an executive producer for Baskets and Portlandia, will direct the feature.

Kumal Nanjiani busy with TV projects

Nanjiani fans who want to see him return to his rom-com roots are also in luck. He reunited with The Big Sick filmmaker Michael Showalter to star in The Lovebirds. He co-stars with Issa Rae from Insecure. That film, which revolves around a couple on the edge of splitting up who become ensnared in a murder mystery, began production earlier this year.

We start shooting The Lovebirds this week. @IssaRae is amazing and I can’t believe I get to work with her! pic.twitter.com/3MfwXqGBhF

— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) January 27, 2019

The Oscar-nominated actor, comic, and writer is staying busy on the small screen as well. Earlier this week, he co-starred with Tracy Morgan in the debut episode of Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone reboot for CBS’s premium streaming service, All Access. The episode is aptly titled The Comedian. Nanjiani admitted that the dark role was intimidating to him since he had never acted in anything like it before.

Last month, the Meltdown comedian appeared at the Apple TV keynote event to announce his new series Little America. Nanjiani is writing the anthology series, about immigrants living in America with his wife—and The Big Sick writing partner—Emily V. Gordon. That show is based on funny, inspiring, and heartfelt stories of immigrants, as told in Epic Magazine.

Season Six of the award-winning Silicon Valley is also scheduled to begin production this summer, for which Nanjiani is expected to return. He must need some kind of time machine to fit everything into his very busy schedule.

The post Kumail Nanjiani cast to go back in time in new movie appeared first on Laughspin.

Opinion: Heckler videos are bad for comedy and here’s why

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 11:58

Hecklers are one of the worst parts of the comedy club experience. It sucks for the comedian on stage and it ruins the show for most everyone in the crowd. There’s hardly a dispute about that. However, there are mixed feelings in the comedy community about the popularity of these ‘heckler takedown’ videos. Some say their popularity exposes more people to stand-up, which is good for comedians everywhere. Others argue that heckler videos encourage potential hecklers at home. Laughspin asked two experienced stand-ups to share their stance. Johnny Taylor is an LA-based stand-up with over 153,000 Twitter followers who released his special, Bummin’ With The Devil, last year through Stand Up! Records.

From a comedian’s perspective, hecklers are the worst.

They disrupt the show for the comic that’s hard at work, but more importantly, they ruin the comedy show experience for their fellow audience members. It’s usually someone that’s had too much to drink and feels like their loud, obnoxious input is going to help the show along. They’re rarely, if ever, correct in that assertion. The heckler-comedian interaction generally ends in one of three ways: the comedian ignores the moron and moves on with their set, the staff removes the moron from the showroom, or the comedian “destroys” said moron with their cunning wit.

Because we live in the YouTube age, the web is flooded with “comedian destroys heckler” videos. That’s fine in a vacuum. Sometimes the heckler needs to be shown who’s boss. Sometimes it needs to be mean. Sometimes it may even be worth uploading to let the world see what happens when you’re a loaded dufus at the comedy show.

Heckler videos give the wrong idea

However, heckler videos have become so popular that it’s creating a culture where the comedian embraces the potential heckler interaction, sometimes to the point of even encouraging the awkward interaction in hopes of capturing viral content. This misguided calculation can negatively affect the rest of the comedians on the show. How are you supposed to follow five minutes of a drunk being eviscerated by the feature with your musings about dating in the social media age?

It isn’t gonna happen. The crowd will wonder and fear if you’re going to make them look like an idiot, too. They’ll feel like they can’t laugh, clap, or breathe for fear of the wrath of the mean ole comedian. Now everyone is uncomfortable.

Furthermore, it can put some very bad ideas in potential hecklers’ heads. They may think getting involved with a well-placed snide remark next time will ‘help’ the show. Or maybe they’ll get some laughs and validation themselves by yelling, “You suck, Taylor!” Maybe all of it will birth a viral video clip that they can show their friends and family forever due to the fact that they have no discernible talent of their own other than ruining comedy shows.

The “heckler gets owned” genre of YouTube videos have become so common that it’s become a ‘brand’ of comedian. Where we once had the ‘observational comic’ and the ‘one-liner comic,’ we now also have ‘the heckler comic.’

Should comedians go for YouTube hits?

The most famous of which is Steve Hofstetter. “The Hof” is so notorious for heckler interactions that he dominates search results for ‘heckler comedian.’ Hofstetter has so many heckler videos on YouTube that he’s composed multiple top 10 lists of his own heckler takedowns. It’s kind of his thing.

Another ‘heckler comic’ is Eliot Chang. His videos routinely get hundreds of thousands of views. The difference with Chang is that his clips almost always focus on him taking down female hecklers. There’s angry ranting, name-calling galore, and though there are some funny moments mixed in, the trend wreaks of sexism. More than anything, it’s shocking. On the world wide web, shocking content equals views, likes, and comments regardless of how uncomfortable it might be. Sadly, those clips will get more views than a purely brilliant stand-up set.

Heckler videos should be a warning, not an invitation

This isn’t to say that all heckler videos are bad. Sometimes they’re amazing. Sometimes it’s just a moment in a comedian’s set that happens to be captured on video.

A good example of this is San Francisco comedian Joe Klocek bringing a heckler onstage with him and giving him a fair shot at being funny. What’s great about this interaction is its depth. This isn’t a video of a person yelling something out and the comedian responding with something canned or standard. It becomes a lesson on why being a stand-up comedian is a difficult profession, all played out in real time, with some truly hilarious moments from the comic and the heckler alike.

The bottom line is this: Heckler videos give the wrong impression to fans that might otherwise politely enjoy the show. Even if it inspires one fan to get wasted and disrupt the show in the hopes of YouTube fame, that’s one too many. Let’s stop glorifying these often awkward interactions in the hopes of internet fame. One out of a hundred times, a heckler creates a special moment in the show. The rest of the time, it’s a bummer for the entire room.

Those are pretty crappy odds.

See what the other side thinks in this counterpoint.

The post Opinion: Heckler videos are bad for comedy and here’s why appeared first on Laughspin.

Opinion: In defense of heckler videos

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 11:58

Hecklers are one of the worst parts of the comedy club experience. It sucks for the comedian on stage and it ruins the show for most everyone in the crowd. There’s hardly a dispute about that. However, there are mixed feelings in the comedy community about the popularity of these ‘heckler takedown’ videos. Some say their popularity exposes more people to stand-up, which is good for comedians everywhere. Others argue that heckler videos encourage potential hecklers at home. Laughspin asked two experienced stand-ups to share their stance. Steve Hofstetter is a comedy veteran of 17 years whose YouTube channel has over 400,000 subscribers. He’s also the founder of The Martin Stand-Up Comedy Grant.

I’m aware of my bias. My heckler videos have amassed more than 200 million views and are the lion’s share of why I can sell tickets. So do I truly believe heckler videos are a positive force in stand-up, or is this just cognitive dissonance?

I define a “heckler” as anyone who interrupts a live performance. Someone doesn’t have to yell a variation of, “You suck!” to be a heckler. They can answer a rhetorical question, loudly talk to their table, or even yell out words of support. If someone interrupts a performer, they’re heckling. And we can all agree that hecklers are the ones who suck.

When I say “heckler videos,” I’m referring to videos where a comedian gets the best of a heckler. I’m not talking about videos where two unstable people escalate an otherwise manageable situation. Two insecure man-children in a physical altercation at an open mic is not a heckler video. I’d sooner describe that as “state’s evidence.”

Now that you’re aware of my definitions, I will not make an argument for heckler videos. I will instead argue against the common critiques they receive.

“Crowd work isn’t true stand-up comedy.”

A heckler video is just a clip of a comedian knowing how to ad-lib. My favorite Bill Hicks quote is, “The act is something you fall back on if you can’t think of anything else to say.”

I was once told that heckler videos aren’t true stand-up comedy by a comedian who’d previously performed at a laundromat…where every act on the line-up was in costume. He went up in a giant bear suit. I imagine the puns that peppered his act were just an homage to the greats.

Even if you’re enough of a purist to have never performed in a bear suit in front of a washing machine, ad-libbing is a skill every comedian needs. Gatekeeping is not.

“Heckler videos encourage heckling.”

In the decade since my videos started gaining traction on YouTube, I have done roughly 2,500 shows. I have yet to have one person try to heckle me just to appear in a video.

I believe there are fewer hecklers because of heckler videos. This is not a conclusion I’ve arrived at casually; I’ve spoken to fans extensively on this subject and I have seen a decrease in hecklers at my own shows since my videos have gone viral. Heckler videos teach non-comedy fans that heckling is not part of the show. I have received thousands of messages and comments from people telling me that there’s no way they’d ever heckle me—because they’ve seen my videos.

We live in a time where people do dumb things to get famous. Kim Kardashian built an empire on the back of a sex tape; MTV made teen pregnancy a ticket to stardom; human trashbag Logan Paul is a millionaire. So why wouldn’t someone want to be the butt of a joke just to feel famous?

A heckler video depicts a heckler humiliated in front of a room full of people cheering at his or her downfall. Any rational person who sees a heckler video doesn’t see the heckler as the hero. While there may be some aspiring Logan Pauls out there (gross) that see infamy as their ticket to glory, those people were already broken before they ever logged on to YouTube. And they most likely don’t have the follow through to actually attend a show. Or the disposable income.

“Amateur comedians are just posting heckler videos in hopes to get famous.”

Yes, this is definitely happening. And I don’t see the problem. Thanks to the access and awareness that podcasts, YouTube, and social media have created, there are more stand-up comedians than ever. We are all doing what we can to break through in a glutted comedy landscape.

If a talented aspiring comedian gets a little juice because of his or her ad-lib skills, great. If an untalented aspiring comedian gets a little juice —that won’t last long, and you won’t even notice—the market will correct itself.

I am not a fan of comedians who try to get views with tons of exclamation points or lots of capital letters. However, if you’re a comedian who happens to capture a fun heckler moment, there’s nothing wrong with posting the video.

Heckler videos popularize stand-up comedy to an audience who may not have been previously interested. I have many first-time comedy club goers at my shows. Stand-up comedy is not a zero-sum game. Every time someone becomes a fan of one stand-up comedian, they’re more likely to become a fan of another. If a heckler video is someone’s gateway to stand-up, that is a net positive for every comedian.

Are heckler videos good for stand-up comedy?

In an industry where comedians are constantly trying to push the artform with roast battles and improvised stand-up shows, a good heckler video showcases a comedian’s ability to be funny outside the regular parameters of their act. In an industry of clubs who apologize to poorly behaved customers instead of throwing them out, a good heckler video can educate a comedy fan on proper show behavior. In an industry of pay-to-play open mics and predatory bringer shows, a good heckler video can provide a direct-to-fans platform to an emerging comedian.

You don’t have to agree. There isn’t one correct viewpoint on what is or isn’t comedy. If you think I’m wrong, that’s fine. Tell me why my heckler videos have somehow damaged stand-up comedy, an art form that is flourishing more than it ever has before. There’s room for more than one opinion in comedy.

I don’t mind if you disagree with me—I’m not afraid of being heckled.

See what the other side thinks in this counterpoint.

The post Opinion: In defense of heckler videos appeared first on Laughspin.

Nipsey Hussle: Kevin Hart, Michael Che, and more comedians mourn rapper’s death

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 11:00

Slain rapper Nipsey Hussle’s influence went beyond hip hop and reached deep into the comedy community. Many comics are remembering the artist and paying tribute to his life on social media. The Los Angeles-based rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur, and activist was killed by apparent gang-related gunfire on Sunday. The 33-year old Grammy-nominated artist was scheduled to appear at an anti-gang violence meeting with the LAPD on Monday. Hussle turned his life around after being involved with a gang during his youth. His generous community involvement ranged from providing jobs to struggling locals to donating money to renovate basketball courts.

Comedians joined in the memorials to the influential artist who was born as Ermias Ashghedom. His stage name of Nipsey Hussle was a twist on comedian Nipsey Russell’s name.

Kevin Hart: Done with this “killing shit”

Kevin Hart posted a couple of tributes on Instagram showing their past interactions, acknowledging “real emotions and feelings right now…u have always been a good dude.” He also tweeted his frustration with “killing shit” on Monday, the day before the premiere of his new Netflix special.

 

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God damn man….Real emotions and feelings rights now. Fuck man…u have always been a good dude…I’m so sorry…RIP man

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on Mar 31, 2019 at 5:52pm PDT

This killing shit is for the fucking Birds….I really don’t get it. Shit just makes me Sad…I’m hoping that we as people get smarter and start doing better.

— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) April 1, 2019

Nick Cannon to continue Nipsey Hussle doc

Nick Cannon chose to remember good times with the slain star. The variety show host also posted that he would continue Hussle’s work, in reference to a documentary that Hussle was making about the late Dr. Sebi. “Where you left off, we gonna carry one! It’s a MARATHON, so I’m picking up the baton!” Cannon then shared three posts about the controversial naturalist who claimed that he invented a cure for AIDS. Dr. Sebi is also at the center of some conspiracy theories.

 

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And the Lord said, “Job well done my son..” @nipseyhussle King this is how I want to remember you! Laughing! Smiling! I ain’t slept yet, thinking about our conversations! Real ones from a real one! And I’m gonna say this only for the real ones to recognize. Where you left off, we gonna carry one! It’s a MARATHON, so I’m picking up the baton! Because they can’t kill us all! Spiritual Warfare is REAL and in full effect. And now your Spirit is protecting your community eternally! Your words, your steps, your walk always was and always will be SOLID! Now, Your message is my message! Your work is my work! I know you still rocking with us and your voice will never be silenced, because to be absent from the body is to be present with the Most High! So now that you are at Peace don’t Rest… Keep leading… Keep Shining King! Cosmic Love My Brotha!

Jim Breuer: Live from Portland reminds you not to sleep on this comedy great

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 10:00

When fans of stand-up are often asked to name who stands memorialized on their fictional Mount Rushmore of Comedy, many select a varying combination of superstars: George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Ellen DeGeneres, Sam Kinison, Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, Garry Shandling, Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock.

But one name often overlooked during the deliberation process is Jim Breuer.

The Saturday Night Live alum, whose memorable characters and spot-on impressions graced NBC’s Studio 8H from 1995-98, is one of the hardest working stand-ups in the industry. If he’s not touring the country headlining comedy clubs, he’s traveling the world opening up for the legendary rock group Metallica. He’s done numerous live specials for Comedy Central and EPIX over the years and lived out his own frontman fantasy when he recorded a musical comedy album, Songs From The Garage, in 2016.

However, Breuer’s latest stand-up album, Live From Portland, serves as perfect evidence of how masterful of a storyteller, accomplished of an impressionist, and clever of a comedian he is and always will be, especially for those building a case for the Long Island native’s Rushmore inclusion.

Breuer recorded Live From Portland at the Helium Comedy Club while hosting Metallica’s northwest leg of their WorldWired tour in December 2018. The energy and enthusiasm for both his duties as emcee and seeing one of his favorite bands live again is nothing short of infectious. In anticipation of the imminent concerts, he brings back fan favorite impressions of Metallica members Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield (as well as former AC/DC frontman and good friend of Breuer’s Brian Johnson). These familiar bits never go stale despite how many times you’ve heard them.

That has a lot to do with Breuer’s talent as not only an impressionist, but as a creator of comedy.  He doesn’t rely on the same scripted tropes to carry him through shows, but adapts to his impressions to match the flow of the conversations occurring at that moment. He is a comedic chameleon throughout Live In Portland, for he reads the crowd’s reactions, determines what thought or comment would glean the most laughs and morphs his material and delivery on the spot to maximize his punchline’s potency.

The one aspect of Breuer’s comedy that hasn’t changed since he first stepped foot on stage in 1989 is his truthful examination of life’s amazing lessons through the lens of his own personal experiences.  As is typical with a Jim Breuer performance, he takes this introspective jaunt using his blend of indomitable candor and immense satirical supremacy as comedic catalysts to his narratives.

Throughout the set, Breuer operates with a mix of high-octane set-ups and surgical strike-like punchlines that keep the audience from catching their breath. Sometimes, Breuer is so super-charged, he has trouble breathing himself in between jokes.  He bombards the crowd with care-free banter and quick-witted quips that do nothing less than strengthen the argument for his place on anyone’s Mount Rushmore.

While many will argue who inevitably belongs on the metaphorical monument until the end of time, there will be many who will declare, especially after listening to Live In Portland, how anyone could ever think to keep Jim Breuer off of it.

Jim Breuer’s Live From Portland is available April 5 via Virtual Comedy Network Records.

The post Jim Breuer: Live from Portland reminds you not to sleep on this comedy great appeared first on Laughspin.

The Joker shows his face in Gotham teaser video

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 16:54

Gotham fans can now get a sneak peek at guest star Cameron Monaghan as The Joker—just in time for April Fool’s Day. The Fox show will air its two-part series finale on April 18 (titled They Did What?) and April 25 (titled The Beginning…). The Joker will appear in the final episode of the show, as it ends its fifth season with a bang.

The terrifying, scarred, and balding Joker, who is shown in both a prison jumpsuit and the character’s a signature purple suit, appears in a new teaser video against a backdrop of disarmingly jaunty music.

Monaghan previously stole the series when he played twin characters Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska. The twins, children of a nymphomaniac circus performer, served as an homage to the Joker character—comic book’s most terrifying comedian. Monaghan, who is known for his role on Shameless, won accolades for his performance as the ominous twin brothers.

The Joker is comic books’ scariest comedian

This is the first time that Batman’s ultimate nemesis will appear in the critically-acclaimed series. Instead, the series has spent its earlier episodes focusing on origin stories for other well-known villains such as the Penguin, Riddler, and Catwoman.

In another twist on the villain, Joaquin Phoenix is starring in the upcoming film simply titled Joker. That film will feature Phoenix as a failed stand-up comic who resorts to a life of crime. That film is reportedly inspired by Martin Scorsese’s dark cult-classic The King of Comedy starring Robert De Niro.

More recently, Academy Award-winner Jared Leto portrayed the villain in the DC blockbuster—but almost universally hated—Suicide Squad. The Joker character was heavily edited down, according to Leto, and there were talks of a potential standalone Joker movie starring Leto.

Watch Gotham on Fox on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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Roseanne Barr, Stephen Colbert, and 9 other comedians who ran for office

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 16:07

A comedian might become the next president of Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskiy is one of the 39 candidates to throw their name into a crowded presidential race, which will most likely culminate in a runoff election on April 21. Zelenskiy is in the lead with an estimated 30.6 percent of the vote according to exit polls in contrast to the incumbent’s Petro Poroshenko estimated 17.8 percent.

Zelenskiy is well known in his native Ukraine for his role on the hit TV show Servant of the People where he plays a high school teacher…who becomes the president of Ukraine. Zelenskiy is running on more than just his celebrity, he has taken a strong anti-corruption stance that has hit home with Ukrainian voters.

The comedian is far from the only funny person to run for office. Here are 10 comedians who have tried to run for public office—and a few that even succeeded!

Al Franken

Al Franken was a comedian before he was a United States senator representing Minnesota from 2009 to 2018. Franken was a writer and performer on SNL in the 1980s, In the early 2000s, he became a liberal commentator with The Al Franken Show on Air America. Air America was a hotspot for political comedy with shows hosted by Janeane Garofalo, Marc Maron, and Lizz Winstead. Franken resigned from his Senate seat amidst a sexual misconduct scandal that came to light in 2018.

Jón Gnarr

Americans might not be familiar with Jón Gnarr, but this Icelandic comedian was the mayor of the capital city of Reykjavík from 2010 to 2014. While most comedians who get elected do so in earnest, Gnarr ran as a joke. He ran as an act of satire which was designed to lampoon the political class and their connection to the Icelandic financial crisis. “Unfortunately” for him, he won. While some of the goals of the party such as free access to swimming pools for everyone and free towels were obvious jokes, other promises like complete equality of the sexes and stopping corruption struck a chord with the voters of Reykjavík.

Dick Gregory

Two comedians ran for president in 1968: Pat Paulsen and Dick Gregory. Gregory is the better-known comedian now, but he was merely a write-in candidate back when he ran. Paulsen actually managed to get his name on the Democratic primary ballot in at least New Hampshire. Gregory originally ran for mayor of Chicago in 1967. While Gregory never won an elective office, he was heavily involved in social justice and politics up until his death in 2017.

Howard Stern

The 1994 New York gubernatorial race is remembered as a major upset with George Pataki defeating Mario Cuomo, but Howard Stern won the Libertarian Party nomination. He did not appear on the state ballot after refusing to file financial disclosures, but he announced a full platform on his radio show which included reinstating the death penalty, having road crews work at night, staggering highway tolls, and a promise to resign from office as soon as these goals were accomplished. Stern didn’t win. Instead, he founded the Howard Stern Production Company and E! started to run highlights of his popular radio show on their network.

Roseanne Barr

In 2012, Roseanne Barr announced on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that she would run for president on the “Green Tea Party” ticket, a party that technically did not exist. She would go on to file with the Green Party. She came in second in the primary, losing to the now-infamous Jill Stein.

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert was not serious about his 2008 presidential run. For one, he only wanted to only put his name on the ballot in South Carolina and originally want to be listed on both the Republican and Democratic tickets. Similar to Paulsen, who ran as a joke for a comedy show, Colbert’s presidential bid was mostly seen as a stunt for his former Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report. However, many fondly remember his campaign to “bring truthiness to the ’08 race.”

Hideo Higashikokubaru

Hideo Higashikokubaru started his career as a comedian under the stage name Sonomanma Higashi. He served as the Governor of Miyazaki Prefecture from 2007 to 2011. He ran for Governor of Tokyo but came in second. He also served for a year on House of Representatives after winning the general election of 2012. While he is now remembered as a politician, he was also on the cult TV game show Takeshi’s Castle.

Jimmy Morales

Jimmy Morales is the President of Guatemala, but he also acted on the TV comedy Moralejas. The weekly sketch program ran for 15 years. While he got his start as a comic actor, there is nothing funny about multiple scandals that have rocked his presidency. From sexual abuse to illegal donations, Morales has been at the center of many serious accusations.

Gallagher

Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr., popularly known as just Gallagher, ran for governor of California in 2003. The 2003 election saw a lot of independent candidates, given that it was a recall election. While he lost to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gallagher finished 16th out of 135 candidates with 5,466 votes. SNL alum Don Novello also tried his luck in the runoff.

The post Roseanne Barr, Stephen Colbert, and 9 other comedians who ran for office appeared first on Laughspin.

Ilana Glazer’s horror movie just started filming

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 15:15

Broad City star Ilana Glazer must not believe in vacations because the Comedy Central darling is already off to her next gig. Glazer ended her fifth and final season on the massively popular comedy series on Thursday. She will now star in her own horror movie, False Positive. How will her unique sense of millennial humor and strong visual gags translate to the horror genre?

Glazer also co-wrote the horror flick with John Lee, who directed some of Broad City. While no plot details have been revealed reports suggest it will be “a contemporary take on Rosemary’s Baby.” That 1968 Roman Polanski film about a satanic plot is touted as “darkly comic.”

The film will also star Zoolander writer Justin Theroux and Pierce Brosnan. Gretchen Mol, Zainab Jah, Sophia Bush, and Josh Hamilton will also appear in supporting roles. will also direct the film. Filming began on Monday.

Ilana Glazer stretches her horror legs with False Positive

The Rough Night star did give us a small preview into her vision of horror in a 2017 teaser for Broad City called Horror in the City. The teaser combined classic creepy music and horror film elements with the show’s signature absurd comedic twists.

She’s not the only comedian transitioning to horror. Jordan Peele’s Us is grossed over $128 million through its first two weekends. John Krasinski co-wrote and directed the hit horror flick A Quiet Place in 2018. Glazer will similarly try to bring a funny sensibility to the genre.

Comedic elements are often intertwined in horror movies. Shaun of the Dead or even Evil Dead II are classic examples. Time will tell if Glazer plays False Positive as a straight horror movie or if she relieves the tension with punchlines.

Principal photography is due to get underway this spring on A24’s FALSE POSITIVE, desilcribed as a contemporary take on Rosemary’s Baby, written and starring Ilana Glazer. pic.twitter.com/N7U59j285o

— Production Weekly (@prodweek) February 12, 2019

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WWE, Vince McMahon get the John Oliver treatment on Last Week Tonight (UPDATE)

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 12:56
Update: WWE responds to John Oliver

The WWE has responded since John Oliver tore the corporation, and its CEO Vince McMahon, to shred on Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight. In a statement to Deadline, WWE reps wrote, “John Oliver is clearly a clever and humorous entertainer, however the subject matter covered in his WWE segment is no laughing matter. Prior to airing, WWE responded to his producers refuting every point in his one-sided presentation.” The statement continued, “John Oliver simply ignored the facts. The health and wellness of our performers is the single most important aspect of our business, and we have a comprehensive, longstanding Talent Wellness program. We invite John Oliver to attend WrestleMania this Sunday to learn more about our company.”

John Oliver called out World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO Vince McMahon in a scathing episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. The British comic used his platform to call for better treatment of professional wrestlers. He devoted the Sunday episode of his show to an exposé of the billionaire’s treatment of the wrestlers and his apparent disregard for their welfare. A week out from Sunday’s upcoming WrestleMania 35, the late night host covered a wide-ranging list of issues with McMahon.

Oliver’s biggest concern seemed to be the early death of many wrestlers and McMahon’s seeming lack of concern over their deaths. He showed clips of wrestlers from “Rowdy” Roddy Piper to Randy “Macho Man” Savage to Chyna and more. He also showed an older clip of McMahon exclaiming, “I would accept no responsibility whatsoever for their untimely deaths, none whatsoever.”

Oliver explained that McMahon improperly classifies wrestlers as independent contractors without benefits, instead of employees, and makes them sign contracts that release the WWE of responsibility in the case of injury or death. Ironically, stand-up comedians are also typically classified as independent contractors without access to benefits, perhaps leading to a further feeling of camaraderie between the two types of live entertainers. Perhaps it is another reason why Oliver is taking up the wrestlers’ cause.

WWE fans encouraged to shame Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 35

Wrestling is a sport beloved by countless comedians and one of the most lucrative sports in the country. Oliver clearly showed his true love of the comedic and theatrical performances by these over-the-top athletes who risk their bodies to provide entertainment to millions of fans—without receiving healthcare from the WWE. The HBO host even stated that the WWE has “lost the moral high ground to the fucking NFL” who at least takes some steps to care for its athletes.

Oliver leaned heavily on fans at the upcoming April 7 event to chant and create signs to convince, or at least shame, the powerful executive into providing employee classification and benefits to the wrestlers. He did not comment on the fact that Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che and Colin Jost will actually “wrestle” in the ring at the event. Will Jost and Che take up Oliver’s call to action? Will the comics also use their voice to support the wrestlers? We will find out on Sunday.

Vince McMahon and the WWE have not responded via social media at this time to Oliver’s show.

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Chris Rock jokes on Jussie Smollett: What the hell was he thinking?

Sun, 03/31/2019 - 15:00

Chris Rock is making headlines for his jokes at the 50th NAACP Image Awards Saturday Night. While black-ish’s Anthony Anderson hosted the awards show, Rock stole focus with his jokes about Jussie Smollett.

Smollett received a nomination this year for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on Empire. However, after recent news broke that Smollett allegedly reported a hate crime that never took place (charges have since been dropped, though the conditions of which are unclear), the actor decided not to attend the NAACP Image Awards.

TV One broadcasted the star-studded event and featured appearances from Issa Rae, Mike Epps, Jimmy O. Yang, Lena Waithe, Trevor Noah, and more. While there was a long list of presenters and nominees, Rock captured everyone’s attention with some comments.

Before presenting the award for Outstanding Comedy Series to ABC’s black-ish, Rock decided to make some jokes. The Tamborine comedian was apparently told not to do any Jussie Smollett jokes. “Yeah, I know, but what a waste of light skin,” he said. “Do you know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair—my career would be out of here. I would be running Hollywood. What the hell was he thinking? You are known as ‘Jessie’ for now on. You don’t even get the ‘u’ anymore. That ‘u’ was for respect. You ain’t getting no respect from me.”

black-ish star stands with Jussie Smollett

While Rock was talking, the camera panned over the audience and focused on Noah who was almost in tears due to laughing. When the cast of black-ish came to accept the award, Yara Shahidi quickly interjected, “I stand with Jussie,” before handing the mic to fellow black-ish star Marcus Scribner.

Smollett did not win his category, losing to Grey’s Anatomy’s Jessie Williams. Smollett has not publicly responded to the jokes.

You can watch Rock go off at the NAACP Image Awards below.

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SNL recap: Sandra Oh makes writing a cheque an Emmy-worthy performance

Sun, 03/31/2019 - 12:02

Sandra Oh stopped by SNL to host for her first time Saturday night. Oh became just the third Asian woman to host the show in its 44 seasons. While most of the time, Oh was confined to playing the straight woman, she got to step out and showcase herself in a couple of sketches. The Killing Eve star generally seemed a little nervous throughout the show but seemed to try her best every time the camera was on her. The biggest joke of the night was about the much-talked-about and very-much-unread-by-basically-anyone Mueller report. While some sketches failed hard, there were a couple that may be instant classics. Here’s the Laughspin report on which Saturday Night Live sketches you must watch.

SNL Cold Open

The game in this sketch works really well. The structure centers around each person saying the same thing only dumber. The William Barr lines are great, but the Donald Trump dialogue fall a little flat. An announcer says that the Trump lines are supposed to be tweets, but the lines do not sound like tweets, so that kind of spoiled it for us.

Sandra Oh SNL Monologue

This monologue is just all over the place. There isn’t a central theme, which seems to make Oh struggle. A lot of Oh’s punchlines don’t land and her timing is strange. About halfway through, Leslie Jones comes out to help, but by then it’s already a flop.

Discover Card

Warning: this sketch kind of gives away the plot twist to the movie Us. If you haven’t seen Jordan Peele’s newest film, you might want to save this sketch for later. If you have, it is a super funny sketch playing off the Discover Card ‘We treat you like you’d treat you’ campaign. Newcomer, Ego Nwodim, gives an amazing performance as both a Discover customer and her tethered.

Network Meeting

There is nothing memorable about this confusing Jussie Smollett sketch. Unless you are following this story very closely, some of these jokes will go over your head and make the sketch more confusing than it needs to be. There are a couple of good lines in this like when Smollett keeps referring to himself as the gay “insert black celebrity here,” but overall, this sketch doesn’t say anything new or interesting.

The Duel

This sketch is great up until the ending, which maybe could have used a little work. For fans of Jane Austen, this scene is a perfect heightening of classic literature tropes without being so specific that it would alienate an audience. Pete Davidson plays a character out of his usual wheelhouse in this, which is also great to see.

Future Self

This sketch would be funny if it wasn’t so long. Oh has to play the straight woman in so many of these sketches, so it is nice to see her playing a wacky character. Unfortunately, the sketch doesn’t heighten the situation each time she comes out, so the sketch drags.

Kremlin Meeting

This sketch should convince producers of the show to get an Asian cast member. SNL writer Bowen Yang does a good job stepping in to play Kim Jong-Un, but there is something strange about adding someone who is not a cast member to a scene. The first half of the sketch feels dangerous. Not in a push the envelope way, rather in a humanizing a dictator kind of way.

Cheques

This sketch is visually perfect. There is an opulence that drips from this sketch. It captures the drama of an old movie and sets it against the mundane perfectly. Everyone has seen a scene where someone dramatically writes a check. This sketch flips that on its head and focuses on the check instead of the act around it, which is hysterical. Easily a top sketch for the episode and possibly a top sketch of the season.

Weekend Update

This week’s Weekend Update is mostly just forgettable. There is nothing terrible about it, but there isn’t much that is great. Cecily Strong returns as Judge Jeanine Pirro. The impression is spot on, but this appearance of the character doesn’t add anything new to what we have seen from this impression before.

Electric Shoes

Electric Shoes feels like a classic SNL sketch. It may not go anywhere new, but a powerhouse performance from Kenan Thompson and a goofy song that will get stuck in your head uplift this sketch. The sketch goes on for a little long, but that feels correct thematically. This sketch is joyous and silly. Do not skip it.

Test Prep

This sketch is the right type of confusing. There are so many lines in this sketch which will make you want to rewind just to make sure you heard it correctly. The melodrama in this sketch is its biggest asset. It’s nice to see Oh able to play around with the character even if she has to start as the straight woman.

Louise’s Birthday

Some people might love this sketch, but there is something about it that feels both too ‘out there’ and toooverdonee. SNL loves to do a wacky character, and when it is Kate McKinnon it works. Still, something in this sketch is off. The character of Louise isn’t bad in itself, but the scene doesn’t mesh well and the end result is more confusing than it is funny.

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Late night round-up: The Tonight Show showcases James Veitch, Rachel Feinstein

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 16:13

Seth Meyers has a good excuse for not showcasing any stand-up comedians this week: Late Night with Seth Meyers has been on hiatus. Maybe Meyers used that vacation time to check out some indie comedy shows to find the next comic he wants to feature. Probably not, but maybe. It’s been two-and-a-half months since the SNL alum let a stand-up tell some jokes. What’s up with that?

It was a quiet week for stand-up on late night with only Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon showcasing stand-ups. Many popped by late night: Tracy Morgan, Amy Schumer, John Mulaney, and Pete Holmes, to name a few. But we love stand-ups most when they’re standing in front of a microphone and an expensive curtain—not on the couch.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Is it stand-up? Is it a TED Talk? With new technology, a lot of comedians are incorporating visual aids into their acts. James Veitch performed on The Tonight Show with a large screen wheeled out behind him. It’s certainly a bit flashier than reading emails from his phone. It is national television, after all. The British comic is the only funny person performing in front of a traditional late night curtain this week, with other shows either on hiatus or keeping comics on the couch.

The Tonight Show did something different on Monday night’s episode. In coordination with Samsung, Fallon shot the entire episode from a Samsung Galaxy SG10+. Rachel Feinstein, who did a set on Conan earlier this month, is shot performing at the famed Comedy Cellar, giving a more New York City texture than The Tonight Show’s iconic blue curtain.

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

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John Oliver stars in Dave Hill music video…whether he wants to or not

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 12:51

John Oliver popped up in a surprising place this week: the new music video from Dave Hill’s band, Valley Lodge. The band released a new video for their song Come Back to Bed on Thursday. Valley Lodge is a rock band that features Hill, Rob Pfeiffer, Phil Costello, and Eddie Eyeball. The band might best be known for their song Go, which is the intro song for Last Week Tonight.

Hill and Costello start the music video with a short sketch. The sketch starts in the Last Week Tonight offices as the two hatch a plan to trick Oliver into being in their new music video. After they capture footage of Oliver, the music video changes into trippy and animated footage of the band rocking out.

Even after the change to animation, the music video remains funny and goofy. The band members bust silly dance moves while animated aliens and skulls pop up behind them. A lot of the humor comes from their guitarist/vocalist, Hill.

The Kids in the Hall alum is a noted comedian when he isn’t jamming with the band. He hosts Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident and has authored two books, Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and Tasteful Nudes. Hill also plays in the band Painted Doll. Both Valley Lodge and Painted Doll have released music through Tee Pee Records.

Valley Lodge has four albums: Valley Lodge, Semester At Sea, Use Your Weapons, and Fog Machine, the last of which came out last year. Fog Machine features the track Come Back to Bed and can be purchased on iTunes.

It’s nice to see Oliver do a favor for a friend—even if he didn’t ‘know it.’ Watch close so you don’t miss the HBO late night host!

Watch the music video for Come Back to Bed below.

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What not to ask female comedians (and what you can ask instead)

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 13:45

Women in comedy get asked all kinds of questions in interviews, during blind dates, or even in an Uber. You might be surprised at how often these ladies get the same old unoriginal, annoying, or somewhat offensive questions from just about everyone they talk to. Much like how Hollywood actresses are tired of answering, “Who are you wearing?” on the red carpet, there are a couple of questions that women in comedy are tired of getting from their friends, families, journalists, and, especially, total strangers.

We decided to ask women in comedy—satirists, humorists, stand-ups, TV producers, and sketch writers—which age-old questions they’d be happy to do away with for good. They also give us ones they wish you’d ask instead.

This does not include comments or questions that could be deemed as sexual harassment, because everyone should know not to do that to anyone, regardless of their profession. “What’s your bra size?” is just not something you should ask a co-worker or stranger.

So if you want to start a conversation with a funny lady, get out a pen and paper.

DON’T ask us to tell you a joke. Maria Wojciechowski

Most comedians will tell you that this is a pet peeve of theirs, but according to Ana Bretón, a digital producer at Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, it’s important to realize that “people who get hired in the comedy world are not the ones who are ‘on’ or funny all the time.” And even though comedians of all genders get this one, women may feel more obligated to answer because we’re afraid that if we don’t, people will use it as “evidence” that women are less funny than men.

“If you say no, things get very awkward. If you say yes, things get very, awkward. There is truly no winner in this situation,” says comedian, ComedyWire editor, and Laughspin contributor, Maria Wojciechowski.

Carrie Wittmer, co-founder of The Belladonnas and co-author of New Erotica for Feminists, also explains, “I always refuse to respond to it. At this point, I just tell people to follow me on Twitter, and they never do.” Asking this is kind of like meeting a doctor and asking them to take a look at that weird mole or asking an accountant you just met to look at your taxes right then and there. If you wouldn’t do it to people with other professions, don’t do it to comedians.

DO ask us what story we’re dying to tell.

Editor and co-founder of Reductress, Sarah Pappalardo, notes this as one of her “dream” questions, and it’s easy to see why. It goes a little deeper than the typical request of a joke and starts a real conversation. Instead of demands for entertainment, this question requires a little more thought. You just might learn something about a person’s passions.

“I’d love people to ask me about the overlap between social justice issues and comedy, and science fiction and comedy because that’s what I’m into,” says stand-up and sketch comic Megan Sass.

DON’T ask how long we’ve been in comedy…if you’ve known us for years. Carrie Wittmer

“This is annoying because this is asked by [friends and acquaintance] who follow me on social media, have known me intimately for years,” says Wittmer. “It makes me feel like I need to be more aggressive about promoting myself, but there is a voice in my head that makes me feel guilty about it. I don’t think men in comedy have this problem.”

Sure, some dudes have had their fair share of flaky friends, but chances are they feel totally natural reminding people about their comedy shows without feeling like they’re being a nag. In fact, a study suggests that in general, more women are expected to provide reminders to their partners in order to get tasks done. Basically: people aren’t paying attention to what women say.

Of course, if you’ve just met a person, it’s perfectly fine to ask this question. But if you’ve known a person for years, chances are you’ve seen more than your fair share of Facebook invites to shows. Please pay attention.

DO ask what genre of comedy we do.

Contrary to some old school beliefs, “female comedian” isn’t a genre. So if you’re curious as to what to expect from a woman in comedy, you should definitely ask and she’ll be happy to tell you. Women can be goofy, or dark, or dry, or raunchy, or musical—basically, every kind of style that a (male) comedian can be. Imagine that! “In my ideal scenario, this branches off into a thoughtful discussion about my style, interests, my inspirations, and my goals,” adds Wittmer.

DON’T ask us about Louis CK…or any male comedian who is currently in the news for something terrible.

Trust us: We’ve been talking about these stories ad nauseam for years, even before the media caught wind of them. There are loads of secret-but-not-that-secret ‘women in comedy’ Facebook groups with endless threads on the topic. Perhaps it doesn’t need to be stated, but never, ever ask a woman if she’s been harassed or abused herself if she isn’t volunteering that information. That is extremely private and not there for your entertainment. “Who on Earth would ask that?” It happens. Trust us.

Jourdain Searles

Questions about #MeToo, the latest sexual harassment allegation, or the ever-present story about a male comedian ranting about how “women aren’t funny” are pretty much the first thing that gets asked— after someone demands that we tell them a joke. This is probably because people tend to see our gender before they see us as comedians, which is why people love to qualify us as “female comedians” or “comediennes” to separate us from the boys. Topics involving us being women are the first things that come into people’s heads.

Stand-up comedian Jourdain Searles shares that the first question she’s often asked is, “What do you think of the whole ‘Women aren’t funny’ thing?”

Wojciechowski probably has the best answer for this annoying question: “Of course I think I’m funny…Why else would I be doing this?”

DO ask us who our favorite comedians are.

Instead of focusing on the negative, this question focuses on the good parts of comedy. “It’s a chance to get to talk about up-and-comers I love and friends of mine who I think are on the verge of getting big. I also get to return the question, and we usually end up having a fun conversation about comedy,” says Wojciechowski.

DON’T explain comedy to us.

This is somewhat like a civilian demanding a joke, only kind of in reverse. Instead of us telling you a joke, you want to tell us how funny you are and, if we don’t agree, it’s probably because we just don’t understand comedy. “A lot of people think that because they can make their friends laugh, they can make an audience laugh,” adds Wojciechowski. “Comedy takes a lot of failing before you get good at it.”

Megan Sass

As with any other industry, women run into the problem of mansplaining all the time. If we talk about our jobs, there’s probably someone (usually a man) who wants to flex their muscles at us by telling us what a great big comedy brain he has—much bigger than our puny women brains.

According to Psychology Today, this “reinforces gender inequality” because it presumes a woman has lesser knowledge or intellectual ability due to her gender. It’s patronizing. It’s condescending. It’s sexist. If you think you’re ever falling into this trap, ask yourself, “Would I say this to a man?” If you wouldn’t, then maybe don’t. Or, think about it in the context of another profession: “Would I explain astrophysics to Neil deGrasse Tyson?” We can only hope your answer is still, “No.” So, why are you explaining comedy to a comedian?

Wojciechowski shares, “I had a Lyft driver once explain to me that comedy is ‘all about the releasing of tension,’ and then he provided the ‘perfect example’ by telling me a pun-based joke he saw on Reddit once. It was a nightmare.”

DO ask us about our creative process.

While prying into a comedian’s secrets may be a little much, stand-up comedian and Little Old Lady founder Ginny Hogan enjoys questions that “make me feel seen as a creator/writer rather than a hobbyist.” These questions are more open-ended like, “How do you brainstorm?” or, “Under what circumstances are you most productive?” Elizabeth Stamp, contributor at The Onion, concurs, saying she loves to talk about writing. “It would be fun to geek out about craft, rather than just talk about the business.”

Ginny Hogan DON’T ask us how much money we make.

We can tell you right now: not much. Especially since the gender pay gap extends to Hollywood. Money isn’t necessarily a measure for success in comedy and certainly not a way for you to measure how funny a particular performer is.

Hogan breaks it down by saying, “People also try to find out how much money I make doing stand up (almost zero) and writing (more than zero, but not much).” It’s also just rude to ask someone how much money they make in any other industry, so why are you asking comedians?

Even if a female writer does manage to catch a break, they only make up 33 percent of TV writer’s rooms. Yeah, money is a sore spot for us.

DO ask us how you can support our art.

Searles jokes about her dream questions, noting a few choices like, “Would you like to do a paid performance on my yacht?,” “Can I introduce you to Mo’Nique?,” “Can I pay your rent?” Asking about a comedian’s next show (and actually planning to come), reading their book, checking out their Twitter account, or reading their latest McSweeney’s piece means the world to a working artist. More importantly, those clicks, those likes, those follower counts give those women clout in a world where we have to justify our talent in comparison to men. The Onion’s Stamp adds that doing this changes the “entire conversation from, ‘What can you do for me?’ to, ‘How can we help each other?’”

Sass echoes this sentiment, saying, “I’m making comedy so people will watch it.

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SNL stars Michael Che, Colin Jost tag team for WrestleMania 35

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 13:55

Saturday Night Live stars Michael Che and Colin Jost are moving from behind the Weekend Update desk into the WrestleMania ring.

At the WWE Monday Night Raw event in Boston, the two comics appeared via satellite video for a five-minute chat with Braun Strowman. The wrestler challenged the pair to a match at the upcoming event in April and the comics—possibly fearing for their lives?!— promised they would join him in the ring. Che warned Jost: “There’s a chance something bad will happen to you.”

WWE host Alexa Bliss scolded Strowman for taunting the two comics. She said, “I can’t sacrifice two talented funny comedians just for your own amusement and bloodlust.” Then she changed her mind, “I’m just kidding! I can totally make that happen! Ladies and gentlemen, it is official! Michael Che and Colin Jost are in the André the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania.”

The flagship WWE Pay-Per-View event in reference is WrestleMania 35. The pay-per-view event will be held on April 7 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The scrawny-by-comparison comedians have less than two weeks to shape up before they compete with Strowman who is approaching 400 lbs.

Earlier this month, the SNL cast members appeared as correspondents in skits at the Monday Night Raw in Philadelphia. In one scene, Strowman encountered Jost in the hallway and lifted him off the ground in a chokehold. The hulking wrestler then said ominously that he would see the comics at WrestleMania 35.

WrestleMania 35 hardly the first comedy-wrestling crossover

Comedy and wrestling have been long-time pals. Jon Stewart has previously hosted WWE SummerSlam and Marc Maron stars in the series GLOW about women’s wrestling. Late wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was a fixture at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles and hosted a podcast called Piper’s Pit with comic Earl Skakel. And no one can forget the epic feud (or ‘feud’) between Andy Kaufman and Jerry Lawler on Late Night with David Letterman.

Sure, many comedians are wrestling nerds and crossover into that arena, but some wrestlers have crossed over into the comedy world as their hard-hitting careers approach the end. Mick Foley has famously transitioned into storytelling stand-up comedy, touring nationwide. Other wrestlers like Jake “The Snake” Roberts will take their humorous wrestling tales to comedy clubs around the country.

 

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Comedy Central gives Jordan Klepper another chance with new docuseries

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 12:58

Jordan Klepper is coming back to Comedy Central with a brand new docuseries that takes him out from behind the news desk and onto the front lines. His new show, Klepper, debuts May 9 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT and Comedy Central just released the first trailer.

Klepper previously hosted Comedy Central’s The Opposition which featured Klepper playing an alt-right talking head in the style of The Colbert Report. Comedy Central canceled the show last year after just one season. In Klepper’s new show, he is leaving the character and the format behind.

Klepper trailer preps Comedy Central docuseries

In the new docu-series, the former Daily Show correspondent explores the issues facing the nation by embedding himself with the people who are taking action. The series promises some explosive situations including Klepper getting body-slammed by a vet dealing with PTSD, traversing a river with environmental protesters, and even getting arrested.

“When Jordan said he wanted to travel the country to explore our most pressing issues and talk to the people on the front lines fighting for change, little did we know that he would capsize a boat in the Bayou or get arrested in Georgia,” said Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, Executive Vice Presidents and Co-Heads of Talent and Development for Comedy Central. “But we think that his super funny, poignant, and provocative portrait of America, was (almost) worth the bodily harm and criminal record.”

Klepper says of the show, “Riding shotgun with America’s resistors, contrarians and dreamers, I saw firsthand our country’s fighting spirit. Affecting real change, left or right, is way harder than clicking the donate button. That being said, donate if you can. Poster board doesn’t grow on trees.”

In the series, Klepper will also investigate the undocumented students in college, the burgeoning decriminalized marijuana industry, America’s new space race, and more in the eight-episode season.

You can watch the full trailer for Klepper here.

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Tiffany Haddish, Netflix highlighting diverse comedians in stand-up showcase series

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 16:08

Tiffany Haddish is partnering with Netflix for a new curated stand-up series. The series, called Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready, will feature six half-hour sets from up-and-coming stand-up comedians.

Haddish hand-picked the group of comics: Chaunté Wayans, April Macie, Tracey Ashley, Aida Rodriguez, Flame Monroe, and Marlo Williams. After each set, Haddish shares stories about how she met the comedian in the scene or while working in TV. She’ll also evaluate why she knows “they ready.”

“I am introducing six of my favorite comedians—in my eyes, they are super stars,” Haddish said. “The epitome of They Ready.” The line-up for the show prominently showcases women of color, something that Netflix’s comedy division has lacked in the past. Of over 40 English-speaking Netflix comedy specials last year, only six came from women—the one woman of color was Ali Wong.

The show’s title pays homage to her signature catchphrase, “She ready!” which was also the name of her 2017 Showtime comedy special.

Haddish is joined by Push It Productions and executive producers Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz on the showcase series. They Ready will be the second show Haddish will produce for Netflix. She is also an executive producer on and star of Tuca and Bertie, which is set to premiere in May.

Netflix adds Tiffany Haddish series to comedy offerings

Netflix has become the king of stand-up comedy specials paying top comics millions of dollars (or just hundreds of thousands of dollars if you’re Mo’Nique) for hourlong sets. Not only did the streaming giant jump over HBO in the comedy specials game, but they also surpassed Comedy Central in producing stand-up showcases that break younger and lesser-known comedians. They Ready joins The Standups, The Comedy Lineup, and The Degenerates in highlighting shorter sets.

They Ready does not have a release date yet, but Haddish will tape the specials at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center on March 26 and 27.

Haddish currently stars in TBS’s The Last O.G. alongside Tracy Morgan. She will also appear in upcoming films such as The Kitchen, The Secret Life of Pets 2, and Limited Partners.

While Haddish has not posted about the series on her social media, Monroe posted a video of Haddish as well as a flyer for the comedy special tapping in Los Angeles.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

@tiffanyhaddish

A post shared by Flame Monroe (@monroeflame) on Mar 25, 2019 at 11:38pm PDT

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Adam Sandler feeling 100% fresh; will tour 18 cities in one month

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 15:08

Adam Sandler made waves last year with his first stand-up release since his 2004 studio album Shhh…Don’t Tell. 100% Fresh, which Laughspin named the best stand-up special of 2018, will now go on a North American tour. The 100% Fresher tour kicks off May 31 in Minneapolis.

100% Fresh hit Netflix in October and instantly caught people’s attention with Sandler’s whacky non-sequiturs and goofy songs. Phone, Wallet, Keys, a hip hop song about the essentials of everyday travel, garnered over 3.1 million views on YouTube. Other songs, like his Chris Farley tribute, struck an emotional chord in viewers old enough to remember the late comedian’s tragic passing.

The 100% Fresher tour comes just after Warner Bros. Records released a CD version of the special on March 22 of this year.

Adam Sandler plans one-month 18-city tour

Sandler’s return to stand-up has been mostly well-received. The Saturday Night Live alum has been popping up on comedy club stages more and more since starring in Funny People as a former stand-up who transitions into a massive movie career before getting the urge to return to his roots. Sound familiar?

He’s clearly going hard for this tour, planning to hit 18 North American cities in just one month. Each city is a one-night-only engagement and looking at the schedule, his jet or tour bus or teleporter is going to get a lot of work this June.

The Grown Ups star is in the midst of a massive multi-picture deal with Netflix, one of the earlier stars tapped by the streaming giant for original content. Sandler’s theatrical films have grossed over $3 billion worldwide. His next film, Murder Mystery, comes out on Netflix on June 14. He stars opposite Jennifer Anniston and Luke Evans.

Tickets go on sale to the general public starting March 29 at 10:00 a.m. local time at LiveNation.com. Citi cardmembers can purchase pre-sale tickets starting March 27 at 10:00 a.m. local time through 10:00 p.m. on March 28 through Citi’s Private Pass program.

Adam Sandler’s 100% Fresher Tour

May 31 – Treasure Island Amphitheatre in Minneapolis, MN

June 1 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL

June 2 – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center in Noblesville, IN

June 4 – Silverstein Eye Center Arena in Kansas City, MO

June 5 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis, MO

June 6 – Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI

June 7 – Budweiser Stage in Toronto, Ontario

June 8 – Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec

June 15 – The Chelsea Theatre at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, NV

June 19 – Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA

June 20 – Northwell Health at Jones Beach in Wantagh, NY

June 21 – Mark G Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ

June 22 – GIANT Center in Hershey, PA

June 23 – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY

June 25 – Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT

June 26 – PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ

June 28 – Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park in Atlanta, GA

June 29 – Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL

June 30 – St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, FL

* not a Live Nation date

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