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John Mulaney’s SNL throwback photos give behind-the-scenes glimpse

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 10:00

John Mulaney got sentimental leading up to his SNL return Saturday night. Last week, Mulaney started posting pictures from his old Saturday Night Live days—and it is as charming as you would think it would be.

SNL ratings rise with John Mulaney as host

The Big Mouth star wrote for SNL for six seasons after auditioning for the show in 2008. Mulaney hosted the show for the first time last year and having him back on the show so quickly turned out to be a smart move. Saturday night’s episode delivered the second-highest ratings of the season, tying the Halsey-hosted episode from February. In fact, SNL was the #1 telecast of the night on broadcast television.

The ratings might have come from Mulaney’s promotion in the week leading up to the show. He posted photos that showed snippets of his time writing for SNL. In one photo, he slumps at his desk during a late night writing session with Andy Samberg.

Writing with Andy Samberg@nbcsnl 2011 pic.twitter.com/yP0FHAKXrs

— John Mulaney (@mulaney) March 2, 2019

Mulaney is one of only three former SNL writers who came back to host. The other two are Larry David and Conan O’Brien. Mulaney shared a photo with David backstage for the 40th anniversary of the show.

Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary rehearsal with @JerrySeinfeld & Larry David. JERRY: “Larry, you goin to the after party?”
LARRY: “No.”
February 15, 2015 pic.twitter.com/ZOSEV3i1M4

— John Mulaney (@mulaney) March 1, 2019

The morning after Mulaney’s second SNL hosting gig, he tweeted a photo explaining the origins of that wild toilet bowl commercial. Apparently, Mulaney’s been trying to get Lorne’s approval for the sketch since 2009.

Simon Rich and Marika Sawyer and I wrote together every week for four years. In 2009 we wrote “Toilet Death Ejector.” It was cut twice. Here’s us in 2019 (with a chimp puppet) We wrote Whats That Name and brought it back tonight too. They’re the greatest friends and writers ever. pic.twitter.com/KzQFRst1Cy

— John Mulaney (@mulaney) March 3, 2019

John Mulaney hypes hosting gig with throwback photos

Mulaney also shared photos of when he was pulled out of the writers’ room to be used as a stock photo model for sketches—even if his face didn’t make it into the show.

“Rowboat” was a band mentioned once in one sketch but they needed a photo. Me @ColinJost @ShutupLutz and Kenan Thompson obliged. 2008. pic.twitter.com/CPMELiAOcx

— John Mulaney (@mulaney) March 2, 2019

One commenter revealed that Will Forte replaced him in the final version of a ‘graduation’ shot.

this photo was taken for an SNL sketch that I don’t recall but it’s very possible I was used as a stand in to have someone else photoshopped over me. 2009-2011? pic.twitter.com/zLUMLPLNzj

— John Mulaney (@mulaney) March 1, 2019

Mulaney also retweeted an SNL video explaining one of the fan favorite sketches from when he hosted in 2018.

Presenting…

Saturday Night Live recap: John Mulaney should always host SNL

Sun, 03/03/2019 - 12:47

John Mulaney is great and this week he made Saturday Night Live great. After spending six seasons as a writer, Mulaney is very at home at Studio 8H. He was wonderful when he hosted SNL last April and the Big Mouth star is always a treat when he pops back in (for example, to review The Mule). Mulaney really elevates SNL whenever he comes back and, while there were some misfires on this week’s show, his energy and commitment set the gold standard for hosts. As always, Laughspin is breaking down what you need to watch (and what you can skip) with our SNL Star scale!

SNL Cold Open

This week’s cold open was simply too long. Clocking in at almost 10 minutes, this sketch feels even longer than that. While it has its moments, the cold open is more star-studded than it is funny. Ben Stiller and Bill Hader appear as Michael Cohen and Jim Jordan, respectively, during last week’s Michael Cohen testimony. Kate McKinnon is also funny in this sketch, but she comes in so late that you will already be asking yourself, “When is this thing over?”

John Mulaney SNL Monologue

Much like the cold open, Mulaney’s monologue was lengthy for SNL—but it was great. Mulaney did a tight eight minutes of stand-up that will leave you thinking, “Why doesn’t a comedian always host this show?” Honestly, Mulaney should host every week. He is such a great stand-up, we named his 2018 Netflix special, Kid Gorgeous, the sixth-best special of the year!

Chad Horror Movie

Chad is one of those characters that the SNL writers use often. If someone isn’t falling in love with him, he’s learning a new truth about himself. The character has never had much to say by design, making it important that the other person in the scene is funny and engaging. This sketch is just ok, but Mulaney’s knock-off Scream character makes this sketch. Without him, this Chad sketch would be less than okay. Even with him, it’s average in the myriad of Chad sketches.

What’s That Name?

Hader’s return sees him reprise his role in this iconic game show. SNL does a lot of game show bits, but What’s That Name? is one of the more remembered ones of the past decade. A lot of that has to do with Hader. The feminist take and end of this sketch make it better than the original What’s That Name? from five years ago.

Bodega Toilet

This is the spiritual sequel to Diner Lobster. However, this one doesn’t capture the magic of the original Diner Lobster sketch. Part of the reason this sketch doesn’t work as well as the first one is, while every diner has lobster on the menu, New Yorkers know that bodegas don’t have bathrooms. If you ask for a bathroom at a bodega, they will usually say they don’t have one—even if you watch someone leave the bathroom as you’re told this. Also, the music is not as good as the original. While the sketch is funny, it doesn’t do a good enough job as a follow up to hold it’s six-minute run time.

Legal Shark Tank

Legal Shark Tank is actually a great pitch for a real show. However, this sketch suffers from some issues. One is an interstitial of Celino & Barnes. Not only is the reference super New York-specific, but it doesn’t really fit into the rest of the sketch. The other issue with this sketch is the editing. No one watches SNL for the editing and, usually, it isn’t something you would even think about. However, the editing of this sketch is distracting. The best editing goes unnoticed, but when it is bad, it really detracts from the sketch.

Toilet Death Ejector

It is surprising that they hired real elderly people for this sketch, but the rest is a typical SNL parody commercial. The physical comedy really makes this one hilarious. It is one of two toilet sketches in this episode and, while the other one will get more attention, this is the funnier one.

SNL Weekend Update

The best part of this week’s shorter-than-usual Weekend Update is McKinnon and Aidy Bryant’s strange meat joke. Their characters own a farm. When they come out with a box of meat, everyone breaks. It can be annoying when cast members break too much, but seeing McKinnon break feels like a treat.

To Have and Have Not

This reviewer has seen the film To Have and Have Not, but it is unclear if this sketch is funny without seeing the original film. The only real joke here is the Lauren Bacall character, played by McKinnon, doesn’t know how to whistle. It is hysterical, but you might need to have seen the original scene to get the context of this sketch. Especially since some parts are shot-for-shot.

Cha Cha Slide

This sketch is haunting. What does it mean? Are the greater social implications and commentary going unstated? What is happening in this sketch? You will find yourself asking all these questions, but more importantly, you will be laughing. There is so much going on in this final sketch of the night, but at its base level, it is Mulaney dancing at an all-black wedding. How could that not be hilarious?

The post Saturday Night Live recap: John Mulaney should always host SNL appeared first on LaughSpin.

Late night round-up: Mo Welch, Colin Quinn

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 19:34

Not a lot of stand-up on the late night shows this week. Mo Welch made a solid late night stand-up debut on Conan where she reminds everyone how weird it is to be from Normal, Illinois. Certainly worth a watch. Colin Quinn popped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week. Quinn did not do any stand-up, but he did give us a taste of his new one-man show Red State Blue State. From a couch, he gives some examples of how this country got so polarized. We tossed it into our round-up this week so you had a little more to watch while figuring out an excuse to not go out this weekend.

And, hey, if this wasn’t enough for you, go check out our other late night round-ups.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Late Night with Seth Meyers Late Show with Stephen Colbert Late Late Show with James Corden Jimmy Kimmel Live! Conan

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Bill Maher PETA video attacks Canada Goose-wearing “hipster douches”

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 18:56

Bill Maher has a new rule: Don’t be that person wearing Canada Goose. In a special New Rules segment for PETA, Maher calls out “hipster douches” and “hipsterazzis” who insist on wearing jackets sporting the fur and feathers of tortured coyotes and geese.

“New rule: No more douches. I mean the hipster douches who piss away $1,000 on a Canada Goose parka and the hipsterazzi who max out their credit cards to look like them,” Maher states.

The HBO host informs viewers that, in order to make the fur-lined hoods, trappers crush and mangle coyotes in steel traps that are so painful and indiscriminate that they’re banned in more than 85 countries. Maher says of the jackets, “But this shitty outfit isn’t content to kill coyotes. It stuffs its jackets with the down feathers of geese it also murders. Referencing a disturbing video PETA says was shot at a Canada Goose down supplier, Maher says, “They’re grabbed by the neck, stepped on, and crammed into crates so crowded they make clown cars look like Cadillacs.”

“Don’t wear Canada Goose, “ Maher prompts. “Only a douche does that.”

Bill Maher continues tango with controversies

Maher’s video is part of a larger PETA campaign to inform consumers about Canada Goose. This isn’t the first time that the Real Time host has called out injustice. From golden retrievers being bred to develop muscular dystrophy to the deer being hunted at his alma mater, Cornell University, Maher rarely shies away from speaking out.

Though Maher tells his audience not to be a douche, the Religulous star is frequently at the center of controversy himself. People on both sides of the political aisle have taken offense at things said on the perennially Emmy-nominated talk show. Liberals have not appreciated his attack on social justice warriors and conservatives still supporting President Donald Trump do not take kindly to his constant criticisms of the current administration.

Canada Goose vs. PETA battle continues

Canada Goose has stated it doesn’t believe trapping is inherently cruel. “We believe all animals are entitled to humane treatment in life and death, and we are deeply committed to the ethical sourcing and responsible use of all animal materials in our products,” reads a statement on the company website.

PETA has been campaigning against Canada Goose and other wild animal exploitation. The company states, “We do not condone any willful mistreatment, neglect or acts that maliciously cause animals undue suffering.” Canada Goose says it recognizes the option to wear fur as a “personal choice” and that they respect that.

Maher’s video sheds light on the unlawful mistreatment of animals for vanity purposes. He ends the segment saying, “Moral of the story: don’t be that person who wears the fur and feathers of tortured animals. You won’t look cool—you’ll look cold.”

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John Mulaney is really bad at SNL auditions in promo video

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 17:33

John Mulaney returns to Saturday Night Live this weekend to host for a second time. On Wednesday, the show released a promo video in which the Kid Gorgeous comedian reveals that he auditioned to appear on the Saturday night sketch show 44 times. This may be an exaggeration.

Viewers are treated to a compilation of auditions spanning from the Not Ready For Prime Time Players days to a 2004 trial of celebrity impressions. In his first ‘audition’, the Big Mouth star states, “This is my first, and I assume, only audition,” before rattling off an awful mix of celebrity impressions in an attempt to impress Lorne Michaels.

The SNL promo goes on to feature impressions of John Travolta in Lord of the Rings, Barbra Streisand doing Jaws, and an original bit, The Brunch Club.

Kenan Thompson: John Mulaney is ageless.

SNL cast members Cecily Strong and Kenan Thompson try to help Mulaney with his auditions but to no avail. Thompson says of the comedian’s numerous auditions over the span of several decades, “He never seems to age. I mean, he’s either, like, a fresh 31 or a stale 76.”

In the end, Mulaney says that eventually, Michaels pulled him aside. “We don’t need whatever it is you are.”

Having hosted once before in 2018, Mulaney was originally hired as a writer back in 2008. Mulaney says of this week’s show, “I think if I host well for a second time, I’m gonna get another audition.”

John Mulaney a busy star after SNL

Mulaney is a busy guy these days. The Emmy Award-winning writer and prolific stand-up comedian made the Laughspin top 20 stand-up specials list with his Netflix special Kid Gorgeous. He and friend Nick Kroll wrote and starred in a hit Broadway play Oh, Hello—now available on Netflix—and the two created a sex education sensation with their animated series Big Mouth, also on Netflix. After starring in the Oscar-winning Marvel movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Mulaney still has time to go on tour with/keep an eye on SNL’s Pete Davidson.

Saturday Night Live returns March 2 with musical guest singer/songwriter Thomas Rhett.

The post John Mulaney is really bad at SNL auditions in promo video appeared first on LaughSpin.

Muslim-American comedian sues neo-Nazi site for over $1 million

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 16:09

SiriusXM host and Muslim-American comedian Dean Obeidallah is close to winning his libel lawsuit against neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer and its founder, Andrew Anglin…but mostly because the neo-Nazi didn’t show up last year. Obeidallah has yet to see any money from the suit. Last week, his attorneys applied for a default judgment in an Ohio federal court for $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages from the neo-Nazi siterunner.

The Daily Stormer claims comedian responsible for Manchester bombing

Obeidallah alleged that Anglin and his fellow white supremacist and neo-Nazi associates, under his Ohio-based label Moonbase Holdings, LLC, had launched a smear campaign against him due to his identity as a Muslim-American. Anglin and his team of neo-Nazi writers claimed repeatedly on social media and The Daily Stormer that Obeidallah was a “terrorist.”

In particular, they named Obeidallah as the mastermind behind the tragic bombing at Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017. Neo-Nazi “activists” falsified tweets and other reports in articles about the bombing, faked to look as though the radio host was taking responsibility for the tragedy. Attempts to serve Anglin with the suit failed, and Obeidallah won by default.

Muslim-American comedian uses platform to combat ignorance

The New York-based stand-up, a former lawyer and current CNN Opinion and Daily Beast columnist, was the first Muslim-American to host a national radio show. He has worked with and interviewed comedy and TV greats from Lewis Black and David Cross to Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow. Obeidallah frequently uses his platform to champion Muslim-Americans and Arab-Americans in comedy. He produced The Muslim Funny Fest, stand-up comedy festival for Muslim-Americans in 2017. He also co-produced and co-directed The Muslims Are Coming!, a documentary that examined prejudice and ignorance about Islam.

It’s because of this history, Obeidallah believes, that neo-Nazi extremists targeted him. In his court filing last week, he says, “The emotional harm and anguish that I suffered as a result of the [article] was especially damaging because it undermined the dedication that I have shown to improving the image of Muslims and Arab-Americans in American culture.”

Though Obeidallah is Anglin’s most public opponent, he isn’t the white supremacist’s only one. Anglin is embroiled in two other legal battles with people who say he and other neo-Nazi extremists targeted them with racist and anti-Semitic threats and doxxing campaigns.

Obeidallah, who’s represented by Muslim Advocates, will find out about the fate of his filing in a few weeks.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine renewed at NBC

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 12:11

NBC seems happy with their decision to pick up Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The network renewed the popular cop sitcom for a seventh season on Wednesday. Season 7 will be Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s second season at NBC.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine aired five seasons at Fox before the network curiously canceled the cult comedy led by Andy Samberg, Melissa Fumero, and Stephanie Beatriz. Fox cited low ratings, but fans lost their minds on social media, enough so that just one day later NBC flew in to save the day.

NBC gambles—and wins—with Brooklyn Nine-Nine

The series has brought in solid ratings among adults 18-49, that crucial demographic that makes or breaks the fate of most TV shows. The award-winning comedy averaged 3.9 million viewers, an increase from its numbers at Fox last year. That probably explains why NBC quickly added five more episodes to its original 13-episode order.

“It’s been one of our great joys as a network to give Brooklyn Nine-Nine a second life,” said Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Co-Presidents of Scripted Programming at NBC Entertainment. “Cheers to Dan Goor, Mike Schur, [executive prodcuers] Luke Del Tredici and David Miner, and our amazing cast and crew who each week turn New York’s finest into New York’s funniest.”

In true #Brooklyn99 fashion, we waited 9 seconds to tell them the good news.

Alex Jones on Joe Rogan podcast: “I’m kind of retarded.”

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 11:13

Joe Rogan invited Alex Jones back onto his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, for the 1255th episode—and it got weird. The nearly five-hour podcast live streamed on YouTube and currently has over 1 million views. Clips of the podcast appeared all over social media in real time and people are raising their eyes at the content.

The InfoWars host returned to the podcast after his first appearance back in February of 2017. “We decided to do another podcast. We cleared the air on the phone and decided to clear it more on a podcast,” Rogan stated at the top of the show.

He told Jones on the podcast, “I told you a long time ago that I would have you back on and, in the interest of being completely honest, I was hesitant to do it. Not because I didn’t want to talk to you, but just because the amount of bullshit that I get from people who get angry that you and I are friends.” He continued, “You and I have always had a good time together…our only problems are when you are talking about me or if I am talking about you, not about when we are talking to each other. It’s the distance that has been the problem.”

Alex Jones finally admits Sandy Hook was real

The episode started with the two discussing Jones’s very controversial take on the school shooting at Sandy Hook and other mass shootings. Jones tried to distance himself from the perception that he was “the Sandy Hook guy,” even though he is currently being sued by the victims’ families. He even said to Rogan he now believes that “Sandy Hook was real.”

After talking about how conspiracies and schizophrenia are linked, Jones distanced himself from his conspiracy theorist reputation. “I have my own mild psychosis,” said the conservative talk show host. Jones credits his distancing himself from other theorists by being on the receiving end of theories, including claims that people think he’s Bill Hicks in disguise. He later called himself “kind of retarded.” A clip of this made it to Twitter and was quickly spread and reposted numerous times.

the soundbite to last generations

Alex Jones: “look here’s the thing, I’m gonna be honest with you, I’m kind of retarded” pic.twitter.com/VLHVB9jII3

— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 27, 2019

Joe Rogan Experience episode pushes bizarre conspiracy theories

While Jones originally walked back on his identity as a conspiracy theorist, later in the podcast, he brought up some wild theories of his own. Jones, who is banned from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms, told Rogan all about how the USA government secretly runs Mexico as a lab.

This just got pretty racist: Alex Jones is on the Joe Rogan show and just casually claimed (Rogan just enjoying himself) that the government runs Mexico like a lab because Native Americans “genetically” go into groupthink pretty fast and therefore are easier to “mind control” pic.twitter.com/e0W5rkUlel

— cristina lópez g. (@crislopezg) February 27, 2019

It is not only what Jones said that came off as unhinged. It is also the way he said it at times. He becomes emotional in several parts of the stream and almost cried over children he had in a distant past life starving to death. (We told you it got weird.)

Alex Jones getting emotional about his kids starving to death in a past life pic.twitter.com/ojxi8htXgB

— Mark Readings (@MarkReadings) February 28, 2019

In another clip, he starts screaming at Eddie Bravo about late-term abortions and won’t let Bravo tell him that his take is just another conspiracy theory. Live viewers clipped out these bizarre moments and quickly posted on social media. Both Alex Jones and Joe Rogan trended on Twitter for hours.

IM CRYINGGGG LMFAOOOOOOOO!!!!BRO THIS IS THE BEST JOE ROGAN PODCAST YET! ALEX JONES IS HILARIOUS!!! pic.twitter.com/ovuafsrJEc

— ||

Final Brody Stevens podcast will ‘push positivity’ in live stream today

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 14:40

All Things Comedy is streaming one last episode of the highly celebrated Brody Stevens Podcast Festival of Friendship following the comedian’s passing last week. The broadcast will feature a special rotating panel of comedy friends sharing stories.

Previous guests on Festival Of Friendship include Duncan Trussell, Jeffrey Baldinger, and sports legend Alan Jaeger. The podcast was famous for Brody Stevens candidly discussing depression but also baseball, apple cider vinegar and everything in between.

One of the best things about comedy is its ability to celebrate life, stress, friendship, and unity through shared passions and discussions. Stevens and his Festival Of Friendship were a shining example of this. It is a podcast that celebrated the good, the bad, and the ugly in life through Stevens’s unique comedic lens. Each episode was a journey in and of itself shared with Stevens and his guests. With his death, the podcast ends but the final episode will stream live today.

Stevens was a beloved figure of the LA comedy scene. Court McCown and Eric Oligny will be among the guest list. In his tweet, Oligny pledged that Stevens’ closest friends would be there “pushing positivity” in true Brody Stevens style. He also promised one last round of the popular Baseball card game that was a staple of Festival of Friendship.

Tune in between 2:00-4:00 p.m. PST today to the All Things Comedy Facebook Page to witness the last bit of magic for yourself.

We are celebrating the great Brody Stevens life with the final ‘Festival of Friendship’ live on the ATC Facebook page Wednesday 2pm (PT) @allthingscomedy with all of his closest pals pushing positivity & yes there will be a final Baseball Catd Game. pic.twitter.com/H43UfofXIE

— Eric Oligny (@EricOligny) February 25, 2019

 

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Daniel Sloss: People that get offended by jokes don’t have any friends

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 13:18

Daniel Sloss looks like the water boy at a tiki torch rally. You’d never pit the Scottish comedian for a male ally in the war against toxic masculinity just by looking at him, but he’s made it the focus of his new show, Daniel Sloss: X. Sloss, who has made waves in the States with his two-part debut Netflix special Live Shows, frequently admits that his opinions are works in progress and that he combats his ignorance through the novel act of ‘reading.’ One of these researched opinions is that people who were bullied a lot growing up were improperly trained to negatively react to jokes. Through friendship, the Roast Battle champ learned how to take a joke from people who love him.

Laughspin’s Billy Procida sat down with Sloss for an episode of The Manwhore Podcast shortly before running his new show—now touring worldwide—at the SoHo Playhouse in New York City. The two discussed today’s popular roast battle culture and why scientists were tickling lab rats. In the full episode—available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other major podcast apps—the two comedians went on to discuss toxic masculinity, liberalism, and how he still believes in true love.

If you get the opportunity to see Daniel Sloss: X live, I cannot recommend it enough. X will unfairly be called ‘the male Nanette.’ But X is much more than that. It’s a man celebrating manhood while also demanding that men do better. It is absolutely brilliant and hysterical and could be the comedy special everyone is talking about when it inevitably hits streaming platforms.

The following has been edited for content and clarity. To hear the rest of the conversation, listen to Ep. 255 of The Manwhore Podcast at the 28:55 mark.

I forgot if it was Dark or Jigsaw where you talked about having supportive parents and I thought, “How dare he?”

Yea, my parents are disgustingly fucking supportive.

You started crazy young, no?

Me and my dad will argue whether it’s 16 or 17. I’ll say 17; he’ll say 16. I did do a gig when I was 16, but I don’t count it as a gig because it was 11 or 12 people and it was part of a comedy course thing. I don’t agree that that was a comedy show. Whereas the first one I did when I was 17 was at The Stand comedy club in Edinburgh, which is a real comedy club, so that’s where my heart lies. And at this point, I think regardless of if I started at 16 or 17, that my career has been fairly fucking impressive. It no longer matters which age I started at.

Yeah. I saw your show Daniel Sloss: X with a comedy buddy. We heard ’17’ and thought, “This motherfucker.” Do you get a little bit of that from fellow comedians when they find out?

I did a lot when I was younger. It was that kind of jealousy I find you get amongst comedians a lot of the time. It’s my favorite type of jealousy—I do it all the time. If somebody ever comes up with a joke that I think is genius, I’ll go, “Oh, fuck you for coming up with that!” There was a lot of that friendly sort of banter from older comics. “Fuck you for starting so young. I wish I had.”

It’s a way of saying, “You’re incredible for how young you are.”

It was always complimentary. And look: I enjoy ribbing, man. I love fucking making fun of people and being made fun of. I love that sort of shit. So I never took any of the insults fucking personally.

So you must dig the roast battle culture that’s been growing over the years?

I am the only undefeated roaster from the UK TV series. There’s only been three seasons now. In the first season, I beat Desirée Burch. In this last season, I beat Phil Wang. Undefeated. It’s the one fucking thing where I went to my agent and said, “Get me on that fucking show.”

I’m not good at panel shows because I enjoy watching panel shows so I just laugh when I’m there. I’m not political. I’m not a voice on politics, so I don’t respect my own opinion on politics. So I wouldn’t offer it out there for people to hear. I think it’s unnecessary information for people to have if they knew my political affiliations seeing as they’re grounded in almost nothing. So, panel shows I’m just not that good on. And these other shows that you get in the UK where they want you to come on and be a personality. I’m not good at those. I’m a comedian. I don’t want to be known for, “Let’s hear his thoughts on anything.” No. I’m a fucking comedian.

Whereas with Roast Battle, that is me to a fucking T. I’m a big fan of horrific insults, really trying your hardest to upset your friends with jokes is absolutely what I was put on this planet to do.

Here is one of my many, many shit opinions that aren’t grounded in any evidence, but it’s an opinion-in-progress sort of thing. People that get offended by jokes don’t have any friends. I believe that if you get offended by comedy, it’s because you didn’t have friends growing up. Which is sad, and I understand that, but part of comraderie—especially male comraderie—is just insults all the fucking time. And that does come from toxic masculinity, but for me, I don’t think it’s a dangerous form of toxic masculinity. If everyone knows it’s a joke, if everyone knows it’s done as banter—and we do. Men aren’t as fucking dumb as we claim they are. You can see when somebody takes a joke badly as a man. “Oh, you took that a little bit personally.” Me and my friends, we know we have some friends more sensitive than other friends. So we’ll take the fucking pedal off because they can’t give as good as they get it sort of thing.

I love verbally abusing in text all my fucking friends. It keeps you grounded and it’s a great practice for joke writing as well. I just think, if you didn’t have any friends growing up, you didn’t get insulted. You never understood that insults didn’t have to be personal and cruel. They could be personal and cruel, but the intent to hurt wasn’t behind it. People who have no friends, whenever they hear an insult, they’ve only heard it from bullies. So they always associate insults as bullying as opposed to, where I was raised with my family, insults are compliments. Insults are funny little things to sort of, not necessarily keep you in line, but everyone’s fair game.

Like in my family, I would never shout at my mom or I would never shout at my dad because they’re my parents. But the one bit that was allowed to transcend age was jokes and making fun of each other. As I said: it’s an opinion in progress.

And bullying does exist. And that’s the fucking problem with it. The thing I’ve always said—not something I’ve always said, it’s a scientific study I first heard on Shane Mauss’s podcast (which is great if you ever get a chance to listen to it)—and it’s where laughter comes from. The lowest form of animal that can laugh is the English. But after that, it’s rats.

Basically, scientists worked out that if you scratch a rat on its belly, it lets out this sort of shrieking noise. It’s the rat laughing. The reason it’s laughing is because, normally, if a rat was on its back and something were to attack its belly, that’s the most dangerous position a rat can be in. Right? That’s a fucking eagle; that’s a dog; that’s a cat that’s about to fucking kill it. Whereas tickling a rat on the belly is a safe violation of the thing. Normally this thing is a horrific death thing, but this is such a minor version of that thing that it’s funny. And that, to me, is what most comedy is. It’s a safe version of the horrible thing.

People always say to you, “Do you find the Holocaust funny?” You go, “No. I absolutely don’t find it funny. But I find jokes about the Holocaust funny.” Those are jokes about the Holocaust. There’s such a difference between me laughing at the thing and me laughing at jokes about the thing.

My favorite quote from Jim Jefferies is, “There’s a difference between things that I think and things that I think are funny to say.”

Exactly that. I say things that I absolutely do not mean. And the reason I say them is because wouldn’t it be funny if I held this opinion? That’s it! It’s a safe violation. People who deny the Holocaust happening are the worst people in the world. I find it an abhorrent, horrific opinion to have. Anyone who holds that opinion truly needs to be punished—well, let’s not get into how I think they should be dealt with. That’s not necessary. But I think it’s a horrific opinion to have. That being said, if somebody’s playing a fucking character—they’re playing an idiot, that’s a horrible opinion to hold, so I’m going to pretend to hold it for the sake of this joke. That’s a safe violation of the horrible thing.

So with bullying, as I understand, when I say ‘no friends,’ I didn’t mean for that to be, “Oh, you’ve got no friends!” I just mean in the sense if you don’t have friends who fucking pick on you, if you don’t have friends to teach you that—the way I found out all my flaws was from my friends making fun of them. And it wasn’t cruel. My friends would go big nose, big lips, stupid voice—whatever. Then when people started to actually insult me for them, I was like, “Oh, I don’t give a shit.” I’ve heard them from friends. Nothing you can say can actually hurt me.

It’s like that Tyrion line on Game of Thrones: If you know what your weaknesses are, no one can hurt you. I think your friends teach you to do that. That’s why I think sometimes I’ve had this argument with my girlfriend on several occasions: the reason [she’s] more sensitive is because [she] was raised around girls and girls are nicer to each other. They can be bitchy, but girls are nicer. Again, all opinions in sort of progress, but I just think camaraderie and stuff sort of teach you to not take jokes as seriously. My friends have said horrible things to me, truly horrible disgusting things about my sister. And I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I thought they meant that. Because there’s no part of me that thinks, “Oh, you meant those words that came out of your mouth.” That’s what blows my mind about people who go to comedy shows. They just sit there and think, “He means every single word he’s saying. I’ve come to see a comedian tell jokes. He must mean every word.”

There’s a point in my show where I say I’m talking to a female friend of mine and I say, “Why don’t you speak when spoken to? How about that?” Because that’s a horrific opinion to have and I don’t hold it. So isn’t it funny if, for a brief moment, I pretend to be the asshole that has that opinion? That’s the joke to me.

That’s when we get into the problem of when does my responsibility end to explain that to my audience. I love Jim Jefferies. I think Jim Jefferies is one of the best comedians. I think Jim Jefferies is a highly fucking intelligent comedian. His gun control routine is second to none. Over the years, the way Jim Jefferies is able to dissect an argument and defeat it at every single step of the way while still keeping you laughing is something I think a lot of comics should aspire to—I think he’s a genius. Having said that, I do think some of his fans are idiots. And they’ll hear him occasionally make a joke where he’s making fun of women and they just take it at face value. “Jim Jefferies hates women.” He doesn’t. I know Jim. He absolutely does not. But that’s what they take it as. It’s always a difficult thing of how much do I have to fucking explain to my audience which bits are jokes and which aren’t.

Are there any comedians that broke your heart when you found out that that benefit of the doubt may not be deserved?

[Louis] C.K. broke my heart, man. I enjoyed his stand-up for years. I really, really did. What he did—I’m also not a big fan of the way he dealt with things. That broke my heart. But, then again, how much is on—oh, no. It is on him. I was about to say, “How much of that is on him?” It is on him. Using C.K. for my next point is a bad example, is all I mean.

I like how your opinion is in progress even just in this moment.

Yeah, man. That’s the thing. That’s why I don’t like commenting on a lot—people always ask me for these opinions. I’m like, “I don’t know yet.” It takes me a while to arrive at a fucking conclusive opinion. I really do like to consider all sides and hear it from different fucking people before I fully cement where I am.

Very unAmerican of you.

People don’t want that anymore. They want a bite-size clip of your opinion. Nothing’s black and white. Everything is fucking grey, man. Everything is so complex and you have to, like, really think things through. If I’m going to firmly stick my flag in the ground somewhere, I’ve got to know who my fucking teammates are. I’ve got to be able to defend my point at all times—because I don’t like losing arguments, man. I don’t. I want to make sure I’m always right. Up until now, I’ve always been right.

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10 “Weird Al” Yankovic songs that are secretly dark af

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 12:07
”Weird Al” Yankovic is the best-selling comedy recording artist of all time. His 2014 album Mandatory Fun was the first comedy album to debut #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. His music is loved across the globe and spans across generations young and old. While Weird Al’s music is family-friendly (there’s no swearing, foul language or graphic sexuality), the songs can get a little…weird. If you dig deep enough into the Weird Al archives, some of the songs are super dark. Laughspin brings you the darkest Weird Al songs ever made. For the purpose of this list, I’ve only considered songs off of Yankovic’s 14 studio albums. To weigh the darkness, I’ve considered both subject matter and how many people died. An interesting side-note: All of these songs happen to be originals by Yankovic, not parodies. I guess that’s what happens when this accordion-wielding comedian is left to his own devices! 10. Weasel Stomping Day – Straight Outta Lynwood (2006)

This lovely, cheerful song is about the ritual murder of an entire species. The song takes us to a town with a beloved holiday tradition of crushing weasels to death. As the song goes, “It’s tradition; that makes it okay.”

If thoughts of weasel skull-crushing, spine-snapping, and gut-squirting leave you queasy, lyrics like, “All the little girls and boys love that wonderful crunching noise,” will certainly leave you concerned for the well-being of this town’s youth!

Lyrics aside, the truly darkest parts of the song are the sound effects. The middle of the song features a 20-second lyricless interlude of crushing and squealing noises. The DVD that accompanied the initial album release revealed that these noises were, in part, recorded by Weird Al’s young daughter. For additional delightful darkness, watch the music video animated by Robot Chicken.

9. You Don’t Love Me Anymore – Off the Deep End (1992)

This anti-love song recounts a series of events proving our narrator’s partner is no longer in love with him. The song starts relatively tame. The lover “made it with the whole hockey team,” and told “all [her] friends that I’m the Antichrist.” That’s not so bad compared to having your brakes disconnected, your bathtub filled with piranhas, your coffee poisoned, or your house burned down.

The most graphic line comes at, “You slammed my face down on a barbecue grill.” While that’s quite a horrific picture, the crescendo of the song’s darkness comes from the lyric, “You drilled a hole in my head. Then you dumped me in a drainage ditch and left me for dead.” It appears as the relationship declined, so did the scorned lover’s creativity in her many murderous plots.

By the end, our lovesick hero is still—somehow—alive. Disfigured and thoroughly abused, but alive. That’s why this song lands at #9.

8. Christmas at Ground Zero – Polka Party! (1986)

Christmas at Ground Zero is one of the most unapologetically dark Weird Al titles in his catalog. It’s hard to miss when the title quite accurately sums up the premise of the song. A holiday staple in many depraved homes, this song observes typical Christmas traditions maintained amid a nuclear attack. Despite mentioning atom bombs, the end of humanity, and the expected mutations from nuclear fallout, there are no explicit deaths in Christmas at Ground Zero. If there were, this song would rank a lot higher.

Released in 1986, the song’s juxtaposition is written for the sake of humor. Hearing it in 2019, it comes off as a creepy reflection of complacency in the face of terror. Weird Al fans began sharing this song again in December 2016 when then President-elect Donald Trump discussed nuclear weapons on Twitter.

The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016

7. The Night Santa Went Crazy – Bad Hair Day (1996)

By now, it’s safe to assume that a ‘traditional’ Weird Al Christmas song is anything but wholesome. The Night Santa Went Crazy recounts, “the night Saint Nick went insane” after he “realized he’d been gettin’ a raw deal.” Santa goes on to bomb the toy workshop, take elves hostage, and grind up “poor Rudolph into reindeer sausage.”

While there are no confirmed human deaths in the song, there is immense emotional trauma. As dark as the album version gets, it gets, well… even worse. The super dark Christmas song first appeared on Weird Al’s 1996 album Bad Hair Day. However, an “extra gory” version of the song first shows up on his Amish Paradise single. Instead of Santa going to prison for 700 years, he gets shot in the head. As if it could get any darker, it even includes the line, “Yes little friend, now that’s his brains on the floor.” Since the extra gory version wasn’t the official release, The Night Santa Went Crazy only lands at #7 on this list.

6. Good Old Days – Even Worse (1988)

In classic Weird Al fashion, Good Old Days takes a happy melody and expertly adds deeply chilling lyrics. While reminiscing about the ‘good old days,’ the song’s protagonist describes “torturing rats” and “pulling the wings off of flies” in his sad, lonely basement. Okay, weird. But boys will be boys, right? The next verse describes burning down the neighborhood grocery store and the look on the kindly shop owner’s face when he “bashed in his head.”

Already, Goold Old Days belongs on this list. However, the song gets more twisted the longer you listen. The last story he recounts is of his high school sweetheart and what transpired after the homecoming dance. “I tied her to a chair and I shaved off all her hair.” Then he abandoned her in the middle of the desert—how romantic. He concludes by saying, “Sometimes in my dreams, I can still hear the screams. Oh, I wonder if she ever made it home?” While there is no confirmation of murder, it’s certainly implied.

5. I Remember Larry – Bad Hair Day (1996)

I Remember Larry is deeply, deeply dark. What makes it so great is the murkiness isn’t revealed until nearly halfway through the song. It starts as a recollection of pranks that “Larry” has pulled on the song’s narrator. The pranks start off tame like phony phone calls and wedgies. Eventually, the deceits escalate to a level that includes actual toxic waste. While odd and certainly criminal in nature, nothing Larry pulled was quite dark enough to land on this list.

The song proves how twisted it is when the narrator “pranked” Larry back. He recounts breaking into Larry’s house, dragging him into the woods, and stuffing him in a plastic bag. Don’t worry: Larry would have loved the prank. At least that’s what we’re told.

4. Melanie – Even Worse (1988)

Melanie is the first song that comes to mind when considering a true PG-13 Weird Al song, but still pretty messed up—especially in a #MeToo world. Melanie is the singer’s dream girl, a woman he’s been lusting after ever since he used his telescope to watch her shower. While this may be Weird Al’s first song about a guy stalking and creeping on a woman, it wasn’t his last.

In 2006’s Straight Outta Lynwood, Weird Al parodied Taylor Hicks’s Do I Make You Proud with Do I Creep You Out. In it, he describes saving a woman’s gum, feeling the “warm spot on (her) chair,” wanting to put her fingers in his mouth, and feeling the need to carve her name into his leg. While definitely odd, it’s not as depraved as Melanie.

The main character, rejected by Melanie after tattooing her name on his forehead, jumps out of the window a story above her apartment, committing suicide right in front of her. He says, “Now I may be dead, but I still love you,” which is a haunting end to a low key delightful song.

3. Albuquerque – Running with Scissors (1999)

Clocking in at over 11 minutes, Albuquerque is Weird Al’s longest song. It’s also one of his darkest.

Albuquerque starts off with a clear case of child abuse. The narrator’s mother ties him to a wall and force-feeds him nothing but sauerkraut until he’s 26-years-old. All because he asked his mother, “What’s up with all the sauerkraut?” The lowest point comes after a terrible plane ride to Albuquerque ends with a crash that kills everyone on board—except for the narrator. Oh, and the plane ran out of peanuts before the crash. Tragedy.

Time for some math! Because there is mention of an in-flight movie, and the fact that there is a middle seat, we have to assume this was a large aircraft. The largest passenger aircraft that regularly lands at Albuquerque International Sunport is the Boeing 737-900 which has a seating capacity of 189 and would be staffed by at least two pilots. We can only truly confirm the deaths of the people who are mentioned as being on the plane (as well as the implied two pilots): two large Albanian women, the flight attendant, and the kid behind the narrator. With all of this in mind, the total death toll in Albuquerque is somewhere between six and 188.

2. Why Does This Always Happen to Me? – Poodle Hat (2003)

Easily one of the catchiest Weird Al songs, Why Does This Always Happen to Me? is undoubtedly one of the Grammy winner’s darkest tunes.

The song starts with a horrific earthquake that crushes 30,000 people. This leaves our narrator understandably upset because, of course, the news of this incident interrupted an episode of The Simpsons.

He also tells us about how he stabbed his boss in the face after being politely asked to replace the printer toner. We also learn about a road trip where he witnessed a deadly 12-car pile-up. Amid the “brains and guts and vital organs splattered everywhere,” he notices his “friend Robert’s disembodied head.” At first, he’s sad at his friend’s passing but later resolves that the friend was a jerk because he hadn’t yet returned a borrowed five bucks. Dark.

1. One of Those Days – Polka Party! (1986)

I hadn’t initially considered One of Those Days as being the gloomiest song in Weird Al’s repertoire. Upon closer review, I realized it is the darkest thing the @midnight regular has ever released.

The song revolves around Weird Al’s genius juxtaposition of the inane and the insane while describing “cliché” bad days. Everything that could go wrong seems to go wrong for this guy. He’s late to work. He leaves his Beatles records out in the sun. Yankovic’s heightening leaves him tied up by Nazis and his mother run over by a steamroller. Things turn apocalyptic when “the bomb” gets dropped, resulting in the world blowing up “and now everybody’s dead.” The song literally states that everyone on earth dies.

In 1986, when this song was released, the world population was just under 5 billion people (4,953,376,710 to be exact, according to geohive.com). 4,953,376,710 die in a Weird Al song. What a miserable way to die. And that’s why One of Those Days is number one on our list!

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Amy Schumer hates people with happy pregnancies in Netflix trailer

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 15:29

The trailer for Amy Schumer’s second Netflix special, Growing, is out and it’s clear Schumer continues to keep it real during her pregnancy. Amy Schumer: Growing debuts on March 19 and will show Schumer talking about the trials of pregnancy, being a bridesmaid in your late thirties, and marital bliss.

In the trailer, Schumer shares that even though someone is pregnant you don’t start to change who you are, unlike women who start to act really precious. “You don’t stop being you. You don’t stop working or drinking.”

She also addresses pregnancy complications in the trailer. “If you had a good pregnancy like if you are someone who enjoyed being pregnant, I just hope your car flips over. That’s what I wish for you.”

Amy Schumer pranks announcements on social media

Schumer suffered from pregnancy complications—hyperemesis—that prompted her to cancel the rest of her comedy tour earlier this week. She’s been vocal on social media about morning sickness and other challenges of being pregnant.

The I Feel Pretty star frequently uses social media to make major announcements, from her pregnancy to show cancellations. She disguised her Netflix special announcement as a video that would reveal the gender of her baby. “What I wanted to announce was the baby’s gender.” She continues, “We are so excited to say what the gender is. However the baby identities is fine, whatever the baby’s sexuality is… any way the baby identifies is cool with us. As long as it doesn’t identify as a DJ.”

She then goes on the clarify that she has a Netflix special coming out, calling it the best special she has ever done. We’ll see if it’s any better than The Leather Special.

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Calise Hawkins, Pat Brown kick off inaugural Black Women in Comedy Festival

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 12:12

The Black Women in Comedy Festival is coming to Brooklyn for the first time ever this weekend.

The new festival will feature 30 phenomenal comedians, solo artists, and improv groups performing nightly shows from February 28 to March 3, effectively bridging the gap between Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

You can catch any of the shows across four venues in the New York City neighborhood of Bed-Stuy: Brooklyn House of Comedy, Joloff Restuarant, The Corners BK, and Tilly’s.

Among the headliners are Calise Hawkins (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), Pat Brown (Late Show with Stephen Colbert), and Meshelle “The Indie-Mom of Comedy” (Nickelodeon’s Search for the Funniest Mom in America 3). Jenelle Jackson, Ashima Franklin, Stephanie McCrae, Franqi French, and MeMe Simpson will also perform.

Black Women will shine at inaugural comedy festival

“Creating a platform for women of color, specifically Black Women, empowers the next generation of young people who aspire to become stand-up comedians,” said event founder Joanna M. Briley. The festival strives to showcase the “best, brightest and funniest black women, those who identify as women, and those from the LGBTQ community,” according to a press release.

Tickets for each individual show are $15, but an inclusive festival pass or daily passes can be purchased through Eventbrite . More information and a full schedule can be found on the event Facebook Page and official website.

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Album Review: Mike Bocchetti takes on the Rodney Dangerfield mantle in Thank You!

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 11:00

After hearing the comedy of Mike Bocchetti for the first time, you might wonder “What’s the catch?” After all, he is not your typical stand-up despite being a veteran of the industry (he started performing in 1992).

In fact, when the “Shakespeare of Staten Island” reached national recognition as a frequent guest of Opie and Anthony throughout the past decade, the hosts and their listeners often laughed at him and his unorthodox comedic style, not with him. They made him the punchline of their jokes and it made for an uneasy listen at times.

With the upcoming February 22 release of his new album Thank You!, an interesting turn of events has occurred. Instead of audiences looking at Bocchetti as the butt of the joke, the album affords an opportunity for the public to see him as a real funny man. As he develops his set, Bocchetti becomes a modern day arbiter of the Dangerfield-esque style of self-deprecating one-liners. His patrons repay his efforts with the chuckles, chortles, and belly-laughs befitting of a tried and true professional stand-up.

Mind you, Bocchetti’s technique hasn’t changed one iota since he began his career nearly three decades ago. He still uses a Tommy gun-like delivery of quick and almost expected one-liners that either hit their mark or miss the target altogether. Yet with Thank You!, the New York native is on point with his humor full of relatable situations, personal jabs, and simple yet effective punchlines that strike fast and hard each time.

An album like Thank You! can do either one of two things: catch you off-guard with its simplicity and bring a sense of amusement or grate you after 5 minutes of hearing the same formulaic and quickly agitating approach. While it could have easily gone down the latter road, Bocchetti’s penchant for re-affirmation (coming in the form of his “thanking” the audience after every one of their laughs) is actually quite charming and inspiring in its presentation.

Also, while Bocchetti’s humor may come off as crass and common to some, there is a sincerity and honesty found within his brand of locker room talk. He’s an everyman with everyday views and problems. If you listen carefully, he presents the best way to deal with and cope with these everyday conflicts: a touch of honest humor.

When you hit play on Thank You!, you’ll get what you would expect from a comic like Bocchetti. He will take you on a 40-minute trip through the mind of a blue-collar comedian trying to understand his crazy, befuddled and often defeatist lifestyle. As you take this journey with him, you ultimately relate with him and create a bond that helps one discover the overarching absurdity found in your shared experiences. As a result, you do the only thing you can do when faced with such nonsense—you laugh.

This time, however, the act of laughter comes without feelings of guilt or remorse for doing so. When the laughs do come, they don’t come at Bocchetti’s expense. They come because of his successful stand-up performance.

Mike Bocchetti’s Thank You! is available now on iTunes and Stand Up! Records.

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Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph really want you to think they hosted the Oscars

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 16:51

Sunday night’s Oscars got some comedic help from Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, and Amy Poehler. The Saturday Night Live alumni kicked off the hostless Academy Awards with an upbeat tone and quick pace on a night that featured lots of music and minimal bits.

After the original host, Kevin Hart, stepped down from the gig amid controversy over old tweets, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed that the show would not have a host this year—which sent many into a panic. The last year the Oscars ceremony went without a host was 1989.

Fey, Rudolph, and Poehler open Oscars strong

The trio opened the “one millionth” awards ceremony last night after a musical performance by Queen with Adam Lambert. Fey, Poehler, and Rudolph started their three-minute killer performance with an update on a few items, including the fact that the show would not have a host. They then struck a pose for the cameras, hoping that USA Today would cover their performance and readers would think that they did indeed host the prestigious event.

The Wine Country stars eased viewers into the evening with their thoughts on how they would host if they had been given that opportunity. They took turns cracking jokes about nominated films, similar to how previous Oscar hosts would roast nominees.

Poehler revealed to Bradley Cooper that she also peed herself at the Grammys, but for a different reason. Fey pondered when her microwave would start making movies, now that Netflix won its first Best Picture Oscar for Roma. Rudolph made obligatory jokes about Sam Elliott’s mustache and Wakanda.

They wrapped up their bits with Rudolph showing off her vocal chops. She belted out a Lady Gaga riff from A Star is Born’s award-winning song Shallow and Poehler joined in the song…until Fey (wisely) covered her mouth. Then, the group made their final hypothetical announcement to the attendees of the annual gala. Fey encouraged the audience to look under their seats, because, “you’re all getting one of those cheese sandwiches from the Fyre Festival!”

Comedians lend a hand at hostless Oscars

Finally, the group explained that while they were not there to host, they were there to present the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, which went to Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk.

Other comedians appeared throughout the show including John Mulaney, Awkwafina, Trevor Noah, and Melissa McCarthy—who made waves for both her red carpet and on-stage outfits. Keegan Michael-Key made the grandest entrance to introduce Bette Midler. Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, and Eighth Grade star snub Elsie Fisher also got some screentime.

Keegan-Michael Key’s #Oscars entrance was practically perfect in every way.

Amy Schumer tour dates canceled amid pregnancy complications

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 15:33

Amy Schumer canceled her remaining tour dates due to pregnancy complications over the weekend. While Schumer is uncomfortably ill, she assured her fans that, “the baby and I are healthy and everything looks good.”

On Saturday, Schumer posted on Instagram that she needed to cancel the remainder of her tour for both her and her baby’s health. Schumer began her current national tour in November in New York. She was scheduled to have four more performances, including a final show on March 3 in Austin, TX.

Amy Schumer’s hyperemesis sidelines tour

Schumer, who is in her third trimester, suffers from a condition called hyperemesis which causes her to be constantly nauseous. The condition is more severe than typical morning sickness. In her trademark style of oversharing, she explained in her Instagram post that, “I vomit mostly every time i ride in a car even for 5 minutes.” Doctors do not wish for the I Feel Pretty star to fly for the remainder of the pregnancy. Schumer, who announced her pregnancy in October on Instagram, is pregnant with her first child with chef Chris Fischer.

The Inside Amy Schumer creator was hospitalized for her the same condition in November. At that time, she posted a photograph of herself in a hospital bed and announced that she would have to reschedule her Texas tour dates. She said, “I have hyperemesis and it blows. Very lucky to be pregnant but this is some bullshit!” It also blows to be an Amy Schumer fan in Texas.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Texas I am so deeply sorry. I have been really looking forward to these shows. I have to reschedule. I am in the hospital. I’m fine. Baby’s fine but everyone who says the 2nd trimester is better is not telling the full story. I’ve been even more ill this trimester. I have hyperemesis and it blows. Very lucky to be pregnant but this is some bullshit! Sending so much love to the doctors and nurses taking great care of me and Tati! They are cool as hell! And Texas I am really really sorry and I’ll be out there as soon as I’m better.

A post shared by @ amyschumer on Nov 15, 2018 at 10:55am PST

Netflix ‘pregnant’ with mothers-to-be stand-up specials

Schumer’s upcoming one-hour special, Amy Schumer: Growing, premieres on Netflix on March 19. Like her Netflix debut, The Leather Special, Schumer will still discuss sex, but she will also delve into her marriage and pregnancy. Ali Wong discussed similar topics in her Netflix debut, Baby Cobra, recorded when she was seven-months pregnant. She taped her second special, Hard Knock Wife, also while she was seven-months pregnant. Similarly, Natasha Leggero recorded her Honeymoon Special with husband Moshe Kasher while very pregnant.

Refunds for Schumer’s remaining tour dates are available at point of purchase.

 

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7 things to know before making your late night stand-up debut

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 12:45

No ring is shinier in a stand-up comedy career than doing a tight five-minute set on late night TV. Whether showcasing your jokes on Conan, The Tonight Show, or any other late night talk show still not hosted by a woman, the chance to show the world what you’ve got is a special moment in a comedian’s life. So special, in fact, that many top comics hold the experience as one of the greatest events of their lives. Here are seven things you should know about your future late night stand-up debut!

You can bring guests backstage

You’re allowed to bring some of your nearest and dearest into the green room, which can make for some of the best memories. Erin Jackson, who taped her Conan set the day after her birthday, brought her best friend. Pictures can also be taken backstage, which led to one of Samantha Ruddy’s favorite moments with her guest. “They had a Polaroid camera and a wall with a bunch of celebrities’ pictures,” Ruddy shared with Laughspin. “So my girlfriend and I used it to take a selfie and put ours next to Henry Winkler.”

Your set is pre-taped

Knowing this can relieve some of the pressure. Kenny DeForest appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers earlier this year. “I wish it had clicked beforehand that I wasn’t doing live TV. It wasn’t until I was waiting in the wings, about to go out, that it suddenly clicked,” DeForest told Laughspin. “Just do five minutes of stand-up for the people in this room, which is literally what you’ve been doing for the past decade.”

Your set will go through rounds of changes—even the day of

Even before you get to the studio, your set can go through changes. Caitlin Peluffo, who made her TV debut on The Late Show in October, observed, “I had no idea how precise the wording of each joke needed to be.” The process can take months and you can expect to receive line edits for many of your jokes—even if your tape had been approved beforehand. Sometimes Standards & Practices, the legal department that checks your set, gets absolutely ridiculous. Just ask Anthony Jeselnik.

There’s no dress code

While you might be inclined to go out and get a spiffy new suit for your first time on TV, there’s no mandate that says it must be done. “You can wear whatever you want,” Carmen Lagala noted about her time on The Late Show last year. “I wore a fancy outfit that I would never wear in real life, and when I showed up, the dudes were in jeans and sneakers.”

It lives on the internet forever

A late night show will post segments to their social media channels the next morning, so your set can be seen by anyone who may have missed it the night before. This can lead to ever-growing comment sections, which you may be tempted to read. “I believe people comment on YouTube just to hate, just like black people love the Apollo cause they are allowed to boo you,” recalled Nore Davis after doing Conan. “So, it was shocking and surprising to see the world liked my set. Except someone called me ‘Wanda Sykes’s son.’ That stung.”

It can bring people out of the woodwork

A big platform can bring on a big response. Sean Finnerty, who did stand-up on The Tonight Show in January, was overjoyed by the response from his home country of Ireland, where he’s been contacted by multiple local publications. Others reported a big influx of messages from old acquaintances in their email inboxes and DMs—for better or for worse. “I would get messages like, ‘I am SO proud of you!’” said Katie Hannigan, who appeared on Late Show. “I’m like, umm hello? You ghosted me three years ago.”

Yes, there are snacks and bonus perks

Each show has its own way of treating its funny guests. Some studios offer booze while others were dry. “I wish I knew that there wasn’t beer in the green room,” Tom Thakkar lamented about his time on Conan. “I would’ve brought it for after!” Peluffo boasted about her Late Show haul. “They gave me swag, baby! I’ve been drinking out of my coffee mug every chance I get!” Not too shabby for chasing your dreams.

The post 7 things to know before making your late night stand-up debut appeared first on LaughSpin.

Eighth Grade is my favorite Oscars snub

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 20:32

We need to talk about this year’s biggest Oscar snub: Eighth Grade. If you haven’t seen Eighth Grade, it is a coming-of-age comedy written and directed by Bo Burnham. It is a sweet, honest, heartwarming, and funny take on growing up that is masterfully written and directed.

I am not the only one who thinks this. The film received rave reviews, including a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes. A lot of well-reviewed films didn’t get nominated this year, but Eighth Grade’s Oscar snub is especially noteworthy given all the other awards it collected this season.

Eighth Grade took home trophies from both the Writers and Directors Guild Awards and, just last night, Burnham won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. His debut film gained nominations for three other Spirit Awards including Best Feature. The American Film Institute and National Board of Review both named it one of the top 10 films of the year.

Yet not a single Oscar nomination. That may be, in part, because Eighth Grade is a comedy and historically very few comedies have won Oscars. Setting aside the unfairness of the Academy’s reluctance to celebrate comedy, if a comedy was going to be nominated it should have been Eighth Grade because Eighth Grade is the kind of comedy that the Academy nominates.

Why did the Oscars snub Eighth Grade?

The Academy has a soft spot for coming-of-age dramedies. Last year, the Academy nominated Lady Bird for the Best Picture Oscar. Eighth Grade and Lady Bird have similar feels. They both follow a young girl through a transitional time in young adulthood and both have a lot of comedic elements. Other coming-of-age dramedies nominated for Best Picture include Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, and American Graffiti. Eighth Grade should be among those films because it really is just as good.

Eighth Grade perfectly captures the feeling of being socially awkward in a uniquely human way. The characters are immediately relatable and transport the viewer back to a moment in time when they were young and insecure. Eighth Grade is also a bit of an anomaly in the genre of coming of age dramas; most focus on childhood or high school and often skip the emotional mind field that is middle school. It’s amazing that the film was written and directed by an adult man since it treats being a tween-age girl with such respect and reverence.

It would have meant a lot to both comedians and young filmmakers to see Burnham and Eighth Grade at the Oscars. A 28-year-old comedian made an Oscar-worthy film this year and that is important whether the Academy agrees or not.

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Brody Stevens: comedian, actor dead at 48 by apparent suicide

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 20:20

Comedian Brody Stevens was found dead Friday afternoon in Los Angeles. Police are investigating the cause of death as suicide by hanging. He was 48.

The well-liked comic was found shortly before 1:00 p.m. The Blast reported that Stevens had told friends that he took himself off his medications amid worries that they were dulling his creativity.

The Chelsea Lately panelist spoke about his struggles with mental health in the past, even appearing on Paul Gilmartin’s Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast, but the suicide was a shock to the comedy community. After posting another episode of his Festival of Friendship podcast earlier this week, Stevens tweeted a seemingly optimistic message. “I’m ready to get back on the festival circuit.”

I’m ready to get back on the festival circuit.

— Steven BRODY Stevens (@BrodyismeFriend) February 21, 2019

Brody Stevens death tragic end to storied career

Stevens was a beloved member of the comedy community in Los Angeles—and nationwide. In LA, he frequently closed out shows at The Comedy Store, extending his goofy energy past the time usually allotted to comics no matter how many people were still left in the crowd at wee hours of the morning.

The stand-up veteran had a very accomplished acting career and seemed to celebrate his most fun roles. A close friend tells Laughspin, “He was so proud of being in The Hangover—he would tell everybody. He’d also jokingly remind people he was cut out of Funny People.” In addition to appearances on seemingly every Comedy Central sketch show, Stevens co-created his own Comedy Central series, Enjoy It!, with pal Zach Galifianakis.

His stand-up resume was padded with various TV sets on The Meltdown, Late Night, The Late Late Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan, and his own half-hour Comedy Central special in 2014.

Comics mourn Brody Stevens’s sudden death

Comedians big and small were devastated to discover the news of his death. John Roy shared a story on Twitter about a horrendous industry show at the Laugh Factory where no one was getting laughs. “Industry crowds are notoriously bad anyway,” he tweeted. “Comics upstairs were whispering, ’This crowd is impossible. No one can get a laugh here.”

“Brody goes up to a mix of silence and perfunctory weak claps. He plants his feet, makes direct eye contact with the most bored looking agent in the front row…”You think I’m intimidated by an industry crowd…I hip pocket YOU[!]” He killed.

Nick Kroll shared, “#RIPBrodyStevens he was so funny and weird and vulnerable and wild and kind. Every time he was onstage it was an adventure.”

#RIPBrodyStevens he was so funny and weird and vulnerable and wild and kind. Every time he was onstage it was an adventure. Here’s some comics talking about what made him so special. https://t.co/wbUNaZgJ2f

— nick kroll (@nickkroll) February 22, 2019

Doug Stanhope tweeted, “Brody Stevens was and always will be comedy legend. RIP.”

Brody Stevens was and always will be comedy legend. RIP.

“But I could have told you, Vincent/This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you” Don Mclean

— Doug Stanhope (@DougStanhope) February 22, 2019

Patton Oswalt reminded his followers to reach out for help if they are ever feeling suicidal. We at Laughspin encourage the same. The National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

If you are depressed or feeling suicidal please please please please please reach out to ANYONE. I never get to see Brody Stevens again I can’t stand this. #RIPBrodyStevens #818ForLife pic.twitter.com/n1jQhXdOIz

— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) February 22, 2019

These are just a few of many initial reactions being shared on social media. However, Kristen Schaal probably said it best: Everyone loved Brody Stevens.

Everyone loved Brody Stevens.

— Kristen Schaal (@kristenschaaled) February 22, 2019

The post Brody Stevens: comedian, actor dead at 48 by apparent suicide appeared first on LaughSpin.

The Daily Show and Jake Tapper will “panel hard” at SXSW

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 19:15

Trevor Noah and The World’s Fakest News Team will collaborate with CNN’s Jake Tapper on a panel at this year’s SXSW. On March 9, CNN anchor & Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper will sit down with Daily Show host Trevor Noah and his crack team of correspondents to talk about media and the present late night landscape.

Noah previously welcomed Tapper, who President Donald Trump calls “the face of fake news,” to his show where the two discussed the president’s contentious relationship with the news media. Asked how it feels to be labeled the “enemy of the American people,” Tapper said, “Well, calling us the enemy of the people is just nuts. I mean, we’re the media. We’re the Fourth Estate. We have a tradition of being one of the watchdogs over people in power.”

It will be interesting to see fake fake news and real fake news on one stage together.

Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2018

Comedy Central will present a series of events at SXSW. The panel with Noah and Tapper will also include Daily Show cast members Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulcé Sloan, Roy Wood, Jr., and Jaboukie Young-White. Most of the correspondents will also perform on The Daily Show News Team Live stand-up showcase. The Daily Show will also bring along its critically-acclaimed and award-winning Presidential Twitter Library, which has traveled around the country to New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco. The exhibit—and its corresponding book—highlights the best of President Trump’s worst tweets.

Broad City final episodes to premiere at SXSW

Broad City will premiere the final three episodes of its last season at the annual comedy festival. Of Broad City’s popular five-year run with pal Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer said, “We had been talking about what we envisioned as the end since Season 3, maybe. We just thought, like, five or six [seasons]. But..it just became clear that it was the right decision creatively; for the world, for the characters, and for us as artists.”

Comedy Central plans interactive SXSW stations

The New Negroes with Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle will showcase creators and hosts from Comedy Central’s newest stand-up showcase series.

Other featured panels include a 420 Show with Matt Besser, where guests will hear all things weed-related. Asssscat, the longest-running show at the Upright Citizens Brigade, will feature “inspired scenes from some of the world’s most skilled performers,” according to a press release. Comedy Central’s annual Backyard Bash will also be on display, with interactive stations celebrating fan favorite shows. There will be a Drunk History dunk tank, a Broad City friendship bracelet station, and a photo booth that’ll turn your pictures into your next favorite GIF.

For more information, visit www.SXSW.com.

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