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Richard Pryor joins I Am docuseries on Paramount Network

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 12:56

Richard Pryor is getting another documentary. I Am Richard Pryor will premiere March 15 on the Paramount Network. The doc will feature interviews from a number of current and former stand-up stars.

The documentary stars Mike Epps, Lily Tomlin, Tiffany Haddish, his former agent Ron De Blasio, and widow Jennifer Lee Pryor—who also produced the film—among others. The film is part of the larger I Am series from Paramount.

“I Am offers a glimpse into the personal lives of celebrities, as told by their family and friends,” says the network’s website.

Indeed, the Richard Pryor documentary promises to cover the late comic’s entire life, from his rocky—to say the least—childhood in Peoria, Illinois to his greatest heights in the entertainment industry. Those unfamiliar with the Blazing Saddles star’s material, the episode will also feature clips of his stand-up.

The film is directed by Jesse James Miller, who made Chasing Evel: The Robbie Kinevel Story in 2017. The series has focused episodes on prominent figures in politics and entertainment, including Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy Jr. The I Am series has featured other prominent comedians. Paramount ran documentaries on both Sam Kinison and Chris Farley.

For those who do not have a taste for documentaries, the Richard Pryor biopic starring Mike Epps, who bears a scary resemblance to Pryor in a recent photo, is also set to release sometime in 2019. Is It Something I said? shares the same title as Pryor’s 1975 album.

The last documentary about the Grammy winner, Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, came out in 2013 and also featured interviews from comics and loved ones.

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13 queer comedians you didn’t know you need to know

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 11:16

Queer comedians are no new fad (despite what some disgruntled dudes who didn’t get a Netflix half-hour will tell you). In 1994, Lea DeLaria became the first openly LGBTQ comedian to appear on American TV. On the Arsenio Hall Show, she took the stage for her set and proudly announced, “It’s the ’90s. It’s hip to be queer and I’m a BIG dyke.” In the last 25 years, queer comics have flourished. Comedians like Ellen DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes, Tig Notaro, and Billy Eichner have brought LGBTQ comedy to stages and households all over America. The new class of queer comedy legends is on the rise and Laughspin is here to list some of the queer comedians that need to be your new obsession if they aren’t already.

Jaboukie Young White

Jaboukie Young White is everywhere. He’s on the new season of HBO’s Crashing (the premiere episode is simply named Jaboukie). He’s a correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and appeared in Set It Up and Ralph Breaks the Internet last year. Oh the kicker, he’s just 24-years-old.

Cameron Esposito

Cameron Esposito is not new. Calling her part of a new class of comedians might be stretching it, but she has put out some great new projects this year. The lesbian comedian’s new special Rape Jokes raised over $93,000 for RAINN and her podcast QUEERY has really come into its own. While she split with her wife and comedy partner Rhea Butcher earlier this year, she isn’t slowing anything down.

Joel Creasey

Joel Creasey was just featured on Netflix’s Comedians of the World representing his home country of Australia, but the comedian is already a television staple in his homeland. Creasey recently recorded a 90-minute special at the Sydney Opera House. Joan Rivers once called him “fucking star!” and after listening to his comedy, you will see why.

Sampson McCormick

In 2018, Sampson McCormick became the first out LGBTQ comic ever to perform at a Smithsonian Institution. McCormick has used his platform to speak about HIV. He also discusses the importance of being tested, intersectionality, and the power of black artists.

John Early

John Early might be the most recognizable comedian on this list. With roles in Search Party, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, 30 Rock, and the Disaster Artist, Early is on the precipice of being a huge household name. His comedy is dripping with pop culture references and is pure joy.

Jes Tom

Jes Tom was a 2018 Stand Up NBC Finalist. Apart from being a stand-up, they are an actor and model. They have been featured as a comic to watch in NewNowNext, TimeOut New York, and Vulture. Basically, everyone’s got the gender nonbinary performer on their radars and you should, too!

Julio Torres

Strange and captivating, Julio Torres’s comedy is as deadpan as it is mesmerizing. He has written viral sketches for Saturday Night Live like Wells for Boys and Payprus. He’s working now on the new comedy Los Espookys with Fred Armisen.

Patti Harrison

Patti Harrison has appeared in A Simple Favor, Broad City, and Search Party. In a profile in Rolling Stone, She was quoted as saying, “I love to create very dumb and stupid shit. And that’s the funny thing—when people seek me out as this like political comedian, I literally just want to joke about IBS and farting.”

Cole Escola

Cole Escola is the type of comedian you wish was your best friend. Maybe most known for his iconic character Matthew on Hulu’s Difficult People, Escola is a genius when it comes to characters. He sold out his summer residency at Joe’s Pub and came back with a new show Cole Escola: Quick! Pretend I’m Asleep! in 2018.

Bowen Yang

One of SNL’s rising writing stars, Bowen Yang has also been seen on High Matinence and Broad City. He is also set to appear in Isn’t It Romantic and Awkwafina’s new Comedy Central sitcom. You may have also caught him handing out antacids at the Golden Globes. For all his success this year, you will fall in love with him for his silly Twitter videos doing reactions and impressions that give life to the gay community.

Samantha Ruddy

Samantha Ruddy is the kind of stand-up who has a timeless appeal. Her jokes are well-written, smart, and most importantly, the kind of stand-up that celebrates the form. She recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and has written for College Humor and Reductress after starting comedy at only 14!

Joel Kim Booster

With multiple appearances on shows like Conan, Joel Kim Booster is bringing his very personal stories and stand-up to the masses. Since his Comedy Central Presents special in 2017, he has been making the rounds doing stand-up on Conan, Late Late Show, and the new Amazon series Inside Jokes.

Sabrina Jalees

Sabrina Jalees is maybe better known in Canada than she is in the US, but that is fast changing. She was a writer on Canada’s Got Talent, but her set on 2018’s The Comedy Lineup introduced this hysterical lesbian comedian to American audiences.

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State of the Union: Late night hosts clap back at Donald Trump

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 18:01

Late night comics responded quickly to President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address on Tuesday. Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, and Trevor Noah all took turns jabbing at the tempered speech shortly after it aired.

In Trump’s State of the Union speech, the president took a hard line on immigration, despite his apparent theme of unity. The comedians took a hard line against the president with some common themes including his crooked tie, his signature voice, and his attempt to rhyme.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Colbert launched straight into a 15-minute monologue on the speech, with references to everything from hamburgers to Melania. The crowd went wild at the end when Colbert gave his own version of Trump’s closing line, “I am asking you to choose greatness, no matter the trials we face.” Colbert ended his monologue with, “I choose you face a trial, because that would be great.”

Late Night with Seth Meyers

Meyers executed a 13-minute long A Closer Look segment at his desk. He provided an in-depth recap of the 80-minute speech, the third-longest State of the Union ever. His analysis touched on everything from pageant moms, to Monopoly cards, to a crazy man yelling on the subway.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

In a special live show called State of the Union 2019: Uncancelled, Noah destroyed the speech step-by-step in a 12-minute desk segment. Noah provided at least one compliment to the President: When he complimented Trump’s reading skills (compared to a second grader). He also commented on Trump’s special guests, such as a bullied child with the last name Trump.

Jimmy Kimmel Live!

In Kimmel’s tight 6-minute monologue, he remarked that, “I wasn’t so sure about this guy but all of a sudden, I am sold!” He also showed an image of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi supposedly clapping at Trump. The iconic photo from the State of the Union quickly became a meme. In Kimmel’s world, the President entered the room like a wrestler where the speech was sponsored by KFC Cheetos Chicken Sandwich.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Fallon gave a quick 5-minute monologue on the State of the Union. He compared the speech to Sunday’s Super Bowl and showed some imaginary responses to the speech from networks such as Bravo and HGTV.

Late Late Show with James Corden

Corden spent three minutes of his monologue covering the President’s 2019 State of the Union. Corden pondered the possibility of Trump building a human wall and showed the Adam Levine-President Trump tattooed crossover that no one wanted to see.

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Judd Apatow, Billy Eichner team up for gay rom-com

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 17:30

Judd Apatow will produce a new same-sex romantic comedy starring Billy Eichner. Nick Stoller, who worked with Eichner on Friends From College, will direct. The Billy on the Street star wrote the film, which is based around two men with commitment issues that are “attempting a relationship.”

The rom-com announcement comes just in time for Valentine’s Day. With last year’s Love, Simon as the first major Hollywood studio film to tackle gay teen romance, many are excited to have another same-sex comedy coming to the big screen.

Eichner, who is gay, exclaimed on Twitter on Tuesday that he is, “excited, terrified, completely in shock and PROUD as hell to announce this movie.” He tweeted that he is, “getting emotional reading all your messages about this, especially from my LGBTQ friends. I will do my best not to let you down!!!”

The loud comedian has been quite busy. He voices Timon in the upcoming Lion King remake and will star in Noelle with Bill Hader. He also stars in Netflix’s Friends from College.

Judd Apatow continues to team up with younger comics

Apatow continues to partner with other big names in comedy. He co-executive produces Crashing on HBO, now in its third season. It was announced last week that he will direct an upcoming movie partially based on Pete Davidson’s life. Previously, he partnered with Hannibal Buress on a comedy documentary Hannibal Takes Edinburgh. Last year, the comedy nerd put together an epic two-part documentary for HBO, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling.

If Apatow is not a natural romantic, he sure comes across as one. His productions include date-night fare such as The Big Sick, Trainwreck, Knocked Up, This is 40, Bridesmaids, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He even casts his wife Leslie Mann in many of his projects.

Excited, terrified, completely in shock and PROUD as hell to announce this movie. We’re making a big, new romantic comedy for Universal!!!! AHHHHHHH!!! https://t.co/JO8qk5jKvL

— billy eichner (@billyeichner) February 5, 2019

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Skankfest is more of a ‘comedy party’ than a comedy festival

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 16:55

Skankfest is back to wreak comedy havoc on New York City in 2019. The fourth annual three-day comedy festival will be held July 21 through July 23 at the Brooklyn Bazaar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Comedy fans can already claim their spot with tickets now on sale.

The festival—which is produced by Legion of Skanks, GaS Digital Network, and The Creek and the Cave—provides comedy fans a more immersive experience compared to a typical comedy festival. Skankfest offers an environment that promotes interaction between festivalgoers and performers for what Skankfest organizers call “more of a ‘comedy party’ than a comedy festival.”

Breaking free from festival norms carries onto the stage as well, with some of the edgiest comedians performing in a variety of formats. Past shows include Big Jay’s crowdwork-only show What’s Your Fucking Deal and the Naked Roast Battle, which features comedians hurling insults at each other while wearing nothing but their pride (and shame).

Skankfest 2018 surprised fans with Tough Crowd reunion

Last year’s Skankfest included an unannounced surprise Tough Crowd reunion with Colin Quinn, Robert Kelly, Rich Vos, Keith Robinson, and Jim Norton. Naturally, the first words said were, “Greg [Giraldo] and Patrice [O’Neal] won’t be able to make it,” alluding to the deaths of the fellow Tough Crowd regulars. The panel discussed the current state of comedy and joke policing.

Past performers include Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Nikki Glaser, Bonnie McFarlane, Ari Shaffir, Impractical Jokers’ Sal Vulcano, and Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che. Skankfest has also been home to several live podcast recordings including The Bonfire, Kill Tony, and, of course, Legion of Skanks.

In addition to stand-up and podcasts, the upcoming festival will include meet-and-greets, karaoke, tattoos, food, drinks, and more. Sadly, all pre-sale VIP passes are sold out, but general admission passes go on sale March 4 at www.Skankfestnyc.com.

Skankfest also prides itself on its submissions process—there are no submission fees and all sets are watched to determine who makes the line-up. Comedians can submit a three-to-eight-minute tape to skankfestnyc@gmail.com via a YouTube or Vimeo link. Skankfest submissions are open now through March 4.

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CBS renews Mom for two more seasons; Anna Faris, Allison Janney get raises

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 16:11

Mom will return to CBS for two more seasons. Co-stars Anna Faris and Allison Janney are expected to earn an estimated $350,000 each per episode after extensive negotiations. That almost doubles their previous salaries on the hit sitcom. Mom is the third–most watched comedy on broadcast TV.

Mom is currently in its sixth season and there’s no telling how long it will run. Kelly Kahl, President of CBS Entertainment remarked that, “We look forward to having Mom on CBS for many years to come.”

In Mom, both Faris and Janney play, well, moms. The two play a mother-daughter duo both trying to pull their lives together to battle alcoholism. The show is a favorite with critics and audiences alike for its treatment of issues such as teen pregnancy, domestic violence, obesity, homelessness, and gambling.

Allison Janney will return to Mom as star power grows

Janney was is nominated for a 2018 Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress. She also won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her performances. Janney won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2018 for her role in I, Tonya.

So far, Faris’s portrayal of Christy earned three People’s Choice Awards nominations: Favorite Comedic Television Actress in 2016 and 2017 and Favorite Actress in a New Television Series in 2014. Faris released a memoir in 2017 titled Unqualified, which is also the name of her podcast where she gives “not-so-great relationship advice.”

Mom airs on CBS on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET.

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New doc explores history of Best Comedy Album Grammy

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 16:02

A new audio documentary from SiriusXM seeks to tell the history of the comedy at the Grammys. The documentary, called Obsessive Comedy Disorder: The 60 Year History of the Comedy Grammy Award will feature commentary from Sarah Silverman, Jim Gaffigan, D.L. Hughley, Weird Al Yankovic, Fred Armisen, and Kelly Carlin. The documentary will premiere February 7 at 5:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Comedy Greats channel 94.

Comedy producer Dan Pasternack hosts the documentary. Pasternack is known for his work on The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret and hipster darling Portlandia. Obsessive Comedy Disorder will take a look at the 60-year history of comedy awards at the Grammys.

Grammys history with comedy examined in SiriusXM documentary

The Grammys first started celebrating comedy performances in 1959 when they gave the award for Best Comedy Performance to Ross Bagdasarian Sr. for The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late). Many nominees in the first year were for comedic songs, but among the nominees was the standup comedy album The Future Lies Ahead by Mort Sahl. In 1968, the name of the category changed to Best Comedy Recording and again in 1992 to Best Comedy Album. After a short stint as a spoken-word category, the award changed back in 2004 to Best Comedy Album.

Many comedy legends have won a Grammy for their comedy including Bob Newhart, five-time winner George Carlin, Richard Pryor (three years in a row in the mid-70s and again two years in a row in the 1980s,) Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, and Sam Kinison. From 1965 to 1970, convicted sex criminal Bill Cosby won every year. The documentary will cover so much more about the awards and the comedians who won them.

Dave Chappelle nominated for Best Comedy Album Grammy after winning last year

The Grammy Awards will announce this year’s winners February 10. This year’s nominees for Best Comedy Album include Gaffigan, Armisen, Patton Oswalt, Dave Chappelle, and Chris Rock. Gaffigan was nominated last year and Chappelle won the 2018 award for his special The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas. This year he’s nominated for Equanimity & The Bird Revelation, which though released in 2017 came out during the Grammys qualifying period. A re-air of the documentary is set for February 10 as well.

Another original audio documentary released on SiriusXM back in October titled Robin Williams: A Life in Comedy as part of a special week of programming focusing on the career of the late comedy icon.

SiriusXM released two previews of the documentary in which Silverman recalled a meeting with Williams inside a comedy club when she was only 13-years-old. She also gushed about her love of Mork and Mindy and her thoughts on why so few women have received a Grammy in this category.

Maybe the documentary will explain why Kathy Griffin has been nominated so many times.

You can listen to the previews here and here.

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16 tips to improve your late night writing packet from a network judge

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 12:25

Over the last four years, I’ve judged 300 late night writing packets for a major network. As a writer myself, I know just how difficult it is to write a strong comedy packet. I’ve spent many sleepless nights sweating over topical jokes as I bounce between feelings of pride, self-loathing, and a fear that no one will even read my work.

So I get it. And as a reader (albeit one of many), let me assure you: I’m actually reading. After years of reading your packets, I keep seeing the same mistakes and bad habits over and over, so I decided to keep track of common packet writing problems. Keep some of these in mind as you sit down with a large Red Bull to submit to that hot new show.

Writing Packet Tips

1. Desk bits should take place at a desk. Not on the street. Not at a carnival. Not in Cuba. At a desk.

2. Desk bits should be refillable. That doesn’t mean refillable for the holiday season, or refillable just for the government shutdown. Think Jimmy Fallon’s Thank You Notes refillable.

3. Do not rely on audience members to make the show funny. You can’t randomly pull someone from the audience and expect them to inject the comedy you couldn’t think of yourself.

4. Long monologue jokes are a turnoff. Cut, cut, cut! I don’t think they should be over four lines, and even that can be stretching it.

5. Related: When I open a submission, it hurts my soul to see an ugly packet. Think of your packet the way contestants think of their meals on Chopped: part of the sell is the presentation. Would you want to read monologue jokes in Courier font? Would you want to read a mess of text crammed together, with random underlines jutting beyond the text and multiple fonts on the same page? Would you want to read sketches written in a Word Doc? If the packet looks sloppy, it’s literally harder to read and makes me frustrated from the get-go.

6. Also related: if you’re serious about writing for late night, you have to learn how to format a sketch. This doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out for Final Draft. There are plenty of free script writing programs and websites you can use, such as WriterDuet, which allows you to work alone or with a remote partner. Watch YouTube tutorials to learn how to properly format your scripts.

7. Grammar matters. When I see sentences without punctuation, it distracts me from the jokes. These simple errors make me wonder how long this writer spent on their packet.

8. If Trump is going to make an appearance in your sketch, it better be a damn good sketch. Everyone is writing Trump sketches right now (which I get), and most of them portray him as a one-dimensional imbecile (which I also get). But I’m itching to read a funny, smart take on the president. Just because our president is dumb doesn’t mean your sketch has to be. I know this one in particular is easier said than done, and I personally won’t be attempting a Trump sketch anytime soon.

“Just because our president is dumb doesn’t mean your sketch has to be.”

9. Respect my time. I get paid per packet, not per word you write. I’d much rather read one page of strong monologue jokes than two pages that are a mix of strong and mediocre jokes. Don’t skimp on the requirements, but this is not a good place to impress readers with lots of extras. It’s also not a good place to “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.” Edit, even curate, your material. I want to see tightness, not a 20-page packet with a few strokes of genius. A well-edited packet makes the reader happy and is better for you in the end.  

10. There’s an overwhelming trend to sexualize female politicians in sketches. It’s such a bummer. In a perfect world, I’d never be forced to read another sketch about Nancy Pelosi’s love life.

11. Anyone who writes a ‘borrowing a Netflix password’ joke in 2019 should be kicked out of comedy. I know this is harsh, but that joke has been done for years in comedy specials and on Twitter. It’s over. No more jokes about stealing your ex’s uncle’s password, please! Your job as a comedian is to find a new and creative way to talk about Netflix.

12. This isn’t a criticism, just an observation: There are a lot of Shark Tank parody sketches happening right now. Just an FYI. You always want your packet to stand out!

Writing Packet Tip: Less Shark Tank

13. Similarly, there are a lot of desk bits about children reading the news. So many, in fact, that I’ve taken my “children reading the news” pitch out of my own list of desk bits. (Yep! I’m guilty!)

14. End on the funniest thing. In a lot of sketches and monologue jokes, writers have a tendency to blab on past the punch. It shows a lack of confidence in the punchline—and that’ll happen sometimes—but watering it down won’t help.

15. To that end, make sure your sketches heighten. A lot of sketches I read use the same punchline over and over, except characters go from whispering it to screaming it. That’s not heightening. A sketch should have plenty of jokes in it, not one joke louder and louder. And always end on a laugh line.

16. Play with the format of your monologue jokes. There’s a certain rhythm to monologue jokes and it goes like this: “A new study shows FACT, which is crazy because TWIST.” The format isn’t bad, but if you can sneak a joke in that defies the format, it’s more likely to surprise the reader and make us laugh. It’s why, “Take my wife, please” was so funny. You think it’s going to be a longer joke, but it ends up punching where you least expect. It’s usually these surprising punchlines that make me laugh out loud, and I always record and recommend packets that actually made me LOL.

Submittting writing packets makes you stronger

Scoring packets has unexpectedly helped me as a writer, and I hope this list helps you, too. Even though topical packets can be frustrating and feel fruitless, remember that every one you complete makes you a stronger, better candidate, even if it doesn’t yield you your dream job right away. Happy writing.  

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Modern Family ending after 11 seasons on ABC

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 19:02

Modern Family is coming to an end. ABC announced they’ve renewed the show for an eleventh and final season. Previously co-creators Christopher Lloyd and Steve Levitan said that the tenth season would be the last for the long-running family sitcom.

When the show premiered in 2009, it was groundbreaking for its portrayal of diverse family structures including a set of same-sex fathers played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet. The show follows an ensemble cast as they raise children, deal with marriage woes, and try to all stay together. The show has earned 22 Primetime Emmy Awards (five for Outstanding Comedy Series), five SAG Awards, and a Peabody Award.

ABC says ‘one last time’ for Modern Family

Karey Burke, ABC Entertainment President, said of the show at the Television Critics Association press tour, “Chris and Steve have created one of the most seminal and iconic comedies in television history…In its final season, there will be more milestone events that anyone who has been a fan of the series won’t want to miss.”

The show stars Ferguson, Stonestreet, Ed O’Neill, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Sofia Vergara, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, and Rico Rodriguez. The adult actors in the cast all signed on to be a part of Season 11 in December, but some of the younger actors were still closing deals up to the night before the renewal announcement.

Lloyd said of the decision to make one final season, “For 10 years, our characters have bravely faced turning points in life and moved through them to great personal enrichment; we have chosen a different path by doing one more season of Modern Family.”

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Hannah Gadsby won’t quit comedy after all; announces tour

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 18:32

Hannah Gadsby might have said that she was leaving comedy in her break-out hit Nanette, but that isn’t exactly true. Gadsby announced she will go on an American tour before heading to Europe (and beyond) with her new show Douglas—named after the Tasmanian comedian’s dog.

Comedy purists will have to find a new reason to be angry at Gadsby, who launched a million-and-one angry male opinions last year. She vows that the new show will be funnier than Nanette. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Gadsby said, “With this show, the humor will be back in. I don’t have any intention of workshopping any of my traumas on stage again. That took a toll. And also, I kinda did that. Of course, I can’t help but think about serious stuff. I tend not to try and dwell too much on specifics at this point of the creative process. There’s about four hours of show that I’m whittling down.”

Douglas adjusts Hannah Gadsby to American touring model

Douglas will premiere in Melbourne with shows in March and April before Gadsby leaves for the U.S. leg of the tour. She’ll start things off on April 30 in San Francisco. Douglas will also make stops in San Diego, Portland, Denver, Texas, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Nashville before ending July 12 in Los Angeles. More tour dates will be announced for New York, Europe, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Gadsby is taking it easy to not overwork herself. “We scheduled it with an Australian sensibility. So it’s like, let’s not get too excited and put too many dates out,” she told THR. “I’ve got to be careful because I really exhausted myself with Nanette and touring is a grueling thing.” She continued, “If there’s a demand, then I’ll certainly look at adding more [dates]. There’s nothing worse than performing in front of a half-filled theater! We’ll see how it goes. I think it’s important to respect your audience.”

Tickets for all U.S. dates (save Washington, D.C., which goes on sale February 13) go on sale Wednesday, February 8 at 10:00 a.m. at HannahGadsby.com.au.

Hannah Gadsby: Douglas

March 27—April 7 – Arts Centre Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia

April 30- Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA

May 10- Balboa Theatre in San Diego, CA

May 15- Newmark Theatre in Portland, OR

May 22- Paramount Theatre in Denver, CO

May 30- Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX

June 2-  Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in Houston, TX

June 8- Moore Theatre in Seattle, WA

June 13- Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, MN

June 16- Chicago Theater in Chicago, IL

June 23- Merriam Theater in Philadelphia, PA

June 25- Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

June 29- James K Polk Theater in Nashville, TN

July 12- Theatre at The Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, CA

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Chelsea Handler announces new book, ‘sit-down’ comedy tour

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 18:06

Chelsea Handler announced that she is coming out with her fifth book—her first in five years—and a tour to go with it. Life Will Be the Death of Me comes out April 9. While her other books, such as Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea and My Horizontal Life, have been collections of personal essays, this is the first memoir by the comedian.

In conjunction with the book, Handler will go on a 17-city tour produced by Live Nation called Life Will Be the Death of Me: Chelsea Handler’s Sit-Down Comedy Tour. However, the event series will be more of a book tour than a stand-up tour. According to a press release, fans can expect “Chelsea in conversation, discussing stories from the new book and more.” The first show will be in Boston on April 11 and the tour concludes on June 1 in San Francisco.

Every one of Handler’s past five books has made the New York Times Best Sellers List. Life Will Be the Death of Me promises to be her most disarmingly honest book to date. In the wake of the presidential election, she felt the need for changes in her personal life. At the time, she decided to make 2016 her “Year of Self-Sufficiency” to live less in a privileged bubble. The memoir covers that time period with simple stories of learning to work a remote control and hard experiences like going to therapy to confront childhood traumas.

This is the cover of my new book, Life Will be The Death of Me, coming out 4/9. I will be coming to a city near you with my sit down comedy tour. Tickets before general public available using pre-sale password SITDOWN at https://t.co/svzF7lSTe2 pic.twitter.com/B7fHcnef1x

— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) February 5, 2019

Celebrities praise Chelsea Handler memoir

The book has already gotten rave reviews from Handler’s celebrity friends and colleagues. Tiffany Haddish said, “I love this book not just because it made me laugh or because I learned that I feel the same way about certain people in politics as Chelsea does. I love this book because I feel like I finally really got to know Chelsea after all these years.”

Amy Schumer noted, “This will be one of your favorite books of all time. Through her intensely vulnerable, honest, and hilarious reflection, Chelsea shows us more than just her insides. She shows us ourselves.”

Even feminist activist (and former guest on Netflix’s Chelsea) Gloria Steinem weighed in on the book saying, “You thought you knew Chelsea Handler — and she thought she knew herself — but in her new book, she discovers that true progress lies in the direction we haven’t been.”

Tickets go on sale for Life Will Be the Death of Me: Chelsea Handler’s Sit-Down Comedy Tour on February 8 at 10:00 a.m. local time at LiveNation.com. Each ticket comes with a copy of the new book!

Life Will Be the Death of Me: Chelsea Handler’s Sit-Down Comedy Tour

April 11 – The Orpheum Theatre in Boston, MA

April 12 – The Met Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA

April 13 – Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.

April 18 – The Majestic Theatre in Dallas, TX

April 19 – ACL Live at The Moody Theater in Austin, TX

April 20 – Revention Music Center in Houston, TX

April 25 – The Orpheum Theatre in Madison, WI

April 26 – Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, IL

April 27 – The Fillmore in Detroit, MI

May 3 – The Town Hall in New York City

May 4 – Paramount Theater in Denver, CO

May 16 – Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL

May 17 – The Fillmore in Miami, FL

May 18 – Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, NC

May 30 – The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA

May 31 – Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, AZ

June 1 – SF Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA

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Album Review: Henry Rollins relives punk rock days in Keep Talking, Pal

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 11:00

It’s been said that “all comedy is subjective.” The exception to that rule is Henry Rollins.

Rollins, the former frontman to the California punk band Black Flag, has spent the majority of his post-music career performing live spoken word and comedy shows across the country—a practice that has produced many hours of interesting, engaging and hilarious material.

With the release of his latest live album, Keep Talking, Pal, the savage savant Rollins cements his frontman charm and wittiness while re-telling stories from his band days, his love of and for RuPaul, and his theories on how women should rule the world. And while walking down memory lane with this comedic chaperone of sorts, one can’t help but to fall over laughing while listening to his frantically fantastic storytelling and uncanny insights.

Keep Talking, Pal, his first album in nearly a decade, was recorded last year in Portland, Oregon, a town Rollins admits is a home away from home of sorts. And it shows: the audience hangs on his every word and is engaged with his tales, opinions and off-the-cuff remarks. Rollins also does something amazing with his enthusiastic style of performance—he doesn’t talk down or to his audience; he talks with them. Though there is a stage and microphone at the venue—putting him in the proverbial spotlight—listening to the show, one can easily imagine him sitting on a backwards chair in the audience area amongst fans, intimately retelling some of his most memorable and enjoyable experiences from his music days and his private life.

Every minute of Rollins’ new release is packed with either insight, humor, or an awesome amalgam of insightful humor. No breath is wasted, no thought is random: there is no doubt Rollins has crafted this set meticulously and masterfully as every image, metaphor, and simile he conjures bow to his dominant will.

The only criticism one may have with Keep Talking, Pal revolves around its length. By album’s end, you want to hear more. You want Rollins to keep going into the wee hours of the night marveling over meeting Ozzy Osbourne and David Bowie, because it’s hard to believe that those are the only hilarious and thought-provoking experiences he could share with an engaged and enthusiastic crowd.

But, I guess that’s the sign of an exceptional live performer. They leave their audience wanting more. Which is why I am left with one simple request of Rollins (and I know I won’t be alone in the sentiment): Keep talking, pal.

Henry Rollins’s Keep Talking, Pal is available for streaming on ShowtimeAnytime. The album version is available on February 15.

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Kenan Thompson’s new NBC gig casts shadow over SNL future

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 10:17

Kenan Thompson wants comedians to ‘bring it’ on his new NBC comedy competition show Bring The Funny. A $250,000 prize package awaits the winner, but what does the future hold for the Saturday Night Live star?

Industry insiders have speculated for some time that Thompson may leave SNL as a full-time cast member in pursuit of a big-time TV or movie career. Bring The Funny is the second prime-time show to land Thompson in recent months, only adding fuel to speculations that his transition away from late night could be imminent.

NBC recently ordered a pilot for Thompson’s starring vehicle, Saving Kenan. With Lorne Michaels, Thompson will executive produce the show, in which he plays a recently widowed dad. Thompson and Michaels have worked together for 16 seasons on SNL, making Thompson the show’s longest-tenured cast member. After so many years, perhaps the All That alum is ready for a change of pace.

Amanda Seales will be the face of Bring The Funny

Bring The Funny will be hosted by Amanda Seales and judged by Thompson, Chrissy Teigen, and Jeff Foxworthy. Host Seales starred in her debut stand-up special, I Be Knowin’ on HBO in January and the casting continues to showcase the Insecure star to mainstream audiences who can’t afford HBO (or don’t have a friend’s HBO Go password).

The judges will have their hands full with a variety of talent on Bring The Funny, including stand-up, sketch, and variety acts. The competition’s online application has 59 parts, asking for all types of comedy from dark to deadpan to one-liners all the way to magicians and ventriloquists. The age requirement is only nine years old.

Thompson has been pretty vocal that he’d be willing to stay on SNL “forever” and he expressed as much again in December on The Wendy Williams Show, but reports have floated about his exit for some time, including this past fall as Saving Kenan caught steam. Be prepared for less Black Jeopardy! should the sitcom get the green light this spring.

Comedians may submit for Bring The Funny here.

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Bo Burnham beats frontrunner at DGA Awards

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 20:17

Bo Burnham beat out industry darling Bradley Cooper at the Directors Guild of America Awards. Burnham won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director on Saturday night, defying most people’s expectations.

Many saw Cooper as a shoo-in for the prize, but Burnham has quietly racked up a series of trophies for his accomplishments with Eighth Grade. Before the DGAs, he won eight awards for his directing achievements including Breakthrough Director at the Gotham Awards.

Burnham’s debut film, Eighth Grade, competed against Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born, Carlos Lopez Estrada’s Blindspotting, Matthew Heineman’s A Private War, and Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You. A Star is Born has been nominated for 186 awards and has already captured 51. It’s worth noting that both Burnham and Cooper did not receive Best Director Oscar nods by The Academy.

Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade gain steam despite zero Oscar nominations

Eighth Grade follows the awkward life of a 13-year-old girl, played by Elsie Fisher, who creates video “vlogs” with life advice. Burnham cast Fisher after he discovered her on YouTube. Burnham rose to fame himself as a 16-year-old YouTube personality. At 18, he was the youngest comic to have his own Comedy Central stand-up special.

Since swapping video uploads for fully produced comedy specials, the Massachusetts native finds himself switching roles. In addition to directing duties, Burnham wrote Eighth Grade, which has been lauded for its extremely realistic portrayal of teenage dialogue. He stretched his acting legs with a notable appearance in the Oscar-nominated comedy The Big Sick and Rough Night. Comedians Chris Rock and Jerrod Carmichael saw enough talent to place the young star behind the camera directing their most recent stand-up specials. We wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted to try his hand at craft services, too.

DGA Awards honors comedy veterans who moved behind the camera

Another comedy veteran won a DGA  award. Bill Hader won Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Comedy Series for the series premiere of HBO’s Barry called Chapter One: Make Your Mark. Director Adam McKay, in his constant switching between comedy and tragedy, took home the same award for drama for an episode of Succession. Ben Stiller won for his work on the Showtime limited series Escape from Dannemora. Don Roy King won directing honors for the Adam Driver/Kanye West episode of Saturday Night Live.

Burnham and Hader were not the only funny people noticed at the DGA Awards. Comedy titan Aisha Tyler hosted the 71st annual ceremony in Hollywood. The Archer actress herself has sat in the director’s chair a handful of times, most recently on Criminal Minds.

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7 Super Bowl commercial cameos you might have missed

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 13:07

Super Bowl commercials are a big draw for those who would otherwise binge Game of Thrones during the game. Enlisting an A-List celebrity is one way to create buzz for your product. Several prominent comedians appeared in this year’s Super Bowl commercials adding some humor to the lackluster evening. Didn’t catch them? Laughspin is breaking down which funny people appeared during the most watched ads of the year quicker than you can say, “Wait? That’s still the score?”

Adam Scott for Expensify


Expensify’s unlikely pairing of 2 Chainz and Adam Scott was one of the most hyped commercials in the lead up to the big game. Before the commercial even premiered, the two released a music video that doubled as a fan contest. The Parks and Recreation star told E! News, “I’ve always wanted to be in a hip hop video and a Super Bowl commercial, so mission accomplished.”

Steve Carell for Pepsi


Much like Scott, Steve Carell was paired with rappers for his Pepsi Super Bowl commercial. Joined by Cardi B and Lil Jon, the ad makes fun of the question, “Is Pepsi ok?” Carell really can do it all: comedy, drama, and now soft drinks. However, The Office star has been crushing the commercials game for years.

Jason Bateman for Hyundai


Sometimes, a commercial feels like a little movie. This Hyundai commercial starring Jason Bateman tells a full story. It is a horrifying one, centered around an elevator attendant that seemingly likes to torture people. Most car ads just have the car zooming down an empty highway, but Hyundai went a very different direction with the Arrested Development star, showing us that their cars are better than your worst nightmares.

Jeff Bridges, Sarah Jessica Parker for Stellas Artois

Resurrecting two iconic comedy characters is always going to cause a stir. Jeff Bridges comes back as the Dude from The Big Lebowski and Sarah Jessica Parker resurrects Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. Many were hoping for a bit more when Bridges teased the Dude’s return on Twitter. There is no Big Lebowski sequel in the works, but at least we got a pretty fun beer ad—and a subtle but epic beer commercial cameo.

Can’t be living in the past, man. Stay tuned. pic.twitter.com/zL2CLYhGAM

— Jeff Bridges (@TheJeffBridges) January 24, 2019

Aparna Nancherla for Bubly


Aparna Nancherla and Michael Bublé team up for this ad for sparkling water. While Nancherla isn’t cast as the celebrity in this ad, comedy fans were pleased to see the Crashing star in a Super Bowl commercial. Move over Bublé! There is about to be a new household name in town (for sparkling water).

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson for Alexa


Amazon ads are almost always packed with celebrities. This one also has Harrison Ford and Forest Whitaker, but Broad City’s Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson sneak in some physical comedy into this Super Bowl commercial as they are thrown out of a futuristic hot tub.

Jordan Peele for The Twilight Zone


Usually including a promo for a TV show would feel like cheating on a list like this, but this Twilight Zone ad spot feels different. Featuring Jordan Peele in an empty stadium, the teaser for CBS’s All Access show is spooky and feels just like the 1960s classic. Peele might have made a name for himself in comedy, but after Get Out and the upcoming Us, he is well on his way to becoming the King of Terror.

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Adam Scott and 2 Chainz are unlikely duo in Expensify ad

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 18:19

2 Chainz and Adam Scott are giving money management a sick beat. The two teamed up on a music video with financial app Expensify to give away big prizes for its users. The music video is part of the unlikely duo’s Expensify This campaign ahead of Super Bowl LIII. The video invites fans to “expense” receipts seen in the video for a chance to cash out on various prizes.

Individuals must download the Expensify app, snap a pic of the receipts, and submit the photos for a chance to win cash or prizes. Some coveted prizes include a gold jet-ski, a diamond-covered football, or an Audi R8.

The contest was revealed this week, ahead of Sunday’s big game. Expensify’s first Super Bowl commercial, a first for the company, will also be “expensible.” Meaning, there will be one receipt in Sunday’s video that viewers can upload into the app for a chance to win. While the goal of the receipts is to have people test out the Expensify app, bringing together the ultimate celebrity duo has already brought out excitement from fans everywhere.

Hats off to the marketing guys at Expensify.

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15 funny Super Bowl commercials to get you ready for Sunday

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 17:06

Super Bowl LIII is here. For people who have to Google “What teams are playing this year?” the Super Bowl is all about the commercials. As TV’s most-watched event, it is important for brands to make sure their ad is memorable. Some commercials take a sentimental or serious tone, but most Super Bowl commercials try to stand out with through humor. Sometimes they flop, but other times, Super Bowl ads feel like Saturday Night Live sketches—sketches that really want you to buy Doritos. Laughspin wants to salute the Super Bowl commercials that made its way into the zeitgeist. Wazzup?!

Super Bowl II – Gulf

When most people think of funny Super Bowl commercials, they think of ads from the ’90s or early aughts. Commercials have had to work harder to keep people’s attention nowadays, but they were often very straight forward in the past. That is why this 1968 Gulf ad really stands out. The visuals are more Monty Python than anything else. The pure absurdism of people driving without cars is more than giggle-worthy to kickoff this silly list.

Super Bowl XX – Milk

Milk shouldn’t need commercials. It’s milk. But even before its iconic slogan “Got Milk?” Milk was making memorable Super Bowl commercials. This 1986 ad is a throwback to vaudeville and features clips of some old school comedy names. By incorporating clips from the Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy, this commercial has a timeless feel and an aura of comedy nostalgia.

Super Bowl XXI and XXIV – Pepsi

Pepsi has made a lot of memorable ads over the years. They even sponsor the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show. While they have had countless Super Bowl commercials, two stand out. Their Super Bowl XXI ad feels like a mini rom-com starring Michael J. Fox. Their Super Bowl XXIV commercial is pure joy with the late great Ray Charles. Just two years after Back to the Future came out, Fox lent the spot some big star power. The faces he makes in the ad shows his comedic acting chops. While the 1990 ad commercial tells a joke about the music legend being blind. The way Charles reacts to the joke will have you laughing with him not at him.

Super Bowl XXII – Bartles & Jaymes

This Bartles & Jaymes ad is so dumb, and maybe that is why it works. This was part of a larger set of commercials that ran from 1984-1991, so by the time this aired in 1988 the two old man characters were beloved. Their bit about the Super Bowl being about bowling feels like a scene from Oh, Hello if Nick Kroll and John Mulaney were squeaky clean.

Super Bowl XXVIII – Nike

It should be said that this commercial for Air Jordans came out three years before Space Jam. Honestly, it could replace the whole movie. It really feels like a Looney Tunes cartoon complete with all the visual gags and recurring bits that fans loved from the animated show. LeBron James has some big hilarious shoes to fill in the upcoming Space Jam remake.

Super Bowl XXXVII – Budweiser

Fun fact: The original Whassup commercial did not air during the Super Bowl, but it became an instant phenomenon after it dropped on Monday Night Football in 1999. This 2001 Budweiser commercial plays on the established catchphrase, but having stereotypical, rich white guy characters accidentally say the phrase, it might make this instance of the campaign funnier than the original.

Super Bowl XLIII and XLVII – Doritos

Doritos makes hilarious Super Bowl commercials; much like Geico, humor seems to be part of their brand identity. They have had a shocking amount of ad spots during the Super Bowl, but the commercials from the 2009 and 2013 Super Bowls really stand out. The 2009 ad feels like it could be seamlessly stitched into an episode of Workaholics (which would come out two years later) and the 2013 ad is pure absurdism. A screaming goat was already cashing in on an internet phenomenon, but weaving a meme into a narrative structure makes this all the more funnier.

Super Bowl XLIV – Snickers

Snicker has had a lot of amazing commercials with the premise, “You’re not you when you are hungry.” The campaign has been so successful it is often quoted as a case study for marketing. The first version premiered a the Super Bowl in 2010 and starred Betty White. Another great version that also premiered at the Super Bowl features the late Robin Williams. These commercials tend to star popular comedians as the hungrier version of the commercials’ characters and we love discovering who Snickers tapped next while we angrily await the ruling of a challenge.

Super Bowl XLVII – Oreo

This commercial for Oreos feels like a sketch. There is something about it that feels like someone outside the company made it and it just happened to be about Oreos like when SNL made a commercial for Totinos. Maybe Lorne Michaels cut this one and it ended up on the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl LI – Kia

Melissa McCarthy and her hilarious faces are really what makes this Super Bowl commercial shine. While a car can’t actually fix the environment, McCarthy really sells every part of this performance. McCarthy has always been great at physical comedy and she really gets to show it off in this ad.

Super Bowl LII – Alexa

As a company, Amazon doesn’t need commercials; they already own everything. This commercial is really funny if you don’t think about if they are recording you through your Alexa. Sometimes ads just have celebrity cameos to have recognizable faces associated with the product, but the writing of this ad is really smart and utilizes the celebrities’ public personas for comedy.

Super Bowl LII – Pringles

There is just something about how Bill Hader says “Wow,” that makes this strange Pringles commercial really funny.

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Late night roundup: Gary Gulman, Jo Firestone, Samantha Ruddy, Paige Weldon, Django Gold, Corey Rodrigues

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 15:26

Late night shows were jam-packed with stand-up this past week. Some of late night’s hilarious writers performed just feet away from their bosses. Other comedians like Samantha Ruddy and Corey Rodrigues made their late night stand-up debuts. Late Night with Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel Live! took a week off of stand-up, but below you can enjoy over a half-hour of fantastic stand-up from both rising and veteran talents.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Tonight Show writer Jo Firestone performs on the show sharing her nervous energy and very specific movie preferences. Firestone is a seasoned comic with a slew of credits that include, most notably, a long relationship with The Chris Gethard Show. As usual, she brings tight jokes in a unique I’m-about-to-cry voice.

Late Night with Seth Meyers Late Show with Stephen Colbert

It seems like much of late night are bringing out favorites from their writing staffs. Late Show writer Django Gold entertains the crowd with relatable material about his poor diet, wacky family, and the history of alcohol. Make yourself familiar with the stand-up and ease his anxiety below.

New York City favorite Samantha Ruddy makes her network television debut on Late Show last Friday and those of you who’ve seen her perform for years will agree it’s long overdue. You also may recognize Ruddy from running Tig Notaro’s Twitter account, and we wouldn’t be surprised if you see her on a certain popular Montreal list of comedians later this summer.

Late Late Show with James Corden

Paige Weldon needs some validation. Performing on late night television in front of over a million people is a pretty definitive way to find out if you’re funny or not—or hot or not. Weldon, a fantastic follow on Twitter, has a super fun and self-aware set on Late Late Show you’ll want to check out!

Jimmy Kimmel Live! Conan

Corey Rodrigues made his late night television debut on the all-new Conan. Rodrigues is also the first stand-up comedian to perform on the new half-hour format. He reps Team Coco well and we are glad to see that Conan O’Brien will continue to break new comedians to the world. It’s unfortunate his band didn’t make the cut, though.

I wake up most mornings thinking, “Why isn’t Gary Gulman more famous?” Gulman returns to Conan again to showcase his brilliant and tightly crafted material to a national audience. The 6’6″ comedy behemoth claims he would have been a great millennial. Hey Gar’: consider yourself an honorary millennial for a fantastic use of Twitter threading. Watch his set below and then go watch anything you can find from him on Spotify and Netflix. Then count yourself lucky to witness such masterful comedy.

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Jim Jefferies renewed by Comedy Central; signs first look deal

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 14:18

The Jim Jefferies Show is coming back to Comedy Central for Season 3 and the network has announced they will be doing even more content with Jim Jefferies himself. Comedy Central signed a first look deal with the Australian comedian for TV and digital content. The network released a trailer for the show’s third season, which premieres Tuesday, March 19 at 10:30 p.m. EST.

The Jim Jefferies show will be taking a more global approach this season. Jefferies will travel to South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, and South Africa to capture what is happening in the news all over the world. The first season of the weekly late night show earned a Writers Guild Award nomination in the Comedy/Variety Talk Series Category.

“I love my unfiltered, insightful, hilarious and global comedic perspective on the insane world we’re living in right now,” boasted Jefferies. “I am excited for me to continue to connect with my audience through The Jim Jefferies Show and other future projects that I develop together.”

Jim Jefferies commits to Comedy Central after long Netflix run

While Jefferies did not disclose what he was developing for Comedy Central, the first look deal steals him away Netflix where’s dropped his last three hourlong specials—the last of which covered talked specifically about his poor business decisions. Laughspin ranked his most recent special Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now number seven on out Top 20 Comedy Specials of 2018 list.

Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, Executive Vice Presidents and Co-Heads of Talent and Development at Comedy Central, said in a release, “We are excited for him to continue to connect with our audience through The Jim Jefferies Show and other future projects that we develop together.”

You can watch the trailer for Season 3 of The Jim Jefferies Show below.

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Big Mouth to drop Valentine’s Day special episode

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 12:18

Big Mouth is coming prematurely for Valentine’s Day. The Netflix animated original series will drop a love-themed Valentine’s Day special on February 8. A Big Mouth trailer for the episode came out Friday morning and My Furry Valentine promises to showcase all the awkward anxieties that Valentine’s Day brings for youngsters.

Big Mouth released its second season back in October and the show released a teaser for season 3 in November. No release date has been specified yet for the third season, but hopefully the Valentine’s special will tide over fans while they wait.

Big Mouth offers the sex ed you didn’t know you needed

Big Mouth follows a group of middle schoolers as they try to navigate puberty and their changing bodies. The show has become known for its absurdism and meta-jokes coupled with often gross-out humor. Even more so, critics lauded the series as sex education adults didn’t know they didn’t get.

Big Mouth stars longtime collaborators Nick Kroll and John Mulaney as tween boys Nick and Andrew. The show also features Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, Jordan Peele, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate, and Jessi Klein.

Big Mouth was developed when Family Guy writer Andrew Goldberg approached Kroll to do a show about puberty. Goldberg and Kroll were close childhood friends. Many of the plot points in the first season, especially, were based on the two’s childhood experiences growing up near White Plains, New York.

My Furry Valentine picks up where Big Mouth Season 2 left off

Season 2 ended with Andrew, Nick, and their friend Jessi going to “the Department of Puberty,” an office where their hormone monsters work. The boys have to help Jessi as she struggles with her depression—personified as a purple cat voiced by Broadway actress Jean Smart. The episode ended with Nick masturbating for the first time with a little help from his new hormone monster, Connie. The special episode seems to pick up where Season 2 left off, with Connie and Nick hanging out together.

You can watch the full trailer below. My Furry Valentine drops on Netflix February 8.

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