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Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident is Back! Tell your Mom (Interview)

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 14:44

Dave Hill isn’t what you’d consider a political comedian, per se, but when he tweets something like “Fuck you, festering shitbag” to Donald Trump it’s not exactly off brand. But that’s only because he follows it up with a week-long onslaught of deconstructed Mom jokes as responses to those Trump supporters who pilloried Hill for such an “anti-American” sentiment. Hill’s takes on classic Mom insults ranged from “Your Mom sucks. I am suggesting your mother, the woman who brought you into this world, blows me with frequency” to “Trump is trying to divide us. And I am just trying to divide your mom.”

And in response to a Trump loyalist scolding Hill for using “nasty” language, the Ohio native had this to say: “Speaking of nasty, you’re never gonna guess what your mother and I are doing right now. Okay, I’ll tell you. We are having sexual intercourse! Your dad is filming the whole thing. Merry Christmas!”

In his defense, I should mention Hill’s tweet to Donald Trump wasn’t apropos of nothing. It was in response to our “president” claiming that Dems were “trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida”— you know, because they wanted to make sure midterm votes were counted properly.

I should also mention this article, the one I’m writing now, is supposed to be about the relaunch of Dave’s outstanding podcast Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident afer a five-year hiatus and not about me rehashing dozens of Dave Hill-authored mom jokes— though, personally, I’d feel just as creatively fulfilled doing the latter. But I suppose I should move it along.

Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident is one of the few comedy podcasts I genuinely enjoy. I’m definitively tired of listening to the prototypical comedy podcast— nine comedians jerking each other off, talking over one another and calling it a day. Dave doesn’t do that. But that’s because Dave isn’t a prototypical comedian. His laid back demeanor and gentle speaking voice betrays the frenetic pace at which the renaissance man produces new (and varied) work. His robust love of all art forms comes through seamlessly when he sits down with his guests each week.

An accomplished musician — he fronts rock outfit Valley Lodge and satyrical black metal band Witch Taint, among other on-and-off guitar-based endeavors — Hill has also written two books (Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) and is currently writing his third. And every Monday night, he hosts music-and-chat program The Goddamn Dave Hill Show on Jersey City’s WFMU.

In each episode of Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident, Dave engages with all manner of artists in his New York City living room; recent guests include author and storyteller Kambri Crews, cartoonist/writer Emily Flake and musician/activist Shonali Bhowmik. Bonus: Often, his dog hellhound Lucy makes her presence known by barking and otherwise playfully distracting Dave and guests. I called Dave recently to check in on the return of the podcast and some other hot topics.

Why was it time to bring back Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident?
At least seven people demanded it, so… No, you know, I stopped it, sort of, when I started doing the WFMU show, my plan was to keep doing it, and then I just sort of, very quickly, realized that, I don’t think I could swing doing both. And then people were always, like, saying they missed it, and stuff.

And I missed it, too. In the radio show, as you’ve witnessed, it’s like a lot of people calling in and doing bong hits over the phone and things like that. Which has its place, you know? And I love doing that show, but I also love just talking one-on-one with someone at my house. And then people that listened to the radio show were asking for it, too. So, it’s like, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize that it was like two different things to people.’

And really, it’s because of my friend Chris Gersbeck. We were talking and he offered to partner up with me in relaunching, which was like a big thing. Because having someone else to help and motivate me to get it done, and come over, and record it, that was a massive thing.

Being precious about things doesn’t really get you anywhere. Just have fun and do the best you can. But fuck it if something turns out to be a big pile of shit. It doesn’t matter. -Dave Hill

Yeah. That’s huge. I did more than 100 episodes of The LaughSpin Podcast for a few years. That would not have existed if I didn’t have somebody editing that stuff.
Yeah. It just makes such a huge difference, you know? Some people are like, ‘Oh, what are you doing adding another thing to do during the week?’ And it’s really not a tremendous amount of time for me, thanks to Chris. You know, I have to get ready and do it, as opposed to the radio show. The radio show is like, I prep for it, and then I do it, and then I get home and finally unwind from doing it, and then I’m weirdly exhausted the next day in ways I can’t explain.

When you’re talking for three hours [from 9 pm to midnight] it’s so weirdly exhausting— like truly the most tiring thing I’ve ever done. From a physical standpoint, I’d rather run 10 miles than do that. And I have no understanding of why it’s that way, but it truly is just a physically exhausting thing.

So, comparatively speaking, just having someone in the house and have coffee and chat, is very relaxing. So, they’re two totally different things, you know, except for it’s me rambling in both cases, which is not for everybody, but, hopefully enough people. There seems to be enough people interested in hearing me ramble. Chris and I are kind of developing some other ideas. Who knows? Maybe we’ll do another podcast together.

You’re going to make a podcast out of this podcast?
They’ll be a podcast within a podcast. No, no, I think we might think of other things to do, and evolve this one, you know, as we go. Like, maybe incorporate futuristic technology. I don’t know. Just kind of see where it goes. I’m excited. Seems like people are glad to have it back, which is nice. It’s not like the most popular podcast in the world. You’re either really into it or you’re just not.

Yeah. I mean, you don’t need hundreds of thousands of listeners as long as you have a dedicated listenership.
Yeah, yeah. And that’s sort of what I’ve been realizing with life in general. I’m like, ‘When is the big ‘ta-da’ moment?’ And then, you realize like, ‘Oh, well I’ve had all these kind of loyal listeners and people that come out to shows, and read my books and all that.’ And then, you kind of go like, ‘Oh, I’m just going to have fun and do my thing because there’s all these people around having fun with me doing it.’

I’m not going to sit and worry about whether I’m going to get my NBC sitcom, which between you and me, I don’t think that’s gonna happen. But, yeah. You’re absolutely right, as long as there’s a dedicated core of people it’s good. I sort of realized that with my band, Valley Lodge. We just did some shows in Ohio. We toured Japan and did Bonnaroo as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog’s house band but besides that we never really played outside of New York. We went and did two shows in Ohio and people drove 12 hours from Georgia, six hours from Chicago. And they weren’t massive shows. But the people there were super into it, and I realized, ‘Oh, it’s not the quantity. It’s the quality.’ I’m always learning and growing.

How the hell did you swing a Japanese tour. Play a handful of shows in NYC then Tour Japan isn’t really the typical trajectory of a local rock band.
We did that in 2009. A Japanese label just emailed us, like, ‘Oh, we want to release your record over here and have you come tour.’ So, it was sort of like a rock and roll fantasy come true.

You guys had no Japanese connections?
No. It was just a lucky thing. It was weirdly something I had thought about as a cool thing if it ever happened. I should think about things more often.

Most comedy-centric podcasts feature comedians talking to other comedians constantly. Yours is different.
Well, you know, we’ll have comedians still. We’ve had a couple already. But really, it’s more that I want to just have interesting people from all walks of life and careers and things. It kind of goes back to my favorite interviewer, or he’s more of a conversationalist, Dick Cavett. If you watch episodes of his shows, you’ll see he rarely talked about like, ‘Oh, tell me about your new movie.’ It wasn’t about that. It was just kind of like, you had these people that were doing all these things and talking about those things on probably other talk shows, but on his shows they would talk about life and just what they thought about things, and you would learn about the person.

My favorite episode of that show was when he had Raquel Welch and Janis Joplin on. It was actually a few weeks before Janis Joplin died. And Raquel Welch was like at the peak of her powers, in terms of just being like a smoking hot starlet, you know? And you think, ‘Well, oh, I’m going to be in love with Raquel Welch watching this episode,’ and then you watch it and very quickly you go, like, ‘Oh, man. I’ll take Janis Joplin any day.’ She wasn’t talking about music or anything. She’s just talking about, you know, stuff, and you’re like, ‘This is a fascinating, intelligent person that I want to hang out with.’

Right! That makes sense.
By the end, I was like, ‘Oh, Raquel Welch, she’s gorgeous, but I’m way more into Janis Joplin,’ which I wouldn’t have thought. Growing up, I would always read Rolling Stone or whatever magazine. I realized I didn’t care about when bands would talk about their tours or what it was like making their latest record. They would talk about that stuff, but when the writer would be like, ‘Oh, I went and I got pizza with him, and he stopped off in this store and bought this stuff,’ you know, whatever random weird thing, and he ordered these pizza toppings. That stuff, who they were as people, just the average day-to-day stuff about them was always infinitely more interesting to me. [ed. note. As I was chatting with Dave he was prepping to take Lucy to the vet. I’m telling you this because this is the type of shit Dave likes about interviews and I want him to like this piece. And I want him to be my friend because I don’t care about journalistic boundaries anymore.]

When I talk to people, whether it’s the podcast or even on my radio show, it’s getting that sort of stuff out of people that I enjoy. I had Malcolm Gladwell on my radio show a few years back, and he started talking about doing cocaine. I was like, I have to be the only person that’s had this conversation with him on record. And I had Damien Echols from the West Memphis 3, and his wife, Lorri Davis, on. You’re familiar with Damien’s story, right?

Sure I am.
He was on death row for 18 years, and you know, basically wrongfully accused of murder and all that. He kind of got framed because he and his friends were into Danzig and Stephen King novels and things like that. And so he mentioned that, and you know, I was like, ‘Wow, I could see if you were into Danzig 5 that you’d be a person of interest.’ And he stops me and goes, ‘What are you talking about? That’s my favorite Danzig record.’ Then we get into this big discussion about Danzig. I was like, ‘What? You got to be fucking kidding me.’ And so all of a sudden I’m talking about this guy who, you know, was on death row for 18 years, and we’re just arguing about Danzig. And you know, not to brag, but they later said it was their favorite interview they had ever done. I was thrilled to hear that. It was because we were talking as human beings instead of doing the same interview he’s done a million times, you know?

You probably wouldn’t make it in mainstream media because of your punk rock interviewing ethos. But let’s say you did get a show on MSNBC, for example. What would you call it?
Dave Hill’s Power Hour. No, I don’t know. Something with a globe spinning in the background. Something cool, I don’t know. Dave Hill’s Hour of Bullshit.

I like that. Let’s say you scored a show on Fox News. What would you call it?
Dave Hill Burns The House Down From The Inside. Or something. I don’t know. Something catchier than that, but basically destroying Fox News from the inside. I don’t think they would have me on, just based on the last half hour of Twitter alone. I think I’m screwed.

You never know, Dave. The world is a fucked-up, backwards place right now.
Ultimately it’s going to come around to advertising dollars, so you know, who knows? Maybe in five years, Fox News will become a bastion of liberal perspective. If the money is right, I’m sure they’ll do it.

You come off as the most calm, chill person ever. Are you like that privately, or are you hiding a ball of anxiety somewhere?
Definitely the latter. I have moments of the first part. I have a bit of both, you know? But I think maybe with other people I’m pretty calm, but inside it’s just a house of horrors. But what are you going to do? It seems like there’s this endless quest for emotional peace and stability, but I don’t know, I think everyone’s some level of crazy, for better or for worse. But there’s a certain comfort in that, isn’t there?

I know I’m always relieved when I hear someone else is completely anxious and panic-riddled. It’s nice not to be alone with that sort of thing. Some day the goal will to be as calm as I speak. I think my calm moments just come from a lack of sleep— exhaustion that people interpret as tranquility.

Is that what it is? I was going to ask if you’d be willing to be my Zen Master. Now, I’m not so sure.
I’m always good at helping other people reach a state of Zen. But I fail to use any of my own advice. But Lucy’s helping.

You know a lot of musicians on different levels. Is there one musician that you’ve met or formed a relationship with that has either inspired you the most or has made a huge impact on your life?
Chris Reifert from Autopsy. He was the original drummer for Death. He and I met a couple years ago. Autopsy was playing at Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Film Festival. I was down there and I saw Autopsy and then it turned out that Chris and his wife are big comedy fans. They had seen me on @Midnight and things like that. We ended up chatting and we kept in touch. We ended up forming this band, Painted Doll, and we had a record come out in February on Tee Pee records.

I really was like, ‘Oh, I don’t have time to do it.’ But every time I’d go to LA for shows or just shoot something or whatever, he would drive down from the Bay area to jam. We would text each other iPhone messages of song ideas. We didn’t have any money to make a record, but he was like, ‘Come on. Let’s just do it. I’ll fly out there.’ We practiced four times and recorded a record in five days. We were just having fun— just the two of us. We were like, ‘This might be horrible.’ I had no idea. But fuck it. We were just doing this thing and who cares? It was kind of the first time I really approached anything like that where I was just, ‘I’m having fun and, beyond that, who gives a fuck?’

That’s a great sense of freedom right there.
Yeah. Then the record came out and Rolling Stone gave it a great review. Fenriz from Darkthrone called it his favorite album of the year. We were thrilled how well it was received. I just had fun and I didn’t give a fuck. Now I’m really trying to take that approach with everything.

I’m writing a new book and I’m trying to think the same way. It might be an absolute piece of shit, but I don’t think so. So far the editors like it so that’s cool. You always try to do the best you can, but being precious about things doesn’t really get you anywhere. Just have fun and do the best you can, but fuck it if something turns out to be a big pile of shit. It doesn’t matter.

What’s the new book about?
It’s about Canada. My grandfather’s from there, so it’s about tracing my Canadian roots. I spent the last year just going to Canada. I’ve been everywhere in Canada. I have a few more places to go. I just go there and I hang out and observe and drink a little too much and take notes on it. It’ll be out in the fall of 2019.

Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident is available here and where all podcasts are found. You can help Dave keep up his podcasting endeavors by signing up to become a supporter on Patreon! To follow Dave’s many projects, check out his official site.

Fam, Man With a Plan get premiere dates; Happy Together ending at CBS

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 14:00

CBS just announced the winter premiere dates for two of their comedy series, Fam and Man With a Plan.

Fam is a new comedy that will debut on CBS Thursday, January 10, at 9:30 p.m. following their Emmy-winning programming block of The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, and Mom. The show stars Nina Dobrev and Tone Bell as a woman “whose vision of perfect life with her adoring fiancé and his wonderful parents is radically altered when her 16-year-old, out-of-control half-sister unexpectedly comes to live with her. As the family Clem (Dobrev) chose and the family she has blend together, Clem realizes that this new happy fam may be the perfection she’s always been seeking.”

Man With A Plan, which is entering its third season and stars Matt LeBlanc, will air on Monday, February 4 at 8:30 p.m. after newcomer The Neighborhood, starring Max Greenfield and Cedric the Entertainer..

CBS also announced that the network’s Murphy Brown revival and Happy Together will both be ending their first season runs after their initial 13-episode orders. Happy Together is CBS’s only new series not to receive an additional episode order. Murphy Brown never faired well in the ratings, unlike hits Roseanne (now The Conners) and Will & Grace. Additionally, the show was costly because it shoots in New York rather than Los Angeles. The fate of the Damon Wayans Jr.-led sitcom remains to be seen.

8 Hanukkah TV episodes for your holiday bingewatching

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 13:30

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but not always if you are Jewish. With all the Christmas excitement, we sometimes forget about Hannukah. While your goyish friends get to watch Elf or The Grinch (or whatever Netflix is up to this season), there are really only four Hannukah films: 8 Crazy Nights, The Hebrew Hammer, Full Court Miracle, and of course, Call Me by Your Name. Thank Hashem, there is television and Laughspin is bringing you the best Hannukah TV episodes to binge for this upcoming festival of lights.

The O.C. – The Best Chrismukkah Ever

If you have never watched The O.C., it is because you saw the marketing and reviews and thought it was a run of the mill teen drama, but The OC is so much more. It is one of the funniest shows of the mid-2000s. Much of that is due to the character of Seth Cohen who shines his brightest during the yearly Chrismukkah episode. While it is a holiday that is incomplete by design, it came from the mind of someone named ‘Seth Cohen,’ so you know this episode will make you proud to be Jewish.

The Nanny – The Hanukkah Story

If Judaism had saints, Fran Drescher would be among them. It is crazy that it took til Season 6 for The Nanny to have a Hannukah episode, but it was well worth the wait. In this episode, Fran thinks Maxwell doesn’t care about Hanukkah as much as Christmas. She’s angry until Maxwell gets into a car accident. It’s funnier than it sounds as he ends up being saved by a Hannukah miracle.

Friends – The One With the Holiday Armadillo

Ross and Monica’s Judaism doesn’t come up much in Friends, but when it does, it really works. In this episode, Ross dresses up as an Armadillo to tell the story of Hannukah to his son. Parents wanting Jewish kids not to feel left out of the Santa madness is a staple of the season and Friends does it in the wackiest way possible.

The Goldbergs – A Christmas Story

Another sitcom’s take on how to make Hannukah feel as merry as Christmas, this one goes for the realistic. Yes, the Hannukah bush is a real thing. It took three seasons for TV’s favorite ’80s Jewish family to celebrate the festival of lights, but when they finally got around to it, it is a modern holiday classic.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – My Mom, Greg’s Mom, and Josh’s Sweet Dance Moves

Okay, so this one is actually more of a Christmas episode, which is surprising given that much of the episode focuses on Rebecca Bunch and her mother (played by Broadway legend Tovah Feldshuh). The mother-daughter relationship, however, is perfectly Jewish in every way and even features a Klezmer song about all the ways Rebecca isn’t living up to her Jewish mother’s ideals.

Seinfeld – The Strike

While this episode is mainly remembered as the episode which popularized “Festivus” (a holiday made up by George’s father), the episode begins at a Hannukah party. The rest of the episode doesn’t add much to the Hannukah spirit, however, it does follow Kramer’s return to work at H&H Bagels and Elaine trying to track down “Denim Vest” (the man who initially hosted the Hannukah party). This episode will certainly make you feel festive.

The League – The 8 Defensive Points of Hanukkah

So, most of this episode is problematic. There is a lot of homophobia and some very uncomfortable stuff that pushes the boundaries of consent—and it’s not even the Aziz Ansari cameo. But there are two amazing parts: Jason Mantzoukas tries to convert to Judaism and an unhinged song from Nick Kroll as he sings in a local Church.

Rugrats – Rugrats Chanukah

Truly a classic of the genre, this 1996 holiday classic is a must watch. It is adorable, magical, and maybe the most informative episode on this list. Plus, if you haven’t seen it since you were a kid, there are a ton of jokes that you will get now that definitely went over your head when you watched this on a bright orange VHS.

Ed Asner and ‘his prostate’ headline Gilda’s LaughFest 2019

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 12:47

Watch out, Michigan! Gilda’s LaughFest announced some of the big names performing at this year’s festival. The Grand Rapids-based festival has brought its signature brand of Midwestern hospitality and compassion to comedy stages for the last nine years.

Some of the headliners for this year’s festival include Brian Regan, Ed Asner, Ali Wong, Loni Love, Brad Upton, Jo Koy, Nate Bargatze, and Matt Bellassai. Others slated to perform at the fest include Emmy Blotnick, Rob Haze, John Novosad, Langston Kerman, Matteo Lane, Caitlin Peluffo, Jessa Reed and Ron Taylor. Wait, Ed Asner? Yes, that Ed Asner. The 89-year-old Emmy Award-winning actor will be doing a comedy stage play A Man and His Prostate.

The long list of nationally recognized talent will also be joined by the best of local Michigan and midwestern comedians. “We’re thrilled to bring such diverse talent to LaughFest 2019,” said Joanne Roehm, director of strategic initiatives at Gilda’s Club and LaughFest.

The festival will be held from March 7–17, 2019 and will bring back yearly favorites like the Best of the Midwest competition, the National Stand-up Comedy Showcase, and the Clean Comedy Showcase. The festival boasts 200 free and ticketed shows featuring over 100 artists at more than 40 venues in Grand Rapids, Lowell, and Wayland’s Gun Lake Casino. As always, Laughspin will be there covering the hottest moments for you.

The festival is one of the sweetest festivals in America. Apart from their commitment to showcasing clean comedy, the fest raises money for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, a nonprofit that supplies free emotional health support to family, friends, and individuals who are affected by cancer or those grieving a death due to any cause. Named for comedian and nearby Detriot native Gilda Radner, who passed away in 1989, Gilda’s Club was founded by a group of cancer survivors who understood how hard the journey can be for patients and loved ones. This year, the festival is partnering with DTE Energy who will be matching up to $50,000 in “High Five” donations. Individuals interested in donating to the “High Five” campaign may do so by purchasing a button for a $5 donation at LaughFest events or through laughfestgr.org.

Trevor Noah gets deported for South Africa Daily Show special

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 12:13

Trevor Noah is getting deported. Kind of. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah will air a special ‘self-deportation’ episode taped in South Africa. Noah will be in Johannesburg to host the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on Sunday.

Noah, whose latest Netflix special Son of Patricia earlier this month, will head back “to South Africa to give viewers a look at his hometown,” Comedy Central shared in a press release. “In addition to visiting some of his old haunts, he’ll explore Nelson Mandela’s everlasting legacy on South Africa, and more.”

The South African-born stand-up comedian was born in Johannesburg to a mixed-race couple. His father is Swiss German and his mother is South African. Under apartheid law, their relationship was illegal—his mother was jailed and fined. Noah’s powerful autobiography Born a Crime covers much of his upbringing and the effects of apartheid. Fitting, then, that the Daily Show host will return home to honor Mandela.

Global Citizen, according to their website, aims to “end extreme poverty by 2030.” Their annual music festivals have drawn major names in entertainment. This year’s Global Citizens Festival will feature Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, Usher, and more. Tickets for the event are totally free—with a catch. Global Citizen doesn’t ask for money. They ask for people to “use their voice” to take action through social media or emailing friends and loved ones.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Self-Deportation Edition will air on Monday, December 3 at 11:00 ET on Comedy Central. It will be available to stream the next day at thedailyshow.com and the Comedy Central App.

Pete Davidson, Claire Foy get into royal food fight in SNL promo (Video)

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 09:00

Saturday Night Live released their promo for this week’s show with guest host Claire Foy—and it gets messy.

In the promo, Pete Davidson tells The Crown star that there is an SNL tradition that she needs to participate in before hosting the show. The video then cuts to a slow-motion food fight with flirty lighting. Musical guest Anderson .Paak’s new song Tints (featuring Kendrick Lamar) plays in the background. The Golden Globe winner gets silly as she pelts Davidson with everything from spaghetti to chocolate milk. Davidson strikes back handfuls of cake and scrambled eggs.

The best moment of the promo comes when the pint-sized Foy tosses an entire pizza at Davidson like a frisbee, forcing him to fall to the ground. The fun of the food fight quickly stops when the two are caught by castmember Heidi Gardner.

This is Claire Foy’s first time hosting SNL. After playing Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons of the Crown, Foy shifted to film. She stars in two movies that are out now, First Man and The Girl in the Spider’s Web. She also starred in the cult horror film Unsane earlier this year. This weekend we will see if she also shines in comedy.

You can watch the full promo below, but did you know that Laughspin publishes a weekly Saturday Night Live recap every Sunday? You can read our most recent one here.

Netflix drops Fuller House season 4 trailer (Video)

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 16:30

Fuller House is coming back home to Netflix for a fourth season on December 14. Yes, that show is still pumping out new episodes starring Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber, and Candace Cameron-Bure. The newest trailer for the fourth season dropped on Tuesday and it fills viewers in on what to expect after a year away. It packs Holiday cheer, rekindled relationships, baby bumps, many audiences “woooooooos,” and a musical number all into 90 seconds of Tanner family-filled chaos.

Based on the trailer, fans of the Full House reboot can expect that the relationship between D.J. and Steve—her on-again/off-again love interest—to be a major focus this season. However, a new/old relationship will also take center stage as well. Last season, Kimmy Gibbler agreed to be Stephanie’s surrogate and this year we will see the pair’s relationship change in another major way when Stephanie finally refers to Kimmy as a friend. “I’ve waited 30 years to hear that,” Kimmy says. Jesus, has this franchise been around for that long?

There will obviously be a healthy dose of all the fan favorites such as Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, and John Stamos, who must have a hideous painted portrait of himself stuffed in an attic somewhere.

Check out the full trailer below!

Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert let f-bombs fly in Late Show interview (Video)

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 14:45

Stephen Colbert was joined by Jon Stewart for a pre-recorded segment of Late Show. Colbert started the show announcing that he was still on Thanksgiving break, “I think in the Carribean.” He then introduces the special episode’s format: his friends and celebrity guests will turn the tables to interview him.

While the show features several celebrity guest hosts to grill Colbert “in the hot seat” such as Neil Degrasse Tyson and Kerry Washington, the opening interview with Stewart is the most memorable. Stewart walks onto the set after the intro, sits at the desk, and says, “I am your host Jon Stewart. I haven’t said that in a while.” Stewart introduces the former Colbert Report star and the two longtime friends share a hug on stage.

Stewart begins the interview, “Who the fuck do you think you are?” Their back and forth feels like watching two comedians riff backstage after a show. Most of what comes out of the two veteran TV hosts’ mouth is less than subtle jabs and sarcastic asides, but the chemistry and shared history between the two is palpable.

The two first met on a Comedy Central conference call before Stewart even took over The Daily Show. Colbert would go on to be a fake news correspondent on Stewart’s Daily Show for six years before starring on his own spin-off The Colbert Report.

The two talk about their old days on The Daily Show and the times that they have met now-President Donald Trump. Stewart describes their work in satirical news over the years as “turd mining” and even says, “I have gotten out of the turd mining business.”

More F-Bombs are dropped than the average late night interview and you can watch them all here:

Aziz Ansari announces first tour dates since Babe.net exposé

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 13:53

Aziz Ansari is back, it seems. Knowing you can’t be more hated in stand-up comedy right now than Bill Cosby or Louis C.K., the embarrassed comedy star took to social media to announce his Road to Nowhere stand-up tour. Earlier this year, Ansari was exposed as, at best, a really bad first date in a Babe.net exposé.

Ansari’s sexual misconduct controversy made waves in the news cycle back in January, but was not met with nearly as much rage or ire as other fallen male figures have received. In the Babe.net story, a young woman describes an awful first date with a selfish, poon-hungry celebrity that some consider to be on the wrong side of sexual assault. The Masters of None star claims to have remembered the night differently.

No one really seems to know what to do with Ansari. Was it sexual assault? Was it clueless behavior? Was it just a bad date with less-than-perfect people? It should be noted that Ansari has written a book on dating called Modern Romance, which greatly covered the topics of consent and feminism.

The discussion over who is ‘allowed’ to come back and when has been going on in the comedy community since Louis C.K.—who admitted to repeated cases of workplace sexual harassment and masturbating in front of two female comedians in a hotel room at a comedy festival—has been welcomed back by comedy clubs all over New York City. Ansari’s situation landed him in a gray area between that clueless high school boy who was too horny to read nonverbals and a monster like Harvey Weinstein. As such, he has laid low but has not been banished to the comfy entertainment wilderness to which many sexual abusers in the industry have retired. The Parks and Recreation alum, with 10.5 million Twitter followers, will likely do well with ticket sales which have sadly become the litmus test for who’s in and who’s out after claims of sexual assault.

The Road to Nowhere tour commences in Boston in February. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 30 at noon, but fans who register on his website Wednesday will receive 10% off.

New tour dates for 2019. On sale this week. Click here for cities. See ya on the road ding dongs. https://t.co/qVcEQZXjfn pic.twitter.com/tS8Ia31OMQ

— Aziz Ansari (@azizansari) November 27, 2018

Road to Nowhere 2019 Tour Dates

Feb 6 – Chevalier Theatre in Medford, MA

Feb 7 – Chevalier Theatre in Medford, MA

Feb 9 – Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT

Feb 14 – Grey Eagle Resort and Casino in Calgary, AB

Feb 15 – Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, BC

Feb 16-  The Buell Theatre in Denver, CO

Feb 21 – The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, CA

Feb 24 – Copley Symphony Hall in San Diego, CA

Mar 5 – Chicago Theater in Chicago, IL

Mar 8 – Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium in Minneapolis, MN

Mar 9 – Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, PA

Mar 10 – Palace Theatre in Columbus, OH

Mar 12 – Keller Auditorium in Portland, OR

Ma 14 – Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA

Mar 16 – The Masonic in San Francisco, CA

Mar 19 – Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA

Mar 20 – Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, UT

Mar 21 – Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, AZ

Mar 22 – Silver Legacy Casino in Reno, NV

Mar 23 – The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV

Apr 17 – Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis, TN

Apr 18 – Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA

Apr 20 – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL

Apr 24 – Center for the Arts at University at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY

Apr 25 – Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino in Windsor, ON

Apr 26 – DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids, MI

Apr 27 – Stifel Theatre in St. Louis, MO

Apr 28 – Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City, MO

Amy Schumer shares pregnancy struggles on Instagram in heartfelt post

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 13:20

Amy Schumer posted a new video about her pregnancy on Instagram, which is as gross as it is unflinchingly real. The Trainwreck star announced the pregnancy last month.

News pic.twitter.com/UBe1ZQq5Yz

— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) October 23, 2018

Since then, Schumer hasn’t been shy posting about her impending firstborn. She often shows off her bump in Instagram posts and tweets. The comedian seems to be excited about expecting her first child with husband Chris Fischer, but being a pregnant stand-up isn’t easy.

Last night, Schumer uploaded a video taken on the way to a show at the Tarrytown Music Hall. In the video, she continuously vomits while struggling to be comfortable in the passenger seat of the car. The video is fairly graphic and even Schumer warns in the post’s caption, “Turn sound off if you have a weak stomach.” She pairs the video with a photo of her at the end of her set at the New York State hall. In the photo, she wears an oversized shirt with grey sweats, a trashcan also appears on stage as the crowd gives her a standing ovation.

After she describes the harrowing ride to the venue, Schumer writes in the caption, “I love doing stand-up more than anything and I hate cancelling [sic] shows. I have to postpone some until I feel human again. But i [sic] will make up these dates and we will have a great time.” She continues, “I’m so proud of my stand up right now and can’t wait to share it. Thanks to the amazing crowd tonight for being so warm and such great laughers and for being cool with my sweatpants and slippers on stage.”

In the caption, she also teases a documentary in the works which will feature her recent performances as well as the struggle she is currently facing on her way to motherhood. The Inside Amy Schumer creator’s pregnancy has been particularly rocky because of a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. The condition is akin to extreme morning sickness and is categorized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. Rest and dietary changes are currently the only treatment for the condition that, if unchecked, can result in hospitalization and intravenous nutrition.

She ends the post with a political message, not unlike her pregnancy announcement. She writes, “I’m grateful I have access to healthcare, as we all should have. But I guess what I’m really saying is Fuck Hyde-Smith and anyone who voted for her” in reference to Republican senator Cindy Hyde-Smith who kept her seat after last night’s runoff election in Mississippi. She ends by saying, “My feelings on her are best expressed by the above video. And I don’t usually agree with speaking ill of crackheads, but she has a crackhead looking mouth. Tiny racist teeth.”


View this post on Instagram


Turn sound off if you have a weak stomach. This was my ride to my show at @tarrytownmusichall tonight and a picture from the end of my set. I love doing stand-up more than anything and I hate cancelling shows. I have to postpone some until I feel human again. But i will make up these dates and we will have a great time. I’m so proud of my stand up right now and can’t wait to share it. Thanks to the amazing crowd tonight for being so warm and such great laughers and for being cool with my sweatpants and slippers on stage. Shots by @marcusrussellprice we are shooting a doc of me these past few months leading up to a special Im filming and you will see that I’m strugglin right now. But I’m so grateful and excited to be a mom. I’m grateful I have access to healthcare, as we all should have. But I guess what I’m really saying is Fuck Hyde-Smith and anyone who voted for her. My feelings on her are best expressed by the above video. And I don’t usually agree with speaking ill of crackheads, but she has a crackhead looking mouth. Tiny racist teeth. Also the MLB commissioner donated the max he could to her confederate ass campaign and that was after her crack mouth said she would attend a public hanging. #crackmouth #tinyracistteeth #hyperemesisgravidarum

A post shared by @ amyschumer on Nov 27, 2018 at 9:13pm PST

Editor’s Note: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred did not personally donate to her campaign. The MLB’s PAC donated to Hyde-Smith’s campaign and then asked for the donation to be returned following her controversial statement.

Tom Arnold admits dipping testicles in McDonald’s milkshakes

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 16:00

Tom Arnold used to dip his balls into McDonald’s milkshakes. Yes, that Tom Arnold. The Roseanne actor tweeted out his dirty deed in response to a tweet from the host of the popular RISK! podcast, Kevin Allison.

Allison had re-released a classic episode of the podcast where comedian Seena Jon tells a story about being a production assistant on set with the Roseanne writer. The young stand-up was excited to meet Arnold, but when Jon witnessed him act like a diva on set, Jon got his revenge. Revenge might be a dish best served cold, but not when it’s dipping your balls in a comedy icon’s milkshake and that milkshake is too cold. The episode first streamed in 2011 and became an instant classic.

I suppose I could pay closer attention to the calendar when scheduling @RISKshow episodes. On the other hand, who wouldn’t give thanks for today’s episode wherein @seenajon dips his balls in Tom Arnold’s milkshake? A creamy, frosty T-day treat indeed! https://t.co/JGqQv7fXOF pic.twitter.com/Uoa584wiRx

— Kevin Allison (@TheKevinAllison) November 22, 2018

When Allison tweeted about the release, he did not tag Arnold’s twitter handle, but Arnold still saw it. Thankfully, the sometimes-unstable star found it funny. Arnold replied to the tweet, with his own risky story. He admitted to also dipping his nether regions into the fast food while working at McDonald’s, noting that he probably deserved tasting some scrotum himself.

I used to do the same thing when I worked at McDonalds. #Karma

— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) November 22, 2018

RISK! is a podcast that features people divulging stories they never thought they would tell in public. The podcast started as a live show back in 2009 and became a hit. Allison decided to turn the concept into a podcast. RISK! has become a behemoth with over 2 million downloads per month. Allison also published a book based on the podcast, RISK! True Stories People Never Thought They’d Dare to Share, which came out earlier this year. The book features stories from comedians like Aisha Tyler, Marc Maron, Michael Ian Black, and Paul F. Tompkins.

Arnold got his karma like many others through the podcast. RISK! is no stranger to damning celebrity stories. Earlier this year, they caused some controversy when Aubrey O’Day told a story that was seemingly about Donald Trump Jr.

Listen to this classic RISK! episode here.

Cartman gets anxious on new South Park teaser (Video)

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 15:00

South Park released a promo video for its new episode Buddha Box, which will air this Wednesday, November 28 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central.

In the episode, Cartman has been diagnosed with anxiety. For regular fans of the show, it will come as no surprise that Cartman interprets this diagnosis in the worst, most-selfish way imaginable and decides he doesn’t want to deal with people any longer because they get in the way of what’s important in life. So he wears a box over his head. You know, a totally reasonable response.

Cartman’s Buddha Box zones out the rest of the world so the anxious user can focus on what’s truly important: interacting with those same people on your phone.

All-new episodes from this season will be available to stream in HD exclusively on South Park Studios and Hulu the day after they premiere. Fans will continue to have next-day access to new episodes, as well as the entire South Park library, across all internet-connected devices with a Hulu subscription. New episodes and a selection of curated episodes will be available to stream on cc.com and the Comedy Central App.

The uncensored episodes are also available for download on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, XBOX Live, Google Play, Sony Entertainment Network, Vudu and Verizon Flexview.

Modern Family writers sell Happy Accident pilot to ABC

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 14:00

The team behind Modern Family is bringing a new dysfunctional family to ABC with their new pilot Happy Accident. Abraham Higginbotham and Jon Pollack are both writer-producers for ABC’s smash hit Modern Family and have received a pilot order from the alphabet network.

Happy Accident will revolve around two Pittsburgh families who are forced to live together after a family secret is revealed. While no one has been cast yet, the principal characters will be a father, his three adult daughters, a lounge singer, and her med student son.

The project started as a spec script written in-house at 20th Century Fox Television. Now that the pilot has been picked up for production, 20th Century Fox will produce along with ABC Studios.

Pollack, prior to Modern Family, co-created the short-lived Perfect Couples on NBC. Higginbotham also came from the TV comedy world with credits on Ugly Betty, Will & Grace, Family Guy and Arrested Development. He executive produced Go On and Up All Night, both of which were also short-lived and on NBC.

No director is tied to the project yet, but a director and casting director should be named shortly given the network’s intent to start production early in this year’s pilot season. 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios have already partnered for another ABC pilot, a new iteration of NYPD Blue.

Seth Rogen pickle movie rounds out cast with familiar faces

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 13:11

Seth Rogen is almost finished with his yet-to-be-named Pickle film and recently announced the addition of several cast members, including Molly Evensen, Broad City’s Eliot Glazer, Kalen Allen, Kevin O’Rourke, and Succession’s Sarah Snook.

Simon Rich wrote the screenplay, based on his own New Yorker novella Sell Out. The film opens in 1918 when Herschel Greenbaum falls into a vat of pickles. He’s brined for 100 years, but the good news is that the brine preserves him perfectly, and when he emerges in present-day Brooklyn, he sets out to find his family. Turns out, his only surviving relative is his great-great-grandson, a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand. Rogen will play both roles of Herschel Greenbaum and his great-great-grandson, Ben Greenbaum.

While details of the full cast are still being kept under wraps, we do know that Glazer and Allen portray a hip gay couple who help Herschel become famous for his artisanal pickles, and Evensen plays an NYU student who becomes Herschel’s intern.

Fans of Evensen will remember her from her stint on Loosely Exactly Nicole. Glazer is not only famous for his recurring role on Broad City as Eliot Wexler, but he’s also a consulting producer on the hit Comedy Central series. Allen is probably best known for his Ellen appearances which capitalized on his Twitter following. He makes video reactions to culinary concoctions that ranged from the odd to the nasty (think lime Jell-O abominations).

Meanwhile, O’Rourke is a veteran character actor who played Spencer Tracy in The Aviator and recently appeared in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Netflix movie The Irishman. Snook is best known for being the star of prestige pieces like The Glass Castle, The Dressmaker, Steve Jobs, and of course, HBO’s Succession.

That’s so Lena Dunham: Everything we learned from The Cut’s 7,000-word profile on the Camping creator

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 15:13

Lena Dunham is trending. It’s the sentence that launches 1,000 news articles at least twice a year. This time, Dunham is back not for being accused of killing a pet or commenting on her ex’s Instagram. This time New York Magazine’s The Cut published an in-depth profile of the Girls creator. In the over 7,000-word article, called “‘Yeah, I’m Not for Everyone,’ Dunham comes to terms with herself. Allison P. Davis’s article is “an intimate look into the controversial comedian and covers everything from her recent health problems to her long list of seemingly perpetual scandals.” There is a lot of information here and, as with much of Dunham’s work, it can often verge on TMI. It’s a lot to take in, so we’re breaking down the eight wackiest, most on-brand Lena things we learned from The Cut.

1. She loves name dropping celebrity friends.

In the article, she mentions her “good friends” Emmy Rossum, Nicole Richie, Taylor Swift, and even sent a screenshot of a text conversation with Lady Gaga to the profiler, Allison P. Davis. Davis also writes that Gaga “is saved in her contacts as Lady Gaga, not as Stefani.” All of her celebrity friendships seem strong and very supportive except her friendship with Grammy-winning singer Lorde. After rumors that Lorde had been hooking up with Dunham’s ex, Jack Antonoff, Dunham admits, “I have never spoken to Ella [Lorde] about it. We haven’t talked since Jack and I broke up.”

2) She loves her pets.

She once had 16 pets, even though her mother swears it was fewer. While Dunham has been accused of killing her pets, she thinks those rumors are ridiculous. Right now, she has 3 hairless cats and wants to get a hairless black puppy and name it Rosa. However, she worries about the backlash the name might cause, explaining she’s, “worried people will get mad because of Rosa Parks because I have to consider those things.” She also reveals that Antonoff hates cats.

3) Her uterus was supper misshapen.

Last November she got an elective total hysterectomy at 31 even though her doctors advised against and most OB/GYNs do not recommend it as a treatment for endometriosis. But it was a good idea since Dunham quoted the doctor as saying, “he’d never seen a uterus as misshapen as mine.”

4) Her interior designer, Paul, lives with her.

Paul moved into her guest house with her two poodles when Dunham got sick. The Camping creator is constantly redecorating, so Paul has a lot to do. Dunham has an eccentric style. Davis describes the decor, “Right now, there are purple snakeskin poufs, leopard-print rugs, and bright-green walls. There’s a tiny pink room, called the “Lady Room,” filled with memorabilia: a framed teen glamour shot of a pubescent Dunham in a Nicole Miller blazer, lip-printed pottery she made at Color Me Mine and wanted to sell on Etsy, Eloise posters.”

5) She has an impressive list of mentors.

The list includes Nora Ephron, journalist David Carr, The New Yorker’s David Remnick, and comedy director Judd Apatow. In the piece, she mentions Remnick and Apatow especially as people she still seeks advice from.

6) Celebrities were shocked and outraged when she defended Murray Miller.

Back in 2017, Dunham released a statement saying she didn’t believe the rape accusations against Girls writer Murray Miller. Davis writes, “Apatow warned her, ‘I don’t think this is what you meant to do. That’s not how, in this day and age especially — this isn’t how we talk about women.’” Actress Tessa Thompson and the organizers of Time’s Up were also surprised by the actress’s double standard. Even writers for Dunham’s Lenny Letter website like Zinzi Clemmons called for her apology to Miller’s alleged victim. Model and trans rights advocate, Hari Nef, called the defense a ‘Girl, what the fuck’ moment.”

7) She is still close with ex-boyfriend, Jack Antonoff.

Dunham and Antonoff broke up last December but have remained friends. The fun musician kept their Brooklyn residence and Dunham decided to stay in Los Angeles for a bit, but the two text often. In the article, Davis wrote, “I texted Jack last week and said, ‘HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE DATED SOMEONE EVERYBODY HATES?’ in all capitals. He wrote back, ‘They only hate you because they love you so much, true story.’ Which is like, What a sweetie. What a liar and a sweetie.”

Their love story started when they were set up on a blind date seven years ago by the musician’s sister and fashion designer, Rachel Antonoff, and comedian Mike Birbiglia. Dunham also opened up in the profile, “Jack and I made a couple of Jewish-power-couple lists, which I was proud of.”

8) She is moving back to New York City.

After spending some time in Los Angeles, the writer is returning to her true home, New York. Surprisingly, she is moving to the West Village and not Brooklyn, the Borough her voice has become synonymous with. She explains, “My whole identity was, like, Brooklyn, and now I’m like, Thank you, Lord. I’m back amongst my tribe, which is like old people puttering around the health-food store. If I never see another fucking person in a cool sack dress with their baby again…I just wanna live around old people who are not reminding me every day of my infertility and loneliness. A lot of the stuff that happened last year couldn’t have happened if I was happy in my life, right?”

Take a deep breath and read the full profile here.

13 comedians’ surprising first roles

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 13:30

Even the biggest comedy stars have to start somewhere. Local commercials, made-for-TV movies (before “special television events” were a thing), and brief character arcs on shows can be important first steps in long careers. Especially local commercials. Thankfully for major celebrities, those credits don’t appear on IMDB. We had to do a little digging. From the silly to the surprising, Laughspin is rounding up a list of our favorite first credits from some of our favorite comedy stars.

Tina Fey, Mutual Savings Bank “Hi” Campaign, 1995

While Tina Fey officially debuted on TV in an episode of Upright Citizens Brigade in 1999, she appeared four years earlier in an amazingly weird ad for Mutual Savings Bank. We can forgive the very 1990s vest, but why is she in an abandoned warehouse?

Seth Meyers, Village of the Damned, 1995

Much like Fey, fellow Saturday Night Live alum, Seth Meyers’s first credit comes from 1995. He is only listed as Trooper (Uncredited) in Village of the Damned. The John Carpenter remake of the 1960s cult-horror classic features a lot of state troopers and—spoiler alert—most of them die. It is hard to say which one is Meyers. Can you find him in this hectic scene?

Stephen Colbert, FirsTier Bank Ad, date unknown

Stephen Colbert officially got his start on the Dana Carvey Show in 1996. But unofficially, a local bank ad for FirsTier seems like it is from earlier in the decade. While it isn’t as perplexing as Fey’s bank ad, it is just as ’90s. There is something insanely charming about Colbert even if he’s just listing locations in Nebraska.

Donald Glover, Winner Takes it All, 1998

Not much can be found about the 1998 TV movie Winner Takes it All, but we do know that Donald Glover was an extra in it. There is not much about the film online other than it follows two rappers and childhood friends who end up on opposite sides of the law and must work together when one becomes ensnared in a plot to take out a mafia boss. Someone please go dig through their mom’s VHS tapes and report back to us.

Jason Alexander, McDonald’s Ad, 1985

Okay, so this one is actually not his first credit. It’s more like his fourth. But this ad is really a much watch. Out of all the ads on this list (and there are more coming), this one really is the most amusing. Plus, it teaches us that Jason Alexander can sing. That being said, his first credit is also amazing. He plays a camper in the 1981 slasher flick, The Burning. You can see him in the trailer paddling boats and flirting with girls before he will be attacked by a scissor-wielding Jason Voorhees-type:

Jerry Seinfeld, Benson, 1980

While George was thrashing around in horror, Jerry Seinfeld’s first ever role was a three-episode run on the sitcom Benson. The young comedian played a character called Frankie on the show. The series focused on the titular character Benson, a wisecracking butler who was the backbone of a dysfunctional family.

Robin Williams, Can I Do it Until I need Glasses, 1977

Robin Williams had a truly epic career as an actor which included over 100 credits, but his first was a couple of small parts in the 1977 sex comedy, Can I Do it Until I need Glasses. It is not so much a film, but rather a collection of dirty sketches. Williams played multiple bit parts including a lawyer and a man with a toothache. The film is very dated and, well, just watch the trailer:

Mindy Kaling, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 2005

Mindy Kaling, surprisingly, debuted with more than a couple of lines in the Judd Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Kaling plays Amy, Paul Rudd’s ex. It’s a small part, but a great get from the young Office alum.

Steve Carell, Brown’s Chicken Ad, date unknown

Speaking of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Steve Carell’s first IMDB credit is in the 1991 film Curly Sue where he plays a waiter without any lines. But that might not have been his first credit. He was in an ad for Brown’s Chicken sometime in the early ’90s. While there is no definitive date for when it was made, it’s a great local commercial where Carell gets to speak. We are left with the question: Which came first? The fried chicken or the Hughes?

Jon Stewart, Mixed Nuts, 1994

Jon Stewart started his acting career out as a rollerblader in the Steve Martin-led comedy Mixed Nuts. He is mainly in the background but rolls through the shot multiple times throughout the movie. Two years later, he would land his next film role in First Wives Club. Unfortunately, his character was cut out of the film so we will never see him in the role of a lifetime as Goldie Hawn’s boy toy.

Adam Sandler, The Cosby Show, 1987

Adam Sandler became a blockbuster star in feature films (despite how hard the critics fight it), but his acting career started on the small screen. From 1987 to 1988, the Wedding Singer actor played Smitty on the Cosby Show. A friend of Theo’s from school, Smitty was a goofy dork. Not long after, Sandler got hired as a write on Saturday Night Live and the rest is history.

Chris Rock, Krush Groove, 1985

That seemingly little boy in the blue shirt is none other than comedy icon Chris Rock. The Top 5 star was just 20-years-old when this hip-hop drama came out. The film is about a record label and has a ton of cameos from music stars including Sheila E., Run-D.M.C. & Jam Master Jay, The Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow New Edition, Beastie Boys, and LL Cool J.

Janeane Garofalo, Kiki’s Delivery Service, 1989

Indulge me because I JUST TODAY found out Ursula in Kiki’s Delivery Service is voiced by Janeane Garofalo and had never seen this featurette pic.twitter.com/orBlQt1xIB

— trey taylor (@treytylor) May 29, 2017

Janeane Garofalo’s first credit is for voicing the character of Ursula in the English dub of Kiki’s Delivery Service. The children’s classic from esteemed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki follows a young witch as she gets her powers. Garofalo plays a tough girl who befriends the young witch. In the Japanese version, both Ursula and Kiki are voiced by Minami Takayama, but in the American version the parts are split and Kirsten Dunst plays Kiki. Garofalo isn’t the only comedian in the cast of the English version. She is joined by the late Phil Hartman who plays Jiji, a talking black cat. Hartman was already a big name by 1989, but he got his start in voice over as well providing additional voices for Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo in 1979.

Why those Hallmark Christmas movies are accidental comedic gold

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 11:00

Some of the best comedy out there is created on accident, and few movie genres prove this theory more than those comforting yet corny Hallmark Christmas movies. You don’t even have to watch A Boyfriend For Christmas to know there’s a scene where Santa earnestly tells an adult man named Ryan (the titular boyfriend) to live in the moment and let love in. The movie itself centers around a woman who asked Santa for a boyfriend as a kid, only to shockingly receive her wish 19 years later. It’s a plotline full of so much possibility for disaster it could otherwise be labeled a psychological thriller. As is, it’s branded as a cheeky and wholesome stroll through Hallmark’s heavy-handed idea of the spirit of Christmas, and this is where the accidental comedy gold comes into play.

One of the most basic tricks in comedy is the concept of “heightening,” raising a scene or joke’s stakes to higher and higher levels of absurdity until the audience simply cannot hold in their laughs. There are lots of vastly different ways to apply heightening—through a background character in a sketch who keeps hamming it up with physical comedy, through increasingly prescient call-backs in a stand-up set, through absurd stakes in a movie (see: every Ernest movie ever). All of these count as comedic heightening. As an admitted lover of irony, but mostly as a genuine lover of corny, trashy, or shallow media, I’ve consistently found the best comedic heightening is unintentional—and gratuitously wholesome made-for-TV movies truly excel at this.

Take Netflix’s Hallmark-inspired holiday rom-com The Christmas Prince, for example. First of all, a title as gaudy as The Christmas Prince immediately inspires me to get out the popcorn so I can jam my face with carbs while intermittently laughing and face-palming. There is so much preciousness forced into those three words: the viewer is already preparing for a tonal marriage between the cult of Christmas and the myths of royalty. On top of that, the previews ham it up by setting us up for a shenanigan-filled romantic comedy plot. We have Amber, a journalist dying to get a hot story on Prince Richard who is still single and waiting to take the throne. Her drive for journalistic success is so high that she accepts her boss’ assignment to disguise her identity and pretend to be a royal tutor to get closer to him. You can likely predict how the movie will end, but that’s not even the point!

The pure shenanigans of this plot, combined with quotes like, “Who are you, and what are you doing in my palace?” make for comedy gold. However, what makes the movie so funny is that it refuses to make fun of itself. The Christmas Prince is so committed to uplifting the ideals of “the Christmas spirit” and true love that it won’t let itself truly function as a comedy. The awkwardly earnest nature of a bad script attempting to lure viewers into reflecting on Christmas and love through hamfisted cliches is so much more funny than a self-aware movie.

In fact, if most Christmas-themed family-friendly movies allowed themselves to fully admit how bonkers they are, they could fully immerse themselves in the comedy or romantic comedy genres and become meta, self-aware camp masterpieces (even Netflix’s Twitter account understands how ridiculous their Christmas movies are). But so often, these movies teeter on the edge of comedic self-awareness and blissfully ignorant insanity with quotes like, “If Christmas can’t wake him up, I don’t know what will!” (from Netflix’s You Can’t Fight Christmas). And so, they end up being even more hilarious because they’re trying too hard to be emotionally powerful.

In a sense, Hallmark-style Christmas movies function as that friend or family member who has no idea how funny they are, because they really mean all of the batshit things they say. If that friend actually tapped into self-awareness, they might end up being intentionally funny. But it’s way more delightful to witness the raw comedy gold that comes out on accident. This is why I will continue to religiously watch Hallmark-style movies for comedic inspiration.

Well that, and because I have bad taste.

To the 53 people who’ve watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?

— Netflix US (@netflix) December 11, 2017

Ellen DeGeneres leads Netflix’s December comedies

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 10:00

Netflix dropped a teaser for what’s coming to the streaming giant this December. The teaser includes everything from drama to documentary, but we are here to break down what comedies are dropping next month and what you should be excited for!

Must-See Netflix Originals

Just watch this trailer. It is dripping in delicious camp. Plus Jennifer Aniston as a Southern beauty queen is so good that we have December 7 circled, underlined, and highlighted.

New Original Series

The Fix
There is no trailer yet, but Netflix describes the show as a panel show where “a rotating group of top comedians will take on the world’s toughest problems and try to come up with the perfect solutions.” Hear what Hollywood’s comedy stars have in mind on December 14.

The Hook Up Plan (Plan Coeur) coming December 7
A French romantic comedy series that looks like it just might fill the hole in your heart that Broad City left. But with subtitles. The Hook Up Plan dumps its first season December 7. Watch the trailer here:

New Seasons Because We’ve Waited For Too Long

The Ranch: Part 6 coming December 7
Cuckoo: Season 4 coming December 14
Fuller House: Season 4 coming December 14
Alexa & Katie: Season 2 coming December 26

Comedy Specials When You Take a Break from Wrapping Presents

Vir Das: Losing It
Vir Das is back for his second Netflix comedy special on December 11. Netflix has not released a trailer for the special yet, but the standup announced the special in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel.

Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable
Ellen DeGeneres is coming back to the stand-up stage on December 18. She has been hyping the special since September and even dropped a promo for Relatable on her talk show.

The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man
This documentary on the life of Bill Murray quietly came out earlier this year, but will be able to be viewed on the site at the end of the year on New Year’s Eve. Maybe it isn’t technically a special, but it certainly is a comedy.

Non-Netflix Comedy Series Because There Are Still Such Things
Happy!: Season 1
This cult hit finished its first season on the SyFy earlier this year and is available for streaming December 6. Starring Christopher Meloni, this dark comedy isn’t as upbeat as the title suggests.

Holiday Movies and Episodes to Get You Feeling Festive

5 Star Christmas aka Natale A 5 Stelle
Not much is known about this Netflix original, but it is an Italian romcom set in the Christmas season so, whatever, I’m game. Check it out December 7.

Nailed It! Holiday!
A special episode of the baking/comedy show will be dropping for the holiday season on December 7.

Movies we will binge again:
Friday coming December 1
Friday After Next coming December 1
Next Friday coming December 1
Shaun of the Dead coming December 1
The Big Lebowski coming December 1
The Man Who Knew Too Little coming December 1
Baby Mama coming December 16

Not sure exactly what it is yet:
There are reportedly a couple Netflix original shows coming to the platform next month, but the shows do not have trailers or enough information on the site to tell if they will be comedies or not. They are all scheduled to come out December 21. Watch at your own risk? They are:
Derry Girls coming December 21
Back With the Ex coming December 21
Bad Seeds coming December 21

Life Sucks resurrects early 2000s nostalgia in first two episodes. Watch it here! (Exclusive)

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 12:58

Be the first to watch Life Sucks, a new show from sketch group Dinner for One. The first 2 episodes of the hilarious new sitcom are available to stream exclusively on Laughspin.com. All six episodes will be released one per week every Wednesday on their YouTube page and featured on the Funny or Die community page, with the final two episodes releasing on December 19.

Life Sucks follows a group of three tweens in 2001 as they deal with the hell that is middle school. Chock-full of dial-up internet and graphic tees, the show is pure millennial nostalgia. While ’80s and ’90s nostalgia have exploded over the last few years, early 2000s nostalgia feels very fresh. Life Sucks will have anyone in their mid-20s shouting at the TV, “OMG I remember that!” The show has a Wet Hot American Summer-feel older comedians play much younger characters. If the premise seems familiar, it’s probably because it’s similar to the Netflix series Everything Sucks! and the upcoming Hulu show Pen15. However, Life Sucks has been bouncing around since 2012.

Life Sucks is truly the little show that could. A spec pilot for the show originally started as a more “modern day” take on being in middle school and was a finalist in the Comedy Central Short Pilot Competition where it was pitched to Just for Laughs and MTV. When it wasn’t picked up, Dinner for One crowdfunded six episodes of the show in 2013. On the last day of the crowdfunding campaign, they needed $50,000 to reach their $85,000 goal and actually managed to raise it by creating a social media frenzy.

In 2015, the pilot won the Best Comedy award at the Independent Television Festival, but the show hit a snag. There are no famous actors in it. At different points, comedian Russell Peters and Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito were both interested in a revamped pilot but ultimately passed. The pilot was considered by the now-defunct Seeso, TBS, TruTV, Dakota Films, and PopTV, but never found a home.

Not having any big names in the show might have worked against it in the mid-2010s, but it is one of the most charming things about the show. When we think of classics like Freaks and Geeks, we think of the huge stars that were in them and forget that it was Seth Rogen’s first acting role.

The show was created by Allyson Condrath, Max Fox, Jake Mann, Kyle Miller, and Ian Wexler.

Watch the first two episodes exclusively below and follow Dinner for One’s YouTube page to watch the rest!

Episode 1

Episode 2

Southern California wildfires halt comedy productions

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 14:30

Comedies Drunk History and Instant Family have both been impacted by the recent Southern California wildfires. The fires temporarily shut down production on the Comedy Central series.

Five films have canceled red carpet events over the past month, including the Coen brothers’ Netflix anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Paramount also opted to cancel the red carpet premiere and the after-party for the Mark Wahlberg-Rose Byrne comedy Instant Family. The screening still took place as planned in front of an audience that included foster kids (the film revolves around a couple who adopts three children from foster care).

Paramount additionally announced that there will be another Instant Family screening for victims displaced by the fires. The food that was ordered for the after-party was donated to the American Red Cross. Wahlberg, Byrne and the rest of the cast and crew even spent the day scheduled for the premiere handing out food to evacuated families. Co-star Octavia Spencer lauded the move in an emotional Instagram post.


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In dark times I am the type of person who compartmentalizes so that I can power thrrough the task at hand. After said task is completed I allow my self to feel whatever emotion necessary. Right now I’m in the midst of one of these moments with all that’s going on in California with the wildfires and gun violence and I just happen to be filming. While I am grateful to be working, I’m trying to keep despair at bay by looking for light in this uncertainty or somehow trying to create some. Well, today that light emanates from Paramount Studios. @instantfamily premiere is tonight and instead of a normal red carpet celebration and party, the studio has opted to cancel the party and red carpet to feed hundreds of displaced families and firefighters. They will also get to screen the movie. My heart is swelling with pride because this small gesture will bring a little light to an uncertain situation for those families and firefighters. We will have a regular “premiere” screening for all of the cast and crew and many adoptive families tonight. I can’t think of a better way to honor #SeanAnders’ beautiful family film. Thanks #PierceCollege #AmericanRedCross #ParamountStudios #lookToTheLight #bethelight #lightupthedarkness #InstantFamilyMovie #americanredcross

A post shared by Octavia Spencer (@octaviaspencer) on Nov 11, 2018 at 11:18am PST

Drunk History, meanwhile, had been filming its sixth season in King Gillette Ranch, a park in the Santa Monica Mountains. However, cast and crew were forced to evacuate the area on November 9. Series creator Derek Waters confirmed the news on Instagram with a photo of himself wearing an oxygen mask.


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First time I’ve ever pulled the plug on shooting Drunk History. I love my job but I love my crew more. this ain’t funny. Be safe everyone and save the animals

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