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Amy Schumer announces second Netflix comedy special

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 16:55

Amy Schumer is coming out with a new Netflix special. The comedian, who has proven she won’t be stopped no matter what’s growing inside her, will cover marriage and pregnancy in the new comedy special.

If you’ve been living under a rock: Amy Schumer is pregnant. The star has been very open about her pregnancy, morning sickness, and all of the issues surrounding her pregnancy on social media. The I Feel Pretty star announced Tuesday morning via Instagram that her new special, Amy Schumer: Growing, will be available for streaming March 19.

In the video, the Inside Amy Schumer star eats a donut while she talks about her pregnancy (again). She says, “I know it probably seems like I have been pregnant for 1,000 years.”

She then pretends that the video is a gender reveal saying, “What I wanted to announce was the baby’s gender.” She continues, “We are so excited to say what the gender is. However the baby identities is fine, whatever the baby’s sexuality is… any way the baby identifies is cool with us. As long as it doesn’t identify as a DJ.”

Amy Schumer surprises fans with Netflix special announcement

Schumer then clarifies that what she really wants to announce is her new Netflix special. She ends the video by saying, “It’s the best special I have ever done.”

Schumer made headlines this week for posting a photo of the Olsen twins on her Instagram and saying she had an announcement coming Tuesday. Many fans insisted the announcement would be that the comedian is pregnant with twins (she quickly debunked that rumor).

Did Netflix change its star system because of first Amy Schumer special?

Her first Netflix hour, The Leather Special, was seen as a flop after a sea of one-star reviews appeared on the platform. Vulture reported when the Leather Special came out in 2017 that the special was actually targeted by alt-right “trolls” via Reddit who tried to sink Schumer with bad reviews. Some suggested this was the reason Netflix ditched the star ratings altogether.

While one reviewer from Entertainment Weekly called The Leather Special, “pretty much 85 percent sex jokes,” Growing promises much more. In it, Schumer discusses pregnancy, marriage, and personal growth. She is confident in the material and hopefully, her trolls won’t come for this one too.

You can watch the full Instagram video below.

 

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Ahhhhhh I’m having a SPECIAL! March 19th @netflixisajoke #GROWING #TEACHYOURKIDSNOTTODJ

A post shared by @ amyschumer on Feb 12, 2019 at 9:00am PST

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Crank Yankers revived at Comedy Central; The Other Two renewed

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 13:34

Comedy Central announced Monday night that it will revive Crank Yankers with 20 all-new episodes. Crank Yankers ran from 2002-2007 on Comedy Central starring profane puppets making prank calls. The cable network also announced a full slate of projects for 2019.

In the revival, the titular Crank Yankers will target people not just on phones, but on social media, e-sport platforms, and “any venue where trouble can be made,” according to a press release. The new version is from Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, and Daniel Kellison, and will be Kimmel’s first project for his new production banner, Kimmelot. He will serve as showrunner and executive producer.

Jimmy Kimmel updates Crank Yankers pranks for social media generation

“Crank Yankers has always been my favorite show to make. Nothing is more fun or makes me laugh harder than a great crank call and I am thrilled that Comedy Central asked us to do it again,” said Kimmel. “At this time, I would like to ask all Americans to disable their caller ID. Thank you.”

Kimmel is well-known for epic pranks on his ABC late night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! Every year, he makes headlines making children cry by encouraging parents nationwide to pretend to eat all the trick or treat candy and record their kids’ reactions (it’s schadenfreude at its best).

The Other Two gets renewed; South Side has a trailer

Comedy Central renewed The Other Two, a scripted 30-minute comedy from ex-Saturday Night Live head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider. The showbiz satire starring Drew Tarver and Heléne York focuses on two struggling siblings trying to make it in their respective professions when their 13-year-old brother becomes famous overnight. The show has only been on the air a few weeks—it debuted on January 24—but critics love it so far. Rotten Tomatoes already certified it ‘fresh’ with a 92% score.

Comedy Central also dropped a trailer for their newest offering, South Side. South Side features an ensemble cast that works together at a rental retail outfit in Chicago. Naturally, the show’s heroes want more out of life. With local Chicagoans behind and in front of the camera, South Side means to offer “an authentic portrayal at what life on the South Side is all about,” according the network’s release. Lil Rel Howery, Nathaniel “Earthquake” Stroman, Jeff Tweedy, LisaRaye McCoy, Kel Mitchell, and Ed Lover star.

Comedy Central announces development slate

Additionally, Comedy Central is developing How to Be A Couple, a scripted comedy based on the real lives of Broad City writers Naomi Ekperigin and Andy Bechman. It’s also working on a comedy called The Chameleon, featuring Matteo Lane as a talented entertainer whom the government taps as its newest, most fabulous spy. A series based on Samantha Irby’s book Meaty is in the works.

Aside from the Crank Yankers revival, the most shocking news from Monday night’s announcement is a new late night series hosted by…David Spade? Comedy Central hopes you’re excited by the selection because we’re still not sure if this is just a really elaborate Crank Yankers prank.

The post Crank Yankers revived at Comedy Central; The Other Two renewed appeared first on LaughSpin.

Album Review: Greg Stone is blue, but charming, in The Amazing Greg Stone

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 11:00

According to many famous comedians, political correctness is suffocating the creativity of those within the comedy world. Most notably, Jerry Seinfeld said of today’s comedy climate, “There’s a creepy PC thing out there that really bothers me,” going so far to say he had to change his set in order not to offend a younger audience.

However, there are many comics today that, despite the political climate, still throw caution to the wind when it comes to the content of their performances. The Amazing Greg Stone, set for release on February 15, does just so by offering an uncanny look into the overly exuberant (and often dirty) mind of Greg Stone.

Recorded at the Creek and the Cave in Long Island City, NY, Stone takes a creative mental jaunt with his audience in an attempt to help them understand what it means to be him. And from the audience’s reaction to this journey, his attempts resonate as a perfect example of how a stand-up can exercise his comedic muscles without the fear of someone taking offense.

From the get-go, one can see that Stone wants his entire audience to have a good time at his show, and he’ll go to any length to accomplish that mission—he delves into the highs and lows of relationships, his ignorance when it comes to pot, and other embarrassing episodes that ultimately make him look like the court jester.

Stone’s energetic and stellar storytelling, as well as his ability to keep his tales flowing in a coherent linear fashion, is no doubt due to his immense experience as both a radio personality (he is the co-host of The Rad Dudecast with Anthony Devito and Brendan Eyre and is featured on SiriusXM’s The Bennington Show) and as a comedy writer (he was on staff for Netflix’s The Break with Michelle Wolf). And while he works blue, his lack of reservation in doing so is refreshing, especially in the highly contrived and pre-constructed industry he works in. Honest storytelling is always better than contrived, even if the latter is more elaborate. But, in Stone’s case, he is charming, honest, and colorful, which affords him a unique opportunity to achieve complete success in his execution.

The upcoming Amazing Greg Stone immediately reminds one of hanging out with their best friend from college who has a knack for enthusiastically telling awesome stories over a beer—or 10. They are simply hilarious and a joy to be around, especially when they are honest about their lives. And when living in this kind of world, people need honesty and genuineness like they need a regular tropical vacation from a demanding work schedule.

The tales flow and interweave, and though it felt like minutes, you realize you’ve been at it for hours. But, you don’t regret any moment of it because it becomes a memorable experience, one that connects you to that friend for the rest of your life.

That’s how it feels after listening to The Amazing Greg Stone—like you just reconnected with an old friend who wants everyone to have a good time. It is honest, enjoyable, and leaves you looking forward to when you can meet up with each other again to get updates.

Overall, The Amazing Greg Stone is an album full of genuine, hilarious comedy in a time when such entertainment is so desperately needed. And the fact it arrives just now is, in itself, nothing short of amazing.

Greg Stone’s The Amazing Greg Stone, from Comedy Records, is available on February 15.

The post Album Review: Greg Stone is blue, but charming, in The Amazing Greg Stone appeared first on LaughSpin.

David Spade gets Comedy Central late night show in haunted time slot

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 02:02

Comedy Central will let David Spade host a late night show in their seemingly haunted 11:30 p.m. time slot. Spade will follow The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Monday through Thursday in the half-hour series. Since Stephen Colbert left Comedy Central to host The Late Show on CBS, no show has quite solidified itself at 11:30 on the comedy network.

The David Spade late night show will feature the Saturday Night Live alum giving his unique take on the pop culture news of the day. Fans of the comedian’s Instagram stories will find his field segments very familiar. The yet-to-be-titled series will also include a rotating group of the 54-year-old’s celebrity friends. The show will premiere “later this year,” according to a release.

Spade tweeted a video Monday night announcing the news saying, “We decided to take a gamble on me. Comedy Central said, ‘Let’s get this guy.’” While describing the show like another podcast with three to four dudes talking about “whatever,” he promises there will be no politics—unless Cardi B runs for something. Instead, they’ll stick to the safe and appealing topic of popular culture. “We’re gonna cover everything…whatever’s funny, whatever’s stupid, whatever’s dumb. It’ll be me and my stupid friends.”

Comedy Central to try David Spade at late night

Colbert Report left Comedy Central in December 2014. Since then, various shows have followed the perennial Daily Show, now hosted by Trevor Noah, and none have lasted terribly long. Larry Wilmore lasted a couple of seasons with The Nightly Show. After that, @midnight operated @11:30 until former Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper launched his satirical nod to Colbert, The Opposition.

Colbert drew in over a million live viewers per night on average towards the end, but the same slot with the same lead-in could not seem to grab the excitement of viewers back home. The Nightly Show tended to hover around half-a-million viewers while The Opposition only managed a few hundred thousand. Sure, @midnight was fairly consistent—and received a bump in the ratings when it temporarily filled in during the slot—but even then, the show knew to call it quits after 600 trending episodes.

Now it’s Russel Dunbar’s turn to try and take advantage of the fake news lead-in. Spade has not had a regular TV gig since doing Rules of Engagement for seven seasons. The CBS sitcom shuttered in 2013. Since then, he’s bounced around to a variety of cameos and short recurring roles on one TV show or another, but he very often plays himself as a celebrity gag in shows like Lady Dynamite, Fameless, Entourage, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. His presence has often been a punchline.

However, the Tommy Boy star continues to work, mostly alongside longtime friend Adam Sandler. Nine of his last 10 films either starred the 100% Fresh comedian or were produced by his Happy Madison Productions shop.

David Spade choice keeps late night white

Comedy Central’s choice of Spade is curious in an era when demands for diversity are stronger than ever before. The late night mix-up of 2014-2015 left many excited for executives to tap some different faces. Between Late Show, Late Late Show, Colbert Report, and The Daily Show, only The Daily Show chose a replacement who was not a straight white man. Yes, Samantha Bee finally got her own late night show, but TBS gave it to her only after CBS and Comedy Central passed over the then-longest tenured correspondent at The Daily Show. (Bee is doing just fine as the patron saint of angry women, by the way).

Late night has always been a male-dominated space—and white. Very white. Yes, Chris Rock and Arsenio Hall got some shots behind a desk, but the person coming out of whatever-color curtains each night continues to be a white guy. Noah is the lone person of color in the current late night landscape. Busy Philipps and Bee are the only women, though Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is once a week and Busy Tonight is a comedy afterthought on E!

With 11:30 open at Comedy Central—a slot that should belong to Bee—the attention will be on this pop culture news show to see if Spade can be relevant not just one night of the week, but four.

Hey guys I’m going to do a new nightly show on @ComedyCentral right after the Daily Show. Coming soon. Here’s the official announcement above more deets to come. P.S. Order me a deet salad pic.twitter.com/aEKBve88Mx

— David Spade (@DavidSpade) February 12, 2019

The post David Spade gets Comedy Central late night show in haunted time slot appeared first on LaughSpin.

How to name your first comedy special

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 17:09

Every time I read about someone’s comedy special or see an ad on the side of a bus, immediately after spit-taking the hot beverage that I’m casually sipping with a burst of seething jealousy as if I’m an evil villain in a sitcom, I think to myself, “What would my comedy special be called?”

Obviously, I’d want to come up with an incredible name that would be so perfect it’d leave Colin Quinn biting his fist and other comedians whispering to themselves, “Fuck, that’s perfect.”

Here’s a name that popped into my mind: Just Hear Me Out—but a quick Google search shows that Kevin Nealon called his special that already. Screw you, Kevin. I think you’re really funny and all, but I hate it when someone beats me to an idea I put almost zero effort into.

Ooh, how about Hear, hear! I know it’s old-timey and old-timey stuff isn’t super “in” right now, but it might be again by the time I get around to recording this special. I’ll add that to the maybe list.

I’m about to toss another one out, get ready: You Don’t Say? It, too, is kind of old-timey, but it also almost works. Imagine it asked by an older woman in the 1930s or 40s responding to someone who just told her something boring. It’s a play on words which seems to do well in the comedy special arena, as in, You Shouldn’t Say…what this comedian is about to say, or the subtext being, “No one ever says anything this awesome!”

Or maybe, I Say! That’s almost the opposite of You Don’t Say? It’s more of a statement, versus a question, as in, “I say, my good man!”. The title must be uttered by all members of the media and ticket purchasers in a British accent in order to really work. I guess I can’t control how people pronounce the show’s title. Maybe my press agent could spread around to some cool people on whatever cool people list he keeps how it should be said (which is one reason why, in this fantasy, I pay him $2000 a week).

However, a comedy title should, generally, be a punchline or part of a joke from the special. So I’d have to write a special joke about the expressions, “You Don’t Say?” or “I say!” and that seems like a lot of work. Otherwise, it’s too forced, almost cheating, and the audience is going to know that and they’re going to hate the joke and it’s going to be cut out of the special, and it’d be very weird to have a special with the title being the main joke that got cut out.

Along the lines of I Say, I realize that I Do Declare could also work. It might be too weird. I don’t know if anyone would want to watch a comedy special called I Do Declare. It sounds like Southern belle-inspired porn, which my press agent might argue could help viewership. Thought, the people who’d watch I Do Declare because they think it might be Southern belle-inspired porn probably aren’t the folks who’d stick around after seeing it’s not porn. You never know. Maybe I would develop a totally new fan base of Southern belle-inspired porn and comedy-loving people.  I doubt I’d be the first, but maybe I could take it further by making t-shirts that say, “Jessica Delfino – The Comedian Whose Southern belle-inspired Porn Lovers Love Too”. Or, “If You Love Southern belle-inspired Porn, You’ll Love Jessica Delfino”. Wait, no, because that makes me sound like a Southern belle-inspired porn star. No offense to them; they work hard. But I prefer to show my vagina and rectum in the form of jokes.

If I were going to go that route, I could just call my show Southern Belle-inspired Porn. It’d definitely get some attention and I could easily write a joke about Southern belle-inspired porn for my title joke. In fact, I think I already have a few.

These can all go on my maybe list.

Maybe I could go with a made-up word, the way Phil Collins did with his album ABACAB. The problem, besides the fact that millennials don’t know who Phil Collins is and won’t get the twist, is that ABACAB wasn’t a made-up word. It’s the structuring of a song. A represents the verse, B represents the chorus and C represents the bridge. So maybe I could do that but with comedy. It’d be, SPLA ad nauseam. S = set up, P = punchline, L = laughter, A = applause. Even though it sounds like a very bad band name or the sound of vomit, there’s something interesting about it. It could make people curious, which would be good. It could also make them just not go, which would be bad.

Despite all of that, I can guarantee that Kevin Nealon never had a show with that name.

I could write a few random words and throw them into a hat, and then pick some out. I could ask my mom—she seems to have all the advice about exactly how I could be a hugely successful comedian.

I could hire a marketing company to name my comedy special, but I am a comedian. I should be able to come up with a name for my comedy special on my own or else I should quit comedy and go do anything else.

I’ve got it! I’m going to write my special first. And then I’ll name it later.

The post How to name your first comedy special appeared first on LaughSpin.

Is Amy Schumer pregnant with twins? Mysterious post spawns rumors

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 16:10

Is Amy Schumer having twins? The pregnant stand-up comic teased her 7.8 million Instagram followers with a post on Sunday featuring iconic twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen wearing black coats and smoking cigarettes. Schumer posted, “Special announcement coming Tuesday! (It is unrelated to the Olson [sic] twins).” Schumer has not posted any mysterious messages on Twitter in the past day.

 

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Special announcement coming Tuesday! (It is unrelated to the Olson twins)

A post shared by @ amyschumer on Feb 10, 2019 at 8:59am PST

As of this posting, Schumer’s mysterious social media post has gathered almost 60,000 likes and over 900 comments. Many of the comments speculated that the comic will announce tomorrow that she is having twins. Her fans could not agree on the sexes of the speculative twins, though. One follower commented, “AND…its twin GIRLS??” while another commented, “Twin boys?” and yet another guessed, “One boy and one girl.”

Amy Schumer addresses pregnancy rumors

Schumer, who does not currently have any children, announced her pregnancy in a low-key manner in October. She posted a Photoshopped teaser on her own page (including a plea to VOTE!!). She then officially announced on her friend Jessica Yellin’s Instagram account. The pregnancy announcement was at the end of a list of political candidates for the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.

Schumer has not been shy about posting about her pregnancy, including a candid photo in her underwear over the weekend. She also posted an ultrasound photo in January that could reveal further clues. Schumer is married to chef Chris Fischer.

Amy Schumer is not having twins

Finally addressing the rumors, Schumer posted on Sunday a movie poster for Twins, showing Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in matching beige suits. However, Schumer captioned the post, “I am NOT having these. #justone,” squashing any rumors. So far, that post has almost 24,000 likes and almost 500 comments. One follower @tommiekay1 commented, “So then it must be that the Olsen twins will be your bambino’s nannies, teaching acting skills in tandem with diaper changes.”

Stay tuned for Schumer’s surprise announcement on Tuesday!

 

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I am NOT having these. #justone

A post shared by @ amyschumer on Feb 10, 2019 at 1:00pm PST

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Dave Chappelle proves he’s the GOAT; wins Grammy back-to-back years

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 14:04

Dave Chappelle won his second Grammy Award on Sunday for Best Comedy Album. The Recording Academy honored the album-version of Chappelle’s Netflix double-feature Equanimity & The Bird Revelation with the coveted prize.

Chappelle beat out fellow nominees Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Fred Armisen, and of course, multiple-Grammy winner Chris Rock. Chris Rock won Best Comedy Album in 1998, 2000, and 2006.

Crossover recording-artist and comedian Donald Glover took home some of the most prestigious awards of the night under his Childish Gambino alias for This Is America. Childish Gambino won Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Best Music Video for the song. Glover did not attend last night’s ceremony, despite being one of the night’s biggest winners.

Chappelle also did not receive his award in-person during the Premiere Ceremony, prior to the main telecast.

Weird Al Yankovic and his two art directors won Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package for Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic. Yankovic now has five Grammys to his name, including Best Comedy Album in 2015. He has received 16 nominations over the years and beat out Guns N’ Roses and The Grateful Dead this year.

All four Dave Chappelle Netflix specials win Grammy

Chappelle’s Best Comedy Album was actually two specials that were released together on New Year’s Eve. The Bird Revelation was filmed in the intimate Belly Room of The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Equanimity was filmed in Chappelle’s hometown of Washington, D.C. Netflix reportedly paid at least $60 million for all four of his 2017 specials.

Last year, Chappelle won the Best Comedy Album Grammy for his March 2017 double-album The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas. That means that each of the four stand-up specials that Chappelle released in 2017 won a Grammy—but please, explain why you hate the Half-Baked star so much.

At the 2018 ceremony, he Chappelle also presented Best Rap Album and noted the absence of A Tribe Called Quest from the nominees. He even made an appearance in Kendrick Lamar’s performance. It would have been nice to see him again on the stage this year.

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Fuck Jerry account loses half a million followers after comedians call for boycott

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 13:21

Twitter and Instagram lit up last week with comedians urging fans to unfollow the popular Fuck Jerry Instagram account [Ed. Note: Due to the anti-comedy nature of Jerry Media, we will not be linking to Fuck Jerry or his other accounts]. But just what’s behind the boycott? Tired of creating content for free and having others use it for profit, comedians like Patton Oswalt and Judah Friedlander are banding together and calling for their fans to #FuckFuckJerry.

The catalyst for this was the hit Netflix Fyre Festival documentary everyone at your office won’t stop talking about. If one thing stood out, it was how such a shitshow got hyped to the proportions it did. Playing no small part in this was the social media team of “curators”—a title joke thieves adopted in defense to being called out—at the Jerry Media agency founded by Instagram bros Elliot Tebele and Ryan Ohliger. Better known as @fuckjerry and @krispyshorts, they made their names stealing tweets, videos, and content made by actual comedians and the documentary refocused the spotlight on how they profit from others’ work.

Fuck Jerry joke stealing exposed by Megh Wright

A quick glance at the Fuck Jerry Instagram account revealed it to be a goldmine of plundered content. From ads for Comedy Central created using stolen tweets to promote Broad City and Corporate to branded Fuck Jerry merchandise using stolen memes, Jerry Media has grown to a multimillion-dollar marketing company. Journalist Megh Wright uncovered examples of comedy writer and actor Ted Travelstead’s tweets being used on Fuck Jerry’s Cards Against Humanity knockoff game. Travelstead was initially flattered by the attention until he realized they were using it to make a profit and that none of the proceeds were going to him.

With countless examples of this surfacing, an experiment was in order. If Fuck Jerry was profiting based on its follower count, why not try and hit them where it hurts by encouraging people to unfollow through “incessant tweeting”? Suddenly there was an outlet for everyone’s common frustrations. Early on, Friedlander jumped in to suggest the hashtag #FuckFuckJerry and the movement quickly took hold.

Oswalt, Tim Heidecker, and comedy video artist Vic Berger rallied to the cause. Heidecker was so enthused he even penned a new song in support.

Berger took it one step further, creating one of the satirical video mash-ups that made him internet famous, with a focus on Tebele and his craft of curation—or as comedians call it, stealing.

hey @megh_wright figured you could use a jingle for your movement #fuckfuckjerry https://t.co/wbuO5M8Inp

— Just Tim Heidecker (@timheidecker) February 2, 2019

Jerry Media profited from stealing memes from comedians

Berger continued his campaign with an op-ed on Rolling Stone’s website where he detailed exactly how Fuck Jerry profits from their stolen content, earning up to $75,000 per post on their feed and $40,000 for a swipe up Instagram story. In the piece, he shares his own experience asking for credit for one of his Ted Cruz videos in 2016 and being told to “Shut Up” by @krispyshorts. He highlights the numerous other celebrities who have joined the conversation including comedian John Mulaney and Colin Hanks, with Hanks’ post a nod to the orange squares originally used to promote Fyre Fest.

 

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Been thinking about some things lately that I want to tell you guys. A couple of things. @fuckjerry isn’t just some guy. It started that way but now it’s actually a marketing agency that can command thousands of dollars for a single IG post. A company that has profited from stealing jokes and content from comedians and not giving proper credit. Do a quick Google search. They are hustlers. Con men. Not only that, they also helped bring you the Fyre Festival. That’s right. They ran the social media for that. They helped create content for that. They helped sell that. They profited from that. Not only did they profit from that debacle, they helped produce a documentary about it (the Netflix one) and profited off of that as well. So, to put it simply, unfollow @fuckjerry. Unfollow anything to do with @fuckjerry. Fuck those guys.

A post shared by Colin Hanks (@colinhanks) on Feb 2, 2019 at 8:00am PST

Then he tackles Tebele’s apology on Medium, where he promised not to use anyone’s work in future without credit or permission. “I reached out to Jerry Media to find out about future payment for creators and if this no-theft policy was company-wide, encompassing all thirty accounts rather than just the main @fuckjerry account,” Berger noted. “But I never heard back.”

Comedians mobilize against Fuck Jerry, Jerry Media

It’s this lack of credit or compensation which has mobilized everyone, with comedians sick of seeing the results of their hard work plagiarised to line someone else’s pockets. The role of curators on a cluttered internet has become celebrated to an insane level with the act of “finding” content somehow more revered than the actual creation of it. Ironic that in this context, the term “curator” was originally coined to give The Fat Jewish a job description after he was called out for stealing jokes.

Berger believes there is a positive way to change this. “I urge everyone to seek out, follow, and support actual comedians and artists that are creating good and unique content every day.” It’s hard to measure if his words are blowing up follower numbers for comedians and creators across the internet, but what is evident is the steep nosedive in followers on the Fuck Jerry account.

a #FuckFuckJerry progress report for you, showing followers both before and after we got started pic.twitter.com/UqJxx3RTIc

— Megh Wright (@megh_wright) February 7, 2019

Fuck Jerry followers dropped by almost half-a-million, a statistic backed up by Joe Rogan on his podcast. Additionally, Comedy Central and Bumble have removed ads or vowed not to work with Jerry Media in the future.

The real win though is that fans are starting to learn that double tapping a screenshot of a funny tweet isn’t so harmless and that’s awesome for people who create things.

The post Fuck Jerry account loses half a million followers after comedians call for boycott appeared first on LaughSpin.

Saturday Night Live recap: Halsey sings through stale SNL

Sun, 02/10/2019 - 13:54


You’ll love Halsey after this week’s Saturday Night Live. Halsey appeared last year as the musical guest when Sam Rockwell hosted, but she got to do a lot more this time around. The 24-year-old singer both hosted and performed as the musical guest. She even painted a giant picture live on the show. While Halsey was adorable and tried her best, she was stuck in some sketches that didn’t quite work. This week, in general, was very political, but some of that political commentary fell flat. Also, if you like ‘Jeff Bezos’s penis‘ jokes, this was really the week for you. As always, Laughspin is here to tell you what you can’t miss and what to skip using our totally super official Star Scale.

SNL Cold Open

This week’s cold open featured a Meet the Press parody where the press only talked about Bezos’s penis. The cast delivered surprisingly good impressions of Chuck Todd (Kyle Mooney), Eugene Robinson (Kenan Thompson), and Peggy Noonan (Cecily Strong), but it’s hard to appreciate these not-easily-recognizable pundits. This sketch started strong but went way too long. Having the only joke in this sketch be about the Amazon CEO’s dick pics works better than expected, but by the end, you will be bored.

Halsey SNL Monologue

Halsey’s monologue was adorable, but not necessarily funny. She does some jokes about New Jersey that are extremely safe and then turns the monologue into a sentimental, “I used to watch this show as a kid!” speech. While many hosts bring up “watching as a kid,” she gave her own spin to it and talked about the women on SNL. She doesn’t name names, but given her age, it would have been the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler years, most likely. It was sweet, but not funny.

Them Trumps

They did not need to make a second Them Trumps. The first one was funny because it was surprising, but the sequel goes nowhere the first one didn’t. We loved the original, so just watch that one again.

State Meeting

This sketch about Virginia politicians asking questions about when they could do blackface is funny, but it is very one-note. It’s a shame in a week like this where a lot of sketches were pretty one-note. That being said, this sketch will get you laughing. Often, hosts don’t get the best parts, but Halsey gets the funniest line of the sketch when she asks if blackface is ok if you are half-black and half-white, before the biracial singer reveals it was for a costume where she is both Michael Jacksons.

Valentine’s Day Song

Who doesn’t love a song bit? While this one seems to have just been filmed on the sound stage, it is one of the better ones we have seen in a while. It is hilarious for anyone who’s mom still buys them Valentine’s Day presents. Also, Halsey, Kate McKinnon, and Aidy Bryant look like they are having the most fun while making this.

Parents Call

Hosts often have to play the straight man, and if they get to be funny, it’s in a role that isn’t a stretch for them. So, Halsey doing a character in this sketch is really unexpected. She makes some great choices for the voice of the mom and the premise of the sketch is really relatable while still being absurdist.

Women of Congress

There is something about this Charlie’s Angels parody that does work. It has a super long intro and then just one joke. It might have worked better as just an intro and cut the next scene which makes the congresswomen look shrill and makes the Charlie’s Angels reference confusing. There are some laughs here, but not quite enough.

Weekend Update

Sometimes it is hard to rate Weekend Update because there are so many parts. There were three special guests this week plus all the jokes from Colin Jost and Michael Che. Che giggled a lot this week, which sometimes feels like breaking for breaking’s sake. SNL usually uploads all their segments to YouTube, but this week they did not upload a part of Weekend Update where Melissa Villaseñor plays Lady Gaga (potentially due to licensing a song). Her impression wasn’t amazing, which was surprising coming from the usually spot-on Villaseñor. It seemed like an excuse to let her sing. Weekend Update also featured Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner playing an Instagram couple, which was unmemorable.

Karaoke

SNL did not upload this sketch, but if you are watching on Hulu or have bought the episode, it is about 48 minutes in. It’s too bad they didn’t upload it, because it was a pretty funny sketch, but since it features a sorority pledge class singing the song What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes it might have been too expensive to post. In it, the pledge class does increasingly mean and absurd dares. The funniest line in this sketch features a racist macaw and we would recommend you watch it—that is if you can find it.

Black History Month

This is one of the smartest bits of the night. The black cast members continue to get interrupted by white cast members Mooney and Bennett as they try to give a speech about black history and SNL. The only issue with this sketch is that it is not self-aware at all. It does not remark on how the show has actually not had many black people on it for many years. The bit is funny, but the speech makes SNL itself sound like a more diverse show than it is.

Maurice

It has been quite a while since we have given something a one star, but this sketch isn’t great—especially if you care about homophobia or sex workers’ rights. The premise is the father of a family gets into cam modeling. The characters take an incredulous approach to the growingly-popular revenue stream, which leaves a bad taste in the mouth. There are funny lines, especially when the wife and the brother’s girlfriend start supporting him, but it just kind of ends.

Riverdale

Pete Davidson doesn’t do a lot of characters—and he especially doesn’t do characters that aren’t the chill guy—so it was great to see him get into one in the final sketch of the night. He breaks a lot in this sketch, but it’s nice to see him commit to an accent and a goofy premise. The sketch goes on a little long and their Jughead could have done a lot more, but the corpse premise is funny.

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Late night roundup: Joe List, Sam Morril, Matthew Broussard

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 15:23

It was a man’s week on the late night shows—but these dudes more than paid their dues and ground their way to respect in the comedy community. The Tonight Show, Conan, and Late Late Show all featured some stand-up this week worth watching. I’ve been watching Sam Morril and Joe List for the better part of a decade in New York City. Though I’m unfamiliar with the prominent jawline of Matthew Broussard, the artist-comedian impressed me with a vast self-awareness. I won’t be asking him for stock tips anymore, but I will be watching more of his stand-up.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Matthew Broussard is not on The Tonight Show to tell you the wonders of playing squash—even if he looks the part. The Monday Punday artist popped by 30 Rock to tell us about his upper-class facial structure and how men can stalk his partner’s exes, too.

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

Joe List is a favorite amongst comedy nerds. The Tuesdays with Stories co-host was on Late Late Show with James Corden this week with his typically tight, relatable jokes. Few comedians can still cover mundane topics like airplane woes like List. You’ll enjoy watching his seamless segueways and witty observations wherever you see him (but while you’re here, watch him below).

Jimmy Kimmel Live! Conan

Sam Morril—whose Comedy Central special Positive Influence made our top 20 list—is a comedy powerhouse. Morril has been astounding the industry since his NYU days and this set on Conan is no exception. The set-up/punchline comic has a new perspective on why it’s so easy to be a man in 2019 and it has nothing to do with privilege. We also respect his nod to recently deceased comrade Kevin Barnett—Bird Luger forever!

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Jordan Peele YouTube series makes horror hilarious—and Awkwafina’s in it

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 14:05

Jordan Peele has a new show looks absolutely weird but in the best way possible. Weird City, a new half-hour sci-fi comedy show created by Peele and Charlie Sanders, seems like a continuation of Peele’s prolific career in bringing audiences inventive and terrifying science fiction combined with a biting sense of humor.

Peele received an Oscar for writing Get Out, and his new movie, Us, hits theaters March 22. On the small screen, Peele is also premiering a reboot of another sci-fi series, The Twilight Zone, on CBS All Access April 1.

And if you’re a fan of any of these things, Weird City is right up your alley.

Weird City is an anthology of stories set in a fictional town of Weird in the not-too-distant future. As with most good sci-fi, Peele uses the genre to not only entertain but also to make commentary on present-day society. It’s a lot like the original Twilight Zone or Black Mirror, but with a sense of humor.

Since the show comes out right before Valentine’s Day, it’s only fitting that the first episode revolves around love. In the clip below, desperately single characters in search of their perfect match go to Negari Labs, a futuristic facility that uses DNA testing and a specific questionnaire to help people find love. Of course, not all is what it seems.

Big stars join Jordan Peele on Weird City

On top of imaginative plot lines and sharp comedy, Weird City also has a huge roster of guest stars like Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera, Laverne Cox, LeVar Burton, Awkwafina, Steven Yeun, Gillian Jacobs, Mark Hamill, and many more.

Weird City will premiere on YouTube Premium on February 13. The service usually costs $11.99 per month, but new members can sign up for one month free.

Watch the full trailer below.

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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.”

The post Modern Family ending after 11 seasons on ABC appeared first on LaughSpin.

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