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Dane Cook teases Fight script in Instagram post

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 12:30

Dane Cook teased a new film script on his Instagram Monday night. The video post zooms in on an open script file on a laptop. The script simply says, “Fight, Written by Dane Cook,” with a note at the bottom of the page that says “Reheat Entertainment.”

In the caption to the post, Cook reveals that the script is for a new film with “heart, humor & drama organically intermingled.” The rest of the caption is a rumination on the comedic process. Cook writes, “In stand up, as comedians, we are never truly ‘finished’ cultivating a routine. We polish & tweak, painstakingly night after night searching for the prime entry point, most delightful mid build up to a robust ending (cue laughter/applause). It doesn’t matter if you are a storyteller, joke slinger or absurdist. The formula is what it has always been. So we perform it, craft it and ship it off. I’ve done it many times. And realize this… we get one shot a night at getting it right. You have an off night that bit might get toss in the dumpster.”

He continues, “At a certain point you let it go. Trust me, every great comedian years and years later will remember a certain routine and say, ‘I know what I should have added!’ This story I won’t have to do that. As an actor, writer & director this is the best material I’ve created. It’s taken a long time and though there is more work to do.. this.. away from stand up.. is where my mind is at. I can’t wait to share with you.. a unique look at a complex life.”

Cook has been spending time “away from stand up” recently and working on films. He’s also working on a new film called American Typecast, which he wrote with Monib Abhat and directed. The film is in post-production according to IMDB. The Good Luck Chuck actor also starred in the drama American Exit last year and can be seen in the Netflix documentary The American Meme. Basically, Dane Cook is getting all-American.

See the post here, but warning the background noise on the post is very distorted:


View this post on Instagram


In stand up, as comedians, we are never truly “finished” cultivating a routine. We polish & tweak, painstakingly night after night searching for the prime entry point, most delightful mid build up to a robust ending (cue laughter / applause). It doesn’t matter if you are a storyteller, joke slinger or absurdist. The formula is what it has always been. So we perform it, craft it and ship it off. I’ve done it many times. And realize this… we get one shot a night at getting it right. You have an off night that bit might get toss in the dumpster. At a certain point you let it go. Trust me, every great comedian years and years later will remember a certain routine and say, “I know what I should have added!” This story I won’t have to do that. As an actor, writer & director this is the best material I’ve created. It’s taken a long time and though there is more work to do.. this.. away from stand up.. is where my mind is at. I can’t wait to share with you.. a unique look at a complex life. A film with heart, humor & drama organically intermingled. #LETSGO

A post shared by Dane Cook (@danecook) on Jan 14, 2019 at 4:09pm PST

Janeane Garofalo defends Louis C.K. on podcast: This doesn’t win me any friends.

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 11:30

Janeane Garofalo thinks that people need to leave Louis C.K. alone. The comedian went on Bust’s Poptarts podcast back in December to talk about feminism and her comedy career. The episode was released on Friday.

The whole podcast seemed fairly confrontational. Hosts Emily Rems and Callie Watts did not seem to purposefully provoke Garofalo, as the hosts and Garofalo remained respectful about their different takes on the sexualization of women and women’s empowerment. When the conversation shifted to the #MeToo movement, the podcast got notably heated.

“When it comes to the #MeToo movement, I think it’s okay to question the source. It should transcend gender. It’s human rights,” said the Wet Hot American Summer star. She went on, “Cause if you don’t, anyone can be accused of anything at any time and if you’re not allowed to question that — I can say right now ‘I’ve got pictures of you molesting a child. Don’t question me!’ You know what I mean? Don’t question the questioner! Then it’s a Twilight Zone episode.

“And I think in any movement, for human rights, you’ve got to transcend gender, and you’ve got to consider who’s making the accusation and why and when because it matters.”

The topic then shifted to her longtime friend, C.K. The comedian publicly admitted to workplace sexual harassment back in 2017, but Garofalo believes he has suffered enough. “Leave Louis C.K. alone. Enough with that. And again, there are so many issues we gotta be motivated on. He’s been my friend — and I stand by that — he’s been my friend since 1985, and I think he has suffered,” she explained. “When he performs at the Comedy Cellar and people get all irate, if nothing else, care about his daughters…If nothing else — if you can find no compassion for him, which I think you should — think about how his daughters, who hear all of this stuff, feel.”

The hosts took issue with the sentiment and a tense discussion followed leading to Garofalo saying, “I don’t want to get caught up in this, because clearly you take a strong position on this, and it doesn’t win me any friends.” Comedians have been mixed about commenting on the Louie star’s return, though some like Judd Apatow and Ted Alexandro have been notable critics. Garofalo continued, “This is like talking about Israel. But I do believe when you’re a friend with someone, and if you think that they have suffered — I don’t believe in kicking a person when they’re down.”

The podcast comes on the heels of another close friend of the comedian’s, Pamela Adlon opening up to Vanity Fair about her public break with C.K. as a longtime collaborator. He served as an executive producer when the show first premiered in 2016. In the interview about her show Better Things, she is quoted saying, “All of a sudden, he’s gone. My show is dangling from a precipice. It was so huge. And it was so devastating.” She is also quoted on feeling for his victims saying she has “deep sorrow and empathy for the women who have come forward.”

Listen to the full episode of Poptarts with Garofalo here.

Conan O’Brien is ditching the desk when Conan returns next week; Tom Hanks to be first guest

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 18:51

Conan O’Brien is bringing an updated, albeit shorter, version of his late night show, Conan, to TBS next week after a three-month hiatus. Team Coco announced the “leaner” half-hour format last year. O’Brien hopes this will allow him more time to focus on creating digital content.

“I was looking for something more lean and agile,” he told reporters. “I’ve been pushing for something that fits the modern landscape, certainly fits the way I interact with my fans more.”

The revised show still plans to bring the laughs with a solid slate of stand-up guests including Tig Notaro, Pete Holmes, and Gary Gulman.

O’Brien will reportedly return with a new, top-secret set. According to an interview in Monday’s New York Times, Conan will ditch the desk altogehter—as well as the suit and tie. That’s not the only change fans will see! In August, Team Coco let go music booker Roey Herskovitz, who’s been with O’Brien for over 20 years, when it was revealed that the new Conan will not include musical guests.

The perennial late night favorite has kept himself busy while on the extended break. Since November, Team Coco fans have been able to enjoy his new podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend. O’Brien also went on his first stand-up tour in almost a decade—back when he was had The Tonight Show unceremoniously taken away from him. Conan & Friends: An Evening of Stand-Up and Investment Tips hit 18 cities nationwide. Some in New York City were lucky enough to catch his comedy pop-up event, Team Coco House, during the New York Comedy Festival. If that wasn’t enough, he found time to shoot Conan Without Borders which recently debuted on Netflix.

Conan returns to TBS with everyone’s favorite guest Tom Hanks on Tuesday, January 22 at 11:00-11:30 p.m. ET. The show will then run Mondays through Thursdays.

New York comedian debriefs 101 rejections on Today

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 15:09

New York comic and Laughspin contributor Emily Winter impressed NBC’s Today show Monday morning with her ability to handle rejection. Winter recently published a piece in The New York Times about her 2018 New Years Resolution to get rejected 100 times—she closed last year with 101 sought-after noes.

Al Roker and Sheinelle Jones spoke with Winter about how she quit her stable job to pursue comedy and how she resolved to get 100 rejections in a year. “It was fun and scary!” she told Laughspin. “I kept telling myself that if I peed my pants, no one would be able to tell on camera, and I could deal with it after the segment.”

The charming, self-deprecating stand-up embraced failure and used a spreadsheet to track her submissions to festivals, magazines, and more. The first rejection hurt, but Winter also began to receive acceptances and a fresh perspective in an industry known for saying no.

Watch the Today interview and then start your own rejections spreadsheet!

Ricky Gervais Netflix series After Life will treat being a jerk like a superpower

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 14:40

Ricky Gervais looks to go full Ricky Gervais in his new Netflix original series After Life.

After Life focuses on Tony (Gervais) who has had a seemingly perfect life. After his wife Lisa (Derek star Kerry Godliman) dies, things change. After contemplating taking his own life, he decides instead to live long enough to punish the world by saying and doing whatever he likes from now on. It sounds a lot like Gervais’s real-life persona minus the morbid motivation.

In this fictional world, Tony treats his ‘ability’ to not care about anyone else like a superpower, but it turns out to be tricky when everyone is trying to save the nice guy they used to know.

Rounding out the cast are Tom Basden (who worked with Gervais on David Brent: Life on the Road), Tony Way, David Bradley, and Ashley Jensen (who played Maggie in Gervais’ Extras).

Gervais in real life frequently faces criticism for offending people, most recently when Twitter dug up the widely promoted 2011 HBO special Talking Funny which featured Gervais and Louis C.K. using the n-word with fellow comedian Chris Rock. His work frequently involves commentary about his own controversies, as shown in his 2018 Netflix special Humanity where he did jokes about his controversial material from hosting the Golden Globes.

After Life will run for six episodes and is available for streaming on Netflix on March 8.

America’s Got Talent: 9 comedians return for Champions season

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 13:43

America’s Got Talent is bringing back the best of the best with their special edition season, America’s Got Talent: The Champions. The Champions season follows 50 acts that previously shined during previous seasons of AGT from all over the world. From those 50, nine are comedians (and don’t worry, we aren’t counting ventriloquists or jugglers as comedians). Stand-ups didn’t fare well on the competition show until we saw New York City’s Tom Cotter finish runner-up to a bunch of dogs (you can read our interview with him here). While we all love sideshow circus acts and children’s dance troops, we know you’re probably rooting for the funny folks. Here’s a primer for you.

Lost Voice Guy

Lost Voice Guy, a.k.a. Lee Ridley, won Britain’s Got Talent in 2018. The comedian has had a disability since early life that has left him unable to speak. Instead, he uses a computerized communication aid to perform his routine.

Preacher Lawson

Preacher Lawson was on season 12 of AGT. He made it to the finals in 2017, losing to child ventriloquist Darci Lynne. His amazing energy and stage presence were often praised by the judges and the Los Angeles-based comic is bringing it back for the Champions season.

Drew Lynch

Drew Lynch finished second in his season of AGT back in 2015, but the nice guy comedian is back to compete again. Lynch was left with a stutter after a sports injury caused damage to his vocal cords, but that didn’t stop him from rising to the top of the pack during his season.

Vicki Barbolak

Vicki Barbolak may have already been eliminated, but she’s hilarious. She made it to the final rounds on season 13 with her trademark brand of trailer park humor and jokes about her daughter.

Samuel J. Comroe

Samuel J. Comroe is another comedian that had to overcome a speech issue to shine on his season of AGT. The comedian isn’t shy about talking about his experiences with Tourette Syndrome on stage. He was a finalist in 2018 and is bringing his fast-talking style back to the stage for Champions.

Piff the Magic Dragon

Okay, so Piff the Magic Dragon might seem like a magician, but the show often also lists his act as comedy and it really is both. His tricks are good, but what makes his act great is his comedy. Before appearing on the 10th season of the show, he had already performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since then, he has had a residency in Las Vegas and toured as a supporting act for Mumford and Sons.

Tom Cotter

Tom Cotter was introduced on AGT’s seventh season. While the comedian lost to the Olate Dogs, he was already a veteran comic when he came on the show. He had previously appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Last Comic Standing. How long has he been doing comedy? He taped a half-hour Comedy Central Presents in 2003.

Taylor Williamson

Taylor Williamson was runner-up on the eighth season of AGT as well as a semi-finalist on Last Comic Standing. On the tenth anniversary of the show, judge Heidi Klum revealed that Williamson was her all-time favorite act.

Tape Face

Tape Face is usually referred to as a “comedic mime.” His act is weird, avant-garde, and feels miles away from the usual clean comedy that makes it onto the show. Under the tape is Sam Wills, a New Zealand prop comic, busker, clown, and mime residing in London. The only comedian without words, he’s a fun one to watch compete.

Seth Meyers: Andy Samberg’s Spike Lee joke would have ‘tanked’ at the Golden Globes (Video)

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 16:47

Andy Samberg appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Wednesday after hosting the Golden Globes with Sandra Oh earlier this week. On Late Night, Samberg complained to Seth Meyers that he and his co-host did not have enough time to do all of the jokes they had prepared (or that their friends texted them last-minute).

The unlikely pairing did a bang-up job of hosting the Not-Quite-The-Oscars award show. After presenting together at the Emmys, the two were put together again by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association despite only knowing each other for a few weeks.

“We met briefly, we presented at the Emmys, and then we spent the last week and a half working on the Globes,” Samberg told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. “But we didn’t know each other that much.”

Samberg and Oh, who won the Best Actress in a TV Drama Golden Globe for her new series Killing Eve, still managed to gather a slew of jokes for their opening monologue, which Samberg kind of proved no one was listening to.

Still, Samberg shared 18 (yes, 18) jokes that were cut for time on Late Night. Many of them are killer monologue jokes like, “Crazy Rich Asians is up for two awards, and crazy rich white people are up for the remaining 200.” Others were the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star’s typical brand of silly comedy. “BlacKkKlansman was nominated, and judging by the upper- and lowercase lettering in the title, it is also a WiFi password.”

One joke, however, was so nuanced and New York-specific that there was no possible way a celebrity Los Angeles crowd was going to get it—let alone the 18.6 million people watching at home. We won’t spoil it for you, but it’s about Spike Lee. Just know he goes to a lot of Knicks games.

Watch Samberg read all the jokes—and do a brief, but spot on John Mulaney impression—below.

I feel bad for The Other Two in Comedy Central’s new trailer (Video)

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 11:30

Comedy Central dropped another trailer for their newest scripted series The Other Two—and it will almost make you stop hating YouTube stars.

In the trailer, 13-year-old YouTube sensation ChaseDreams enjoys the attention from his casually Auto-Tuned music video that makes him a national celebrity overnight. It makes sense since he comes from a family of creatives. His adult brother and sister act and dance, respectively. ChaseDreams ends up on the Today show while we get a peek at the creative careers of his siblings, played by Drew Tarver and Heléne York.

Let’s just say their careers are far from going viral.

The Other Two comes from the minds of co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider and is executive produced by Lorne Michaels. The innocent-looking Case Walker carries the role of ChaseDreams while comedy veterans Molly Shannon and Ken Marino round out the cast. Shannon plays the trio’s excited-but-overbearing mother and Marino plays the young star’s newly hired manager.

With Comedy Central canceling shows left and right, and tentpole series Broad City coming to an end this year, The Other Two offers itself as the next wave of potential favorites at the network.

The Other Two debuts on January 24 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT following the season premiere of Broad City’s final season. Check out the new trailer below!

Ken Jeong, Netflix announce former doctor’s first stand-up special

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 20:22

Ken Jeong, comedian, actor and former physician, announced today on social media that he will return to his stand-up roots for his first-ever Netflix comedy special, Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho. The special was filmed at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, California where he first got started in 1995. In this Netflix special, Jeong reflects on his shift from physician to stand-up and how it is to attribute his career success.

Most known for his roles in the Hangover trilogy and hit TV show, Community, Jeong actually started in stand-up decades ago when he began to perform at the Improv, Laugh Factory, and the Ice House. It wasn’t until Jeong filmed his role in the hit 2007 comedy Knocked Up that he fully committed to acting and entertainment and quit his medical practice.

That doesn’t mean he can’t still save lives. Last year, the Masked Singer judge jumped off the stage during a stand-up set to aid an audience member having a medical emergency.

After another stand-out performance in 2018 blockbuster, Crazy Rich Asians, Jeong worked again with Jon M. Chu., who directed his first stand-up special with You Complete Me, Ho.

The comedy special will premiere on February 14 on Netflix.


View this post on Instagram


BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! My first-ever @Netflix Stand-Up Comedy Special “KEN JEONG: YOU COMPLETE ME, HO” will premiere February 14th, Valentines’s Day! Directed by @jonmchu, my director from “CRAZY RICH ASIANS” Can’t wait for you to see it @NetflixIsAJoke

A post shared by Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) on Jan 10, 2019 at 9:01am PST

Hulu cancels Sarah Silverman’s I Love You, America after just one season

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 19:51

Hulu has canceled I Love You, America after just one season. Sarah Silverman mixed monologues, interviews, and field segments on her variety show that examined not just one side of the aisle, but rather, the political divide facing our country. Silverman confirmed the bad news in a tweet on Wednesday.

“Well, Hulu canceled I LOVE YOU AMERICA and we’re all pretty damn heartbroken,” Silverman announced. “So in a traditional twitter funeral style, I’ll be RTing the love.”

The unexpected axing comes months after fellow streaming service Netflix canceled multiple talk shows. The Break with Michelle Wolf and The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale were both discontinued very early.

In I Love You, America, Silverman comedically examined current events as a way to weaken the polarization that currently exists in America. Having aired for two seasons, this was Hulu’s second attempt at a comedic talk show following Spoilers with Kevin Smith from 2012, which ran for less than two years.

Unlike typical political satire, Silverman did more than condemn Trump and the GOP—though there was plenty of that. The Wreck-it Ralph star notably used her platform to connect different ends of the political spectrum. From having dinner with strictly conservative families in the Deep South to visiting with anti-abortion activists, Silverman proved comedy can accomplish more than mere laughter receiving an Emmy nomination in 2018 for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series alongside a nomination at the Writers Guild of America Awards.


Well, Hulu cancelled I LOVE YOU AMERICA and we’re all pretty damn heartbroken.

… So in traditional twitter funeral style, I’ll be RTing the love.

— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) January 9, 2019

2 Dope Queens, HBO team up on four more specials

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 18:02

2 Dope Queens is coming back to HBO with four more hourlong specials hosted by Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson. Filmed at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, the specials are expected to present a similar mixture of interviews and stand-up comedy.

Williams and Robinson started their podcast, 2 Dope Queens, in 2015 on the WNYC podcast network. They made waves talking about music, fashion, romance, and race in a way that captivated audiences to send them to the top of the podcast charts. Since the podcast’s breakout success, a spin-off show Sooo Many White Guys debuted produced by Broad City’s Ilana Glazer and hosted by Robinson.

Last year, HBO ordered four hourlong 2 Dope Queens episodes from the duo. In their second set of specials, the titular Queens will discuss anything from subway horror stories to Billy Joel as they welcome special guests Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Radcliffe, Janet Mock, Lizzo, and Keegan-Michael Key.

Newcomers will recognize Williams from her work on The Daily Show as a correspondent as well as her Netflix original movie The Incredible Jessica James. Most recently, Williams played Professor Eulalie “Lally” Hicks in J.K. Rowling’s latest Harry Potter film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Robinson, author of New York Times bestseller You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain, just finished up writing on the final season of Portlandia. The Ohio native can be seen in the upcoming remake What Men Want next month and her second book, Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay, hits bookstores and e-readers on October 16.

2 Dope Queens returns to HBO on February 8 at 11:00 p.m. ET and will air on Fridays for four weeks straight.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel production company hit with labor union complaint

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 16:59

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has run into a legal battle. The production company for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Picrow Streaming, has been accused by IATSE Local 52 in New York of making “coercive statements” and “changes in terms of conditions of employment” in violation of federal labor law that prohibits discriminating against employees because of their union activities. The allegations are currently under investigation by the National Labor Relations Board.

The union’s charge, obtained from the NLRB through a FOIA request, claims that over the past six months, Picrow has violated the National Labor Relations Act “by its discriminatory treatment of union shop stewards and supporters” who “made complaints to management regarding hours and other working conditions during the film production of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Deadline reports.

A copy of the union’s charge, in which the names of a shop steward and a supervisor have been redacted, alleges that “the production team has retaliated against [name redacted] and other members of Local 52 because of this union activity. To which, [name redacted] threatened to remove Local 52 members from the film crew and threatened to never hire [name redacted] again. The production team in fact recently offered [name redacted] a position in the Season 3 production that is a demotion from…Season 2.”

Amazon Studios flatly denied the charge in a statement to Deadline. “Amazon Studios fully supports the entire team behind The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a spokesperson said. “While we don’t comment on specific personnel matters, these allegations are demonstrably false. Amazon Studios does not tolerate any form of discrimination or retaliation.”

This is not the first time Picrow and Amazon Studios had been sued for slighting its crew. Back in 2017, Amazon Studios was charged with underpaying its parking production assistants, with a settlement of over $517,000 for not paying overtime wages, Mxdwn.com reports.

A crew member on the series, however, said “It’s a good show to work on. They treat the crew really well. We actually look forward to going back.”

Rachel Brosnahan, who plays the title role, won the Golden Globe for the second consecutive year on Sunday for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy. It was also recently reported that Brosnahan will host the first Saturday Night Live of the new year.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is currently on hiatus, gearing up for its third season.

Teresa Lee named 2018 Martin Grant winner for ‘exceptional promise in stand-up comedy’

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 15:29

The 2018 Martin Grant for exceptional promise in stand-up comedy goes to Teresa Lee. The Martin Grant, which has now grown to $10,000, was established by Steve Hofstetter, a comedian known for his heckler takedowns, and Next Round Entertainment in order to identify and reward up-and-coming stand-up comedians. It was inspired by Hofstetter’s work and the loss of his father. 

Lee is a stand-up comedian originally from Palo Alto. After spending two years working her way up the New York comedy scene, her life was thrown into chaos in 2015 when her little brother died. Lee left everything she’d accomplished behind in New York and moved to Los Angeles.

Lee has written for Cracked, Good Mythical Morning, and IFC’s Brockmire. She’s appeared on Take My Wife, To Tell The Truth, and videos for College Humor, Cracked, Funny Or Die, and UCB Comedy. She was a semi-finalist for Stand-up NBC in 2017 and 2018 and is the creator and host of You Can Tell Me Anything, a podcast where comedians confess something to her they want to get off their chest. 

“I’m honored to be receiving the Martin Grant this year,” Lee said. “One of my goals is to be a staff writer on a scripted television show, and it’s something I’ve been working towards between day jobs and student loans. I’m fortunate to have had all the opportunities I have already had, but having the support of the grant will be like going into turbo speed towards my goal.”

The grant was named in honor of Hofstetter’s father, Martin. The grant is awarded in order to aid a talented comedian with rent, car payments, or anything else that will help them focus on developing their art. “There were so many impressive comedians who could have won this, but Teresa stood out,” Hofstetter told Laughspin. “There’s no question that she’s extremely talented on stage. But her quick rise despite the hardships she’s faced shows me that she has what it takes to succeed in comedy.”

A panel of some of the most influential television executives, comedy club owners, talent agents, and managers view applications and eventually decide on a winner. Past winners include Heather Pasternak, Wyatt Gray, and Brett Druck.

The grant is funded by Reddit.com and their store (a unique comedy tee was designed exclusively by Inkventive, and 100% of all proceeds from sales are used to fund the grant).

Jordan Peele’s Us release pushed back for SXSW premiere

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 14:11

Jordan Peele is making horror fans wait just a little bit longer for his latest buzz-worthy film Us. Universal pushed back the Us release date to March 22 after the film secured an opening night slot at SXSW on March 8. Us was originally scheduled to debut on March 15.

The later releases date will also give Us more time to generate buzz in the wake of Marvel Studios’s Captain Marvel, which is sure to sweep the box office on March 8 (and for a couple weeks afterward). The anticipation for Peele’s new film is already immense: the trailer, which dropped on Christmas, has been viewed 10.5 million times on YouTube, and 9.4 million people have seen it on Facebook.

The film stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke (both of Black Panther fame) as parents who are taking their two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) to the beach for a nice summer getaway. But after spending the day at the beach with friends (played by Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, and Noelle Sheldon), the family returns to their vacation home to discover terrifying doppelgängers of themselves.

It will be difficult to compete with Peele’s last film, Get Out, which received four Oscar nominations—including best picture—and resulted in Peele winning Best Original Screenplay. On a modest budget of $4.5 million, Get Out raked in over $255 million at the box office.

Still, judging by the Us trailer, we are guaranteed one hell of a ride.

Sebastian Maniscalco is extra expressive in Netflix trailer

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 10:00

Netflix shared a trailer for Sebastian Maniscalco’s new stand-up special—and he is more expressive than ever.  Stay Hungry premieres on January 15 and Maniscalco will tackle spin classes, pregnancy photoshoots, and wedding dances.

Maniscalco has been tearing up the comedy scene for over two decades with big act outs and an old-school Italian-American flair. He addresses everyday topics with exuberance and energy that few can even dream of matching. He is a seasoned comic and a huge draw, even if his name might not always come up in the same conversation as stand-up stars like Amy Schumer and Bill Burr. Last year he reportedly made $15 million as one of the highest paid comics of 2018. He effortlessly sells out theaters and has four other hour specials to his name. 

Aren’t You Embarrassed is his only other special available on Netflix.                                                                                                                               

Maniscalco was Just for Laughs Comedian of the Year in 2016 and will appear in the upcoming Martin Scorcese movie The Irishman as Crazy Joe Gallo, which is also set to be released on Netflix later this year.

2019 is set to be a big year for the Chicago comic, but surely it will not be as big as he is. Check out Stay Hungry January 15!

If you haven’t heard, #StayHungry is hitting @netflix January 15th. Get ready! @NetflixIsAJoke pic.twitter.com/3wrwUa1Wyo

— Sebastian Maniscalco (@SebastianComedy) January 7, 2019

Amanda Seales HBO special I Be Knowin’ gets January release date

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 17:54

Insecure fans: rejoice! Amanda Seales makes her HBO stand-up debut on January 26 with her hourlong special I Be Knowin’. Seales showcases her high-energy, sharp wit, and cultural commentary in a trailer released by HBO this week.

Seales is a series regular on HBO’s Insecure, a show about navigating life in Los Angeles. She also hosts a weekly self-help podcast titled Small Doses and created a traveling game show called Smart, Funny & Black. The latter celebrates the historical and cultural contributions of Black Americans.

The new special taped in November at the historic Edison Ballroom in New York City. I Be Knowin’ is directed by stand-up special veteran Stan Lathan, the director of multiple Dave Chappelle specials. HBO seems to want only the best for their new comedy star.

HBO has not kept pace with the number of stand-up special releases from other major content providers. HBO was an early leader in bringing stand-up comedy to people’s homes for decades. Hopefully, I Be Knowin’ will lead a resurgence of comedy to the premium cable network.

I Be Knowin’ drops on HBO on January 26 at 10:00 p.m. ET.


9 hilarious queer podcasts to try this year

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 14:41

The LGBTQ community has come out of the shadows when it comes to entertainment. Many queer people are starting to tell their own stories through web series, blogs, and Instagram hashtags. And podcasts. Queer-led podcasts have been popping up in spades over the years and they’ve been absolutely fabulous. While many podcasts can be sad or inspirational, LGBTQ comedy podcasts have gained devoted followings from both queer and straight podcast lovers. Laughspin has our picks for the queer podcasts that need to be your next audio obsession in 2019.

The Read

Hosted by Kid Fury and Crissle West, the Read is a must-listen. It peaked on the iTunes comedy podcast chart at number one and has been drawing a huge number of listeners since 2013. The name comes from the Black gay slang term,’Reading,’ which is the act of calling out a flaw or insulting someone usually in a public space. In The Read, the hosts surprisingly don’t read everything they bring up. Most of their segments are uplifting or joyous especially when it comes to black culture.

Throwing Shade

Throwing Shade is more than a podcast: It is also a TV show on TVLand. The podcast dates back to 2011 while the TV show has only been around since 2017, but both feature the hilarious Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi. While the podcast is about women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, progressive politics, and pop culture, it isn’t always safe for work between the hosts’ less-than-PC comedy style and frequent adult topics.

Las  Culturistas

Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers are obsessed with culture and they want to get you in the loop. This podcast is a critical darling being named one of Esquire’s Best Podcasts of 2017 and the #1 Comedy Podcast in NYC by TimeOut New York.

Straight Talk with Ross Mathews

While Ross Mathews started on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, most members of the LGBTQ community will recognize him from his recurring role as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. While the two other judges, Michelle Visage and RuPaul himself, have their own podcast What’s the Tee?, Straight Talk with Ross Mathews is much funnier. Highly recommend if you ever wished it was Ross Mathews’s Drag Race.


While this Australian podcast ended in 2017, if you haven’t listened to it yet, it’s worth it. Charlotte Tortorella and Chelsey Sanderson, along with a large cast of guests, talk about the issues facing them as transwomen, but in an often hilariously honest way.

Dyking Out

Carolyn Bergier and Sarah York invite comedians, musicians, and other special guests to ‘dyke out’ with them on this weekly podcast. In each episode, they cover a specific topic that is important in the queer community.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Before Jonathan Van Ness became a human meme on Queer Eye, he started his podcast Getting Curious back in 2015. Each episode consists of a guest educating the Gay of Thrones star on a topic he is interested in. Some of the newer episodes are less informative and more just an excuse to have a celebrity like Reese Witherspoon or Justin Theroux on the podcast, but the majority of episodes have professors and experts, especially in politics and science.

Here for It

While often not safe for work, Here for It covers a wide range of health and wellness topics that matter to the LGBTQ community. Blogger Ronald Matters and sex specialist Supaman, keep talking about wellness upbeat and fun. While it might be billed as a health podcast, the hosts stretch that to talk about celebrity news, TV, and anything else that is on their minds.

Dumb, Gay Politics

Comedian Julie Goldman and model/actress Brandy Howard want to help you understand politics. On their show Dumb, Gay Politics, they make politics funny and easily digestible from a queer perspective. The two have worked together on TV and in writers’ rooms for years and their amazing chemistry on the podcast shows it.

Kevin Hart apologizes (again) on SiriusXM show (Videos)

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 23:30

Kevin Hart makes what will hopefully be the final commentary we hear about what…well, you all know. The comedian made another apology Monday night on his SiriusXM radio show Straight from The Hart following his appearance on Ellen. The show aired on Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio channel 96.

“I will say this, and I want to make this very clear. And I’m going to say it just in case you guys try to take this sh*t and chop it up, I will rebuttal with this f*cking piece right here,” said Hart. “Once again, Kevin Hart apologizes for his remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community. I apologize.”

The stand-up superstar, who has been in the doghouse (which he could probably physically fit in quite neatly) for homophobic tweets from 2009-10. All those who want him to roll over, however, will have to wait a little longer. He continued his show by addressing how previous apologies have been received, or, not received.

“But then they go, ‘But you didn’t say it right,'” Hart said. “Saying ‘I’m sorry,’ you didn’t say, ‘Sorry, sorry, sorry.’ But no, wait, guys, I just said ‘I’m sorry.’ ‘Not the way you should have!’ What does that mean?”

The controversy began on December 5, when Benjamin Lee, an editor for The Guardian, tweeted screenshots of old tweets. It led to Hart stepping down from his gig of hosting next month’s Academy Awards, after he initially refused their insistence that he apologize for the comments.

In an Instagram post, Hart cited the fact that he had dealt with the controversy in the past and felt as if he had adequately addressed it.

However his most recent comments are received, Hart seems confident in his growth. “You’re now trying to change me into becoming what version of me you want me to be,” he said. “I don’t think it’s wrong for people to have their own personal beliefs. I think that in the times that we’re living in, we have to be understanding and accepting of people and change. Bottom line.”

It will be interesting to see how this latest apology is received, and whether or not people ‘chop it up.’

100 sets in 100 days: Stand-up comedian invites peers for public challenge

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 13:35

New Year’s resolutions amongst comedians are coming with some public accountability. A bunch of stand-up comedians are challenging themselves to do 100 sets in 100 days—and no, improv doesn’t count. Chicago-based stand-up Brianna Murphy shared a public Google Doc on her Facebook profile January 1 challenging comedians to track their sets for the next 100 days—open mics, club spots, bar shows, and that fabled laundromat gig.

New Year’s resolutions are all the rage and many of us never complete them after collecting 127 likes on a grandiose Facebook announcement. Public accountability is a great motivator to keep going. “I figured after the holidays, what better way to start the new year off!” said Murphy. The doc already has 57 comedians signed up as of this writing.

 “I didn’t come up with the challenge. I actually am just piggybacking off of a challenge that Emily Winter did last summer,” Murphy explains. “She did a 50 sets in 50 days challenge and, at the end of it, a lot of us joked about extending it 50 more days…I wouldn’t have done it without her lead. I think she also did it in conjunction with another challenge she had last year to get 100 rejections. She’s amazing and we are all just following in her footsteps!”

Winter explained that the impetus for the challenge was a conversation between her and fellow comedian Patrick Hastie, who started the challenge with her. “Patrick Hastie came up with [the idea]…Patrick and I are good friends and we talk a lot about how to stay motivated in comedy,” Winter told Laughspin.

The challenge started as a small private group of about 20 comedians close to Winter and Hastie. In the private group, about half of the comedians finished the challenge. Last summer, Winter organized a public challenge. This time they opened it to the public and over 60 comedians rose to the challenge with 13 finishing. LA-based comedian Ian Russo clocked in with the most sets with 152.

Hastie himself started it as a competition between him and friend Gideon Hambright. “[We] started the current rash of these back in 2014,” Hastie says. “We’d do them, just the two of us. And then I did a 50 in 50 in 2015 and 2016. Then 2017 we opened it up to close friends.”

Murphy wants to make this year’s challenge even bigger. “[There’s] more people every day. I tried to share it with a lot of different comedy scene Facebook groups, even one in London, to get as many people all over involved,” she says.

The challenge can seem daunting but Murphy wants to make sure it is fun and a way for comedians to grow and stay accountable to their goals more than anything else. “My tip for comics trying to hit 100 is to do your best. It’s just a fun challenge. Try not to go nuts. We are all going to die one day and this challenge is not what you will remember when your life flashes before your eyes,” she jokes.

She continues, “The hardest part of this challenge is nothing because it’s easy and we should all be getting 100 sets in every day! Ha! Truly it can just be scheduling or pushing for that extra set even though you know you open at your day job the next day. I think having an end date helps you push harder. Truly this is just a fun tool for motivation and will maybe ignite the feeling of competition within some of us that helps us overcome the winter depression that’s squeezing us around the neck.”

Are you a comedian who wants to challenge themselves? It’s not too late to start! You can sign up here.

Golden Globes: Andy Samberg, Sandra Oh toast instead of roast during opening monologue

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 11:14

This year’s Golden Globes monologue by hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh tried it’s best to be woke. Between niceties and socially aware jokes, the monologue seemed made to accompany the diversity of the nominees later in the night.

The monologue started with a bevy of roast jokes reminiscent of previous hosts like Ricky Gervais, but Oh and Samberg decided to only do nice roasts like, “Michael B. Jordan? More like Michael be buff AF — you a snack, Michael!” or, “Hey, Bradley Cooper — you’re hot.” But the hosts then went on to more conventional monologue jokes.

Later in the monologue, Bay Area Native Samberg turned his attention to Oakland-born director Ryan Coogler to say, “If you told me as a kid growing up in the Bay that there was a movie called ‘Black Panther’ that starts off in Oakland, this is not what I would have imagined,” Samberg went on. “Ryan, were there a bunch of old members of the actual Black Panther Party saying, ‘I can’t even get an audition?’ Just kidding they were all framed and murdered for wanting justice and equality. The world is and always has been a nightmare. It just seems worse now because of our phones.”

Oh later joked about Crazy Rich Asians saying, “the first studio film with an Asian-American lead since Ghost In the Shell and Aloha.” A voice from the audience interrupted this joke to say, “I’m sorry.” While the video doesn’t pan to the voice, it is possibly Emma Stone who played a part-Asian character in the box office dud Aloha. Oh wasn’t done talking about Crazy Rich Asians. She sent over Saturday Night Live writer Bowen Yang with a giant pillbox of antacid to protect the table from “Asian glow.”

After a bit with Jim Carrey, the monologue ended on a serious note on the importance of inclusion.

Watch the full video below.

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