Posts by ComedyCrunch:
Nothing separates “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” from Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” and David Letterman’s “Late Show” more than the emergence of videos.
They’re clever and elaborate and are usually spoofing other TV shows — while filling the gas tanks of “Kimmel” and “Late Night” with laughs.
The monologue is still a late-night staple — but no one remembers anymore which host said what about the president’s latest gaffe.
But ask people who made “ I F—-d Matt Damon,” and they’ll say, in a blink, that it was Kimmel.
Wiig has signed to star in the upcoming comedy-drama “Welcome to Me,” which will be produced by Ferrell, Adam McKay and Jessica Elbaum, with Robyn Wholey as executive producer.
It was previously reported that Ferrell will also appear in the film, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
Ferrell and Wiig are co-starring in McKay’s upcoming “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
By Chris Vognar, Dallasnews | Mel Brooks doesn’t go anywhere without a little black comb in his pocket. He never uses if for his hair. Instead he holds it directly under his nose to embellish his Hitler impression, a habit he picked up during press interviews for The Producers, his 1968 send-up of Nazis and dubious theatrical bookkeeping.
“I’m doing it right now, on the phone,” says Brooks, as mischievous and aware as ever on the eve of his 87th birthday next month. “I always used to take it out to get a laugh. They didn’t like it so much in France.”
The image is perfect for the master of refined bad taste, old fashioned to the bone but eager to push and prod boundaries.
These days, Brooks is enjoying a victory lap of sorts. He gets the PBS American Masters documentary treatment Monday night with Mel Brooks: Make a Noise, which arrives on DVD Tuesday. Last year, Shout! Factory released the six-disc set The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy. In 2009, he went to D.C. for feting at the Kennedy Center Honors.
Now it wants to put a shine on one of its most popular genres – laughs – with a week-long, star-studded comedy festival beginning Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
Guests on the initial two-hour live stream include film stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Seth Rogen, Comedy Central’s Tim and Eric, TV’s Conan O’Brien and Rainn Wilson, comedians Ricky Gervais and Sarah Silverman and homegrown YouTube stars The Gregory Brothers, Rhett & Link and Ryan Higa.
our editor recommends
David Letterman Drinks Tequila, Bill Hader Dances on ‘Late Show’ (Video)
Bill Hader in Talks to Star in ‘Lawless’ Comedy (Exclusive)
“It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point,” Hader tells The New York Times. “It got to a point where I said, ‘Maybe it’s just time to go.’”
Hader’s final episode is this Saturday’s season-finale, hosted by Ben Affleck with Kanye West as the musical guest.
The network said Sunday that the 12-year “Saturday Night Live” cast member will replace Jimmy Fallon at the 12:35 a.m. “Late Night” show next year. Fallon is moving up an hour as Jay Leno’s replacement on the “Tonight” show.
Meyers was considered the lead candidate for the “Late Night” job ever since Fallon’s promotion was announced. The announcement solidifies Lorne Michaels as the comedy kingmaker at NBC. He’ll be the executive in charge of “Late Night,” “Tonight” and “Saturday Night Live,” which will all originate from New York’s Rockefeller Center.
By Lisa Lampanelli (Guest Column), Hollywood Reporter | To say that I’m a bit of an edgy comedian is like saying the Colorado theatre bomber is a bit of an eccentric. I’ve made a career out of pushing boundaries onstage, and I’ve never been a stranger to controversy. In fact, I’ve been picketed by more groups than a gay Muslim abortion doctor. And you know something? I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a take-no-prisoners type of comic, and I’m lucky because my fans get me and never have a problem with the politically incorrect themes of my act. But I am continually amazed by how a certain section of our society seems to be so freakin’ sensitive about jokes.
By Carl Unegbu, Comedybeat | Look who just joined Twitter: Mel Brooks. “This is my first tweet – watch me with carlreiner&@JuddApatow live at 5E/2P for #comedyfest P.S. Carl made me do it. New.livestream.com/comedyfest/mel…” With that, the 86-year-old comedy legend used the occasion of Comedyfest, the weeklong collaboration between Twitter and the humor hub Comedy Central, to signal to the world that Twitter can indeed be a platform for everyone, not just millennials. Brooks shared the stage with writer/director Judd Apatow as well as his old pal 91-year-old Carl Reiner with whom he came to fame in the 1960s with the 2000-Year-Old Man interview series. During the festival, held at the Paley Center for Media, in Beverly Hills, CA, about sixty-eight comedians did Q&A sessions, held roasts, showed funny films and live –tweeted stand-up specials, which were carried simultaneously on Twitter and Comedy Central.
The festival which ran from April 29 through May 3 is the latest evidence of the growing migration of Twitter to more and more areas of the pop culture. Since about 2006 when Twitter made its debut, the use of the no-fee platform has grown by leaps and bounds and has attracted folks from all walks of life who feel like saying things to the world. Recently, Twitter has added a new application called Vine, which allows folks to post six-second videos on Twitter. Not surprisingly, a platform like Twitter has proven to be a magnet for comedians and has changed the face of comedy dramatically. Twitter not only allows comedians to build a fan base on its platform but also gives them new sort of forum to try out their jokes and see how they play to audiences. One can imagine that a joke that resonates on Twitter can then be polished up into a decent comic bit or material that can be used for stand-up audiences either onstage at a comedy club or at a comedy special.
In addition, Twitter provides another kind of service to the comedy industry: For instance, putting a joke on Twitter can be a way for a comedian to claim ownership of the joke in case any joke thieves subsequently try to use the jokes as their own. With a platform like Twitter, it is not a hard thing to find out which of two or more rivals or claimants served up the joke first. So, in this sense Twitter could be a nightmare for comedians who are in the business of stealing their brethren’s jokes. In the contemporary comedy community where joke stealing has become a costly menace, considering the financial implications of one comedian stealing another’s joke, Twitter can become the hardworking and creative comedian’s best friend.
Yet, for all the good things that Twitter can bring to comedy, the platform is not without a downside for the comedy industry. For starters, thanks to the 140-word limit, the Twitter format does not seem well adapted to the demands of an art form like stand-up comedy where background, context and other intangible factors all help to bring out the ‘funny’ in a joke. For instance, given that a typical joke usually has a premise, a set-up and then a punch line, it would seem that the 140-word limit on the Twitter-verse could sometimes become a straight-jacket and that a more extensive format which allowed a higher word limit might be more appropriate. This tension between the standard Twitter format and the storytelling demands of stand-up comedy might explain why some comedians are wary of the Twitter-verse. By his own admission, Mel Brooks, for instance, did not think that the Twitter platform jibed with his style of comedy until, well, just last week when he got on board Twitter at Comedyfest.
Aside from the word-limit problem, doing stuff on Twitter can also be a high-risk proposition for comedians: For instance, a slip up on Twitter can damage a comedian’s reputation and even his career way faster than would be the case if the faux pas would have occurred at, say, a comedy club. The instantaneous nature of Twitter and the way things can so quickly go viral on the platform makes a slip up on Twitter the equivalent of something said or done on a live telecast. With Twitter, there is not the same advantage supplied by certain factors that would have made damage control measures easier to implement, such as time lag or even just the fact that the slip was made before a comedy club audience. Ordinarily, the typical process of polishing up material or working out jokes beforehand requires that comedians have a forum where they could fall down and still survive, as they often do at open mics; however, this is different from what happens on Twitter where one could plunge off a steep cliff with no backstops whatsoever.
One can recall the Gilbert Gottfried debacle of 2011 as one of the most serious calamities that could unfold on Twitter for any comedian: Gottfried was fired from his lucrative decade-long gig with AFLAC after he made a bad Twitter joke about the Japanese Tsunami. Gilbert apologized shortly thereafter but apparently that was too little too late: the horse had already left the barn on the Twitter-verse. (In politics, an equivalent debacle on Twitter was the forced resignation of New York Congressman Anthony Weiner after he accidentally tweeted a photo of his crotch to a female friend on Twitter.)
In addition, for whatever it is worth, there are some comedy industry commentators who gripe that Twitter is enabling the entry into the profession of overnight joke peddlers who otherwise would not dare to follow the traditional and often difficult path to becoming stand-up comedians. In fairness to these critics, the presence of these dilettantes or dabblers sometimes tends to blur the lines between legitimate comedians who are using Twitter to reach or grow their fan base and the legions of free riders and pretenders who are riding the wave of the Twitter-verse and thus further adding to the problems of an already crowded profession.
In the end, the upside and downside of Twitter in comedy are two sides of the same coin. And it is still a bit early to tell whether Twitter as a forum for stand-up is something that is here to stay or a mere fad that will run its course in time. Yet, it is obvious that with innovations like Vine and collaborations like last week’s Comedyfest, Twitter surely is increasing the odds that it won’t be a mere fad in the comedy industry. Well, only time will tell.
By Claire Zulkey, Los Angeles Times | If Jennifer Aniston’s ears were burning Saturday night, and then burning some more and then more, off and on for several minutes straight, it was probably due to one of the stranger sketches from “Saturday Night Live”: a Jennifer Aniston look-alike contest.
After kicking off the bit with a falsetto rendition of “You Are So Aniston to Me,” Jason Sudeikis announced that host Zach Galifianakis’ character came in eighth and last place in the contest, news that Galifianakis greeted with fury, clad in a long wig and a “Friends” shirt. The majority of his competition came in the form of male “SNL” cast members, each also wearing a long blond wig but not much else in the way of costuming or makeup.
By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times | We all knew it was coming, and now there’s a date: Jon Stewart will be absent from “The Daily Show” beginning June 10. He’ll be replaced by correspondent John Oliver for eight weeks.
What’s Stewart going to be doing during that time? Directing his first feature film, titled “Rosewater” and adapted from the nonfiction book “Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival” by journalist Mazir Bahari.
Meanwhile, “Daily Show” fans will get to know Oliver a little better. The British comedian has been with the show since 2006. In a statement, he assured fans, “Don’t worry, it’s still going to be everything that you love about ‘The Daily Show,’ just without the thing that you love the most about it.”