Recent Posts in comedy - Page 2

October 8, 2014

Nickelodeon

One of the big anticipated events at NY Super Week was "SLIMED: A Night of Nickelodeon Nostalgic Nonsense" at Hammerstein Ballroom on Thursday (10/10) featuring a live taping of Pete & Pete stars Danny Tamberelli and Michael Maronna's podcast, a segment on the music of Doug (a live performance by show creators Fred Newman & Dan Sawyer), and a live performance by Pete & Pete theme song band, Polaris. But less than a day before the event was to take place, the event has been canceled. There is good news, though, see below.

The sudden cancellation could have something to do with the Flavorwire interview with  Matt Klickstein -- who was the host of the Super Week event and who wrote the SLIMED book about '90s Nickelodeon. You'd think it would be all fun and "remember when" interview, but it got into some thorny territory, including bashing of the current state of Nickelodeon, but also...race and sexism. An excerpt:

The reason Pete & Pete does so well is it's the best show from that era. It's the best show from that network! Hands down: the way it looked, the music, the fact that they got all these really interesting cameos... so the fact that it happens to take place in the suburbs of New Jersey, you know, it's a whitewashed area! There's nothing to be said about that. So too with Clarissa.

I think it's worse when they shove it in there. Sanjay and Craig is a really good example, which funnily enough is written in part by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi from Pete & Pete. That show is awkward because there's actually no reason for that character to be Indian -- except for the fact that [Nickelodeon President] Cyma Zarghami and the women who run Nickelodeon now are very obsessed with diversity. Which is fine -- do what you're gotta do, and Dora [the Explorer] was certainly something of a success, but there's no reason for [Sanjay] to be Indian at all. No one working on that show is Indian. They're all white. It's all the white people from Bob's Burgers and Will and Chris.

And there's lots more:
I think that it does the culture a disservice. If I were Indian or Jewish, for example, and watched something where the characters are Jewish or supposed to be, and if it's not specific to that, then I start to wonder, "Why are they doing this?" It becomes blackface.

They're exploiting this, they're using this thing, they're taking advantage of it. They're doing it just for that reason: "Hey, here is the Jewish character" or "Hey, here's the Indian character" or "Hey, here's the token black," which I think South Park does so amazingly well. For example, I've worked very closely with people with disabilities, volunteering, sometimes paid, and I love what South Park does.

There's much more to this interview and you can read the whole thing here.Some people are sticking up for Klickstein, like Trevor Eyster who played "Sponge" on Salute Your Shorts. He wrote a lenghty post on Facebook, saying Klickstein was a victim of "corporate interest and censorship":
The decision to cancel the event was made by Comic-Con. And while they haven't released a statement, it would sure seem like this is a case of a corporate entity not wanting to be attached to the opinions of another that would seem controversial, or unclarified....

...I am standing by my friend, because that's what friends do. I am asking all of you to deepen your understanding of the TRUE narrative here. And the true narrative is: Nickelodeon once represented the spirit of the anti-corporate. Now, while Nickelodeon didn't curate, sponsor or endorse this event --- all of the interested parties, are fans of its 90's "products". In order to hold an event of this size, logistically, there was a need for a Comicon. Comicon yanked its support at the last minute, and that's who you need to be upset with...

...You can be upset with Matt for a badly worded interview all you want - but it's not only unproductive, it's misdirected. 

You oughta be PISSED OFF at the corporate heads of Comic-Con for pulling the plug from an old-paradigm fear-based profit-motive mentality. 

This is a bummer for '90s Nickelodeon fans -- many of whom were coming from out-of-town for this -- but there is a silver lining as the Super Week event is now, basically, happening as two smaller, separate events on Thursday. First is "Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age" at Treehouse Theatre (154 W 29th St, New York,) from 6 - 9 PM, featuring the music of Doug with a live performance by show creators Fred Newman & Dan Sawyer and hosted by Nick Arcade's Phil Moore. It's $8 at the door and Super Week ticketholders get priority entry. More info here.

Then later Thursday night (10:30 PM) at The Bell House it's a live taping of Danny Tamberelli and Michael Maronna's podcast, The Adventures of Danny & Mike, with a live performance by Polaris. Tickets to that show are $10 and on sale now. AND, update: Danny Tamberelli "just wanted to say that I was really looking forward to a night of nostalgia and to hang with the fans of all things 90s nick. Sometimes weird stuff happens that you can't control. Polaris and the podcast want to try to create something out of the ashes like a Phoenix. (also a ginger ironically)."

If you miss it, Polaris returns to the road in November for more shows including a BrooklynVegan-presented NYC show at Knitting Factory (though that one is sold out).

October 6, 2014

Omar comin'...Bunk too
The Wire

In the words of Senator Clay Davis, well sheeeiiiit! The cast and creators of The Wire are reuniting for a retrospective/Q&A for the 2014 Paleyfest on October 16 at The Paley Center for Media in NYC. In attendance will be creator David Simon, producer Nina Noble, and cast members Wendell Pierce (Bunk), Sonja Sohn (Greggs), Michael Kenneth Williams (Omar), Seth Gilliam (Carter), Jim True-Frost (Prez), John Doman (Rawls), Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (D'Angelo Barksdale), and Jamie Hector (Marlo). There will also be a special video introduction by Dominick West (McNulty) and the panel will be moderated by popular TV critic Alan Sepinwall. Tickets go on sale Tuesday (10/7) at 10 AM.

This year's Paleyfest goes from October 11 - 19 and also has panels with cast/creators of shows Hannibal (10/18), Law & Order SVU (10/13), The Walking Dead (10/11), Gotham (10/18), Archer (10/12), Bob's Burgers (10/15), and more. Tickets are on sale, and full 2015 Paleyfest lineup below...

Continue reading "cast/crew of 'The Wire' reuniting for Paleyfest which also has panels on 'Hannibal,' 'Bob's Burgers,' 'Walking Dead' & more"

October 3, 2014

fighting for their right to stop booze at Starbucks
Starbucks

Williamsburg's second Starbucks location, set to open at 154 N 7th Street, probably won't be granted its wish to serve beer and wine after all, based on vocal opposition from residents and local business owners at last night's Community Board 1 SLA Review Committee meeting in Brooklyn.

Esther Bell and Sarah Madges, owner and manager of The West coffee house, which is nearby Williamsburg's first Starbucks location on Union Avenue, got 500 signatures in the past three days opposing the license. Madges had previously told Newsweek that The West wasn't intimidated by the Seattle coffee mogul and that "people who want real coffee are going to still come to places like us."

But the threat of a nearby Starbucks serving not only burnt coffee but bad chardonnay was too much for Bell and Madges.

"It really is more about a precedent that opens up to every single Starbucks," Bell said. "They have 255 locations in Manhattan right now, and we would be setting the precedent that Starbucks will not only keep opening up in Brooklyn, block by block, but now take a vital revenue stream from small business. As you know, most restaurants can't survive without alcohol." [Gothamist]

Starbucks has been selling alcohol in select locations since at least 2012. The first Williamsburg Starbucks location opened near the Lorimer L stop, but this second location is N7 right by the Bedford stop (and the Dunkin' Donuts).

Speaking of Starbucks, they're the big sponsor of the upcoming Veterans day mega-concert in DC.

Triumph

It's been a while since I've watched a Triumph clip. This was a great return. Watch the Conan segment, along with his classic visit to the Attack of the Clones premiere, below...

Continue reading "Triumph the Insult Comic Dog messes w/ Times Square mascots (watch the NSFW video)"

October 2, 2014

Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer

As mentioned, the NY Comedy Festival happens November 5 - 9 at venues all over NYC. While the big shows -- Marc Maron, Tig Notaro, Bill Cosby, Nick Offerman, Amy Schumer and others -- have been announced for some time, they just announced the smaller/cooler/more interesting offerings on the slate. We just wrote about Bob Odenkirk who's playing Gramercy Theatre on November 9, and here are a few more highlights as chosen by BV laffmaster Klaus Kinski. He offers up some parenthetical comments too. Read on:

-Popular internet-obsessed comedy game show @Midnight (hosted by Chris Hardwick) will be taping in NYC the week of NYCF, at ABC 24 New York on November 3, 4 and two tapings on 11/5. Tickets are free and mostly claimed but you can get on the waitlist.

-Seth Herzog's longrunning "Sweet" will do a NYCF-specific show at The Slipper Room on 11/4 ("Always. Seth is the man.") No advance tickets yet.

-"Comedy Underground" Live with Dave Attell at Village Underground on November 4. ("I love Attell and hope he sees a resurgence. Also, big a-listers will drop by for sure.") Two performances, 8 PM and 10:30 PM (Tickets)

- Leisure Hour With Brian McCann at UCB Chelsea on November 5. ("Longtime Conan writer/performer. Dude is NUTS.") Tickets available soon.

- Kyle Kinane at Union Hall on November 5. ("Great opportunity to see him in a small room.") Sold out, but there may be standbys at the door.

- 'Race Wars' with Kurt Metzger and Sherrod Small at Comedy Cellar at The Village Underground on November 5. ("Smart and very controversial.") Reservations are being accepted now.

- Pete Holmes at The Bell House on November 6. ("BV 'Rock n' RoFL' alum. Remember I love this man.") Tickets are on sale now.

- 'Lies' feat. Sara Schaefer at the Jerome L. Greene Space on November 6. ("I have always loved Sara.") Tickets are on sale now.

- Aparna Nancherla & Friends at The Creek and the Cave on November 7. ("New on my radar, she is one of the funniest people ever.") Tickets are on sale now.

- The Talk Show Series Presents The Kevin Corrigan Show at Union Hall on November 7. Moving from its usual (free) Williamsburg, The Kevin Corrigan show will be at Union Hall this time with a bunch of cool guests TBA. Tickets are on sale.

- "Clown Panties and Other Unpleasant Truths: An Evening With Inside Amy Schumer" on November 8 at The Paley Center for Media. ("Amy Schumer also has a big stand up show, but I think an event about her show is more interesting than her stand up. Though her stand up is great.") Tickets go on sale Friday (10/3) at noon and are on presale now to Paley members.

-'Up To Snuff: Mark Normand & Friends' at The Stand on November 8. (Guy is GREAT. Made a year end list of mine. He needs to be famous.) Tickets are on sale now.

- Emily Heller at UCB East on November 8. ("So f'ing funny. Another comedian who made a year end list of mine.") Tickets are on sale now.

There are lots more NYCF events happening and the whole schedule is here.

IMAGE

Best known by your dad as shady lawyer Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad, comedy fans know Bob Odenkirk as one-half of Mr Show, a writer on SNL, and all-around secret weapon character actor. Bob's about to release his first book, titled A Load of Hooey, which is out next week (10/7) via McSweeny's. From the back of the jacket:

This book, his first, is a spleen-bruisingly funny omnibus that ranges from absurdist monologues ("Martin Luther King, Jr's Worst Speech Ever") to intentionally bad theater ("Hitler Dinner Party: A Play"); from avant-garde fiction ("Obituary for the Creator of Madlibs") to free-verse poetry that's funnier and more powerful than the work of Calvin Trillin, Jewel, and Robert Louis Stevenson combined.
Bob will be going on the road to promote A Load of Hooey, including a show in NYC on November 9 at Gramercy Theatre. Tickets are on sale now and come with a copy of the book. That's part of the NY Comedy Festival. Earlier that day, Bob will be signing books at McNally Jackson Books in SoHo (95 Prince St., 1 PM).

As you may know, Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul is set to premiere in February 2015. AMC will debut a Better Call Saul music video this Sunday (10/5) at 7:15 PM. The song was cowritten by series creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould with Breaking Bad composer Dave Porter and is performed by country singer Junior Brown. So set those alarms/DVRs. UPDATE: Here is the music video!

All Bob Odenkirk book tour dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Bob Odenkirk wrote 'A Load of Hooey,' touring including stop at NY Comedy Fest; 'Better Call Saul' music video debuting"

Fred Pessaro

Ex-BrooklynVegan metal writer Fred Pessaro went to New Orleans to creat a 7-part Noisey Youtube documentary on the "people and culture that helped spawn bands like Down, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Acid Bath and so many others." We mentioned when the first episode was released. They're now up to number four which you can watch with one, two, and three below.

One of those "other" bands featured in the movie is Goatwhore who are playing three shows with the reunited-sort-of Samhain at the end of October (Philly, DC and NYC). Goatwhore also play a bunch of shows before and after then including a pre-Samhain headlining show at the Bug Jar in Rochester (with Mortals and Wolvhammer), and one before that at Cobra Lounge in Chicago (also with Wolvhammer). In November they tour Europe with Dying Fetus, Malevolence, and Fallujah. All dates are listed with those videos below.

Samhain recently played Riot Fest in Chicago (and was joined by Randy Blythe of Lamb of God).

Entertainer Dave Hill is not in the documentary or on tour with Goatwhore, but he did have special guest Phil Anselmo on his first-ever WFMU "Goddamn Dave Hill Show", and he had Mike IX Williams from Eyehategod on the most recent episode. Every episode can be streamed at at WFMU.org. Catch Dave live and in the flesh and telling secrets and playing with his band Valley Lodge and with Mike Doughty (who probably has absolutely no ties to New Orleans metal) and others at Union Hall on Friday (10/3).

Continue reading "Episode 4 of 'NOLA' doc released (video); Goatwhore touring around Samhain shows (dates); Dave Hill doing stuff too"

September 26, 2014

The Daily Show did the unthinkable this week. They made a joke about boy band One Direction!

The comedy show did a segment with correspondent Jessica Williams, and she talked about a few terrorist organizations, which included to al-Qaeda, Hamas, ISIS, the Zetas drug cartel, and then showed One Direction as a joke.

Williams doesn't mention Zayn Malik, but members of One Direction's (mostly teenage girl) fanbase apparently didn't get the joke, tweeting about it with the "#TheDailyShowGoneTooFar" hashtag.

Some people thought that because Malik is a Muslim, the band shouldn't be linked with terrorism.

"I am so disappointed with @TheDailyShow !How could them use the word 'terrorist' associated with #onedirection ?" one person wrote.

Said another, "I watch your show but Zayn from One Direction is very sensitive about his religion so he keeps quiet about it. Apologize."

Some of the fans wanted to get the Daily Show "shut down," while some of the comments were borderline threats.

Added another: "@TheDailyShow why don't you apologise for saying such racist remarks about a member of one direction."

Said another, "I JUST FREKIN RETWEETED THE VIDEO OF THE DAILY SHOW N IM LIKE WTF CME ON THTS NOT FUNNY TO INVOLVE ONE DIRECTION IN A TERRORIST GROUP!!" [EPOCH TIMES]

The Daily show has yet to issue a proper apology to these serious charges. Watch the segment below:

Continue reading "HAS THE DAILY SHOW GONE TOO FAR?!?!? (the One Direction mafia thinks so)"

September 22, 2014

photos by Chris La Putt; words by Klaus Kinski

Eugene Mirman with Robyn Hitchcock and H. Jon Benjamin
Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival 2014 - Day 3
Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival 2014 - Day 3


The 7th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival took over the Bell House and Union Hall in Brooklyn for the past few days to bring audiences an audacious, eclectic, and titillating smorgasbord of comedic events. Of all the events, I chose to attend You Never Know Who Might Drop By at the Bell House on Saturday September 20 at 10:00pm. The only guest to be announced ahead of time was H. Jon Benjamin. The rest of the line up was listed as "Special Guest." Remarkably, even with only one guest announced, the show was very sold out.

The show ended up being hosted by special guest Eugene Mirman. I sort of assumed that would be the case, but you know what happens when you assume right? Ass. U. Me. Anyhow, Euge was the host and he performed his duties with his usual grace and aplomb. His hosting agilities shouldn't be surprising considering he's a non-stop performer and has hosted recurring comedy showcases Invite Them Up, Tearing The Veil of Maya, Pretty Good Friends, and probably more. Saturday evening, he kept his opening set extremely short and tight, but he did have an extremely funny riff about how you can literally write whatever you want about yourself on LinkedIn and there is zero proof required. He read off samples of his own bullshit LinkedIn profile and I gotta tell you it was pretty damn funny.

Wyatt Cenac
Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival 2014 - Day 3

Eugene's first guest was Wyatt Cenac. Throw a dart at an open page of Time Out New York and chances are you will hit a show listing with his name on it. The dude not only has his own show called Night Train every Monday night at Littlefield, but you can see him practically every night of the week at several other venues throughout the city. The dude's a machine. A relentless performer. It has taken me a while to be drawn into Wyatt's super low energy delivery and stage demeanor, but I gotta say he was killing me on Saturday. He's definitely a super popular comic who is definitely worth checking out.

Glaser as Johnny Ding-Dong
Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival 2014 - Day 3

After Wyatt wrapped up his set, the great and Klaus-Approved Gold Pass Favorite Jon Glaser came out (not his first time this year), reprising his role as Brooklyn's #1 Insult Comic Johnny Ding-Dong. I haven't seen this particular character of his in eight freaking years; the last time was during a Comedians of Comedy stop at Irving Plaza (video here). Johnny basically insults audience members over pretty banal and obvious characteristics of theirs; a hat, glasses, how they're sitting...then he sits down and eats a slice of pizza, very slowly. At some point during this, the sound guy 'accidentally' starts playing the theme song to the 1978 drama The Deerhunter, which also happens to be one of the saddest instrumental tunes of all time. Johhny then goes through an emotional breakthrough. Aside of being extremely funny, the whole bit intentionally goes on for waaaaay too long, testing the audience's endurance to the fullest. It is not an easy bit, but it is one of my favorites as it so absolutely alienates the audience to the extreme.

Johnny Ding-Dong left the stage and was followed by a bit with Eugene Mirman and the great Robyn Hitchcock. They started out as a duo, offering up bits of very funny advice for problems submitted by audience members prior to the show. Luckily, before the bit got too long, Eugene left Robyn up there alone with an acoustic. Besides regaling the audience with great stories and personal philosophies, Robyn played three tunes, including a beautiful cover of "The Crystal Ship" by the Doors (on his new album) and a fantastic version of his tune "Dismal City" that was so much better than the full band version... it was nuts. He was a fantastic storyteller and I loved his solo tunes.

Joe Wong
Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival 2014 - Day 3

After Hitchcock came comedian Joe Wong who I actually never heard of, but man did he slay. I cannot tell you how much I loved this guy. There was a brilliant economy to each of his jokes. They were free of flair and BS; they were delivered as perfect as you could imagine. His insights into the racism inherent in American society, though troubling, were so elegantly lampooned that the entire room was roaring. For me he was the highlight of the evening. I love seeing a comic for the first time and having him/her absolutely destroy. Sadly, his calendar is empty, but if you see the name Joe Wong on any upcoming comedy showcases you should go. Refreshing talent. I would like him to be famous immediately, thanks.

Wong's set was quite brief unfortunately, and he was followed by Eugene Mirman and Ted Allen (Chopped, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) for round two of audience advice. I missed this because I had to pee wicked bad and also needed another beer, but I heard some laughs while I was in the latrine so that was a good sign. Next up was the only billed comic of the night, H. Jon Benjamin. HJB definitely had the longest set of the evening, and it started out with a bit featuring him and Eugene, where Eugene read off all of HJB's requirements from his talent rider. This definitely felt like it went on a bit too long as even Eugene regarded the bit as "The exhausting comedy of Jon Benjamin and Eugene Mirman." Side note: Mirman and Benjamin have created Flotsam, a "Post-Structural Online Shopping Experience" where you can buy sacks of "hand-chosen items that are hand-hewn by machines in America and are shipped directly to you."

Back to the Bell House, after that HJB was joined by one of my personal favorites Larry Murphy. The premise of their bit was that since we were at The Bell House we were most certainly missing episodes of the Big Bang Theory which seems to be on TV in perpetuity. So they acted out some smarmy Big Bang esque dialogue which, like the rider bit, went on a bit too long as well.

Jen Kirkman
Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival 2014 - Day 3

Although Jon Benjamin's set was definitely hilarious and worth seeing, it went on longer than I had the strength to endure. I was at a motorcycle block party earlier in the day and had been drinking since 3 in the afternoon, so by the time headliner Jen Kirkman took the stage, I was hot, sweaty, gassy, uncomfortable, and basically seeing quadruple. I can see why she'd headline; she has a history in comedy that stretches way back to the old days in Boston with Larry Murphy and Eugene Mirman, she has a book out that sold a zillion copies, she's a favorite on Chelsea lately, she was in from LA... she's famous and successful. But combine the fact that I don't really care for her comedy and the fact that my liver was hanging out my asshole and down my pant leg, it was time to go.

The early show at the Bell House was a special EMCF edition of "Pretty Good Friends" with Jessi Klein, Nick Thune and Karen Kilgariff. Pics from EMCF night 1 are here and we'll have more to come. Pics from night 3's early show, plus more from "You Never Know Who Might Drop By," below...

Continue reading "Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest night 3 in pics (Robyn Hitchcock, Jen Kirkman, Wyatt Cenac, H. Jon Benjamin & more)"

by Arielle Gordon

tig-notaro

If you're a fan of comedy and lived through 2012, you probably have heard (or at least heard about) comedian Tig Notaro's fantastic set dealing with her cancer diagnosis, Live. The recorded set was released through Louis C.K.'s five dollar sales model, selling over 50,000 downloads, and was eventually nominated for a Grammy. But any fan of alt comedy will remember her hilarious bit on Taylor Dayne (video below), her multiple appearances on This American Life, or her podcast, Professor Blastoff.

This week, Tig begins a headlining comedy tour she's calling "Boyish Girl Interrupted," with stops all over this great nation, including one date in NYC. Catch her at Town Hall November 6 as part of the NY Comedy Festival. Tickets are on sale now.

All tour dates, plus video of that Taylor Dayne story, below...

Continue reading "Tig Notaro going on "Boyish Girl Interrupted" tour, dates include stop at NY Comedy Festival"