Recent Posts in comedy - Page 3

December 10, 2015

MST3k

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot has one day left on its Kickstarter campaign and is about $1 million away from reaching it's ultimate goal of $5.5 million to produce an entire 12 episode season (they've got enough for nine right now). There's going to be a "Final Countdown" telethon broadcast live from Los Angeles on Friday (12/11) beginning at 5 PM PST (that's 8 PM Eastern) with creator Joel Hodgson hosting and showing classic episodes. Folks in NYC can attend a "Final Countdown" viewing party at Kickstarter's Brooklyn Headquarters (58 Kent St. in Greenpoint). You do need to RSVP.

Back to the show. Since we last posted, there have been a lot of updates. Felicia Day, of Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, will be the new main mad scientist, Kinga Forrester (daughter of Dr. Clayton Forrester from the original series). At her side will be Patton Oswalt in a TV's Frank type roll. They'll be the ones torturing new host Jonah Ray and his robot friends Crow (Hampton Yount) and Tom Servo (Baron Vaughn).

Creator Joel Hodgson has also announced the behind-the-scenes staff, which is rather amazing. Dan Harmon (Community, Rick & Morty), Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty), Dana Gould (The Simpsons, Super Adventure Team), Rob Schrab (who's directing the new LEGO Movie), and author Ernest Cline (Ready Player One) will all contribute jokes, though they aren't on the official writing staff. Robert Lopez, who cowrote Frozen's "Let It Go", will be on board for songs, and original MST3K theme song writer Charlie Erickson is returning.

Hodgson has also said that Jack Black, Joel Mchale, Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris, Jerry Seinfeld and Mark Hamill have all expressed interest in making appearances on the show. It all sounds very promising for a show that remains primarily about people hurling jokes at really bad movies.

Watch the original MST3K in action, via classic short "Cheating," below...

Continue reading "new 'MST3K' (now w/ Patton Oswalt, Felicia Day & more) has one day left of Kickstarter, throwing viewing party in NYC"

December 7, 2015

Neko & Bob @ The Greene Space (via @ninacallaway)
Neko Case Bobcat Goldthwait

As mentioned, twitter friends Neko Case and Bobcat Goldthwait met in real life for the first time on Sunday (12/6) at WNYC's The Greene Space. It was webcast live but you can watch an archive of their conversation, moderated by Sean Rameswaram, that included such topics as public nudity, pet ducks and turkeys, the 'Billy Jack' movies, arrest records, Chad Kroeger's nose and much more. Watch below.

This came after Neko Case's show at the legendary Apollo Theater on Friday (12/4) that, like her new box set, took in songs from her whole career (plus a cover of Scott Walker's "Duchess"). USA Today was there:

Wait a second ... where's Case's backup singer and stage foil Kelly Hogan? Where are the evocative set backdrops that feature Case's drawings? Where's the drummer? The lineup was Case up front, plus bandmates Jon Rauhouse on guitar and pedal steel, Eric Bachmann on guitar and keyboards, and Tom Ray on bass guitar and stand-up bass -- and that's it. Ray was a one-man rhythm section, stomping on a tambourine to keep time. The set-up was smaller than her touring performances and far more intimate because of it. The lineup also allowed the band to showcase some of her earlier songs, which tend to be more stripped-down and traditional country. It was an odd juxtaposition, a show that felt more like it might feel to see them perform in a bar (and Case has spent years on the road doing just that) but inside the ornate, beautiful Apollo theater. It made for an unforgettable night.
Setlist from Neko's Apollo show is below...

Continue reading "Neko Case played The Apollo (setlist), talked with Bobcat Goldthwait at The Green Space (video)"

by Bill Pearis

Max Silvestri King Piglet

Max Silvestri officially said goodbye to NYC back in April when his weekly Big Terrific comedy show (with Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman) had its final bow. Now in Los Angeles, he seems to be doing all right for himself. Deadline reports that NBC has bought Silvestri's Relative Success, a sitcom he created and will star in, where it's currently in development. The series will be produced by Krysten Ritter (who you may now know from Netflix's awesome Jessica Jones) and here's the synopsis:

Relative Success is about what happens when two overachieving brothers -- one a successful book editor, the other a well-known author - are forced to work together to keep their careers on track. They soon find their childish family disagreements are spilling over into their work lives.
While we wait for that, Silvestri's got a bunch of other stuff going on. You may remember he used to write very funny Top Chef recaps for Eater, and he's now parlayed that into a couple of gastronomic on-camera jobs. He currently co-hosts FYI Network's food lifestyle show The Feed with Top Chef's Gail Simmons and celeb chef (and frequent Chopped judge) Marcus Samuelson, and he's going to be the host of upcoming Bravo TV cooking competition show Recipe for Deception. Here's the synopsis for Recipe:
It is a battle of secrets and knives in this fast-paced and innovative self-contained cooking competition series where a chef's cunning is almost as important as their culinary skill. In each stand-alone episode host Max Silvestri guides four new chefs through head-to-head elimination rounds in which they are tasked with creating a stunning dish featuring a main ingredient. The twist is that they have no idea what that ingredient is while cooking. Based on the popular parlor game 'Two Truths and a Lie,' competing chefs ask each other three "yes or no" questions to determine what their mystery ingredient is, and their opponent answers strategically with two truthful answers and one outright lie. If you can't stand deceit, get out of the kitchen.
Recipe For Deception premieres Jan. 21, 2016 at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.You can watch a preview below.

Max is also recapping Top Chef again but doing it for Bravo TV's official Top Chef blog. Judging by the first two entries, working for the people who make the show hasn't neutered him -- Silvestri rips into the contestants just like he used to on Eater (though maybe there's a little less making fun of Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi now).

Last but not least: Max released a comedy album, King Piglet, over the summer which, if you're not familiar with Max's manic, digression-filled style (and somehow you're still reading this), it's a good introduction. You can listen to the whole thing via Spotify, below..

Continue reading "Max Silvestri released a comedy album, hosting food shows on TV, has a sitcom in development at NBC"

December 3, 2015

Daniel Kitson

Kitson + Christmas makes perfect sense. This standup-cum-solo theatre-maker is our preeminent storyteller - an art form with Christmas overtones. His work is also unapologetically sentimental, and who, bar the severest bah-humbugger, isn't up for dewy eyes at Christmas time?

That's exactly what his Show for Christmas delivers - brilliantly, sans schmaltz, with big laughs and a thoughtful, heartful engagement with what Christmas is about. You have to doff your Santa hat to the skill, sensitivity and judgment with which this story is put together. And to Kitson's gimlet eye for the minutiae of how people speak and behave, which he fashions here into one glittering bauble after another of dialogue, character sketch, or turn of phrase. - [The Guardian]

The brilliant British comedian and storyteller Daniel Kitson debuted his holiday-themed "A Show for Christmas" in 2014 across a sold-out UK run. He's now bringing it to NYC at the Connelly Theatre from December 8 - 13 and then December 15 - 18. Says Daniel:

The show itself is a simple storytelling affair that is, if you'll forgive me for saying so, pretty enchanting and deals, amongst other things, with the traditional seasonal concerns of loneliness, a brief scuffle in a newsagents, mobile phones, magic, the past and a long journey in a mid sized motorhome. I mean. It's long been my vibe to charmingly undersell things, as you doubtless know, but I reread it last week to see if I needed to change anything and I actually REALLY enjoyed it. I think it's really good. So. There you go.
Tickets for most shows are still available. Get 'em while you can.

December 1, 2015

IMAGE

Neko Case will be in NYC this Friday (12/4) for a show at The Apollo, which was weirdly relocated from original location, Brooklyn Masonic Temple. A few tickets are still available. Speaking of weird, a couple days after her Apollo show, Neko will be discussing her new vinyl box set, Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule, at WNYC's Greene Space on Sunday (12/6) with... Bobcat Golthwait? It's true, the pair have been Twitter friends for some time and will finally do some IRL gabbing, also discussing Goldthwait's new documentary Call Me Lucky. Tickets are on sale but we're also giving a pair away. Enter to win, below.

Golthwait, a comedian best known for the Police Academy movies and setting fire to Jay Leno's chair, is also a talented filmmaker, having made dark cult classic Shakes the Clown in 1991, World's Greatest Dad in 2009 and has been behind the camera for Marc Maron's IFC series. Call Me Lucky is about comedian-turned-activist Barry Crimmins:

Call Me Lucky is the inspiring, triumphant and wickedly funny portrait of one of comedy's most enigmatic and important figures: Barry Crimmins. The beer-swilling, politically outspoken and whip-smart comic whose efforts in the 70s and 80s fostered the talents of the next generation of standup comedians. But beneath Crimmins' gruff, hard-drinking, curmudgeonly persona lay an undercurrent of rage stemming from his long-suppressed and horrific abuse as a child - a rage that eventually found its way out of the comedy clubs and television shows and into the political arena.

Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, Call Me Lucky bravely tells Crimmins' incredible story of transformation from a rage-fueled funnyman into an acclaimed proponent of justice who personified the healing power of comedy.

You can watch the trailer for Call Me Lucky below and the film is streaming on Netlfix and a variety of on-demand platforms.

Continue reading "Neko Case talking with Bobcat Goldthwait at Greene Space after Apollo show (win tix)"

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld has a new residency in NYC coming up...

Legendary New Yorker and comedian Jerry Seinfeld will perform once a month at the Beacon Theatre in 2016 as part of a residency entitled, "Jerry Seinfeld: The Homestand." Tickets go on sale Monday, December 7 @ 10am at Ticketmaster. If tickets remain, they'll be available at The Beacon Theatre box office starting on Tuesday, December 8 @ 11AM.

"My favorite theater in New York to perform in has always been The Beacon. Comedians live for certain houses that just feel 'alive' for some reason," said Jerry Seinfeld. "The Beacon is that place for me and I am so excited to make it my new home."

The dates scheduled so far are January 7, February 18, March 2, April 14, May 5 and June 8. Stay tuned for more.

Continue reading "Jerry Seinfeld announces 2016 Beacon Theatre residency"

November 27, 2015

Birbiglia

In Mike's own words:

Friends,
It's me, Mike. That p'awkward idiot who jumped through the window in his sleep. Happy Thanksgiving! I feel genuinely thankful for you.

I have performed my all-new show "Thank God For Jokes" in EIGHTY CITIES in the last two years. Are there eighty cities in America? Yes, and 2,019 Applebee's. But I'm not here to tell you about Riblets™.

I'm here to tell you that my final stop for "Jokes" is New York City.

For six weeks I'll be performing "Thank God for Jokes" in the beautiful and intimate Lynn Redgrave Theater, the same theatre where I debuted Sleepwalk with Me eight years ago. To this day I have people come up to me on the street and tell me about seeing Sleepwalk there 8 years ago. We put our hearts into these off-Broadway shows. We have a Tony award winning set designer Beowulf Boritt. We have our award-winning director Seth Barrish. I have honed the material to be the most precise, finely tuned, funniest show I can possibly conceive. It will be a blast. I promise.

And I'm telling you first. Because here's the thing. Theater tickets are insanely expensive. I know. I get it. It's absurd. So I'm giving you the first chance to buy tickets today at a discount. Before a press release goes out. Before there's a single ad or subway poster. When you use the code "JOKES" you can buy tickets for 35 bucks plus fees. (4 bucks).

Be one of the first 150 orders and get this free screen print. Thanks designer Adam Jeffers!

And because it's Black Friday and we've just gone on sale, Joe Bags is sending the first 150 people who order tickets this limited edition screen print of the show, as well as my signed Christmas card. That way you put the poster under the tree/menorah, you hand your sweetie the card, and you say, this is for the show I also got you tickets for. Boom.

One last thing. Maybe don't bring kids under 13 or so. Or 16, depending on your kid and how terrible a parent you are. This show is written for adults. It's about jokes and thus the language is sometimes not what you'd hear on the radio or on Jimmy Fallon. That said, it's not gratuitous. It's extremely precise to the word and I'm very proud of that. So adults, rejoice. You will laugh your balls off.

Okay, that's it. I love you guys. Be safe. Don't drink and drive, hit me, and then make me pay for the car.

Love,
Mike

UPDATE: the discount code only works for the first 10 shows.

Mike is also making a movie.

November 25, 2015

by Andrew Sacher

photo by Jess Flynn
Katie Ellen

Chumped are on hiatus, but we recently mentioned that singer Anika Pyle and drummer Dan Frelly formed the new band Katie Ellen. They've already played a few shows, and this week they released their first song, "Lucy Stone." It's more lo-fi than anything Chumped had ever done (though they are saying it's just a demo), but the melody and drive of that band aren't lost at all. It's a heavy song lyrically, dealing with the very real anxieties surrounding expectations that are set for you by family/society/loved ones/etc: "Well I don't wanna have your children / Does that make me less of a woman? I don't believe in getting married / It's a social economic prison." Listen below and download it for free here.

Katie Ellen's next show is playing the next installment of comedian Chris Gethard's 'Career Suicide' show, "an hour of stand up focusing on suicide, alcoholism, and all the other funniest parts of life." It happens December 21 at Union Hall. Tickets are on sale.

Anika also plays a solo show with Lauren Denitzio and Mikey Erg.

Continue reading "Katie Ellen (1/2 of Chumped) share first song, "Lucy Stone," playing Chris Gethard's 'Career Suicide' show"

November 24, 2015

Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman was to have played the NY Comedy Festival earlier this month with a show at BAM but got sick and had to postpone. She's just announced the makeup date: January 22 at BAM's Peter Jay Sharp Building. The show is titled "Sarah Silverman and Friends" and they haven't announced who those friends will be but tickets are on sale.

Mike and the cast of 'Don't Think Twice'
Don't Think Twice Mike Birbiglia

Mike Birbiglia wrote, directed and starred in 2012's acclaimed Sleepwalk with Me. He's got a new movie in the works, titled Don't Think Twice about an improv troupe that includes Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele), Gillian Jacobs (Community), Kate Micucci (Garfunkel and Oates), Tami Sagher (Inside Amy Schumer) and Chris Gethard. The official synopsis:

The comedy is about an improv group that loses the lease on its home theater at the same time that one of its cast members gets chosen for the biggest sketch-comedy show on TV. It's about the bitterness and backstabbing that occurs among friends when they realize that maybe not everyone's gonna make it after all.
Filming in NYC is currently underway, so stay tuned.

In other news, Mike is part of charity event "The 2nd Annual Talent Show" which happens at NYC's New World Stages / Stage 3 on December 1. Also part of this are Bleachers, Sara Bareilles, Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, Elle King, Andrew Dost, John Early, Roy Wood Jr, Jacqueline Novak, with host Rachel Antonoff and JD Samson as your DJ for the evening. Tickets are on sale and all proceeds go support New Alternatives' work with LGBTQ Youth. Poster for the show is below.

Continue reading "Mike Birbiglia making new movie w/ Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Gethard & more ++ performing at LGBTQ benefit show"