Recent Posts in comedy - Page 7

February 24, 2015

by Bill Pearis

Judd Apatow & Pee-wee
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Pee-wee Herman's long-discussed return to feature film is finally happening, with a new movie, Pee-wee's Big Holiday, to start filming in March. It will premiere not in theaters but on Netflix. Here's the gist: "a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-Wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday in this epic story of friendship and destiny." The film was cowritten by Paul Reubens (Pw's alter-ego) and Paul Rust, and is being produced by Judd Apatow who says:

As a fan of Pee-wee Herman since he first appeared on The Dating Game, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the brilliant Paul Reubens on this film. It is a dream come true.
Directing the film is Wonder Showzen co-creator John Lee who we interviewed last year and who lately has directed episodes of Broad City and Inside Amy Schumer. The idea of the guy behind Wonder Showzen (one of the most twisted things to ever air on commercial television) making the new Pee-wee Herman movie, on paper at least, sounds like a very good thing.

February 20, 2015

Harris Wittels on 'Parks & Rec'
Harris

Sad news from the comedy world. Harris Wittels, who was a writer, producer and occasional actor on Parks and Recreation, was found dead Thursday (2/19) in his Los Angeles apartment of a suspected drug overdose. Wittels, who also worked on East Bound & Down, Comedy Bang Bang, The Sarah Silverman Show and coined the term "humblebrag," was open about his struggles with addiction. Parks and Recreation star Amy Pohler said a few words last night while at a Variety-sponsored charity event:

Today, I lost a friend. I lost a dear, young friend in my life who was struggling with addiction. I'm sharing it with you because life and death live so close together, and we walk that fine line everyday. So, I don't really feel like telling any jokes. I'm kind of sad, and it's really great to be here tonight and listen to all of you, and listen to the great work that you do and be reminded why we live in this bizarre planet called 'Hollywood.' It's very strange.
Harris, you'll be missed. Rest in peace.

February 19, 2015

Jon Glaser on last week's episode of 'Girls'
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A host of comedy talent -- including Fred Armisen, Janeane Garofalo, Wyatt Cenac, Eugene Mirman (who'll be on tour with Bob's Burgers), and current SNL castmembers Mike O'Brien and Michael Che -- will be at Littlefield on March 11 for show being billed as "A Brooklyn Free Space Fundraiser Spectacular Evening of Entertainment!" Jon Glaser will be your host for the evening and tickets are on sale now.

Glaser, who you may have seen recently on episodes of Girls or Parks and Recreation, will be appearing on Sunday (2/22) at Shea Stadium for The Macaulay Culkin Show (which does not actually feature the Pizza Underground member). He'll be there for a live reading of a screenplay, "Whenever Possible Forever," that also features Jake Fogelnest, Joe Rumrill, Julio Torres, Ted Shumaker, and Tynan Delong. Glaser gives the backstory on this:

about a year ago, Brett Davis messaged me on Facebook asking me to do his show. I wasn't available, and he basically said there was an open invitation to do the show "whenever possible forever". Highly enjoying that phrasing, I jokingly challenged him to write a screenplay called "Whenever Possible Forever". I immediately received an opening scene in response. I wrote back something along the lines of "You keep writing, I'll keep reading." I'd receive new scenes every week or so, and would volley back with continued encouragement. This went back and forth for about a few months, until finally, at another comedy show, approximately 35 hard copy pages were placed in my hands, printed out on different kinds of mismatched paper. This dumb bit turned out to be something very weird, creative. smart, stupid and funny, and the world needs to know about it!
It's $5 at the door and starts at 8 PM. Flyer below...

Continue reading "Fred Armisen, Eugene Mirman, Michael Che & more playing benefit at Littlefield; Jon Glaser doing 'Macaulay Culkin Show' "

February 16, 2015

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Comedian Kurt Braunohler's Comedy Central web series Roustabout just wrapped up its first (perhaps only?) season. The show had a very original and charitable premise:

Comedian Kurt Braunohler has a plan: Jet ski the length of the mighty Mississippi, raise enough money to send 500 goats and 1,000 chickens to Africa, and spread as much absurdity and joy as possible along the way. Join him as he reconnects with old friends and makes new ones, performs stand-up and engages in good old-fashioned hijinks at each one of his stops along the great American river.
You can watch the trailer and first episode of Roustabout below and you can donate to the cause as well.

Kurt, who still does "Hot Tub" with Kristen Schaal but it's now on the West Coast, will be going on a Roustabout tour that hits NYC on February 25 at The Bell House. Tickets are on sale now. All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Kurt Braunohler jet-skied from Chicago to New Orleans for charity & web series 'Roustabout,' touring (dates, video)"

SNL

The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary was a spectacle, bringing together most of the show's famous cast, guest hosts, and favorite musical guests for a three-and-a-half hour extravaganza (with commercials, and not counting the extra hour of red carpet interviews that started an hour earlier on NBC). On the musical front, Kanye West got a lot of air time, performing "Jesus Walks" (while on his back), then getting up for "Only One" and new song "Wolves" (complete with ice-blue contact lenses) with Sia in a white wig, and Vic Mensa. Class skits were revisited, and Kanye was the target of some jokes in the new "Wayne's World" segment where "Kanye, Sit Down" came in at #5 on their Top 10 List.


Happy 40th SNL. #snl40 #siaswig #Galifikanyekis

A photo posted by Brooklyn Vegan (@brooklynvegan) on



Sia's wig would later appear on Zach Galifianakis when he introduced new Digital Short, "That's When You Break," that starred Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler (and clips of SNL actors cracking up ["breaking"] on camera). There was also Paul McCartney, who played Irving Plaza the night before, performing "I've Just Seen a Face" with Paul Simon and then "Maybe I'm Amazed." (He was very memorably, hilariously introduced by Keith Richards.) Later in the show Simon, introduced by Jack White, would come back out for "Still Crazy After All These Years" Related: Miley Cyrus covered Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" (with Fred Armisen on invaluable tambourine, and Paul McCartney's drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr. playing as part of her band too). Miley was introduced by Win Butler and frequent guest-host Candice Bergen.

Best buds Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon opened the show with a pretty impressive Beasties-style rap that chronicled the history of SNL. Later in the show Martin Short and Maya Rudolph (as Beyoncé) did a tribute to the many comedy musical sketches over the years many of whom made their return: Bill Murray's lounge singer (still great), Joe Piscopo as Frank Sinatra, Marty & Bobbi Culp (Will Ferrell & Ana Gasteyer), and The Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd was wearing his Crystal Skull vodka knit hat on the red carpet).

The SNL band got a big shout-out too, which saw the return of longtime guitarist G.E. Smith. Late bassist Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, who Smith played with on SNL and in Hall & Oates' band and died in 2010, was acknowledged in the "In Memoriam" segment that, hilariously, also included Jon Lovitz (who, not dead, was in the audience waving incredulously both times he was referred to as dead during the show). There was also a tribute to Tracy Morgan who is still recovering from a near-fatal car crash.

"Celebrity Jeopardy"
Celebrity Jeopardy

We got a lot of updates of classic sketches including the welcome return of "Celebrity Jeopardy," the maybe less welcome "The Californians" (with original cast member Laraine Newman, Taylor Swift> and a game Bradley Cooper who got to make out with Betty White), and Ackroyd did his famous "Bass-O-Matic" sketch again.

What else: Tina Fey and Amy Pohler did Weekend Update with Jane Curtain (and Edward Norton as Stefon and Melissa McCarthy as Chris Farley character Matt Foley); Jerry Seinfeld fielded questions from audience members Michael Douglas, John Goodman, James Franco, Larry David, Tim Meadows, Dakota Johnson and Sarah Palin; and Chris Rock paid tribute to Eddie Murphy who came out on the SNL stage for the first time in 30 years. That may have been one of the most awkward moments of the night. Everyone was hoping Eddie, who also talked to Al Roker on the red carpet in the pre-show, would perform, but that unfortunately didn't happen.

There was lots more: Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, a sports montage, a shorts montage.... You can watch the whole thing over at NBC.com. More pictures and clips of many of the highlights, below...

Continue reading "SNL celebrated 40 years w/ Sia's wig, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Kanye, Bill Murray, Will Ferrell & much more"

would you call that shade of green "avocado"?
jack white

Jack White was one of the many, many famous folk who appeared on last night's Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special. He didn't perform a song, but looking very smart in a tux and slicked-up hair, Jack did introduce Paul Simon's musical performance.

Earlier Sunday, he vented some steam about the whole "guacamolegate" thing via a letter on the Third Man website. It seemed to stem from a story NPR did over the weekend where they tested Jack's recipe with a chef (a London-based Peruvian chef, which was an odd choice?) who called it more of a salad than a traditional guac. Jack says not only is it not "his" recipe, he's never eaten it:

first off, this is none of your business, but i have no specific demands in my dressing room. i know i could ask for lots of things but i actually don't ask for ANYTHING. i take with me what i need, and that ain't much. anything on the rider is for the band and the crew. this "guacamole recipe" is my hilarious tour managers inside joke with the local promoters, it's his recipe, not mine. it's just something to break up the boredom, seeing who can make it best. though i wouldn't know because i've never had it. i can't even make kool aid let alone cook any real food enough to have a "recipe." sorry, i don't have that talent.
He gets a bunch of other stuff off his chest, too, and you can read the whole thing below.

Continue reading "Jack White introduced Paul Simon on SNL40, wrote angry letter about Guacamolegate"

February 10, 2015

jon

During tonight's taping of The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart told the audience that he'd be stepping down from the anchor chair at the end of 2015. While the show obviously doesn't air till later tonight, the news hit Twitter and then was confirmed by Comedy Central:

jon

Stewart took over from original host Craig Kilborn in 1999. We'll miss ya, Jon. By the end of 2015, late night TV will have a very different landscape.

UPDATE: Watch Jon Stewart break the news to The Daily Show's studio audience, below...

Continue reading "Jon Stewart leaving 'The Daily Show' sometime in 2015 (video)"

photo: Dave Chappelle @ Knit last month (by Ray Kump, via Knit Twitter)
Chappelle

Dave Chappelle will be playing five shows over four nights at Gramercy Theatre on February 12, 14, 15 and 16 (two shows on the 16th). Tickets go on sale at 5 PM today (2/10), and the schedule looks like this:

Show Date: Thursday, February 12th
Doors: 10:00 PM
Showtime: 11:00 PM

Show Date: Saturday, February 14th (late Friday / early Saturday)
Doors: 1:00 AM
Showtime: 1:30 AM

Show Date: Sunday, February 15th (late Saturday / early Sunday)
Doors: 12:00 AM
Showtime: 12:30 AM

Show Date: Monday, February 16th
Doors: 7:00 PM
Showtime: 8:00 PM

Show Date: Monday, February 16th
Doors: 10:00 PM
Showtime: 10:30 PM
These shows are significantly smaller than his last multi-night NYC run which was at Radio City, though they're not as small as the surprise show he did at Knitting Factory on January 18. That Knit show was during what up until recently was Hannibal Buress's weekly free show at the Brooklyn venue. But as the NY Times points out in a big article today, Hannibal has evolved "From Cult Star to Showman." He is busy playing headline shows at BAM, touring and being a cast member on Comedy Central's Broad City, and so Knitting Factory comedy shows go on without him.

New regulars Will Miles, Clark Jones and Kenny DeForest keep Comedy Night at The Knit alive every Sunday though. Maybe Hannibal will be a special guest at his own old show one of these days too. You never know when Chappelle might pop in again either.

February 6, 2015

Eliot & Ilana (and Bob Balaban) on 'Broad City'
Abby & Eliot

This week's very funny episode of Broad City featured the first we've seen of Ilana Wexler's brother, Eliott, who sings at their grandma's Shiva. Eliott is played by Ilana Glazer's real-life brother Eliot Glazer who, you may know, brings his classically-trained pipes to his live show "Haunting Renditions" where he takes some of pop music's most infamous songs and turns them into highbrow, sweeping ballads. The next edition of "Haunting Renditions" happens at Littlefield on February 20 and features guests Dave Hill and Marnie the Dog. Tickets are on sale now.

Tonight (2/6) at the Bell House, Eliot Glazer will be one of the guests at storytelling game show "The Shame Game." Other guests include Late Night with Seth Meyers' Michelle Wolf, Phoebe Robinson, plus hosts Ginny Leise and Soojeong Son. Tickets are on sale.

Speaking of Dave Hill, his next edition of "Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets" happens at Union Hall on March 6. Guests include Aparna Nancherla, Mrs. Smith, and Bandits on the Run, and tickets are on sale.

In other notable comedy/variety show news, the next edition of "Running Late with Scott Rogowski" happens at UCB Chelsea on February 11. Guests for this one: former SNL castmember Kevin Nealon and daytime talk show legend Jerry Springer. Tickets are on sale now.

February 2, 2015

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As mentioned, Saturday Night Live will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a three-hour live special on February 15 (which is Sunday, by the way). Former castmember Eddie Murphy, who hasn't appeared on the show (which he doesn't have especially fond memories of) since 1984, will return for the special which also features a cavalcade of other past castmembers: Chevy Chase, Jimmy Fallon, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Martin Short, Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, Mike Myers, Andy Samberg, Bill Murray, Amy Poehler, Dana Carvey, Kristen Wiig, Dan Aykroyd, Chris Rock, Garrett Morris, and Maya Rudolph.

There will aslo be lots of former SNL hosts as well, including Five Timers Club members Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Paul Simon, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Walken, and Steve Martin, plus Emma Stone, John Hamm, Derek Jeter, Melissa McCarthy, Jerry Seinfeld, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Jim Carrey, Peyton Manning, Betty White and many more yet to be announced.

In addition to Timberlake and Simon, other musicians appearing on SNL 40 will be Kanye West, Paul McCartney, and Taylor Swift. The Saturday Night Live Special runs from 8 - 11 PM on 2/15. You can watch a couple of promos for the special below.

If that's not enough SNL for you, VH1 Classic's marathon of old episodes is underway and will continue 24/7 through February 15 (schedule is here).

And in related news, Eddie Murphy, who has dabbled in music in the past, having scored a hit in 1985 with the Rick James-produced "Party All the Time," recently released a reggae single "Oh Jah" which you can stream below. It's not his first dip into the genre -- he released a single with Snoop Lion in 2013 and collaborated with Shabba Ranks in 1993.

This past week's SNL featured D'Angelo.

Continue reading "Eddie Murphy, Kanye West, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, & more appearing on 'SNL 40' special"