Recent Posts in comedy - Page 7
December 17, 2012
by Klaus Kinski
John Kellogg Hodgman is a 41 year old author, actor, auctioneer, and humorist with one of the most fertile brains and diverse CVs in the biz. To the masses, Hodgman is probably best known as a Daily Show correspondent and as the personification of the "PC" in those numerous, insufferable and divisive Mac v. PC advertisements broadcast by the Macintosh Department of Propaganda. But those two facets of his career are small potatoes when you consider he's also written three books and, well... JESUS! Just look at his Wikipedia page!
His most recent tome, That Is All, came out in paperpack back in October and is the third and final installment in his trilogy of Complete World Knowledge. In addition to offering readers tips on the impending demise of the world as we know it on Friday (12/21/12), the book covers other topics including sports and wine and also features a list of seven hundred ancient and unspeakable gods. This man is a meticulous list-smith.
I found Hodgman to be an truly wonderful auctioneer at the Tom Scharpling/Ted Leo Sandy Benefit at the Bell House a couple weeks ago (Friday, December 7 to be specific). His banter was absolutely hilarious, but when the bids started flying he immediately assumed the role of veteran auctioneer and was able to keep drunken non-bidders quiet while keeping the actual bidding in perfect control. And as you will see from the list below, John Hodgman really likes the Bell House. As a matter of fact, be sure to check him out at the Bell House Friday December 21 where he will be doing two special THAT IS ALL live shows in one special evening. Sadly the 10:00pm late show is sold out, but the 7:00pm early show still has some vacancies. Get early show tix now before they are gone!!
And now, I present to you, The TEN BEST THINGS OF 2012 by John Hodgman:
December 15, 2012
photos by PSquared Photography
YLT w/ Andrew Bird / the Jons / Titus @ Maxwell's, 12/14/2012
Titus Andronicus opened the night with a roar -- I always read about them as being a punk-rock group, and maybe they are in the old-fashioned (and my favorite) definition of that term as "indescribable." Patrick made the only mention from the stage of the night about Connecticut, which makes him stronger than me. A great set, closing with the breathtaking one-two of "Titus Andronicus Forever" and the seasonal favorite "Roadrunner"...On the penultimate night of Hanukkah (and a bad vibe day to put it mildly), Yo La Tengo did their best to keep spirits high, with special guest Andrew Bird (as speculated) sitting in on violin for the entirety of their set, and guest vocalist Devendra Banhart (who narrates the Tim Maia short film which screens for free in Brooklyn Sunday) singing for the encore. (Setlist is below.)
...If you spend any time around the three of us, sooner or later you'll hear one or everybody burst into "Acappella Ghostbusters," as made famous by Jon Glaser and Jon Benjamin's Soundtrackappella (or is it Soundtracappella -- I forgot to ask, but that's ok, they'd have given me two different answers). Ten years after Hanukkah 2002, we asked them if they agreed with us it was time for a return engagement. - [YLT]
As speculated and then expected, fellow New Jersyians Titus Andronicus made for one of the highest profile openers of the week, and Jons Benjamin and Glaser brought the funny.
The night's Charity was Waves for Water's Hurricane Sandy Relief Initiative and Ira Kaplan made the mix CD. Tonight's the last night of their Hanukkah run -- who will be the openers? UPDATE: Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake and Gaylord Fields open the final night.
More pictures from Night 7 are below, along with YLT's setlist.
December 10, 2012
Yo La Tengo + Fred Armisen @ Maxwell's, 12/9/2012 (via @j_maxed)
Sunday night was the second night of Yo La Tengo's annual Hanukkah Week residency at Maxwell's with surprise openers Fred Armisen and Sun Ra Arkestra. (Lambchop's Kurt Wagner made the night's mix CD.) Fred actually pulled double duty, playing drums for YLT's entire set (!) making for a double percussion evening that included covers of the Velvet Underground's "Who Loves the Sun?" and the Ramones' "Can't Make it On Time." The whole Sunday setlist is below (and check out Saturday's HERE.).
Any guesses as to who will open for Yo La Tengo tonight? UPDATE: It's The Feelies!
While Fred was laying down the beat, his voice could be heard on last night's episode of The Simpsons where he and Carrie Brownstein played a Portland couple who moved next door to Homer and Marge. The episode also featured Patton Oswalt and The Decemberists. In a strange coincidence, Portlandia returns with a new episode this Friday night (12/14) before the IFC sketch show comes back in earnest on January 4 (there's a private premiere party at a museum in NYC tonight).
Fred was also on this week's Jamie Foxx-hosted SNL, but just barely.
Fred also recently sat in with Dinosaur Jr. at their You're Living All Over Me 25th Anniversary show at Terminal 5 and will be hosting the Snow Ball Ball at The Bell House this Sunday (12/16) which is now sold out.
Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah Night 2 setlist is below.
December 9, 2012
Brooke Shields and Tom Scharpling (via Patrick Cotnoir)
Tom Scharpling, Ted Leo, and Marianne Ways put together "A Very Special Benefit Show" on Friday (12/7) at the Bell House with a great lineup of Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Chris Elliott (joined by Adam Resnick), John Hodgman, Jon Benjamin, Julie Klausner (joined by Gary the Squirrel), Andrew W.K., Kristen Schaal, previously revealed surprise guests TItus Andronicus, and a secret appearance by Brooke Shields. The show began with an intro by Ted Leo and Tom Scharpling, and then the many acts began their (relatively short) sets with auctions spliced in between. Later on in the show, Tom and Ted returned to the stage together to interview Brooke Shields, and before Andrew WK's closing set, Ted played a song on stage with the auction winner. To end the night, after Andrew WK's set, he was joined on stage by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and members of Titus for a killer cover of "Louie Louie." A picture of the setlist from the show is below.
Ted Leo was also added to the previously mentioned Concert & Comedy For Sandy Animals: Benefit for the Sean Casey Animal Rescue, which takes place at Littlefield TONIGHT (12/9) with Michael Showalter, Casey Shea, The National Reserve, Jena Friedman, Colleen Pelletier (video), and Rawan Rihani (art). Supercute were initially supposed to play but they had to cancel. Tickets for tonight's show are still available.
In case you missed it, Tom Scharpling also made the mix tape for the first of Yo La Tengo's eight Hanukkah shows last night (12/8). Last night's openers were The Raybeats and Emo Philips. Any guesses on who opens tonight?
Setlist from the Tom Scharpling benefit below...
December 8, 2012
It's a tradition! Yo La Tengo begin their eight sold out shows at Maxwell's in recently-Sandy-ravaged Hoboken tonight, Saturday, December 8th, the first night of Hanukkah 2012. As always, each night will featured a varied setlist, a charity and a mix of secret musician and comedy openers and special guests. So far we haven't figured out even one this year. Any guesses?
UPDATE: Night 1 openers were a reunion by The Raybeats and comedian Emo Philips. Tom Scharpling made the mix tape of the night (they sell it for charity). The charity of the night was, appropriately, the Fund to Rebuild Hoboken.
Local musical opener and guest possibilities include Ted Leo, Titus Andronicus, Real Estate, Thurston Moore, Stephin Merritt, AC Newman, Kurt Vile, Lee Ranaldo, and Paul Banks.
Someone guessed Big Dipper.
December 7, 2012
Happy (almost) Hanukkah! It begins tomorrow night (Saturday, 12/8) and in addition to gathering 'round the table for dreidels to play with and latkes to eat, there are plenty of events in NYC that you can attend to celebrate. Jesse Zook Mann and Evan Kleinman's film, Punk Jews, is premiering in NYC next week, and there are a bunch of shows like the Sephardic Music Festival, Matisyahu's 'Festival of Light' show at Terminal 5, and many others. And of course Yo La Tengo play all eight nights of Hanukkah at Maxwell's in Hoboken (12/8-15). YLT always bring out interesting guests to open these shows, but more on that soon (meanwhile leave your guesses in the comments).
In addition to the previously announced Hanukkah shows, there's also a comedy show at UCB East on Saturday (12/8). The show is dubbed Mark Spitz's Hanukkah Spectacularah and the event description reads:
What's a Spectacularah? It's like a Christmas special, but for Jews! Well, it's not just for Jews, but it's certainly not for Nazis . There will be characters, prizes, drinking games, and - most importantly - Jews performing stand up comedy!The lineup includes Barry Rothbart (The Tonight Show, Conan), Josh Rabinowitz (Just For Laughs), Adam Newman (John Oliver's NY Stand Up Show), and Adam Lowitt (Just For Laughs, John Oliver's NY Stand Up Show, The Daily Show) and Mark Spitz is hosting. Tickets are on sale now.
Matisyahu just released a new video for his new Hanukkah song. Check that out below...
by Klaus Kinski and Tig Notaro
Tig Notaro is a living super hero and I was so thrilled that she took the time to do a Top 10 for us. Even though Tig was previously an LA-based comedian, over the years we here at BV have admired her and always did what we could to trumpet her greatness to you, the loyal BV reader. We even managed to get her onto a BV-SxSW show back in 2010.
More recently, perhaps you caught her at The Dave Hill Explosion at the UCB Theater back on November 29, 2012? Or perhaps you caught her at the Bell House on November 17, 2012 when she brought her live podcast Professor Blastoff to a live, sold out audience? If anything, I sincerely hope you ponied up and bought her Louis CK-released live album which is absolutely brilliant, heart-wrenching, and totally inspiring. Oh, but just a heads up; Tig Notaro: Live is no longer available on Louis CK's website! Now you gotta procure that shizz on iTunes, brah. Tig is spending a lot more time in NYC these days, so keep your eyes on BV for whatever Tig news comes our way. In the meantime, enjoy her eclectic, not-necessarily-music-oriented Top 10 list, below.
Chris Rock, who recently made surprise appearances at UCB, and with Louis CK (who he definitely thinks is great), and who has been known to show up at Hannibal Buress's weekly Sunday night show at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, just talked to Judd Apatow for Vanity Fair. Judd asked him if he thinks comedians are better now? Chris said:
Do I think comedians are better now? Hell fuckin' no. Show me one guy or woman as funny as Rodney Dangerfield or as good as George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, or Joan Rivers. There are a lot of good comics out there, no doubt, but as far as the quality of the comics goes, I think what you have is a bunch of situational comics. What we have now is black comics that work only black crowds, gay comics that do only gay crowds, and southern comics that only work down South, and so on with Asian, Latino, Indian, midgets, etc. The previous generation's comics were better because they had to make everybody laugh. Richard Pryor could do The Ed Sullivan Show and play the Apollo. Seinfeld can work any crowd. Ellen can work any crowd. Lopez can work any crowd. And a few more, but the rest of them are just situational comics.Judd Apatow's new movie "This is 40" is out soon, music and acting by Graham Parker included.
Watch Chris, Louis, Seinfeld, and Ricky Gervais talk about what is funny, below...
December 6, 2012
Best Dance RecordingEnds up I wasn't the only one who hadn't heard of him, and luckily for our entertainment, some people took the time to figure out exactly who he is. Let's start with Al's own bio:
Levels - Avicii
Let's Go - Calvin Harris Featuring Ne-yo
Bangarang - Skrillex Featuring Sirah
Don't You Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia Featuring John Martin
I Can't Live Without You - Al Walser
Al Walser is an alround international entertainment mogul , CEO of US Record Label Cut The Bull entertainment and owner of publishing house " Amiville "Those credentials are apparently why Al is a Grammy voter, but that's only the beginning of the story. Gawker writes:
Until up until this morning, very few people had ever heard the name Al Walser, at least before SPIN's Philip Sherburne hunted for some answers...Weisman goes on to theorize that Al got the nomination because the other academy voters, who don't actually listen to any of the nominees, recognized his name from being "friends" with him.
...So, obviously, you can see why all of a sudden people are dumbfounded as to why the dance music version of Rebecca Black got nominated for anything besides "Worst ever contestant on 'America's Got Talent'". What's still unclear is how exactly this happened, though artist manager and blogger Daniel Weisman has a compelling hypothesis.
The Grammys have their own social networking site called Grammy365, because what would the world be without another useless way to connect to random people. Grammy365 is open to members of the Recording Academy -- according to Weisman, there is about 13,000 total members, though roughly 10,000 are allowed to vote on the Grammys. Walser is a member of the Academy, and he's also unsurprisingly a good, or at least a relentless, networker. Weisman took screenshots of Walser's Grammy365 page, which shows 104 pages of "contacts," a number that comes out to over 4,000 contacts (or friends) in total.
Al Walser is likely not going to win a Grammy, but he has officially landed the title of "Best MEME of 12/6/2012" and will probably shake things up behind the scenes of the Grammy Awards (who I imagine are pretty embarrassed right now). Al will probably also sell more books:
No, seriously, Al wrote a book about how to make it big in the music industry. At least nobody can accuse him of false advertising in that situation.
Listen to an amazing interview with Al, taped today, at CBC. And watch the even more amazing video for the song nominated, below...
The photos are not in any particular order. Jack White above. More below...