Jim Norton was the keynote speaker of this year’s Just For Laughs Festival. In the speech, Norton gets brutally honest about the business of comedy. Offering his opinion about coming up in business, self esteem, and career in comedy. As someone that found himself in the whirlwind of the “I’m offended” culture that’s been cultivated of late, from his debate on late night about rape jokes, to recent fallout from the Twitter rant of his SiriusXM co-host Anthony Cumia. Read More
About a year ago it was announced that The Simpsons was going to be syndicated to networks outside of FOX affiliates. A few days ago FXX announced that it has acquired all 24 seasons of the show and will run a massive 12-day marathon of every episode ever beginning August 12th to launch the show on its network along with an interactive app. Massive. Today, FXX revved up the promo machine and released this teaser for the marathon, the world as we know it might never recover.
There’s so much to learn from this clip. First off, the awesomely talented Reggie Watts was a guest on Conan last night. Watts was there to promote a new album we know nothing about called Scarves & Cabbages. Third his backup players on this video clip are none other than ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Coheed And Cambria’s Travis Stever. Forth, the song is about a horse.
I am all over the place with this information overload.
Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival just revealed who it’s New Faces of Comedy will be for the 2014 season. Each year the festival selects a handful of up-and-coming comics that the world should keep an eye on. The selections are broken down into a few different categories – Repped, Unrepped, and Characters. While the first two are fairly explainable, the third is for those in the improv world.
For the comedy industry, New Faces is one of the biggest draws of the festival and the 2014 selections include Alingon Mitra, Brad Wenzel, Drew Michael, Eliza Skinner, Grant Lyon, Hampton Yount, Hasan Minhaj, Jack Robichaud, Jake Weisman, Jen D’Angelo, Jesse Elias, John McKeever, Justine Marino, Kate Berlant, Matteo Lane, Michelle Wolf, Monroe Martin, Nore Davis, Randy Liedtke, Ryan O’Flanagan and Whitmer Thomas.
In the Characters category the following comedians have been picked including Beth Hoyt, Chelsea Davison, Greg Tuculescu, Holly Laurent, John Reynolds, LaKendra Tookes, Mary Holland, Michael Antonucci and Michael Lehrer.
As of right now, there’s no word on the Unrepped names but we’ll update that info once we learn the names.
In the Unrepped category the comics selected are Alex Stone, Brendan Eyre, Brian Frange, Cody Hustak, Jason Saenz, Liza Treyger, Noah Gardenswatrz, Richard Bain, Sam Evans, Troy Walker, and Zainab Johnson.
New Faces showcases run multiple times a night beginning Wednesday you can check the showcase dates/times here.
This weekend was the Television Critics Association there was a panel about John Mulaney’s upcoming sitcom (set to premiere Oct 5th). While there were many questions asked and talked about, two of the best takeaways from the Mulaney panel were critics are already comparing the show to another stand-up sitcom, Seinfeld.
Mulaney exec producer/director Andy Ackerman, has directed nearly 90 episodes of Seinfeld and was asked to discuss the similarities. After turning to Mulaney and murmuring, “You’re no Jerry Seinfeld,” he then turned to the critics and said, “This is a cast I’m really excited about… I had the privilege to work with that great cast, and I see so many similarities in terms of the chemistry. And we have an opportunity to take John’s voice, and what he’s doing I’m really excited about… and if I have any small percent of that success I’d be thrilled.” Mulaney also stated “The biggest revelation to me was seeing the strength of the ensemble,” he later stated that things really start to come together by episode 6. “This is a very potent weapon.”
Also discussed was the official confirmation that Nasim Pedrad was no longer on SNL. While she heavily alluded to this news a while back, it was confirmed this weekend. “Obviously there’s nothing like that show and I was lucky to be there for five years,” Pedrad stated, adding, “At some point you have to leave, and I can’t think of a better reason to leave than for this particular show and this particular cast.” When asked is she would’ve stayed at SNL if Mulaney hadn’t come along, “Yeah, had it not been for this show. Look, at the end of the day, these are two shows filming at the same time on opposite coasts. It wouldn’t have been practical to stay there,” she said. “I don’t think it’s that common to get this kind of group together, and having experienced working with John at SNL, I couldn’t be more confident in his ability to write and star in a sitcom like this, truly.”
Day 5, we made it through the week of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s #8videos8days campaign celebrating the release of his new (and possibly final) studio album, Mandatory Fun. Today rather than going for the straight up spoof of a popular song, Yankovic decided to mock the genre of sports and its fight songs. So he got himself a marching band (something I’d reckon is easy for a guy like Al) and took to the gridiron where ht deconstructed sports. Check out the clip courtesy of the folks at Funny Or Die.
It’s been a marathon for Jim Gaffigan on the road to get his sitcom on the airwaves. His sitcom, a single camera family show loosely based on his real life, has already gone through two different rounds of restructuring by CBS during the 2013 and 2014 pilot season. Now Sony TV, the production company responsible for the show, is eyeing other networks to try to get the show on the air and TV Land is one of the other networks really interested in nabbing the comedian.
Sony TV has already been successful in rescuing shows, with the biggest feather in its cap being Community. The once cancelled NBC was recently revived by Yahoo for a 6th season.
Reports are that TV Land is “well down the road” of trying to make Gaffigan’s show work on their network, currently looking to reduce the actors’ compensation to get the budget to where it needs to be for TV Land to comfortably move forward. It’s also likely that if the sitcom gets picked up by TV Land, Sony would likely have a passive role in the show and co-writer/executive producer of the CBS pilot would more than likely just consult on the show.
When it comes to stand-up comedy, Ben Kronberg is a master at being dry and absurd. He’s left of center but when he connects with a joke it’s a wonder to see. In fact, in Ben’s set from Late Night with Seth Meyers, he made a Star Wars joke that simultaneously made me laugh and angry in how obvious it was. Damn you Ben Kronberg! You deserved so much better than Roseanne Barr gave you on Last Comic Standing.