The Laugh Button, Author at The Laugh ButtonThe Laugh Button

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  • Dave Attell’s cringeworthy comedy is perfectly captured on ‘Road Work’

    Dave Attell, Road WorkIt’s hard to believe it’s been 7 years since we’ve last seen a Dave Attell stand-up comedy special. Yeah, do the math, it was 2007 when Captain Miserable was released. It’s a very long time for hands-down one of the best comedians in the game to produce something he’s so incredibly great at doing. While he’s had some projects in the time between, the stage of a comedy club is where Dave Attell shines brightest. It’s a giant flaming ball of crude, rude, cringe-worthy, and devastating stand-up. Did you expect anything else?

    Road Work is the best representation of the comedy and style of Dave Attell we’ve seen to date. Past Attell stand-up specials have seen him suited up in a well-lit theater telling jokes. Road Work strips away any formalities and tapes Attell working where he’s best, in comedy clubs on stages close to the crowd where he can talk to them, hear their reactions, and toss out in-the-moment tags to jokes. There’s a sped up flow to the special, which benefits Attell and his rapid-fire delivery. Exaggerated with the club location changing every 10 minutes or so (perfect for commercial breaks). It’s also shot guerrilla style, with a few cameras, including one on stage that Attell often bumps into and interacts with, there’s a shaky audience camera and as Attell states at the beginning of the party, it’s a “filthy, dirty mess of a show.” Read More

    Cool thing to buy this week: Patton Oswalt ‘Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time’

    Patton Oswalt Comedy Plus Tragedy Equals TimeComedy Central is in the middle of its stand-up month as the premiere/release of some heavy hitter comedians are premiering new specials on the TV channel and later releasing said special to the masses.

    Case in point this week: Patton Oswalt, one of the finest comedians of our generation gets his moment in the sun. Oswalt’s latest special, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time continues in the evolution of the comedian. Tracing his life as he’s transitioned from a single, comic book geek into the married family man he is today, and his comedy has gotten better because of it. Oswalt’s previous special Finest Hour was one of his best stand-up specials of the year and CPTET is a contender to repeat.

    The special is available as a double disc, CD/DVD physical release, most video on demand/download portals, and most interestingly on Comedy Central’s CC: Stand-up Direct where fans will be able to get high laughs for low dough. Read More

    After a 26 year absence, Joan Rivers returned to ‘The Tonight Show’

    After nearly a 26 year ban, Jimmy Fallon surprised everyone as he invited Joan Rivers to return to The Tonight Show Thursday night. While this marks the second time Rivers has appeared on the show with Fallon (she made a cameo on Fallon’s first night with other celebs), it is her first time sitting down on the couch being interviewed since her ban all those years ago. Though Joan Rivers was appreciative to be back on the couch of The Tonight Show, she made her return anything but subtle.

    If you’re not aware of the history that makes this appearance so extraordinary, let’s go back 26 years ago to the time of Johnny Carson’s reign. As a constant guest on The Tonight Show since the 60s, Rivers earned herself guest hosing duties for Carson in 1983. She did so well that in 1986, was offered to host her own late-night comedy program on FOX. This potential competition enraged Carson who, “banned, banned, banned” Rivers from ever appearing on The Tonight Show again. Though this ban held strong during Jay Leno’s reign, Jimmy Fallon finally broke the 26 year ban last night, leaving us to wonder – will she return for round 2? Probably.

    The Laugh Button Live returns to SXSW

    TLB LiveWe’re beyond excited to announce our return to SXSW for a live comedy show. The last few years we’ve teamed up with our friends at Gotham Comedy Club to bring some of the best in comedy to Austin’s premier South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. We must say that we think 2014 is the year we’ve outdone ourselves because the one and only Jim Breuer will host the evening!

    We’ve assembled what we fell is one of the best stand-up comedy rosters Austin will see. A great mix of comedy vets, emerging talent and some new names that you must keep your eye on in the months to come.

    We’d be wrong if we didn’t mention our friends that helped us put the evening together. Joining us are Jakprints, Blue Microphones, SXSW Comedy, The Syndicate, and The Laugh Network.

    So join us on Tuesday, March 11th at Esther’s Follies in Austin for two shows back to back at 8 and 10pm. The show is free to any SXSW badge or wristband holder. Read More

    ICYMI: This is the week in which we learned about marketing

    Marketing – In case you missed it, this week we learned a lot about marketing things. Why? Because marketing is cool, even though Bill Hicks once told all marketing people to go kill themselves. It’s true, Bill gave us all the ol’ ‘eff off! Turns out that everyone has their opinion of how to market their stuff. Whether it be Nick Thune deciding that a single billboard in the middle of nowhere Oregon was the best call. He verified with us that he stands by this approach. We verify that the ghost wolf is was the right call.

    - Speaking of marketing. Chipotle wants to sell burritos to you. Did you know that?

    - Comedians are good people usually, especially when they try to raise money for their own.

    - We polled you readers. It turns out you failed the test, there’s no way a sequel to Beetlejuice is a good idea. Right? I mean, what are we fighting for?

    - We learned that Jim Gaffigan is a wise, wise man and we’re really upset for not paying attention to his words of wisdom years ago. It would’ve saved our stomachs a lot of hardship. Diarrhea pocket!

    - We celebrated President’s Day this week with lists. Because lists are good for your soul. And lists that have both the Whitest Kids U’Know and Saturday Night Live on them are great lists. Read More

    SPONSORED VIDEO: When Heineken premiered the newest installment of its “Legends” campaign, we couldn’t help but wonder if, after having spent a large sum of money on his wonderful Barcelona vacation, our bearded main character was required to purchase his Heinekens under the cruise ship’s two-drink minimum policy. He does, after all, purchase exactly two of them. If this was the case, he must not have minded. In “The Odyssey,” the main character climbs and flips aboard the ship and spends his time leading a conga line, sliding down banisters, generously sharing his drinks and executing an exquisite dive into the pool aboard the ship.

    Set to “16 Toneladas” by Noriel Vilela, “The Odyssey” features 20 different non-actors who each possess a particular skill or talent. This ad was the Amsterdam-based brewery’s attempt to showcase the unique talent that each Heineken drinker, or ‘man of the world,’ possesses.

    As we sit around our space heaters warming our hands and avoiding the brutal cold outdoors, Heineken is here to remind us that better, warmer days are ahead. Heineken, along with Amsterdam-based global advertising firm Wieden + Kennedy, has proven to its viewers that there is legendary talent in all of us, and if you’re attending a two-drink minimum comedy club, be sure to make those drinks count. Drink Heineken.

    This post sponsored by Heineken

    The Laugh Button’s best comedy albums of 2013

    2013 Best Comedy AlbumsAny list we make is subjective and as there was last year it seems this year was just an embarrassment of riches when it came to available comedy specials. We saw first time specials come from the next wave of voices like Kumail Nanjiani, Chris D’Elia, Bo Burnham, Moshe Kasker, and Rory Scovel. Established acts like Anthony Jeselnik, Aziz Anseari, Tammy Pescatelli, Jimmy Pardo, Kevin Nealon, Bob Saget, Tom Papa, Sarah Silverman, Kathleen Madigan, Jim Norton, and Todd Glass continued to show us just how funny they really are. We got a second posthumus release by a new legend in Patrice O’Neal who left us just as the masses were starting to realize just how funny he was. Comedic innovators like Louis C.K., Marc Maron, and Lewis Black continued to show the world just how good comedy is and how differently it can be done. And finally, we saw a certified comedy legend Bill Cosby return with his first special in nearly 30 years that was not only incredibly hilarious but every bit as resonant today as it was when he first started performing comedy. This year was an incredible year for comedy and any of the above names could top this list.

    The following list were the ones that had us buzzing about this year. First, some parameters as to how we picked them – the special had to be available in a widely available medium. Meaning just self-released albums weren’t heavily considered. They needed to be available via a digital streaming service (like Netflix), aired on a TV channel of note (like HBO, Comedy Central, etc.) or have a proper DVD, CD, or digital release that could be easily found on a major retailer (like Amazon, Best Buy, iTunes etc.). Some of these specials hit all marks of this criteria, some aired on TV or Netflix but will not be released on CD/DVD until 2014.

    With these basic parameters in mind here are our favorite comedy specials of 2013. Let us know what specials made your list in the comments. Read More

    Rory Scovel’s ‘Live From Third Man Records’ LP 12-inch available for pre-order, hear a track

    Rory Scovel Live From Third Man RecordsWe’ve heard rumblings about this when it was first recorded back in June and the awesome news is that right before the year ends we get news that Rory Scovel will release a new stand-up comedy album, just in time for all the people in my life to take note when they have to buy me some holiday presents.

    Scovel will be added to the list of very few comedians (like Conan O’Brien, Neil Hamburger, and Reggie Watts) that will release some sweet vinyl on Jack White’s Nashville label. This will be the first follow-up album to Scovel’s excellent 2011 album, Dilation.

    In addition Third Man’s trademark blue hue, the vinyl tracklisting will be printed in braille, a play on a joke from Scovel’s set.

    To quote the Third Man Records crew, “Scovel came, saw and destroyed any and all bad vibes within a 5 mile radius with an improv set of some of the best live stand-up we’ve seen in years. Seriously, the man far exceeded even our lofty expectations for hilarity.” Read More