This week is a fun week for comedy on television. Since its the holiday time, there’s special programming and reruns of some of the best performances. Case in point, Colbert and Jon Stewart. But not every show is dark this week some continue traditions, for example Rashida Jones is appearing on Fallon on Thanksgiving. A reprisal of the annual signing of a holiday medley with The Roots? Read More
It’s always a treat when Jim Gaffigan drops in on late night for a stand-up spot. Last night he appeared on The Tonight Show to talk about family life, feminism, and forgiveness. Take it away Jim.
This weekend Cameron Diaz hosts Saturday Night Live. Then its all about finishing the year strong with guest hosts. Today SNL announced to wrap out 2014 they’ve recruited an Alien, Bilbo Baggins and Lois Lane to finish strong.
That’s right, on December 6th James Franco will host with Nicki Minaj, then Martin Freeman and Charli XCX, followed by Amy Adams and One Direction on the 20th. If you asked for a bunch of British boys to syncronize dance for you for Christmas, well SNL has you covered. Read More
With Bill Cosby currently not winning in the court of public opinion stemming from the resurgence of sexual assault allegations, Netflix has decided to postpone the planned release of Cosby’s new stand-up special, Bill Cosby 77 for the foreseeable future. In a statement released today the company revealed, “At this time we are postponing the launch of the new stand up comedy special ‘Bill Cosby 77′.” The special was scheduled to premiere next week, on Black Friday. No further details are currently known when/if the special will premiere at a later date, or if it will be shelved completely.
This announcement comes on the same day as two more women have broken their silence – including former model Janice Dickinson – and publicly told their stories about the comedian allegedly sexually assaulting them. This undoubtedly puts pressure on companies currently associated with Cosby. Netflix making this decision places added pressure on NBC in particular, who the comedian is working on a new family sitcom that’s set to launch summer/fall of 2015.
Update: NBC has scraped the pilot development with Cosby.
Some moves were made this week. Another sitcom bit the dust this week as CBS announced that the Will Arnett / JB Smoove comedy The Millers would cease production. Ending the show in its second season. Arnett and Smoove are comedy titans that work well when given the right roles. But even at its best, The Millers was passable as a sitcom. Other sitcoms in trouble include John Mulaney’s FOX sitcom Mulaney, which swapped time slots with Bob’s Burgers this past week so it would air in the before prime time slot. The show is consistently in the bottom of the ratings pile and seems to be on its way to cancellation.
These two scenarios are troublesome because they are perfect examples of “great comedians, terrible shows,” a troublesome phenomenon that feels like talent is is being squandered. John Mulaney is arguably one of the best young comedic talents working today, he’s also surrounded by a cast that should work, so why isn’t it? Arnett and Smoove are responsible for breathing life into some of the most quotable and funny TV characters of the last decade. So why are they struggling when other, bland sitcoms are soaring? It’s a question that deserves a deeper dive than this column allows for, but unless we start to see networks and audiences nurture these shows, the short answer could just be Gotham gets the hero it deserves, but not the one it needs. Read More
Bill Cosby’s lawyer issues statement about sexual assault allegations, “the fact that they are being repeated, does not make them true.”
Bill Cosby hasn’t had the best few weeks. He’s been smack dab in the middle of resurfaced allegations of sexual assault stemming from (literally) a Hannibal Buress joke made about a decade-old case. He’s had a social media disaster, former accusers resurfacing, an NPR interview where he declined to comment, which most recently lead to canceled TV appearances. Read More
The Village Voice just launched a great new feature called This Is Stand-Up which documents the life of a comedian for a day or so. In the first episode, a night in the life of veteran comedian Sam Morril is documented as he runs around New York City from between various comedy clubs in one night as he works on a new joke, changing it between performances each time as he works to get it right.
Morril is followed from Stand Up New York on the Upper West Side, Revision Bar in the East Village and finally, the famed Comedy Cellar in the Village. Watch up.
The fifth season of the midwestern comedy festival, Gilda’s Laughfest has announced its lineup and it’s stacked.
From March 5th-15th in Grand Rapids, MI Laughfest will host some of the biggest names in stant-up comedy. This morning the festival announced its headliners, George Lopez, Patton Oswalt, Wanda Sykes, Bo Burnham, and Pete Holmes will headline the festival. Holmes will perform two shows including a podcast taping. Additionally, improv legends Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood of Whose Line Is It Anyway
“In planning our fifth year, we were looking to bring back some of our most popular acts from festival’s past while continuing to bring fresh faces to West Michigan,” said Joanne Roehm, festival director of LaughFest. “Following four successful years, the festival’s foundation will continue the tradition of laughter by featuring stand-up comedy, improv, music, dance, speakers, pets, children’s shows, free professional and amateur showcases, and a variety of other events that will allow everyone an opportunity to laugh.” Read More
An internet meme stunt backfired on Bill Cosby yesterday. What started as an innocent meme game turned ugly for the legendary comedian when the internet capitalized on a hashtag and exploited it for other purposes. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened for a star or brand and probably will not be the last we see something like this happening. Somewhere, a social media manager is not having a fun day. Read More
We’re smack dab in the middle of sweeps! That means decisions are being made about some of this season’s sitcoms. So far, four shows have been canceled. Which, depending how you feel about Bad Judges and Selfies is a good thing or a bad thing. Of the specials premiering this week, we’re most excited about Chelsea Peretti’s new special, One of The Greats which makes its streaming debut on Netflix. Read More