Features Archives - The Laugh Button

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  • 10 questions for 10 years: Early podcasters Keith and The Girl hit the decade anniversary mark

    Keith and Chemda

    Keith and The Girl, abbreviated as KATG, is a comedy podcast that began in March of 2005. It is hosted by Keith Malley and Chemda Khalili in Queens, New York. The hosts are known for interacting with their audience live via chat rooms, web cam and phone calls. In the show, Malley and Khalili discuss their lives and current events in humorous and unrestrained fashion. Simply put and well stated, the show’s tagline sums it all up, “Keith and his ex-girlfriend talk shit”. These two were, and still are, at the forefront of what we now know as the current podcast universe that has been filled to the brim with shows so specific in genre, that there are podcasts podcasting about podcasts. Read More

    I Had To Follow That?!: Brooke Van Poppelen followed Jerry Seinfeld at a showcase

    Brooke Van Poppelen

    There’s a courtesy extended to celeb/veteran comedians that drop into clubs for spots, where they can go up on stage almost immediately, bumping other comedians on the bill back in the lineup as they do their set. While its a custom as old as the profession itself, it can be frustrating for the comic that gets bumped, particularly because they then have to follow said big time comedian. It happens to every comic at some point. Brooke Van Poppelen told us about the time this happened to her on a showcase and the one and only Jerry Seinfeld dropped in. Read More

    Donate to the IndieGoGo campaign to fund a Patrice O’Neal documentary

    Patrice O'Neal Documentary

    We lost Patrice O’Neal over three years ago. Now his widow, VonDecarlo Brown is working on producing a documentary about the late, great comedian called Better Than You. Brown, along with filmmaker Mark Farrell are looking to put together the film and are asking Patrice’s fans and fans of comedy to contribute to help get the film made. Keeping the complete creative control in the hands of Patrice’s camp. Read More

    Gilda’s Laughfest 2015: Jerrod Carmichael perseveres through set via whisper

    Photo Credit: Christopher Wilson
    Photo Credit: Christopher Wilson

    For a comedian to have had his first comedy special filmed at the iconic Comedy Store in Hollywood, let alone be directed by a director as huge as Spike Lee, he has to have a combination of incredible talent and remarkable confidence. Jerrod Carmichael has both those qualities, and they were on full display during his set at Gilda’s LaughFest in Grand Rapids this past Friday. Before Carmichael made it on stage, the audience was treated to opening act Brad Wentzel, a Michigan-based comic whose easy-going delivery of one-liners is what you might have gotten if Mitch Hedberg performed his jokes while doing a Jimmy Stewart impersonation. Wentzel is a tremendous up-and-coming talent, and did an excellent job warming up the crowd with a barrage of tightly-written jokes. Of course, it was Friday the 13th so something was bound to go wrong. Read More

    Gilda’s Laughfest 2015: Patton Oswalt brought down the house, literally

    Photo Credit: Hugh Carey
    Photo Credit: Hugh Carey

    It’s pretty rare that a comedian can say “I literally brought down the house” and not be grossly misusing the word “literally,” but Patton Oswalt was able to make just such a boast at the end of his appearance at Gilda’s LaughFest in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The fact that it was Friday the 13th should have been the first tipoff that something bad could happen during his set. Then there was his opening bit about how it couldn’t possibly end up being his worst set ever, which is a bit like a character in a horror movie saying, “I’ll be right back.” Sure enough, the denouement of Oswalt’s set went awry when he made the mistake of interacting with the backdrop on stage, which in turn caused it to come crashing down on him. Being the consummate professional he is, Oswalt worked through it and ended his set strongly, but for a moment there the audience’s fear that they might have just witnessed the Final Destination-style ironic death of their comedy idol was palpable. Read More

    Gilda’s Laughfest 2015: Brian Posehn embraces his new status quo as a family man

    Photo Credit: TJ Tozer
    Photo Credit: TJ Tozer

    Amiably scruffy Brian Posehn, well known to smart TV fans for his work in cult classics like Mr. Show and The Sarah Silverman Program, has made peace with his slacker past, while embracing his new status quo as a family man, and in the process he has gradually morphed into a post-modern geek icon. Back to back sold out crowds turned out Friday in downtown Grand Rapids to find an artist in full command of his arsenal, fully in sync with audiences that seemed eager to wrap their arms around the big lug and give him some of the love he seems reluctant to give to himself. After another brutally oppressive winter, a welcome dose of seasonable air swept into the Midwest this week, buoying spirits and ensuring large crowds for the final weekend of Gilda’s Laughfest in Michigan’s blossoming second city, a festival that feels like a permanent fixture in it’s fifth year, and a one that continues to grow in scope and quality. The mild weather put festivalgoers in a celebratory mood, and those good vibes abounded at The Pyramid Scheme, a cozy concert venue specializing in pinball, local craft beers and a relaxed attitude that belies the joint’s obvious cool factor. Read More

    The Laugh Button Podcast: Live from SXSW with Nate Bargatze

    The Laugh Button Podcast

    Mark and Matt are live from Austin, TX for the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) to see some comedy and take in the local flavor. After recapping the week of comedy, they welcome comedian Nate Bargatze onto the podcast to talk about performing in Austin, the taping of the Roast of Justin Bieber, his upcoming stand-up special, and what it took him to get to the festival. Read More

    SXSW 2015: The Laugh Button Live! in photos

    TLB Live SXSW

    SXSW 2015 was one for the ages as it allowed to put on easily our biggest live stand-up show to date. On Monday, March 16th we packed Esther’s Follies to the gills with one of the finest shows we’ve ever done. Our photography pal Kristin Hillery documented the evening for us. One that could not have been possibly without our pals at Gotham Comedy Club, Comedy Dynamics, and SXSW. Read More

    SXSW 2015: Mark Normand vs Jay Larson in Roast Battle South By Edition

    Roast Battle SXSW

    The show that’s been gaining steam out on the left coast has come to SXSW Comedy for 3 nights. Each show reached capacity with fans having to be turned away. And that said show sees stand-up comics competing in a match of wit and insults called Roast Battle. Hosted by Brian Moses aka the Fight Promoter with music by Frank Castillo, two comics go at each other in classic “Roast” fashion for a total of up to 3 rounds. Each round is judged by a panel of additional comics who vote the winner of each said round with the first to two declared the victor. The third and final night of showcases pitted New York based comedian and Amy Schumer touring opener Mark Normand against actor, writer and host of Esquire’s Best Bars In America Jay Larson. The judges for the night included the Roastmaster General himself Jeff Ross, Joe DeRosa, and Undateble cast members Chris D’Elia, Rick Glassman, and Brent Morin who also found themselves roasting each other as well as the comics on stage. Read More

    SXSW 2015: Cast of NBC’s Undateable kicks off national stand-up tour


    The gang is back and season 2 of Undateable is right around the corner. March 17th to be exact. And the cast of stand-ups is down at SXSW kicking off the The Undateable Comedy Tour in support of the show. Hailing from the mind of Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Spin City, Cougar Town, Clone High) and Adam Sztykiel (Due Date, Made of Honor), Undateable is a comedy series about a group of close-knit friends living in Detroit, helping each other figure out their lives. One of the best parts of this series is that the cast is actually a close-knit group of friends and it shows. Their performance at the festival started off with Lawrence himself coming out on stage to greet the crowd by listing his successful past ventures. But before you get the feeling he’s boasting, he quickly shadows his accomplishment by going into a bit discussing people who lie about being happy when their friends have greater success. Lawrence was referring to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, his co-creaters of Clone High and the guys behind Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The Lego Movie. He then played host for the evening bringing out each cast member throughout the night. Read More