Features Archives - The Laugh Button

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  • 9 Great and unique concept comedy shows around the nation

    There are a million open mics, and a million (well I don’t know numbers, it’s not important) stand-up showcases around the country. You can see stand-up almost every night in every major, and some minor, cities. But how many of these shows feature comics performing in their underwear, or performing to a camera in a separate room from the audience, or will you hear a comedian tell an erotic tale involving lovers Lee Harvey Oswald and Eva Braun? Answer: not many at all!

    Comedy is ever evolving and people’s perception of what stand-up is and can be evolves with it. Comedians are constantly experimenting and taking their comedy to places previously unseen, and some are taking the same approach to showcases. To break up the monotony, many unique concept shows have sprung up around the country and have flourished. More than just a mic and a stage, these shows add a whole other level of fun and spontaneity that really makes live comedy a special thing.

    We picked out nine of our favorite shows that have found success and could possibly be coming to a city or comedy festival near you. Check it out. Read More

    Minneapolis comedy community mourns the loss of comedian Gus Lynch

    Gus Lynch

    The Minneapolis comedy community lost a giant in its scene with the death of comedian Gus Lynch. At the beginning of December Lynch fell 30 feet while climbing through Mayan ruins on the Yucatán Peninsula in Coba, south of Cancun. The comedian fell from one of the structures, breaking his pelvis, ribs, and causing a collapsed lung. Lynch he survived surgery but would later die from cardiac arrest due to his injuries. Read More

    Lavell Crawford: a big, hilarious man in Montclair

    Lavell Crawford

    Last Friday, I had the pleasure of watching Lavell Crawford from front row seats at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. To put it lightly, he brought the house down. From the moment he took the stage, it was a rare moment the audience wasn’t laughing.

    There aren’t many comics who can make an audience laugh nonstop from start to finish; even the greatest have tame moments amidst their set. Crawford was an exception. His act evoked more laughs than anyone I have ever seen, which includes my favorites Louis C.K., Bill Burr, and Dave Chappelle. I’ve seen them all and none of them got the amount of laughs Lavell got. Admittedly I have seen Reggie Watts destroy on several occasions, but his performance is a different model from stand up altogether, and typically I’m in a different state of mind too. Read More

    Martin Freeman hosted “Saturday Night Live” and there was a Hobbit in The Office

    Martin Freeman - SNL

    When it was announced that Martin Freeman was going to host SNL we thought he’d handle the job really well. Particularly because he has an everyman-type of quality that would make him a great straight-man in sketches (and he did). Freeman delivered a great performance and we didn’t have much of a doubt. The night turned out some sketches that will go down as best of the year and introduced a new Weekend Update character to the world. Freeman and co turned in one of the strongest episodes of the season, which makes it back-to-back solids. Can we get three this month? Read More

    Donate gifts to Robert Kelly’s holiday gift drive benefiting children’s charities

    It’s holiday season which hopefully brings us all good tidings and joy. Unfortunately there are those out there that don’t have as much to look forward to. Comedian Robert Kelly knows how this feels. As someone who spent time in the Foster system, Kelly is acutely aware about the feeling kids get when it’s Christmas morning and there’s not much for them to celebrate. It’s because of this the comedian and his friends at the You Know What Dude podcast and its network Riotcast, are putting their efforts into a Holiday Gift Drive to help brighten some spirits during the holiday season. Read More

    The Rumor Mill: “Last Comic Standing” cancelled by NBC

    Last Comic StandingWe’re hearing rumblings from sources that NBC has axed the summer reality comedy series Last Comic Standing… again.

    The comedy competition show had new life injected into it this past summer when Wanda Sykes and her production team revived the show for an 8th season hosted by JB Smoove with judges Russell Peters, Roseanne Barr, and Keenan Ivory Wayans. The rebooted show was met to mixed reviews from people who criticized the application process in which producers hand-selected comedians to audition for the show. Once it aired, response was fairly well from the comedians involved and community in general. Read More

    Cameron Diaz hosted “Saturday Night Live”: Turkey time in New York City

    Cameron Diaz was the host of Saturday Night Live and Mystical was a drop in musical guest. Yes, you read those words and its not 2002. Diaz is hosting the show to promote her starring in the upcoming Annie movie, so there’s a guarantee we’ll see a spoof sketch of that. But, if there would be a sketch of her wearing Ben Stiller’s “hair gel,” now that’s something that would surprise me.

    As for the show itself, it appeared the writers had already checked out for the long holiday weekend, because this night brought as few laughs as an episode could get. There wasn’t much to the evening really, the cold open was a simple, “how ’bout we throw Kenan down some steps?” joke, then Diaz opened the monologue with a clunky Thanksgiving joke and things didn’t really move more from them.

    Aside from a fun revisiting of the all girl song, “Back Home Baller,” there wasn’t much that really hit on the episode. The monologue was a bit half-assed and that was the best we got throughout the entire evening. A far cry of the classic vintage episode NBC ran earlier that same evening. Let’s run it down. Read More

    Guess what we learned about the Impractical Jokers during a Tenderloins Podcast taping…

    Most people likely know Sal, Joe, Murr and Q as the maniacs behind the hit TruTV show, Impractical Jokers. Also known as The Tenderloins comedy troupe, what makes Impractical Jokers so lovable aren’t just the pranks they pull on each other in front of unbeknownst strangers (as hysterical as they are), but rather the chemistry shared between the four (they have, after all, been friends since high school). It’s clear that this bond seen on screen is purely genuine within seconds of seeing the four perform together onstage (something I had the joy of witnessing last year at the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square). That’s why it was especially extraordinary to see them perform one of four shows at New York’s Highline Ballroom this weekend. While the Jokers’ signature ribbing on each other was in full effect during the night, the four were specifically testing out new material in the intimate setting for their upcoming tours (revealing stories that even their fellow troupe members never heard before). It was a rare opportunity to witness a group beloved for their seamlessly quick wit further generate humor on the whim. Read More

    Woody Harrelson hosted “Saturday Night Live” there were pot jokes and The Dudleys

    Woody Harrelson SNLThe last time Woody Harrelson hosted Saturday Night Live it was 1989. That seems like an eternity ago. It’s also an entire Taylor Swift ago. Something the host acknowledges in the opening monologue. It’s and impressive feat for anyone to remain in the entertainment biz for so long. With the release of the latest installment of The Hunger Games and the rave reviews from this summer’s True Detective, Harrelson has managed to plug into an entirely new audience. Now, if he just could’ve gotten that attention off Zombieland.

    How did Harrelson do as host of SNL this week? In a nutshell, pretty great. Sometimes the best SNL episodes are the ones where you aren’t sure of the host (Josh Hutcherson) and sometimes the slam dunk just isn’t (Chris Rock). Harrelson’s episode fell in the latter. It was the first time in a long time this season where it appears the new cast and writers seem to gel and feel totally confident about delivering both pre-recorded and live sketches. Now can we stop using the phrase “transition” and haters hating? Harrellson was placed in sketches that played up his goofy demeanor, straight man ability, and affinity for “alternative” recreation, each providing for quirky moments and fun times. There was good social commentary on current events, sports, politics, and drugs. We had True Detective spoofs, awkward makeout scenes, and the Dudleys! Read More