Features Archives - The Laugh Button

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  • A conversation with High Plains Comedy Festival co-founders Adam Cayton-Holland and Andy Juett

    Denver, Colorado has one of the most underrated comedy scenes in the country. The scene has boomed in the past few years and has now become a destination city for up-and-coming comics to put down roots. A big part of this boom has been because of a handful of hardworking local comics, two of which launched an indie comedy festival last year. Adam Cayton-Holland and Andy Juett, co-founders of the High Plains Comedy Festival, are bringing in heavy hitters from coast to coast (Kumail Nanjiani, TJ Miller, Ben Kronberg, Jared Logan, Kate Berlant, etc.) to join some of Denver’s finest for the fest’s second year this weekend, August 21-23rd. I had the opportunity to talk to Adam and Andy about the Denver comedy scene and what they have in store for this year’s festival. Check it out. Read More

    Don Pardo, longtime “Saturday Night Live” Announcer, dead at 96

    Don PardoThe voice of Saturday Night Live has died.

    Dominick “Don” Pardo, longtime radio and TV announcer has left us. Pardo was best known as the voice of Saturday Night Live, reading off the names of the cast members at the top of the show on all but one season (season 7), Pardo was 96.

    Amid rumors this was an internet hoax, Pardo’s daughter Paula confirmed the news to CBS Radio.

    Pardo officially retired from NBC in 2004, but continued to provide the introductions for SNL through its most recent season. Upon first retiring, he pre-recorded intros for the show but that didn’t last long as SNL producers insisted he’d be present, so they flew him out to NYC for tapings. However, as he got older, Pardo went back to pre-record the intros from his home in Arizona. He missed only two announcements and that was during the 2013 season when he suffered a hip injury. Lorne Michaels (who hired Pardo for SNL in 1975) once stated, “Every year the new cast couldn’t wait to hear their name said by him.” Michaels also once stated, “I can’t imagine the show without Don… and as long as he’s there, I stay young.”

    Pardo was a member of the Television Hall of Fame, and has worked for NBC since 1944, including announcing for early versions of shows like The Price Is Right, Jackpot, Jeopardy!, Three on a Match, Winning Streak, and NBC Nightly News. He was one of the first announcers to deliver the news to the world that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. He’s also one of two people that had lifelong contracts with the network, the other being Bob Hope.

    Here’s a fun Pardo clip. When he turned 90, the cast of SNL brought Pardo on stage to give him birthday wishes.

    Rest in peace Don, heaven has one hell of an announcer amongst its ranks.

    And the winner of “Last Comic Standing” season 8 is… Rod Man!

    Rod Man was elected as the winner of Last Comic Standing season 8. Judges Keenan Ivory Wayans, Roseanne Bar, and Russell Peters narrowed it down to one tonight and after two rounds of performances and deliberation Rod Man took it home over the other two finalists, Nikki Carr and Lachlan Patterson.

    After the three judges were unable to narrow the three down to two, they decided that all 3 perform would perform for the top spot and then selected Rod Man as the winner. Read More

    Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, wife reveals

    Robin WiliamsRobin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease when he took his life. He was not ready to publicly announce this information. This news was revealed today by his wife, who in a statement added that Williams died with his sobriety “intact.”

    Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease that attacks the central nervous system causing tremors, stiffness, and slowing of movement over time. It is also something that wouldn’t help someone already considered depressed, for which Williams was seeking treatment. The disease can be treated to varying degrees with medication.

    Other celebs, Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali also suffer from Parkinson’s.

    Susan Schneider’s statement: Read More

    Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, and Jimmy Kimmel pay late night tributes to Robin Williams

    Many are still reeling from the loss of Robin Williams, many shared their favorite TV and movie moments, comedians remembered his humor and kindness. Williams was a guest on late night television for decades, making legendary appearances on pretty much all of the shows. While this week is a relatively quiet week for the talk show format – Letterman, Kimmel, Stewart, and Colbert are all dark – shows that were live last night, took rightfully paid tribute to what many of them considered one of the greatest late night TV talk show guests ever. Read More

    Comedian Robin Williams dead at 63, suicide suspected

    It is incredibly sad news to report that actor and comedian Robin Williams has passed away at the age of 63. According to his wife and publicist, Williams was found dead this morning, Monday August 11th, at his house in California. The news was first reported by an official police report. His death is suspected to be by suicide due to asphyxia. Officials said they received a 911 call at approximately 11:55 am, shortly after his body was discovered. A forensic examination will be happen on Wednesday (August 12) report was released.

    His wife released the following statement: Read More