Jon Favreau is in Austin to promote his new film Chef, which marks the actor/writer/director’s return to his independent film roots. As all people of a certain age remember, Favreau wrote the indie comedy Swingers which is one of the most influential films of the 90s before he went on to help mold/direct the blockbuster films Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Chef is about a former high profile chef who, through a social media flub put him on a different career path than initially intended. Read More
Let’s be frank, last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live was just painful to watch. As hard as Jim Parsons may have tried, the writing was just not there. Calling it mediocre would be the nicest compliment to give it. But here we are, it’s a new week and this time we’ve got Girls mastermind Lena Dunham hosting. Would SNL be able to dust off last week’s bad vibes and come back swinging?
Well, the show certainly had a lot of weak moments thanks again to awkward writing, but overall was a nice improvement from last week. While there were simply better skits this time around (as well as a few surprise celebrity appearances to save the subpar sketches), a big chunk of credit should be given to Dunham. No one ever doubted that she’s funny and could take a joke at her own expense, but Dunham did a superb job as host. Even when certain bits didn’t land, it was still fun to see her play along with the rest of the cast. Read More
It’s been almost three years to the day since the passing of Mike DeStefano but his memory is alive and well, especially with the folks at CH Entertainment, a management company and owners of The Stand Comedy Club. If you haven’t been to The Stand, it’s a great spot down on 20th and 3rd that honors Mike’s passing with their logo. He was a dear friend to the owners of the club and they are leaving no stone unturned to make sure Mike’s legacy is not forgotten.
I caught up to Patrick Milligan, a partner in CH Entertainment / The Stand and asked what about Mike is different than other comics who have passed? Why is it so important that his legacy lives on? “He was the most raw and honest performer out there at the time. There were many layers to him aside from just his act. He had one of the most incredible stories that people should know about.” said Milligan.
It has been exactly one year since we broke the news that these guys were working on a documentary to honor DeStefano and I’m happy to report that progress is being made. While the gents at The Stand are consistently at work with their own jobs, it’s clear that this DeStefano documentary is a huge priority for them. When asked if DeStefano could still impact lives, Milligan quickly spoke up saying, “I don’t think he can, I know he still is. He reached out to so many different audiences through his [Narcotics Anonymous] speaking and stand up comedy. This documentary will bridge both crowds together and help impact more people in a positive way.” Read More
The pilot season is a time of year where ideas earn budgets. It’s a time where there is an abundance of life and excitement. It could be the start of a career in Hollywood, the end of others, the circle of life is good. The majority of this life is in LA and just like many things in the city of angels, things can get sketchy quick!
Before you know it, many of television ideas and pilots are tossed away. Discarded rather than flying high and dreams are dashed. But for right now… times are pretty. Oz is in color and not on fire. Things are okay as it is officially pilot season.
It is time to put yourself in the executive seat and make the important decisions.
Get comfortable, light up your Cuban cigar, pour some single malt whiskey and decide who gets to be on TV this year. Read More
We’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.
Whooohoo! Saturday Night Live is back! It’s been off the air for what seems like ages. So much has happened, the Olympics and Russia’s nuttiness, the new late night shift, new staffing changes, the departure of Seth Meyers. A clearly big hole to fill and anchor for the show.
With this in mind, SNL should come out of the gate swinging. Should’ve. But they didn’t. While I give credit for not retreading on old favorites, the writing was soft, the sketches weren’t memorable, there weren’t a lot of laughs, and the usually strong Weekend Update was just okay. We got was a meandering mess of a show that wasn’t funny, had no bite, and made one big sh*t joke. In general, it was not its normal self. It was one of the weakest episodes of the season and the first in a long time where I can’t declare a single winning sketch.
The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons is a swell person and was fine as a host. But he was trapped in the mediocrity of the night and cannot really take the blame for bad things. In fact, I’ll give him a mulligan on the evening and hope he comes back as host once the new staff gels more. Read More
Twenty years ago today the comedy world lost an stand-up legend, Bill Hicks.
William Melvin Hicks was more than a stand-up comedian; some called him a truthsayer, a satirist, a social critic, and sometimes musician. He cut through noise of an 80s comedy boom drowning in sameness, brick walls, and yuk yuk jokes. He didn’t make his bones selling premises about airplane travel or marriage; rather he tackled religion, politics, and philosophy. He was controversial and dark. He criticized mediocrity, consumerism, the blasé nature of the media, and pop culture. He hated the ruling class that kept people “stupid and apathetic.” He had an existential approach toward life, often challenging the “accepted truth” about things such as drug use and social norms. If comedy were in need of an image for the counter culture, then Bill Hicks would be it. Mediocrity irked him, and he’d put it on other creative types to not settle either. He was confrontational on stage; dispatching hecklers while referring to Hitler, which would lead into tirades about mass genocide. Read More
Andy Sandford establishes himself as an individual performer with his first solo album, ‘Me the Whole Time’
Brooklyn comedian Andy Sandford has spent many years touring around with comedy collective the Beards of Comedy (alongside Dave Stone, Joe Zimmerman, and TJ Young) before the group broke off to each do their own thing. While collectively the foursome put out two albums, Sandford is debuting his first solo stand-up album today, aptly titled Me the Whole Time.
Recently named one of Brooklyn Magazine’s “50 Funniest People in Brooklyn,” Sandford returned to his homestead of Atlanta, GA to record his album at comedy mainstay Star Community Bar (also the recording site of Joe DeRosa’s You Will Die album) for a rowdy crowd who were more than excited to welcome back one of their own.
The comedian used to be a regular face, appearing at the bar’s weekly show before his exodus to New York in 2011. While he’s been away for some time, Sandford sounds (and looked) very comfortable, slipping back into a familiar space. I attended the recording back in October, tightly packed against the door of the sardine can Star Bar was that night to watch Sandford rattle off a wide range of jokes in a full, robust voice that I feel would be perfectly suiting for baseball commentary or NPR had the comedian not hated both (as you will learn). Me the Whole Time tackles subjects such as the downsides to being 30 years old for ten years, Netflix, “turkey” ham, and weed. Read More