Alright, here we have it, our first episode of Saturday Night Live since SNL 40 turned the world on its head, and the Dakota Johnson (at her first time hosting) continues to appear all over the place to plug 50 Shades of Grey as the guy who played the film’s title character continues to grow his beard and show up almost nowhere. Johnson, who up until this movie was probably best known for the title role on the short-lived FOX sitcom, Ben & Kate and for having famous parents, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffin. So, after the hugeness that was SNL 40, the writers and cast had to get back to work with Johnson in the driver’s seat. How did she do? Well, kinda sorta alright, maybe, I can’t even… Read More
J.K. Simmons is one hell of an actor. The guy is funny, he’s dramatic, he’s the dad, he’s the everyman. He’s an Oscar nominated actor who also does a TV commercials. While we can’t compare J.K. to Matthew McConaughey (Matt never was J. Jonah Jameson) we can say that he’s capable of everything. So taping him to host SNL is a terrific idea. Simmons was terrific, he didn’t get frazzled nor appear to be reading cue cards all night. He even took off his pants in the name of a joke. Simmons was truly a great host who hit some sketch speed bumps that were either because of 3rd show writing fatigue or a lot of blizzard jokes needing to be scrapped last minute. Let’s break it all down. Read More
One of the first major comedy specials of the year was released on Friday when Comedy Central debuted Kyle Kinane’s second hour special. Very tongue-in-cheek, Kyle Kinane released the special under the title, I Liked His Old Stuff Better. Every comedian has to find their voice, carve out a place for themselves. They spend years creating an hour, stacking up joke brick after joke brick until they’ve got something built they can proudly show off. Once that’s finished, they gotta knock it over, create new bricks and start building something new.
Kinane’s previous 2012 special (and second release, following the album Death of the Party) Whiskey Icarus is a personal favorite. Kinane is one of my favorite comedians, a popular opinion for sure. He’s a comic that I’m willing to travel for, and I did so not too long ago because (luckily for me) Kinane decided to film this special at the wonderful 40 Watt in Athens, GA. Just a skip and a jump from good ole Atlanta, GA, I spent one night in August in Athens witnessing one of the greatest stand-up shows I’ve ever witness, and I’ve been excitedly waiting to see the final product. Read More
Blake Shelton seems like a nice guy which is one of the reasons we found ourselves rooting for him when he hosted Saturday Night Live last night. Considering we aren’t too familiar with his music or his time as a judge on The Voice but damn that guy has a nice smile! Blake came into studio 8H to with some of his guitar and Southern charm, and put it on heavy. While Shelton was his charming self, some of the sketches felt like half-baked premises rather than fully realized sketches, but we did however get to see Leslie Jones laugh, a wishing boot, tested Pete Davidson’s sexuality, and Riblet, Riblet forever! Read More
Making a strong first impression can be intimidating. Meeting a potential employer, the future in-laws, casting agents, business partners, etc. is cause for countless hours of preparation. If your mirror could talk back to you, you would hope it had words of encouragement before you stepped out of the door. If not, you may become a wicked queen and give away poison apples. When comics are prepping their debut album, they know every last joke has to be polished like your grandfather’s Cadillac. Harlem’s own Neko White has been building towards his debut album Introducing… Me since his first time on stage seven years ago. What’s most impressive is the fact that seven years ago, White was only 14! As far as first impression go? If this album were a first job interview, White would be hired before an employor sees the other candidates. Read More
This weekend Kevin Hart managed to do two things – 1) achieve his forth straight $20 million-plus box office opening and 2) convince us that the’s a good Saturday Night Live host. It’s the comic’s second time hosting SNL and he’s exactly what you want from a host in a live sketch show – excited to be there, down for anything in the name of a laugh, and quick on his feet (which he fully executed when there was a technical problem in one sketch).
Hart has paid his dues to make his climb to the top of the comedy ladder and he seems to be staying there. Over the course of the night Hart was able to pull the fun out of lesser sketches through sheer excitement and Kevin Hartness, introduced us to his social media violation dungeon, encountered dragons, and leather… he wore a lot of leather. Read More
It’s always amazing in today’s non-stop world how we can get through the day. The morning commute and rush hour traffic squeeze a 9-to-5 into the worst sandwich since KFC put bacon and heart disease between two slabs of fried chicken. Evenings after work deal with bad dates, text message fights, broken plans, short bank accounts, and of course laundry (I hate doing laundry). The week can be a marathon and exhausting. If you’re Liz Miele, you beat stress by reworking life’s bumpy road into a solid comedy act. Her debut album Emotionally Exhausting proves your day doesn’t have to suck if you can laugh.
I completely forgot I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic while listening to Miele’s album. I didn’t mind getting cut off because I was laughing the whole ride home. And if I didn’t laugh, it was only because I was too amazed how smart her routines were. The album made me want pull over start rewriting my own material. The Brooklyn comic’s bits are well constructed like a Park Slope brownstone. With topics ranging from riding the late-night subway, relationships based on couch access, and even the disadvantages of health food, Miele’s perspective is relatable while staying original. Read More
A new year means new comedy, and the good folks at IFC are proud to present Season Four of Comedy Bang! Bang!. Premiering Friday, January 9th at 11PM (ET/PT), the surreal and hilarious talk show returns with host Scott Aukerman and music director Reggie Watts. Coming off the big news that Watts will be the music director for The Late Late Show with James Corden, new audiences can tune into CBB to see what they have been missing. After previewing the first two episodes of the season, it seems that Aukerman, Watts, and the gang haven’t missed a beat. Read More
The Christmas episode of SNL is a tough one to hate on. Because no matter what happens we’re guaranteed a fun live vibe to the evening. To us it’s always felt the most live and “New York” episode of the show we get each year. The city plays a big part in the spirit of the show and with the exterior of 30 Rock outside looking like Santa’s balls exploded all over the place, it’s tough for that spirit to not permeate studio 8H just a few feed away. Read More
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