So, the year is ending and 2011 is just around the corner. But here’s a Laugh Button recap of things in comedy that had us talking in 2010 for better or for worse.
- Conan O’Brien and the late night wars were THE story for the first half of the year. From his “people of earth” statement where he refused to ruin The Tonight Show brand by moving it to midnight to accommodate Jay Leno then following it up with a classy sign off speech. Followed by a rise of Team Coco and a summer tour that took him from funny late night host to comedy cult status. Conan might have proved that living well is the best revenge. Oh and we love the beard.
- Conan also helped with the exposure for one Reggie Watts, who had a monster year. Touring with Conan, releasing a new album, topping hot lists, and appearing on TV and at major festivals. Reggie Watts had a monster 2010 and there’s pretty much no signs of him slowing down.
- While on the subject, some great stand-ups finally started getting their due. Anthony Jeselnik, Whitney Cummings, and Hannibal Buress all had great years. Whitney seems primed to be the next big female tv star, and Jeselnik and Buress released dynamite albums to critical acclaim.
- Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s DC Rally may have defined a cultural point where comedians say more rational and level headed things about American politics than politicians and the pundits that comment on them. In Stewart’s refusal to take sides with the rally and with a terrific closing speech, he may have just taken all of America’s side. In his last move of the year, Stewart again flexed his cultural clout in 2010 by pointing out the lack of political speed in passing a 9/11 first responders bill and the media’s lack of addressing this situation. Stewart then held a roundtable discussion that was respectful, poignant, and completely in the name of doing the right thing. Not bad for a comedy show.
- With the popularity of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia FX Network greenlit some more edgy comedies and returned with more great laughs. New comedies like The League, Louie, and Archer showed to the public that being edgy and willing to take risks can lead to critically acclaimed and funny programming that brings in the ratings as well. It ups the ante for all comedy on television.
- Louis C.K. has always been a comics comic but he’s never really made that leap into the mainstream and it’s looking like this is going to change. His TV show Louie got the critical praise he deserved, he taped and aired a special Hilarious that’s getting proper releases on CD and DVD. 2011 might just be the year of Louis C.K.
- It’s a bit over generalization but highly anticipated comedy films fell flat this year. There were high hopes for movie comedies like Dinner for Schmucks, Due Date, The Other Guys, Date Night, Get Him To The Greek, and Hot Tub Time Machine but after these flicks hit theaters the buzz died down and the critics weren’t usually favorable.
- Unfortunately, The Golden Globe announcements left a lot to be desired in what the definition of comedy was. Their choices normally off the mark and laughable, which in turn did nothing for the stigma that awards are often out of touch.
- The Roast Of David Hasselhoff again gave a national spotlight for comedians to flex their stand-up muscles.
- Tina Fey continued her reign as the funniest person ever. We say as we watch her collect her Mark Twain prize for humor.
- Lastly, we lost some comedy heavy hitters this year. Slapstick comedic actor Leslie Neilson left us. But it was the untimely passing of Robert Schimmel and the shocking death of Greg Giraldo that hit the comedy community hard.
What were your comedic highlights of 2010? Let us know!