New Wave Entertainment is a production company based in Los Angeles, you might not be familiar with them by name but you are absolutely familiar with them by what they do. In addition to finishing work in movies, New Wave also produces live tapings for comedians. What comedians you ask? Well in 2013 alone they’ve produced stand-up specials for comedians like Brian Posehn, Mike Birbiglia, Marc Maron, Aziz Ansari, Kathleen Madigan, and Doug Stanhope. New Wave produced comedy specials air everywhere from Comedy Central to Youtube to Netflix. They also have a label arm of the company (New Wave Dynamics) that’s released a lot of these stand-up specials on CD, DVD, and digital formats.
This year was especially great for New Wave because two of their stand-up releases were singled out for the top honors recorded albums can achieve, the Grammy Award. Both Bob Saget and Craig Ferguson’s New Wave produced and released specials were selected by the Recording Academy in the category of “Best Comedy Album,” and this weekend, they will go head to head with other comedians, Kathy Griffin, Ron White, and Tig Notaro for the top honors.
New Wave President of Production, Brian Volk-Weiss told The Laugh Button, “I was blown away, absolutely blown away.” When asked about his reaction to learning about the Grammy Nominations. “And then I got scared thinking about my mom saying ‘why not three?’ the next time we spoke.” Volk-Weiss jokingly added.
Bob Saget and Craig Ferguson discuss their Grammy nominations on Ferguson’s show.
Volk-Weiss stressed that it’s the artist friendly environment that New Wave delpoys that makes their work so successful. “It allows the artist’s own vision for their stand-up specials to be realized.” And it’s paying off for New Wave, because in addition to the Grammy noms, their releases have become some of the most celebrated releases of 2013 with comedy specials they’ve produced showing up in many year end, “Best Of” lists from publications such as Vulture, Paste, Time Out, and The Village Voice. Their acts have been featured in The New York Times, and VICE. Comedy tastemakers like us, Splitsider, The Comic’s Comic, and Laughspin have praised acts on New Wave’s roster.
New Wave feels blessed for they’ve worked to find the perfect mix of a quality comedian with a singular voice, that also just happens to be pleasant to work with. “Material, Material, Material.” Volk-Weiss states as being just as important as a good attitude, “They [Ferguson and Saget] are some of the funniest and nicest people around.” He then tells us about a commonality he noticed between the two Grammy nominees while attending both of their stand-up tapings, “I still think about all the time, how devoted, and how many fans stayed after the show to meet them. This, combined with the fact that they both spent over an hour greeting fans, was something that made me realize first hand why we do what we do.”
It’s with all of these tools that New Wave has built itself an impressive roster of talent to work with. The Grammy Nominations are just the tip of the iceberg as company is already looking to continue the good will in stand-up comedy in 2014. They are poised to do this by sticking to the core belief that being artist friendly and working with talented comedians with a true gift to entertain will get results. Volk-Weiss states in first quarter of 2014 alone New Wave will produce new specials for Jim Gaffigan, Dennis Miller, Steve Byrne, the Sklar Brothers, D.L. Hughley, and “few others that I can’t speak about just yet.”
It turns out the most sweeping trend we might see in the comedy industry in 2014 could be in the most basic of concepts. How about that for the crest of a New Wave?
Find out if Craig Ferguson’s special I’m Here to Help or Bob Saget’s That’s What I’m Talking About take home the Grammy this Sunday (1/26) during the pre-Televised award ceremony streaming live at www.grammy.com/live from 1-3:30pm PST.