We did some talking this week. And by some, we mean a lot. We talked to Matt Braunger just before his new stand-up special, Big Dumb Animal, aired on Comedy Central. Later in the week, we kept our conversation with him going on our podcast, and also found a new victim. In addition to Braunger, we chatted with John F. O’Donnell about the intersection of news and humor.
Elsewhere in the comedy world:
– J.K. Simmons’ stint as SNL host this past weekend felt endearingly natural, starting the week off strongly. Shortly after, SNL detailed the comedians involved with its 40th anniversary special, set to air February 15.
– The madness isn’t stopping: the pilot ordering onslaught continued in full force this week, beginning with ABC’s two comedies, one of which is our queen Tina Fey’s Family Fortune.
– Rumors about the cast of How To Be Single peaked this week, with names as diverse as Alison Brie and Dakota Johnson in the mix.
– We all know Ellen DeGeneres is among the funniest people out there right now, so any news about her upcoming sitcom Happy Time gets us instantly hyped. It goes without saying, then, that we’re stoked about the recent addition of Idina Menzel as its star.
– Vice Principals, an 18-episode HBO sitcom that’s worth lots of anticipation, brought Busy Philipps onto its cast this week.
– Who knew being alone could be so funny? Check out Will Forte as The Last Man on Earth in this trailer for the new FOX sitcom premiering March 1.
– Connor Ratliff solved his frustrations the only way anyone ever should: by tweeting about them. The comedian’s account of his being stuck on a train was incredible.
– Next month, Dave Stone will finally record his first stand-up album. Exciting stuff!
– Richard Pryor, whom Comedy Central once voted the greatest stand-up comedian of all time, is the subject of a documentary released this week. As you might expect, it’s well worth your money.
– Take a deep breath before reading this one: you can stream Hannibal Buress’ unimpeachable 2014 stand-up special, Live from Chicago, for free at Comedy Central all month.
– Louis C.K.’s been around longer than you probably realize. We dug up a stand-up special of his from twenty years ago (!!) this week.
– Aziz Ansari’s upcoming Netflix special, Live at Madison Square Garden, arrives March 6. We’ve already marked our calendars.
– Comedian Dick Gregory finally received a long-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week.
– Aasif Mandvi’s new webseries, Halal in the Family, has such a solid pun for its title that you just can’t not watch it.
– Who knew Sia could resolve the beef between NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio and his police force? UCB did, actually. Later in the week, their comedy team Brinkman debuted a webseries titled PACT, which makes humor from decently dark material.
– Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is right around the corner, but its animated alternate version is already here in game form.
– Bloomington, Indiana will host Limestone Comedy Festival this June, with Michael Che and Kyle Kinane among the notable performers.
– Musicians, comedians, and those who fall in both categories unite: R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Patton Oswalt, and Reggie Watts are just a few of the names involved with musical comedy album 2776, set to benefit education efforts in Kenya and El Salvador.
– Classic comedy woven into the movie it makes fun of: Airplane! and Zero Hour, which inspired it, are stitched together hilariously in a video that emerged this week.
– IFC may be picking up Denis Leary’s Uncle Chubby‘s, with more details to be revealed down the line. They also made a power grab after Sundance, obtaining the American rights for the Jason Sudeikis/Alison Brie comedy Sleeping With Other People.
– Larry Wilmore might just be getting started with The Nightly Show, but he’s already extending his reach outside Comedy Central. Insecure, an HBO pilot he’ll work on with YouTube sensation Issa Rae, deals with the most uncomfortable aspects of African-American life in the twenty-first century.
– Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Gary Gulman is on the edge of his big break, announcing that he’ll tape a new special that you can watch live.
– Honest Trailers. Epic Rap Battles of History. The Lego Movie. All in one? You bet. The Lego Movie also weaved itself into 50 Shades of Grey later in the week with a Lego version of the upcoming film.
– The King of Queens doubles as a mall cop these days. In case you forgot (you probably didn’t), check out this trailer for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.
– FOX announced this week that Jenna Elfman will star in an upcoming sitcom from Friends producer Dana Klein.
– Steve and Nancy Carrell working together for a police procedural sitcom is about as strong a sales pitch as it gets, and with Amy Smart now on board, things are only getting better.
– Our pal Brooks Whelan stopped by Late Night With Seth Meyers to hype up his upcoming debut album, This Is Cool, Right? Wheelan and Meyers worked together on SNL, so this was a fun little reunion for all.
– Shout! Factory TV sprang to life late this week, and instantly began streaming cult favorites including Home Movies and Mystery Science Theater 3000.
– Mel Brooks isn’t slowing down. After his surprise live special last week, we learned this week that there’ll be a Spaceballs 2 at some point in our lives.
– Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops will have its seventh incarnation later this year on CMT.
– It’ll be a whole year (more, even) until we get the privilege of seeing Neighbors 2, but it’ll be worth the wait.
– Two comedians will be converting a hall in their apartment into a museum for the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding 1994 incident. Inspiring!
– Gay marriage teaches lessons. Ralphie May will tell you so himself in this video.