As expected, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore began excellently this week, with this time-lapse video of the studio during its premiere providing an unusual but fun perspective on things. Later in the week, the show got a bit more serious, hosting a roundtable discussion on one of comedy’s biggest current issues: the Bill Cosby scandal. At both of these extremes, the show seemed like a fitting replacement for the dearly departed Colbert Show. Elsewhere in the comedy world this week:
– Kevin Hart kicked off SNL‘s new year in style, hosting an episode with topics ranging from Justin Bieber to Bushwick. Later in the week, a cut sketch from the episode appeared, and was just as funny as everything that played on countless American TVs. This weekend, we’ll get to see Blake Shelton as host; for even more greatness in the world of SNL, check out J.K. Simmons hosting next weekend, with musical guest D’Angelo(!!).
– Louis C.K.’s rapid comedy world takeover isn’t set to end anytime soon. After recently becoming the first stand-up comedian to sell out three Madison Square Garden shows within the same month of the same tour, he’ll follow with a special on FX. After that, he’ll direct a pilot titled Better Things for his Louie co-star Pamela Adlon.
– Will Arnett and Netflix are quickly becoming buds. Following 2013’s Arrested Development revival, 2014 brought us the darkly hilarous Bojack Horseman, and 2016 might deliver Flaked, the newest Arnett adventure.
– In about two months, we’ll get the great opportunity to watch an NBC comedy executive produced by the universally lovable Ellen DeGeneres. For now, this trailer for One Big Happy will hold us off.
– Another week, another great album to laugh with and write about. This week’s subject: Neko White’s Introducing…Me.
– Colin Quinn gave us some food for thought this week when he put to rest rumors of the glory commonly associated with life on the stand-up circuit.
– We learned that Justin Bieber will receive a Comedy Central roast, and secretly hoped for it to be the roughest one yet.
– Austin isn’t merely the home of SXSW. It also hosts Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest about a month later, and this year’s lineup including Patton Oswalt and Marc Maron ensures that the event will be just as big.
– Our good friend Kyle Kinane’s I Liked His Old Stuff Better came to life on Comedy Central this week, and this wild tag team trailer posted a few days prior ensured a strong watching.
– It’s becoming tough to keep track of all the online TV streaming services, and with AOL set to release the exciting, somewhat untraditional new series That’s Racist with Mike Epps very soon, counting them on your hands will soon be impossible.
– NBC continued to pick up more pilots this week, adding two more to last week’s four acquisitions. They’ll also be working with Sky 1 UK to air Apocalypse Slough, which involves names as big as Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer, and Megan Mullally.
– Al Madrigal’s latest special, Half Like Me, premiered on Fusion. As a “docu-comedy”, this one was pretty special.
– CBS’ first pilot pickup of the year occurred this week. Tommy Johnagin’s yet-to-be-titled family comedy is yet another series that’ll be directly influenced by its creator’s stand-up work. Later in the week, the network also picked up Taxi-22, starring John Leguizamo.
– The most direct descendent of the impeccable 30 Rock to date, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt now has a trailer for its upcoming Netflix debut.
– Conan O’Brien went to Taco Bell for the first time. Correction: Taco Bell headquarters. A far more extraordinary experience.
– After last year’s smash hit comedy Neighbors, Zac Efron will continue to work in comedy film. This wouldn’t be that exciting without the presence of Aubrey Plaza to ensure gold for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, aimed for release sometime next year.
– Comic violence! Will Ferrell lobbed a basketball directly into a cheerleader’s face at a Pelicans game this past week. Although it may have seemed like a genuine burst of misplaced anger, it was actually a scene being shot for the upcoming movie Daddy’s Home.
– The very independently made Make Fun is all manner of things, best described by watching it now that it came to life this week.
– After two seasons with IFC, The Birthday Boys are breaking it off. The move could be intended to keep good publicity in the face of a not-yet-announced cancellation, but its reasons and the Boys’ future are unclear.