Month: January 2008

Bill Cosby’s rap album?

All Hip Hop reported today that Bill Cosby would be releasing his own rap album, titled State of Emergency. They quote unnamed sources and say Cosby’s rapping would be an extension of his recent speeches criticizing the black community for its failings in parenting, teen pregnancy, crime and education. I was surprised, though to read this line in the online article: "Cosby’s album will not contain any profane language, nor will it offer any denigrating comments towards women." Were they expecting something else? Were they thinking of a different Bill Cosby??? Also shocking, considering I’ve met the bloggers at Jossip, is that their initial reaction is to snark: "Yes, lame-o. Lame-o rhymes with Jell-O." My memory seems to recall that Fat Albert contained some early hip-hop/rap undertones, so they shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss his effort, should they? By the way, Cosby was just on Letterman the other night and I don’t recall him saying anything about a rap album. Just Cosby, sitting down in a folding chair placed onstage, telling jokes and making...

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Eugene Mirman animated!

Scott Bateman, who animated the ECNY Awards nomination reels, here illuminates a track from Eugene Mirman‘s CD, En Garde, Society! Mirman’s Comedy Central Presents debuts on Friday, in which you can see him for real. Except he’ll be on television. Which means you cannot touch him for real....

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Assessing the Rififi/post-Rififi scene

Whether you call it the "alternative" comedy scene or the "downtown" comedy scene, and either of those labels doesn’t quite fit when describing the particular crop of New York performers who tend to eschew the traditional comedy clubs — and even that tag doesn’t apply to those stand-ups who perform in comedy clubs as well as the dive bars, burlesque halls and basements of the city. Nevertheless, the main clique finds itself wondering if this is the last gasp for the current East Village scene. Mo Pitkins closed suddenly last year, and several shows migrated to Ochi’s Lounge below Comix. It’s a great use for that basement bar space, but not large enough for the more popular alt-shows. And now the fate of Rififi seemingly hangs in the balance. Again. Rumors of its demise have popped up every few months or so, and though the property’s real estate broker assured me last fall that the club had a buyer and a closing date, that date came and passed, and earlier this month, performers were told that at the lease’s end, Leap Day really would be a monumental Leap Day. If so, come March 1, where will Invite Them Up be inviting them up? What about Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy? Are they Totally J/King us? And where would all of these comedians and their friends and fans just generally...

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In review, better late than never

As a journalist, reaching the final page of the notebook always prompts mixed emotions. First, excitement at the prospect of starting anew with a clean, fresh pad of paper. Then, a touch of sadness, because you’ve held this pad literally close to the vest for months, and inside it are memories, written down and kept with you, but nevermore. And you know that even though you keep your notes around for years to come, the odds remind you that you’ll likely not open this pad again, leaving it with the other memories of shows and interviews and news gone by. Was there something you’d written that shouldn’t be left behind, you wonder? If you’re lucky to remember, you flip back through the pages looking for important phone numbers, names and notes to self that actually became notes to self. I found a few shows I’d seen that made my notepad but hadn’t been shared yet. So let’s get to it. Goodnight, OJ: This one-woman show by Livia Scott (directed by Baron Vaughn) has its final performance tonight (Jan. 30) at the UCB Theatre in NYC. In it, Scott re-examines and performs actual letters written to OJ Simpson when he was in jail back in 1994 charged with double murder. I saw this show Nov. 29, 2007, when Simpson had just come back into the news — and jail —...

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ECNY extra extras!

Before we move on to other issues in comedy, let’s reflect one more time on Monday night’s ECNY Awards celebrating the New York comedy scene. If you think the cinematography in Cloverfield was shaky, check out this short video I shot moments before the ceremony began at a front-row table with Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy, who host the Friday night all-star comedy showcase at Rififi (at least through February). Note to self: Why do I sound out of breath? Am I that out of shape? Larry Murphy & Greg Johnson ECNY winners!Uploaded by thecomicscomic Here is a much more professional video that kicked off the ceremony, shot and edited by Drink at Work’s Carol Hartsell. And here is one of many lovely photos taken at the event by actor/comedian/photographer Tracey B. Wilson: I Eat Pandas’ Glennis McMurray seems more than pleased to answer the red carpet questioning from Brooke Van Poppelen and Danny Leary. Her beau, presenter Matt McCarthy, has an expression that says, you better watch out what you ask my lady friend, lady friend. More photos after the jump, including one of Nate from The Apiary, whom more than a few comedians were surprised to see actually existed (at least that’s what they said when he won his ECNY) Yes, bloggers are real people. Sometimes. More photos, after the jump! Fun fact: This is what Nate...

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