Day: January 12, 2009

Dane Cook’s “Isolated Incident” coming in May

You know how I noticed in November when seeing Dane Cook in Las Vegas that he seemed to have matured or, rather, calmed down onstage as a performer? Turns out that was not an isolated incident. His upcoming TV special and CD/DVD with Comedy Central, however, is called just that: "Isolated Incident." It shall debut May 17 on TV and May 19 as a CD/DVD. In this clip, we can see that even Cook figured out that playing to a crowd of 20 on a Tuesday night forces you to act much differently than when you're playing to an arena of 20,000 screaming fans who could care less about your punchlines and are just happy to be there. Especially when, as Cook told me in November, he has been through so much personally. Roll the clip (slightly...

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Marc Maron workshops “Scorching the Earth”

If you follow Marc Maron at all, you already know that he has been working on his craft of stand-up for a couple of decades, made dozens of appearances on Conan, held court on national morning radio, and continues to tour the country. That Maron has not become more of a household name yet certainly confuses not only his fans, but also the comedian himself. You can hear it in his tone and his material. Angry? Sure. But there's something real about his self-awareness and his social commentary that lets audiences know that he has put a lot of thought into the words coming out of his mouth. In the past year or two, his personal relationships have come to the fore of his thinking and have affected not only how he feels offstage, but also what he talks about onstage. So here we are in 2009, and instead of a 10-minute routine here or there about his most recent divorce (he's been through it twice), he has begun attempting to mine his personal battlefield for a full-length one-man show, titled "Scorching the Earth." He has performed it once in Los Angeles, and once (Jan. 3) in New York City. You can see how Maron's show has evolved Jan. 15 at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn. At the version I saw, Maron welcomed the packed crowd at The...

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Lewis Black at the NYT Arts & Lesiure Weekend

I had heard some great stories from Lewis Black about his playwriting past and career arc last year during his XM Unmasked interview, but for his Saturday night sit-down with the New York Times for its Arts & Leisure Weekend, Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley wanted to focus more on politics. Stanley said she was glad to have Black in the building "because we can't quote you in the New York Times." To wit, they played a clip beforehand that opened with Black griping about the cold winter with this line: "Where the f*@& is global warming?!" She wanted to know how Black would be funny without politicians such as Dick Cheney in power. Black's reply: "Between him and me, there's a ton of assholes." As for Obama? Black noted that community organizer types such as Obama, "they're never funny. It's a different kind of asshole!" Instead, Black zeroed in on the president-elect's ongoing message of hope. "This hope thing," Black called it. "I'm 60. Hope's passed me by." He reminded us that he didn't start out as a political comedian. "I had 45 minutes on weather," he said, claiming, "no comic has beaten me on that." He shrugged off the Caroline Kennedy for Senate question. "Kennedys? After the Bushes, who gives a sh@&." But he loved the Bernie Madoff scandal as a source of material. "It's like Dickens...

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2009 Golden Globes: The funniest moments

Oh, Golden Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, how much we missed you last year. Why? Because of all the silly awards shows, you, sirs and madams, broadcast the silliest one of all, and is it, does it have to be a factor of boozing up your nominees and presenters? Not necessarily. Roll the clips! Wait. We don't have clips? Not yet. Until then…fire up your DVRs and TiVos for these, the funniest moments from the 2009 edition 66th annual Golden Globes (all times Eastern). 8:00 We're in the opening song montage, set to the Pussycat Dolls "When I Grow Up," and they have the fine comedic sense to cut to Miley Cyrus just as the Dolls hope they grow boobies. The Globes are back! 8:01 Jennifer Lopez opens the show, hoping we remember her by wearing a flimsy little number (in gold!) to remind us of her shocking wardrobe choices many years ago that made us remember her the first time. But first. "Hello? Mama talking!" There would be many "shushes," but this was the first. 8:36 Please welcome presenter Ricky Gervais. You want to know why everyone was buzzing about the potential for Gervais to host the Oscars? Cue Gervais, holding a pint of beer in his right hand: "Hello. I'm not in charge. I'm not even nominated, which is a little bit annoying. Isn't it?...

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