Month: March 2009

The Birthday Roast of Pete Holmes

When I heard that Pete Holmes wanted to celebrate his 30th birthday by having his friends and fellow stand-up comedians roast him, my first thought was that he had lost his mind. And then I attended the roast last night at the UCB, and was quickly reminded that this is a rare opportunity for comedians to unleash not only their mocking jabs at one another, but also some heartfelt tender moments. But you didn't click here looking for heartfelt or tender, did you? As Holmes himself said during the show: "I want it to be meaner!" Leo Allen, the regular host of Monday night's Whiplash, served as the roastmaster (pictured here by Mindy Tucker) — and despite allegedly forgetting that the roast was happening, managed to find several zingers up his sleeves. The dais was a regular who's who of New York City's current crop of up-and-coming comedians, with John Mulaney, Anthony Jeselnik and Kumail Nanjiani represented. Also on board: TJ Miller, who flew in for the event, Jared Logan, David Angelo, Nate Fernald, Seth Herzog, a tardy Julian McCullough and Holmes' girlfriend, Jamie Lee. Here are a few of the many zingers I managed to jot down for posterity: I wondered how many of the audience members knew what they were in for (there were a dozen or two other comics scattered in the seats, too), and I...

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Liz Lemon’s phone sex ad

What's that, you say? You heard something about Tina Fey's fake phone sex ad from last week's 30 Rock being released upon the Internets in its full 90s-tribute splendor? I'll join the obligatory chorus by embedding it here for you to enjoy at your convenience (btw, NBC, I see what you're doing with the tracking codes hidden in the...

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Slovin & Allen reunite for Funny or Die/HBO

Chalk up another of the 10 original half-hours coming soon to HBO via Funny or Die, because Slovin and Allen filmed about a half hour's worth of material last week in Los Angeles, directed by Jason Woliner. Leo Allen told me that the FoD folks asked them to deliver two separate 15-minute collections of sketches and comedy bits, ostensibly so they can be matched up with segments from other comedians. Sure looks like it's shaping up to be a celebration of UCB comedians. By the way, if you try looking for Slovin & Allen footage on YouTube, then you'll find several amateur tributes to their "Time Machine" sketch. Here is how Slovin & Allen did it for their Comedy Central Presents back in 2001: Jokes.com Slovin & Allen – Time Machine comedycentral.com Joke of the Day Stand-Up Comedy Free Online...

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TBS announces inaugural Just For Laughs Chicago lineup

TBS and Just For Laughs unveiled the first look at the lineup for their inaugural "Very Funny" Festival in Chicago this June 17-21, and it looks like a hybrid of what Just For Laughs does in Montreal, TBS does in Las Vegas and what the Chicago comedy scene does. Tickets will go on sale Monday. Are you ready? Here's the quick overview. TBS will tape three specials: Ellen's Bigger Longer and Wider Show (aka the third Ellen DeGeneres variety show for the basic cable network), Comedy You Can Believe in with David Alan Grier (Grier hosts an all-star lineup TBA), and a third yet-to-be announced special. It'll also see upcoming late-night competitors George Lopez and Jimmy Fallon headlining their own shows, as well as performances by Bill Engvall, Lisa Lampanelli, Russell Peters, Louis CK, Jim Jefferies, Bob Odenkirk and Andy Dick. Shows will take place throughout the Windy City, from the Chicago Theatre to the Rosemont, Lakeshore, The Vic, iO, The Lincoln Lodge, The Playground and Annoyance, plus four nights of films at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “While our festival in Montreal made its humble beginning as a three-night local comedy showcase 27 years ago, Chicago has a rich history in comedy that needs no introduction,” said Gilbert Rozon, president of Just For Laughs.  “We are confident that the elite...

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Getting to know I Eat Pandas, and The Tudors, too

If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, then when do I Eat Pandas? Cute. And demonic. Them's their words to explain themselves, in this newly online documentary about my favorite musical comedy improvisers, Glennis McMurray and Eliza Skinner, and their group, I Eat Pandas. Link, but no embed? McMurray and Skinner also have been enlisted by Showtime to blog about The Tudors — the third season of the historical drama begins April 5, and I Eat Pandas gets you caught up on season two if you missed it. Of course you did. You weren't alive hundreds of years ago? Or were you? Enjoy: Related: Catch I Eat Pandas at the UCB Theatre in NYC. They'll also perform April 7 in Hollywood at the Comedy Central Stage at the...

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