Day: June 24, 2009

Joe Mande mocks hipsters in blog-to-book deal

Joe Mande already has proven himself to be someone to watch on the New York City comedy circuit — earning himself "emerging comic" honors in 2008 at the ECNYs — and now one of his new blogs has earned him a book deal! His blog is a photo-based Tumblr called, LATFH (or "Look at this f***ing hipster"), with photos of said hipsters followed by Mande's snarky captions. He started it a couple of months ago, and he's already sold the book rights. Here's the Publishers Weekly blurb. Yep. That's it. Bet you're kicking yourself for not thinking of it first! The book will come out in spring 2010, or as Mande wrote to Gawker yesterday: "Unless people suddenly stop doing cocaine during the day, in which case it may take a bit longer." Mande had previously given an "anonymous" interview about the blog to fellow NYC comedian Max Silvestri when Silvestri was guest-blogging on Gawker in May. Mande and comedy partner Noah Garfinkel also continue to co-host the popular "Totally J/K" showcase (currently monthly at the UCB, including tonight). They're also co-hosting this Thursday's "Comedy Below Canal" showcase at the 92YTribeca. He couldn't say much more about the book, so I asked him how his hipster idea succeeded so much more quickly than his "Andy Rooney Game." We chatted briefly about this on Facebook. If you'd like to see...

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Jimmy Fallon, more comfortable as an impersonator than as himself?

It's still perhaps a bit too early to issue a final verdict on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, although with more than 70 episodes in the can, it can be said that The Roots remain a great hip-hop band with a great sense of humor, that Jimmy Fallon also has surrounded himself with funny comedians to write for him, and that their taped bits are generally far funnier than the sketches and "game shows" they have Fallon do with and in front of the live audience, many of which fall flat. As for Fallon himself? Well, after seeing him live in Chicago last weekend at the Just For Laughs Chicago comedy festival, I have developed a new theory on what makes Jimmy Fallon work (and what's holding him back) as a performer and as a late-night TV host. (On a brief tangent, you probably didn't know — I didn't — that Jimmy Fallon ripped his pants during his show Saturday in Chicago, as he explained in this clip during Monday night's show) Jimmy Fallon seems most at ease when he's pretending to be someone else. That's it. It's that simple. Fallon is uncomfortable interviewing people he doesn't know, but it's not so much because he needs to learn that skill (though he really does), as much as it's because he has not yet figured out how to be at ease...

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Martin Lawrence developing Starz sitcom based on Gary Owen

The trades report that Starz has given a script commitment to Martin Lawrence to develop a half-hour comedy based on the life of stand-up comedian Gary Owen, who previously was featured on the pay cable network's Martin Lawrence Presents 1st Amendment Stand-up. Here is a clip, conveniently enough, of Owen from that very show last year (note: language is NSFW): Lawrence also has a deal with FOX to develop a half-hour animated program based on his own childhood growing up in and around Washington, D.C., (sounds like his own, cartoonish version of Chris Rock's Everybody Hates...

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Kermet Apio wins 2nd Great American Comedy Fest

Congrats also go out to Seattle's Kermet Apio, who won the second annual contest for the Great American Comedy Festival, held last weekend in Johnny Carson's hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska. Born and raised in Hawaii, Apio has been working comedy clubs for the past two decades, with a number of TV appearances and the 1991 Seattle Comedy Competition title to his credit. Sam Adams finished second, while Joe Larson took third place in the contest that's coordinated by David Letterman's booker, Eddie Brill. I had the pleasure of opening for Apio years ago when I used to live in Seattle. A nice guy and a funny guy. Here's a clip to get you acquainted with Kermet Apio....

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Myq Kaplan wins “New York Comedy Contest”

Myq Kaplan is having himself a good year when it comes to competing in short-set stand-up comedy contests in Manhattan, winning the inaugural "New York Comedy Contest" last weekend. The weeklong contest included 96 comics, who performed at Comic Strip Live, Laugh Lounge, Stand-Up NY, Eastville, Broadway and The Green Room. Kaplan won the "March Madness" contest this spring at Carolines, and last fall, was a finalist in the "New York's Funniest Stand-Up" contest and third-place finisher in the Boston Comedy Festival contest. Speaking of Boston, this New York stand-up comedy contest is an odd duck, because in addition to the $5,000 cash prize, the eight finalists (Kaplan, Ira Proctor, Tony Boswell, Brian Babylon, Josh Homer, Joe List, David Foster, Dan St. Germain) are rewarded with automatic invites to this year's Boston Comedy Festival. Not to knock Boston, but that's a little backward. Especially considering Kaplan, Proctor and List are from Boston and already have performed there on multiple occasions. So. Congrats? Note: I'm not surprised that this contest was designed to give attention to Boston's fest, because it was put together by that fest's organizer. That doesn't make it any less...

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