Here's a look at some headlines this early morning, before the Emmy nominations make all of this comedy news seem like old news.
- Yesterday saw the final episode of the online talker "Break Room Live," as Air America once again shut down Marc Maron and Sam Seder. They'll resurface somewhere, somehow.
- TBS greenlighted a 10-episode order (with the option for 90 more eps) of a half-hour sitcom adaptation of the Ice Cube comedy film, Are We There Yet? Terry Crews will star, although the Cube will have a recurring role. The deal was sealed through Debmar-Mercury, which previously locked up multiple-season syndication sitcoms House of Payne and Meet the Browns for Tyler Perry with TBS.
- Forbes whipped up some estimates on which 10 stand-up comedians made the most money in the past year, ending June 1. Topping the list: Jerry Seinfeld, though most of his $85 million came from continuing syndication money thanks to his 1990s NBC sitcom. The rest of the richest 10 stand-ups? In order from richest to just plain rich, Forbes ranked 'em: Chris Rock ($42 mil), Jeff Dunham ($30 mil), Dane Cook ($20 mil), George Lopez ($20 mil), Howie Mandel ($15 mil), Larry the Cable Guy ($13 mil), Jeff Foxworthy ($11 mil), Terry Fator ($10 mil), Russell Peters ($10 mil).
- Speaking of Jeff Dunham, the cash cow for Levity Entertainment is now serving a larger master, as Levity has become a larger company. In April, the company negotiated a wide-ranging deal with Comedy Central that's helping put more of its clients on TV, CDs and DVDs through the network. The company produces Live at Gotham, which is taping this year in August (as opposed to March the past couple of years). I knew they had some arrangement with the Improv comedy clubs, but didn't know that Levity was the largest shareholder for the Improv chain. (Variety pointed that out) I recently started getting e-mails from an outfit called E-Comic Branding, which is a new Levity branch that manages the online presences for several comedians. And if you're wondering who Levity reps right now, it's quite a varied list of comedy talent.
- And jumping the gun on Variety's annual "10 Comics to Watch" feature that that trade ties to the Montreal fest (and sometimes in the past, HBO's late Aspen fest), The Hollywood Reporter published its own list of 10 comedians on the up-and-up, in connection with its own package on the globalization of the funny business. THR's list of rising talent? Aziz Ansari, Anjelah Johnson, Jon Lajoie, Kumail Nanjiani, Chris O'Dowd, Aubrey Plaza, Sugar Sammy, Alia Shawkat, Michaela Watkins and Gina Yashere.