Day: July 28, 2009

Preview a San Francisco comedy miniseries: “Welcome to the Stage”

Two things that I don't get enough of in my life — trips to San Francisco, and funny women — are combined in the upcoming miniseries Welcome to the Stage. Over the course of eight to 12 episodes, each running close to 20 minutes, we'll get to follow four Bay Area comedians as they perform at a variety of venues, from open mics at laundromats to clubs such as The Purple Onion and the Punchline. "The show features me, Janine Brito, Dana LoVecchio and Marcella Arguello, and is based on an idea I had at an open mic one night to share the awful comedy OF the comedy world, so to speak," Pamela Ames told me. "I realized that we are in such a unique and fascinating position to many people, plus San Francisco is so picturesque and cool and a great place to live and film." Roll the clip! This isn't going to be your typical documentary, though, Ames told me. "So yes, what makes it so great is that all of the characters are very unique – we all come from very different backgrounds (i.e. straight, gay, white, Cuban, El Salvadorian, Italian, big family, small family, east coast, mid-west); and doing stand-up comedy in San Francisco is the tie that binds, but we still all have very different experiences, reactions and outlooks on the scene," Ames told me. "It comes across as very...

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Preview: Whitney Cummings on roasting Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers got roasted on Sunday night in Los Angeles, and Comedy Central will broadcast an edited version of The Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers on Aug. 9, 2009. You'll see some of the usual suspects on the dais (Jeffrey Ross, Greg Giraldo, Gilbert Gottfried), but no Lisa Lampanelli, and the early reports from the scene all seemed to agree that Whitney Cummings made the most of her onscreen debut as a roaster. Let's roll a clip, and then we'll talk with Cummings all about it. Hey Whitney! This was your first big roast, correct? If not, then please correct me! "I've been a writer on the roast for the past couple years so I'm very familiar with them and roast jokewriting but yes, this is my first big Comedy Central roast as a roaster. I had done a charity roast for a producer in LA named Steve Tisch. Tom Arnold was there, Pete Berg, a bunch of athletes. It was taped and Comedy Central saw it so I'm sure that played a big part in me getting a spot as a roaster." How did you go about writing your roast jokes? What kind of tone were you going for? Were you trying to balance out the barbs among everyone on the dais? Did you write them all yourself? (I know some stand-ups who help write for others) "When I was...

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In other news…

Even though many in the comedy industry were in Montreal last week, the comedy world kept making news. Go figure. Here's what you (and by you, I mean, of course, me) might have missed: Remember when Katt Williams got arrested by the NYPD and almost missed his debut at Carnegie Hall last November, after already having missed his scheduled appearance on Conan? Turns out the guns weren't his. Whoops! Prosecutors have dropped the charges against Williams. Dane Cook has filed a civil lawsuit against his half-brother for allegedly embezzling more than $11 million from the comedian over the years, while he had access to Cook's money as his business manager. There will be a "Comedy Death Ray" anthology of graphic novels (read: adult comic books) on the horizon, with individual contributions from Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, B.J. Novak, David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, Paul Scheer and Zach Galifianakis. Somewhere, everywhere comedy geeks live, their heads already have exploded. NBC may not have Ben Silverman to celebrate its fourth-place ratings with anymore, but it did launch a new online home for The Jay Leno Show. Donald Glover proved he was quite worthy of being one of Variety's "10 Comics to Watch" this July, signing a two-year holding deal with Universal Media Studios. And no, he didn't even have to show up in Montreal to get his deal. Nikki Finke over...

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Kyle Cease’s new “Comedy Bootcamp” video

Kyle Cease and his brother, Kevin, have refashioned the video trailer to hype their "Comedy Bootcamp" based upon our previous suggestions, comments, complaints and worries about what's really going on at the Comedy Bootcamp (you no longer can see the original video unless you have such privileges). This video now focuses on what the bootcamp can do for you, the comedian, with more insight from agents, managers, industry folk and fellow comedians — including Bret Ernst, Brian Scolaro and Chris Porter. With all of the appearances by people in the industry, you certainly would think that this class gives you more access to people you'd want access to than other stand-up comedy classes. What are your thoughts? The next bootcamp is scheduled for...

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