Month: August 2009

Recently on The Laugh Track and in comedy news

We've got ourselves a big Monday here, which means it's time to catch up on what's been happening in comedy and see if we missed anything. First up, what funny things from comedians have I posted recently over on The Laugh Track? Matt McCarthy and Pete Holmes star in an infomercial to end all infomercials. Did you know that The Comedy Store in Hollywood fielded its own basketball team in 1978, and that David Letterman, JJ Walker, John Witherspoon, Tim Reid and Tom Dreesen played on it. Want to see what that looked like? Is that why they went on strike, again? Frank Caliendo is about to start a 10-year contract performing four nights a week at the Monte Carlo resort and casino in Las Vegas (hey, that's where I stayed last November during the comedy festival!), but first, he swung by ESPN's Mike and Mike in the morning and breezed through a bunch of his voices. Lisa Lampanelli got engaged (to a white guy!), while Chelsea Handler reportedly broke up with her boyfriend (who's also her boss). Yikes and double yikes! Sunda Croonquist got a lot of "free" publicity by having her mother-in-law sue her over her jokes, while Eddie Izzard is earning his media attention by running more than a marathon a day around the United Kingdom. Watch clips from both! But that's not all. There was...

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Boston Comedy Festival 2009 results, prelims 1 & 2

Just because I'm not there doesn't mean the Boston Comedy Festival's annual contest is going to wait for me. The first two preliminary rounds were held on Sunday night at the Hard Rock Cafe, with four comics from each group of 12 advancing to semifinals later in the week. Notably, all of the comedians making it through last night either live in Boston or used to live there. And here they are: Prelim 1: Dan Crohn, Giulia Rozzi, Tyler Boeh, Zach Sherwin (aka MC Mr. Napkins) Prelim 2: Joe Wong, Mike Whitman, Lamont Price, Sean Sullivan Two more prelims happen tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday, all at the Hard...

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UCB-LA’s “Pop Genius” a genius idea for a TV game show?

If I were in Los Angeles tonight, then I would definitely be hoping to check out "Pop Genius" at the UCB Theatre. A friend shared this clip with me, and dare I say (nay, no dare needed), this seems to be the kind of game show that would be an instant hit on the TV. Looks like a 21st-century version of Match Game, combined with the silly celebrity world that gets parodied by folks such as Best Week Ever and The Soup, with hints from funny people a la Password or Pyramid. Jimmy Pardo is a natural as a game-show host, as anyone who knows anything knows (although the Internets tell me that Paul Scheer used to host the monthly Pop Genius last year?), and the panels look funny, too. Here's a clip, with a panel that includes Andy Daly, Matt Besser, Danielle Schneider and Andy...

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Comedy poet Tim Key wins big at 2009 Edinburgh Comedy Awards

The 2009 Edinburgh Comedy Awards (formerly known as the Perriers and briefly as the if.comedy awards) were announced today in Scotland, with poet Tim Key winning the main ¬£8,000 prize, plus an invite to next year's Just For Laughs festivals in Chicago, Toronto and Montreal. Jonny Sweet won half that amount as Best Newcomer for his show, "Mostly About Arthur," while Peter Buckley Hill also won 4,000 in earning the Panel Prize (open to all shows at the Edinburgh Fringe) for "The Peter Buckley Hill Free Fringe." Hill, coincidentally or not, founded the Free Fringe as an alternative to Edinburgh's commercial comedy entity. Here's a taste of what Tim Key does, as seen on BBC Four. Oh, you Brits with your wits. You'll see what I...

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Ready for the 10th Annual Boston Comedy Festival?

The 10th annual Boston Comedy Festival "officially" begins tonight with "Jim McCue's Festival Pre-Show" at Nick's Comedy Stop. McCue co-founded the fest with Boston City Councilman John Tobin, who recently opened Tommy's Comedy Lounge in the original home of the Connection. McCue's sister, Helen, is the fest's vice president, while his sister-in-law Midge helps as a major organizer. And Lewis Black, a longtime friend of McCue's, once again has timed his Boston appearance to coincide with the fest. He'll be at the Wang (or is it Citi Center?) on Saturday. There are a variety of shows around Boston from tonight through next Saturday, Sept. 5, but the meat of the Boston fest continues to be its annual weeklong stand-up comedy contest. As it did last year, most of the comedy contest rounds will be held at the Hard Rock Cafe, starting on Sunday with the first of eight preliminary rounds. Ninety-six comics from around the country are participating and competing for $10,000 in prize money, although there's a heavy dose of locals and stand-ups who have recently left Boston for New York City or elsewhere. I cannot say that I'll be roped into judging much of the contest this year (you may sigh or applaud, according to whether you were hoping I would/wouldn't be a factor). But I will be doing everything I can to try to make it up north...

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