Day: October 22, 2009

Who’s up for 24 hours of improv comedy? Tomahawk & friends are!

As someone who has experienced 50 hours of continuous stand-up comedy as a patron saint of comedy blogging, I can tell you that it is a dizzying thing (see my Comic Strip Live Marathon coverage for background). There were some unexpected moments there, to be sure. The UCB's Del Close Marathon provides one weekend of madness, some of it unexpected, each August in NYC. Now to those, add this comedic feat. Tomahawk, a house improv team at The PIT in NYC, plans a 24-hour marathon of improv comedy this coming Nov. 6-7, 2009, at the Sage Theater in Midtown Manhattan. It's scheduled during the New York Comedy Festival, though I'm not sure if it's officially a part of it. Either way, it should be fun, as the team will be joined onstage by other local groups throughout the event. Here's their tentative schedule: FRIDAY, NOV. 6 8 pm: Tomahawk 8:30 pm: Audience of Two 9:30 pm: Junior Varsity 10:30 pm: Starkey and Grace 11:30 pm: Action Pals SATURDAY, NOV. 7 12:30-2 am: The Wilhelm 4-10 am: Tomahawk 10 am: DriveThru Baby 11 am: Old Enough 12 pm: Long Division 1 pm: The Pill 2 pm: Knifestorm 3 pm: The MakeOuts 4 pm: Handsometown 5 pm: Phil and I 6 pm: Centralia 7 pm: Audience of Two 7:30-8: Tomahawk And here's a promo video. Looks like a fun thing to...

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Rob Corddry’s “Childrens’ Hospital” heading to Adult Swim; new wave of Web-to-TV sitcoms

Is the Internet the new new path to a TV sitcom, or the new spin on an old path, or something else entirely? The answer isn't the same for all comedians, because some of the performers already have the credits and knowhow to get it done. Cases in point? We have three, which is what old-school mainstream media people call a trend! 1) Rob Corddry starred in an online comedy series Childrens' Hospital, which got picked up by the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim along with an additional order for 12 new 11-minute episodes. (Variety) Of course, Corddry is a former Daily Show correspondent and has multiple TV/movie credits to boot — plus he had a strong supporting cast of known comedians along for his ride, and the initial backing of Warner Bros. theWB.com — and that network has rewarded his success with an order for another Web series, along with a pilot presentation. 2) Comedy Central is halfway through airing the first six episodes of Secret Girlfriend, a sitcom that originated via FremantleMedia's AtomicWedgieTV.com. The TV show uses a first-person format to make the viewer the "star" along with friends (played by Derek Miller and Michael Blaiklock) and his two secret girlfriends (Alexis Krause and Sara E.R. Fletcher). 2a) There's also Atom.com, which Comedy Central acquired and sometimes airs half-hour blocks of its original and user-submitted programming in the...

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(Review) Comedy Central’s The Jeff Dunham Show: Puppets say the darnedest things

Before we get into the review, I think it's very important to point out that Jeff Dunham knows what he's doing, and has been doing it for a long time. How long? Long enough to perform and do panel with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show back in 1990. Let's take a look at that, shall we? So that was Dunham 19 years ago, showing off his ventriloquism skills with his star attraction sidekick, cranky old Walter. And this month, in addition to his new Comedy Central show debuting tonight, The Jeff Dunham Show, he'll also be appearing on an episode of NBC's 30 Rock. Reading the reviews for his show, however, has been highly amusing (though perhaps not to Dunham himself), as reporter after reporter has acknowledged they are dumbstruck by it all, either because they had not been aware of Dunham's popularity before, because they're not fans of ventriloquism, or both. They're quick to mention how Dunham's 2008 Christmas special was Comedy Central's most-watched show ever, with 6.6 million viewers — some also mention the hundreds of millions of YouTube views, the four million DVDs sold, and the success of his live touring. But when you read the reviews, it's as if the critics are saying either a) 6.6 million fans couldn't be wrong, could they?, or b) conversely, 6.6 million fans must be dummies themselves because they're dead wrong....

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One year later, 12 Angry Mascots get together monthly at Comix, and weekly online on ESPN

Last fall, New York comedy writers Scott Rogowsky and Neil Janowitz launched a hybrid variety show that included videos, sketches, stand-up and interviews, all revolving around sports. Their 12 Angry Mascots debuted at the UCB, moved briefly to a Chelsea theater/art space, and have found a more comfortable monthly home at Comix (Related: Read my earlier interview with them). One year, later, they're happy to report that they've sold a weekly webseries to ESPN — it's ESPN The Magazine's first original comedy series (and not coincidentally, Janowitz has written for the publication before), and based on a video the duo wrote last year about the NFL having a writers room that plots out the season. Conspiracy theorists rejoice! Here is the debut episode (also featuring, among others, Adam Newman and Tom McCaffrey), in which they debated how to handle last week's Giants-Saints matchup: As for the live show, their past guests have included Christopher Higgins from the New York Rangers, David Diehl from the New York Giants, Kerry Rhodes from the New York Jets, and Matthew Berry from ESPN. Here's a brief montage Comix put together earlier this year: Tonight is their first anniversary special at Comix, featuring Darrelle Revis from the Jets and Chris Duhon from the Knicks, stand-up comedy from Mike Drucker, plus appearances from members of the Lingerie Football League. Proceeds from the anniversary show will benefit the...

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