Day: November 2, 2009

Scott Adsit does not need to read Tracy Morgan’s memoir for Celebrity Autobiography, but would he?

Scott Adsit is an actor (30 Rock, The Informant), an improvisational comedian with three regular shows at the UCB (Gravid Water, Let's Have A Ball, Adsit and Gausus) and a writer/producer/actor of animated comedy on Adult Swim (Morel Orel, and coming soon, Frankenhole). When he's not doing any of those things, though, you might find him reading a celebrity's ridiculous memoir in front of a live audience for the show Celebrity Autobiography. The meta-celeb reading series normally happens at the Triad in NYC's Upper West Side, but will head into Times Square for a special event Wednesday at Carolines as part of the New York Comedy Festival. Adsit will join Eugene Pack, Kristen Johnston, Richard Kind, Carol Kane, Carson Kressley, Andrea Martin, Dayle Reyfel, Michael Urie, and Alan Zweibel in taking pages out of celebrity memoirs and exposing their silliness through the time-honored tradition of reading. I chatted with Adsit a little bit about the show, 30 Rock, why he's not on Twitter, Tracy Morgan's autobiography, and Adsit's latest Adult Swim project. Having Jeff Dunham on 30 Rock last week made the show seem even more meta than ever! This season has been all about trying to appeal to a broader audience, hoping a new cast member will do the trick — and you guys got 6 million viewers for that episode, or slightly more than the 5.3 million that...

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Who are the funniest stand-up comedians coming out of Philadelphia these days?

The Philadelphia Phillies may be down three games to one to the New York Yankees in the World Series, but the Phillies are still the defending champs today, and the Eagles whipped up on the Giants on Sunday. So what better time to take a look at the comedians from the City of Brotherly Love? Comedy Central recently hosted a showcase of Philly-based stand-ups in NYC — though half of them already have moved onward and upward to the big city (see: Joe DeRosa, Julian McCullough, Mike Vecchione), I did get a glimpse of some funny people who still live in and around the so-called "sixth borough." Who should we be keeping our eyes on in the Philadelphia comedy scene? Well, how's about this list of 10 Funniest Comedians in Philadelphia Right Now to look at, ponder, and quibble about for a start? Rankings, of course, are always up for subjective debate, but I'm pretty darned sure that any of these folks have potential to one day make the move themselves to NYC or LA: Chip Chantry, Derek Gaines, Steve Gerben, Kent Haines, Aaron Hertzog, Doogie Horner, Pat House, Anton Shuford Geoff Tate and TuRae. What about the ladies, though? The ladies! Or older veteran comics who have yet to be appreciated? Who else should be on this list? Tell me what's...

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These comedians dressed up (or down) for Halloween. How about you?

Sorry, comedy fans. The Comic's Comic did not don something scary or silly this Halloween, but that didn't stop plenty of our favorite comedians from celebrating (and sometimes even performing) in costume on Saturday night. And in the age of the Internets (the age…of the…INTERNETS) that also means going online to share our Halloween disguises with our friends and followers. Here are some of my favorites that I spotted over the weekend. Who were yours? Did I miss it? If so, please share! To kick things off, though, how about a "doodle" from Michael Showalter about Halloween parties: Seth Herzog throws a big Halloween bash each year in NYC, and this year, he dressed up as Robin Hood, although SNL cowboy Jason Sudeikis pointed out Robin Hood's unusual underwear choice. At the same party, we spotted a happy trend. People dressing up as comedians. In places across the country, regular folk thought it'd be a great idea to dress up as John Hodgman (a suit and glasses plus a makeshift "I'm a PC" sign), while some went as Tim & Eric characters, and even others went as Zach Galifianakis (usually from his character in The Hangover). Here's one guy at Herzog's party who was not Galifianakis (but rather, photog Mark Spencer) cavorting next to a guy who most definitely is David Cross. Earlier in the day on Halloween, none...

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Dane Cook interviews Dane Cook?

Trick or treat! Comedian Dane Cook uploaded a new video last week in which he interviewed himself to promote his upcoming show this Thursday at Madison Square Garden as part of the New York Comedy Festival. Strange but true. Roll the clip! Related: Buy tickets to Dane Cook's show at Madison Square Garden, or any of the remaining dates on Dane Cook's arena stand-up tour this fall. Furthermore: Check out my own interviews with Dane Cook… June 17, 2009 — on Isolated Incident Nov. 12, 2008 — at The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas Sept. 21, 2007 — answering his critics April 16, 2006 — on the night he taped HBO's Vicious Circle in...

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Reading between the lines: The New York Times November Fools issue

In case you missed it Sunday, the New York Times got Nov. 1 confused for April 1, because the Arts section and the Sunday magazine both devoted plenty of ink to the comedy business. Let's see how they did! In Arts, reporter Eric Konigsberg used a profile of comedian Kumail Nanjiani to give us a look not only into Nanjiani's path toward stand-up stardom (Pakistan-Iowa-Chicago-NYC-and beyond?), but also into New York City's thriving comedy scene as a place where talents such as Nanjiani, Jenny Slate, Kristen Schaal, Donald Glover and Zach Galifianakis can shine. The profile is the mainbar, with two sidebars dedicated to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and to Lisa Leingang, Comedy Central's new executive in charge of scouting and programming NYC-based talent. Things we learn in the Nanjiani profile — he has a deal with NBC to develop a pilot based on his personal life, and Comedy Central has ordered six additional episodes of Michael and Michael Have Issues, the meta-com starring Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter (and featuring Nanjiani, who also writes for their show). Nanjiani clarified to me that Comedy Central hasn't yet renewed MMHI; just the script order. Although seeing the network relaunch MMHI's debut season alongside new episodes of South Park appears to be a sign that they want the show to catch on. Several weekly independent showcases also got shout-outs...

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