Month: November 2009

Spend “Black Friday” at Target with Maria Bamford: She voices company’s 2009 holiday ad campaign

It's 5 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving. Are you in line for a big holiday shopping deal? If so, I wonder if you're hunting for bargains at Target. The Minnesota-based discount retail giant turned to a comedian from its home state, Maria Bamford, to voice its holiday ad campaign. Of course the ads are funny. They tap into Bamford's many voices to great effect. To comedy fans, there's an extra layer of fun knowing that Bamford has a bit about running into one of her high-school classmates at a Target. You can see the entire Maria Bamford campaign for Target's 2-Day Sale on YouTube, or check out the other goodies with Bamford and her "sister" on Target's site. Here are the two newest ads: And if you want to hear more from Bamford, she has a new stand-up comedy special that you can download from her site for FREE on Dec. 1. Check out that and other news from the Bammer here. Happy...

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Meet Me In New York: Damien Lemon

What do they say about New York City: There are eight million stories, and sometimes it seems as though eight million of the people telling them think they're comedians? No, that's not it. It is a fact, though, that America's biggest city is also its biggest comedy mecca. Hollywood may be Hollywood, but New York City is where comedians are born funny, become funny or arrive to thrust their funny upon us. I think we should meet some of these people. This is a new recurring feature, a mini-profile of newcomers, up-and-comers and overcomers of New York's vibrant comedy scene. It's called Meet Me In New York. Perhaps you're heading home for the holiday weekend? Sounds about as good a time to bring "Meet Me In New York" home for the holidays, too, by profiling a native New Yorker. Plenty of aspiring comedians move to the big city seeking fame and fortune. What about those of us who grew up right in the thick of it? Meet Damien Lemon (on Twitter, on Tumblr, on MySpace, photo by Aviva Klein). He presents a stand-up showcase every Wednesday night at the Laugh Lounge in the Lower East Side. And Lemon has a clever voice himself. Learn a little bit more about him now. Name: Damien Lemon Arrival date: Since birth Arrived from: The womb, but I represent New York When and where...

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Grammy Hall of Fame welcomes George Carlin’s “Class Clown”

George Carlin's 1972 album, "Class Clown," will be inducted next year into the Grammy Hall of Fame, according to the Los Angeles Times. Grammy Hall of Fame? Is that like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Not exactly. The Grammys reserve their Hall of Fame Awards for recordings at least 25 years old judged by a special committee to have "lasting qualitative or historical significance." Plenty of music giants on that list already, but the comedy pickings are slim. How slim? When Carlin's "Class Clown" gets inducted in 2010, it'll join these other comedy titles in the Grammy Hall of Fame:  THE BUTTON-DOWN MIND OF BOB NEWHARTBob NewhartWarner Bros. (1960)Comedy (Album)Inducted 2007 COCKTAILS FOR TWOSpike Jones And His City SlickersRCA Victor (1945)Comedy (Single) Inducted 1995  STAN FREBERG PRESENTS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAStan FrebergCapitol (1961)Comedy (Album)Inducted 1999 2000 AND THIRTEENCarl Reiner & Mel BrooksWarner Bros. (1973)Comedy (Album)Inducted 1999 That's it. No Bill Cosby — despite him dominating the Grammys for six years in a row to close out the 1960s — no Richard Pryor (also a multiple Grammy winner), no Steve Martin. Then again, the Grammys long have been accused of being late to the party in acknowledging great recordings, so why should their Hall of Fame be any less surprising in that...

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Inside “The Wanda Sykes Show” with sidekick Keith Robinson

When you're in Hollywood, you can witness screen magic in person in many different ways. Some shows film live to tape, which means you're there, they're there and it all happens as if we're in real time even though nobody will see this on TV until hours later (which means we could see it twice, you guys!). Other TV shows and movies film at a hurry-up-and-wait pace, which means if you're there, it's exciting for the first two seconds, then not exciting again until hours later when the one person says "Rolling!" and the other person says "Action!" and then the famous people begin saying their lines on camera. The Wanda Sykes Show on FOX operates on that other, rarer schedule, which is taped before a live audience, but without regard to clocks because it tapes a night ahead of its air date. Which is how you can find yourself spending two hours on a Friday night watching a show that's ultimately only 40 minutes long when it airs on Saturday night. Not that that's not fun. If you're at Stage 56 inside CBS Television City in Los Angeles, then you get to see that around the corner is The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and if you look it up on Wikipedia (which is a thing that exists), then you'll learn that Sykes tapes where The Pat...

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Meet Me In New York: Nate Bargatze

What do they say about New York City: There are eight million stories, and sometimes it seems as though eight million of the people telling them think they're comedians? No, that's not it. It is a fact, though, that America's biggest city is also its biggest comedy mecca. Hollywood may be Hollywood, but New York City is where comedians are born funny, become funny or arrive to thrust their funny upon us. I think we should meet some of these people. This is a new recurring feature, a mini-profile of newcomers, up-and-comers and overcomers of New York's vibrant comedy scene. It's called Meet Me In New York. Today I'm going to introduce you to Nate Bargatze, who has a mouth from the South (and the rest of him hails from there, too), has performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, as well as Just For Laughs in Montreal. Name: Nate Bargatze Arrival date: October 2004 Arrived from: Chicago When and where did you start performing comedy? I started January of 2003. I am from Nashville, Tenn., but moved to Chicago to start comedy. I was there for a couple of years, went back to Nashville for a couple of months and then moved to NYC with another comedian, Sven Weschler. What was your best credit before moving here? I got a review in a...

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