Day: January 26, 2010

Is “The Next Funniest Person in the United States” going to be discovered in Las Vegas this week?

While word slowly spreads about the return of NBC's Last Comic Standing, Improv owner Budd Friedman is helping preside over a lesser-known contest for aspiring talent that's tied to the video release of Funny People. The search for "The Next Funniest Person in America" accepted submissions online at Friedman's iJoke.com, and judges picked their top five which went to an online public vote. The top three vote-getters earned a trip to Las Vegas, where they'll perform tomorrow, Jan. 27, at the Improv at Harrah's Las Vegas. The winner gets? A paid six-night run at the same club later in 2010. The finalists? Alysia Wood, Jason Marcus and comedy/music duo Carlie & Doni. Here's a local TV news report on the event from Vegas. If you look closely, you can see some of the other contestants,...

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Playing devil’s advocate: The people vs. Jay Leno

You don't have to be on Team Coco to realize that Leno-bashing has reached a hyperbolic pitch. Just pick up the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, which put a photo illustration of Jay Leno on its cover and named him TV's biggest bomb ever. Ever? Forever ever? Clearly the mag went with the chin to win in an effort to move print copies, because if you look at their top 50 TV bombs list, several of them stand out as much worse things to have appeared on America's television sets. It's not as if Leno is Hitler, as the Wall Street Journal's Joe Queenan suggested in a crass satire yesterday designed to generate page views. They're both wrong, of course, because Leno has never wanted anything more than to hold onto his 11:35 p.m. (10:35 p.m. Central/Mountain) time slot, and he'll be getting it back soon enough. But how did it come to this, where conventional wisdom and anyone who's funny clearly aligned against Jay Leno? He cannot really be that bad, can he? And if he were, why do all of those people still show up at tapings of The Jay Leno Show and rush up to shake his hand at the start of every show? For the latter question, I think the answer is one part tourists on a Los Angeles vacation who are just happy to be...

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Friends without pity: Sean Crespo has “No Prior Knowledge” of his own TV pitch

Over on Television Without Pity, comedian Sean Crespo has been filing regular video blogs — or as the old people call them, vlogs — about television from the perspective of a complete outsider. His series, "No Prior Knowledge," celebrated its 100th episode with a look back at some other statistics, plus Crespo asked some of his funny friends who have appeared on the TV help him figure out what his own TV series might look like. Donald Glover (NBC), Lizz Winstead (Comedy Central), Nick Stevens (ESPN, NESN), Matt McCarthy (AMC, Verizon ads), Patrick Borelli (Adult Swim), Livia Scott (NBC) and Crespo's live-in ladyfriend and Drink at Work partner in comedy crimes, Carol Hartsell, all offered their thoughts. Good luck, Crespo! Roll...

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