Day: January 27, 2010

Oh, snap! Landline TV calls out Andy Samberg and his SNL Digital Shorts in meta-parody

Andy Samberg and his fellow comedians from The Lonely Island made their mark as new Saturday Night Live cast members by reinvigorating the SNL Digital Short for the digital video-sharing age (that's the brand-nonspecific alternative to saying YouTube age, right?). Their "Lazy Sunday" rap earned SNL a new generation of fans via YouTube, and they've since won an Emmy for "Dick in a Box," and their "I'm on a Boat" rap collaboration with T-Pain is up for a Grammy this weekend. Plenty of people have tried replying or duplicating what they do with their own YouTube videos, but mostly in admiration. That said, Samberg and his crew have definitely settled into a couple of very comfortable thematic devices that could themselves be ripe for comedy, and the folks at Landline TV have fired a shot across their bow with this one. Roll the...

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Ustream launches pay-per-view trial balloon with finale of Dane Cook’s stand-up comedy tour

Ustream has hosted millions of live streaming Web shows and series. A quick look at Ustream's entertainment section pulled up 251,628 separate listings, with plenty of comedians among them. They've all been free, but that will change Feb. 6 with the first pay-per-view offering, which takes fans behind-the-scenes of Dane Cook's final stop on his current stand-up comedy tour. The one-time offer "for his special fans" at http://www.ustream.tv/danecook boasts "5 hours of Exclusive LIVE COVERAGE for only $5," presumably from the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., where Cook and his opening acts will close down his Isolated Incident Global Thermo Comedy Tour. I'm also going to go ahead and guess that Cook will be chatting with fans from backstage before and after the show — and maybe even during it for a few minutes? — as well as getting his opening acts into the mix. Would you pay $5 for something other people are offering currently for free? That has been the question of the Internet age for anyone who provides unique content. How much would you pay to watch a live online show? How much would you pay to read an online blog? I'm asking for my imaginary friend. Obviously. UPDATED: Dane Cook posted some additional news on this front. He has turned it into a contest, even, with people who buy tickets by Jan. 29 eligible for prizes. Prizes?...

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Alonzo Bodden mocks our fears of contagious diseases on “The Jay Leno Show”

I hadn't written much about Alonzo Bodden in a long while, but I hadn't forgotten about him. Neither had Bob Read and Ross Mark, the comedy bookers for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the show that it's called currently, who also put Bodden on the national scene as part of the second and third seasons of Last Comic Standing. They brought Alonzo Bodden back to the show on Monday night, wherein he delivered a sharply focused set devoted to all of the contagious diseases we've been told would be pandemics, and how the media loves to scare us to death about it — until something else comes along such as Michael Jackson. So sit back and take a nostalgic ride back through the swine flu, tomatoes, spinach, bird flu, SARS, Mad Cow and the killer bees. Did he mention Y2K? Because that was scary, too. Bodden also mentions the worries about illegal aliens, and he walks right up to the Mexican border wall joke but does not go for the hack punchline that has befallen other comedians. Thank goodness for the fresh take on that. As well as the local "carpool lane on the 405" reference for the Angelenos. Roll...

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Eddie Brill doing stand-up on Letterman

Earlier this month, Eddie Brill performed stand-up on The Late Show with David Letterman. If you're an aspiring comedian who wants to get your own spot on Letterman, you might want to take extra notice of this because Brill also books the comedians for the show. Which is one of a couple of complications for Brill. If he's booking himself, that's one less spot for everybody else. Also, Brill serves as the daily warm-up comic for Letterman's studio audience. If you've ever been to a comedy club where you later see the doorman or the ticket-taker onstage, it's that disconnect, multiplied by the factor of network television. Brill told me that of the nine times he has done Letterman (he has worked on the show for more than 12 years), he's dealt with the audience in a variety of ways beforehand — from not mentioning he'd also be introduced by Letterman during the show (awkward surprise!), to not doing the warm-up (regular surprise!), to what he did this most recent time, which was to get any awkwardness out of the way during the warm-up. He told me Letterman was interested to hear his latest stand-up set and gave him kudos afterward. Let's roll the clip so you can see him in action: You might take some solace in knowing that just like many of you comics out there, Brill...

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The New York Nightlife Awards are not the MAC Awards, nor are they the ECNY Awards. Niches!

The eighth annual New York Nightlife Awards held their celebration Monday night with Bruce Vilanch hosting performances from the previously announced winners in cabaret, jazz and comedy at Town Hall. The New York Times sent a reporter who filed this piece for today's paper. At first, I confused the New York Nightlife Awards with the MAC Awards, which also are NYC-based and honor the same three subgenres of the performing arts scene in cabaret, jazz and comedy. How are they different? Well, let's look at the recent comedy winners of each contest. The New York Nightlife Awards have three comedy categories: Outstanding Comedian in a Major Engagement, Outstanding Comedian, and Outstanding Comedy Duo or Group. This year, those awards went to Louis CK, John Mulaney, and Slovin & Allen, respectively. All of those winners are certainly funny. But. Not to quibble (cue the quibbling), I'm fairly certain that Slovin & Allen's 2009 work together consisted of writing and producing sketches in Los Angeles for broadcast on HBO in 2010. Their duo/group winners last year were a tie between Improvised Shakespeare and Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal. Also, they've named Mulaney outstanding comedian three years in a row, and CK outstanding major comedian two of the past three years (bracketing Mike Birbiglia's win last year). Not that any of these winners aren't worthy; it's just that the judging panel needs...

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