Day: March 12, 2010

Comedy Central Presents: Shane Mauss, and his CD, “Jokes To Make My Parents Proud”

It was such a joy to witness firsthand when stand-up comedian Shane Mauss earned his first big break three years ago this month. You can see some of the evidence here when I celebrated with Mauss and friends after his first Conan taping in March 2007, and the subsequent piece I wrote for the Boston Phoenix about his wild ride from low-to-no paying gigs in Boston to Aspen, HBO and NBC. When he signed with an agent and manager, he started hitting the road. As a headliner. It could have daunting. Perhaps too much, too soon. Cut to present-day, when his first half-hour Comedy Central Presents special is airing, mere days after his first full-length CD has dropped on the Comedy Central Records label, called "Jokes to Make My Parents Proud." And I'm very happy to say that Mauss still warrants the plaudits and attention. This clip from his special includes the bit that opens his disc, about a freak accident at a Six Flags amusement park. Roll it. Even when he was a virtual unknown in Boston, though, Mauss took the craft of joke-writing very seriously, if also perversely. The title, after all, is his acknowledgment during the set that his decision to talk about how drunk he gets, how he pushes buttons with the FCC, and tries to talk his girlfriend into having "butt sex" isn't exactly...

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Comedy Central Presents: Julian McCullough

Some comedians try to pretend they're not being taped for television and never acknowledge that it's anything special, just the same jokes you'd hear. Other comedians let you in on the game, and sometimes even play directly to the cameras, or say out loud when the commercial breaks should be happening. At Julian McCullough's half-hour Comedy Central Presents taping, the stand-up often doled out tips to audience members and even the TV director. For this clip, in which McCullough discusses the best pick-up lines, he stopped first to ask an audience member to borrow his/her cell phone. We catch up with the bit here. Roll...

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Win $10,000 for your short film: The Friars Club can make it happen for your sketch or improv team

The Friars Club has announced a contest that help take your sketch and improv teams to the next level of your careers, you know, the kind of level that could make you big enough in show business to be invited to become members of The Friars Club! To make it happen for you, they're going to reward one sketch group and one improv team $10,000 apiece to make their dream short film. You don't need to be in New York to enter. But here's what you do need to know… The basics: Submit a demo of your show to the Friars Club, postmarked by May 1. Five improv and five sketch finalists will be chosen to compete June 25-26 in a live showcase showdown at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC. Then the winners have three months to make their films, which will premiere at the 2010 Friars Club Comedy Film Festival, coming Sept. 23-26. The details: $30 application fee if postmarked by April 1, $40 by May 1, and late submissions by May 10 for $50. Fee must be in U.S. dollars (talking to you, Euros!). Also include at least two copies of your demo on DVD in NTSC format, plus an electronic image of your group photo and/or logo. If it's not in English, you've got to include subtitles. Only one entry per team. Time limit:...

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This is the song they play at the end of every dramatic TV show: Stuckey & Murray, live!

Do you ever wonder what song is playing during the montage of your favorite TV drama? No need to Google it. No need to Bing it, either. Our friends Stuckey & Murray have done the work for you, and here they are (or here they were Monday night at the ECNY Awards) to present their findings. Great job, fellas. They should have won an award just for this. If you like it and you want to put your ka-ching on it, this song will be on Stuckey & Murray's new album, expected sometime this...

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Shatner and Seth MacFarlane, animated together?!

Remember how Seth MacFarlane decided to extend his animated brand of comedy into YouTube shorts? Well, he's at it again, but this time he's in cahoots with the people from Priceline. Which means, William Shatner? Shatner has done animated comedy before. What do you mean you don't remember "The Gavones"?!? Ahem. This deal partners up Priceline.com, its "Priceline Negotiator" character and Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, all through Media Rights Capital (MRC). The series of four shorts showed up this week on a new Cavalcade Hulu channel, the pre-existing YouTube space, Priceline and other content providers. Here's the latest one that showed up yesterday, which opens with an animated Priceline ad voiced by Shatner, followed by a short about a gay knight. Pretty much what you'd expect. Roll it! Here's a quote from the release sent my way: “MRC has been thrilled with the success of Cavalcade. Our goal is to grow the audience and build on that success through our second partnership with Priceline,” said Modi Wiczyk, Co-CEO of Media Rights Capital. “Seth is one of America’s most brilliant creators and the Priceline Negotiator character has become synonymous with pop culture. Our integrated entertainment partnership allows us to deliver new content and allows Seth to do what he does best.” Previously: I wrote this in 2008 about MacFarlane on the...

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