Month: March 2010

Sarah Palin tells jokes on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show,” but will we ever know why?

Sarah Palin, the woman who almost could have been vice president, and certainly was the governor of Alaska before she quit to be famous full-time, decided she wanted to be a stand-up comedian last night on the TV. And since she was a guest on Jay Leno's second show back as host of The Tonight Show, this dream was entirely attainable. The one thing I still cannot figure out is why Palin wanted to do this. Certainly she had a favorable audience, who clapped unprovoked earlier in the hour when Jay Leno even mentioned the anti-government "Tea Party" movement. But what does any of this or that have to do with Palin getting a second introduction onstage to stand up and tell straightforward political jokes? I have not a clue right now. But if you'd like to watch the end of Leno's interview with Palin, which segues into her "stand-up comedy," then here is that clip! If you have access to Hulu, this same clip of Palin and Leno is available for viewing...

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Kevin Nealon hosts live comedy and a talk show, Tuesdays at The Laugh Factory

Sometimes it seems like every comedian has a podcast and a streaming online talk show, because I think every comedian has launched one in the past year. Where's yours? Kevin Nealon has started doing something slightly different on Tuesday nights at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. It appears to be live comedy show, combined with a live talk show. The club is posting clips from the first week already. Here are highlights from Nealon's frank discussion with Robert Kelly on sex and marriage. Do I need to tell you it's NSFW? I think I just did. Roll the...

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Leslie Jones, aka Big Les, may be a “Problem Child,” but knows when to take Katt Williams’ advice

Memphis native Leslie Jones, aka Big Les, began doing comedy more than two decades ago when she was a student at Colorado State, but only released her first stand-up comedy DVD, Problem Child, in February — when it also appeared on Showtime. Jones took some time recently to talk to me about her special and lessons she has learned in her years on the road, including opening for Katt Williams on his "final" stand-up theater tour. But first, here's a clip in which Big Les talks about being, well, Big Les. Roll it! (Note: Contains profanities) After her opening bit, Jones talks about not just basketball, but also wanting to be Nadia Comaneci when she was younger, cartwheeling around the stage and using the shower rod for a joke. How would you compare athletics with stand-up comedy? "I guess the training. You have to have that mental strength. You have to have that stamina to deal with the road. You have to give your A game. You have to perform. Yeah. When I was thinking of Lindsay Vonn, when she was injured, everyone had that pressure on her. But she still had to get onstage and perform." Did you watch a lot of the Winter Olympics, then? "I love the Olympics. The Olympics to me is like soldiers that we send out. I hate when people don't watch the...

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Comedy Central yanks Daily Show, Colbert from Hulu, though they’re still online (for Americans)

Brian Stelter at the New York Times just reported on the news that Viacom and Comedy Central have decided to pull online streaming of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report from Hulu. This means a lot to Hulu. But what does it matter to you where you watch these shows, if you watch them online and can continue to do so on the network's home pages? And as my Canadian, European and Australian fans (and readers elsewhere, too) always are quick to remind me, Hulu's free service isn't available outside of the United States, anyhow. Stelter's piece notes that this is the first big "fracture" between the networks and Hulu, although Hulu recently picked up a big prize in ABC's programming — especially considering ABC's own proprietary media player is not fun to use. It does reveal, however, the continued difficulties in figuring out how to make enough revenue off of the free Internet. And with rumors abounding over the past several months that Hulu might try to institute fees of some sort or another, that's got to be resonate with casual viewers. Here's part of the note Hulu's Andy Forssell wrote on the company blog today: In the past 21 months, we‚Äôve had very strong results for both Hulu and Comedy Central, in terms of the views and revenue we‚Äôve generated, thanks to a...

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Trying to make sense out of “The Marriage Ref”

A very strange thing happened on Sunday night. Jerry Seinfeld introduced a new show on NBC and virtually nobody seemed to like it! Wait. That's not strange. That happened before, when The Seinfeld Chronicles pilot appeared many summers ago, only to blossom into Seinfeld in the 1990s and make everyone think he invented the sitcom. But what about this "hybrid" of a show called The Marriage Ref? NBC short-circuited its coverage of the closing ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver just to make sure we saw a half-hour preview of the series as scheduled at 10:30 p.m. Eastern/Pacific. And roughly 14.5 million people kept the channel on for the half-hour, which is a healthy amount of viewers these days, until you realize that even more people watched CBS at the same time to watch the boss of White Castle ruin his buns. That literally happened. More amazing was the instantly critical reaction to The Marriage Ref, as chronicled by Brian Stelter of the New York Times into insta-bad-buzz, and then today we've already got my former colleague David Hinckley at the New York Daily News trying to fix the show before its proper debut on Thursday. Can it be saved? Does it even need to be saved already? What I do know is this: Of the 607 people I follow currently on Twitter, only one person had anything...

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