Day: April 21, 2010

Taping Comedy Central’s “Mash Up” special: Swan song for Blerds, or potentially its phoenix rising

Earlier in the 2000s, a group of Chicago stand-up comedians began working together to make their careers a little more innovative and in tunes with the birth of YouTube. They were known as Blerds. Many of them have splintered off to Los Angeles and New York, but next week, several of them will reunite to tape a Comedy Central special called "Mash Up." The taping includes TJ Miller, Matt Braunger, Kumail Nanjiani, Hannibal Buress and Kyle Kinane, with two shows April 29 at The Hollywood Music Box. Get tickets and information for Mash Up here. Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the Blerds filmmaker putting Mash Up together, chatted with me about the project. Here are excerpts from our chat: The title of your show is Mash Up, and the brief description over at Star Flow Entertainment when you sign up for tickets says: "Picture a day in the life of (4) of your funniest friends, with the video to prove just how ridiculously funny their daily interactions can be." How will this play out on stage, exactly? Jordan: Haha! Disregard that description. The dude in charge of promoting wrote that. me: We don't the people to be misled! Jordan: Mash Up is sort of the swan song to a lot of stuff that was coming out of Chicago before the mass exodus. The show on the 29th will be straight stand up with 5...

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Video: What if Domino’s Pizza really took their focus group feedback seriously?

I'm heading to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in a long time this weekend to check out the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, so this new video from a few former Seattle stand-ups is a nice and timely treat. Fahim Anwar, Tracy Tuffs and Geoff Brousseau poke holes and fun into the current Domino's Pizza ad campaign, in which the pizza company's chefs receive feedback from focus groups, then revisit the focus group members with their new pizza pies. Directed by Aristotle Athiras. Roll the video...

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Taping Comedy Central’s “Mash Up” special: Swan song for Blerds, or potentially its phoenix rising

Earlier in the 2000s, a group of Chicago stand-up comedians began working together to make their careers a little more innovative and in tunes with the birth of YouTube. They were known as Blerds. Many of them have splintered off to Los Angeles and New York, but next week, several of them will reunite to tape a Comedy Central special called “Mash Up.” The taping includes TJ Miller, Matt Braunger, Kumail Nanjiani, Hannibal Buress and Kyle Kinane, with two shows April 29 at The Hollywood Music Box. Get tickets and information for Mash Up here. Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the Blerds filmmaker putting Mash Up together, chatted with me about the project. Here are excerpts from our chat: The title of your show is Mash Up, and the brief description over at Star Flow Entertainment when you sign up for tickets says: “Picture a day in the life of (4) of your funniest friends, with the video to prove just how ridiculously funny their daily interactions can be.” How will this play out on stage, exactly? Jordan: Haha! Disregard that description. The dude in charge of promoting wrote that. me: We don’t the people to be misled! Jordan: Mash Up is sort of the swan song to a lot of stuff that was coming out of Chicago before the mass exodus. The show on the 29th will be straight stand up with 5 top notch Chicago comics,...

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Comedy Central orders 7 additional episodes of “Ugly Americans”

While you were wondering if Sarah Silverman and Demetri Martin would get renewed, Comedy Central announced today it had ordered seven additional episodes of its new animated series Ugly Americans. The cable network have the series a huge promotional push, and it has been rewarded with an average of two million viewers for its first month of episodes on Wednesday nights following South Park. The series follows Mark Lilly (voiced by Matt Oberg) through a New York City populated by all sorts of creatures who need to be integrated into the melting pot of America. The main voice cast includes Kurt Metzger, Natasha Leggero, Randy Pearlstein, Michael-Leon Wooley, Larry Murphy, Devin Clark, Pete Holmes and Julie Klausner. Several cast members from SNL also have lent their voices to episodes in the debut season. The second batch of episodes will air in October. Here's a timely clip with a timelier Larry King joke. Roll...

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Perils of comedy on Twitter. Case study: Parallel thinking, topical; see Dane Cook, Aziz Ansari

Writing comedy on Twitter carries with it some of the same perils of performing comedy in front of a live audience: The notion that the audience may have heard it all before, either through parallel thinking (or if you dared to steal the joke outright), that the material is hack, that the jokes are offensive without any redeeming value, or, worst of all, that you turn out to not be funny at all. Twitter being a very social medium, it also has become an alluring device for comedians. Instead of jotting down ideas in a notebook as they strike you, comedians can immediately share their wit with their followers online. Twitter also serves as a real-time counter to that perpetual threat comedians face from the public at-large, that any random person will, upon hearing you're a comedian, try to get you to "say something funny." Instead of feeling cornered by that threat, a comedian now can simply point the offender to his/her Twitter. At the same time, though, Twitter challenges every comedian to be better at their job. As tempting and as appealing as it may be to weigh in and share every thought you have with your followers, remember that millions of other people are doing the very same thing at every minute of the day. So an Apple employee lost the next-generation super-secret iPhone, and Gizmodo paid...

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