Day: April 26, 2010

Conan writers reminisce at Bridgetown Comedy Festival; perform April 28 at the Hollywood Improv

One of the more intriguing events listed on the schedule for the 2010 Bridgetown Comedy Festival was a panel featuring writers for Conan O'Brien moderated by Jimmy Pardo, who had provided the audience warm-up comedy for the short-lived Conan edition of The Tonight Show. What would they say about the tumult that hit late-night TV just a few months earlier? What are they up to now? Are they still on Team Coco? You can hear their latest material that's not on TV by checking out the Conan O'Brien Writer's Room show on Wednesday, April 28, at the Hollywood Improv. The tentative lineup, hosted by Pardo, includes Josh Comers, Matt O‚ÄôBrien, Dan Cronin, Todd Levin, Brian McCann, Brian Kiley, Andres du Bouchet and Deon Cole. We'd get to some of that juicy news and gossip, but not after Pardo asked each of the writers present — Brian McCann, Josh Comers, Kevin Dorff and Dan Cronin — about how they originally had gotten hired for Conan. (Photo by Liezl) McCann, who joined Late Night in 1995, said he had submitted writing packages at least three times since the show debuted in 1993, and joked that he thought his friendship with Andy Richter through their mutual performances in the Chicago improv scene would have gotten him in easily. As far as what earned approval even back then? "Conan was looking for ideas. Just endless ideas," McCann said. Crazy, topical,...

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SNL #35.20 with Gabourey Sidibe and MGMT, recapped

We open cold with President Obama (Fred Armisen) blabbing away something about financial reform, and yes, I know Obama gave a speech to Wall Street on Thursday, but that doesn't mean we can go a couple of minutes into the show without a single joke or laugh line. Not a one. I started to fall asleep. Granted, I'm working on very little sleep over the weekend, but still. You know how some political comedians say the jokes sometimes write themselves? It's also nice when comedians write something funny, too, just in case the real-life joke isn't so funny. Gabourey Sidibe is hosting. You know that famous comedic actress? Well, she's young, right? That's all that counts, right? I don't know what counts. She's not going to be one of those sassy young big black women, is she? One thing's for certain. She's not Precious. But she is singing with the SNL cast in the background as part of the doo-wop phase that reminds us how great black people had it in the 1950s. So great. Fun fact: The last time I was in the Pacific time zone and missed SNL when it aired live, January Jones was the host. That turned out great. So great. Lowering expectations now. Even knowing what I know a full day later. Oh, look, it's the return of SNL's Suze Orman parody, starring Kristen...

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11-year-old critic interviews Larry the Cable Guy, unaware of his comedy career, old friends

You know what's so great about the 21st century? Celebrities don't have to worry about taking any hard-hitting questions anymore, because the Internet makes anyone with an Internet connection a star. Lights Camera Jackson is an 11-year-old "kid critic" of the movies, who already talks like he has been studying hours of TV footage of how "reporters" conduct interviews. And check out this get! Lights Camera Jackson has an exclusive sit-down with Larry the Cable Guy. You know, Mater from Cars? That's where everybody on the street knows Larry from, obviously. Who are these crazy old uncles of yours, Larry, and why are they crashing our interview? What's that? Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall? Never heard of 'em. Are they going to be voicing any cars in Cars 2? Look. I know it's unfair to be harsh toward an 11-year-old kid. After all, he should be just barely smarter than a fifth grader. What would he know about Larry's stand-up career, or even know what Larry's "B-cup" punchline even means? Of course he's a big fan of Cars. It's just one of those Mondays when I stare outside at the rain and wonder if this is the future of celebrity journalism, or if this is what celebrity journalism has been like all along, and it's just dawning on me now. You can think whatever you want when you watch...

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Diablo Cody, Michaela Watkins spoof HBO’s “Hung” by flipping the script for “Tight” (NSFW video)

If you thought that HBO's series, Hung, was a little odd for the premise of a series — a guy who's otherwise down on his luck realizes he can make money becoming a male prostitute because of how he is "hung" — then just imagine what it'd be like if the same story were told from a woman's perspective. That's what screenwriter Diablo Cody did, and with director Jill Soloway, they cast Michaela Watkins as the star of their version, called Tight. Also features: Nick Kroll, John Bowie, Michael Hitchcock, Craig Anstett, Jordan Rubin, Jim Turner, Jamie Nakamura and Too Short. How come this isn't on the TV? Eggsactly. I mentioned the video is NSFW, right? Alrighty then, roll the...

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Robin Williams opens up about longstanding rumors of joke theft on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast

I was among the witnesses for Marc Maron's live taping of his WTF podcast over the weekend from the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, in which Hari Kondabolu, Ian Edwards and others gave Maron the business in front of a packed live audience. That should be a fun one to listen to. Maron told me in Portland that this new episode of WTF is even more illuminating. And listening to Maron spend an hour with Robin Williams, I can agree it's quite a treat. Williams treats Maron with sincerity for the hour, only rarely jumping into bits and characters, and talks about his recent relapse into alcoholism, dealing with life as a stand-up both now and back in the day, and even addresses the longstanding rumors that have dogged him about joke theft. Williams says when he drops in at comedy clubs now, he won't even pay any attention to the show before and after he's on, saying he'll sit upstairs in the restaurant instead (which I can attest to personally when I've seen him recently at the Comedy Cellar, where he always has been more than gracious toward other comedians). That latter part comes in more than a half-hour into Maron's chat with Williams from his Marin County home in Northern California. But the whole thing is worth listening to. So do it. You can listen to the new WTF...

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