Day: February 4, 2011

North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival celebrates 10 years of celebrating comedy down South

The south's largest comedy festival has risen again this week in North Carolina. I haven't been yet, but performers who have done so, returned saying only nice things about the NC Comedy Arts Festival outside of Chapel Hill. Plus, Emo Philips is there this year! Check out the rest of the lineups… Through Feb. 5: Sketch schedule Feb. 9-13, 2011: Stand-up schedule Feb. 16-20, 2011: Improv schedule...

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RIP: Joyce Sloane, The Second City’s maternal influence (1930-2011)

My condolences go out to the entire Second City family, as their maternal leader for almost all of its first 50 years, Joyce Sloane, died last night. She was 80. The official notice from The Second City on Sloane's passing : We are heartbroken to let you know that Joyce Sloane passed away last night. The loss is immeasurable for her family, our theatre and the many communities that she touched with her generosity and amazing spirit. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cheryl and Sasha. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, February 8th at 11:00am at Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3760 N. Pine Grove. At 12:00pm, Second City will host a luncheon and open house followed by a memorial service at 1:30pm. Andrew AlexanderExecutive Producer of The Second City On its Twitter feed, The Second City added: "The loss is monumental but her legacy carries on forever in the work of the artists of whom she was so proud." As the Chicago Tribune noted today, Sloane had retired as producer emeritus but had held just about every title you could think of at the venerale Chicago improv/sketch comedy company. And in doing so, she shepherded the careers of many great comedians during their beginnings. John Belushi. Gilda Radner. So many others. "Everybody who comes to Second City has issues," said Tim Kazurinsky. "She was the mother to the...

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Kurt Braunohler on launching his new project tonight: “Night of the Living” late-night talk show

You may be used to seeing Kurt Braunohler onstage or on TV with his comedy partner, Kristen Schaal. You may have even seen Braunohler onstage solo doing stand-up, or with improv groups at The PIT in NYC. Get ready to see him in a brand-new, old-school comedy role: Late-night talk-show host. Tonight at The PIT, Braunohler launches his new monthly project: Night of the Living. His first guests will be Eugene Mirman and Jon Glaser, with Adira Amram and the Experience serving as his first house band, and a secret musical guest performance. What gives, Kurt? "I just really wanted to be onstage more. I wanted to find a show where I could be on the stage the entire time, and found a talk show would be the best way," he told me. Seriously, though, Braunohler says Night of the Living is about wanting to be more relatable and connect with audiences, and also conduct interviews, "and a talk show is the perfect venue for so many weird things to happen, but in a format that's very recognizable." That's all well and good, but aren't there already plenty of talk shows, whether on TV or on stages around the city and other cities? "What's going to set it apart from other shows is its sensibility. It's a talk show for us. It's a talk show that we are going to like....

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Time capsule: Before “Late Night,” see David Letterman in the morning with Steve Martin in 1980

Last night's Late Show with David Letterman included some remarkable TV, and not just because it felt like it could have been 1994 again — what with Howard Stern bashing Jay Leno over three segments, and a musical medley from Naughty By Nature (that, yes, including both O.P.P. and Hip-Hop Hooray). Watching Stern and Letterman dance verbally around each other, watching Stern idolize Letterman while also mentioning his sex scandal multiple times, watching them talk about their history of telephone calls, watching Stern talk about therapy, watching Letterman watch Stern. All great stuff. Of course, CBS won't put this online for you kids who didn't watch it then to watch now. So I dug up something else for you to enjoy. Here are a series of clips from an episode of Letterman's short-lived run in the morning for NBC in 1980, when he had an hour after the Today show and before Wheel of Fortune and Card Sharks. Yes. Before we had Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford to mock in the mid-mornings, well before that, we had Dave. His earliest incarnation of his talk show career on network TV. The David Letterman Show included stage manager Biff Henderson, the set layout is remarkably similar from how it still is 31 years later on a different network, and even back then, Dave was doing "Small Town News."   This...

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Stephen Colbert auctions off “Portraits 5, Stephen (s)” for charity, public viewing planned in NYC

Stephen Colbert has gotten portraits of himself into galleries, restaurants and museums. How about in your home? Portrait 5, Stephen (s), the fifth in the series, could be yours for a price. Colbert and Comedy Central announced today that it'd be auctioned off on March 8 by The Phillips de Pury & Company to benefit DonorsChoose.org, an online charity connecting donors to classrooms in need. You can see the painting beforehand from Friday, Feb. 25 through Monday, March 7 at 450 West 15th St., in New York City. The auction itself will be taped for future broadcast on The Colbert Report. What makes this one special is its enhancements. Shepard Fairey spray-painted his iconic "OBEY" on it, followed by a horns-and-mustache Sharpie treatment from Andres Serrano, a glance askew by Frank Stella, and an autographed signature from Colbert himself. Colbert said: ‚ÄúTurns out I‚Äôm an artist. That finally explains why I cut off my ear. Many thanks to Phillips de Pury for including this portrait in their auction. I am honored to be sold in the prestigious manner usually reserved for foreclosed homes and champion hogs.‚Äù You can see how art became life became TV became life became art, in this clip from December in which Colbert showed off the piece and made it special for his guest Steve Martin. Related: The Stephen Colbert Portrait Gallery. Updated: The painting netted $32,500 in the...

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