Month: February 2011

Listen to Jay Leno’s reaction to Howard Stern’s allegations, and other thoughts

Jay Leno was a stand-up comedian long before he was whomever you think he is now, and he's still the workaholic he has been for decades. In a new interview with City Pages in Minnesota's Twin Cities to promote an upcoming gig there, Leno reacted pretty fairly to recent allegations by Howard Stern that Leno had stolen joke ideas for The Tonight Show, among other things. Here's an audio excerpt, on video. Roll it!   Or if you prefer reading Leno's response: Well first of all, if you see, there's a special called Jay Leno American Dream Special I taped it in 1984, we did a segment called Jaywalking, where I go out and talk to people on the street. First of all, I did not invent that. Steve Allen was probably the first person on TV to do it, but people in radio did it, the New York Post did the "man on the street" interview. This is something that gets terribly overblown. I know a couple weeks ago Conan was accused of taking a piece from Kimmel; he didn't. It was Sarah Palin hunting, and they showed her aiming a gun, and I think every comic in America did Sarah Palin killing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. And the fact that two shows happened to have a similar idea, you don't have to see every show. it doesn't...

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Watch Kumail Nanjiani perform on Conan

Kumail Nanjiani has some thoughts and memories about movies to share, and share he did on last night's episode of Conan. Spoiler alert: Horror movies don't make him cry (he loves those), but other movies have. Nanjiani also recently had his first show in Orange County, Calif., and that was a horror show all its own. Roll the clip!...

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Jon Fisch’s “Dear Comix” letter

From last night's tribute show for the employees of Comix, NYC's comedy club which abruptly shut down earlier this month, as delivered by comedian Jon Fisch at the 92YTribeca: Dear Comix: I will miss you‚Ķ I will miss walking in and thinking I was at the wrong place only to realize moments later that it was just that the lounge was remodeled again. I will miss playing a game when my favorite staff members weren‚Äôt there: Day off or laid off? You provided job security akin to a season of The Apprentice. Your booker changed more times than the menu. By the way, best comped salmon in town. Just kidding, best salmon! Because of you, I had sex with 2 different ladies, opened for one of my comedy idols, Larry Miller, and went with Kambri to pick up Aries Spiers from jail the night he tit slapped a woman in the front row of his show. You opened the door to new comics, old comics, new ideas for shows, and long sets for New York comics, and our podcast, In the Tank. Plus, I‚Äôm pretty sure Sean L. McCarthy sleeps in the Green Room. You treated comics with respect, which is more often than not overlooked in this business. So thank you, thank you, to all of you that kept things going at Comix. Extra special thank you for having...

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Too soon? Not when Jeffrey Ross undertakes his experiment honoring dead celebrities: “Roast in Peace”

The Friars Club and Comedy Central are having a high time roasting the celebrities of today. But who among us can roast the celebrities and historical figures of yesterday and days of yore? The Adam Carolla Show has decided, and many could agree, that only one person, one man, could undertake what he calls an "experiment" in honoring the dead. Ladies and gentlemen, your Roastmaster General, Jeffrey Ross, presents "Roast In Peace." It's a likely sell-out on Friday night at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood. But is it a one-time-only experiment? I asked Jeffrey Ross himself to find out! So how's it going, preparing to roast the dead? "I'm trying to write this show in time for Friday, and then write this (Comedy Central) Roast for (Donald) Trump. When it rains it pours." How'd the idea come about? "Adam's producer, Mike August, thought of it, as a way to honor the deceased, and put the final nail in the coffin of celebrities we care about." Was it a hard sell? "I didn't agree until he booked the date. I thought it was a bad idea. Possibly a lot of bad karma for me. But I thought if I could do it lovingly and with affection, it could come off OK." Is there a formula to combat the element of "too soon?" "I think each celebrity has their own place for it's...

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Michael Showalter’s promotional blitz for his book, “Mr. Funny Pants” (includes Neko Case, Kevin Kline!)

Michael Showalter has a new book out called "Mr. Funny Pants." It's funny! And Showalter is wearing pants! At least he is during the winter, because it's too cold not to. C'mon, people. Think about it for just a second, would you? Back to Showalter now. He's celebrating the release with a couple of events here in New York City, tonight at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square with special musical guest Neko Case (show her some love! no, seriously, show her some love, because she is like me and like you and wants to have some lovin' in her life, and don't make me link to the evidence of such). On Sunday, Feb. 27, Showalter and "Pretty Good Friends" throw a sold-out party at The Bell House in Brooklyn, with Eugene Mirman, Reggie Watts, Kumail Nanjiani, a cappella group"Nonsequitur" and special guests. In between, and afterward, Showalter's book tour and shows will hit Philadelphia, D.C., and several other cities. Check the Mr. Funny Pants tour page for your nearest location and time. But what about the book? Would you like to hear Showalter read the beginning of it? He'll read for you via Vanity Fair. Would you like to hear someone more famous, like, say, Kevin Kline, read from it? Showalter can arrange that for you right now via YouTube:   Further reading: Showalter interviewed about the book and life by...

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