Day: July 19, 2012

R.I.P. Tom Davis (1952-2012)

Tom Davis, who formed a comedy team with Al Franken before both Franken and Davis became original writers for Saturday Night Live, died today after a lengthy battle with cancer. Davis was 59. Davis won four Emmys for his comedy TV writing. On SNL, he created memorable sketches such as “Nick the Lounge Singer” for Bill Murray, “Theodoric of York” for Steve Martin, and, decades later, “The Continental” for Christopher Walken. But Davis also appeared onscreen, sometimes with Franken. Here he was, in 2010, reflecting on working with the original cast and crew of SNL, during an interview with...

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Nick Kroll’s Comedy Central ad for Chikk Club; take that Chick-fil-A

Nick Kroll’s Comedy Central sketch series, Kroll Show, doesn’t even debut until 2013. But Kroll and his friends already had taped a satirical response to Chick-fil-A, whose owner is so ultra-conservative, he thinks homosexuality is a sin. And he doesn’t open his dumb fast-food stores on Sundays, when any good American wants to eat a chicken sandwich. Double dumb. The company even released a statement to reiterate Chick-fil-A Founder Dan Cathy’s beliefs against same-sex marriage. So here is a satirical response from a rival chain called Chikk Club, whose customers don’t mind that the fast-food makers are homophobic, racist...

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Andy Nulman reflects upon 30 years of Montreal’s Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs may never have become the world’s largest international group of comedy festivals if not for Andy Nulman. After all, it’s difficult to imagine now. But in its first two years, Just For Laughs only existed for a weekend in Montreal — and only then for its French-speaking residents. Nulman joined in year three to bring in the Anglophones. Fast forward to July 2012. Today, Montreal’s 30th annual Just For Laughs kicks the English-speaking shows into full gear with the addition of Zoofest shows for the second half of the now-monthlong celebration of funny and congregation of...

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TODAY show picks “best” stand-up comedian

NBC’s TODAY show today picked the best stand-up comedian. I’ll give you three guesses. No, it wasn’t you. No, it wasn’t the show that picked, but the wine-drinking duo of Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. And not, they weren’t really out to find the best stand-up comedian. Rather, this was the second in a monthly (?) segment the network morning show is conducting called “Quest For The Best.” They sought up-and-coming comedians. Undiscovered talent. As opposed to what NBC’s own America’s Got Talent is looking for? Anyhow. That’s not the point. Point is, they put out the call,...

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Assessing the Emmy nominees in comedies for 2012

Emmy nominations came out, per usual, in the wee hours of the morning so the big three broadcast TV morning shows could cover it live — followed by frantic press releases and phone calls to and from the happy honorees, their publicists, and the rest of the mainstream media. Did the Academy of Television Arts & Science really paid attention to TV in the past 12 months, in terms of comedy? It certainly heard all of the buzz about Lena Dunham’s Girls, giving her HBO rookie show four nods (Outstanding Comedy Series, as well as individual acting, writing and...

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