Month: May 2013

A look back at Richard Pryor: “Omit the Logic”

Ask most comedians today who they love and loved watching perform, and Richard Pryor’s name is more likely than not to make the cut as one of the top two influencers for a generation of stand-ups. That’s the sense you’ll get at the start of watching the new documentary about him — Richard Pryor, “Omit the Logic” — which premieres tonight on Showtime. It previously screened on the big screen this spring for the Tribeca Film Festival. Directed by Marina Zenovich (who also helmed a documentary on Roman Polanski), it opens with plaudits from Dave Chappelle, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg,...

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Before SNL: The Lonely Island’s history with MTV, FOX and Comedy Central

Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taconne were childhood friends in Berkeley, Calif., who went off to separate colleges before reuniting and forming The Lonely Island. Their short film collaborations led them to Saturday Night Live, feature films, sitcoms and two hit albums of their comedy hip-hop songs — “Incredibad” and “Turtleneck & Chain.” Their third album, “The Wack Album,” is due out June 11, 2013. As the trio explained to Ron Bennington on Friday for SiriusXM’s “Unmasked,” perhaps their biggest break came a year before they landed on SNL and struck YouTube gold with “Lazy Sunday.” In 2004,...

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“Why does my vagina have to be your crutch?” Lindy West debates Jim Norton on FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell

If you’re looking for a healthy, lengthy debate about how comedy and feminism don’t have to be mutually exclusive concepts that tear at each other with straw-man arguments, then, well… Here’s a five-minute discussion, moderated by W. Kamau Bell on his FX late-night program, Totally Biased, from last night featuring comedian Jim Norton (SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony) and blogger Lindy West (Jezebel.com). It’s reduced to shorthand, because it’s only five minutes. So let me reduce it even further: Hack is hack, so stop hacking women to pieces from the stage, or off the stage. Bell says the whole debate...

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Review: Colin Quinn, “Unconstitutional,” at Barrow Street Theatre

If “Long Story Short” told the story of the rise and fall of every empire, including our own, then Colin Quinn’s new one-man show, “Unconstitutional,” zeroes in on what makes the United States of America so unique and yet not quite immune itself to the perils of contemporary culture and decay. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. For you, as an American, the party is over. Quinn just happens to be the bartender and the counsel we need to hear at last call. Quinn workshopped “Unconstitutional” over the winter at The Creek and The Cave, the Long...

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Review: Trevor Noah, “Born a Crime”

Growing up in South Africa with an African mother and a Swiss-German father, the nation’s prevailing policy of Apartheid at the time meant that Trevor Noah had been “Born a Crime.” That’s the title Noah adopts for his one-man show, “The Racist,” which over the past year he has performed at the grand comedy festivals in Edinburgh (presented by Eddie Izzard) and this spring in Melbourne, and in between in London and across Africa. His off-Broadway run began in New York City earlier this month, and “Born a Crime” is now extended through June 29, 2013, Wednesday through Saturday nights at the Culture Project (45...

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