Day: April 24, 2014

Earthquake on The Arsenio Hall Show

Earthquake, the comedian not the tectonic shift of plates underground, is 50 years old now, and on Wednesday night’s Arsenio, he joked about how dating has changed since he was a younger single man. Take that, Fantasia. Don’t take that, Precious. Earthquake ain’t afraid of a “little ugly.” This could get a little ugly. Roll the...

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This IS Happening: Ari Shaffir’s “This Is Not Happening” storytelling showcase upgraded from webseries to TV series by Comedy Central

When Comedy Central executives celebrated their slate of webseries on CC:Studios five months ago with a live performance of Ari Shaffir’s “This Is Not Happening” storytelling showcase, it seemed like an odd move. The show at New York City’s Webster Hall was great, with Steve Rannazzisi, Al Madrigal, Kurt Metzger, Jay Oakerson and Barry Rothbart telling embarrassing but true stories from their lives, as Shaffir hosted to a capacity crowd. Shaffir was happy. The comedians were happy. Comedy Central was happy. And yet, they didn’t film any of it for the webseries. Turns out it was all a test...

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Review: Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” on HBO

700 Sundays debuted on a Saturday night on HBO. Not that it matters. Because Billy Crystal’s one-man show spans seven decades and all seven days of the week, looking back on a long and storied career. The title refers to the approximate number of days Crystal knew his father before his sudden death when Billy was only 15, but his retrospective touches on all of our childhood memories. For me, I’m confronted with the knowledge that Crystal’s own comedy continues to influence me as it did when I was 15 — from his old Jewish accent that I’d mimic...

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Comedy Central programming chief Kent Alterman reflects on his career path, that of Comedy Central comedians

In case you missed it on the original audio podcast earlier this month, you now can watch¬†Kent Alterman, Comedy Central’s president of original programming, speak for 73 minutes with Andy Greenwald of Grantland about Alterman’s career arc. Alterman met Amy Poehler and the founding four of the Upright Citizens Brigade before they were famous and before he was at Comedy Central, but was the guy who put them on that network. Now he’s shepherding original series such as Broad City. Alterman had just flown back from Cannes selling Broad City to MIPCOM. Because of the timing, Alterman’s thoughts on...

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Shecky Greene quits Friars Club over Gilbert Gottfried joke?!

The Friars Club has a legacy as an institution for no-holds-barred comedy and a celebration of such. So when the Friars feted Freddie Roman upon the end of his 20-year-reign as the Dean of the Friars Club, Gilbert Gottfried decided to unleash a barrage of “unprintable” material to the assembled audience.¬†Barry Dougherty, the Friars communications director, shot the above photo of Gottfried on Monday night and typed to Twitter: “killing at Friars salute to Freddie Roman/Stewie Stone–unprintable, of course!” Alas, ’twas too much for 88-year-old Shecky Greene. Allegedly. Greene, a nightclub stand-up star in Las Vegas from the 1950s...

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