Day: August 1, 2014

First impressions, New Faces Characters at Montreal’s Just For Laughs 2014

I’ve been writing so much about members of The Reckoning, that I should have reckoned that another of the iO West’s improv collective would be the breakout star of the New Faces Characters showcases this summer in Montreal. This year’s showcase had a high standard to meet, with UCB co-founder Matt Besser hosting and setting the stage by claiming to set a new world record for most characters portrayed within five minutes. “The faster you can do your characters, the funnier they are!” He still left some room in the character playground for everyone else, thankfully. It’s always amusing...

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Last Comic Standing 8: From a Top 5 to a Top 4

NBC’s Last Comic Standing made the penultimate cruelest cut last night, winnowing the field from five to four. The show also introduced Jay Leno as a guest mentor, although I’m not sure what advice he gave them to help in this particular challenge, nor why our finalists had to fly to Las Vegas to meet him, but that’s their story and they’re sticking to it. Leno actually had some interesting things to say, just not fit for broadcast. No more wacky or even plausible challenges left. Now it’s just stand-up comedy. With our judges — Russell Peters, Keenen Ivory...

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Jay Leno’s words of wisdom to NBC’s Top 5, Last Comic Standing 8

Jay Leno appeared briefly on NBC’s Last Comic Standing as the guest mentor for season eight’s top five finalists, before they faced a studio audience and the judges in the first full head-to-head-to-head-to-head-to-head stand-up challenge. We didn’t get to hear or see much of Leno on the TV broadcast Thursday night. Thankfully, then, NBC and the show put more of his talk with the finalists (Nikki Carr, Joe Machi, Rod Man, Lachlan Patterson and Rocky LaPorte) online to share. Such as Leno on women in comedy, where he said Phyllis Diller was so funny but had to ugly herself...

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Revisiting “The Rocky LaPorte Show,” a CBS sitcom pilot from 2000

One of the plum rewards of winning Last Comic Standing is a development deal with NBC to see if the network can make a sitcom star out of the stand-up comedian champion. Rocky LaPorte, who made the final five on Last Comic this summer, may not have won that deal this year. But LaPorte does not what that sensation feels like. Back in 2000, LaPorte starred in The Rocky LaPorte Show, a multi-cam sitcom pilot for CBS and Paramount that you don’t remember because the network never picked it up to series. That fate befalls hundreds of development deals...

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Sneak peek: Full episode of IFC’s “Garfunkel and Oates”

IFC’s adaptation of musical-comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates into TV series format premieres next Thursday (Aug. 7, 2014), but you can sneak a peek of a full episode right here and now, or whenever, online. In the “Speechless” episode, Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci go on a double-date to test out their theory that men are more attracted to women who do not speak. Roll it! Garfunkel and Oates centers on the aspirations and misadventures of the female comedy-folk duo Lindhome (Garfunkel) and Micucci (Oates), with songs and plots intertwining. It’s produced by Abominable Pictures and executive produced by Lindhome, Micucci and...

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