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Episode #48: 2015 Comedy MVPs with Jason Zinoman of the New York Times


New York Times critic Jason Zinoman joined me for a special year in review of 2015. Instead of just glossing over the headlines like most year-end retrospectives, Jason and I debated what it means to be the comedian of the year and who deserves to be considered in that discussion for 2015. Which means we talk quite a bit about Amy Schumer, obviously, but also Tig Notaro, Aziz Ansari, Kevin Hart, Louis CK, Jim Gaffigan and a lot of other names and highlights -- not just this year, but digging into the past. Is the best comedian the Humor Heisman or the Humor Homecoming King or Queen? Or is the comedian of the year the funniest, or the MVP of comedy?

We dig in, so let's get to it!

Who was the Comedy MVP of 2015?

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  1. Sean L. McCarthy

    The Year of Amy Schumer included:
    - Writing and starring in her first major motion picture, "Trainwreck," which has earned $110 million in the United States since July
    - Winning the Emmy Award and the Peabody Award for her groundbreaking work writing and starring in her Comedy Central sketch series, "Inside Amy Schumer"
    - Hosting the MTV Movie Awards
    - Headlining the Oddball festival that played to crowds of 10,000+ across the country this summer
    - Opening for Madonna and performing alongside her at Madison Square Garden
    - Hosting Saturday Night Live
    - Upstaging Kanye West and Kim Kardashian with a pratfall on the Time 100 red carpet
    - Making the Time 100 list
    - Appearing on The Bachelorette and turning down the show's offer to become the next one
    - Appearing on the covers of GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Elle and many more magazines
    - Standing alongside her cousin, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), to call for an end to gun violence
    -- Becoming BFFs with Jennifer Lawrence and adding the Oscar-winning actress to her Squad
    -- Turning down a book deal, then turning around and earning a reported $8 million for a new book deal
    -- Releasing her first HBO stand-up comedy special, directed by Chris Rock

  2. Sean L. McCarthy

    The Year of Tig Notaro included: Starring in a documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, "Tig," that is now available on Netflix
    -- Starring in a documentary road trip comedy special at the SXSW festival, "Knock Knock It's Tig Notaro," that later showed up on Showtime
    -- Starring in her first HBO stand-up comedy special
    -- Starring in her own semi-autobiographical sitcom, "One Mississippi," that just got picked up to series by Amazon Prime
    That's four different cable and streaming networks in one calendar year -- HBO and Showtime, Netflix and Amazon. Who else has ever done that?!?!

    • david

      Good point about her varied success, but bear in mind how few years there were 4 cable and streaming networks to appear on.

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