Day: July 28, 2017

The conundrum of comedy criticism in 2017

This is my 11th consecutive year covering Montreal’s Just For Laughs, but the first in which I’ve experienced serious blowback while still at the festival. What’s going on here? A few different things, and I’ll try to clear the air on as many of them as I can. Usually, comedians, comedy fans and the industry all look forward to my JFL coverage, whether they’re in Montreal, too, or reading about it vicariously from afar. Last year, the feedback was raw and overwhelmingly positive when I assessed the problems with how the 2016 Unrepped New Faces were handled. This year,...

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Review: Aditi Mittal, “Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say” on Netflix

How’s your Hinglish? That’s not a rhetorical question. Because Aditi Mittal, the first Indian woman to get her own Netflix hour comedy special, freely mixes English and Hindi in Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say. Most of her work translates easily. But as I wrote in my review on Decider: “I realized that being 30 and single and an Indian woman is like being that Tupperware container at the back of the fridge,” Mittal jokes. “Where you’re like, ‘Is this still good?’” It is, and she is, but you’ll want to turn on the subtitles/closed-captioning because of Mittal’s use...

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Review: Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special on Netflix

Is Joe Mande using the power of “The Secret” with the title of his first Netflix hour comedy special? Not exactly. As I wrote in my review on Decider: The conceit, in fact, is that Mande wants to win the (fictitious) “American Humour Award,” and before we see him perform any actual stand-up, Mande talks to the camera in the style of TV shows he’s worked on such as Parks and Recreation and Modern Family, he seeks out advice from former “American Humour Award” winners Bo Burnham and George Wallace, and casually shoots hoops with “Joe’s Best Friend” and NBA All-Star Blake Griffin. It’s all...

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HBO bringing back All Def Comedy for new season in December 2017

After a one-hour special last fall, HBO has announced All Def Comedy is coming back for six new episodes this December. Tony Rock will host the series, as he did last year’s special. It’ll tape Oct. 10-11 at the Avalon Theatre in Los Angeles — performers yet to be announced, but HBO said they’ll include “stand-up performances in a variety of styles, spotlighting up-and-coming comics discovered at All Def Digital’s live weekly comedy showcase and special, and its online video platform to discover the best emerging comics, as well as “Def Comedy” veterans.” It continues a relationship with executive...

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Review: Sarah Tiana at Just For Laughs Montreal 2017

Sarah Tiana has appeared regularly on @midnight, and previously on the panels for E!’s Chelsea Lately and CMT’s The Josh Wolf Show, but as she notes on her website, those are perhaps the only things you know about Tiana. She also has written for many Comedy Central Roasts, for Jeff Ross’s The Burn, and finished runner-up in Montreal last July during Comedy Central’s first televised Roast Battle competition. That’s what finally got her invited back to Just For Laughs this year to perform her own headlining show, albeit one night only, Thursday at Katacombes. I’ve seen Tiana multiple times in recent...

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