Month: December 2018

Episode #240: 2018 Comedy MVPs with Jason Zinoman of The New York Times

Before we turn our calendars to 2019 and start making jokes about writing 2018 on all of our checks that we no longer write because we live in a digital age, it’s time once again for our annual tribute to the year’s most valuable players in comedy. This is the fourth time that New York Times comedy critic Jason Zinoman has joined me for this annual debate, and Zinoman got me thinking about whether we should expand our honors to include not only the comedy MVP candidates, but also Rookies of the Year, Comeback Comedian of the Year, and...

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Comedy films premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival

At the end of the year, as we celebrate the best of the past 12 months, it’s good to remember just how much we loved in cinema came out of the first month’s granddaddy of independent film fests, Sundance. This January, we saw the premieres of Bo Burnham’s big-screen directorial debut, Eighth Grade, as well as the surreal satire from Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You. 2018 Sundance also debuted David Wain’s National Lampoon biopic of Doug Kenney, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, Jason Reitman’s Tully, and Jason Mantzoukas’s first starring vehicle, The Long Dumb Road. That’s not to...

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This month in TV development

“Pilot Season” begins in earnest in January, so we’re in the home stretch for ordering scripts and sealing deals from the broadcast networks for potential new series in 2019-2020. We do know one sure thing for summer 2019, a sitcom starring Lake Bell, which had been in the works at FOX but will go ahead at ABC. Bless This Mess, a new single-cam co-created by Bell with Elizabeth Meriwether, will feature Bell and Dax Shepard as newlyweds who leave the big city for a simpler life in Nebraska that doesn’t turn out so simple. Comedy Central also will premiere...

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Celebrate the 12 Days of “The Ed Sullivan Show” with new Christmastime tribute on SiriusXM

The Ed Sullivan Show, the longest running primetime variety show in television history, gets a new life this Christmas Day on SiriusXM. “The 12 Days of Ed Sullivan,” featuring rare performances from dozens of the best stand-up comedians of the time, will air daily on SiriusXM Comedy Greats, channel 94, starting tonight. Throughout the special, SiriusXM will air performances and stand-up sets from the show’s archives, including rare material from George Carlin, Joan Rivers, Flip Wilson, Jack Benny, Phyllis Diller, Jerry Lewis, Jerry Stiller & Anne Meara, Albert Brooks, Alan King, Rodney Dangerfield and many more, in a tribute to one...

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Episode #239: Brian Regan

Brian Regan is most comedians’ favorite comedian. Even if you might not recognize him or place his name, Regan has stood out among stand-ups for the past two decades, with multiple comedy specials to his credit – including Comedy Central’s first and still only live special, recorded at Radio City Music Hall. Regan performed 28 times on David Letterman, and since added a few Fallons. As part of his deal with Netflix, Regan is releasing a four-episode series that’s part classic stand-up routines, part new sketches based on those premises. He produced it with Jerry Seinfeld. Stand Up and Away! comes out this Christmas Eve. So let’s...

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