Day: February 13, 2019

Review: Amanda Seales, “I Be Knowin'” on HBO

In the early 2010s, HBO focused on very particular types of Girls: Young, white, privileged, hipster. By the end of the decade, the not-TV cable network has not only diversified but also grown up, including the Insecure Issa Rae, the 2 Dope Queens Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, and coming soon, A Black Lady Sketch Show starring Robin Thede. At the center of the Venn diagram for these three shows, you’ll find one Amanda Seales. Seales has released her first stand-up comedy special, I Be Knowin’. You likely already know or recognize her, though, for the 37-year-old has enjoyed a variety of roles over the course of...

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Review: Howie Mandel Presents Howie Mandel at the Howie Mandel Comedy Club, on Showtime

When’s the last time you saw him giggling after blowing up a latex glove on his head? He still had a full head of hair when he recorded Howie Mandel on Ice for HBO in 1997. So for his first stand-up special since Y2K, Mandel feels he has something to prove. This Canadian’s still got talent, too. As he walks onstage inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, he takes a minute to take in the audience screams and reply to them. Mandel, now 63, claims he’s never been one to “Weeee-ooooh!” but there’s more than a little...

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Review: Sebastian Maniscalco, “Stay Hungry,” on Netflix

After a brief period billing himself as just Sebastian, Maniscalco has leaned into his Italian surname and heritage. As the bit above illustrates, the guy next to him on the treadmill still smarts the comedian in such a way that proves why his production company in the end credits is called “What’s Wrong With People?” It’s a great bit. Maniscalco cartoonishly lampoons the guy trying too hard at the gym. He has the thousands in attendance in the palm of his own hand as he jumps up and down, bouncing across the stage, arching his eyebrows, cocking his face this...

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Review: Sommore, “A Queen With No Spades,” on Showtime

Sommore is 52. Leslie Jones is 51. While Jones broke out as a star as the oldest cast member ever hired by Saturday Night Live four years ago, you haven’t seen much of Sommore onscreen outside of her stand-up comedy. The difference is that Chris Rock vouched for Jones with Lorne Michaels after putting her in his movie, Top Five. Ain’t nobody vouching for Sommore but herself and the thousands of fans who come out to see her on tour, year after year, for the last 25 years. And a full 17 years since co-starring in the concert film The Queens of Comedy with...

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