Author: Sean L. McCarthy

WGA showdown: And so it begins

The Writers Guild strike enters a critical phase now…Next week, the late-night shows re-enter production, and I got this email today about The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. They’re looking for audience members. And here’s their pitch: "These tickets are not available to the general public as these will be our very first tapings since the writer’s strike began and the shows promise to be AMAZING. Tickets are free and only available by using the following private links. Please do not pass them on as tickets are limited and we would like to make this special offer available only to our fans on the waitlist. The tapings are next Wednesday and Thursday, January 2nd and 3rd at CBS Studios in Hollywood. On Wednesday the arrival time is 3:30 PM and on Thursday we are taping two shows with arrival times of 3:30 PM and 5 PM. As always, the minimum age to attend is 17." Worldwide Pants, David Letterman’s production company, runs Ferguson’s show. But I don’t get the sense that Ferugson’s show has the same level of bonding that Letterman’s show has — I saw it firsthand last month when, during the strike, the producers and other staffers stood by the writers. They have a connection. They’re in this together. And when Letterman goes on the air, he’ll find a way to make his show happen the...

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SFSketchfest much more than simply sketchy

The City By The Bay certainly wants to get 2008 started on a good comedic note, as the schedule for its SFSketchfest proves that its subtitle, The San Francisco Comedy Festival, will be in full effect come Jan. 10-27 at several clubs and theaters throughout the city. The list of performers scheduled to perform include…take a deep breath now… Adam McKayAimee MannAndy KindlerThe Apple SistersArj BarkerBackpack PicnicBob OdenkirkBoomtime Brent WeinbachBrian PosehnBriTANickBro’in OutBucky SinisterBusy Philipps: Freaks and Geeks Speak!Cheap City: The Show with Michael CapozzolaComedy Death-RayDave (Gruber) Allen: Freaks and Geeks Speak!Davidson!Diani & DevineDoug BensonDrennon DavisEugene MirmanAn Evening With Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, and PatientsFreaks and Geeks Speak!freeloveforumThe Fun Bunch (Scott Aukerman & BJ Porter)The Geek SystemGene WilderGET IT!?Hard ‘n PhirmIan RobertsIron Comic with Nato GreenJimmy PardoJohn Francis Daley: Freaks and Geeks Speak!John LehrJohn VandersliceJon BenjaminKasper HauserKathleen PhillipsThe Kids in the HallKristen SchaalKurt BraunohlerLes MiltonLinda Cardellini: Freaks and Geeks Speak!Maria BamfordMark & AriMark PittaMark SilvermanMartin Starr: Freaks and Geeks Speak!Mary Lynn Rajskub Mary Van NoteMatch Game LiveMatt BesserMatt WalshMichael ShowalterMorgan MurphyMort SahlMosey with Scott Adsit from 30 RockMoshe KasherMuff ‘n TopsNaked Babies with The Daily Show’s Rob CorddryNaomi Crystal Neil Patrick HarrisOh, You and Your Bone SpursPangea 3000Patton OswaltPaul Feig: Freaks and Geeks Speak!Paul F. TompkinsRachel DratchReggie WattsRhys DarbyRiffTrax Live at the Castro: Plan 9 from Outer Space with Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett from Mystery Science...

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Home for the holidays, I managed to make it to the Comedy Studio’s annual Christmas-themed cavalcade of comedy Sunday night, in which much merriment is had (much of it insidery and offensive) followed by much Chinese grub, beverage and dancing in the Harvard Square establishment. Not all by me. Not this year, anyhow. But good times nonetheless. Faces from the near and not-so-near past, once again gathered together. And for one night, at least, comedians could let loose and enjoy life without wondering about the next audition or gig. Merry Christmas, everyone. See you on the other...

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Ha-ha-has for your ho-ho-hos

Christmas is coming, and who cares if the goose is getting fat, because where are the comedy audiences? Probably off to their families, much like the comedians themselves. But the holidays also tend to bring comedians together, too, with holiday-themed parties, shows and sketches. Tonight in New York City, you have several opportunities for holiday ha-ha-hoedowns. Yes, really. Such as and therefore like (sorry, watching a repeat of VH1’s Best Year Ever whilst typing not a good idea) here are a few shows you might want to mark on your calendar, except that it’s tonight, so no need for calendar-marking… Auntie Sara’s Big-Ass X-Mas Spectacular and Afterparty, 7 p.m. at Ochi’s Lounge, downstairs from Comix — hosted by Sara Benincasa, with Oren Brimer, Ces Marciuliano, Diana Saez, Sean Lynch and Pat Stango The Apple Sisters Holidoozy of a 1940s Christmas radio show, 7 p.m. at The PIT Holiday Dazzles, 8 p.m. at the UCB, hosted by Eliza Skinner and Carolyn Castiglia, and featuring Adira Amram, Ann Carr, Katina Corrao, Jessica Delfino, Becky Drysdale, Robert Keller, Nate Kushner, Tom Middleditch, Matt McCarthy, Glennis McMurray, the New York Neo-Futurists, Mindy Raf, Mike Still and more. And finally, last but not least as they say, it’s the Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy Christmas Show, starting sometime in the 8 o’clock hour at Rififi, with Andy Blitz, Chelsea Peretti, Bobby Tisdale, Santa Claus,...

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New Comedy Central Presents debut Jan. 11

Comedy Central has announced that it’s 12th season of Comedy Central Presents — otherwise known as the network’s half-hour stand-up specials — will begin airing in groups of two on Friday, Jan. 11, with Stephen Lynch at 10 p.m. and Dan Cummins at 10:30 p.m. Future Friday-night installments will showcase Jo Koy, Hard N’ Phirm, Eugene Mirman, Leo Allen, Lavell Crawford, Robert Kelly, Bonnie McFarlane, Rich Vos and others, all taped back in August at the Hudson Theatre in New York City. I saw about half of the tapings firsthand and backstage, so be sure to click back here for scouting...

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