Author: Sean L. McCarthy

Backstage at SNL with Fred Armisen

Saturday Night Live may have wrapped up its season almost two weeks ago, but cast member Fred Armisen still has some backstage dish to share from the season finale on his NBC blog. He offers that having Steve Carell host meant seeing more than a few of Carell’s co-workers from The Office, who also used to work at SNL. Armisen writes, "We see them pretty often and some of our writers have gone on to work for that show, so they are kind of like an extended family." Here’s a photo Armisen took of one of his closer "relatives," Bill Hader, going through makeup for a scene in which he plays big, so to speak. More photos on Armisen’s...

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Just For Laughs announces 2008 Toronto lineup

The folks at Just For Laughs announced the lineup for this year’s Toronto fest from July 23-27, which follows the week after Montreal and is geared more for fans than for the industry. A link has been added to my Festivals page. Galas at Massey Hall feature host Martin Short with Adam Hills, Elon Gold, Joey Kola and Shaun Majumder; Jason Alexander with Gerry Dee, Jeff Ross, Kevin Hart and Wendy Liebman; and Jimmy Fallon with Craig Robinson, Sugar Sammy and The Doo-Wops. Jeff Dunham, meanwhile, gets to close the Massey Hall series with his own concert. Canada’s comedy producers love to package "ethnic series," and Toronto audiences will see The Asian Invasion with Sugar Sammy and Jo Koy, plus others TBA. The Wiseguys features The Doo-Wops and Joey Kola. The Toronto Yuk Yuk’s will offer a Headliners series with Majumder, Ross, Gold, Liebman, Dee, Hart, Al Madrigal, and Adam Hills. Robinson will host various sketch troupes at the Second City. And Deb DiGiovanni hosts a "Best of Homegrown Comedy Competition" showcase at Absolute...

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Last Comic Driving: Andrew Norelli

If you watched the debut of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, then you also saw a curious contest within the contest called Last Comic Driving, in which 10 stand-up comedians who didn’t get picked for the show somehow (selection process not explained therein) got to compete for $10,000 cash and a new Honda Pilot  (you can win the Honda Pilot) by telling jokes from the passenger seat of a Pilot (how’s that for product placement?). The British lady Fearne Cotton does the actual (or simulated) driving. No idea how you get picked to be a hostage, er, I mean, back seat comedy audience member, nor how much they paid those folks (actors) to act nice for the cameras. This sounds horrible, and logistically, if you’re in the back seat, trying to listen to someone talking in the front is horribler, which may not even be a word. At least they edit it so it’s not horriblest. You’re supposed to be able to rate each comedian online if you want to enter the contest for the car. First up, Andrew Norelli. There’s an extra clip on Hulu, included after the jump. Do you think NBC actually used his best jokes on TV, or online? I think NBC chose...

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Demetri Martin, new material, Rififi Tuesdays

Gothamist published a new interview with Demetri Martin today that doesn’t get a lot out of the comedian during their limited email correspondence, timed toward Martin’s late-night Tuesday series at Rififi (which continues tonight and June 3, doors at 10 p.m., $5) that has him trying out new jokes along with special guests. Martin’s upcoming Comedy Central show, "Important Things with Demetri Martin," tentatively has a fall 2008 debut (at least from MTV Networks described at the upfronts). There’s a good reason to prepare some new material right there. Martin did reveal one interesting thing when Gothamist asked him if he felt he needed to be "on" during his offstage life now that more people know him, replying: "I’m not even ‘on’ all the time on stage." That’s certainly true for anyone who has seen Martin recently at places such as Rififi, with the comedian often going up while still carrying a backpack and wearing multiple layers, taking his time to gather himself, and also pausing to reflect on his surroundings. It’s not polished, not meant to be. Watching Martin try out new material is a slightly surreal experience, not just for the aforementioned reason, but also because of his joke-telling style. Martin, like Steven Wright, Zach Galifianakis, or the late Mitch Hedberg before him, attempts to take observational humor in a more creative direction. His artistic and musical...

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Funny or Die now offering celeb screensavers?!

Funny or Die now offers celebrity screensavers, and first up is Paul Rudd. Apparently, all you have to do is go to this site and click the appropriate Apple or PC button to download. Just a coincidence perhaps, that TypePad tells me this is post #666?! This video/screensaver is very NSFW, but also, naturally, designed to be the sort of thing you’d want to put on your workplace computer, if you don’t want your job. <a href="">Paul Rudd Screensaver</a> on <a...

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