Author: Sean L. McCarthy

Shane Mauss: From unknown to Conan in six easy weeks?

How did Shane Mauss, a virtually unknown stand-up comedian from Boston in February, find himself telling jokes on Conan O’Brien in March? This photo of him (center) with me and Dan Pasternack of Super Deluxe only tells part of the story. Read my in-depth story in the Boston Phoenix. After the jump, photos of Shane Mauss and friends the night he debuted on Conan! 5 p.m., March 21, Shane Mauss in his dressing room for Conan 12:30 a.m., March 22, Mauss checks his e-mails as friends and comedians Dan Boulger, Rob O’Reilly and Maggie MacDonald get excited for the show to air 1:30 a.m., March 22, Mauss and friends watch Mauss on TV 1:35 a.m., March 22, A toast, for he’s a jolly good...

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Richard Jeni’s Laugh Factory memorial

The Los Angeles Times covered Richard Jeni’s memorial at the Laugh Factory last weekend. Read its report. I was friends with his girlfriend, TV reporter and meteorologist Amy Murphy (we worked together in Phoenix, and the first thing she said to me when she found out I was a comedian was how much she loved Richard Jeni — she hadn’t hooked up with him yet) and so my heart goes out to her and to Jeni’s...

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Thoughts on Richard Jeni (and Mitch Hedberg)

I was in New York City, celebrating with comedians and Comedy Central folk after a successful night of tapings for the second season of Live At Gotham, when the audience coordinator delivered the news to us. "Did you hear Richard Jeni died?" My first reply: "You’ve got to be kidding. That must be one of those Internet rumors going around." Nope. No rumor. Although it took until Sunday morning to find out anything that might confirm the tragic news, and that came via my friends at Shecky Magazine. The official Richard Jeni site first went black, then emerged first with his dates (1957-2007), and later with a note from the family on Monday, and now a note from one of his good friends. It’s good that Jeni’s family and friends have come out quickly with an explanation — well, not a complete one, but how can you for a suicide — so all of his fans don’t spread falsehoods about him. Couldn’t help but immediately think of Mitch Hedberg’s sudden death two years ago this March. These two great comics took different paths to self-destruction. Jeni, a gun; Hedberg, drugs. They both needed much more support and comfort than we gave them. It’s just so sad. I knew Hedberg a lot better than I knew Jeni. I had the good fortune to both perform with and interview Hedberg, so...

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A very Live At Gotham weekend

If you happen to visit New York City anytime soon, let me put in a word for a stop at the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea. Or is it the Meatpacking District? The site says it’s in Chelsea, two blocks north of the Meatpacking District. Anyhow. I’ve already gotten away from the point. Point is, if you have several hundred dollars per day to blow on lodging here, you’re likely to have casual encounters with celebrities. And not just all of the stand-up comedians who stayed at the Maritime last week. In a period of less than 24 hours, I exchanged words with Michael Stipe (whom I now realize was hanging around for Monday’s induction of R.E.M. into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!) and saw Tate Donovan hanging around in the lobby. I believe my exchange with Stipe went something like this: 5:50 p.m. Saturday, comedian Dan Boulger and I head down the steps and out of the Maritime. Just then, Stipe is heading inside. We almost collide. "Oh…hi!" I say. "Hello," he replies. Boulger stares oddly. And that was that. Stipe wore some sort of beret and was sporting a grayish brown beard. And now for the rest of the weekend story. Boulger invited me to hang out for Saturday night’s tapings of Live at Gotham. During the day, all of the stand-up comics get to run-through...

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Rob Corddry is a Winner

I got the chance to talk to Rob Corddry last weekend at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Nice guy. As funny offstage as he is onstage. Corddry stars in the new FOX sitcom, The Winner, alongside fellow Boston-bred comedian Lenny Clarke (who plays his father). Corddry cited another local for his sense of humor, his Weymouth North High School friend Raye LaPlante. “He was my best friend in high school. Raye LaPlante is probably one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life and I continue to steal from him,” Corddry told me. “We did our first play together, ‘Bye Bye Birdie.’ My first. His first and last. He played Conrad Birdie. I played Albert Peterson.” That was 1989. These days, LaPlante lives in Rockland and is a regional vice president for CIBER, while both Corddry and his younger brother, Nate, are both on primetime TV. He said he remains optimistic about his brother’s show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. “They’re getting pummeled, but I think they’re going to be back because The Black Donnellys did so poorly, ironically,” Corddry said. “They’ll probably be back and hopefully they’ll catch their stride next season.” An edited version of this post appears in today’s Boston...

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