Author: Sean L. McCarthy

Live from 50 First Jokes

Some club owners rely on "bringer" shows, requiring comedians to bring paying audience members with them to ensure a decent turnout. Here’s another way: Book 50 comedians for your show and they’ll fill the room themselves. Heck, why not make it 70?! That’s not quite what was in the mindset for comedians John F. O’Donnell, Claudia Cogan and Jiwon Lee when they came up with "50 First Jokes" night Saturday at The Creek and the Cave in Long Island City. They just wanted to invite a bunch of their friends and fellow comedians for a raucous night of rapid-fire new jokes to kick off the new year. They brought comedians up in groups of 20 and, one by one, had them deliver their first jokes of 2008. Everyone quickly got into the spirit (except for the restaurant’s waitress, who yelled at the comics for essentially taking over and cramping the entire joint) and more than a few comedians said then and there that this was one of the best shows. Not because the jokes were all brilliant, mind you. I think the camaraderie and bonding among comedians showed that even in the big, bad New York City, we can all get along and so on and so forth. Although I can say that by the end, I wondered if every single person in the bar and restaurant was going...

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Live from Comix: It’s the SNL/WGA benefit!

An overflowing crowd — 320 crammed in the main room, standing room only watching on closed circuit from the bar — filled Comix last night to witness a touch of Saturday Night Live and raise money for the Writers Guild of America in their ongoing strike. Host Jason Sudeikis (Strike Beard Color Code Brown!) amiably presided, reminding the crowd a few minutes into the proceedings, "I don’t do stand-up…if that’s not evident at this point!" The Sudeikis clan is doubly hit by the WGA strike: His wife, Kay Cannon, writes for 30 Rock. "Make sure you don’t watch it on the Internet," Sudeikis implored. "At least for a little while." He also noted that during his extended free time, he has found that many people have offered sketch suggestions to him via his MySpace page. "They send in sketch ideas, which is great, because I don’t get enough of them from my family," he said. Not in a good way. Obviously. Also obvious, these suggestions and characters will never make the air: presidential candidate Capt. Donkey Dick, an extended conversation about an incident at a lighting job, Dancing With Cripples, and Chief Blubber Lips, the fat gay Indian (for diversity). Moving on…current and former SNL writers took the stage for some stand-up sets, including Bryan Tucker, Colin Jost, Leo Allen and Eric Slovin. Which reminds me, the bigger treats...

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Stewart, Colbert return, strike or no strike

Jon Stewart returned with a unibrow and a title change: A Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He had a Cornell professor in labor relations on as his guest to talk about the WGA strike. Twas all about the strike. Stephen Colbert had no intro for his intro and no words for his Word. As these two Comedy Central stalwarts relied the most on writers of any of the late-night chatters, having them come back during the WGA strike undoubtedly created the most awkwardness. Stewart and Colbert managed to maintain their comedic characters while focusing on the awkwardness for these first half-hours back on the air. How long can they keep this up, though? I suppose the same can be said for the...

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2008: The year of Tumblr?

Aziz Ansari has switched his blog to the newfangled hippity hoppity Tumblr format. Today we learn that Human Giant will have a best-of highlights reel from last year’s 24-hour MTV marathon included in its Season 1 DVD package that comes out March 4. That includes musical guests Mastodon, Ted Leo, The National, other guests Gbenga Akinnagbe, Fred Armisen, Will Arnett, Todd Barry, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Hader, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, John Krasinski, Eugene Mirman, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Kristen Schaal, Leo Allen as the Comic with the Beard of Bees, Andy Blitz as Osama Bin Diesel, Jackie Clarke as the Standards Lady, Nick Kroll as Fabrice Fabrice, Craft Services Coordinator, Brett Gelman and Jon Daly as Cracked Out, Brett Gelman as Billy Crystal, Jon Glaser as Jim the Writer, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney as Paul’s Uncles Gil and George, Adam McKay as caller Alan Harkett, Rob Lathan as Quick Lips Lathan, Megan Neuringer as Sexy WebCam Girl, Patton Oswalt as the caller Douglas from Murfreesboro, KY, Rob Riggle as Cliff Carver, Head of Security, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone as the Leprechaun Brothers, Eric Slovin as the Leprechaun, and The Borat Army. Oh, and Human Giant is back hosting late Monday nights at the UCB in NYC. Tonight features Todd Barry and Jessi Klein and if you get in, it’s only via...

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Comedians vs. actual people

Whom do you prefer? Are they the same thing? I’ve often told friends and acquaintances that I much prefer associating with, hanging around and talking to comedians rather than actual people. As if comedians are not actual people. Well, they’re not. At least when you spend half of your life in journalism, a field in which your editors talk about "actual people" and "real people" as sources to be hunted down and recorded for historical purposes. Talking with a new friend who studies philosophy, though, I began openly exploring what my statement truly meant and what it might say about me. Why do I group myself with comedians as something separate from actual people? Perhaps it has much to do with the way we look at the world and how we choose to interpret it. We mock reality and the absurdities of life, entertaining the actual people who go about their daily routines as if they were drones, or as the appropriate phrase springs to mind, cogs in the infinite machine. That’s why actual people laugh at us. We wake them up with our words, our punchlines. We remind them how silly life is. How so many of the things people occupy their lives with is so trivial and banal, how so little of it truly matters in the end. How the material goods are merely larger examples of...

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