Comedians, on comedy and the industry

If you want to find common ground among comedians, no matter whether they consider themselves club comics or "alternative" comics, observational or prop, just ask them how they feel about the industry. The machinations of show business, that’s what all comedians love to mock. So let’s look at a couple of recent examples of this courtesy of Super Deluxe.

First up, ["(Layers)"], which follows the workings of an agent for agents (Nick Kroll) and his publicists (the Sklar Brothers). Here is their latest episode, the conclusion of the "cold war" between Kroll’s agent and a potential competitor.

Very inside humor, but also a good release for comedians to spoof agents, managers, publicists and the whole Hollywood dance. More than a few performers approached Kroll during The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas last month to tell him how much they love him in that Web series — and this is the same season in which Kroll has made his network TV primetime debut as the main reason to watch ABC’s Cavemen. To catch up with the rest of ["(Layers)"], click here.

The other ongoing series is Comedy By The Numbers, shorts directed by Bob Odenkirk to promote the book of the same name. I’m not a huge fan of this week’s new episode, on Universal Appeal, but here you go…think of this as their most "artistic" work…

Past episodes have covered such humorous how-to tips as funny names, shouting, fart sounds and novelty items. It takes the notion of a hack handbook to the next level of self-mockery, exposing how there likely are many people who’d love to know how to be funny, so why not instruct them (as Professors Hoffman and Rudoren do) in the simplest methods possible?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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