Day: March 5, 2008

Inside John Oliver’s Comedy Central taping

John Oliver taped an hourlong Comedy Central special of his own two weeks ago in New York City, and despite technical glitches that interrupted both tapings (and kept the second show audience out in the cold that much longer), ’twas a rousing success. I may have mentioned that earlier today. For many in the audience who only know him as a correspondent on The Daily Show with John Stewart (as pictured), Oliver’s stand-up comes as a revelation. In fact, the folks over at Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch couldn’t believe it. Believe it. In fact, much of his material has been honed over the past couple of years in the alt-venues of New York City, his Bugle podcasts with Andy Zaltzman (who appeared onstage as a professor for a sketch with Oliver that encountered audio problems during the first taping, and prompting Oliver to quip, "If you cannot speak without static, then I don’t know what to say.") and even the Aspen festival last year for the comedy industry. Alone on the big stage at Symphony Space, though, Oliver had added production values at his disposal, allowing his biting wit and geo-political commentary to have more bite. Bits on a world math problem and unfair trade got visual aides on the screen behind him. Trust me, it’s better to see Oliver’s illustration of unfair trade on a big screen than on...

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Bill Burr on his comedic evolution

In a blog post today, Bill Burr thoughtfully and thoroughly describes his transition from a "clean" comedian to a "blue" one, and how he found his comedic voice as a stand-up. Among the morals of his story, that after 16 years, he’s enjoying himself more today than ever: "The reason I’m having the fun I’m having, is because I took the time to figure out what works for me on...

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Tell your friends about Tell Your Friends

Hey, comedy fans. Did you know that Liam McEneaney is back from his big European expedition and has resumed his great free Monday night showcase, Tell Your Friends? You’re acting like you’ve forgotten. This most recent Monday, 12 of us made it down to the basement of Lolita bar in the Lower East Side, where we got to witness John Oliver‘s extended role-playing session with himself as his father, Carla Rhodes and her Vaudevillian ventriloquism, Dave Hill unleash a new multi-pronged comedy attack, and Tony Camin manage to keep that intimate vibe laughing like 12 dozen audience members had filled that basement. As much fun as it was seeing John Oliver enjoy rousing success two weeks ago in his first Comedy Central taping, it was even more thrilling to watch him figuratively throw out his joke book and start over again. Which is part of the allure of this weekly basement showcase. So, go on. Tell your friends about Tell Your Friends. It’s...

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Planning ahead: Bridgetown (Portland, Ore.)

The Bridgetown Comedy Festival runs March 6-8 in Portland at four separate venues, with a great rate of a $20 wristband (proceeds go to Oregon Red Cross Local Disaster Relief Fund) getting you into all of the shows. Plenty of homegrown and Portland-based comedians on the bill, but also groups of comics coming in from Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco. The scheduled lineup includes:Patton Oswalt, Brent Weinbach , Howard Kremer, Moshe Kasher, Eddie Pepitone, Alex Koll, Tig Notaro, Bucky Sinister, Matt Braunger, Mary Van Note, Chris Fairbanks, Natasha Leggero, Michelle Biloon, Scott Moran, Guys With Feelings, Andy Haynes, Rylee Newton, Dan Carroll, James Adomian, Emmett Montgomery, Paul Jay, Andy Peters, Ed Salazar, Kevin Hyder, Kyle Kinane, Bill Wayne Davis, Matt Dwyer, Dartanion London, Jonah Ray, David Cope, Morgan Murphy, Peter Greyy, Joe Wilson, Derek Sheen, Paul Merrill, Seth Lazear , Nathan Brannon, Tristian Spillman , Jesse Alison, John B. Duff, Auggie Smith, Nick Mortensen, Dax Jordan, Aubrey Tennant, Richard Bain, John F. O’Donnell, Randy Liedtke, Chip Seinfeld, Joe Frice/Wally Fessler/Josh Fisher, Famous Mysterious Actor Show, Virginia Jones, Ron Funches, Don Frost, Andy Wood, Cody Cooper, Casey Kendall, Ed Forman, Kyle Harbert, Chris Castles, Travis...

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