Day: December 3, 2008

Note to self, Re: The Comedy Studio

If, after having extended your Thanksgiving weekend visit with your parents in Massachusetts, you should find yourself in Harvard Square on a Wednesday evening and decide to stop in The Comedy Studio to see if you can catch Brian Kiley's set and say hi to Rick Jenkins and the gang, please remember that Jenkins will immediately go onstage and introduce you, expecting you to tell jokes that very second, whether you're ready or not — and even if you didn't ask to — so you should prepare some material next time just in case, instead of stammering your way through whatever bits pop into your head and hoping the audience laughs along with the weirdness of the moment. Sincerely,Me P.S. The Comedy Studio's annual holiday show and post-show party is Dec. 21 hosted by The Walsh Brothers with special guest Tony V and just about everyone else in the Boston scene, so if you can make it back for that, you'll be happier for it....

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David Steinberg talks to Jerry Seinfeld

This interview between David Steinberg and Jerry Seinfeld appears in the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Can you tell me when, though? What year was this? Oh, this year. 2008. Really? Really. All of the talk about filming Comedian and pharmaceutical side effects and "anal leakage" threw me off,...

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Comedy Central relaunches

Have you visited today? Comedy Central has revamped the site completely — had you clicked over there even only yesterday, you would have faced a drab waste of a landscape of lame jokes, submitted anonymously from years ago, from a world in which all jokes are timeless, and yet somehow not able to be searched or indexed in any tangible way whatsoever. All of that is to say how bright and vibrant the new Comedy Central looks today. It'll take a while to sort through it all. For now, though, let me say that I clicked on a couple of sample comedians (Mike Birbiglia because I saw his face looking at me, and Carlos Mencia just to see what jokes Comedy Central would attribute to him!), and wonder if they paid someone to transcribe all stand-up comedy specials, CDs, and DVDs, and if so, how much one gets paid to do that (I'm available!). Worth mentioning thus far: Why do Comedy Central sites often load a front page with auto-start videos? Not nice, Comedy Central. Particularly for those people who have jobs and are trying to see your funnies on the fly. Today's video features Dane Cook in all of his sweaty black wifebeater 2000 full physical glory. Also enjoyed how the comedians page on the site manages to promote not only Comedy Central's branded comedy tours...

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Video: Prop 8 — The Musical

Funny or Die has found another gear of late, not just incorporating celebrities into funny and informative short online videos, but stretching the form to include original short films and this new effort by award-winning composer (and person you should thank for the songs in both the South Park movie and Hairspray) Marc Shaiman, "Prop 8 — The Musical." Would it have made more of a difference if it had debuted before Election Day? Who's to say. But watch it now. Jack Black is Jesus Christ, superstar. So to speak. See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die Want a guide to who's who in the all-star cast? California Gays and The People That Love Them: Jordan Ballard, Margaret Cho, Barrett Foa, J.B. Ghuman, John Hill, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Rashad Naylor, Nicole ParkerProposition 8'ers and The People That Follow ThemProp 8 Leader: John C. ReillyProp 8 Leader's #1 Wife: Allison JanneyProp 8 Leader's #2 Wife: Kathy NajimyRiffing Prop 8'er: Jenifer LewisA Preacher: Craig RobinsonScary Catholic School Girls From Hell: Rashida Jones, Lake Bell, Sarah ChalkeThe Frightened Villagers: Katharine "Kooks" Leonard, Seth Morris, Denise "Esi!" Piane, Lucian Piane, Richard Read, Seth Redford, Quinton Strack, Tate TaylorJesus Christ: Jack BlackA Very Smart Fellow: Neil Patrick HarrisPiano Player: Marc "Marc"...

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Make ‘Em Laugh, The Funny Business of America (PBS video and live preview in NYC)

On Jan. 14, 2009, PBS debuts a six-hour documentary look at the funny business in America called Make 'Em Laugh, hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. But you can get more than a live preview of the series this coming Sunday, Dec. 7, at the 92nd Street Y in New York CIty — Sedaris will join the documentary's writer/director/producer, Michael Kantor, co-writer Laurence Maslon, and comedian Richard Belzer for a discussion about what America laughs at and why and show clips from the upcoming series. Tickets for that panel are $27 (call 212-415-5500 or go to If you'd like to see why PBS news anchor Jim Lehrer is not hosting the documentary, watch this 30-second promo for the series (note: having talked to Lehrer before, I must add that the longtime newsman does have a sailor's salty way with language off-air that could lend itself to comedy, maybe, someday, or...

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December 2008
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