Day: February 6, 2009

Interview: Sam Reich, director of CollegeHumor TV

MTV continues to dip its toes back into the waters of actual professional comedy (as opposed to the "reality" programming most viewers watch for laughs) this Sunday with the premiere of The CollegeHumor Show (9:30 p.m. Eastern). It has an initial six-episode order. What should we expect? I talked to Sam Reich, who runs CHTV and directs the show, to find out. I take it the show came about through CollegeHumor's "Hardly Working" series of original videos. When did you guys start producing "Hardly Working" segments, anyhow, how did that come about, and when did you realize that there might be something there that could be translated and expanded into a full 22-minute TV show? Hardly Workings began when we moved into our new office about a year and a half ago.  The first one was called "Trust Fall."  It consistent of Amir going up to Jake, saying "Do you trust me?", falling backwards, and hitting the floor.  That's it.  Obviously there's a big difference between a ten-second video and a twenty-minute TV show.  While the TV show is like a Hardly Working, it's not a Hardly Working: it's slightly more down-to-earth and character driven. This is today's Hardly Working, btw: See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor. How and why did you end up pitching MTV on it? Was the network's previous relationship with the Human...

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Nick Kroll on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Over the past few years, Nick Kroll has amassed quite a bit of on-camera experience saying funny things, from VH1's Best Week Ever to sitcoms such as Cavemen and Worst Week. But many things still amused me on Wednesday night when I watched Nick Kroll make his network television debut as a stand-up comedian on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Among them, his skewering of a certain type of mainstream club comic for his opening bit, the subtle way he introduced Fabrice Fabrice into the act, and the fact that the studio audience probably included more than a few people who were both dumb as well as fans of The Cheesecake Factory. And he swore! Watch: Nick Kroll Standup on Jimmy Kimmel Live – watch more funny videos Related: Kroll will appear on Sunday's debut episode of The CollegeHumor Show on...

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Jim Beam employs NYC comedians for ad spoof contest

If you turn on your TV these days, and you probably do this, unless you never turn the darned thing off, then you may have noticed more and more New York City comedians getting involved in big-time mainstream commercial advertising. Then again, perhaps this always has been the case, but you didn't live in NYC and hang around comedians back then, so you didn't notice. Who are you, anyhow? Trick question. All of which leads to Jim Beam's new ad campaign, combined with a contest asking you (and I mean you this time) to spoof the ads for a chance to win $25,000 and a trip for four to Las Vegas. For Jim Beam's The Remake contest, they've offered up a few examples for inspiration, including these spots by Gabe & Jenny, and also by Max Silvestri and Gabriel Delahaye. I like how Gabe & Jenny managed to turn one of their classic bits into a TV sketch. Enjoy: Silvestri and Delahaye have two offerings for you, after the jump.  ...

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Interview: Eugene Mirman’s “The Will to Whatevs”

After years of entertaining comedy fans with his stand-up and videos, Eugene Mirman finally has delivered what audiences really need to hear from him: Advice they can use from birth to death and even life after death. Certainly you have plenty of questions. Mirman took some time yesterday to provide some answers and talk about his new humorous self-help book, The Will to Whatevs. You can browse The Will to Whatevs on this HarperCollins site. And perhaps you might want to watch a promotional video he sent my way. Just in time for Valentine's Day, here is Eugene Mirman giving you valuable tips on nabbing yourself a husband. Watch this, and then we'll get to the interview. Mirman will celebrate the release of his book Feb. 10 at The Bell House in Brooklyn, with performances by Kristen Schaal, John Hodgman, John Oliver, Paul F. Tompkins and Sarah Vowell spinning tunes as the DJ. Can you reveal anything else about the party? "I set the building on fire and destroy the New York comedy community. Probably not." Hodgman provided a blurb for your book. Considering he has written two books claiming to give readers insight into everything, did that set the bar higher for you to dole out advice that hadn't already been given? "I don't know. I mean my book is moreā€¦his book is just flat-out knowledge, while mine...

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Will Ferrell’s Broadway debut: The reviews are in!

There is no doubt that "You're Welcome America. A Final Night With George W. Bush" is the hottest ticket on Broadway. Even in this economy, which already cut short several big Broadway productions. Or perhaps despite that, the cheapest balcony seats for this show go for $61.50 on Telecharge and up to $301.50 for the "premium" seats on Friday and Saturday nights. Good luck on TKTS! It began previews on Jan. 20, the day Bush formally handed over the presidency to Barack Obama — I cannot imagine why anyone would want to spend that night, of all nights, reliving the Bush years, but people certainly did, spending more than $837,000 on tickets in the first week. The production reportedly raked in $5 million in ticket sales before the first curtain dropped. The show officially opened Thursday night. So how are the reviews? Mostly positive. The New York Times weighed in with a laugh and a yawn, saying the production is equally funny and unsurprising, but no matter, for Ferrell "provides a critic-proof demonstration of the art that has endeared him to millions of fans around the world: the art of acting stupid, shrewdly, for fun and profit." The New York Daily News gave it four out of five stars, saying that "getting to see this comic whiz in the flesh is a big treat," and that surely is a...

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