Month: March 2009

Funny Or Die’s HBO offerings start production

Last summer, the Funny or Die team (Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy and Judd Apatow) received a big vote of confidence in the forms of capital investment and broadcasting agreements from HBO. They had just worked together on the production of Eastbound & Down — and if you have not watched this surprisingly magnificent miniseries starring Danny McBride as washed-up pitcher Kenny Powers (the sixth and final episode aired this past Sunday), then you should find yourself a TV with HBO and watch it right this very moment and it will make your weekend that much more enjoyable. Anyhow. So, yes, of course, seeing how well that went, HBO agreed to invest in the FOD guys and commission 10 original half-hours of programming from them. We're starting to see this come to fruition this week. Paul Scheer (MTV's Human Giant) announced he'd begun production on "a MINI mini series" with Rob Riggle (Comedy Central's The Daily Show) called Designated Driver. And fans of Brett Gelman will be heartily pleased to know that his catstravaganza, "1,000 Cats," will be filmed on Saturday afternoon for FOD/HBO. At The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. (Fun fact: The same stage to be used in May for NBC's America's Got Talent) As Gelman says in his Facebook event invite for the event: "Pleases come. And if you can, please come dressed in some sort...

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Nick Thune quits comedy for “Nick’s Big Show”

That's the premise of Nick Thune's five-episode online series for Comedy Central's Atom.com, which means you better be buckling up for a bumpy ride, because Nick's Big Show is an anti-comedy comedy show. Nick Thune plays himself as a comedian who gets his hands on $10,000 and pays a camera crew to follow him around as he makes the leap from comedian to performance artist, putting on a show to beat all shows. Kate Micucci plays Thune's biggest fan, hired to be his personal assistant. Nick Kroll, as Thune's manager, has no idea what to make of all of this. Will you be able to see the big picture? New episodes are released on Fridays. Nick's Big Show, Episode 1: The Pitch Atom.com: Funny Videos | Atom Originals | Nick's Big Show In episode two, out today, we see Thune go to a costume shop for design tips from "Markie" (TJ Miller) and seek out a choreographer. Nick's Big Show, Episode 2: Assembling the Crew Atom.com: Funny Videos | Atom Originals | Nick's Big Show The series runs through April...

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Comic Strip Live brings back its Audition Lottery

After a two-year hiatus, the Comic Strip Live is bringing back the Lottery hat that allows just about anyone to have his or her shot at making the rite of passage and become a regular stand-up comedian at the club on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Here are the details: Anyone 18 and older can audition, so long as they arrive at the club by 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1. (Note: This is not an April Fool's prank) Everyone will pick a number out of a hat that will determine the date they will audition for the club. Auditions are five minutes long and will always take place on consecutive Tuesdays starting April 7. Participants will be seen by the Comic Strip Live booker and owners. Those who make the cut will receive a number of paid spots per week and will appear on the same stage where Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, and Chris Rock honed their...

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Premium Blend on Hulu: When they were younger

This is pretty much for my American readers (and those of you outside the States who have figured out how to watch clips on Hulu.com). My Hulu visits tend to be more targeted — I know what's on there and what I want to catch up on — rather than exploratory missions of curious wonder. That said, one of my friends tipped me off to this new addition to Hulu's online archives: Full seasons of Comedy Central's Premium Blend. Premium Blend was the bigger, louder, hyperactive precursor to Live At Gotham. Look at how the audience and claps as if they're in a Benny Hill sketch. So far, just seasons five, seven and nine are up, for 36 episodes spotlighting 144 up-and-coming stand-up comedians, some of whom have since made leaps and strides, while others have yet to become household names. It's fun to see some of the pairings here, find glimpses of people I know now but didn't back then, as well as comics I was friends with years ago. Season 5 also is intriguing because it filmed pre-Sept. 11 but began airing Oct. 5, 2001. Remember that weird time for comedy, when society and the mainstream media asked if it was OK to be ironic and sarcastic? It's also a time that gave us early looks at Judah Friedlander, Laurie Kilmartin, Eugene Mirman and Patrice Oneal, all in...

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Tom Arnold hosting free Thursday night comedy at The Laugh Factory for unemployed masses

The Laugh Factory sure knows how to generate publicity. This report appeared last night on Access Hollywood, about Tom Arnold hosting free Thursday night comedy shows for the unemployed masses as a pick-me-up during the recession. Although, as Arnold notes: Two drink minimum! Here's the small print from the club's online calendar: Every Thursday at 8pm the Laugh Factory is offering free admission to its All Star Comedy Show, to anybody who can show proof of their unemployment. Tom Arnold has volunteered to host the show and bring along some of his celebrity friends in an effort to bring laughs and smiles to people during these uncertain and stressful times. Comedians TBA! General admission: $20 + 2-drink minimum. VIP admission: $30 +2-drink minumum. Call reservations (323) 656-1336×1 before 6pm or buy tickets on...

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