Day: April 1, 2009

First-day sales put Jim Gaffigan’s “King Baby” in iTunes top 10

Here's something you don't see every day: A comedy CD in the top 10 overall in sales on Apple's iTunes. Congrats to Jim Gaffigan on the early success of "King Baby," which came out yesterday as a CD or DVD. All of Gaffigan's vlogs and Tweets last week certainly must have helped. But not as much as following through on the promise by delivering a funny special that you'll want to listen to or watch again and again. As someone who runs my own career, more or less, I know that it's tricky to figure out how shameless to be in terms of self-promotion. You want people to notice you, but don't want to annoy potential new fans or turn off current fans. Gaffigan, I think, provides a happy reminder that as long as you have a product worth promoting, you better let people know about it. Buy King...

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KITH’s Kevin McDonald toplines 2009 Sketchfest NYC

Sometimes April Fool's Day just brings good ol' fashioned funny news, and the folks from Sketchfest NYC have done just that, unveiling the first featured shows taking place from June 11-13, 2009. Kids in the Hall's Kevin McDonald will do double duty, performing his one-man show, "Kevin McDonald's Hammy & The Kids," as well as sitting down for a chat with Carl Arnheiter in "Inside Joke: An Evening of Lies." Also announced today: The cast and crew of MTV's The College Humor Show will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how it all happened, as well as whether it will ever happen again. The Rejection Show and Olde English's Very Fresh, The Story Pirates present Found Magazine, and a kids show, Striking Viking Story Pirates, also are on the bill. Look for more announcements...

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Russell Brand joins in London G20 protests

Among the many protesting the G20 summit in London, comedian Russell Brand. He likes trouble, but also enjoys discourse. So it makes total sense to find him among the masses here. Interesting to see how he does or does not take the bait from the media. Would you have acted the same way if you were in his...

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Myq Kaplan wins March Comedy Madness 2009

Myq Kaplan emerged victorious from last night's Final Four and Championship rounds of the 2009 March Comedy Madness competition at Carolines, which means not only kudos for him, but also more paid gigs for him at the club and an interview by ABC's mythical fourth hour of Good Morning America (it's all online, as far as anyone knows). Congrats! But I also think it's informative to point out the instant retrospective from Final Four finalist J-L Cauvin, who provides an inside perspective on how contests can impact the psyche of a stand-up comedian, especially when you're fighting to move up the ranks and break out of the cycle of open mics, bringer shows and "new talent" nights. I am sure that many stand-ups can relate to Cauvin when he writes: Probably for many comics, including myself, these competitions present the same opportunity that the lottery presents – an unrealistic hope that success will change, or accelerate a change in, one’s life, when all it amounts to is lost time and money for all but the winner. I have been on television twice and it has yielded jack sh*t.  So when there is a chance to get paid work from a club and some modicum of exposure/respect it ramps up the importance, even if it is something you have done a thousand times. But the desire to “make it” or “get...

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Rap video: How to Rob Comics

What happens when comedians Tom McCaffrey and Carolyn Castiglia imagine themselves as gangsta rappers? This happens. It's a music video for their rap, "How to Rob Comics." Stuckey from Stuckey and Murray helped direct, and among the many cameos: Janeane Garofalo, Paul F. Tompkins, Aisha Tyler, The Whitest Kids U Know, Leo Allen, A.D. Miles, Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Amy Schumer, Jackie Monahan, Roger Hailes. Since they rap, they do drop some NSFW...

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