Day: October 20, 2009

Second City announces 50th anniversary panels

The Second City has released more details about its upcoming 50th anniversary celebration in Chicago this coming December. I earlier reported about their extra-special SCTV Reunion Show that's happening Dec. 11. Well, plenty of Second City Mainstage alums are coming back to party and participate in a series of panel discussions. Here is the complete list of panels for the anniversary weekend… Saturday, Dec. 12 10 a.m., The Colbert Report featuring writers Peter Grosz and Peter Gwinn as well as co-Executive Producer Tom Purcell 11:30 a.m., SCTV ‚Äî featuring Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy and fellow cast members 1 p.m., "Voices of Diversity at The Second City" ‚Äî featuring Chicago's own Aaron Freeman, Keegan Michael Key of MADtv and Gary Unmarried, Angela Shelton and Frances Callier of "Frangela," Suzy Nakamura of Curb Your Enthusiasm and The West Wing as well as current Second City resident company actors Christina Anthony and Anthony LeBlanc 2:30 p.m., 30 Rock ‚Äî featuring cast members Scott Adsit and Jack McBrayer as well as staff writer Kay Cannon Sunday, Dec. 13 1 p.m., "Second City: From Stage to Screen" ‚Äî featuring Jim Belushi, Betty Thomas, Bob Odenkirk of Mr. Show and more 2:30 p.m., Saturday Night Live ‚Äî featuring SNL alums Tim Kazurinsky, Horatio Sanz and Rachel Dratch as well as current SNL staff writer John Lutz 4 p.m., "Second City in the Sixties" ‚Äî featuring...

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Watch and learn: Pangea 3000 provides expertise in fart spelling, whispering

I'm not the only one who is a fan of NYC-based sketch group Pangea 3000. These guys are regulars at the UCB Theatre (nevermind their current show run title of "Pangea 3000 Sucks"), and on Oct. 22, they'll be part of the UCB-NY's Best of Sketch Showcase, as well as "The Best Sketch in NY Showcase" held there on Nov. 5 during the New York Comedy Festival. Coincidentally, they have uploaded a new CollegeHumor-enhanced version of one of their stage sketches today. Can you spell farts? And this really is coincidental, as this is Pangea 3000's "Whisper Experts" sketch as performed at a recent CollegeHumor Live show at the UCB: Furthermore: See older videos from the guys on their Pangea 3000 YouTube...

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Meet Me In New York: Ali Wong

What do they say about New York City: There are eight million stories, and sometimes it seems as though eight million of the people telling them think they're comedians? No, that's not it. It is a fact, though, that America's biggest city is also its biggest comedy mecca. Hollywood may be Hollywood, but New York City is where comedians are born funny, become funny or arrive to thrust their funny upon us. I think we should meet some of these people. This is a new recurring feature, a mini-profile of newcomers, up-and-comers and overcomers of New York's vibrant comedy scene. It's called Meet Me In New York. Name: Ali Wong Arrival date: March 13, 2009Arrived from: San FranciscoWhen and where did you start performing comedy? Fall 2005, San Francisco What was your best credit before moving here? SF Weekly selected me as the "Best Comedian of 2009" and the SF Bay Guardian awarded me a "Best of the Bay 2009" award Why did you pick NYC over LA or anywhere else? I moved because I wanted more opportunities and to get better. I've been doing comedy for four years and still have a lot of growing to do. Some of the very best comics in LA get three sets a week, and that's considered good! Three sets per week is not enough stage time to improve and experiment. But in NY, I...

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Nick Swardson keeps the party going with “Seriously, Who Farted?” (DVD/CD review)

Comedians like to party just as much as you do, if not more so. Trust me. And yet, you don't see too many comedians who bring their party persona onstage. If you want a party comedian, Nick Swardson continues to be your guy. For Seriously, Who Farted?, Swardson's new hourlong special (available in different versions on CD or DVD via Comedy Central), he had opening act Beardo and Dirt Nasty (aka Nicholaus Goossen and Simon Rex) riling up the theater crowd in Austin earlier this year with seven minutes of "singing" about getting drunk, doing drugs and having sex. You can see on the DVD as a bonus feature. By the time Swardson took the stage, the Austin fans were hooting and hollering for anything to do with drinking and drugs — to the point where they "woo-wooed" when Swardson started a story about alcohol poisoning ("That's not applause-worthy," he chided them briefly) and booing him when he mentioned that to obey the law, they had to have fake pot on the set of Grandma's Boy. "I never thought about being a stand-up as a kid," Swardson said, introducing a funny bit about boys who want to be ninjas, and wondering what would happen if we ended up becoming the first thing we wanted to be. Roll the clip! Watching this reminded me how I once confused Swardson and...

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