Day: February 2, 2010

Sarah Silverman and Demetri Martin, “Back to Back”? Watch the music video!

Someone in our conference call with Sarah Silverman last week asked her if she had any sexual tension with Demetri Martin. I didn't have to worry about restraining my hyena laughs because my end of the line was on mute at that very moment. There's no such thing as a stupid question is something stupid people say right before they ask a very stupid question. Anyhow. Then I saw this ad over the weekend. Both Silverman and Martin like to break out into song, but I never imagined a world that would have them flying and spinning in the air, hand in hand. Until now. Roll the advertisement! New episodes air Thursday on Comedy...

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Interview: Arj Barker might not read this, but he will make you “LYAO” with his new CD and DVD

When I said Arj Barker was one of my favorite absurd stand-ups around, I wasn't sure if that was the right way to describe him, so I asked him myself. Would you consider yourself an absurdist? "Well, yeah, a little bit. Or an idiotist. Idioist? A lot of my humor is derived from me not getting it…People ask me how I can get away with talking about gay marriage and not be offensive. The joke is about me not getting it. Honestly, I don't spend any time analyzing myself unless I'm asked. My goal is just to get laughs and do a good show." Here's a clip of Arj Barker performing last year at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in Australia. It's a joke about the iPod that you can hear on his great new CD/DVD, LYAO, that shows how Barker's mind works differently from the typical mainstream club comedian. I previously posted two clips from the DVD itself. Roll it! To hear what Arj has to say about the competitive nature of stand-up comedy and show business, working in Australia and the U.K., Flight of the Conchords (where he was a regular supporting character on their HBO series) and writing funny jokes, keep reading… "I don't go online and read stuff about myself." So you won't be reading this later, then, I take it? "I intentionally don't read...

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Michael Moore & Jeff Garlin announce lineup for first Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival

The Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan is adding its first comedy component this year, from Feb. 19-21, and organizers Michael Moore and Jeff Garlin have announced an eclectic lineup, saying in a mass email today that they "think you'll agree that we have shot out of the gate with a line-up that any other festival would be lucky to have in their fifth year, not their first!" The inaugural Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival will include performances by Roseanne Barr, John Waters, co-founder Garlin, J.B. Smoove, Whitney Cummings, Mike Birbiglia, Mike Toomey, Chicago's heralded improv duo TJ & Dave, and Chicago sketch group Teenager of the Year. They've also planned improv for the kids on the Saturday of the fest via ComedySportzKids, a Saturday-afternoon celebration of Funny or Die videos, and an "after-hours" comedy club show hosted by Garlin with surprise guests at midnight Friday-Saturday. Go here for more info and...

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Cheer up, SNL fans! J.Lo does double-duty on 2/27, with Zach Galifianakis set to host 3/6!

My expectations aren't exactly high for this week's episode of Saturday Night Live, even though Ashton Kutcher has hosted the program before. I don't know. Maybe it's all of his Twitter "fame" and his camera commercials that makes me suspicious that something has gone awry in his sense of humor area place. But I come not to bury his SNL prematurely, but to praise even more prematurely the next two SNLs to come after a two-week break for the Winter Olympics. Jennifer Lopez, fresh off of her impressive performance stealing the monologue from George Lopez on his TBS late-nighter Lopez Tonight, is expected to do double duty as host and musical guest on Feb. 27, 2010. Lopez previously hosted and performed in February 2001, and was the musical guest in February 2000. This must be her SNL month! And the week after that, Zach Galifianakis — who told me in September he thought SNL might never let him host — is going do be doing just that in what should be a very special episode on March 6, 2010. Musical guest for that week still to be determined. I'd talked to Galifianakis over the weekend and confirmed his hosting date, but didn't want to jinx it in any way — his Twitter handler posted something this afternoon, so we're all set to go....

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Meet Me In New York: Dan St. Germain

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. You know how they say sometimes you need to leave the city you live in to find success? Well, most comedians who move to New York City do that, but I bring it up because the first time I really saw the funny potential of one Dan St. Germain, we were both in Boston and not one of the many NYC shows at which I could have seen him. St. Germain might not have won 2009's Boston Comedy Festival contest, but under all of that hair there's some funny stuff coming out of his mouth. He also went to college in Evansville, Indiana, which is about as close as I can come to finding a funny Indiana transplant not named Jim Gaffigan...

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