Day: June 18, 2010

Team Coco Presents The Conan Writers Live: Too much “very funny” for one hour of TBS airtime?

The Team Coco presents The Conan Writers Live was a big hit last night at Chicago's Bank of America Theater, but I can tell you that perhaps it was too much of a big hit. The show, hosted by Andy Richter and featuring musical wonders from Reggie Watts, included stand-up sets from eight of the writers for Conan O'Brien's short-lived edition of The Tonight Show on NBC. But there's only room for six of them to perform on the 60-minute special, set to air on TBS at 10 p.m. Sunday, June 27. So who will make the cut? What if they all performed well during the taping? Couldn't TBS just extend the special to 90 minutes if it's all "very funny"? The special debuts late on a Sunday after the Ellen DeGeneres variety special, so it's not as if they're going to push anything major off the air to make do. A quick look at the schedule listings for June 27 shows that TBS plans to immediately repeat both Ellen and Coco, followed by a 1 a.m. rebroadcast of the movie, Vegas Vacation. I'm sure Chevy wouldn't mind getting bumped, right? As for the show itself, it was more than a little heartwarming to see the audience immediately take to Watts even before the taping itself began. I had to scramble to find a seat because my seat in...

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“Drinking Buddies with T.J. Miller” take the show’s title to heart at Lincoln Lodge reunion #jflchicago

Comedian/actor T.J. Miller came back to Chicago this week and brought some of his Windy City comedy friends back with him for a stand-up show billed as "Drinking Buddies," and the buddies certainly believed the drinking part was mandatory for the evening, in back-to-back shows that went well into Wednesday night at the Lincoln Lodge. Host James Fritz complained early on that the Lincoln Lodge and JFL hadn't gotten with the program. "All they have for us backstage is water!" Fritz made do with the cash bar. Mike Bridenstine (pictured) opened by commenting on Fritz and the fellow Chicago comedy scene and how gross they are. As for his drinking story, Brido shared that he had gotten drunk as a sixth-grader when his eighth-grade sister held a houseparty when their parents were away. "Aw, hell, no!" On a more sobering note, he also has written a great TV ad for a karate place that could join the pantheon of infamous local TV ads, whether in Chicago or anywhere. Kyle Kinane was ready for "Showtime!" "I buy my beer in 12-packs so I'm not such a boozebag," Kinane claimed. "I like to get my exercise, so when I'm done, I can walk back and get more." He joked with the crowd about being so drunk, that he has pretended to take a cell phone call to mask his puking. But...

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A star is born: Aziz Ansari is famous enough now that Randy isn’t just a character, it’s his closer

Remember all the way back to a year ago, when Funny People hadn't yet come out, but Aziz Ansari already was generating buzz for his caricature of a stand-up comedian called Raaaaaaaandy ("that's Randy with eight A's")? Fast-forward back to now, and Ansari — who just hosted the MTV Movie Awards and has several movie deals in the works in addition to his supporting role on NBC's Parks and Recreation — is a bonafide celebrity, getting name-dropped by people who he was name-dropping only a year ago. Ansari packed the Vic Theatre in Chicago for four shows this week, two on Wednesday, two on Thursday. Watching the crowd go gaga for Ansari, and even more so for Raaaaaaaandy, it has become increasingly clear that his hopping, singing overconfident character isn't all that different from the Ansari who earlier in his act, ends a series of tags about a racist locksmith with a jingle, or comes up with new song-raps for R. Kelly as an online dictionary resource. It's just that now, Ansari closes his 45-minute set, then after briefly leaving the stage, returns to welcome Raaaaaaaandy as his "special guest" to wild applause and audience suggestions for his blowjob jokes. That's not to say Ansari doesn't still want to be known as a more reserved, less confident type. When he told the Vic audience on Wednesday, "I'm single now,"...

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Comedy Central launches Portable Lounge, a new online “talk show” with a rotating cast

Comedy Central has unveiled a new online plaything of a talk show called Portable Lounge.  The portable part means just that, the lounge where comedians talk about this and that and these other things will take place wherever the mood feels right. Chris Gethard, star of Comedy Central's upcoming Big Lake, chats with his UCB comrade and current SNL cast member Bobby Moynihan in a bowling alley in the Bronx. Other shows will beam to you from a butcher shop, barber shop, comic book store and chocolate factory. Comedy Central has yet to reveal which comedians will be chatting it up and when, but promises to give me and you the head's up. In the lounge, the chat will be broken up into segments such as "Tweet of the Moment," "Delete A Friend" from Facebook, "Non-Sexual Fantasy" and "Whodja Rather." In this clip, Gethard asks Moynihan who he'd rather have as his investment partner in his fantasy business: Chewbacca or Falcor? And in the process, Moynihan will show you his impersonation of Adm. Blackbar that he used to do with Gethard in shows at the UCB. Roll the...

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HBO Canada taping six-episode stand-up showcase with host Jon Dore at Just For Laughs Montreal

For all of my neighbors to the north who complain about not being able to watch online clips from Hulu or Comedy Central, this post's for you! Several comedians have asked me if I'm going to Montreal next month for Just For Laughs, saying they'll be there for an HBO thing. Turns out that HBO thing is an HBO Canada production that's filming about 20 stand-ups for a six-episode showcase series that'll be hosted by Jon Dore. Score! The dates and times aren't listed on the JFL Montreal site yet — a search just now turned up the fact that Dore will be hosting New Faces showcases on July 15, but my sources tell me the HBO Canada shows will be earlier in that week. Dore turned in what was one of my favorite sets of the weekend at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Ore., this spring with what was possibly the most meta comedy routine I've seen in a while — it included invisible crowd work and tattoos and, well, if I told you everything, it'd spoil it if he does it again, which I hope he does on the TV, in Canada or elsewhere. To celebrate, here's a clip from Dore's recent Comedy Central Presents. Roll...

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