Day: November 2, 2010

Flashback: Jimmy Fallon’s TV debut on Barry Sobel’s 3-minute talk show in 1996 on Comedy Central

All of the talk overnight of the shortest ever talk-show got people reminding me that someone already has been there and done that, and his name is Barry Sobel. If you need proof, just ask Jimmy Fallon. Don't let the long hair fool you. This fresh-faced kid was turning 22 in 1996 when he appeared on the very first episode of Barry Sobel's three-minute talk show on Comedy Central.  Did we say three minutes? Yes. Three minutes. Take that, Conan's "Show Zero." You can watch the entire debut episode here. Kevin Meaney plays the fictitious head of the network who informs Sobel in his monologue that he'll only be getting three minutes. Fred Willard plays Sobel's sidekick, and Rita Wilson gets honors as his first guest.   In a twist in which everything old is new again, Sobel is developing a new Internet iteration of his three-minute show, with help from Rita Wilson's husband, Tom Hanks! Of course, the relationship between Sobel and Hanks goes all the way back to the 1980s movie about comedians that comedians love to trash talk about, Punchline. Hanks had Sobel write for him and tutor him in the "comedy stylings" of stand-up, as it were. Here's a photo Sobel shared on Facebook from one of the tapings this fall, with musical guest Ben...

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Watch Big Jay Oakerson’s revealing interview with me, from my CMJ series with The Laugh Button

My friends at The Laugh Button and The Syndicate threw a special midnight show at CMJ last month with Comedy Central, and asked if I'd like to chat with some of the comedians. I said sure. We set up shop in the basement of Comix, dreamed up the impossibly creative title "The Comic's Comic at Comix," and invited the comedians into our lair. Let's welcome Big Jay Oakerson into the lair. Oakerson came out of the Philadelphia comedy scene, and now travels the country headlining comedy clubs, and touring with rock and metal bands. But how did he become so "Big"? We learned that and more in our chat. Oh, and after my first chat with Hannibal Buress turned heavy, we decided we'd have a safe word for comedians to let me know to change the subject. The safe word is balls. Roll the clip!   Would you like to see more interviews like this, or perhaps even better than this? You're in luck! We videotaped a few of these stand-up sit-downs, and we'll be rolling the rest out later this week. If you'd like to get involved, let me or my friends at The Laugh Button know. You can buy Oakerson's CD, An American Storyteller, on...

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Watch Pee-wee Herman host WWE RAW, get the Big Show in costume and play Twister with the Divas

You may think that on this Election Day, it's important to ask U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon why she hasn't mentioned that her husband, Vince, is brain-dead in a coma — possibly because he's seeking medical attention from Freddie Prinze Jr. (see the shocking video evidence!) — but something else happened last night on WWE RAW. Pee-wee Herman hosted! He popped up during the show first backstage, in a segment with Mark Henry and the Divas in which they play Twister, and we learn that Mark Henry does not know his right hand from his left hand.   Then Pee-wee took to the ring — RING! — and challenged the Miz, with a little help from his "cousin," The Big Show....

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The “Women of SNL,” by the numbers

Since it has been statistically proven that people love statistics about Saturday Night Live, let's figure out how strongly SNL feels about the women of SNL, as depicted last night on the NBC two-hour special, The Women of SNL. Because not all women of SNL are created equal. Apparently. By the numbers, 43 women have made the show's featured or main cast. Only 20 of them, however, appeared in one form or another on the two-hour special celebrating their contributions to the show over thirty-six seasons. Let's break it down. Featured in new sketches and/or interviews: Rachel Dratch, Nora Dunn, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Jan Hooks, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Laraine Newman, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon, Kristen Wiig Featured in taped sketches, in a leading or supporting role: 18: Amy Poehler 11: Kristen Wiig 8: Gilda Radner 7: Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon 6: Ana Gasteyer, Laraine Newman 5: Jane Curtin, Rachel Dratch 4: Tina Fey, Jan Hooks, Cheri Oteri, Casey Wilson 2: Nora Dunn, Michaela Watkins 1: Abby Elliott, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Victoria Jackson, Jenny Slate, Julia Sweeney Not pictured (aka featured less than any male cast member who appeared on "The Women of SNL"): Morwenna Banks, Vanessa Bayer, Beth Cahill, Ellen Cleghorne, Joan Cusack, Denny Dillon, Robin Duke, Christine Ebersole, Siobhan Fallon, Janeane Garofalo, Mary Gross, Yvonne Hudson, Melanie Hutsell, Laura Kightlinger, Gail Matthius, Laurie Metcalf, Nasim Pedrad, Emily Prager, Ann Risley, Sarah Silverman, Pamela Stephenson, Danitra Vance,...

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