Day: January 26, 2011

Bret Ernst goes off the script on “Lopez Tonight”

When you're performing in a comedy club, any little thing that happens while you're onstage can be used as fodder for ad-libbed riffs. In a theater setting, you may choose to ignore the less-obvious accidental moments because most of the room might not have even seen nor heard the moment you want to riff about. On a late-night TV talk-show taping? You usually have only a few minutes and it's all been rehearsed and approved by the booker and the producers beforehand. Forget about it. But Bret Ernst couldn't help but go off the script as soon as he grabbed the mic on last night's episode of Lopez Tonight. What happened backstage had him laughing at himself and he just had to share. Ernst then went on to joke about old men, his old man, and why you don't want to get into a fight with your elderly males. Roll the clip!...

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Watch T.J. Miller punish his director in intro to “Mash Up,” coming to Comedy Central on March 11, 2011

Comedy Central has set a date for the debut of Mash Up, the post-Blerds experimental comedy show, hitting the airwaves at midnight Friday, March 11, 2011. TJ Miller hosts, with featured performances by Matt Braunger, Hannibal Buress, Kyle Kinane and Kumail Nanjiani, acted-out stand-up in sketches, and other weirdly addictive visuals. It's directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, and we already can see how he's setting the tone with this intro video. How do I know it's JoVo Robo underneath that TV helmet? Because he also captured behind-the-scenes footage of this shoot. Any director willing to get pelted with paintballs is OK in my book. Further reading: Vogt-Roberts explained the whole concept of Mash Up to me last year when they taped it in Los...

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Funny or Die, HBO repeat as Sundance short-film winner with “Brick Novax’s Diary”

Looks like the jury at the Sundance Film Festival has the same sense of humor as the folks at Funny or Die, because for the second straight year, they've picked a short from FoD's Funny or Die Presents on HBO series as the best of the fest. Last year, it was "Drunk History" with Will Ferrell, Don Cheadle and Zooey Deschanel re-enacting the story of Lincoln and Douglass as told by a drunken Jen Kirkman. This year, it's the "Brick Novax's Diary" series that took the U.S. Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking, handed out last night in Park City, Utah. Or rather, the first two of four episodes of the series directed by Matt Piedmont. Using action figures and small-scale models, the series recounts Novax's life as voiced by Marc Evan Jackson. From the official description: "Penniless in a seedy motel room with only weeks to live, international superlegend Brick Novax records his amazing tales as an astronaut, movie star, corporate CEO, and famous musician to preserve his legacy as the coolest guy in the history of the world." The first part of the Novax diaries aired on the second-season premiere of the HBO FoD series on Jan. 14, with another installment coming on Jan. 28.   Weird but true: This teaser clip only had a 25% approval rate from Funny or Die's viewers as of today. Good thing...

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Meet Me In New York: Sheng Wang

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. Fun Fact: Sheng Wang was the inspiration for the launch of the "Meet Me In New York" series! When I saw Wang in NYC in the fall of 2009 and learned he had made the move here, I realized that I needed to have a way to spotlight so many of the comedians who come to the big city but may not be making headlines everyday to otherwise cover. Of course, Sheng Wang has made plenty of news recently — winning NBC Universal's seventh annual Stand-Up For Diversity competition and earning a one-year holding deal with the networks. And this Friday, his first half-hour Comedy Central Presents debuts on Comedy Central. Let's get to know a little bit more about him. Cue the...

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