Day: February 2, 2011

Interview: Pittsburgh’s Billy Gardell on making it big with “Mike & Molly” and his “Halftime” special/DVD

Billy Gardell's new Comedy Central special and upcoming DVD, "Halftime," opens with a shot of the comedian driving across one of Pittsburgh's many Three Rivers bridges as a morning radio program begins. As Gardell told The Comic's Comic, he was this close to taking a job in morning radio back in Pittsburgh before he got the call of a career: A starring role in a primetime network sitcom. Mike & Molly has been a breakout hit in its first season on CBS, and earlier this week, the network ordered two additional episodes to fill in for the expected absence of Two and a Half Men due to Charlie Sheen's new stint in rehab. I caught up with Gardell between shows Friday night at Gotham Comedy Club, and when he stopped glowing about being able to stand on Heinz Field as the Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC Championship Game, we spoke about the halftime of his career. But first, let's look at a clip or two from Halftime, debuting Saturday on Comedy Central and next Tuesday on DVD. A veteran headliner with an old-school, working-class view on observational material from the perspective of a husband and father. Here's what he says about young people and their love of iPhone apps. He's old-school enough to still say the word "application" and in the bit, acknowledge: "I just showed how old I am....

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Only one of these Foursquare parody videos advertises something real. Can you guess which one?

Two new Foursquare comedy videos are online this week. One of them is completely real, though. Let's see what we've got. First up, it's My4SquareAlibi:   Now how about Foursquare for Sex (NSFW):   Time's up. The real one is Those may be comedians in the "testimonials," but the site is real! The sexy one is simply a figment of the imaginations of...

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Coming soon: Mike DeStefano’s one-man show, “Drugs, Disease and Death: A New Comedy”

If all you know about Mike DeStefano is what you saw of the comedian last summer on NBC's Last Comic Standing, then welcome to this site, because you must not have been here before. So here: Read my interview with DeStefano from last year, in which he talks about his life and career on the eve of his half-hour Comedy Central Presents and the madness of LCS. If you've got some more time and want to hear him get really down and gritty on his youth and more, listen to DeStefano on WTF with Marc Maron. That should prepare you for this: Mike DeStefano is about to launch a full one-man Off-Broadway show, "Drugs, Disease and Death: A Comedy." It debuts with a preview week of shows on Feb. 7 at the Producer's Club Theater in New York City. As he does in The Moth or in the WTF interview, DeStefano has talked before about battling a heroin addiction, losing his wife to AIDS and accepting his own HIV diagnosis. But now, as DeStefano told The Comic's Comic earlier this week, he's going to be funnier about it. His show is being produced by Cringe Humor. From what I know of Mike DeStefano and his abilities as a comedian and as a storyteller, you'll have no reason to fear or cringe when you go see his show. So go...

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Doug Stanhope: Offensive jokes are all in the ear of the beholders, who should embrace it or f*** off

In a new op-ed for The Herald in Glasgow, Scotland, Doug Stanhope stands up for comedians everywhere by writing about the nature of offensive comedy, focused on a recent uproar across the pond about a joke Frankie Boyle had told that had offended a woman in the audience. Stanhope defends the comedian, writing, in part: How does the audience fall under the illusion that they have some right to not be offended? Certainly you have the right to not be harmed; but offended? Imagine the number of subjects that might offend any single individual and multiply that by the number of people in any given audience. Subtract all those topics from any given comic’s set list and what do you get? Mime. That’s what you get and possibly what you deserve. I’ve been booed for wearing the jersey of an offending sports team and then won the audience back with rape jokes. Who can tell? So he points a finger back at the audience member, who in one instance, was a mother of a child with Down's Syndrome, and claims that she was fine with all of Boyle's other offensive material until he got to her particular subject. Why is one topic OK to joke about and not another? It's all subjective. In stand-up comedy, even more so. Stanhope continues: The fact is that really no comedian sets out...

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Tommy Davidson thanks TMZ for mocking his car

In this new video interview, comedian Tommy Davidson reflects on a 2008 encounter with gossip mob that showed him in an older sports car, unable to start the engine. Davidson talks about how it made him re-evaluate his priorities and materialism. All I could think about was how this is another reason to mention that you can see more philosophy lessons from Davidson in the documentary I Am Comic, which is available to view instantly on Netflix anytime you'd like. In the meantime, roll this clip....

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