Day: June 27, 2011

Onassis, The Mantzoukas Brothers come up winners at 2011 Friars Club Improv & Sketch Competition

A new UCB Maude team and a long-running two-man improv group came up big as winners of $5,000 each in the 2011 Friars Club Improv & Sketch Competition, held over the weekend at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. The cash prizes serve as funding for the winning groups — Onassis and The Mantzoukas Brothers — to produce and shoot short films for the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival this October. The Mantzoukas Brothers with FrISC2011 Executive Director Sue Constantine. All photos by Brooke Connolly. Improv went first on Friday, with each of the five competing finalists having 20 minutes on the clock to receive an audience suggestion and do whatever they could, would and should with it. The Mantzoukas Brothers — Jason Mantzoukas and his brother, Vincent (Ed Herbstman) — emerged victorious after going up last with a monoscene that acknowledged the audience and ended with a bang of a black-out. You can see them monthly at The Magnet Theater in NYC (next scheduled date: July 15, 2011) where Herbstman is a co-founder. Doppelganger had gone up first and finished a very close second (note: I was on the selection committee for FrISC but did not serve as a judge, though I did speak to some of the judges afterward) with their explosively fun scenes and imaginative use of the stage. Sasheer Zamata climbed over...

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This week on late-night TV

The following listings include comedians and comedic actors scheduled to appear/perform on the late-night TV talk show circuit this week. Check with the TV shows and local listings for last-minute changes. This week, we get twice the Louis CK as he appears on Kimmel tonight and The Daily Show on Tuesday. Who else is making the late-night rounds this week? For the week of June 27 – July 1, 2011 Conan (TBS) — Monday: Jason Sudeikis; Wednesday: Jon Dore; Thursday: Tom Hanks Lopez Tonight (TBS) — Monday: Larry the Cable Guy; Tuesday: Andy Richter; Wednesday: Cedric the Entertainer; Thursday: Tom Papa The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (COMEDY CENTRAL) — Tuesday: Louis CK; Wednesday: Tom Hanks Late Show with David Letterman (CBS) — Monday: Bert Kreischer; Tuesday: Tom Hanks; Friday (repeat): Ray Romano, Reese Waters Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS) — Monday: Dennis Miller; Wednesday: Dom Irrera; Thursday: Henry Winkler; Friday: Cedric the Entertainer The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC) — REPEATS Wednesday: Larry David; Thursday: Erik Rivera; Friday: Jason Sudeikis Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) — REPEATS Monday: Chris Hardwick; Friday: Larry the Cable Guy Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) — Monday: Louis CK; Tuesday: Hannibal Buress; Wednesday: Kevin Nealon Chelsea Lately (E!) Panelists — Monday: Jeff Wild, Brad Wollack, Ross Mathews; Tuesday: Jo Koy, Loni Love, Gary Valentine; Wednesday: John Caparulo, Chris Hardwick, Heather McDonald; Thursday: Ben Gleib, Fortune Feimster, Josh Wolf; Friday:...

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Pic of the Day: Dave Chappelle, buff in the city = gruff in the city?

Finally has some hard-hitting news coverage regarding comedian Dave Chappelle, as they spotted him walking around New York City this past weekend in a sleeveless shirt. By hard hitting, of course, I meant that Chappelle has been hitting the gym hard. Take a look! Only he’s not all that happy about it. Is it the muscles that stopped him from smiling? Or is it the backpack? It could just be the smells of NYC in the...

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What NBC’s The Marriage Ref got right and wrong in rebooting for season two

NBC brought back The Marriage Ref for a second season, which premiered last night. It’s Jerry Seinfeld’s pet project and hosted by his friend and longtime opening act, Tom Papa. Some people think the very concept is silly, having celebrities — not particularly known for their ability to maintain their matrimonies — serve as referees for civilian couples. Especially when the marital spats may seem to be silly themselves. You could argue that most family sitcoms rely on those very premises, though. Besides, The Newlywed Game has done this for decades, just without the starpower. But the thought of becoming a star through a fight with your spouse may produce an actual split in the marriage (see these two New Yorkers from season one). So. What did The Marriage Ref get right in returning for a second season? For one thing, they actually brought the married couples on set. Before, they were stuck at home and on tape (or closed circuit), getting mocked by celebrities without any ability to even interact with them. The show also made it clearer that all of the couples would earn a vacation, with the studio audience rewarding one couple with $25,000. They got rid of Today correspondent Natalie Morales and her recaps, as well as Marv Albert and his replay commentary. And they even let Ricky Gervais throw a joke at the show by...

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