Month: June 2011

RAW DATA: Who was watching whom in late-night? May 2011 figures come up big for Daily Show, Colbert

Comedy Central was tooting its horn today, announcing that May 2011 ratings vaulted The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report to the top of the late-night heap – among all 11 broadcast network and cable channel offerings — in several key demographics. And they had the raw data to back it up. Stewart was #1 in almost all categories (note: Comedy Central did not break out numbers specifically for women viewers, because CC targets young men above all other viewers), even virtually tying/beating The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in the overall 18-49 age demo. Other things that jump out from the raw data supplied by Nielsen Media Research (disclosure: Nielsen used to pay me money on a subsidiary project): The numbers finally break down viewership among all of the consistent late-night offerings, including Mo'Nique's BET show, and Chelsea Handler's E! nights of the roundtable; grumblings about whether to renew George Lopez's Lopez Tonight can be expected when you see that barely any of Conan O'Brien's audience is sticking around after midnight — Lopez ranked 10th or next-to-last in viewers 18-49, only edging out Mo'Nique (though Lopez did move up to 7th when counting only viewers 18-24, and 6th for men 18-24); Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is more than holding its own against its direct competition; and Conan and Chelsea Lately benefit the most when looking at 18-34...

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Patton Oswalt’s self-examination on nostalgic bit raises points about technology’s impact on comedy

Patton Oswalt wrote an essay titled "A Bit Dis-Remembered," exploring one of his famous older bits — on the Stella D'Oro Breakfast Treats, and his reaction to the old TV commercial for them. He went back to look at the ad, and how much it had resonated with him and how well he had conveyed the tone of the ad, even if he didn't remember the dialogue with 100% accuracy. The bit appears on his first album, 2004's "Feelin Kinda Patton." "Well, I remembered it differently.  Proust bit into a madeline dipped in tea (or something very much like a madeline – isn't there some dispute as to the actual cookie?) and, upon tasting it, remembered a lifetime.  I remembered two sad people eating mass-produced snack cookies and closed a gulf of nearly three decades in my memory.  And Proust had better dick jokes." Here is the actual ad:   Now for Patton's take on the ad:   And back to his self-reflection, eight years after recording the bit… Okay, so at the time I wrote the bit, I hadn't seen the commercial in more than a decade.   I'd searched for it on YouTube.  YouTube, in 2003, had taken its first baby steps towards uploading every single thing ever filmed.   Eight years later, as I write this, they're about .0000001% further into this task. So I relied on my memory to write...

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Friars Club announces 10 finalists (plus alternates) for 2011 FrISC, to compete June 24-25 at UCB-NY

The Friars Club announced today the 10 finalists, plus alternates, who will compete for big cash prizes in the second annual Friars Club Improv & Sketch Competition [FrISC] Five groups made the cut in both improv and sketch categories, after a review by the Friars Club selection committee (disclosure: myself among them). They'll be competing live at the UCB Theatre in NYC on June 24-25, before a live audience and judges. The winners each receive $5,000 to make a short film to debut in October at the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival. Without further ado…the envelope please… FrISC Improv Finalists Big Black Car (NYC)Death By Roo Roo (NYC)Doppelganger (NYC)The Mantzoukas Brothers (NYC)Standards & Practices (Toronto)1st alternate: Middle Age Comeback (Chicago)2nd alternate: Brothers Hines (NYC) FrISC Sketch Finalists Onassis (NYC)Paulilu: The Paul Downs Syndrome (LA)Political Subversities (NYC)Somebody‚Äôs in the Doghouse (Boston/NYC)Stone Cold Fox (NYC)1st alternate: Oh, Brother! (LA)2nd alternate: BoF...

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Comedy Central extends its partnership with the New York Comedy Festival, sets 2011 dates

The New York Comedy Festival will continue to get nationwide exposure via Comedy Central, as the fest and the network announced a three-year extension of their partnership. The 2011 NYCF will take place from Nov. 9-13, 2011, with the lineup announced in August. Working together allows some of the NYCF shows, produced by Carolines on Broadway, to be streamed online at comedycentral.com or broadcast on the cable network. The 2010 festival, for example, hosted Patrice Oneal's one-hour special, as well as live-streaming showcase for Jokes.com. Quotes from the press release… From Mitch Fried, Comedy Central's senior v.p. of live entertainment: ‚ÄúThe relationship with the New York Comedy Festival for the past few years has been hugely successful. This strategic alliance affords both New York City-based companies the ability to showcase incredibly talented performers through a multitude of media opportunities.‚Äù From Caroline Hirsch, the Caroline of Carolines on Broadway comedy club: ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre thrilled to be extending and expanding our partnership with Comedy Central, and we‚Äôre looking forward to elevating the Festival and comedy to even greater heights over the next three years. New York is such a special place for comedy, and the festival has become one of the city‚Äôs most successful and highly anticipated events with Comedy Central.  This year‚Äôs festival promises to be a very special week for comedy throughout the...

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Can anyone get six-pack abs in 30 days? Mark Malkoff’s latest video challenge for My Damn Channel

Michael Sorrentino's nickname is a misnomer: Having a washboard stomach is not "The Situation." Having a gut is. Mark Malkoff didn't quite have a gut when he started his latest video challenge for My Damn Channel, but he did feel like most people who see people with six-pack abs and wonder: Could I have six-pack abs, too? Says Malkoff: "Men's magazines always have headlines reading, 'Get Six-Pack Abs in 30 days.' I wanted to see what a regular guy who doesn't work out would have to subject himself to in order to look like 'The Situation.'" See what happened, after the jump!    With help two to three times each day from a personal trainer, Robert Brace, Malkoff's workouts took him across New York City, and took 16.8 pounds off of his already slight frame. Spoiler...

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