Day: May 4, 2016

Episode #86: Anjelah Johnson

Anjelah Johnson has recorded multiple stand-up specials, but her character Bon Qui Qui is even more popular than her stand-up is — her initial appearance on MADtv in 2007, ripped to YouTube, now has more than 70 million views. Bon Qui Qui put out a record with a few music videos, which has now led to a full concert tour. Would you believe her “Nail Salon” bit, which has more than 60 million YouTube views so far, was one of her very first jokes? Before she ever had told a joke, though, Johnson already had performed at the Super Bowl as...

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Mike Birbiglia to promote his film, “Don’t Think Twice,” with Improv Across America bus tour, workshops

Mike Birbiglia’s winning movie about an improv comedy group, Don’t Think Twice, will get a nationwide theatrical run this summer, starting July 22, 2016, in New York City, and preceded by a 20-city “Improv Across America” bus tour complete with free improv workshops. Don’t Think Twice premiered in March at SXSW, and also screened at the Tribeca Film Festival last month. Written and directed by Birbiglia, he also stars in the film alongside Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and Chris Gethard — they play members of an improv group that gets pulled apart when one of its...

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Review: Gary Gulman, “It’s About Time” (Netflix)

Perhaps nobody wears righteous incredulity as well or as humorously as Gary Gulman. Not indignation, mind you. Although as he says during a 24-minute story that forms the climax of his new hour on Netflix, It’s About Time, he can do righteous indignation like nobody’s business. The way Gulman stakes out a position, like a great painter or a virtuoso, coloring the scenes behind the scenes of the essence of his jokes, really makes him stand above most stand-ups. That story Gulman tells about a trip to Trader Joe’s could be told in a five-minute TV set, but starts...

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Review: Chris Hardwick, “Funcomfortable” (Comedy Central)

Despite the opening title sequence, and the comedian’s ubiquitous presence on Talking Dead, Chris Hardwick’s Funcomfortable is no horror movie. In his latest hour for Comedy Central — the network that also beams him into your eyeballs @midnight — Hardwick may have shed his nerdist handle on Twitter as his Nerdist empire has grown perhaps beyond his wildest dreams, but he’s still enough of a nerd at heart to know how to compare his San Francisco audience to C-3PO: “A shiny gay robot who just wants to help people.” Then follow that up with an awkward but true statement about...

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Refinery29’s RIOT: “A female-first YouTube comedy channel”

Refinery29 announced a slate of new initiatives during their Newfronts presentation on Monday, among them the launch of a separate YouTube channel dedicated to women in comedy. It’s called RIOT. “We need to move away from the idea of selling ‘empowerment’ to women. This generation of women has an innate sense of power that has never existed before, and we see it in our audience every day. We need to honor that power,” said Amy Emmerich, chief content officer at Refinery29. “Refinery29 aims to rally our community of strong, outspoken, and confident women to harness the strength, passion, and...

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