Day: April 1, 2019

Episode #253: Jill-Michele Meleán

Jill-Michele Meleán’s mother’s Irish, and her father’s Bolivian. But she grew up in Miami surrounded by Cubans. All of which makes her White Latina, the title of her first full stand-up special, out now via Comedy Dynamics. Jilly talks to me about catching her first break by standing in for J.Lo. on set for the 1998 film, Out of Sight, brought her to Hollywood and got her a SAG card. She talks me through the lean years, the heights of becoming MADtv’s first and only Latina cast member, and how she kept going in the years following that gig...

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Fundraisers in LA, NYC and DC to support Jason Saenz in recovery from paralyzing accident

Jason Sáenz, a former New Face at Montreal Just For Laughs, had made a name for himself through his parody “Saenz Signs” he’d post on telephone poles and elsewhere around New York City, and then Los Angeles. He’d just started a new full-time job doing social media for Steve Harvey when he fell through a skylight in December and became paralyzed from the waist down. His new health insurance hadn’t yet kicked in, so his medical bills continue to mount. After weeks in the ICU at Cedars-Sinai, the comedian is rehabbing. A GoFundMe so far has raised more than...

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Netflix shuffling execs in charge of comedy specials

There’s a new guy in charge of Netflix’s comedy domination. Brandon Riegg, who had served as the streaming giant’s VP Unscripted Originals & Acquisitions, will take over comedy while Lisa Nishimura moves up from original comedy and docs to become VP Independent Film & Documentary Features. “Lisa blazed a trail within Netflix building our documentary and comedy initiatives, and we’re so lucky to have her expand her role into indie films,” said Netflix’s VP of original film, Scott Stuber, in a statement. “Lisa joins Matt Brodlie and Ian Bricke, who have built our indie film business over the last...

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Comedy Dynamics “Coming To The Stage” series will go 10 seasons

The longest-running stand-up showcase series as of now is/was Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, which ran for nine seasons from 1997-2005. Of course, Comedy Central has replaced it with several other stand-up showcases of varying names and themes. But Comedy Dynamics is looking to best Premium Blend by at least one season, announcing a deal to extend its Coming To The Stage series to 10 seasons. The first five seasons premiered on Hulu; seasons 6 and 7 on Pluto TV. Seasons 8-10 will air on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Dish, DirecTV, and Comcast, with Jamie Kennedy hosting. George Wallace, Tom...

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Chicken Soup For The Soul acquires Crackle from Sony

This is not an April Fool’s joke. Chicken Soup For The Soul Entertainment, a streaming service in its own right, is taking on Sony’s assets from its streaming service, Crackle, and creating a joint venture called, well, Crackle Plus. OK. It still sounds like a prank. But it’s not. “Crackle is a valuable asset and we feel confident it will thrive and grow in this new environment with CSS (Chicken Soup for the Soul) Entertainment,” said Sony Pictures Television Chairman Mike Hopkins. “We were drawn to CSS Entertainment as our partner in this venture because of its aggressive, entrepreneurial...

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