Feel like you missed out on what happened this past month? Let’s catch up!
LAST THINGS FIRST, MY PODCASTS!
- Seth Meyers renewed his Late Night contract with NBC through 2025. That’s coincidentally conveniently lining up with the 50th anniversary of SNL, when Lorne Michaels teases he’ll retire.
- Mike Ward is waiting to find out if Canada’s Supreme Court will side with him on his appeal against paying damages to a young celebrity he mocked in his stand-up nine years ago.
- Nick Cannon, meanwhile, is back out of the doghouse with both Wild N Out and Power 106 over his previous anti-semitic remarks.
- Ashley Barnhill had her fifth brain surgery after getting hit by a car. GO to her GOFUNDME to help pay her medical bills.
- Paramount+ renewed Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News for a second season. It returns March 4 with a half-hour special on the new streaming service.
- The Edinburgh Festival Fringe now has a Fringe Society charity, and its first president is Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
- Waller-Bridge and her Solo co-star Donald Glover are going to reboot Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and that’s part of Glover’s new overall deal with Amazon.
- Phoebe Robinson has a pilot deal with Freeform to turn her book, “Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay,” into a TV series, with the comedian and podcaster starring, writing and EPing.
- Harry Shearer has stopped voicing the Black character Dr. Hibbert on The Simpsons in this, Season 32. Kevin Michael Richardson has taken over the role.
- Kevin Hart‘s former personal shopper, Dylan Syer, faces multiple counts in court, including grand larceny, for fleecing the comedian and actor of more than $1 million. Good thing Hart recently signed a four-movie deal with Netflix.
- WarnerMedia is keeping the stars of truTV’s highest rated franchise, Impractical Jokers, in-house with a first-look deal for Joe Gatto, James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn and Sal Vulcano to develop and produce original unscripted and scripted programming for TNT, TBS and truTV as well as HBO Max. The ninth season premiered in February, with a 10th season already ordered.
- Ronny Chieng signed a big Netflix deal.
- The Bonfire with Dan Soder and Big Jay Oakerson returns to SiriusXM on March 1 on the Faction Talk channel, following Bennington.
- Chris Distefano will host a new game show of sorts for truTV.
- NYC’s The PIT has closed permanently. But not before announcing its first 20 recipients of the SNL Scholarship.
- Austin is getting two “new” comedy clubs this year, as The Creek and The Cave is relocating from NYC to ATX, and Cap City will reopen in a new shinier location.
- Comedy Gives Back pledged to help BIPOC comedians in need with $500 grants.
- The Second City has a new owner.
- Peacock ordered two new comedies, one from Craig Robinson, the other starring Chris Redd, Sam Jay, Jak Knight and Langston Kerman.
- Maz Jobrani: Pandemic Warrior on Peacock
- Tiffany Haddish Presents They Ready, season 2, on Netflix
- Patrice O’Neal: Killing Is Easy, on Comedy Central
- Brian Regan: On The Rocks, on Netflix
ALSO IN NEW RELEASES
Feb. 1: Mary-Lynn Rajskub: Live From The Pandemic, on Vimeo
Feb. 5: Rhea Butcher released their new comedy album ‘PULL YOURSELF UP BY YOUR BOOTLEG’ on ASPECIALTHING RECORDS.
Feb. 9: Lewberger: Live at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, for rent/buy on on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and more, via the Comedy Dynamics Network
Feb. 18: Kate Willett released her new Audible Original Dirtbag Anthropology – a fusion of audiobook memoir and podcast
ALSO NEW (FROM LATE JANUARY, when I wasn’t doing a month in review yet):
And also T.J.: January 3rd coming to Amazon Prime.
- Matt Ruby in his own Substack on Why “the creator economy” sucks for creators, or how TikTok and Clubhouse and everything else might be great for some comedians, but ultimately might also be torture for stand-ups having to learn and practice all of these other skills in “content creation” and promotion and technology that may reach audiences in new ways but don’t really make them better at stand-up comedy.
- Mike Birbiglia offered up his own retrospective in Vulture on the past year and learning how to perform virtual shows, asking whether they’re truly “hell gigs” or not.
- Speaking of hell gigs, Mike Siegel wrote for the Wall Street Journal about how he’s actually looking forward to getting back on cruise ships to perform whenever that’s a thing again.
- If you think being a woman in stand-up comedy in America is rough, this BBC piece spotlights what Yang Li is going through this year in China.
- Steve Hofstetter has moved to Pittsburgh. Why? To renovate a former Methodist church into a comedy compound, complete with a showroom in the chapel for audiences of 300, a recording studio and intimate performance space in the basement, and a three-bedroom living facility for touring comics to use as a home base. When is it opening? Who wants to live there?
- Meanwhile, Vegas is back? Ventriloquist April Brucker wrote in The Interrobang about what it’s like getting back onstage during the pandemic.
- Some comedians love Clubhouse, reports The Wrap.
- This guy has put a lot of thought into what Dave Chappelle is thinking these days.
The Simpsons on Sunday night paid tribute to longtime writer Marc Wilmore (younger brother of Larry), who died at the end of January from COVID-19 at the age of 57.
Also leaving us in February…
And Jeff Pearson, the director of The Unbookables stand-up comedy documentary, from cancer.