The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater announced the dates for the16th Annual Del Close Marathon earlier today. The festival will run from June 27-June 29th, so pack your bags and get ready for a weekend full of the world’s best improv!
The network will air her variety show special, titled The Maya Rudolph Show, on May 19 at 10 p.m. EW has learned that the Saturday Night Live vet — who recently starred in another Peacock comedy series, Up All Night — will be joined by Kristen Bell, Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen, Craig Robinson, Sean Hayes, and Chris Parnell.
The first ever Vulture Festival is coming this May in NYC and they’ve programmed quite the line-up for their evening of comedy at The Bell House including Billy Eichner, Mike Birbiglia, Chelsea Peretti, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, and Jessica Williams.
We hope that Billy Eichner does Billy On The Street-esque bits throughout the evening, wandering throughout the audience.
The stand-up community suffered a loss on Saturday when comedian and actor John Pinette passed away in a Pittsburgh hotel. The coroner cited natural causes and no foul play is suspected.
Apart from his stand-up, which usually centered around his obesity and love of food, Pinette was known for his portrayal of Edna Turnblad in a Broadway production of Hairspray, appearing in the Seinfeld finale as the unfortunate victim of a carjacking victim, and being one of the first high-profile comics to complain about gluten allergies.
Patton Oswalt grows up on "Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time"
It’s been creeping up for years, but Patton Oswalt has finally become a Dad Comedian. He’s touched on the topic of fatherhood in his previous two albums and on “Comedy Plus Tragedy Equals Time” he’s made the transition fully.
This is not a bad thing. Louis CK and Jim Gaffigan — two of the most prolific, well-known stand-ups working today — are both dads. But they seemed to come to us that way, whereas Oswalt went from Angry Nerd to Nerdy Dad.
He’s still as witty, pop culture-based and (when needed, often to big laughs) biting as he’s been since at least 2007, the year of his classic “Werewolves and Lollipops.”
But it’s obvious that, at age 45, Oswalt’s perspective has changed, and with it, his act.
Taking down American’s favorite punchline, Florida, Oswalt boils the joke down to more that just the hacky “hehe it’s America’s penis!”
"The only reason to go to Florida is to identify your daughter’s dead body." But then he goes right into how his young daughter will never stand a chance in an imagined future wasteland where those who grew up in Florida will be ready for.
What are the skills Oswalt has taught his daughter to prepare her? “Scooter-riding and ‘Blade Runner’ trivia,” he says.
Another instance of Oswalt’s transformation from Angry Young Man to Dad is on “Sellout,” a longer bit about how he has now reached the level where he can perform at casinos for large sums of money and do nothing but stand there.
"When I was 25 all I did was scream ‘sellout!’" he reflects. "I didn’t understand what selling out meant." But he quickly learns.
For this particular show, Oswalt makes enough money to “pay for a year of my daughter’s college” only to have his roles on “King of Queens” and “Ratatouille” screamed at him.
"For a half an hour I did not tell one joke. I had my career screamed at me, I agreed with it, then I said goodnight, got a standing ovation, I walked off stage and I said to myself, ‘I just paid for on year of my daughter’s college, I did not tell a single joke and I’ve never made an audience happier."
When an offer to do that every weekend presents itself, Oswalt tells the “Tragedy” audience that every time they see new material from him they should know he could be doing that instead.
As comedy fans, we’re lucky he isn’t choosing to sell-out.
Hannibal Buress "Live from Chicago" full of surprises
I will skip the resume summary portion of this review of Hannibal Buress’ new album “Live from Chicago” because if you’re here you should already know and love him.
The prevailing narrative of Buress in 2014 seems to be “great stand-up finally breaks out.” His role on the popular “Broad City” has widened his reach and the timing of his album couldn’t be any better.
Buress’ previous two albums — 2010’s “My Name is Hannibal” and 2012’s “Animal Furnace” — encapsulated his laid-back, yet meticulously well-constructed style.
"Live" represents somewhat of a change for Buress. He’s always been personal, but this album strays away from much of the silliness that was prevalent on his previous albums and dives deeper into his experiences.
But the most striking thing about “Live” is what little regard Buress has for the fourth wall. Some comedians reference the fact that they are telling jokes on a stage, to varying degrees of success. But Buress ratchets this up ten-fold, creating some of the best moments on the album.
"Some of my jokes have music cues," he says on "Rappers Talk About Drugs" after — out of nowhere — a DJ just drops music in on a punchline. Buress repeats the ridiculous moment a couple of times, eventually cutting it off. "You are just watching a man live out his dream on that joke," Buress explains to a confused audience member.
There is not another musical cue on the rest of the album.
As if that wasn’t weird enough, Buress leverages a story about rapper Riff Raff playing his own songs on stage into its own strange joke.
Buress plays one of his most well-known bits (lizards and pickle juice should be all you need) and repeats the punchline over the recording. “That’s a fun way to do comedy right there.” This subversion of comedy album tropes seems to be where Buress is getting his greatest enjoyment on “Live.”
The album is not without some expected, comforting moments for anyone who’s listened to Buress or seen his stand-up. While talking about religion and the story of Noah, Buress sums up why he is non-believer in his own style. “Get the fuck outta here please,” he says dismissively about animals getting on the ark two-by-two.
While not reaching the heights of his previous two albums, “Live” is an exercise in what someone who holds none of the cows of comedy albums sacred.
I’m heading off to spec my 3rd or 4th @Midnight taping today— for the uninitiated, @Midnight is an internet-based faux gameshow on Comedy Central hosted by Chris Hardwick.
"Specing" means the audience people didn’t officially book me, but I’m hoping they’ll have enough empty seats for hopefuls like me who are standing by.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, audience work is a great / desperate way to make some extra cash. You’re guaranteed 2 hours of work if you were booked. The downside is occasionally getting treated less than human when you’re shuffled through security into a studio to act entertained by something less than entertaining.
I’ve never had a negative experience at @Midnight. The immortal Brody Stevens is the warm-up comic, which I think is reason enough for attending. If you’ve seen Brody live before, you’ll know that the crowd doesn’t always vibe with him at first, but the veteran comic has a knack for turning apprehension into magic. I promise if you end up at a taping you’ll come around.
Hardwick is always the warmest and most engaging host and he effortlessly leads the contestants in rallying around the room’s energy. Everything that happens is as funny as what you eventually see on-air.
I love @Midnight tapings because the performers shatter the weird environment that usually happens when comedians are asked to do their thing on a late night program. Whatever you think about the show, the @Midnight studio is home for comedians and improvisers and the audience gets to be a part of that for an hour or so.
The service I use for audience work is called standingroomonly.tv. It’s free to register on the website. The shows they’ve been providing audiences for lately include @Midnight, The Arsenio Hall Show, The Late Late Show w/ Craig Ferguson, The Pete Holmes Shows, Last Comic Standing, The Queen Latifah Show & more.
Here’s an updated list on the upcoming contestants of @Midnight. (Getting seats through this site makes you a ticket-holder, NOT a paid audience-member. But you’ll still have a blast!)
UPDATE: Ooh! And the best part? Early access to the late night Twitter hashtag! You’re all as needy as me, right?
With the absence of JFL Chicago, there was a open spot for a big time comedy festival, which, thankfully, The Onion and A.V. Club are now planning to fill.
Coming this June, The 1st Annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival will bring the likes of Kyle Kinane, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Marc Maron, Tig Notaro, and more to Chicago. If anything, you should almost just go to this thing if you’re around the area because of the festival’s name.