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Updated: 22 hours 36 min ago

Hulu Plus launching comedy channel from Comedy Dynamics

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 13:58

Comedy Dynamics, owner of New Wave Entertainment, that name you see on a title card before many of your favorite Netflix stand-up comedy specials, is launching its own comedy channel on Hulu and Hulu Plus beginning July 29. The channel will offer stand-up specials and behind-the-scenes footage from some of the company’s top comedians. Additionally, comedy fans will have access to specials from the ’70s, ’80s & ’90s through Comedy Dynamics Classics. “As the largest producer of high end stand-up comedy in the US, we wanted to seek out a partner that had the reach and respect we feel our artists deserve,” said president Brian Volk-Weiss, who founded the label in 2008.

The company has already produced 90 stand-up specials and over 125 comedy albums, two of which have earned Grammy nominations for Best Comedy Album. New Wave has produced specials for Bill Burr, Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan, Doug Stanhope & many more. The announcement becomes yet another one for Hulu, whose comedy special offerings are slim. This library of classic and current comedy specials will give it content to attract viewers who normally resort to Netflix’s abundant comedy collection to see quality stand-up specials. The third-place streaming service made a monstrous move last week week when it announced a deal for exclusive streaming rights to the entire South Park library.

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Hank Azaria immigrates to Seth MacFarlane’s Fox animated series Bordertown

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:32

Seth MacFarlane’s new Fox animated series Bordertown just landed a huge lead. Simpsons star and comedian Hank Azaria will voice lead character Bud Buckwald. The Emmy Award-winning actor joins MacFarlane’s comedy about two neighbors from very different backgrounds living in a fictional town on the U.S. — Mexico border. Buckwald is a married father of three and a Border Patrol agent. His neighbor Ernesto Gonzalez is a family man and a hard-working immigrant who is more successful than Buckwald despite having been in the country for less than a decade. Hilarity should ensue.

Fox has a legacy of strong animated series with top voice talent. MacFarlane has been a huge part of that, aside from long-running series The Simpsons. The Ted director has already launched Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show to lots of popularity. Azaria will be a strong lead on a series that hopefully matches his talent. He joins Alex Borstein, Missi Pyle, Judah Friedlander and Nicholas Gonzalez on the cast. Bordertown has yet to be scheduled for a premiere.

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Mark Normand on indie comedy, bombing and the secret to getting laughs (Laughspin interview)

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 16:25

Mark Normand, one of the fastest rising and most versatile comedians in the country, cut his teeth at open mics, bar shows and by performing in loft apartments. It’s that work ethic — and his joke writing prowess — that helped the Louisana native earn the respect of his fellow comedians and industry alike. His first album Still Got It was released recently on Comedy Central Records, as well as his episode of Comedy Central’s The Half Hour. I talked to Normand about producing successful shows, not being complacent, the clubhouse mentality of the indie comedy scene and much more. Check it out!

You’re not Jewish, correct?
I wish!

I was actually poking around your website and you’ve got a whole page on your website called ‘Jews.’
Oh yeah, all my heroes are Jewish. I love the Jews. I wish I was one. You know how there’s wiggers? I’m like a wigger for Jews. I think as a kid growing up in a black neighborhood, Jews were cool because they had their own tribe. You’re white but you have your own gang, you know? You had a little flavor. White is white– we’re just the enemy. But Jews, it’s like you’re white but you still have a crew.

So you grew up in Louisiana but moved to New York and really shot up through the scene. Now you’ve got this great album out, Still Got It. How did you get to this point?
I was in college. I was rudderless. I had nothing going on. I was a drunk idiot who lived in a house with five guys. All I would do is get drunk and fuck fat chicks. That was my whole life, plus watching sports and making barbecue. But growing up I was a creative kid. I was in theater, but that kind of all went away because I wanted to be cool. I was afraid ‘they’ were going to call me a fag. I had the creative thing in me still. I loved comedy. I always saw stand-up like being an astronaut. It was something other people did but I could never do it. One day I said, ‘Fuck it,’ went to an open mic and got hammered. Then I got on stage and talked about a yeast infection– it worked! I did another open mic and another one and started thinking, ‘This is what I want to do.’ My friend was talking about moving to New York and I said, ‘I’ll go with you!’ There was nothing going on in my life. I was hopeless.

Was that Sean Patton you moved out with?
He moved first. Then he came down to visit New Orleans for Thanksgiving and we all huddled around him like a prophet. He told us, ‘It was great. There were a million shows and hot chicks. We’re drinking beer every night and taking the subway.’ Two weeks later we all bought a ticket.

Are those guys you moved out here with still doing comedy?
Yeah, there’s Zach Simms. He moved out to LA and I think he’s writing on a show now. But some of them have started taking it easy.

What do you mean by ‘taking it easy?’
Well I love this one place, The Creek and The Cave in Long Island City. A lot of funny people have come out of there: Mike Lawrence, Nick Turner. But some people kind of ‘fall into the Creek.’ They’re super funny and a really good comic but they’ve lost some ambition. The Creek is like the clubhouse. You get to know the owner, Rebecca [Trent]. by just hanging there. She’ll throw you a free meal now and again. Sometimes you wanna get on a show, but you can’t just go to a comedy club. You’ll look like an idiot. But at The Creek you know everyone there. There’s an open mic. ‘Hey, I’ll jump on that.’ There’s a show. ‘Hey, I’ll watch the show and have a few beers.’ Then it just becomes a daily thing. You start going there every day. You just ‘fall into it.’ It ain’t healthy for a career. It’s very easy. It’s super laid back. Always a party at night.

The Half Hour
Get More: Watch More Stand-Up.

I’ll say as someone who’s not ‘in’ with that crew, it can be kind of intimidating going for the first few times because it does seem like they’re all really good friends with one another.
Yeah, the only reason I’m in over there is I had nowhere else to go. It felt intimidating as well, but I just went so much eventually I was one of them.

So how’d you keep yourself loving it there without ‘falling in?’
I was very intuitive. Like, I didn’t like the idea of people paying money and watching me bombing. That really bothered me. That’s someone’s paycheck, ya know? I was a big bar show guy, big Creek guy, big whatever. Art space, loft show– whatever the fuck you got. I did all those shows. Eventually I wanted to break into club. I thought, ‘I gotta get into clubs because this isn’t America. The clubs are America!’ When you go out on the road, you’re doing clubs. There’s no Creek and the Cave in Wisconsin. Well, there’s a creek but it’s not The Creek. So I knew I was going to have to break through.

When you do these small shows a lot you kind of fall into that world: lots of references, lots of obscure punch lines, kind of meta bullshit. So I knew I had to break through to the clubs to gain that mass appeal. Plus, I wanted to make a couple bucks. So I started doing clubs more and getting a little away from those alt shows. The Creek will get your feet wet. It’s like that shower before you jump in the pool. But the clubs are the pool. A lot of alt guys bitch about ‘fucking club hacks’ which there are, but Marc Maron went through the clubs. Louis C.K. went through the clubs. These are all their favorite comics.

Even people amongst them eventually go through clubs. You and Mike Lawrence started in that scene and you’re both touring.
It’s all fear-based. They say, ‘Fucking club hacks,’ but they’re scared of the clubs. They’re intimidated by it. It’s just an insecurity thing.

Do you think any of that has to do with the fact that they’re not in the clubs [yet], they think it’s better to shit on the clubs?
That’s what I’m saying, Yeah. ‘Oh you don’t want us? Well fuck you. You suck. You’re just talking about men vs. women, black vs. white and all that shit.’

Do you still run independent shows in New York?
Yeah, I run two. I’ve got Hot Soup every week. That show’s going great– we had Aziz Ansari on last week. Sometimes Todd Barry will pop in. Jim Gaffigan stopped by recently. There’s always a hot line-up. We give you the Michael Ches, your Chris Distefanos. Then I run We’re All Friends Here which is a monthly interview show. It’s the longest-running show at The Creek and The Cave. We’ve got six years. We’ve had everyone from Pete Holmes to Kumail [Nanjiani] to Hannibal [Buress]. We interview people about their most fucked up shit. It’s kind of like WTF with Marc Maron but we did it first.

The Half Hour
Get More: Watch More Stand-Up.

I remember when I was in college, you let me do Hot Soup. You let me do the Boo Spot. Can you tell us about what that is and where that came from?
Jesus, I forgot all about that. That was Andy Haynes’ idea. We wanted to do something fun and different. We had this fun tradition that we came up with where the comic would go up for two minutes and try to be bad. It was supposed to be intentional. The crowd would collectively boo him off the stage. It was a fun way to get the crowd involved.

Yeah, that was certainly an experience.
Yeah. You were great! You really bombed!

So you’ve run a couple of shows for a long time. Hot Soup has been around different places for a long time. What are some of the keys to producing a good independent show?
The key I think is you have to stay on top of those emails. You’ve got to build relationships. You have to really give a shit. You gotta have good line-ups. You’re gonna have one person go, ‘Please, book me please!’ Then he or she bombs. That reflects badly on the show. You’ve gotta be serious about it. You can’t just put your friends on if you really want to have a good show.

And you need to get a bar deal: our show has $15 bucks all you can drink from the beginning of the show to the end of the show. It keeps people drinking because they wanna get their money’s worth. And you want to get those [big name] drop-ins. Everything helps. I really think it’s about keeping the emails. Blast out to the email list every week. It helps you develop regulars. And it also helps create stage time for yourself so that you can get better. With your own shows, there’s less pressure. Of course you want to do well, but no one’s going to say, ‘Hey, you bombed. You can’t do the show again.’ It’s my show!

Now you’ve got the album out. That’s new. That’s hot. It’s funny. Nice to see that success for you. I remember you first late night spot on Conan, I was up at the Comic Strip Live and they put the volume on for it in the lobby and all the late night comics gathered around to watch you. We’re like, ‘Yeah, Mark!’
I appreciate that. It feels really great knowing you guys are there watching that. There’s something about it playing in a comedy club and comics seeing it that really means a lot.

How did it feel to finally get your material onto an album?
Well, it’s a milestone for sure. But of course, the nice feeling of the milestone is trumped by the anxiety of having a good album. It’s on record now. I can’t go back and tweak a joke. I can’t go get a better laugh. I can’t make it better. But it’s a great feeling that people are going to hear this on iTunes. They’ll be like, ‘Hey, I saw this guy at a show. Let me look him up!’ They can get the whole album. It’s kinda cool. It feels more legit.

And it sounds like all it took for you to get there was to work hard, get out of the clubhouse mentality and go fucking do it.
Yeah. People always try to put these spins on comedy. ‘Aww, you gotta do this. You gotta do this.’ All you gotta do is work on a joke. If it hits, keep it. Write what you want. If it doesn’t hit, tweak it or get rid of it. Then do that again. Then do that again. Then you’ve got five minutes. Then you’ve got 10 minutes. It takes forever. It’s hard as fuck. Nobody gives a shit about you but that’s all you gotta do. If the joke works, keep it. If it doesn’t work, change it. Then do it again and again and you have an hour. It takes months and years but it’s what you’ve gotta do!

People ask me all the time, ‘How do you do it? What’s the key? What’s the secret?’ What do you mean what’s the secret? Let me watch your act. Okay. You did five minutes and three of the minutes you bombed. Stop doing those jokes. They’re not working! You gotta hit! You just have to hit. That’s all there is to it. It’s not rocket science. People ask me, ‘Why am I not making it?’ You’re bombing!

The Half Hour
Get More: Watch More Stand-Up.

 

Still Got It is available now on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @MarkNorm. To see him perform live, or see his ‘Jews’ page, you can visit his website www.MarkNormandComedy.com.

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Just For Laughs New Faces of Comedy announced

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 20:24

Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival just announced its New Faces of Comedy lineup for 2014. Each year Just For Laughs, the longest running comedy festival, chooses comedians they feel will break out in the next few years. It’s one of the most anticipated set of showcases of the festival, which runs until the end of July. This year’s New Faces of Comedy are as follows: Alingon Mitra, Brad Wenzel, Drew Michael, Eliza Skinner, Grant Lyon, Hampton Yount, Hasan Minhaj, Jack Robichaud, Jake Weisman, Jen D’Angelo, Jesse Elias, John McKeever, Justine Marino, Kate Berlant, Matteo Lane, Michelle Wolf, Monroe Martin, Nore Davis, Randy Liedtke, Ryan O’Flanagan and Whitmer Thomas.

Just For Laughs also has a sketch comedy grouping for its New Faces of Comedy series. Those chosen this year are: Beth Hoyt, Chelsea Davison, Greg Tuculescu, Holly Laurent, John Reynolds, LaKendra Tookes, Mary Holland, Michael Antonucci and Michael Lehrer.

The New Faces of Comedy showcases will begin this Wednesday. More info coming. Stay tuned.

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John Oliver Calls Out ‘Broken’ American Prison System! ‘Last Week Tonight’ Video Includes Puppets To Discuss Drug Laws And More

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 16:23

How do you make Americans care about the country’s terrible prison system? If you’re John Oliver, you use adorable puppets, of course.

John Oliver tackled this issue on Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight. The former Daily Show correspondent began by noting just how crowded America’s prisons are. Much of this jail population growth has occurred over the last four decades, as the country now has eight times as many inmates as it did in 1970.

“We have over two million people behind bars right now,” John Oliver said. “We have more prisoners at the moment than China. Than China. We don’t have more of anything than China other than, of course, debt to China.”

John Oliver blamed this growth in American prison populations to factors like the decline in the mental health system to the ineffective and “racist” drug laws. Oliver noted that more than half of the inmates in United States jails are there because of drug charges, yet illicit substances are still a major problem in this country.

“While white people and African-Americans use drugs about the same amount, a study has found that African-Americans have been sent to prison for drug offenses at up to ten times the rate for some utterly known reason,” John Oliver deadpanned about the American prison system. “It reminds me of a joke. Black people who commit drug offenses, they go to jail [in handcuffs]. Whereas white people don’t go to jail at all.”

The Last Week Tonight host then noted that so many Americans are in prisons now that the children’s show Sesame Street has had to address the issue. Indeed, the PBS program recently introduced a Muppet named Alex whose father is in jail.

“We now need adorable singing puppets to explain prison to children in the same way they explain the number seven or what the moon is,” John Oliver continued.

But, as John Oliver noted, as least Sesame Street is talking about the issues with the American prison system. Most citizens ignore the issue, likely because they don’t care about those who have broken the law. And when America does talk about jail, it’s usually to joke about the sexual assaults that take place behind bars. Oliver demonstrated this with a montage of pop culture clips about “dropping the soap,” which included scenes from 3rd Rock From The Sun, Naked Gun 33 1/3, and even SpongeBob SquarePants. Yet this is no laughing matter, as about four percent of inmates reported being sexually victimized between 2011-12.

John Oliver saves some of his harshest comments for the privatization of American prisons. The host opined that these contractors do all they can to cut costs, leading to massive declines in food quality and even the occasional maggot in a prisoner’s dinner. Inmate health care has not been much better, as one former prisoner recently revealed that medical staff used sugar to treat her wound following a C-section.

The host was so disgusted by the “broken” American prison system that he sought help from some cuddly puppets, which inevitably led to an adorable (and informative) song-and-dance number. So stay tuned to the end of the video to see John Oliver and the puppets riff on crowded jails and racial profiling.

Watch John Oliver’s rant against the American prison system on Last Week Tonight.

Louis C.K. show ‘Louie’ gets shorter season 5, ‘Fargo’ coming back to FX eventually

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 13:19

FX wants more Louie. Louis C.K. will return to the network with a fifth season of the show, FX CEO Jon Landgraf announced. “Louie’s fourth season was once again groundbreaking,” Landgraf, who has given C.K. nearly free reign to create brilliance on his network, said in a statement. “The show went to narrative and cinematic places no comedy has gone before and we look forward to seeing what Louis comes up with next.” The news was announced on Monday at a Television Critics Association event where he also announced freshman series Fargo‘s renewal for a second season (at the earliest, Fall 2015).

One curious sidenote is that season five will be half the length of this most recent season. Louie will return with only seven new episodes in Spring 2015. Ratings are good and its third season is nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards this year. It’s possible that Louis C.K., who took a bit of a break between seasons three and four to build a new hour-long HBO special (Louis C.K.: Oh My God), has way more on his plate than ever before. Including touring as a stand-up comedian and being the father of two lovely young girls, the critically acclaimed comedian is developing more original comedy series for FX Networks, starring with Kevin Hart in an animated movie and going on Twitter rants. Plus, we still might see more than “seven or eight” episodes. FX only ordered 13 episodes for season 4 and C.K. delivered 14. Just because. So stay tuned for more Louis C.K. news and get ready to watch him collect trophies later this year at the Emmys.

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Husband Emails Wife Spreadsheet Of Excuses She Gave For Not Having Sex With Him; Wife Posts Sex Life Spreadsheet On Reddit

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 20:04

An unnamed husband thought he had the perfect way to convince his wife to have sex more often. The man sent her a spreadsheet of all the excuses his lover gave when she refused to sleep with him. But the move backfired in a big way when the woman posted the chart on Reddit, where it has now gone viral.

The wife, who goes by the Reddit name throwwwwaway29, explained that her husband emailed her the below sex spreadsheet (click to enlarge) as she was on her way to a business trip. The chart showed every time the husband tried to sleep with his wife over the last seven weeks, and whether or not he was successful in doing so. If they did not have sex (which happened quite often), the man quoted his wife’s excuses. These included legit physical reasons like “I’m too drunk and I ate too much” and “I might be getting sick” to lamer ones like “I’m watching my show, I don’t want to miss anything.” Hasn’t she ever heard of a DVR?

“Yesterday morning, while in a taxi on the way to the airport, Husband sends a message to my work email which is connected to my phone,” the wife wrote on Reddit about her husband’s sex excuses spreadsheet. “He’s never done this, we always communicate in person or by text. I open it up, and it’s a sarcastic diatribe basically saying he won’t miss me for the 10 days I’m gone. Attached is a SPREADSHEET of all the times he has tried to initiate sex since June 1st, with a column for my ‘excuses,’ using verbatim quotes of why I didn’t feel like having sex at that very moment. According to his ‘document’, we’ve only had sex 3 times in the last 7 weeks, out of 27 ‘attempts’ on his part.

It was actually 28 attempts, but throwwwwaway29’s point was clear. What’s less clear is why she posted the sex excuses spreadsheet on Reddit, though it’s possible she just needed some advice. And whether she wanted it or not, posters were all-too-willing to tell throwwwwaway29 how to proceed. Suggestions ranged from sending an apology email or sexy photos to asking for his help with chores so she won’t feel as tired when he wants to make whoopee.

She may need to do more, however, as she wrote on Reddit that her husband has “cut contact” with her since sending the sex excuse spreadsheet. No word on how he responded to his wife posting their dirty laundry on the Internet. But if his idea of communication is sending his wife an email spreadsheet as she is about to leave town, she may be better off without him, anyway.

Charlie The Dog Baby Apology Video Real Or Fake? Beagle Showers Laura With Gifts After Stealing Toy

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 11:12

What’s the only thing cuter than a funny dog video? A funny dog video with a baby, of course! So it’s no surprise that Charlie the beagle’s hilarious attempt to cheer up a crying baby is going viral.

The video begins with Charlie the dog taking one of the baby Laura’s toys.  Like any young child who loses something she wants, the young girl begins to cry.

A short time later, Laura has stopped crying, but Charlie still feels guilty. So he does what any good dog would do and starts bringing her toy after toy to help her cheer up. His gifts for Laura include a tennis ball, a Playstation controller, a doll, and the toy he took in the first place.

Laura seems a bit overwhelmed by all the gifts, as she can barely move under all of the toys. Still, guilty Charlie’s plan seems to have worked, as the video description notes that Laura and Charlie are still “best friends.”

Watch a guilty Charlie apologize to baby Laura below.

This video of Charlie the dog giving toys to Laura has just now gone viral, even though it was posted online in April. The clip has received more than one million views, but not everyone was impressed by guilty Charlie’s actions. Some questioned whether Charlie’s owners commanded him to retrieve the toys for Laura. But the people behind Charlie’s Facebook page denied this notion on Sunday.

“When Charlie takes any of the Laura’s toys he always gives it back, we keep her toys in the basket, but he loves to open it and bring it to her ( WITHOUT ASKING),” the owners wrote. “That’s why we decided to record these moments and put it all together to one video! We use music in it because we speak polish ( language which not all people can understand) and when we speak there video wouldn’t be so great .”

To prove it, the owners posted this second video without music, showing that Charlie the dog was not commanded to give Laura any toys. Now that this has been put to rest, we can go back to enjoying the cuteness that is Charlie and Laura’s friendship.

//

Post by Charlie.

Adam Sandler, Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad in first photo from Sci-fi comedy ‘Pixels’

Sat, 07/19/2014 - 15:38

Adam Sandler, Josh Gad and Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage are on a mission to save New York from vicious aliens from outer space. You’ve seen it a million times, right? But here’s the twist: the aliens are attacking New York because they think satellite feeds of classic video games — think 8-bit Atari games like Centipede and Space Invaders — are actual threats to their safety on their home planet. Aliens are so stupid, you guys! Regardless, it’s time to fight! But why Sandler, Gad and Dinklage? Well, Kevin James is the President of the United States and his three best childhood friends were amazing video game players back in the day. However, the President’s buddies haven’t excelled in life the way he has. Sandler fixes televisions, Dinklage is a felon and Gad is a world class conspiracy theorist. But fear not! There to whip this tragic trio into shape is a weapons expert, played by Michelle Monaghan. It’s all part of Pixels, the Chris Columbus-directed Sci-fi comedy flick set to hit theaters May 15, 2015. And the first shot from set has been released; check it out below.

Chris Columbus tells Entertainment Weekly the photo above shows Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad in their battle suits for the first time in Pixels. They’re on their way to battle none other than Pac-Man. “They’re actually becoming sort of cultural heroes at this point. It’s a very important shot in the film,” Columbus says, adding, “It’s a little bit of an homage to Ghostbusters and all those great Amblin movies of the eighties — not only the movies that I was involved in like The Goonies and Gremlins — but the movies I loved when I was working there like Back to the Future.”

To be honest, Pixels looks fun– so long as it doesn’t end up like 2012′s Wreck-It Ralph, another 8-bit video game themed movie. Pixels also stars Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson, The Bourne Identity‘s Brian Cox and 30 Rock alum Jane Krakowski.

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Whose Line is it Anyway? renewed for 24 episodes

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 17:55

Whose Line is it Anyway?, the popular sketch comedy show that was revived in 2013 with host Aisha Tyler, has been renewed for a third season. The CW announced today they’ve ordered 24 new episodes that will premiere in 2015. Whose Line is it Anyway? originated in the UK but became an American hit when ABC broadcast it with host Drew Carey from 1998-2004. The new version of the show features original improvisers Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles in addition to guest stars, which have included Kat Graham (Vampire Diaries), Lauren Cohen (The Walking Dead) and Misha Collins (Supernatural).

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Phil Anselmo, Dave Hill team up for Metal Grasshopper, Web series that spoofs Heavy Metal

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 16:58

As someone who grew up listening, playing and worshipping metal and who has since gone on to worship the art of comedy, the fact that ex-Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo is teaming up with musically-inclined comedian Dave Hill gives me a great big music-comedy boner. Anselmo, who has gone on to front bands like Down and Superjoint Ritural and the Illegals, will star in a Web series titled Metal Grasshopper, wherein Anselmo trains Hill in the art of being totally Metal. So how did Anselmo get involved you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Metal Grasshopper is being spearheaded by Hill and video producer Chris Lee (guitarist of the band Supagroup); he’s married to former White Zombie bassist Sean Yseult, who’s been friends with Anselmo for, like, 20 years. “I had no idea what to expect,” Lee tells Nola.com about the first time he met the Pantera frontman “I found out he’s the funniest guy I’ve ever met. Fall-down-laughing funny.”

Sadly there isn’t an episode of the show online yet, but Nola.com gets deep into some details:

The series was shot mostly at Anselmo’s wooded compound north of Lake Pontchartrain, which Hill equates to “a metal version of Neverland.” At the outset, Hill sets up an amplifier on Anselmo’s front lawn and wakes up the slumbering star with a bout of shredding.

As the series progresses, Anselmo instructs the hopelessly dorky Hill on how to headbang. How to bellow, death-metal style. How to conjure effective stage banter. How to “tap into your inner darkness.”

A rented goat factors into one episode. In another, a pentagram is burned into Anselmo’s lawn. The rocker’s collection of medieval weapons – swords, axes, etc. – are deployed. Hill accidently struck Anselmo in the head with a mace, a type of club.

If you’re lucky enough be in New Orleans on July 23, Hill will be screening an episode of Metal Grasshopper after his stand-up performance at One Eyed Jacks. Tell us how it is, jerks. Check out a teaser below!

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The ‘Simpsons Take the Bowl’ for live performance featuring Weird Al Yankovic, Hank Azaria, Matt Groening and more!

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:48

After 25 years on television the team behind The Simpsons still know how to get its rabid fans excited about the iconic animated series. For the first time ever, the cast of The Simpsons will appear live on stage— but only for three nights (Sept. 12, 13, 14) at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Dubbed The Simpsons Take the Bowl, cast members like Hank Azaria – he voices Apu, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum and many others – Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith (Bart and Lisa Simpson) as well as guest stars “Weird Al” Yankovic, Jon Lovitz and Beverly D’Angelo will stage original performances as well as scenes from some of The Simpsons‘ 500-plus episodes.

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening will also be on hand telling behind-the-scenes stories and premiering never-before-scenes on the Bowl’s big screens— all while the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra provides a live score. And if that’s not enough, there will also be a fireworks finale—because, why not? Ticket information will be available at the Hollywood Bowl’s official site. But based on Ticketmaster’s page, it seems tickets will run as high as $188.

The 26th season of The Simpsons will premiere this fall on Fox.

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Hulu Plus snags South Park, all 244 episodes now available to stream: Watch a full episode now!

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:07

Small but determined Hulu just made a monstrous move to attract subscribers by landing an exclusive streaming deal with the creators of Comedy Central’s South Park. All 244 episodes of South Park are now available for free on Hulu– and only on Hulu. As part of the arrangement, Comedy Central, whose Viacom video player — which is a bit unreliable in my humble opinion — will use Hulu’s streaming service on its South Park website. “We worked with the Viacom player a few years ago, and there would be glitches and bugs following the upload of South Park,” said co-creator and voice actor Matt Stone. “However, Hulu was out of the gate fast and had a better player. We looked at their player with envy, and we always wanted to have the best possible platform for our show.” Trey Parker added, “We wanted to rip off their technology.”

On Sept. 24, the complete South Park library will only be available on Hulu Plus, Hulu’s premium streaming service. The move hopes to bring in more subscribers to put the site in closer competition with Netflix and Amazon Prime. Netflix leads streaming services with over 34 million subscribers while Amazon Prime is a distant second with over 20 million members. Hulu Plus lags behind in third place with about 6 million users. Hulu Plus has begun developing and creating original shows, as Netflix and Amazon have done with Orange Is The New Black and Alpha House, respectively. Other sites have made deals with significant libraries to attract more users. Crackle gave Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee a four-season renewal. Yahoo! Screen breathed life into recently-cancelled Community. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime added a bulk of popular series from HBO, which also has its own streaming service HBOGo available to its television subscribers.

Maybe if Comedy Central has a good experience embedding Hulu’s player on their site with South Park, other Comedy Central series could see Hulu Plus deals in the future. You can watch the foul-mouthed 4th graders for free for the next couple of months over at Hulu’s website. While you think about that, check out South Park’s famous episode Casa Bonita below! For free!

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Jim Norton launches ‘The Jim Norton Show’ for Vice, guests include Mike Tyson, Dana White

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:46

Jim Norton doesn’t seem fazed about adding more to his growing plate on the newly-retitled Opie with Jim Norton show on SiriusXM radio. The raunchy stand-up comedian is launching a new mini-series on Vice.com. The Jim Norton Show will mix in stand-up bits, guest comedians and in-depth uncut interviews shot in front of a live audience. “I wanted to do a talk show that reminded me of the old school ones I loved as a kid,” he said, noting he wants to avoid the “fake enthusiasm” and “sound bite-driven conversations” typical of some modern talk shows. “I also wanted to do a monologue that represented my stand up sensibilities and not have to worry about it being ‘family friendly.’ Because I’m not family friendly.”

The series will premiere next week on Wednesday, July 23. Some of his guests already slated to appear are ex-boxer Mike Tyson, Dana White, and “Freeway” Rick Ross. Norton has recently been in the news for comments about friend Anthony Cumia after the radio host was fired from Opie & Anthony earlier this month. Since then his name has entered into the show’s title as he continues to co-host with Gregg “Opie” Hughes.

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Billy On The Street’s Billy Eichner writing pop culture book, is becoming media powerhouse

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:37

Billy On The Street host Billy Eichner is an improviser, actor, TV host and sass mouth. Now the potentially new USA Network star will now add author to his already long and varied resume. The Emmy-nominated comedian has signed a deal to write a book about Hollywood and pop culture. No title or release date has been announced by Hachette Book Group USA, who will publish the book. Eichner is known for making his opinion very well heard and now we will get a chance to read what he has to say about our favorite celebrities. “I’m very excited to start writing,” the Upright Citizens Brigade alumnus said. “I can assure my fans they will love the book more than Shailene Woodley loves Tom’s of Maine. This book is for anyone obsessed with show business, pop culture, social media and lots of other fun topics that fill our days.” The Parks & Recreation guest star hopes to distract readers as they “hurtle helplessly toward accidents, illness, infidelity and death.”

Eichner continues to stack his plate. Already hosting his Funny or Die-produced street game show for three seasons on the Fuse Network, he recently sold his pilot Difficult People to the USA Network with the help of executive producer and friend Amy Poehler. Co-starring and co-writing with Julie Klausner, the two would play pop culture-obsessed best friends trying to make it as stand-up comedians in New York City.

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Robert Kelly’s ‘Live at the Village Underground’ headed to Rhode Island International Film Festival

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:18

Robert Kelly’s upcoming stand-up comedy film Robert Kelly: Live at the Village Underground, has been accepted into the Rhode Island International Film Festival, one of a handful of qualifying fests for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Live at the Village Underground will make it’s worldwide premiere at the festival between Aug. 5 – 10. The special was filmed on June 17 at the Comedy Cellar at the Village Underground, an intimate space in New York’s West Village, just around the corner from the famous Comedy Cellar.

Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, who recently worked on Patton Oswalt’s newest special Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time, Kelly’s special is a welcome reprieve from the glut of all-too-slick, theater-shot comedy specials. “We shot this film on speculation with the hopes it would be the first of many comedy concert films to come. We’re on our way,” says Jim Serpico, president of motion pictures and television at Apostle, who’s producing Kelly’s special.

In addition to Live at the Village Underground, Kelly will also be seen in Denis Leary’s upcoming FX comedy series Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, where he plays the drummer in Leary’s band The Heathens, a fictitious early 90s rock outfit attempting to make a comeback.

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Terry Richardson, Dov Charney host ‘America’s Next Sick F-ck’ on Funny or Die (Video)

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 09:44

Alleged sexual harassers, photographer Terry Richardson and American Apparel’s Dov Charney have been keeping headline writers busy lately. That’s mostly because Richardson is pretty much always being accused of nefarious sexual dealings with his female model subjects (and because he’s shooting an entire issue of Playboy) and because Charney was just ousted from his American Apparel CEO post amidst charges of sexual harassment, naturally. And because of that, Funny Or Dies has brilliantly given Richardson and Charney the old “what if…” treatment. In this case, it’s “what if Richardson and Charney hosted a reality competition series?”

The answer is simple: The competition series would be called America’s Next Sick F-ck. And up-and-coming degenerates would attempt to prove they’re the most disgusting person alive. Funny Or Die’s concept finds comedian Moshe Kasher playing Richardson and Rich Fulcher (The Mighty Boosh) playing Charney. Check out the action below and see if you have what it takes to become America’s Next Sick F-ck!

America’s Next Sick F*ck from Funny Or Die

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Tracy Morgan, Ardie Fuqua suing Walmart over deadly crash

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 19:10

There’s a new update on what the celebrity-obsessed media calls “the Tracy Morgan car crash”, also known as a 6-car crash that killed comedian James McNair on June 7. Morgan is suing Walmart in a civil court case filed with the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. The 45-year old 30 Rock star was recently released from a rehabilitation center after suffering broken ribs, a broken nose and a broken leg. Fellow comedians Ardie Fuqua (right) and Harris Stanton, as well as Morgan’s assistant, also suffered injuries in the crash. Morgan is now recovering at home.

Walmart driver Kevin Roper was behind the wheel of the truck that crashed into Morgan’s limo bus on the New Jersey Turnpike early that morning. Roper was driving 20 mph over the speed limit. Initial reports claimed that he had been driving for over 24 hours, but turns out to have only been driving for just under his 14-hour limit. Roper was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault, for which he pleaded not guilty. Walmart released a statement expressing that it was “deeply sorry” that one of its trucks was involved with the incident. “Our thoughts continue to go out to them and their families and friends,” the statement read.

“The defendants’ negligence was a substantial contributing factor in causing plaintiffs’ injuries,” the complaint declared. Joining the Saturday Night Live comedian in the suit are Fuqua, his personal assistant Jeff Millea and Millea’s wife, Krista.

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Last Comic Standing renewed for ninth season, under Wanda Sykes’ leadership

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 18:49

NBC is pleased with Wanda Sykes’ revival of stand-up comedy competition series Last Comic Standing. The network renewed the reality show, along with America’s Got Talent and American Ninja Warrior, over the weekend. The series returned for an eighth season this summer amidst some skepticism with host JB Smoove after four years off air. The show was twice not renewed. Last Comic Standing faced controversy, low ratings and unoriginal Survivor-esque elements in its first seven seasons. This new incarnation with executive producer Sykes seems to understand that a comedy contest should rely not on gimmicks…but on the comedians. The quaint concept seems to be paying off for NBC. Last Comic Standing, with its panel of celebrity judges Russell Peters, Roseanne Barr and Keenen Ivory Wayans, is averaging 5.1 million viewers each week. For a comparison, American Ninja Warrior has drawn about 5.3 million people each week this summer and broad-spectrum talent show America’s Got Talent averages over 12 million viewers. This news is huge for comedians and comedy fans alike, knowing that a well-intentioned comedy showcase competition will be back around next year.

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‘Weird Al’ Yankovic ‘Happy’ Parody Hilarious! ‘Tacky’ Video With Eric Stonestreet, Aisha Tyler, And Jack Black Spoofs Twerking, Selfies, Comic Sans, And More

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 16:26

“Weird Al” Yankovic is back and just as funny as ever. This time, the parody singer enlisted the help of stars like Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Jack Black and Kristen Schaal to mock the Pharrell Williams hit “Happy.” The video for Yankovic’s “Tacky” is already going viral.

“Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Tacky” music video premiered Monday on Nerdist. According to the website, the clip was filmed at the Palace Theater in Los Angeles, which was also used in the classic comedy The Big Lebowski.

As the song name implies, “Weird Al” Yankovic mocks all things tacky in his latest viral video, including people who twerk at the DMV,  live tweet funerals, or use Comic Sans font. And, of course, Yankovic and the rest of the comedians lip-sync the lyrics while wearing the tackiest clothes possible, from socks and sandals to fanny packs.

Watch the music video for “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Tacky” below.

“Tacky” is the first single off of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s upcoming album, Mandatory Fun. The comedian will release eight video parodies from the record over the next eight days in celebration of the album’s Tuesday release.

“I wanted to make it an event,” Yankovic said of his album release. “Because what I do is comedy, it burns more quickly than a traditional album … I like the idea of every single one of my videos going viral for a day.”

Other songs on Mandatory Fun include “Word Crimes” (a parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”), “Handy,” (which mocks Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”), “Foil,” a takeoff on Lorde’s “Royals”), and “Inactive” (a spoof of Imagine Dragons“Radioactive”). There is even a “NOW That’s What I Call Polka!” medley that features brief accordion parodies of everything from Miley Cyrus“Wrecking Ball” to Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”

A few days before the release of his “Tacky” video, “Weird Al” Yankovic told NPR last week that Mandatory Fun might be his last “conventional” album. But thankfully, the comedian has no plans to retire anytime soon.

“I think that digital distribution is more the way for me to go: Putting out a single at a time, possibly two or three tracks or an EP,” Yankovic said before his “Tacky” video went viral. “I don’t know that putting out 12 songs at once in this day and age is the best way for me to get my music out there, because if I’m waiting that long, chances are a lot of the material is going to be somewhat dated by the time it comes out.”

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