Netflix, ever proving their dedication to original stand-up comedy programming, has just announced an impressive slate of upcoming comedy specials, including international comedy giants like Russell Peters and Gabriel Iglesias alongside newer talents like Michael Che and Reggie Watts, well-respected veterans like Joe Rogan and Colin Quinn and icon and Saturday Night Live legend Dana Carvey.
Check out the full list of specials, described by Netflix, and their release dates below.
Which are you MOST excited for?
Russell Peters: Almost Famous – Premieres Friday, October 7, 2016
Russell Peters is back and as fearless as ever in his newest comedy special, ‘Almost Famous.’ In front of a sold out audience in Toronto, Canada, Peters makes a triumphant return focusing on his two favorite subjects: family and race.
Joe Rogan: Triggered – Premieres Friday, October 21, 2016
Joe Rogan takes to the stage to unleash his inquisitive and intense comedic style at the historic Fillmore in San Francisco where he explores everything from raising kids and Santa Claus to pot gummies and talking to dolphins.
Dana Carvey: Straight White Male, 60 – Premieres Friday, November 4, 2016
Emmy Award-winning comedian and “SNL” star Dana Carvey makes quite the impression with his distinctive brand of comedy in his new, outrageously funny stand-up special filmed at the The Wilbur Theatre in Boston, MA.
Colin Quinn: The New York Story- Premieres Friday, November 18, 2016
“SNL” veteran Colin Quinn delivers a taping of his sold out off-Broadway show to Netflix for his second stand-up special. In front of a crowd of fellow locals, Quinn presents the history of New York and the different groups who shape the personality of the city. Quinn’s show was filmed at the Schimmel Center in New York City and is directed by Jerry Seinfeld.
Michael Che Matters – Premieres Friday, November 25, 2016
“SNL” Weekend Update co-anchor and former “Daily Show” correspondent, Michael Che brings down the house with his laid-back style as he tackles society’s most controversial actions through his hilarious prism at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York.
Reggie Watts: Spatial – Premieres Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Comedian/musician Reggie Watts brings viewers along on a one-of-a-kind surrealist experimental comedy adventure. The completely improvised show weaves together sketches, short stories, and dream sequences creating a truly unique experience. Filmed live on a soundstage in Los Angeles, Watts waxes poetic about flight, grits, and guns – and takes the audience on a trip fantastic they will not soon forget.
Gabriel lglesias: I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry – Premieres Tuesday, December 20, 2016
One of the most popular comedians in the world with sell out concerts in over 24 countries, this special marks Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias’ Netflix original stand-up comedy debut and sixth comedy special. Watch as Fluffy reflects on his life and more before a sold out house in Chicago, IL.
Today, Netflix announced the premiere date for Fuller House Season 2 which launches globally December 9, 2016 on Netflix.
About Fuller House:
In the spinoff series, Fuller House, the adventures that began in 1987 on Full House continue, with veterinarian D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron-Bure) recently widowed and living in San Francisco. D.J.’s younger sister/aspiring musician Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin) and D.J.’s lifelong best friend/fellow single mother Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), along with Kimmy’s feisty teenage daughter Ramona, all move in to help take care of D.J.’s three boys — the rebellious 12-year-old Jackson, neurotic 7-year-old Max and her newborn baby, Tommy Jr.
Fuller House stars Candace Cameron Bure as D.J. Tanner-Fuller, Jodie Sweetin as Stephanie Tanner, Andrea Barber as Kimmy Gibbler, Juan Pablo Di Pace as Fernando, Soni Nicole Bringas as Romona, Michael Campion as Jackson, Elias Harger as Max, Dashiell and Fox Messitt Twins as Baby Tommy, Scott Weinger as Steve Hale, John Brotherton as Matt Harmon, and Ashley Liao as Lola.
Bob Boyett and Jeff Franklin serve as executive producers. Fuller House is produced by Miller-Boyett Productions and Jeff Franklin Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television for Netflix.
There may be no contemporary actor as theatrically flexible as John Leguizamo. Cutting his teeth in the competitive 1980s New York stand-up comedy scene, the Colombian-born actor would eventually thrust himself into a career-defining, award-winning trio of one-man Broadway shows: Freak (1998), Sexaholix…A Love Story (2002) and Ghetto Klown (2011). Meanwhile, Leguizamo, 52, snagged television and film roles of nearly all varieties, including a stint on E.R., a Schwarzenegger flick, a DeNiro/Pacino joint and managed to become one of the most beloved big screen animated characters—Sid the Sloth from the wildly popular Ice Age franchise.
His newest project, Perros, however, finds Leguizamo in his grittiest role to date. Shot entirely in Spanish in an abandoned prison in Facatativa, a town outside of Bogota, Colombia (where the actor was born), Leguizamo plays Misael, a farmer arrested for committing a horrendous crime who, after losing everything important to him, finds a friend in Sarna, a dog that lives at the prison. Laughspin recently caught up with Leguizamo — days before Perros premiered at the 2016 San Francisco Latino Film Festival — to chat about his dark, dramatic turn, his career trajectory, therapy and much more. –dylan gadino
John you were amazing in this film, you never fail me in any of your performances.
Thank you! I’m very proud of the film. The stuff you saw me going through, I was going through. We were shooting in Colombia and the director; he had a plan of torturing me.
What is it like for you to not only prepare for a film like Perros, but also decompress after it’s finished? Does it wear on you emotionally?
Yes, you want to be as real as possible. There is no way around it. There are no shortcuts. I went to spend time at the biggest prison in Bogota, Columbia. I spent time with the inmates, the guards– also the warden, who was a female, which is fascinating. In some way it’s more humane than American prisons and in some ways it’s rougher. It’s more humane in that they only have three yards and everyone is together. There is a lot of human communication and contact. There is no isolation. Then it’s rougher in that sometimes you sleep in the rain or sometimes there are six or seven guys to a room.
I also noticed, in the film prisoners wore their own clothes. Which, obviously, that doesn’t happen in the American prison system.
Right. They get to wear what they came in with or what their family brings them. In America you have to wear that orange suit.
And during one scene, all of the prisoners celebrated together with the family members. Not that I have been in either type of prison, but it seems like that’s different from something you’d see in an American prison.
Exactly. American prisoners are extremely isolated. It’s wild. The incarnation rates in the US are the highest in the world. It’s like a business here. Over there it’s not. In Colombia they want to make people pay for their crimes and then get them out as soon as possible. They have limitations as well on how long someone can be kept in jail. This was a real prison where we filmed. It was closed a year before we shot. Prisoners that were freed actually joined and became part of our cast. So it was weird for them, but they became our consultants in a lot of ways. “What would you do here?” Sometimes they frowned upon things we were doing. So, I would go to the director and say, “You know they’re saying that’s not the way it would happen.”
Everything was really legit. We really tried to make it as real as possible. We didn’t want to fudge anything. We didn’t want to take dramatic license. Everything was in the exact rooms where they did everything. The security guards would stand outside. Even the restroom was an “al-fresco” type of thing with just a curtain.
I know you’ve spoken about using ‘sense memory method’ acting in previous interviews. Once you spoke about recalling the time your dog was run over by a car. Your relationship with the dog is very interesting in this film. Can you tell me a little more about that?
You know, I have always been a dog lover. I’ve always used sense memory method acting. It was very important in my acting formation as an actor. Also using a lot of Meisner and Uta Hagen. You have to use all the different methods of all the great acting techniques. But yeah, you know you don’t really want to work with animals on camera. It was rough to get that dog to do a lot of that stuff. It was painful, it was hours and hours. Then, sometimes, after he was fed, he didn’t want to perform anymore. We still had a lot of scenes to shoot and he doesn’t want to participate anymore. Or he was tired, he wore himself out.
So he was like any other high maintenance actor? He was fed, tired and grumpy!
Yes! He was a diva! He wasn’t up for it and if he did good, he wanted his treats.
As an audience member watching this film, the scene when you’re playing with the dog and the sock, and the scenes when your cellmate was snoring, I found myself feeling a sense of relief. Were these scenes placed there on purpose to break up all of the intense emotions we were watching your character Misael go through?
Yes, we want to audience to find some kind of comfort and relief. Misael found that kind of comfort in the dog. He was a loner. We spent a lot of time with what you would call pheasants (farm workers) down in Colombia. You know they work for a landowner and raise the cows, they do the farming, they do everything. They get room and board and a little bit of money. I spent a lot of time with them because that’s who my character was supposed to be. He was not a criminal. You know we see Making of a Murderer and we all have that fear of being incarcerated wrongly, you know? My character did a crime of passion, it wasn’t a premeditated crime. He killed somebody that had harmed his family in the moment.
Right, we know that he was protecting his family so we were routing for him. Almost in the same way we were routing for Samuel L. Jackson’s character in A Time To Kill. We want him to be free because you can understand if you were in that position, you would probably do the same thing.
You’re so right, but the twist is the crime that the prison system creates criminals. Almost intentionally. It becomes the college of hard knocks. You come in one type of criminal and you leave a much better criminal. You graduate from the prison college system.
Which is what the final scene proves.
Right, he had also lost everything he cared about. He lost the woman that he loves, the love of his life, he lost his son’s respect. The man has nothing.
And since he did lost everything he had, in the end, at least from my interpretation, he decided to go back into the prison system, which he had become comfortable with.
Right, because it’s easier. You know the rules, you’ve learned to operate in the system and the outside world has become too difficult to manage. Too complex, too chaotic.
What is your overall goal with this project?
You know there is this huge movement in new Latin cinema, especially in Latin America. You know the last three directors that won the Oscars were all Mexican. I just want to be apart of that new Latin cinema which is taking huge risks, doing very gritty work, doing very innovative work, and I just want to be apart of it. I was hoping I could help bring it more to the forefront and celebrate all of this talent we have in Latin America.
When we see comedic actors take on dark roles like we tend to get uncomfortable. We seem to only want to see Jim Carrey be funny. But, with you, we’re always on the ride– funny or dark, it doesn’t matter. Why is that?
You know, I can only guess, but Uta Hagen was one of my instructors for a very short time and her big phrase was, ‘Don’t love yourself in the art, love the art in you.’ What it boils down to in my mind is, you have to love the art of acting, not how good am I, or how famous am I. It’s about the work, loving the work. It is work, you know I still go to acting classes, I experiment, I get tested by my teachers, because I love it. I really respect it. Mickey Rourke, Brando, they both studied really hard. That’s what separates actors who continue to do good work, because they love the work, not the celebrity.
You have spoken before about getting performance anxiety on stage, did you feel any of the type of anxiety when you were working on Perros?
I think it’s more when I am working on live stuff. That’s when my anxiety kicks in. There is so much more pressure. So much more can go wrong. It’s all on you, that’s when I have a little panic attack. Sometimes I am freed by it, sometimes I am not. Luckily in film, you’re always safe. You know the director is there, there is only a few people watching you, you can do it over and over until you get better. Especially with digital, you can get 40 takes. You get the chance to warm up, improve it.
Did you ever get, in your live performances, the scabs ripped off, in a sense? Did you go through that?
Sometimes I’m not even aware of it, like when I was doing Ghetto Klown. There were some days when I just felt like I was in a funk. I didn’t understand what was going on with me. Why am I feeling so down and so blue? It was like, ‘Oh my god,’ you keep peeling back all of these scabs that have happened to you. Everyday! Ghetto Klown was really hard for me. I was glad when it was over. I don’t have to relive these things anymore. I can stop pouring vinegar into that wound. But you have to go there, if you want to get the audience to invest in those scenes. It’s not always fun. You feel proud of yourself for being brave, but it doesn’t feel great.
When I’m out and about in comedy clubs, there is always a discussion among young comedians about therapy. They have this theory that therapy will make them less funny. What’s your thought on that?
Without therapy I would have broken down at some point. That’s why comedians have breakdowns. You feel like you have to be perfect and you have to be funny. You have to be the funniest, but perfect can’t be. Then they have these breakdowns and their lives get chaotic. But therapy saved me. It saved me as a kid and it gave me my acting chops in a lot of ways. I have to go to those deep places that the method makes you go to, but therapy is kind of like an acting class.
Do you ever miss the days when you were performing in the hallways of a theater verses the big venues and movies?
You know after I had my breakdown, I learned not to allow people to make me skip the process. When I was doing Sexaholix, it just started moving too fast and out of control. I wasn’t in control of the ride. You get so successful; everyone wants a piece of you. When I got to Ghetto Klown, I learned to enjoy it, and let it go as slow as it needs to be. I’m not going to race it. I’m not going to skip any moments. I’m going to go to the smallest venues, smallest clubs. I’m going to enjoy it. I was just going to enjoy being in clubs with people. I’m a storyteller. And I’m going to do it my way.
John even makes us want to switch cable providers!
Ricky Gervais has accomplished pretty much everything a young comedian dreams of accomplishing the day they decide to dedicate their lives to making people laugh. He created The Office, a cult comedy hit that premiered in 2001 in the UK and has since become a worldwide phenomenon and a matter of reference for even the most marginally deep conversation about the history and importance of comedy.
His television career still flourishes, having created and/or starred in critically acclaimed projects like the satirical showbiz series Extras, the hilarious travelogue show An Idiot Abroad, Life’s Too Short, and the heartfelt Derek. He’s landed roles in blockbuster motion pictures (See: the Night At the Museum, and The Muppets franchises) and he’s hosted the Golden Globe Awards four times, most recently this past January.
And now he’s getting a bit of a twisted second chance at fulfilling his dreams as a rock star. Sort of. David Brent, the Slough branch manager of Wernham-Hogg, has put out the first ever David Brent & Foregone Conclusion album. Titled Life on the Road, David Brent (NOT GERVAIS) has released an adult-rock album that stands on its own but is also a companion piece and soundtrack to the documentary film (recently released in the UK and hitting Netflix next year in the States) of the same name. If you’re into Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, Bob Dylan et al, then you can download this full-length gem and get to cranking. You’ll be perfectly pleased. But if you’re familiar with Brent’s background and his longtime dream of becoming a touring rockstar, well, then, this album will become one of your favorites in short order. I recently chatted with Gervais about the album Life on the Road, how it relates to rest of his storied, accomplished career and much more. Check it out.
I’ve been listening to this album, and I gotta say I really enjoy it— just for the music alone.
It’s an odd one, because I don’t think people know how to feel about it. Obviously if you are not aware of David Brent, at all, and you don’t know he’s a fictional character, it’s a very odd album to buy. It’s still not that bad, in fact, the music is, middle of the road, adult oriented rock. It’s well done, it’s well recorded and they’re catchy tunes. They’re sort of classic rock and roll, but the odd lyric pops up, and you go ‘What the fuck is that?’ You know, but again, they are not big bombastic comedy songs, like Monty Python. They’re pretty subtle, they can get you by stealth, and if you don’t know what’s happening, it must be very confusing. I’m waiting for reports of someone going in and buying the album, never hearing of it – I don’t know who would, but if they did – they’ll just think it’s the oddest album ever. But if you get the jokes, it’s great and there’s some classic-sounding tunes on there. You know the first track, “Ooh La La?”
Yep, sure do.
It’s a song about crossing America picking up chicks. Classic rock and roll! It’s got all the clichés and it’s a good, breezy up-tempo song. Then when you realize it’s being sung by a 55-year-old tampon rep that’s never been to America, suddenly, it’s sort of wry, it’s amusing; the back story’s the funny bit. Um, and then you know what Brent’s like, he thinks he’s sincere, he thinks he’s changing the world, he thinks he’s the first, white rocker ever to sing about the plight of the Native American. (see: “Native American”) He doesn’t know his subject that well; he’s trying to be someone he’s not, so he brings up scalping, which he probably saw in a Western once. You know what I’m saying? Then there’s “Thank Fuck It’s Friday.” Now that’s a fucking [Rolling] Stone’s number.
But, again, I don’t think Mick Jagger got bogged down in the agony of getting his dry cleaning done on a Sunday so there’s a bit of comedy or irony, or accidental effects, and satire in there, but some of it is more subtle than others. I mean, the closest thing to a comedy song, it’s the odd one out because of this, is, probably, “Lady Gypsy.”
Yeah, like any good music, or comedy, for that matter, I think the David Brent album works on many different layers— and that’s what makes people want to listen to it over and over again. I can remember, when I was a kid, listening to Adam Sandler records, and there was a lot of music in there, and the joke was so up front that it was hilarious at the time- but there was little staying power throughout the years.
It depends what level he was coming from. If it’s a play on words, any sort of surprise or pun, it’s done. It’s done once, you can enjoy the selling of it, but if there’s a bit of character, or story, or you’re laughing at the motivation behind the piece, you can listen to it over and over again. And that’s true of stand-up too. A guy can come out, and he can write the best one-liners ever, it’s just plays on words, you know, puns or whatever, it’s exhausting, you know after 20 minutes you’re looking at your watch. There’s no momentum. Whereas someone like Doug Stanhope comes out and they rant about the fucking day they had, and that’s funny, because there’s a story; and you can always be told a story, because it’s not always about the punch line. It’s like, who’s the guy who did The Sixth Sense?
Oh, crap I forgot his name now…M. Knight…and I can’t pronounce his last name… M. Knight Shama…something.
Yeah, so that’s like a two-hour gag, with a punch line. If you know that – it’s great fun, brilliant, amazing, you’re agasp. But if you start with knowing what’s going to happen at the end, and that’s overwhelming, it’s not as good to watch it again and again. Whereas something that is a journey, like The Godfather, you know, it’s a story, a saga. You could watch that over and over again; you know? I think that’s true with comedy, and I think that’s true with music. The first time you hear a boy band song you’re singing along, you’re singing along in seconds! And you’re wanting to kill them. Whereas, something like Radiohead, you can turn and say, ‘Jesus what is this?’ and then you listen to it for 30 years!
That’s right! Exactly.
It’s all about substance and depth and sustainability as opposed to a quick fix. I think that’s always the case. I think that’s the case in any art. You know, an acquired taste stays with you longer.
When there’s a journey it takes longer to get to the height of your enjoyment of a piece of art, so you have to factor that in with the time you’re consuming it.And it’s always the journey for me, it’s always the journey. It’s like life, I don’t want to know the ending! I’m enjoying the journey; I do NOT want to know the ending.
Can you imagine anyone listening to this David Brent album 30 years from now?
They’d have to be in on the joke. And I think nostalgia would play a part. I think this is very different. If we are being totally honest, I don’t’ think it’s fair for it to be judged against those real, great, albums. You know, it mustn’t be judged against Bruce Springsteen, and Bowie and Dylan, and Neil Young, and all the things it tries to emulate in an ironic way. Likewise, I don’t think it should be judged against truly great comedy albums. It’s got a bit of both; it’s an odd thing. I don’t know there is anything quite like it, you know? I can’t think of anything quite like it, can you?
I think a pretty large portion of Flight of The Conchords stuff can probably pass off as regular music, and then all of the sudden something silly happens
They are clearly funny but yeah, that’s the closest. Maybe Spinal Tap, although Spinal Tap again is more intrinsically funny. Because I suppose David Brent takes it very seriously. He thinks he’s a brilliant songwriter, and I think that’s true of course of Conchords and Spinal Tap. I just think Brent doesn’t want to be laughed at, he wants to be applauded, you know what I mean? Even though he thinks he’s a great comedian, when he’s doing music, he wants to be right there alongside the great singer/songwriters of our time; which is odd, it’s an odd demand, and that is what is potentially exciting and confusing. I can’t imagine everyone getting this. I can imagine it irritating some people. I can imagine people thinking it was a good record ruined; and it wasn’t funny enough because the jokes weren’t big enough. And that is true of all my work— whatever I do, it annoys many people, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Well, yeah, you’ve accomplished that for many years.
Well, you have to polarize, because if you’re not polarizing, what are you doing? You’ve done something everyone likes a bit, you’ve made something sane, you’ve made something anodyne, you wore something down, you made something palatable, to the lowest common denominator. I mean who gives a fuck? You know, I think you have got to polarize, because some people are smart, and some people are dumb. And that is what you can’t change. You can’t change that. You shouldn’t pander– you should go and find that hate, and despair.
And there’s plenty of it out there, Ricky.
Let me ask you this. Obviously you are writing and performing this music as a character. If Ricky Gervais wrote and performed an album as Ricky Gervais, what would it sound like and what would you be singing about?
Well, it would be like ten times cringier, if Ricky Gervais tried to be a pop star.
Well, of course it would, because I’m a comedian, and that’s why I’ve been so militant about saying this is David Brent’s album, this is David Brent’s songbook, these are David Brent’s gigs, because when I take myself seriously as a 55-year-old comedian thinking I could be a rock star, then you have to shoot me. Whenever I see that, whenever I see someone get famous for something else, like they always wanted to be a pop star, and they do their work, honestly that makes me want to eat my own feet, so that must never happen.
But, hold on a second. Clearly you have songwriting talent. Sure, you became famous as a comedian, but clearly, you’re a musician of sorts, and what’s wrong with that if you make a go of it?
Well, yeah, I mean that’s the point, I am a musician ‘of sorts,’ and that’s confusing, with me being David Brent and doing this now, is possibly, because it’s also the real thing. When you see Matt Damon fighting in The Bourne Identity, it looks real, but you know he isn’t actually punching anyone in the face. When you see me singing as David Brent, I’m actually singing, I’m actually playing the guitar, so that’s the confusion. And because it’s a cool thing to do, and I can do it, it’s just a skill, it’s just another skill I’m using to play a character, in a narrative. You know it’s just because it’s spilled into the real world, like it was a real documentary, that confuses people.
When I was in Ghost Town, I didn’t come out doing videos about dentistry. And people get that. They don’t go, ‘Oh so you want to be a dentist’ but they DO know I’m a failed pop star in real life. It’s another thing that goes so close to real life, and is actually happening, that it confuses people. And it’s very subtle. I failed at becoming a rock star, but I am a musician. I think that’s a sort of an objective skill.
Yep, there’s a big difference between those two things.
And so now I’m just using a skill in comedy now. I have always done that. You know, once I failed as a serious pop star, and rightly so, I got into comedy. Just like when I use my skill of observation and played ordinary people, just like I use my own voice and walk, and mannerisms. Just like I use my knowledge of offices, because I worked in an office for 10 years. Just like I use my knowledge of actors and ego when I did Extras, you know? It’s no greater or lesser skill than the other, it’s just that acting it out now and seeing it live, it steps out into reality.
I feel like this is what you do best. You polarize people, and not only do you polarize people, but I think you also genuinely confuse people. And, as someone who obviously listens to and watches a lot of comedy I would like to think I know what it is you’re doing, but I think a lot of people in the mainstream, who are used to mainstream entertainment, are very confused. And I find that hilarious.
I’m trying. I make comedy for myself and like minded people. I don’t want to change anything to get more people. Because I don’t need to; there’s a billion people on this planet, and if you do something particular for you, and you become a cult in your field, in your country; well, a worldwide cult is much bigger than the biggest thing in any one country. Here’s a thought: The Office was tiny, it was a cult thing in Britain; well it grew; but then it went around the world because there were enough people to go: ‘Well I haven’t seen anything like that,’ whereas if you wore something down, tailored it to your backyard so it hits.
It’s like a corporate gig in your firm. Everyone’s loving it there because they get all the jokes, it’s about them; but take it to another firm, and they’re like, ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ That’s analogous to people trying to be very broad. I get it, there are people who can sell out arenas, but they don’t travel, because they’re talking about what was on the telly last night, do you know what I mean? So I’ve never pandered to get an audience, I think the subjects I choose are universal. Everything I do is quite existential.
Everything I do is about humanity. It’s all about our foibles, all about excruciating social faux pas, it’s all about how people feel, how we interact— ‘Am I leading a good life?’ good vs. evil; We create our own sort of heroes and villains in fiction, it’s role play for the soul so no one really gets hurt. I make sure my heroes get a little bit of satisfaction, a little reward. And I make sure my villains get their comeuppance, or they redeem themselves, which is just as good. So, I play with the virtues, I always play with virtues, because I thought, well that will never change, it will never change in a hundred years.
And, you can have all your technology and avatars, and your superheroes, but in a hundred years’ time, one human being telling another human being what a terrible day they’ve had will be as compelling as it ever was. And I think, I try to make the ordinary extraordinary, because everyone thinks they’re ordinary. And everyone has something extraordinary to tell, so that’s what I try to do. Everything’s small, you know, and that can be funny as well. David Brent gets a laugh out of being mundane.
It’s parochial, you know. He says, you know Slough is a big place, and after Slough there’s Yateley, Tabley, Winnersh. There’s people, and you do meet those people, and other people and they say “Where are you from?” I say ‘Reading’ they say ‘What Part?’ What part? Really? I love minutia, it’s fun, it’s sort of sweet. And I’m never snobby, The Office wasn’t my snobby look at white collar work; I worked in an office for 10 years, and it was an affectionate look at that; and it was sort of saying, if you’re not happy, don’t wake up at 65 and say, ‘Ah fuck I wanted to write a book, I forgot.’ That’s all I’m saying. It’s about stifled ambition. I think that’s about being British as well. That’s the difference between England and America, Americans are taught that they could be the next President of the United States, where as British people are told, ‘It’s won’t happen to you so don’t try, it’s embarrassing; who do you think you are?’
It’s interesting you are drawn to these kind of antihero characters that are universal, the themes are evergreen. Like you said, technology can change, everything can change but the thing that won’t change is humanity. I know we’re talking about the David Brent album but to me, Derek was the thing you’ve done that I enjoyed most. Maybe because I’m an emotional weakling, but to me, that was my favorite thing you did.
Is it really?
Yeah, because I can look back at The Office and I can laugh at the jokes and I can be proud of it; it’s really well structured; and I like Extras, that’s funny; but I look at Derek and I feel it. I feel it. Which is, I think comedy is great if it’s about empathy, so, even though that was certainly not as laugh out loud as most things I do, I think in a way it was better. It was brave as well because it’s dangerous to show your feelings, I think, because you get accused of all sorts of things— exploitation, manipulation, being mawkish.
I’ve somehow gotten this reputation as being a very cynical, ‘shock’ comedian, in a sense, which is totally untrue, and I defend myself, saying ‘Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right.’ People take that as me going, ‘Oooh I’m trying to be offensive, are you offended?’ Which is not true, I’ve never done that, it’s too easy! I know that people will be offended, but only statistically, you know, it’s true, just because they’re offended doesn’t mean they’re right. Some people are offended by equality, some people are offended by mixed marriage; so fucking what? Some people are offended by my very existence, because I’m an atheist. And there’s nothing I can do about this.
I can’t pretend to believe in a God to entertain people and make them feel better. But I also don’t burst into churches going, ‘It’s all a lie!’ But, when asked, I’ll discuss it, and say, I don’t believe in a God. People put words in your mouth, they try and make that your thing, like, ‘You atheist, give it a rest.’ People always try to put a reason on why you think differently than them. They have to do it. And it’s very similar with the hate and the anger and the love and despair, where people’s sense of humor are challenged, and their beliefs. It’s almost like they can’t understand why people would have a different sense of humor then them. I’ve been asked, ‘Why don’t you believe in God?’ and I’ve Tweeted back, ‘The same as you don’t believe in Zeus.’ It’s that easy.
Seeso is promoting the special with the advertising caveat, “Warning: Not For The Easily Offended,” as Stanhope keeps with his cynical, controversial, and poignant comedic style by covering trigger-worthy topics like Caitlyn Jenner, Gabrielle Giffords, The Duggar Family, mental illness, Vietnam vets and ISIS. The special was directed by Brian Hennigan and was taped in Stanhope’s hometown of Bisbee, Arizona. Depp co-produced No Place Like Home alongside Hennigan, Sam Sarkar and Brian Volk-Weiss of Comedy Dynamics.
Stanhope made headlines earlier this week after actress Amber Heard dropped her defamation lawsuit against him for a column he wrote for TheWrap that claimed Heard was blackmailing Depp after she accused the Pirates of the Caribbean actor of domestic abuse. The lawsuit was dropped as part of the $7 million divorce settlement between the now estranged couple.
If you know anything about Stanhope it’s that he has no filter and his fans love him for that. Back in October of 2013, Laughspin interviewed Stanhope backstage for The Laughspin Podcast at a show in New York the day he learned two of his best friends were killed. “Stanhope fans are a loyal bunch of dark-humoured disciples who crave the raw look on life he delivers at his shows,” Billy Procida wrote for Laughspin about his performance that night. “Most likely, there are no casual comedy fans in the audience. There was no one there because they recieved free comedy tickets via email and thought a night of comedy would be “fun.” A couple hundred of his loyal following showed up to support their hero and comrade in the battle of Life. There were hecklers, but the type of hecklers who shouted, “We love you, Doug!” when they thought they sensed his sorrow.”
Aparna Nancherla is one of very few comedians who can combine an absurdist aesthetic with a relatable set of premises to excellent effect. She is, in my opinion, one of the best joke writers of our time. And because of this, I’ve often thought it would be swell if someone would develop an app that would automatically re-tweet certain accounts as soon as they post. It would save me a few precious seconds.
I’ve followed Aparna’s rising status ever since I saw her perform at the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival in 2009. Through the years, her cerebral, understated style would make her stand out at festivals like the Women in Comedy Fest, SXSW, Bridgetown, Gilda’s LaughFest, SF Sketchfest and her New Faces performance at 2013’s Just For Laughs festival in Montreal—not to mention her writing gig at the painfully under-appreciated Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. Aparna has even lent her writing talents to Laughspin (though, it was called Punchline Magazine at the time). This year she was also selected as one of Variety‘s 10 Comics To Watch.
So it is with great pleasure that we can tell you Aparna Nancherla’s Half-Hour premieres tonight on Comedy Central. That’s Friday, September 9 at midnight. I highly suggest you check it out. Hard. To get you in the mood, check out this clip, wherein Nancherla opines on the nature of anxiety and the personalities of those humans who can’t relate. Spoiler alert: Who ARE these people? You. Are. Welcome.
Leslie Jones celebrates birthday, returns to Twitter after hack, says ‘thanks to my fans and friends!’
Something strange in the neighborhood, who you gonna tweet? Well, you can tweet Leslie Jones again, because the Ghostbusters star is back on social media. The Saturday Night Live favorite disappeared from Twitter and Snapchat following a website hack — currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — that revealed nude photos of the actress, along with passport and driver’s license information.
Jones returned to Twitter with the good humor her fans have come to love. “Thanks to my fans and friends! I’m soooooo ok really. And I will always be funny been through a lot in my life and I ALWAYS GET BACK UP!” she tweeted Sunday evening.
Jones, who just turned 49, had expressed her excitement for her upcoming birthday on Sept. 7,“Ok y’all must know I celebrate the whole week of my bday,” she tweeted. “Use to the whole month but I was young then lol. Now I just want to have fun!!” Check out the photo from her birthday party from her Twitter feed. She celebrated with Saturday Night Live castmember Kenan Thompson and his wife Christina at Ocean Prime restaurant in New York.
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) September 8, 2016
Cyber troubles are not new to the comedienne, who deleted her Twitter account earlier this summer after being mercilessly trashed following the release of Ghostbusters, that left her with “tears and a very sad heart.” After initially blocking the trolls, Jones began exposing their racially charged hate, “Ok I have been called Apes, sent pics of their asses, even got a pic with semen on my face,” she tweeted. “I’m tryin to figure out what human means. I’m out.”
The hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ began trending online, backed by support from celebrities like Katy Perry, Lena Dunham, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Ghostbusters director Paul Feig, and ultimately the CEO of Twitter himself, Jack Dorsey, who permanently suspended the Twitter account of accused trolling ringleader Breitbart tech editor, Milo Yiannopoulos.
Yiannopoulos, appearing on ABC News’s Nightline, said he wants his Twitter account back but regrets nothing. “Trolling is very important,” he said. “I like to think of myself as a virtuous troll, you know? I’m doing God’s work.” Nightline host Terry Moran made headlines after calling Yiannopoulos an “idiot,” “revolting,” and comparing him to a “13-year-old child,” during the interview.
The conservative writer called the banning unfair, and claimed Jones played the victim during the controversy. “This idea that celebrities are these fragile wallflowers. Give me a break,” he said. “That the stars of Hollywood blockbusters are sitting at home crying into their iPhones.”
No details have been released regarding the Homeland Security investigation into the hacking. “The investigation is currently ongoing,” a spokeswoman for the federal agency said. “In order to protect the integrity of the case, no further details are available at this time.”
Comedian Jeannette Rizzi to star in special ‘Blindsided’ performance, proceeds going to Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
Comedian Jeannette Rizzi will star in a special performance of her solo show Blindsided at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Hollywood Improv. Tickets ($25 each) are now available on the Improv’s website with all proceeds going to Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.
As raw as it is funny, Blindsided is a personal journey about an all-American teen growing up in rural Florida who is, without any warning, hit with the devastating reality that her best friend Katie had taken her own life at the age of 15. The daughter of a former monk and former nun (yes, really), Jeannette – only 17 at the time of Katie’s death – was charged with delivering her best friend’s eulogy in front of hundreds of mourners and, worse, living the rest of her life with her own debilitating suicidal thoughts. Ultimately hopeful and uplifting, Blindsided finds Jeannette fully capable of laughing at herself and constantly finding the hilarious side of her situation.
Blindsided is being presented in association with Laughspin.com. You can snag your tickets here. Rizzi was once a guest on The Laughspin Podcast, wherein she spoke about the development of her one-woman show, her life in rural Florida and her own struggles with suicidal thoughts.
“I did lots of versions of the show,” Rizzi told Laughspin in 2014. “I was having a really hard time in life. And I really thought, ‘You better make a decision whether you’re going to live or you’re going to check out. And I thought, ‘Well, I really want to do this show and maybe if I donate the money to suicide foundations, that will make me feel better. Gandhi said a way to help yourself is to help others.”
You can listen to the entire episode below.
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services provides mental health, substance use disorder and suicide prevention services to more than 90,000 children and adults each year. A renowned leader in training, research and services, Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center helps people thinking about suicide, concerned loved ones and those who have attempted or are grieving a loss.
Mitch Hedberg’s entire body of previously recorded work will be available on Nov. 4 through Comedy Central Records as a limited edition box set. Mitch Hedberg: The Complete Vinyl Collection, executive produced by Hedberg’s wife, comedian Lynn Shawcroft, will include 12-inch vinyl editions of all three Hedberg albums: Strategic Grill Locations (which was self-released in 1999 and then re-released by Comedy Central years later), Mitch All Together (2003) and Do You Believe in Gosh?, which was released in 2008, three years after Hedberg died at the age of 37 of a drug overdose.
Mitch Hedberg: The Complete Vinyl Collection will also include a 36-page book packed with original essays by Margaret Cho, Mike Birbiglia and Doug Stanhope, as well as rare photos and stories by Shawcroft. And if you’re not a fan of vinyl, fear not. Comedy Central has included in the package a custom USB flash drive with digital versions of all three albums, an unedited version of Hedberg’s Comedy Central Presents from 1999, previously unreleased recordings and more.
Laughspin spoke with Shawcroft in 2011. You can read the full interview here, but I like what she said about what type of comedian Mitch was: “Well, I think there are schools of people,” Shawcroft said. “I think people are like, “Yeah, man. He just smoked a joint and fucking showed up and was the stoner,” whereas there’s an element of truth to that, Mitch was a proponent, obviously, of drugs on some level, but also daydreaming, he was a very ‘follow your dreams’ type of guy.”
“Still, he worked his ass off,” she continued. “He was focused, you know what I mean? He also wasn’t an educated type of guy. His high school wasn’t intellectual, but he channeled it, like he was a brilliant guy, into the exact right thing. He, in his life, was basically a cook, like, you know, a dude with long hair. Stoner, a young cook, and then he was a comedian. He worked, worked, and worked really hard and ended up being considered brilliant and known as this great guy.”
News broke late last week that Katt Williams was slammed with another lawsuit, this time for $3 million for an alleged “gang-style” assault on a female comedian and kidnapping her when she tried to escape.
TMZ reported the shocking claims from Williams’ former tour partner, Ashima Franklin, who says Williams has a history of abusing her going all the way back to 2012 when he hit her in the face and threw piping hot food in her face followed by asking her why she thought she even had the right to eat. The suit claiming his abuse exacerbated when they were touring together earlier this year, with Franklin alleging Williams bragged about having “million dollar bitches” and calling her a “hillbilly, Alabama, backwoods ass three dollar pussy bitch.” The suit claimed the next day Williams blocked her from leaving while he and two other women attacked her, giving her a swollen face and injuries to her chest, arms and legs.
However, Williams responded to the most recent lawsuit, saying Franklin’s attorney simply filed a repeat motion that was already resolved. “Ashima accepted a ‘small amount’ of cash to squash the drama, and even signed a settlement agreement,” TMZ reported after the original news broke.” As a result of the miscommunication between Williams and Franklin’s attorneys, Franklin’s newest suit has been dismissed.
Katt Williams has a long history of bad behavior and brushes with the law.
After nearly 10 years away from directing feature films, Christopher Guest is back, this time on Netflix with Mascots, and he’s bringing his quirky, deadpan mockumentary style and brilliant troupe of comedic actors with him.
Netflix just released the trailer for the film, a comedy about the 8th World Mascot Association Championships, a sports-team mascot competition featuring a bizarre and hilarious “group of unusual men and women,” including an anatomically correct donkey, a giant ice-skating fist, and a NSFW pencil-and-sharpener duo all clamoring to win the grand prize, the Gold Fluffy, and be crowned the Best Mascot in the World.
The film, written by Guest and actor Jim Piddock and produced by Karen Murphy, will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival later this month, and launch globally on Netflix and limited theaters on October 13. Guest’s fans will be happy to see the usual reveling in the absurd with a parade of his hilarious regulars including Jane Lynch (Glee, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Parker Posey (Dazed and Confused, Cafe Society), Fred Willard (Anchorman, That 70’s Show), and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, Calvary), who have appeared in Guest’s previous films like Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind, and Best in Show.
The filmmaker’s last directorial feature film was the Oscar-season spoofing For Your Consideration in 2006. While Guest has dozens of film credits to his name, he is best-known for writing and acting in mockumentaries going all the way back to 1984 with Rob Reiner’s comedy This is Spinal Tap.
He’s parodied everything from dog shows, folk music, award shows, and genealogy, and told Entertainment Weekly he chose the world of competitive mascots this time around because it’s a topic he’s found fascinating for awhile.
“I had spoken with my co-writer Jim Piddock about what we were going to do next after this HBO series we had done, Family Tree,” Guest said. “He thought this world of mascots would be interesting to do a real documentary about. I said, ‘Well, I don’t know about that, but I certainly know I can do this the way I do it.’ I had an interest in this myself going back quite a way. When my kids were small, we would go to places that had mascots. I found it odd, I guess.”
Sam Kinison died tragically 24 years ago but his spirit has lived on through newer generations of comedians and, more directly, through the recorded material he’s left behind. Comedy Dynamics will continue to stoke Kinison’s fiery legacy by releasing an album version of Sam Kinison: Breaking The Rules on Friday, Sept. 2. Breaking The Rules will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play in addition to other digital retailers and, for all you true comedy collectors, vinyl! Originally shot as one of Kinison’s two HBO specials, it was recorded live in 1987 at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles at the height of Kinison’s popularity.
Kinison, born in Washington, began his career as a Pentecostal preacher after his family moved to Oklahoma. Between the ages of 17-24 he became known to sermonize using some of the same histrionics that made it into his stand-up comedy. He soon quit his career in religion and started performing stand-up comedy in Houston, where he made a name for himself alongside contemporaries like Bill Hicks and Ron Shock. Kinison died at the age of 38, when a 17-year-old drunk driver slammed into his Pontiac Trans Am in April of 1992.
Comedy Dynamics released two preview tracks ahead of the official release ofSam Kinison: Breaking The Rules, which you can listen to below. You can order Sam Kinison: Breaking The Rules here.
Ann Coulter took an extraordinary verbal beating at Comedy Central’s Roast of Rob Lowe, set to air on Labor Day. We’ve seen some clips already. Comedy Central released yet another today– this one features Roast veteran Jeff Ross, dressed as Prince, who died earlier this year. We’re not sure what’s uglier– Jeff Ross as Prince or the way in which Ross describes Coulter, the famously hated conservative pundit.
“Ann Coulter wants to help Trump make America great again. You can start by wearing a burka,” Ross says, adding, “You have a face that would make doves cry,” an obvious reference to Prince’s classic song “When Doves Cry.” Then Ross bait-and-switches her with, “You’re very beautiful, actually; you’re like a modern-day Eva Braun.” For those of you historically challenged, Eva Braun was Hitler’s girlfriend and then wife (very briefly) before they both committed suicide together.
The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe features roast master David Spade with other dais members Jeff Ross, Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, Jimmy Carr, Nikki Glaser, Ralph Macchio and Rob Riggle. Coulter has already responded to what she describes as the unfunny barbs against her during the Comedy Central Roast, telling The Hollywood Reporter she thought the Roast was “humorless” and kept saying that Comedy Central made a decision to “move away from comedy.”
“I used to dread going on Politically Incorrect with “up and coming” comedians,” Coulter said. “But at least on Politically Incorrect, there would be just one has-been or wannabe on the panel. This was an entire dais of ’em.”
Netflix along with Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan has snagged Alison Brie, Marc Maron and Betty Gilpin to star in GLOW, a comedy series inspired by the all-female wrestling league of the same name that was popular in the 1980s. GLOW will center on Brie, who will play Ruth, a down-on-her-luck actress in Los Angeles who finds career salvation in GLOW, aka Gorgeous Women of Wrestling. Brie, of course, gained the love of comedy fans during her six seasons on cult hit Community, playing the kind-hearted yet naive Annie Edison.
Gilpin, best known for her role as Dr. Carrie Roman on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, will play a former soap opera star who returns to the small screen when her life takes a nose dive. Maron, who recently announced the end to his IFC series after four seasons, will play the male lead in GLOW. “Maron will play Sam Sylvia, a washed-up Hollywood director who has a very complicated history with women — and now must lead 14 of them on the journey to wrestling stardom,” explains The Hollywood Reporter. The 10-episode GLOW series will be executive produced by Liz Flahive, who has produced for Nurse Jackie and Homeland and Carly Mensch, who counts Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie and Weeds as her production accomplishments.
“I’d like to welcome everyone to the Ann Coulter roast with Rob Lowe,” conservative pundit Ann Coulter deadpanned in her opening remarks at the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe Saturday. It was a fitting depiction of a night initially billed to set fire to actor Rob Lowe, but soon became a searing pileup on the controversial conservative, including jokes calling Coulter a “racist cunt,” “hatchet-faced bitch,” and comparing her appearance to that of a racehorse and a scarecrow.
Lowe addressed the many puzzled Comedy Central fans wondering why a non-comedian like Coulter was included in the roast.
“I think the best daises are the daises that have people where you’re like what the fuck?” Lowe said. “You need every flavor to make these things go right and cut them all together for a show.”
The Comedy Central special airs Labor Day (watch previews here) and features former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, folk singer Jewel, actors Rob Riggle and Ralph Macchio, and comedians Jeff Ross, Jimmy Carr, Pete Davidson, Nikki Glaser and roast master David Spade.
The three-hour affair became a parade of bomb-hurling on a stage with no love for the conservative pundit.
“Ann is one of the most repugnant, hateful, hatchet-face bitches alive. It’s not too late to change, Ann. You could kill yourself,” British comedian Jimmy Carr said.
“She seems stiff and conservative, but Ann gets wild in the sheets. Just ask the Klan,” said Roast Master David Spade. “It looks like she’s having a good time. I haven’t seen her laugh this hard since Trayvon Martin got shot.”
“Ann Coulter has written 11 books, 12 if you count Mein Kampf,” comedian Nikki Glaser said. “Ann, you’re awful. The only person you will ever make happy is the Mexican who digs your grave.”
“How do I roast someone from hell?” comedian Jeff Ross said. “Ann, you are the only woman ever to sexually harass Roger Ailes.”
Coulter, who says she has never seen a roast before, told The Hollywood Reporter that the Comedy Central event “bored” her, that she didn’t hear any jokes on the dais until she herself took the mic, and that she had no idea how she ended up being invited, “it showed up on my book publicity schedule,” she said.
Though she was booed by the audience throughout her entire 7-minute set, she managed to get her share of jabs in, including a cheeky shot that she was only there to promote her new book In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome! “I’m only here for all the love and respect I have for Rob Lowe and all of the talented performers tonight,” she said sarcastically. “It has nothing to do with the book I published four days ago.”
“There is nothing you can tell me to discourage me,” she added. “My whole career has been an Ann Coulter roast.”
We’ve been watching Chicago native Drew Michael rise up the comedy world ranks for years now— and for good reason. Since the release of the Comedians You Should Know album in 2011, wherein he’s one of a handful of comedians featured as part of that Chicago stand-up comedy collective, we were impressed with Michael’s point of view, his self-hating ways and his emotional vulnerability.
His debut album Lovely hit the No. 1 spot on iTunes in 2013, he impressed us in 2014 with his performance at New Faces at Just For Laughs in Montreal and now he’s set to release his sophomore effort, titled Funny To Death this Friday, Sept. 2. The album, available for pre-order now, will be available on Spotify, Amazon MP3, Google Play, Apple Music and all other streaming services and will coincide with the premiere of his own Comedy Central special The Half-Hour, airing Sept. 2 at 12:30 am EST.
To celebrate the release of Funny To Death, Laughspin has the below preview track, “Dishonesty.” Enjoy!
In addition to Michael’s Half-Hour episode, Comedy Central will also premiere 30-minute comedy specials from Cy Amundson, Erik Bergstrom, Ahmed Bharoocha, Matthew Broussard, Naomi Ekperigin, Nate Fernald, Noah Gardenswartz, Emily Heller, Martha Kelly, Joe Machi, Aparna Nancherla, Jacqueline Novak, Mike Recine, Ramon Rivas II, Ali Siddiq and Nick Turner.
UPDATE — 3:05 pm ET: Larry The Cable Guy appeared on SiriusXM, where he recorded an interview for The Raw Report, to further explain the comments he made about Hillary Clinton. The full interview will air Thursday at 3:30pm ET on Raw Dog Comedy SiriusXM 99. Here’s what he had to say about Clinton and Trump.
I said something on FOX News today about how Hillary Clinton will destroy the country. Now I’m a comedian so I said that – now do I like Hillary Clinton? No. am I going to vote for Hillary Clinton? No. Do I honestly think she’s going to destroy our country? [laughs] We’ll still be a country. We’ll still be America. But I think she’s going to hurt it a little bit. But we’ll still be around. The funniest thing is—somebody sent me a thing “Donald Trump’s a fake just like you’re a fake redneck.” And I’m thinking to myself, okay, Larry the Cable Guy is a character, he’s not real, I breathe life into him but I have a whole other life. So basically the whole protest of your tweet is completely abolished because you don’t make any sense. You’re like comparing Donald Trump to SpongeBob, like they said on the roast. It’s not real. It’s a character. ….I’m a conservative country kid, I grew up in the country, I’m a conservative guy, playing a far right conservative guy. I’m not a village idiot. The character that I created is this Archie Bunkerish – the guy that makes pretty good points sometimes but he just says it in an offensive way.
It’s not totally off center of what I say below, but I still think he’s back-pedaling a bit. He’s created a character for sure and he’s never backed away from making that clear when asked about it. But it’s not the type of character that’s overtly theatrical; it’s not a Neil Hamburger or Andy Kaufman type of thing. So it’s understandable how people can take him at his word. You can listen below to part of the SiriusXM interview.
Larry The Cable Guy, a comedian known more for popularizing the phrase “Git-R-Done” than he is for espousing any political belief system, announced that he’ll vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton for president of the United States– his comments coming during an appearance on Fox & Friends this morning. Donned in a cammo “Git-R-Done” snapback and his trademark lack of sleeves, Larry The Cable Guy (real name: Dan Whitney) explained that he’s trying to decide between Donald Trump and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate. “I know who I’m not voting for. I’ll give you the initials… Hillary Clinton,” the veteran comedian said. “Hillary will be the end of the country. That’s all I got to say.”
I’ve interviewed Larry a few times over the years. He’s a sweet, thoughtful, generous dude who, despite the character he’s created, seems to be a lot smarter than this. I’d like to think he’s towing the party line in order to make sure he sells tickets to his upcoming shows, that he doesn’t honestly believe that, if one candidate were to bring about the “end of the country,” it would be the guy with half a dozen diagnosable mental illnesses and the emotional maturity of an 8-year-old; it would be the ever-yelling businessman who said that, if it weren’t for them being related, he’d probably fuck his own daughter.
In Larry’s defense, it’s not like he visited Fox & Friends to do nothing but opine on the presidential election. He was more interested in slinging light-hearted jokes. But sometimes you have to dance with the devil (or Fox & Friends) in order to keep your fanbase happy.
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
Gene Wilder, an inspirational presence in the comedy world who starred in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Producers, Blazing Saddles and many other iconic films, died today at the age of 83 in Stamford, Conn, where he lived. Though Wilder was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1989, it was complications from Alzheimer’s disease that eventually took his life, Wilder’s nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman revealed. Wilder never made his Alzheimer’s diagnosis public.
“We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones — this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality,” Walker-Pearlman said in a statement. “The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him “there’s Willy Wonka,” would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion.
“He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world,” the statement continues. “He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last twenty-five years, Karen. He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the company of beloved ones.”
Wilder co-starred in Mel Brooks’ The Producers in 1967, which would prove to be Wilder’s big break and the beginning of a long, valuable relationship with Brooks. Wilder snagged a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his Producers role as Leo Bloom. Wilder went on to star alongside another comedy icon Richard Pryor in Stir Crazy, Silver Streak and See No Evil, Hear No Evil.
Wilder was famously married to Gilda Radner from 1984 until 1989 when she died from ovarian cancer. Wilder was by her side. They had starred in three films together, having met on the set of Sidney Poiter’s 1982 movie Hanky Panky.
To help celebrate Gene Wilder’s life, let’s check out a few highlights from his career. The first is Wilder’s entrance as Willy Wonka. When director Mel Stuart asked Wilder to play Wonka, Wilder allegedly said he’d do it with one caveat.
“When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp,” Wilder told Stuart. “After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself… but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.”
When Stuart asked why, Wilder replied: “Because from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”
Comedy Central’s Roast of Rob Lowe #LoweRoast will air 10 pm ET on Sept. 5—a perfect way to celebrate Labor Day. If you’ve been paying attention online you already know it seems Ann Coulter, who was part of the dais, was verbally abused more than Rob Lowe. Part of the proof is in this quick clip featuring Jewel, wherein the singer attacks the ultra-conservative pundit’s voting habits.
Not to be outdone by Jewel, former NFL All-Pro Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said this during the Comedy Central event: “I’m not the only athlete up here…As you know, earlier this year, Ann Coulter won the Kentucky Derby.” Turns out Manning also took some time to roast Rob Lowe, the actual guest of honor. You may remember when Rob Lowe took to Twitter in 2012 to say “my people” heard that Manning was set to announce his retirement. Manning got some retribution at the Comedy Central Roast.
The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe features roast master David Spade with other dais members Jeff Ross, Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, Jimmy Carr, Nikki Glaser, Ralph Macchio and Rob Riggle. While the buzz surrounding the latest roast from Comedy Central is strong and the previews enticing, you can’t help but think that this roast, like most modern day roasts, are largely insult fests– that is, people who genuinely despise people genuinely insulting those they despise. Roast origins featured harsh yet good-natured-ribbing amongst professional funny people who shared great respect and admiration for one another. Those days are long gone.
George Carlin’s new album I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die is set for a Sept. 16 release on CD, vinyl and digital formats. But a previously unreleased track that will be featured on the album was just made available. On the track “Rats and Squealers,” Carlin aggressively rails against police officers who, Carlin claims, “perjure themselves routinely” and who “plant fake evidence” and would “put a loaded gun in the hands of an unarmed man they just shot to death.”
Although it was recorded 15 years ago and although Carlin employs his trademark hyperbole throughout the bit, one can’t help but be reminded of the current tension between certain city’s police forces and the communities they’re charged to protect.
I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die was recorded during the two days that preceded the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Working on his material for his next HBO special, the title was later changed to Complaints and Grievances and any potentially insensitive jokes in light of the terrorist attacks were omitted. The plan was to release the material later in his career. Sadly, Carlin died at the age of 71 in 2008 before that could happen. This is the second track released from I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die. You can listen to the first one here.
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