This weekend we celebrate Thanksgiving, or as some correct history purists might refer to it– the systematic murder of the original American settlers. A lot has been written about the first Thanksgiving. How accurate those accounts in American History books that line the shelves of our Elementary schools are, at best, questionable. Regardless it’s the second Thanksgiving that hasn’t been explored nearly as much. Until now.
Thanks to We Are Thomasse, a married British-American comedy team comprised of Nick Afka Thomas and Sarah Ann Masse, we finally get a peek into what went down on the eve of history’s second ever Thanksgiving celebration. Probably. Shot within a beautiful Fall backdrop, we find our happy Pilgrim couple collecting fire wood and discussing plans for Thanksgiving dinner. Elenor wants to invite all their friends, including the Native Americans again. Husband John, however, doesn’t think that’s a great idea– for a myriad of reasons, most of which, as you can imagine, are suspect. Check out the action below to see if they can come to some sort of agreement– you know, in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
If you’re into the video, be sure to check out We Are Thomasse online; the comedy team releases a new video every two weeks.
Comedian/musician Reggie Watts brings viewers along on a one-of-a-kind surrealist experimental comedy adventure in his Netflix Original Comedy Special, Reggie Watts: Spatial, premiering Friday, December 6. 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.
Debuting at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival to critical acclaim, Barry is a nuanced, artistic exploration of a pivotal year in the life of the 44th President of the United States. A young Barack Obama, known to his friends as “Barry,” arrives in New York City in the fall of 1981 to begin his junior year at Columbia University. His experiences over that pivotal school year lay the foundation for his views on race, government, and what it means to be an American.
Director Vikram Gandhi (Kumaré, HBO’s “Vice”), a Columbia University alumni, approached fellow alum Adam Mansbach (author of “Go the F**k to Sleep”) to help tell this origin story, and from that collaboration Mansbach penned the script.
The film stars Australian newcomer Devon Terrell in a breakout performance as Barry, and features a strong supporting cast including Ashley Judd (Divergent, Double Jeopardy), Jenna Elfman (Friends With Benefits, Big Stone Gap), and up-and-comers Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton), Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), and Avi Nash (Learning to Drive, “Silicon Valley”).
To say it’s a rarity that a musician is inspired to write a song about a comedian would be an understatement. And that’s why this just-released song about universally respected comedian Emo Philips is such an endearing, thoughtful tribute. Written and performed by musician Henning Ohlenbusch, who once opened for Philips, the song – simply titled “Emo Philips” — is a delicate guitar ballad tastefully peppered with piano. In two minutes, Ohlenbusch deftly encapsulates the spirit of Philips, known for his understated and absolutely warped joke writing.
Apparently Ohlenbusch heard through Philips’ booking agent the comedian asked if the musician would write a song about him. Ohlenbusch said of course!
“I decided pretty early on that it would be useless and ultimately not very interesting to try to make a funny song,” Ohlenbusch says about the writing process. “Instead, I focused on this image in my head of Philips’ sad, innocent facial expressions.”
And Ohlenbusch delivers for sure. You can listen to the song below (we’ve lovingly transcribed the lyrics to enhance your experience).
Just when we got our bearings straight, we took this sudden strange left turn. How’d we end up here? Emo led the way…Emo…
We tried to catch a rising star, on our parents VCR. Letterman next day, we all heard David say…. Emo…
A continental breakfast in another hotel lobby. All those years ago did they say it’s just a hobby? After the first night did you think that it would last? A whole life spent making people laugh.
And when each evening ends, Emo stands alone on the stage and thanks us for being his friend… Then he heads out on the road again.
“I will never, ever, ever, write funnier, darker, more disturbing more inappropriate and 100 percent clean jokes than Emo Philips. Good God,” Patton Oswalt once said of the veteran comedian.
“Emo Philips” is available for streaming and download at:
This may be the most tenuous Thanksgiving for families in the history of modern day Thanksgivings. And doubt the Election 2016 will be the made reason. Thankfully, Saturday Night Live delivered a trio of stellar sketches to help us all connect in our pain and misery. And because we love you, we’ve thoughtfully embedded them here. The first features Cecily Strong in a Target commercial that encourages people to visit its story– but not exactly for their offerings inside. The second sketch employs the brilliant Kristen Wiig, the former cast member who hosted the Saturday Night Live this weekend, as Sue (“The Surprise Lady), one of Wiig’s old characters. The third sketch below was cut for time and is the most bizarre but maybe the funniest.
As a little bonus we found a pair of older sketches featuring Wiig as The Surprise Lady. The first we find Wiig unable to handle the excitement when Playskool employees (Steve Buscemi, Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Bill Hader) gather in the break room to surprise a coworker who’s about to get a big promotion. And the second we find Chris (Josh Brolin) revealing to his friends that he’s planning on proposing to his girlfriend (Casey Wilson) and Wiig must contain her excitement, nearly ruining the surprise when the suspense gets the best of her. Enjoy
We’ll have more information on Dave Chappelle‘s deal with Netflix as it’s available. But for now here’s what we just got from Netflix. Exciting stuff to say the least.
Dave Chappelle is bringing his blistering brand of comedy to Netflix, the world’s leading Internet TV network, with three all-new stand-up specials. Chappelle and director Stan Lathan will produce an original stand-up comedy special exclusively for Netflix, with its premiere date to be announced. Two additional never-before-seen specials come directly from Chappelle’s personal comedy vault. Directed by Lathan and filmed at Austin City Limits and The Hollywood Palladium, these represent Chappelle’s first concert specials in 12 years and are slated to be released simultaneously in 2017.
“Dave Chappelle is a legendary voice in comedy — searing, vital, and now more than ever, essential,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of Original Documentary and Comedy. “Dave’s three new specials promise to be some of the most anticipated events in comedy, and we are honored he will mark his global return on Netflix.”
Chappelle is a stand-up comedian and actor whose trademark wit and sharp irreverent social commentary most often explores race, popular culture, sex, drugs, politics and fame. The panoramic monologue he delivered during his debut on Saturday Night Live — the highest rated SNL in three years – was the comic relief the country needed following the 2016 Presidential election that personified our nation’s deep racial divide.
Arguably the most prolific touring comic on the circuit, Chappelle has performed over 500 concerts in the past three years, selling out shows within minutes of the announcements. In 2014, Chappelle sold out an unprecedented 10 consecutive comedy performances at Radio City Music Hall. Chappelle’s engagement at Radio City marked his first announced performances in New York City in over 10 years. It also celebrated the 10th anniversary of his concert documentary, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, filmed during the summer of 2004 in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Chappelle was the mastermind behind the 2003 sketch comedy hit, The Chappelle Show – one of the highest rated programs on Comedy Central. The show earned three Emmy nominations and went on to become one of the best-selling TV shows in DVD history.
It’s comforting to know that president-elect Donald Trump is such a huge fan of comedy that, despite his busy schedule of meeting with some of the country’s worst possible candidates for his cabinet positions, he’s still making time to watch Saturday Night Live. How would we know such a seemingly mundane, unimportant detail about the man who will become the most powerful world leader this January?
Well, it’s because part of the new, twisted reality in which we live, the president of the United States is a sociopathic billionaire who has the social media presence of an 11-year-old middle child. “I watched parts of @nbcsnl Saturday Night Live last night. It is a totally one-sided, biased show – nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?,” Trump tweeted Sunday.
Alec Baldwin later responded, also on Twitter: “Equal time? Election is over. There is no more equal time.” He also wrote that now as Trump tries to be president, people respond and “that’s pretty much it,” adding, “I’d be focused on improving our reputation abroad, including actually fighting for freedom and not just oil.”
The Saturday Night Live cold open in question presents Trump post-election and in a desperate and frantic state attempting to understand what exactly he’s gotten himself into. Also noteworthy is that Kate McKinnon is back opposite Baldwin’s Trump, but not as Hillary Clinton. This time, she reprises her role as Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager and now one of his top aides. In SNL‘s version, Conway isn’t the despicable, lying, gaslight specialist she is in real life. Rather, she’s a human that has regrets about doing her job too well.
Conway appeared on CNN this morning where she defended Trump’s compulsive, immature use of Twitter.
“Why take it up? Why take up ‘SNL’? No president does that. Why waste time? Why distract?” CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Conway.
“Why do you care?” Conway responded, adding, among other things, “Who’s to say he can’t do that? Make a comment — spend five minutes sending a tweet, making a comment.”
SF Sketchfest presented by Audible will celebrate the 16th annual San Francisco Comedy Festival January 12-29, 2017, with more than 200 shows featuring top comedic talents performing in 20 venues across the city. The 17-day festival will feature major comedy stars and the best up-and-coming comedians from around the world for non-stop entertainment including sketch, stand-up, alternative comedy, music, improv, films, tributes, live podcasts, workshops, and panel discussions.
Audible will be the presenting sponsor of the 16th annual festival. They’ll be presenting live versions of some of their original comedy series, including “Hold On with Eugene Mirman,” “The Guest List,” “Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency,” “Fresh Voice of Stand-Up” and more. The full seasons of these, early access to top comedy albums, and many other original comedy shows – from Nick Offerman’s “Bedtime Stories for Cynics” to Will Arnett’s “The Comedy Show Show” – are available exclusively on Audible’s new mobile app Channels, along with a wide range of audio programming.
This year SF Sketchfest has teamed up with 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization that provides free writing, tutoring and publishing programs to under-resourced students in San Francisco. Founded by educator Ninive Calegari and author Dave Eggers, 826 Valencia comprises two writing centers–a flagship location in the Mission District and a new center in the Tenderloin neighborhood–and three satellite classrooms in Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8, Everett Middle School and Mission School. This year 826 Valencia will be celebrating its 15th anniversary and, as part of the official festival program, SF Sketchfest will host a benefit show called “Soundtracks Live” featuring scenes and live music from a classic 1980s teen comedy with actors Matt Ballard, Michael Ian Black, Beth Dover, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Marisa Ryan, Michael Showalter, Bobby Tisdale, and David Wain, with music by Amy Miles.
Before I get into this let me just say that I understand this is a site that covers the world of comedy and that the following words may seem “off brand” for Laughspin. But take a few glances at your Twitter feed, populated with your favorite comedians, and shows like Last Week Tonight, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee — even Stephen Colbert who’s no longer exactly doing a political comedy show anymore — and you’ll notice that the election of Donald Trump is a concern for many of our funny friends. So, bear with me. Because I, too, am deeply disturbed by what’s gone down in the United States in the last few weeks.
Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart sat down with Charlie Rose for CBS This Morning for an interview that aired yesterday. What we find is a measured Stewart who, despite the justified horror expressed by the nation’s Democrats, liberals and those who otherwise supported Hillary Clinton or didn’t support Donald Trump during the presidential election, opines that we’re the same country we were two weeks ago. The overall take-away from the chat with Rose (a second part will air next week) is that there is a lot more nuance in play when it comes to who Trump supporters are. Stewart, for example, warned against those who voted for Hillary Clinton who are now labeling all Donald Trump supporters racist.
“I thought Donald Trump disqualified himself at numerous points,” Stewart says. “But there is now this idea that anyone who voted for him is — has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric. Like, there are guys in my neighborhood that I love, that I respect, that I think have incredible qualities who are not afraid of Mexicans, and not afraid of Muslims, and not afraid of blacks. They’re afraid of their insurance premiums. In the liberal community, you hate this idea of creating people as a monolith. Don’t look as Muslims as a monolith. They are the individuals and it would be ignorance. But everybody who voted for Trump is a monolith, is a racist. That hypocrisy is also real in our country.”
While I agree with Stewart’s fundamental sentiment — that voting for Trump doesn’t make you a racist nor does it mean you agree with all of his actions, regardless of how disturbing — he makes it way too easy for Trump supporters to circumvent responsibility. As John Oliver so effectively outlined on the Last Week Tonight finale this past Sunday, Donald Trump was not a normal presidential candidate and he shouldn’t have been treated like one and we shouldn’t, moving forward, treat him like a normal President of the United States, especially now with his cabinet picks coming to light. With other candidates it may have been acceptable (but only slightly) to vote on one issue– abortion, gun control, healthcare, campaign finance reform, insurance premiums, as Stewart mentions, whatever– because no other candidate was as overtly dangerous as this one. Comedian Hari Kondabolu put it more succinctly this morning on Twitter.
All Trump supporters may not be racist, but they all certainly are accomplices in racism.
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) November 18, 2016
Election 2016 was like none other in American history. Some traditional voting practices should’ve been heaved in favor of doing what’s best for the country, despite your political party. It was an election of common sense. And, I’m sorry. But if you thought Trump was the answer to more jobs, a better tax system or whatever it is you believed or made yourself believe a sociopathic billionaire would do for you, then you’re missing a lot of facts– or you’re blissfully ignoring the facts because you hate yourself but love voting against your best interests.
To be clear, this was a triage election that needed votes to be pragmatic and nothing more.
America was bleeding. Hillary Clinton was the bandage that would’ve helped stop the election gore so the U.S. could live to fight another day; Donald Trump was the knife that caused the bleeding in the first place. We didn’t have the luxury of basing our vote on our favorite issue. Our only issue this election cycle should’ve been: let’s not allow the lying, pathologically narcissistic reality show host — the only commander-in-chief candidate in modern time not to release his taxes despite perhaps having the greatest degree of potential conflicts of interest in presidential history — to become the leader of the country we love.
If you voted for Trump in spite of his racist comments about Mexicans, his xenophobic attitude toward Muslims, his bragging about having the permission to sexually assault women due to his fame, his constant and very public references throughout the years about how, if he wasn’t married, he’d date his daughter Ivanka; his well-documented history of stiffing small business owners, his promise to silence American media if they report on things he doesn’t like, his adoration for Russian President Vladimir Putin (who has, in fact, done a great job, himself, silencing Russian journalists) or his tax plan that, regardless of what he said during campaign rallies about lowering rates for the middle class, will mostly benefit the top 1 percent and actually hurt middle class families, then I weep for you.
Does it mean you’re racist? Not necessarily. I’d go out on a limb and say, however, it means you’re not paying attention or, at the very least, you have terrible judgment and a distorted view of priorities. You probably lack foresight, too. And it also means you’re ok with a man who represents so much of what is vile about this country. It wouldn’t have taken a political science scholar or an American History professor to have anticipated that the emboldened-by-Trump far right would begin to act out on their prejudices. You may be a Trump voter who believes this type of hatred is disgusting. But you contributed to it. You’re not allowed to vote for the Trump who’s just pro-Israel or anti-abortion (or whatever cause to which you subscribe). You have to vote for the whole steaming pile of vacuous bluster.
Below is Stewart’s take on the situation. I guess he’s a lot more understanding than I am about the whole situation.
Based on the internationally best-selling series of books, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events chronicles the turbulent lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire after their parents’ untimely death in a fire. A careless oversight initially places the children in the custody of a distant relative named Count Olaf, a mysterious and devious figure who is seeking fortune by way of stealing their inheritance. After his elaborate plans are foiled and his evil intentions are revealed, Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) employs a variety of outlandish disguises to situate himself in the children’s path, causing mayhem for the Baudelaire’s and their subsequent guardians.
As the children manage to evade Count Olaf’s scheming attempts to steal their fortune, they pick up clues along the way about their parents’ past. The series is created by Daniel Handler (author of the Lemony Snicket series of books) and executive produced by Handler and Emmy winner Barry Sonnenfeld (Pushing Daisies, Men in Black, The Addams Family). Along with Harris, the series also stars Patrick Warburton (Lemony Snicket), Malina Weissman (Violet), Louis Hynes (Klaus), Presley Smith (Sunny), Joan Cusack (Justice Strauss), Alfre Woodard (Aunt Josephine), Catherine O’Hara (Dr. Orwell), K. Todd Freeman (Mr. Poe), Aasif Maandvi (Uncle Monty), Don Johnson (Sir) and more. The series premieres January 13, 2017 on Netflix around the world.
As is the case for any quality box set these days, it’s not so much about the origin material. After all, box sets don’t exist so that an artist’s biggest fans can have access to a slickly-packaged sentimental bundle of garbage bits. Inherent in the entire concept of such a release is greatness, right? Right!
Well then the reasons Mitch Hedberg: The Complete Vinyl Collection exists are pretty damn obvious. The two albums he released when he was alive — Strategic Grill Locations (self released in 1999 and then re-released by Comedy Central Records years later) and Mitch All Together (2003) — are included in the re-issued vinyl edition– and so is Do You Believe in Gosh?, released in 2008, three years after Hedberg died.
The only previously un-released material on The Complete Vinyl Collection is a self-recorded set, wherein Hedberg opened for the Neville Brothers in 1995; if you’re reading this you likely remember that show is the subject of a joke on Strategic Grill Locations.
The Neville Brothers set and his trio of proper releases are each are a perfect representation of Hedberg’s natural genius and his artistic evolution.
Part of that evolution, by the way, is that Hedberg eventually and purposely sped up his delivery– a factoid I learned from reading the beautiful 32-page booklet that accompanies all the vinyl. “In the few years after Strategic Grill Locations was released, Mitch was noticeably drawing his own crowd,” writes Mitch’s wife, comedian Lynn Shawcroft. “People started yelling out joke requests during the show: “Do ‘Race Care Passenger’! or “Dufrenes! Dufrenes!” And while it was flattering, “It became difficult for Mitch to pause, even for a second or two between jokes,” Shawcroft writes. “If he did, that moment would be seized as an opportunity for someone to fill it.”
Made to look like those iconic Composition note pads — but thinner and much, much wider — the pages are filled not only with Shawcroft’s personal reflections on her life with Mitch and how their marriage co-existed with their constant adventures on the road but also with short essays from some of the Hedberg’s best comedian pals: Doug Stanhope (how about that time Mitch and Doug pranked Daniel Tosh at a comedy fest), Margaret Cho and Mike Birbiglia, who recalls the time he performed Mitch’s jokes on stage when Mitch decided he need to take a break to pee.
Newspaper clippings, personal photos (one of Mitch swinging a golf club at a driving range?), set lists, joke notes and more help tell the story of a comedian who died way too young at the age of 37. And while holding this sturdy, packed out collection in your hands can’t bring Mitch back, I can’t imagine a better tribute to one of comedy’s most celebrated comedians. “He was a brief burst of light that altered your vision forever, Margaret Cho writes about Hedberg in the booklet. “He was sort of a mystic and very much a saint–blessed in a way the rest of the world wasn’t.”
The current season of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver ended in spectacular fashion on the back of a spectacularly terrible year. And that is why Oliver literally sets the year on fire in a way that would make John McClane proud. But before the HBO show signed off until the New Year Sunday, Oliver and his always-brilliant writing staff dragged us through the deepest, oozing wound of 2016— the presidential election of Donald Trump, which was the shows one and only topic of the night.
Early in the episode Oliver addressed this concept of “giving Donald Trump a chance,” a sentiment either said literally or at even echoed just through the tone of even the billionaire’s biggest detractors’ post-election statements and reactions.
“Optimism is nice if you can swing it. But you have to be careful because it can feed into he normalization of Donald Trump. And he is not normal. He is abnormal. He is a human what-is-wrong-with-this-picture?” Oliver says. “He sticks out like a sore thumb; and frankly he even looks like a sore thumb. So giving him a chance, in the sense of not speaking out against immediately of policies he’s proposed is dangerous—because some of them are alarming.”
If you’ve been sleeping the last 18 months or were one of those Trump supporters who voted for him in spite of his obvious sociopathy, then here’s a wee review: He said he wants to repeal and replace Obamacare (never mind the 20 million who are currently enrolled); he wants to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and he wants Mexico – one of the poorest nations on the planet – to pay for it; he wants to deport 12 million undocumented immigrants, including children; he wants to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and hopefully jail Hillary Clinton (despite the fact she’s been cleared multiple times by the FBI re emails as well as the deaths in Benghazi, an investigation that was, by all accounts, more costly and time consuming than the investigation into the 9/11 attacks); and he wants to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US.
Not to mention he also says he wants to start suing journalists who write “negative” – or whatever he deems “false” – stories about him. The problem there, though, is that he doesn’t know what’s true or false. Later in the episode Oliver throws to an appearance Trump made on The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News, a place where Trump is rarely, if ever, challenged. Bill O’Reilly called Trump out for tweeting out shooting statistics, one of which was that 81 percent of whites killed are killed by blacks. The number, as O’Reilly points out, is actually 15 percent.
Trump’s response? “Hey, Bill, am I gonna check EVERY statistic?”
No. Not EVERY stat, Mr. Trump. But how about the ones you tweet out to your 15 million followers?
And that is the evil genius at work here. Weird conspiracy bullshit has always been bubbling under the surface but Trump was the first major party candidate to harness and fully legitimize it. He came along and told millions of people that every crazy email you ever forwarded was true. And that, at least in part, is why he will be our next president.
Don’t move to Canada… “We’re going to need to stay here and fight—and not just politically in four years when he’s up for re-election. But constantly monitoring legislation as it moves through Congress and fucking voting when your legislators come up for re-election in two years. But that is still below the barest minimum of what is needed. Because for the last eight years we had a president we can generally assume would stand up for the rights of all Americans. But that is going to change now. So we’re going to have to actively stand up for one another. And it can’t be just sounding off on the Internet or sharing think pieces or videos like this one that echo around your bubble. I’m not talking about actual sacrifice to support people who are now under threat.
Keep reminding yourself that this is not normal…because a Klan-backed, misogynist Internet troll is going to be delivering the next State of the Union Address and that is not normal. It is fucked up. And the only thing that gives me one degree of comfort is that part of Trump might be realizing that too. (Goes to Trump’s video to meeting with Paul Ryan)
In what was arguably the most anticipated episode of Saturday Night Live in recent history due, in part, to our recent presidential election, in which American lost their fucking minds and sort of election and insane sociopath to our highest office and, in part, due to Dave Chappelle hosting the show, the veteran comedian delivered a wholly hilarious and thoughtful stand-up set.
“Why do we have to say that black lives matter?” Chappelle asked about the movement that begged so many headlines this past year. “Now, I admit that is not the best slogan but Mc Donald’s already took “You deserve a break today. And I guess it’s kinda catchy because everyone else is biting it. Even the police are biting it– Blue Lives Matter! What, was you born a police? That is not a blue life. That a blue suit. You don’t like it, take that suit off and find another job. Because I’ll tell you right now if I could quit being black today, I’d be out of the game.”
By Chappelle’s set end, he tells a personal story about how he feels we’ve come a long way in the United States accepting the black community. He says that he’ll give Trump a chance to prove he’ll give black people’s lives (and all historically disenfranchised lives) a chance. And that’s all swell. But I really wish Chappelle would’ve taken this opportunity to ask Donald Trump to perhaps speak out against the KKK’s support of his presidency, or at least ask Trump to condemn the increase in racist incidents since Trump’s election.
In spite of Hillary Clinton’s shocking loss to Donald Trump of the presidential election on Tuesday night,Kate McKinnon reprised her version of Clinton for Saturday Night Live‘s cold open last night, in what will go down as the most emotional, somber opening of the sketch show’s history. Simultaneously honoring singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, who died the day before the election at age 82, McKinnon played Cohen’s classic and often-covered “Hallelujah” with a final message, holding back tears: “I’m not giving up and neither should you.” Check it out below. I dropped the lyrics below. I feel like it makes a difference.
McKinnon’s performance of the melancholy song is especially poignant in light of recent protestes against Donald Trump’s election as well as the increase in high-profile incidents of harrasments and attacks against minorities. It’s become clear that Trump’s vitriolic rhertoric against certain groups of people during his campaign and his refusal to speak out against racist and anti-Semitic acts across the country has emboldened the worst people in our contry to climb out from under their rocks.
Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew her
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah
I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
When I began covering the world of stand-up comedy more than 11 years ago, the way in which we consumed laughs was drastically different. There were only a few networks that ran original stand-up comedy specials. HBO, of course, was the most respected; it’s what every stand-up comedian aspired to accomplish.
And the comedy album, obviously, was there—but in far lower numbers than we’re getting now. I remember actually being able to listen to or watch every stand-up comedy album and comedy special released in a given year; there were maybe 50 or 60 to get through. Now there are easily over 200 comedy albums and specials released every year—the majority of which are distributed through digital platforms. And that’s great. Though, honestly, it’s all a bit much to synthesize, to digest and enjoy.
That’s part of why I’m digging and digging into Seeso, NBCUniversal’s subscription streaming service that was launched in January. Though the service boasts a roster of stellar original program – Bajillion Dollar Properties, Debate Wars with Michael Ian Black and Take My Wife with Cameron Esposito to name a few – its Seeso Stand-Up Streaming Fest is what’s most compelling to me right now. Launched on Oct. 20 and running through Jan. 5, Seeso is premiering new stand-up comedy events every Thursday.
Maybe I’m just anal and/or pragmatic to a fault but though some streaming services offer a ton of comedy I find it disorderly and sort of blindly curated, you know? But knowing every Thursday, something new of note in the world of stand-up is coming my way gets me to the point where I don’t feel I’m missing something.
Out of the already-released specials, I’ve taken a keen interest in Jena Friedman’s American Cunt, a well-paced and brilliantly written set that is simultaneously a scathing socio-political commentary on where we are as a nation and yet also a digestible romp through stand-up comedy’s more traditional concepts.
Also solid, is Mo Mandel’s Negative Reinforcement, a balanced set of jokes that sway from light-hearted hilarious stories (see the Julio Iglesias bit below) to some dark, dark shit. How about Mo’s mother’s abortion and sexually transmitted disease, you guys! Yep. Embrace it. All of it is worthy of at least one watch.
Janeane Garofalo’s new special If I May also premiered on Seeso (see clip below); that’s next on my list, seeing as she one of the first stand-up comedians I obsessed over as a young lad. Specials from Tyree Elaine and Robert Powell just premiered yesterday and Dan Levy’s special Lion will premiere next Thursday (Nov. 17). And there’s more coming from Aries Spears, Lachlan Patterson, Joey CoCo Diaz, Nick Thune, Ian Harvie, Laurie Kilmartin, Joe Matarese and Brian Posehn!
Audible, the Amazon-owned company largely known as the world’s biggest seller of downloadable audiobooks, has just made a major push into the world of comedy. Utilizing its Audible Channels platform and harnessing the talents of comedians Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Eugene Mirman and more, comedy lovers will now be able to enjoy a host of exclusive comedy programming, anchored by The Comedy Show Show with Will Arnett, described as an “all-access pass to the hottest thematic comedy shows around the country.”
“I’m excited to see The Comedy Show Show take off because of the amazing platform that Audible is creating with Channels,” Arnett says. “The opportunity for creative and inventive stand-up comedy to gain exposure and build momentum among Audible’s voracious listener base, and to be part of a growing roster of other incredibly high quality and entertaining shows, is gratifying.”
Accessed through the Audible app, listeners will now be privy to Bedtime Stories for Cynics, hosted by Offerman and featuring children’s-style stories but for adults from the likes of Patton Oswalt, Lewis Black, Maria Bamford and more (Watch the video below!). Then there’s Hold On with Eugene Mirman, wherein Mirman makes guests like Weird Al Yankovic, Lisa Lampanelli and Jim Gaffigan stop the stories they’re telling in order to divulge deeper details. In Audible Comedy Specials, listeners will get audio highlights from comedy festivals, early access to comedy releases and exclusive live recordings from the likes of Jen Kirkman, Brian Posehn and more.
Additional audio comedy shows delivered through Audible Channels include:
• Hot Mic with Dan Savage, a collection of awkward, poignant and hilarious stories about lust, longing, and lewd behavior hosted by the sex advice columnist
• The complete first season of Sounds like America, hosted by a rotating cast of seasoned comics including Rob Delaney and Roy Wood Jr.; each episode covers a different American pastime, region, characteristic, event, or zeitgeist
• Limelight, hot and fresh stand-up from comedy clubs across America, with a new theme and a new host – from T.J. Miller to George Lopez – each episode
• McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, dramatic performances of the very best pieces from McSweeney’s literary humor site
The premium comedy content is free with paid Audible membership or Amazon Prime memberships or $4.95 as a stand-alone service just for the channels. So, “Why don’t you go ahead and slip into something more comfortable while I make sure Audible brings you some of the best live themed comedy shows from all over this big, long, fully aroused… country,” Arnett adds.
Your move now, comedy lovers.
Chelsea Handler broke down in tears over Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton during a taping of her Netflix talk show. The full episode will begin streaming tomorrow night at 12:01 am PST. After watching a portion of Hillary Clinton’s concession speech from yesterday and during an interview with California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, Handler just lost it. “Sorry, I hate fucking crying on camera,” the comedian says, before doubling down on her pre-election promise to move out of the country if Trump beat Clinton. “I want to move to Spain. I really, really want to move to Spain right now,” Handler says, but then adds, “Everyone in my office is like, ‘you have a responsibility, you have a voice and you need to use it.’”
Handler also opined that Trump’s language and rhetoric — not to mention his abhorrent, childish behavior — throughout the election should have disqualified him from even running for president. “It you’re caught lying on camera three times in a row, if you’re talking about a woman’s genitalia—those are unpresidential things,” Handler says, before Boxer points out that in addition to Handler’s gripes, Trump was the only presidential nominee in modern history to refuse to release his tax returns.
By the end of the segment between Handler and Boxer, there was a message of hope and standing up for what you believe in. It’s a long clip but surely worth your time. Check it out below!
From Showtime: Before the next President of the United States is officially announced, Stephen Colbert reflects on politics and shares his advice on how to move on before signing off on the 2016 Presidential Election. Stephen Colbert brings you the results of the 2016 Presidential Election between candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in SHOWTIME’s special ‘Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night Democracy’s Series Finale: Who’s Going To Clean Up This Sh*t?’ #ColbertElectionSHO
IFC’s newest original series Stan Against Evil has pretty much everything a needy consumer of entertainment needs. First and foremost, it’s got comedy. Right, that’s why you’re here. Second it’s got horror for all you morbid sickos out there. Third, it’s got an amazing cast led by Dr. Perry Cox (real name: John C. McGinley), he of Scrubs fame, and solidified by Janet Varney, who, if you’re a true comedy nerd, will know her as a co-founder of the always-stellar SF Sketchfest.
But, wait. It gets better. Stan Against Evil was created by writer, comedian, former Simpsons producer/voice actor Dana Gould! The pedigree of Stan Against Evil couldn’t be better.
Anyway, Stan Against Evil, a brilliant mash-up of horror and comedy, centers on Stan Miller (McGinley), an angry, abrasive sheriff of a small town in New England. Forced into retirement, the now-former sheriff continually butts heads with Evie Barret (Varney)— quite literally, the new sheriff in town. Eventually, though the two seem to disagree on just about anything, they form an alliance when they realize something is quite amiss in their quaint little town, which, as it turns out, is built on the site of a 17th Century witch burning! Enter: an army of demons unleashed like a plague on the town.
Stan Against Evil airs on IFC every Wednesday at 10 and 10 pm ET. And to further encourage you to embrace the absolute absurdness that is Stan Against Evil, Laughspin has procured an exclusive preview of this week’s episode, wherein Stan gets into a bit of a verbal scuffle with a young priest at the local church over – of all things – hockey memorabilia. Check it out!
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