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Parks and Recreation final season starts Jan. 13 so let’s watch this teaser and cry (Video)

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 14:42

Comedy fans will rejoice on Tuesday, Jan. 13 when Parks and Recreation returns for an all new season. Those same fans, however, will be engaged in bittersweet observance every week as Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari and co. say goodbye to the NBC sitcom. It’s true, you guys. In case you didn’t already know this will be the final season of the critically acclaimed series centered around the parks department of Pawnee. To properly prepare you for the return and ultimate exit of Parks and Recreation, check out the just released teaser video below.

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Stephen Colbert breaks character: Watch 13-minute supercut of every time The Colbert Report host lost it (Video)

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 13:43

After 10 seasons on Comedy Central, The Colbert Report and its beloved leader Stephen Colbert will air its final episode tonight at 10:30 pm ET. While we can sit here and cry about the ever deepening hole inside of us that will be left raw and bloody after Colbert leaves, let us instead celebrate Colbert with a gift. And no, we’re not talking about the day Colbert takes over Late Show from David Letterman. We’re talking about a more immediate gift. That gift is a 14-minute video from Comedy Central. To be more precise, it’s a supercut of every single time Stephen Colbert broke from his Fox News-esque, conservative, blowhard persona. Share it with a friend and enjoy.

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Judd Apatow’s stand-up comedy resurrection

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 11:36

Immaturity is funny, so says all-American comedy maven Judd Apatow, who’s best known for creating the genius, short-lived, cult TV show, Freaks and Geeks and his ensuing plethora of raunchy blockbusters. What Judd’s not so known for is his abridged stand-up career, which ran shorter than Webster’s legs. After an early 90’s writing and producing gig on The Ben Stiller Show, Apatow saw the light, dropped his microphone, and left the stage in the dark. But, now that he’s more wildly successful than he could’ve ever imagined, he’s returning to his first love – stress free. Judd Apatow is a dreamer.

So, why now? What made Judd Apatow, the bearded man with busty box-office mojo, return to stand-up today?

At a recent show in Los Angeles, Judd explained how he suddenly developed a fear of public speaking. A little over a year ago, he was one of the scheduled presenters at an American Film Institute tribute for legend Mel Brooks – one of Judd’s (and everyone else’s) comic heroes. He watched with horror as one big name speaker after another killed it. He began freaking out and visibly started sweating. Normally, he’d look to his beautiful, practical wife, Leslie Mann, for encouragement. “She’d tell me to stop being silly and that everything will be fine. You’re funny. You’re going to be great.”

Except, on this night, Judd’s escort was one of his brutally honest, young daughters who’s appeared on-screen in some of Daddy’s films. He told her he was so nervous that he didn’t think he could go on. She turned to him, and said, with remarkable sincerity, “Then don’t! Don’t do it!” Awash with a confident meltdown, Judd quickly sought out the show’s Director and told him he could no longer go on. He didn’t, and the show ended up winning an Emmy without him. Judd Apatow is a troubled man.

This past summer, in between takes from his movie day job, Judd began popping up at the Comedy Cellar in New York City for short sets. Just testing things out – having some fun. He’s done no press about his casual return, instead choosing to keep a low profile. He’s simply doing it for the joy. His TV shows and Films may be for everyone, but his stand-up is for him. Although, he does tweet out many of his “surprise” appearances in advance. After all, comedy needs an audience.

Back home in Hollywood, Apatow hosts and performs at a semi-regular gig called “Judd Apatow and Friends” at the intimate Largo at the Coronet, a favorite spot among performers because of the venue’s strict no phones/cameras/drinks policy. Judd’s “friends” have included Adam Sandler, David Spade, Garry Shandling, Whitney Cummings, Louis CK, Ryan Adams, the Avett Brothers and Jackson Browne. At a recent Saturday night show, Judd admitted the show’s gotten a lot bigger than him. The buzz on his desire to do comedy is no longer the main attraction. And he’s okay with that. He loves comedians and loves entertaining. Judd Apatow is a comedy fanatic.

In an on-stage exchange with Sandler, Adam told the audience, “Judd was the only comic who liked other comedians.” Sandler, who lived with Apatow during their early years in Los Angeles, admitted, “Judd was always the nice guy.” Sandler recalled the time Apatow tried to get him to listen to an early Norm Macdonald record. Sandler was like, “Fuck him.” Despite Adam’s self-professed youthful arrogance, Apatow confessed, “Adam was always the funniest among us. Everyone knew he was going to make it.”

I’ve seen Judd perform twice now. He’s engaging, comfortable and yes, funny. Judd Apatow is the immature version of Jerry Seinfeld. To him, farts, bodily functions and genitalia will always be funny. And Sandler agrees. The two mentioned that farting, along with Adam asking to see Judd’s penis, were common occurrences when the two lived together. Not much has changed. Sandler told a story about recently farting in front of Selma Hayek’s daughter, who, like her mother, doesn’t find much humor in it. For the record, Adam says his own young daughters still think it’s funny. As did Judd.

The plain-clothed Apatow and Superman T-shirt donning Sandler seemed as natural a pair as any classic comedy duo, which, makes you wonder, if there’s a future with both sharing the stage on a more regular basis. It’s been 20 years since Adam Sandler toured as a stand-up, and 10 years since his last comedy album. The two worked together in 2009’s Funny People, which, not coincidentally, centered on a stand-up comedian. The film was also, curiously, their only professional collaboration. While the long-running rapport between the two icons was obvious, they really shined during their solo performances. As Adam performed several original comedy songs, Judd beamed from the stage in pure admiration. Judd Apatow is a comedy aficionado.

Judd opened his 30-minute set by recognizing the evening’s benefactor, The David Lynch Foundation, which brings Transcendental Mediation to at-risk individuals in Los Angeles. Apatow admitted he’s tried to meditate, but, “It’s difficult when you hate yourself.” He said his mantra should be “asshole” because that’s all he hears in his head. Judd Apatow adds fuel to the comedy consensus that all comics are inherently miserable.

Judd then went on to discuss Bill Cosby, claiming, “He was the reason I got into comedy.” Judd now questions what this says about himself. He pulled out some old Cosby comedy album jokes and read the transcripts in his best Bill Cosby voice. The jokes were uncomfortably funny and fiercely relevant. Apatow profoundly concluded, “We’re all in Bill Cosby hell.”

One of the biggest laughs of the two nights came when Judd mentioned his daughter getting in trouble at school. She dropped the “F” bomb during a schoolyard swing incident. Apatow proudly boasted to us, and to the teacher who relayed the event to him, “We’re a fuck house.” That’s one cool Dad, right? Not according to Apatow’s kids. “My kids think I’m lame. I’m like, if I’m not the cool Dad, who is? I make movies about drugs and sex!” Such a simple, truthful observation; yet, Judd knew how to make it spectacularly funny.

One family member who thinks Judd is always funny is Mann – even when Judd shits up bathroom walls during a romantic escape to Santa Barbara. But that’s another story only Judd should tell.

Serendipitously, I ended up sitting directly behind Mann at one of the shows. I witnessed her genuinely laugh at pretty much everything that came out of her leading man’s mouth. Leslie Mann has a great laugh – just the kind of laugh a guy who depends on laughter for a living could desperately fall in love with. The two married in 1997. She’s been a staple in many of Judd’s films since. In This is 40, she seduces Paul Rudd and says the word “fuck” with unbridled magnificence and splendor. And why shouldn’t she? Leslie Mann is the Queen of the ‘House of Fuck.’ And Judd Apatow is the King – albeit, an unlikely one.

Judd will be the first to tell you he got lucky landing the spunky actress and California charmer. According to Judd, he suffered through like 900 rejections from other women before the magic happened with Leslie. The two met during the making of Judd’s first film, The Cable Guy. The man with an under-stated confidence, confidently claims he knew he would marry her as soon as they met. Letting his friends go down on her in his movies was a bonus. Judd Apatow is a romantic.

Much like Apatow did with Sandler, Judd led Garry Shandling in a casual comedic Q&A, which included a diatribe on how Garry fucked Judd over in a house he sold him in 1994. A week after he bought the house, it was seriously damaged in the Northridge Earthquake. The fucking continued when Judd later sold the house to a 3rd party who ended up suing him for a septic tank issue.

Seeing Garry and Judd together reminded me why I got into TV writing -The two worked together on HBO’s first landmark series, The Larry Sanders Show – a show which revolutionized TV. Like Judd use to do before he got famous, I boldly cold-called a Hollywood insider – Sanders producer, John Ziffren, who actually invited me to the set; and years later, I wrote a spec for the show, Not Just The Return of Larry Sanders.

Today, Apatow’s influence is generously sprinkled through out Hollywood like the sprinkles atop a Bababooey inspired Crumbs cupcake. Judd just celebrated his 47th birthday and one of his original proteges, Seth Rogen, simply thanked him “for existing.” By the way, all of Judd’s Largo performances benefit various local charities and causes. You see, besides just being abundantly funny, Judd Apatow is a mensch.

Now, if only I can get Judd to mentor me. Perhaps we can begin my development process by exploring our common obsession with that handsome musician from New Jersey, the one they call The Boss.

Judd Apatow’s next scheduled appearance on stage with his friends is tonight. It’s sold out. Zach Galifianakis is one of the announced guests…Judd Apatow is a friend.


Laughspin editor Dylan Gadino sat down with Judd Apatow this past summer to chat about his return to stand-up, his upcoming movie Trainwreck with Amy Schumer and more. Check it out below.

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FXX snags Axe Cop, Lucas Bros Moving Co., more for Animation Domination High-Def

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 10:43

The Lucas Brothers are returning to television, along with several other animated comedy series. Animation Domination High-Def late-night programming block from Fox will relaunch on FXX in the new year. New episodes of Lucas Bros. Moving Co. will be joined by new Stone Quackers and reruns of High School USA!, Axe Cop and other ADHD animated shorts. Episodes of The Simpsons will be used as the block’s lead-in, as FXX has made liberal use of their exclusive syndication deal. “Based on the successful launch of The Simpsons on FXX, this is the perfect time to expand our animation offerings and make FXX the after hours destination for animated shorts and series,” said FX exec Chuck Saftler.

The Animation Domination High-Def block will be an obvious competitor of Adult Swim. FXX previously competed in late night against talk shows with Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell, which was moved from FX to FXX when the network launched a year ago.

Lucas Bros. Moving Co. features animated versions of stand-up comedy duo Kenny and Keith Lucas who work as movers in Brooklyn, New York. Stone Quackers revolves around two ducks, Whit and Clay, who get caught up in misadventures. High School USA! is an Archie parody following millennial high-schoolers. Archer reruns will begin airing on FXX in March, probably to pull in more viewers to FX’s sister network as it continues to establish itself, and could be plugged into the late night animated block. ADHD will launch on Jan. 22 and continue to run at midnight on Thursdays on FXX.

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Jon Stewart calls Congress bill “the Bill Cosby of legislation” (Video)

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 16:40

Congress recently passed the sneaky Cromnibus spending bill last week and Daily Show host Jon Stewart was not about to let politicians’ bullshit go undetected, calling it “the Bill Cosby of legislation.” The 1,600-page budget bill is a routine piece of legislation that decides how to spend $1.1 trillion of federal money. There are plenty of standard items such as the defense budget and education spending. But as Stewart points out on Tuesday night’s episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, several laws were slipped in to the “must pass” cromnibus bill by congresspeople who knew their pet projects would not be passed on their own. One of which is a reform to the major Dodd-Frank law which was put in place to help prevent another financial crisis like the one in 2008. The Comedy Central fake news host also noted that with the loosening of restrictions for the banks came another item that increases limits for personal contributions to political parties from $32,400 to $324,000. Because I’m always annoyed that I can’t donate four years of college tuition to my favorite political crony. Watch Jon Stewart rip Congress yet another asshole in his take on the Cromnibus bill on The Daily Show.

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Broken Lizard score TBS comedy pilot ‘Quality Time’

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 15:10

Broken Lizard may spend some quality time on TBS if all goes according to plan. TNT/TBS head Kevin Reilly ordered a pilot from the makers of Super Troopers and Beerfest. Broken Lizard members Paul Soter, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme and Erik Stolhanske will write and star in Quality Time. The show is about four college buddies who never truly grew up during their 20s and all of a sudden are faced with fatherhood. The buddies are caught up between who they used to be and the men they are trying to be.

Broken Lizard is already getting ready for their highly-anticipated Super Troopers sequel, which will hopefully begin shooting early next year. The fifth member of Broken Lizard, Jay Chandrasekhar, is not part of the initial cad as he just did a comedy pilot for Amazon called Really. He’s also writing the new Cheech and Chong movie. Meow, don’t you worry. It wouldn’t be surprising if he popped his mustache in on Quality Time at some point.

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Minneapolis comedian Bill Young dies but won’t be forgotten by supportive Twin Cities comedy community (Essay)

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 16:35

We just lost a dear friend of the Minneapolis/St. Paul comedy scene. He passed away sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning. This was the second huge death the scene has had in less than two weeks and we are beyond devastated. The entire landscape of our community has changed.

Bill Young was the nicest and funniest person that ever lived. This is not an exaggeration. Bill was a great comedian, but his real genius was in his every day life. Everybody knows the comedian that can’t turn it off. It’s annoying. But Bill never turned it off and everybody loved it. To borrow a Jimmy Pardo phrase, he was “never not funny.” He breathed joy into every moment and he lived to make surly, depressed comedians feel like kids again. His ability to make a spine-tinglingly funny comment at any moment defined him. Because that’s all Bill ever wanted: To make people happy.

And he did. He literally cared for every single person he met. He would go out of his way to talk to and help every single person who needed it, whether it was changing a tire, talking about breakups or working on material. He was always smiling and lighting up the room. He had many best friends, because he gave himself to everybody he met and instead of feeling drained by it, he considered it a privilege to spread joy. I’ll prove to you how nice he was: Bill was a big guy. He ate Hostess Snack Cakes like they were being discontinued. And yet, without fail, he would offer you the second snack cake. You know he really wanted that damn thing. But that’s just Bill in a nutshell: Giving. In the nearly 15 years I knew Bill, I never heard him shit-talk anyone. And shit-talking is 80 percent of what comedians do.

Unfortunately, as much as Bill loved to help other people, he wouldn’t allow other people to help him. Bill didn’t want to trouble other people. That’s why we were all shocked when Bill died at the age of 32 of what has been ruled an “accidental overdose.” Nobody had a clue. Bill suffered alone because he never wanted other people to feel bad. A few issues, including the loss of his much-loved mother, contributed to his unchecked depression.. Bill’s smile could cover up even the biggest pain.

Bill started doing open mics in August of 2000 and had many pro dates, including opening for Paul F. Tompkins. He performed countless sketches with “Denson & Young,” “Drinking With Ian” and many other notable Twin Cities groups. He also appeared on the Stand Up! Records compilations Nerd Alert! and The $4.99 Show. He wrote, produced and/or acted in many plays, most notably at this year’s Fringe Festival in Hermann the German: The Scandal that Rocked New Ulm. He was basically the official mascot of the long-running Monday Night Comedy Show. Despite these successes (and many more), Bill never cared about being a professional comedian. He was perfectly content with staying in town and being the best open micer that ever lived. He loved his family, friends and hometown too much to want to leave.

It’s not that Bill lacked ambition. It’s that he’d already accomplished his ambition which, according to Bill, was to “make you assholes laugh on occasion.”

Instead of hiding from the sadness of the way Bill passed, his family and friends would like to be open about it and ask two things: 1) That Bill be remembered as a giant ball of joy who lived his life to the absolute fullest. And 2) That his death helps open up a discussion with you or anyone in your life that is struggling with depression, substance abuse or pain in general. Even if they seem fine, please talk to your friends and family. Give them a hug and tell them you love them. Sometimes even the biggest saints are hurting inside.

Bill thought he was a ninja and balanced on every three foot high ledge he could find. He loved comic books and farting. He called comedy “doing jokey jokes.” He didn’t always smell great and we loved to call it “Billdew,” which he hated. If you yelled “Cha-cha!” at him, he would immediately drop whatever he was doing and do the Cha-cha wherever he was. His favorite band was Weezer and nobody could convince him that they sucked after 1997. He even had his own theme song.

Bill was my best friend and I’ll miss him forever.

Editor’s note: A GoFundMe page has been launched to help Bill’s family pay for funeral expenses as well as assist with rent for his roommate. Give what you can here. Though, upon further inspection, it seems as though the goal of $5,000 was reached in less than a day.

Kenny vs Spenny: Catching up with the groundbreaking Canadian comedy duo (Interview)

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 14:51

Everyone has a show that changes their life, for some it may be Saturday Night Live or The Carol Burnett Show, but for me that show was Kenny Vs. Spenny. While the show had a brief run in America on Comedy Central, in part because they were never given a permanent time slot and were subsequently buried in the schedule, the show had a long and very successful run in Canada. In total, Kenny Vs. Spenny had six hilarious seasons, 85 episodes and 85-plus humiliations that were broadcast all across the world.

Some critics have deemed Kenny Vs. Spenny a Canadian treasure that is too subversive for an American audience. I disagree. Kenny Vs. Spenny exposed the hilarious reality behind dysfunctional relationships in a way that no show had done before and have yet to recreate. For the past year, Kenny and Spenny have been on a world tour, showing unseen clips, answering questions and doing live humiliations. I caught up with both Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice to talk about the tour, their massive cult like fan base, and the very real possibility of a new season of Kenny Vs. Spenny.

How is the tour going so far?
K: It’s surprisingly good. I can’t believe people still care.
S: For a show that hasn’t been on the air for four years it’s been terrific. Audiences still like us and laugh at us. They pay to see us, buy merchandise and it’s a blessing as far as I’m concerned. The kind of edgy television we produced no longer exists and that’s why they come and see us.

Who’s idea was it to do the tour?
K: We were asked about seven years ago because we were already doing so many shows. I really didn’t like the idea of going out and milking the fans for money but now I do.
S: Our tour manager, Tony Lee, approached us many years ago and whatever reason we couldn’t do it. He resurfaced with the idea and booked us some gigs. We weren’t sure if people were going to show up and they did so he starting managing our tour and booking us for around 100 dates.

You guys have such a cult-like following with your fans. How have they been at these shows?
K: Ravenous. It’s like Kenny mania. It’s pretty crazy that our stuff went so international. I was actually chased down the street by some kids in Hamberg, Germany. What’s always bugged me was that there seems to be this disconnect between Broadcast Executives and even my friends who never really believed me about how famous I was. I’m not saying this to be cheesy, but even our crew guys from the show came on tour with us when we sold out Toronto two nights and they couldn’t believe the fans.
S: My relationship with the fans is different than Kenny’s. It’s no apologies, no regrets right? I have a lot of Trolls and haters who at the end of the day are just huge fans who are channeling Kenny. I make it a point to sort of yell at the audience for what I think is their comedic illiteracy, meanness and laziness. I also like to say, ‘you know the greatest generation that Tom Brokaw talked about that fought in World War II? You guys aren’t them.’ They seem to want to watch Kenny’s obscene humor. Of course the homophobes and the racists are the one’s I hate the most, so I try to find one in the audience that slips up and say something and then I go on the attack. To answer your question, the fans have been great.

I’ve seen fan pictures online of you guys with little kids and much older people. Your demographic seems to be rather large. Can you explain that?
K: It’s pretty broad. The broads like me and Spenny loves the kids if you know what I mean.

Whats the craziest thing a fan has ever done to you guys at one of your shows?
K: We were in Red Deer, Alberta doing a show and there was this really wasted drunk girl…I scraped my tongue for a humiliation for Spenny and she got up on stage and did it for him. It was pretty hardcore. But it’s so amazing, we did 91 shows, we hit Netflix and the stuff has been systematically getting bigger since the show started.
S: During the VIP one guy asked me to sign his scrotum. He stretched his ball sack out and I signed it with a sharpie.

Your tour is more interactive than just making it strictly a Q&A style?
K: What always bothered me was that some people thought our show was fake. It’s a lot harder to fake it than make it for real. We didn’t have the ingenuity to fake it and our live shows prove that. Our TV show was real, we shot a week per episode, cut it down to 22 minutes, put in some (Stanley) Kubrick style music. The show got picked up and went to Comedy Central and we got really lucky. It’s pretty crazy.
S: What we do is sort of unique, and there is chaotic anarchy with what we did when we were on television. We just decided to be ourselves and try not to do the same show every night. By and large we’re just real guys, we’re not actors, and we’re not scripted. We show clips, take questions and then at the end we get the audience involved and try to get them to participate in doing live humiliations. What I love is when I look out in the audience and someone has their hands covering their eyes from something that we’re doing that is grossing them out.

I noticed that Bobby [a long time friend of both Kenny and Spenny] has been on tour with you guys. Is he a permanent part of the show?
K: He has been part of the show. We wanted him to sell merchandise, but he’s the laziest idiot on the planet. Also, Spenny uses Bobby as a crutch so I can humiliate Bobby on stage as opposed to me humiliating Spenny. The biggest problem with having Bobby on tour is that I have to feed him and he’s like a Manatee and it’s costing me way too much money.
S: He was on the last leg of the tour. Bobby goes way back with us. The fact is that the first collaboration that Kenny and I ever did was a feature length video with Bobby. For one of the shows we brought him on stage and I decided I wanted to do a PSA for prostate health and I put on a rubber glove and I stuck my finger up his ass. Bobby hated it and I didn’t enjoy it either. I loved taking the glove off and throwing it into the crowd and watching the audience run for their lives. I’m sort of amazed by how easily grossed out people can get. I always say, ‘If I have a rubber body suit on, you can stick me up an elephants ass.’

Given the huge success of your world tour, do you think you guys will bring the tour to America?
K: You know, I’m not sure really sure how big we are in America. I get a lot of tweets from people in America, but we might do a taste just to see if people want it. It is weird doing it, people are happy that we’re not actors and we don’t do these stupid lame sketches and come out in costumes and do a song and dance. We really are who we really are. Once they see us live…they know the show is real. When Matt (Stone) and Trey (Parker) first met us, they said to me ‘We thought you were the fucked up one,’ but when they realized how real Spenny was that’s when they became mega fans of the series. I do think there are a lot of fans that are scared to go to the shows because they don’t want to get let down. But after the show, people get it and really love it. We just show clips that the Broadcaster never let us show and I just rip on Spenny. It’s really organic and the fans love it.
S: We obviously would like to, but it’s more of an economic factor. It’s hard to gauge whether we’ll sell tickets or not because the show was not on very long in the U.S. Our show was an acquisition from Comedy Central and they didn’t really promote it and kept changing the time slot. If we go to Europe, we have evidence from our social media and business reports about where we stand being on the air in that particular country.

You guys are huge in Europe. Why is that?
S: There is something elemental about our show and people can relate to that. At it’s heart it is a dysfunctional duo dynamic and it’s funny. There is something about friends that are opposites that is very appealing to people.

Looking at fan clips from your tour, you guys are great to the audience members. That has got to be pretty fun for them, right?
K: Look, these guys made us. Spenny and I lived in L.A. for 10 years. If it was wasn’t for the fans I would be sucking weiners at the corner of Hollywood and Vine right now. We got a shot and we didn’t blow it. It’s kind of like we invented the first reality sitcom when there was no reality shows. The only thing out there at the time that we could compare ourselves to when we were trying to sell it was (MTV’s) The Osbournes. People didn’t really get it when we were trying to sell it. We are the odd couple, Ernie and Bert 2.0.

Do you ever think there will ever be another season of Kenny Vs. Spenny?
K: You know…thats’s not up to us. Part of the problem was that we were part of a genre that has it’s toe in Tom Green and Jackass, even though I hate being compared to Jackass brcause we were not a series of unrelated vignettes. It’s a sitcom about friendship and the destruction of our relationship for ego and fame. I would love to do 500 more shows, I just think that the show is so foul, subversive and Dada-esque that I don’t know if any Broadcaster would go for it. We got caught in a catch-22 where even though we weren’t Jackass or Tom Green…we had to feed that audience in a sense. I think we’ve maintained the brand without having to sacrifice. I think the older we get, the more pathetic we are and the funnier we are. I think we could be 80 years old and our competition would be ‘Who Can Knit The Best Sweater’ and that would be the funniest fucking episode ever.
S: Anything is possible. We’ve got a movie in the works in terms of trying to get financing for it. I wouldn’t be shocked if there was another season.

If you watch your shows from Season 1 to Season 6, your show gets so much better. Did you feel the pressure to top yourselves each season?
K: Totally, when people started coming up to us on the street it became totally hardcore. What’s really surreal is that in most shows when the creators turn on each other and start hating each other, the show gets systematically worse and worse. Our show actually got better the more our relationship was destroyed. We’re pathetic, self deprecating and we’re trapped in ego. We’re the two male persona’s…Spenny is this moralist…self loathing…neurotic…violent…angry person and I’m kind of like this Machiavellian asshole but I’m happy. To me Kenny Vs. Spenny is actually happy vs. unhappy or I care vs. I don’t care. By the way Spenny cares about these competitions, I don’t care about the competitions. He’s trapped in this bureaucratic red tape of morality and this stupid world and I really just don’t care. My goal was to make the crew and my family and the audience laugh, and to make them laugh they wanted to see Spenny get crushed.

Out of all the competitions you did on the show, which one in particular was your most bitter defeat?
K: My greatest joy was losing a competition but making Spenny think he lost. Here’s the difference between us…for Spenny if you win the competition, you win, even if he’s lost. For me, if you do the humiliation you’ve lost. I was battling not to do the humiliation and he was battling to win the competition. I knew Who Could Stand The Longest (Season 1, Epsiode 4) or Who Can Eat More Meat (Season 4, Episode 4) were meaningless and I was just doing everything in my power not to be humiliated. He got everything he deserved. He can complain and freak out about whatever he wants but nobody made him do it. It’s sad how real he is, it’s was so hard to work with the guy. Now the serious pressure is off and going on tour with him is actually pretty fun.
S: The Cow one always bothered me because I really hurt myself. I think we both were expecting to be on those fucking cows for hours if not days. Not our greatest episode because I was knocked off within 40 seconds of being on that cow. That one was bad but there were so many. And just so you know the win/loss ratio between Kenny and I is very debatable.

Was there ever a competition that never aired?
K: Yeah, we did Who’s The Biggest Retard and that broadcasters went, ‘You can’t make fun of retards,’ and I was like ‘I’ve been making fun of one for five years.’ They wouldn’t let us air it, which was stupid because they approved it. So we made the Who Do Black Guys Like More (Season 6, Episodes 7 and 8) into two episodes.

Who influenced you growing up?
K: Spenny and I have our doctorate in comedy. We’ve watched every comedy movie ever made. I grew up with Buster Keaton. Spenny is a massive Laurel and Hardy and W.C. Fields fan. I’ve got every Dean Martin Roast on DVD at my house. Both Spenny and I are well educated in comedy. Plus I’m a Jew so I like Don Rickles…I’m a mega Andy Kaufman fan. And I thought Tom Green revolutionized comedy and really opened the door for us.
S: Comedically, I’m very old school. W.C. Fields and The Marx Brothers were probably my first real comedic loves. Richard Pryor, Andy Kaufman, Albert Brooks, Sam Kinison and Andrew Dice Clay. None of those people really translate into what I do but Kenny and I are both comedy geeks. In a weird way we both don’t get the credit for the fact that we actually have comedy chops. Just because we’re actually real friends and have this real relationship that isn’t manufactured by an audition process…it tends to get lost that we know how to make the show funny and how to cut a funny show.

What do you miss the most about doing the TV show?
K: The cash. It was brutal, we were like doing The Truman Show. I had to wake up every morning for almost 10 fucking years with my shitty friends in my face with a camera going “Be funny!” and thats part of where the absurdity and how funny I thought I was came from. We didn’t have big fat union guys, we had our shitty friends do everything.
S: Not really anything to be honest with you. The TV show was a nightmare to do and it’s just one of those things where the good outweighed the bad. I suffered maybe more than Kenny but believe me, he suffered too. I think that’s the difference between us and Jackass where they reveled in their idiocy, we were just kind of normal guys who didn’t want to tie ourselves together in the sixty-nine position (Season 6, Episode 1) or shit in our diapers (Season 5, Episode 1) and the things we did. We sort of hated it and that came out in the show and made it even funnier.

If someone made a Kenny Vs. Spenny movie, who would you pick to play the other person?
K: Probably Ted Bundy or whoever is the head of ISIS right now. Probably the most deplorable, most disgusting human being on the planet.
S: Jay Baruchel? Maybe some fucking nutcase?

How is your current relationship with each other now?
K: It’s actually pretty good, it was kind of dark and fucked up for a while. For right now he’s exactly where I want him.
S: Better now, we we’re at the point where we couldn’t stand to be in the same room together. It was a combination of pressure from the show, business issues and just the fact that we really are different people and you do grow apart as you age. Now, with the touring, it’s a lot mellower even though we both still have a lot of antagonism for each other just by nature of our personalities. Generally, our relationship is a lot better. We hang out, we talk about stories but it was at the point where we didn’t talk to each other for the longest time after the show stopped. He had issues with me going home too early. I was living in L.A. and would have to go back because of certain reasons. Being in a creative partnership it’s very hard and then when you add Kenny’s narcissism on top of that, it becomes almost impossible. Currently we’re in the renaissance of our friendship.

For news on upcoming tour dates, check out kvsontour.com Tell them how much you want a new season of Kenny Vs. Spenny or relentlessly harass them by twittering them @kennyhotz and @Spenny or follow them on Facebook. Spenny has a bi-monthly column in the The Kingston Whig.

‘Chanukah (Shake It Off)’ Video Features Jewish A Cappella Group Six13 Parodying Taylor Swift With Latkes And Dreidels

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 22:06

Just when we finally got “Shake It Off” out of our heads, yet another parody of Taylor Swift’s hit has gone viral online. But this new “Chanukah” video from Jewish a cappella group Six13 is so good that we don’t care.

As the name implies, “Chanukah” tells the story of the Jewish holiday with some help from Taylor Swift’s catch “Shake It Off” beat. This includes the famous tale of Judah Maccabee, who led his outnumbered army to victory over the Greeks, inspiring the holiday we now know as Hanukkah.

“Back in 160 B.C.E. / Lived Judah Maccabee/ His army was so weak/ But they still beat the Greeks/ Supply of oil wasn’t great/ But a miracle took place/ It burned for 8 whole days/ It burned for 8 whole days,” Six13 sings in its “Shake It Off” parody.

The story of the oil miracle is the reason Jews light a menorah for the eight nights of Hanukkah. And plenty of other Jewish traditions are mentioned in this Chanukah “Shake It Off” parody, including the consumption of potato latkes.

“Cause we’re counting up to eight, eight, eight, eight, eight/And these latkes taste so great, great, great, great, great/Yeah that’s how we celebrate, -brate, -brate, -brate, -brate/It’s Hanukkah, Hanukkah!” the “Shake It Off” parody continues.

And for those who are less familiar with Chanukah customs, there is even a brief dreidel lesson built into this “Shake It Off” parody.  The spinning top has four sides, and players either take or put money/gelt into a pile based on what Hebrew letter the dreidel lands on.

“Spin a nun and you don’t get none/And you put one in if you’re landin’ on a shin/If you wind up with a hay, you get half the total pay/But if you spin a little gimmel then you take take take,” Six13 sings.

And the actual video may be even better than the lyrics. When the guys of Six16 aren’t enjoying latkes or playing dreidel,  they are dancing around like crazy, a la Taylor Swift. They even don some tutus and Power Ranger uniforms for the occasion! Check out the full “Shake It Off” Chanukah video below.

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Camille Cosby breaks her silence on sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, asks ‘Who is the victim?’

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 19:00

A day after Bill Cosby lectured a reporter about how black media should cover the mounting sexual assault allegations levied against him with a “neutral mind” the veteran comedian’s wife of 50 years, Camille, released a statement blaming the media for not “vetting” her husband’s accusers carefully enough. Though Camille never comes out and flatly denies her husband’s alleged crimes, she does explain that the media has portrayed a “different man… it is a portrait of a man I do not know.”

Camille also finds it appropriate to compare the recent Rolling Stone article about a supposed sexual assault on the campus of the University of Virginia to new reports about Bill’s alleged sexual assaults. That Rolling Stone story proved to be false. You can read Camille’s full statement below:

I met my husband, Bill Cosby, in 1963, and we were married in 1964. The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to Love, is the man you all knew through his work. He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband, father and friend. He is the man you thought you knew.

A different man has been portrayed in the media over the last two months. It is the portrait of a man I do not know. It is also a portrait painted by individuals and organizations whom many in the media have given a pass. There appears to be no vetting of my husband’s accusers before stories are publishes or aired. An accusation is published, and immediately goes viral.

We all followed the story of the article in the Rolling Stone concerning allegations of rape at the University of Virginia. The story was heart-breaking, but ultimately appears to be proved to be untrue. Many in the media were quick to link that story to stories about my husband—until that story unwound.

None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim. But the question should be asked—who is the victim?

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Team Coco supercut: Watch Conan’s best 2014 moments in one video

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:53

Conan O’Brien and the rest of Team Coco released their annual Supercut mashup video on Monday, featuring their favorite clips from this year’s Conan on TBS. The mashup of Conan moments reminds us of a hilarious Bill Hader visit, driving a Lyft with Kevin Hart and more Anchorman promo games. Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show has always maintained a strong online presence. The Team Coco YouTube channel has surpassed 1 billion views with its more than 2.2 million subscribers. The show itself has hundreds of thousands of followers on various social media with O’Brien bringing along millions. The annual mashup video is a fan favorite that reminds us all why we love our ginger-haired host so much. Check out the Season 4 Conan Supercut below!

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Donald Glover’s FX hip-hop comedy pilot ‘Atlanta’ is happening

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:35

Donald Glover will create and star in a new comedy pilot for FX Networks. Childish Gambino is already working on the next season of Community for Yahoo! Screen and his next project Atlanta will show off more of his hip-hop chops. Atlanta is about two cousins working their way up the Atlanta rap scene but their warring opinions on art vs. commerce, success and race make their journey difficult. Donald Glover will play “Earnest ‘Earn’ Marks,” a college drop-out who reconnects with a long-lost desire for the mic when his estranged cousin becomes a hit star. Glover has already established himself as an accomplished rapper under the name Childish Gambino, receiving his first-ever Grammy nominations for Best Rap Album for Because The Internet and Best Rap Performance for “3005.” His 2012 stand-up special Weirdo just went live on Netflix this month.

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Monroe Martin, Nina Agdal, Samantha Hoopes, more join Guy Code on MTV2 (EXCLUSIVE)

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 12:09

When Guy Code returns to MTV2 for its fifth season on Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 11:30 pm ET, fan favorites Andrew Schulz, Charlamagne tha God & Lil Duval as well as Chris Distefano, Damien Lemon, Jordan Carlos and Jon Gabrus will be there welcoming eager viewers with open arms. But there’s also going to be some changes— and that means a baker’s dozen – yes, 13! – new Guy Code faces.

And Laughspin has the exclusive full list below. You’ll find the dozen new faces are made up of upcoming comedians, musicians, models and more. From standout Last Comic Standing competitor Monroe Martin to YouTube sensation Timothy DeLaGhetoo to Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Nina Agdal (pictured), Guy Code has never been so rich with talent.

Check out the rundown below and tell us who you’re most excited to see on the new season of Guy Code!

Akaash Singh (@AkaashSingh)
Born and raised in Texas, Akaash Singh is a nationally touring stand-up comedian whose comedy is driven by cultural differences, an intense pride in his upbringing, and a desire to challenge the audience. This past year he was on the HBO show “The Leftovers” and “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild N’ Out.”

Byron Bowers (@byronbowers)
Comedian Byron Bowers was born and raised in a lower-middle class neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia. But here’s where it gets funny: The Atlanta School Board saw fit to bus him into the more affluent, whiter suburbs for his schooling. Thus began an inadvertent social experiment that bore comedic fruit. Byron’s experiences directly inform his comedy – crisscrossing a multicultural socioeconomic landscape with the insight of a hip hop prodigy, the punch of a mixed martial artist, and the charm that one would expect from a proper southern gentleman. Byron appears regularly at The Comedy Store, The Comedy and Magic Club, The Hollywood Improv, The Nerdist Theater, and Holy F#ck. He has appeared on the “Eric Andre Show” on Adult Swim, Comcast TV, “Adam Devine’s House Party” on Comedy Central and Comic View.

Dave Ebert (@horsedivorce)
Dave Ebert is an actor, comedian, writer, illustrator, freestyle rapper, and guy. He received his BFA in Acting from SUNY Fredonia in ’09 and has been working in New York ever since. He performs live at the Upright Citizens Brigade with the Maude Sketch team One Idiot. You can also see him perform not live in his web series “Shane and Dave.”

Desus & Mero (@desusnice @THEKIDMERO)
Desus Nice is a writer, host, and highly noted Twitter personality. Born and raised in the Bronx, he co-hosts the popular web series Desus vs. Mero on Complex TV. His work has been featured in Vulture, Gawker, Buzzfeed and several other media outlets. He once drank rum with Anthony Bourdain on “Parts Unknown”.

The Kid Mero is a New York-based writer, host, and Twitter personality. His work has appeared on Vice and Complex, and he is one-half of the popular web series Desus vs. Mero on Complex TV. He’s been written about in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Vulture, and Gawker. He is currently working on a sitcom treatment with Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, based on his time working as an aide at a New York City public school. He lives in the Bronx with his wife and two kids.

Fahim Anwar (@fahimanwar)
Fahim Anwar is a Los Angeles-based standup comedian, actor and writer. Formerly an aerospace engineer at Boeing, Fahim traded the cubicle for the stage and has never looked back. In 2010 Fahim made his television debut with a guest starring role on NBC’s Chuck. Most recently, he’s had a recurring role on season three of FOX’s Lie To Me. Fahim continues to write and star in his own series of internet shorts and has had multiple shorts go viral, with many being featured on Break, Digg and Reddit.

Julia Kelly (@MissJuliaKelly)
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest town of Portland, Oregon, Julia Kelly is a Rising Talent in the social media world. After a friend and fellow actor invited her to be in one of his “Vine Videos,” Julia was hooked and began to collaborate with other Viners. In a few short months Julia became a huge success. Soon after Vine, she started her Instagram and now her total Social Media fan base is close to over 2 million. Recently Julia was featured as a “New and Rising Star” in social media in the New York Times Magazine.

Matthew Broussard (@mondaypunday)
Born in New Jersey, raised in Atlanta, and, in 2012, winner of Houston’s Funniest Person, Matthew Broussard isn’t sure where he’s from. Before doing stand-up, he earned a degree in Applied Math from Rice University and got fired from being a financial analyst. His comedy relies on his killer timing, subtle wit, and devilish good looks. Also, he’s not very witty and his timing could use some work. When he’s not drawing puns for his web-comic, mondaypunday.com, he enjoys swimming, using semicolons pretentiously, and resembling a villain from an 80s movie.

Matteo Lane (@MatteoLane)
Matteo Lane is a New York-based comedian, originally from Chicago. Before starting stand up, Matteo lived in Italy as an oil painter and Opera singer. After realizing that he wasn’t going to become Maria Callas, Matteo began telling jokes to strangers in dark rooms. Matteo has performed in the Montreal Laughs Festival, on Comedy Central and has been heard on SiriusXM radio.

Monroe Martin (@MonroeMartinIII)
Monroe Martin is a colorful and imaginative comedian born and raised in Philadelphia with a lifetime of hard knock experiences that have been spun into side-splitting jokes and stories. One usually wouldn’t find Monroe’s life story laughable. After all, how inappropriate is it to laugh at a foster child who jumped around from one dysfunctional family to another? Monroe’s honest and open approach to joke and storytelling universalizes his experiences. Follow him on twitter @monroemartinIII.

Nina Agdal (@NinaAgdal)
Danish beauty Nina Agdal’s star continues to rise. From Sports Illustrated 2012 Rookie of the Year to landing the cover of this year’s coveted SI 50th Anniversary Swimsuit Issue. Look for Nina in 2015 in the Entourage feature film and the newest Bebe campaign.

Samantha Hoopes (@samanthahoopes)
Samantha Hoopes is an American model from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She was recently featured in Sports Illustrated’s 50th Anniversary Swimsuit issue and is the new face of Guess. Before becoming a successful model, she attended Penn State and majored in business after changing her major from kinesiology.

Timothy DeLaGhetto (@Traphik)
Timothy DeLaGhetto, also known as Traphik, is an Asian American rapper, comedian, writer, and videographer. As of March 2014, his main YouTube channel has over 2.3 million subscribers and 550 million video views. The channel features original skits, parodies, rants, and a series called “Dear DeLaGhetto.” His most popular video has over 78 million views. He is a featured cast member on MTV2’s other hit series “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out.”

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Bill Cosby lectures reporter, expects black media to have ‘neutral mind’ about rape allegations

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 22:52

Though Bill Cosby has been told not to talk to the press about the staggering number of sexual assault allegations against him, the veteran comedian had no problem being manipulative to a New York Post reporter. Reached at his home by Stacy Brown, Cosby, whom Brown described as “upbeat” offered the following: “Let me say this. I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind.” Which sounds like – and we’re just guessing here – Cosby thinks black reporters (which Brown is) should cut him some slack, because, you know, “we’re both black.” Or Something.

When Brown asked Cosby how his longtime wife Camille was handling the situation, Cosby babbled some faux-philosophical garbage: “Love and the strength of womanhood,” Cosby, began, adding, “Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And, you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love.”

Whatever, Bill. Whatever.

We know one of Cosby’s pastimes is attempting to manipulate the media. Remember that time he told an Associated Press reporter to “scuttle” certain comments he made about the rape allegations? Or that time he told a radio interview to delete the time he said “shit.”

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Marriage Proposal Goes Horribly Wrong When Crane Crashes Into Neighboring House, But Girlfriend Still Says Yes

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 21:41

One Dutch man learned the hard way that sometimes less is more when it comes to marriage proposals. The unnamed gentleman hoped to use a crane to pop the question to his girlfriend, but he ended up destroying her neighbor’s home.

The Dutchman in question hired a local crane to lower him next to his girlfriend’s window. Once there, he had planned to play a sweet song for her and then ask for her hand in marriage. But things went horribly wrong when the crane crashed into a neighboring home. Eventually, authorities tried to right the crane, only for it to fall over again and create a bigger hole.

“The crane the man wanted to use to propose fell on a house,” said emergency services spokesman Jelle Mulder. “During the attempt to right it, the crane unfortunately slipped and fell on the house again. We’re looking at the best way to lift the crane without it falling again.”

Watch video of a crane falling on a home during a marriage proposal attempt.

Thankfully, nobody was injured in this crane disaster, though six apartments were evacuated for precautionary reasons.  The town’s mayor also came to the site of this proposal fail to inspect the damage after the home was declared unsafe.

Despite this crane fail, the young woman did say yes to her boyfriend’s marriage proposal. The couple then took off for Paris to celebrate the impending nuptials.

“They had a trip to Paris planned and the police told them that there was no reason to cancel,” Mulder added.


Watch Fat Schmidt from ‘New Girl’ Lip-Sync To ‘We Found Love’! Video Of Max Greenfield Dancing To Rihanna While Wearing Fat Suit Goes Viral

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 10:21

Back in 2011, New Girl star Max Greenfield revealed that he once filmed a video lip-syncing to Rihanna while dressed as the chubby version of his alter ego, Fat Schmidt. (As New Girl fans know, Schmidt struggled with his weight while attending Syracuse University, though he did eventually slim down to the gorgeous figure he has today.)  Now, that glorious clip has finally come to light, thanks to his co-star, Zooey Deschanel.

The “We Found Love” video begins with Fat Schmidt wearing a Syracuse sweatshirt and lip-syncing the Rihanna song into the camera. It only gets more hilarious from there, with a fat-suit-wearing Max Greenfield showing off his “dance moves” on a hill.

Watch Fat Schmidt lip-sync to Rihanna below.

Three years ago, Max Greenfield revealed that he made the Fat Schmidt Rihanna video to post on his character’s Hello Giggles dating profile. But for legal reasons, he had to take the clip down. It was replaced with a video montage of skinny Schmidt with Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” playing in the background.

“They were like, ‘Listen, Max, there were so many things wrong with the video that you made and you’ve got to consult us,” Greenfield said of the reason his Fat Schmidt Rihanna video was first taken down. “Because Extra had the rights to reveal Fat Schmidt, and then we didn’t have the rights to the song, and the studio was just like, ‘Please, please what are you doing?’ So I said, ‘Look, it got a lot of exposure in the two hours that you let me keep it up.’”

Fat Schmidt’s “visual remix” of “We Found Love” did remain up on Max Greenfield’s personal YouTube page. But apparently, not many people saw it there. So when Deschanel promoted the clip on Hello Giggles this week, it went viral once again. And we are so glad that it did.

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Comedian Gus Lynch’s death devastates Minneapolis comedy community

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 13:31

Real comedy nerds know Minneapolis has, for the past five years or so, become one of the most vital burgeoning comedy cities in the country. Along with a few other cities like Denver, Austin and Portland, Minneapolis has proven you don’t necessarily need to move to Los Angeles or New York in order to prove your comedy prowess. Well, Minneapolis continues to prove its merit and strength, though most recently they’ve proven that strength and sense of community through tragedy.

Gus Lynch, a beloved comedian from the Twin Cities, died while on a Mexican vacation with his family. Lynch fell 30 feet from one of the ruins’ structures, which resulted in a broken pelvis, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Although surgery was performed, Lynch died from his injuries the following morning. Lynch was 42. By all accounts, Lynch was an absolute force.

Lynch was not only a comedian, but also worked as Director of Live Events for longtime Minneapolis-based comedy record label Stand Up! Records. In that position helped found the Akumal Comedy Festival in Akumal, Mexico. In order to celebrate the life of Gus Lynch, the comedy community of the Twin Cities have come together to produce a memorial show tomorrow, Sunday, Dec. 14 at the Turf Club at 4 pm. Bands and comedians will perform. Admission is free. A tribute page has also been created at TheTurkeys.net.

In order to get a better sense of who Gus Lynch was, I strongly recommend you check out this piece on Minneapolis City Pages titled Gus Lynch’s Greatest Hits. I’d also like to share an email comedian Gabe Noah sent me. I’ve reprinted some of it below with Gabe’s permission.

I just wanted to reach out and let you know about a tragedy we had in our scene. It might make people laugh harder at the positive things if we can bum them the fuck out with this story. Our friend’s name was Gus Lynch. He was an actor (North Country, Saving Silverman, Halloween Resurrection, and my fave MVP: Most Vertical Primate) turned comedian. He loved comedy…as I said he went from being an extremely talented actor to being a shit comedian by his own choice. He quickly became the best MC in a three-club town, and more recently won the “Greatest Comedian Ever” contest, which, despite that idiotic name was a legitimate contest run by a great club (Joke Joint Comedy Club). He was a member and best actor of our stand up/sketch comedy gang The Turkeys (mydamnchannel, cracked.com), and was the director of live events for Stand Up! Records as well as the co-founder of the Akumal Comedy Festival).

If you’re wondering what kind of guy Gus was, I’ll say this: He was the kind of guy who died by falling off an ancient pyramid. It’s really fuckin sad, but true. Even sadder? That’s the second time I’ve used that pyramid joke…Let’s call it coping.

The real point is that Gus’ death has rocked our scene. He worked like hell to give others a stage to perform on as a producer of many independent shows (and the festival). He had an old-school devotion to doing his job on stage. If he was headlining he played that role, and if he was hosting he would leave bigger laughs on the table so that he’d better set up the next guy. He was currently starring in The Turkeys commercial web series As The Schedule Turns, and he had a hell of a lot more going on behind the scenes. He was the big brother to scores of MPLS comics, but the real tragedy is he was a devoted husband and father to two young kids.

It’s hard to encapsulate a normal guy, and Gus was a mountain.

Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson signed ‘Top Five’ posters, Laughspin giving some away!

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 17:18

Unless you’ve just awakened from a coma – and if so, congrats! – you undoubtedly know Chris Rock’s newest movie Top Five hits theaters today! Centered on Rock’s character, a comedian who’s now trying to make it as a serious actor in Hollywood, the colossal comedy co-stars Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union and Kevin Hart. You’ll also find the likes of Whoopi Golderg, Jerry Seinfeld, Tracy Morgan, Luis Guzman, Cedric the Entertainer, J.B. Smoove, Adam Sandler and many others if you head out to your local cinema this weekend. So, in other words, it’s a huge comedy event that you shouldn’t miss!

So, we thought we’d celebrate Chris Rock’s movie with a little giveaway. Laughspin is giving away five Top Five movie posters—each of them signed by Rock, Dawson and co-stars Sherri Shepherd, Cedric the Entertainer, Anders Holm, J.B. Smoove, Ben Vereen and Gabrielle Union! The winners will be selected at random. To enter for a chance to win, just check out the fun widget below. You have until Friday, Dec. 19 at 5 pm ET to enter. Good luck!

'Top Five' posters signed by Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, more! in LaughSpin.com Polls and Contests on LockerDome(function(d,s,id,elid) {window.ldInit = window.ldInit || []; ldInit.push(elid);if (d.getElementById(id)) return;var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];js=d.createElement(s); js.id=id;js.async=true;js.src="//cdn2.lockerdome.com/_js/embed.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document, "script", "lockerdome-wjs", "ld-9248-521"));

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Golden Globes are terrible for comedy and here’s why and how it could be better

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 14:40

The nominees for the 72nd Annual Golden Globes were announced on Thursday morning. Yet again, those zany humans from foreign lands behind the third-rate award ceremony have befuddled us with their interpretation of the term ‘comedy,’ doling out nominations to actors in movies like crime thriller Inherent Vice, IMDB-labeled dramatic biopic Big Eyes and drama-with-punch lines Maps to the Stars starring familiar face Julianne Moore (see the rest of this year’s comedy nominees below). Like the Emmys, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association separates dramas from comedies/musicals for both television and film. Every year, questionable movies are submitted as comedies (and several biopics try to sneak in as musicals) in order to avoid stiffer awards competition from less-than-funny films.

The increasingly popular “dramedy” concept now blurs the line between “serious” cinema and  light-hearted laughers. Comedy movies now attempt cathartic storylines traditionally seen in dramas and earnest dramas are now, more than ever, peppering scripts with jokes between heavy scenes.

The Golden Globes created the distinction between dramas and comedies/musicals in 1952. Today, the category has become a second-rate section for light-hearted dramas to snag easy nods. Last year’s comedy nominees caused a stir with American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street nailing several nominations and wins; these films’ producers submitted their movies as comedies to avoid contenders 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club and Gravity in the drama category. The HFPA gives no criteria to studios on what constitutes a comedy. So as the lines blur between drama and comedy, it might be time for the Golden Globes to rename some of their categories so that actual comedic performances can be honored, as I’m sure was the original intention of the category.

I propose changing the categories from Best Actor/Actress — Motion Picture Drama and Best Actor/Actress — Motion Picture Musical or Comedy to Best Actor/Actress — Motion Picture and Funniest Actor/Actress — Motion Picture (and similarly change to Best Motion Picture and Funniest Motion Picture). This distinguishes comedic acting from dramatic acting, which would seem to be the whole point of having two different categories. Not all funny people are great actors and not all great actors are very funny. With new distinctions like this, an ambiguously classified movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill could be honored for its “serious” acting performance by Leonardo DiCaprio with a Best Actor nomination and simultaneously earn a Funniest Actor nod for Jonah Hill. A change like this would make it difficult American Hustle‘s producers to bill Christian Bale’s role as the ‘funniest’ of the year.

New comedy award titles would not distinguish between a supporting actor or a lead actress because it would be about the funniest performances. A ‘Funniest’ category would earn stand-out comedic portrayals respected recognition from the industry. Zach Galifianakis could have been properly praised for his role in The Hangover. Robert Downey Jr. would have easily taken home a trophy for Tropic Thunder, but because he was considered a supporting actor he was tossed into a category which doesn’t separate dramas from comedies. Christ Pratt could be nominated for making audiences around the world crack up as Star-Lord in this year’s unexpectedly hilarious blockbuster comic book movie Guardians of the Galaxy, which was probably overlooked completely because action films rarely receive award season praise. Seriously: does anyone think that Kirsten Wiig (Bridesmaids) wouldn’t have beaten Octavia Spencer (The Help) if the award that year was Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture?

Both the Golden Globes and Emmys have a separate category for comedies, although their superlatives involve being the ‘best’ or most ‘outstanding’ actor, adjectives that have nothing to do with being funny. It still seems too much for the Academy to take comedy writing seriously but the Golden Globes could lead the way in properly recognizing comedy movies. The worst that could possibly happen is that one day Kevin Hart gets to win a Golden Globe. That’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Check out the HFPA’s comedy nominations for the 72nd Annual Golden Globes, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on Sunday, Jan. 11 on NBC.

*Comedies are italicized in mixed-genre categories*

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Into the Woods
  • Pride
  • St. Vincent

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

  • Amy Adams – Big Eyes
  • Emily Blunt – Into the Woods
  • Helen Mirren – The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • Julianne Moore – Maps to the Stars
  • Quvenzhané Wallis – Annie

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

  • Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Michael Keaton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Bill Murray – St. Vincent
  • Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
  • Christopher Waltz – Big Eyes

Best Animated Feature Film

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Book of Life
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • The Lego Movie

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

  • Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
  • Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
  • Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

  • Robert Duvall – The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
  • Edward Norton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Best Director – Motion Picture

  • Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Ava Duvernay – Selma
  • David Fincher – Gone Girl
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignoracne)
  • Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

  • Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Richard Linklater – Boyhood
  • Graham Moore – The Imitation Game

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

  • Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson – The Theory of Everything
  • Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – Gone Girl
  • Antonio Sanchez – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Hans Zimmer – Interstellar

Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical

  • Girls (HBO)
  • Jane the Virgin (The CW)
  • Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
  • Silicon Valley (HBO)
  • Transparent (Amazon)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical

  • Lena Dunham – Girls
  • Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
  • Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin
  • Taylor Schilling – Orange is the New Black

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical

  • Louis C.K. – Louie
  • Don Cheadle – House of Lies
  • Ricky Gervais – Derek
  • William H. Macy – Shameless
  • Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

  • Uzo Aduba – Orange is the New Black
  • Kathy Bates – American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
  • Allison Janney – Mom
  • Michelle Monaghan – True Detective

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David Letterman sets Late Show exit date

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 17:49

David Letterman finally knows when his historical run on Late Show will come to an end. Letterman’s final broadcast on CBS will be on May 20. The legendary late night talk show host announced his retirement back in April. They had yet to establish when he would bow out in 2015. Stephen Colbert will take over the Late Show chair, leaving his soon-to-end Comedy Central program The Colbert Report.

David Letterman has been, and with the way broadcast television is slowly going digital, may always be, the longest-tenured late night talk show host. He’s been on the air for over 32 years, hosting his CBS show for 22 years. His final episode on May 20, 2015 will be his 6,028 episode between Late Night on NBC and Late Show. The show has earned 73 Emmy nominations collecting 9 trophies. His long-running ratings competition with Tonight Show host Jay Leno has even been the subject of two books by New York Times writer Bill Carter. “David Letterman has given to all of us a remarkable legacy of achievement and creative brilliance that will never be forgotten,” said CBS head Leslie Moonves. “It’s going to be tough to say goodbye, but I know we will all cherish the shows leading up to Dave’s final broadcast in May.” It appears we are closer and closer to finally seeing who the real Stephen Colbert is…

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