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Updated: 13 hours 47 min ago

George Carlin album ‘I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die’ will be released Sept. 16 (Audio preview)

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 11:38

The night before the attacks of 9/11, George Carlin was doing what he did best— harnessing his darkest thoughts and turning them into incisive long-form jokes live on stage. On that particular date Carlin was performing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – part of what would be a four-year residency there – working toward his 12th HBO special. The plan was to title that special I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die, which, considering the names of the specials that bookended that one (You’re All Diseased and Life is Worth Losing) was, in hindsight, in line with the later-era tone of Carlin’s comedy.

The next morning, however, a lot of people actually died and Carlin eventually decided to rename the special, recorded two months later at the Beacon Theater in New York, Complaints and Grievances. Any bits that he deemed in poor taste juxtaposed with the mass casualties and injuries sustained during the attacks on the World Trade Center were scrubbed and shelved. Seven years later Carlin died at the age of 71, before he could release that material.

But 15 years after those bits were recorded, I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die will be released on Sept. 16 on, CD, vinyl and digital formats. Laughspin broke the news two years ago that a new Carlin album was in the works. And thankfully Carlin’s camp just released a clip, wherein the iconic comedian, in part, expresses joy in the idea of an asteroid the size of Minnesota hitting earth. The track is reminiscent of part of his “The Planet is Fine” bit from 1992’s Jammin’ In New York where he proclaims his love of bad news on television, as in, “I wanna see shit blowing up and bodies flying around.” There’s something more wicked in Carlin’s delivery here, though. Check it out below.

“I’ve been working with his daughter Kelly Carlin and his manager Jerry Hamza to preserve and digitize the boxes of recordings he saved in his archives,” says one of the project’s producer’s Logan Heftel. “He left cassette tapes with handwritten notes. We did our best to follow his clues and honor his intention.”

The album, which opens with a 1957 home recording, will also boast liner notes written by Lewis Black, Hamza and Carlin’s longtime comedy special producer Rocco Urbisci. Fans can get an early listen to I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die when SiriusXM premieres it on Sept. 1 on Comedy Greats and Carlin’s Corner.

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Jeff Ross will roast you tonight on Twitter, part of Slim Jim’s #SettleTheBeef movement (Interview)

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 16:10

Jeff Ross doesn’t want you to call it a comeback. Roasting has been here for years. “Maybe it’s new to some people, but I’ve bee doing this for two decades,” the Roastmaster General tells Laughspin of the seemingly timeless tradition. The roast — and its younger cousin, the roast battle — has seen a mainstream resurgence over the last decade. Comedy Central’s infamous celebrity roasts of Pamela Anderson, Hugh Hefner, Charlie Sheen, and others continue to air repeats on the network. Ross hosted a televised insult competition Roast Battle just a few weeks ago. And now it seems like comedy clubs in every major city host battle nights.

“Growing up, it was part of the culture,” Ross, a New Jersey native shares. “It wasn’t until I went to college in New England that I realized not everyone enjoys busting balls like back home.” Making a living out of breaking a guy’s chops — instead of his nose — is a Jersey boy’s dream come true. Of his earliest taunting days he continues, “My mom made me go to karate. I got a black belt, so nobody wanted to fight me. Then I could say what I wanted, because I knew no one would hit me!”

Comedians communicate through insults. It’s a shorthand between funny friends. In the comedy world, a pal is more likely to deliver a body slam to your ego before your greatest nemesis. Ross once held that ideal close to heart when he wrote his book, I Only Roast The Ones I Love. “On Roast Battle, every match ends with a hug.”

However, Ross, who helped start the original roast battles at the Comedy Store with Brian Moses, is ready to roast just about anybody these days. Next up is Comedy Central’s Roast of Rob Lowe, but Ross says, “I’d really like to roast a politician next. I don’t care which party they belong to, I just think that’d be a lot of fun.” Amongst his wish list are President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton, who he thinks would be “the best roast of all time.”

The dais on a classic Dean Martin roast featured friends of the guest of honor and chummy comedians. Today’s TV roasts now book based on who’s funny and who will get the best ratings, a combination yielding the most brutal of put-downs where no one holds back. Comedy club roast battles don’t even focus on pairing up close friends. New York City’s underground Comedy Fight Club runs NCAA bracket-style tournaments. A comic often knows nothing about his or her opponent before researching them for dirt. An autistic sibling or deceased wife remain on-limits to the most vicious of roasters. In these situations, battles require superb comedy writing skills, but not the familiarity of the Rat Pack’s era.

Ross insists it’s all in good fun and a cathartic release of comedic contempt. That’s why he’s exchanging barbs with his fans on Twitter tonight as part of Slim Jim’s #SettleTheBeef movement from 8-9pm EST. Fans can offer up subjects or themselves to be roasted by the Sultan of Slights. But compliments could be on Ross’s horizon. When informed of Reddit’s /r/ToastMe subreddit, which focuses less on mockery and more on acclamation, he said, “That’s awesome. I have to check that out!” Imagine adulation from the Admiral of Verbal Abuse.

Follow @realjeffreyross on Twitter for tonight’s #SettleTheBeef!

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Turner Classic Movies, with host Greg Proops, launch Salute to Slapstick, offer online college course

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 15:42

Turner Classic Movies will launch a salute to slapstick comedy – that beloved but often critically disrespected comedy sub-genre – on Sept. 6 with comedian Greg Proops enlisted as host. Ouch! A Salute To Slapstick will air every Tuesday and Wednesday during September and will feature 56 films focusing on the likes of slapstick originators Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton to contemporary greats like Will Ferrell. The series will take comedy lovers back all the way to 1915, with programming including the following:

• The Silent Era – the rambunctious physical nature of the style proved perfect for the era and programming includes Charlie Chaplin’s first feature, Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914) and Buster Keaton’s masterpiece Steamboat Bill, Jr.(1928)
• The 1930s – slapstick took on the classic art form it is today with the rise of the popularity of Laurel and Hardy (Sons of the Dessert [1933]) and the Marx Brothers (A Night at the Opera [1935])
• The 1940s & 50s – Slapstick remained a popular art form thanks to practitioners W.C. Fields in The Bank Dick (1940) and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in Scared Stiff(1953)
• The 1960s – the style was revived with the all-star It’s Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) and two Peter Sellers masterpieces A Shot in the Dark (1964) and The Party (1968)
• The 1980s and Beyond – the genre and format continued to thrive with Strange Brew (1983) and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

To coincide with Ouch! A Salute To Slapstick, TCM has teamed up with Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana to offer a free online multimedia course they’re calling Painfully Funny: Exploring Slapstick in the Movies, taught by Richard Edwards, executive director of Ball State’s iLearn Research. You can enroll today! The course will run from Aug. 28 – Oct. 8.

If you’re not interested in taking the course, might we suggest you simply enjoy a sampling of quality slapstick fare: Uproxx and Empire have some solid recommendations. Try not to hurt yourself. In the meantime, let’s soak in this classic slapstick moment between David Spade and the late Chris Farley from 1995’s Tommy Boy.

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Comedy Central cancels Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 12:21

Comedy Central has decided Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show has run its course after a year-and-a-half on the network, as it announced its cancelation today. “Unfortunately, it hasn’t connected with our audience in ways that we need it to,” Comedy Central President Kent Alterman said in a statement, “both in the linear channel and in terms of multi-platform outlets and with shareable content and on social platforms as well.”

Wilmore will host the final episode of The Nightly Show this Thursday at 11:30 pm ET. @Midnight, Chris Hardwick’s faux game show that’s been running on Comedy Central since 2013, will take The Nightly Show’s timeslot until a permanent replacement is found.

“I’m really grateful to Comedy Central, Jon Stewart, and our fans to have had this opportunity,” Wilmore said in a statement, adding, “But I’m also saddened and surprised we won’t be covering this crazy election or ‘The Unblackening’ as we’ve coined it. And keeping it 100, I guess I hadn’t counted on ‘The Unblackening’ happening to my time slot as well.”

Nightly Show executive producer Rory Albanese took to Twitter this morning to express his gratitude to the staff of the show.

Sad to say @nightlyshow has been cancelled. I’m very proud to have been a part of a show that has been funny, diverse & extremely necessary.

— Rory Albanese (@RoryAlbanese) August 15, 2016

I want to thank the staff, cast & crew of @nightlyshow. They are the most talented people I’ve ever had the honor to work with. #HireThem

— Rory Albanese (@RoryAlbanese) August 15, 2016

 

Check out Laughspin‘s interview with Larry Wilmore.

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