67 posts tagged with Comedy and standup.
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"brilliant, sardonic, and contemptuous of most of mankind"

Fay started with gimmicks like everyone else, wearing baggy pants, squirting seltzer, delivering straight lines for a comedian that circled him on roller skates - and he hated it. After humiliating himself onstage for two years, Fay decided to use the same persona he had offstage. No props, no costumes, no partner, he took to the stage wearing a well-tailored tuxedo and told jokes alone. It was so unconventional that The New York Times frowned: "“Fay needs a good straight man, as before, to feed his eccentric comedy." There was initial resistance to a man just standing and talking, but Fay's success would transform stand-up as an artform. Fellow comedians saw Fay succeed and they abandoned their props and emulated his style. Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Bob Hope and Jack Paar all cited him as an influence. Fay became one of the most influential stand-up comics of all time.

He was also comedy's most notorious racist. In January 1946, several months after Germany had been defeated, a rally of ten thousand white supremacists gathered at Madison Square Garden. They delivered speeches in support of Franco, Mussolini and their fallen hero Adolf Hitler. They promised that the defeat of Germany would not go unpunished. The podium was beneath a banner that saluted their guest of honor. The event was called "The Friends of Frank Fay."
Frank Fay: The Fascist Stand-Up Comic by Kliph Nesteroff (for WFMU's Beware of the Blog) [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on Sep 9, 2014 - 45 comments

Being a comedian means knowing a lot of people who've committed suicide.

"My count is now up to five. Five of my friends and fellow comedians have taken their own life. It's shocking, but, sadly, not surprising. Non-comedians — or as we call them, 'civilians' — are always surprised. And I am always surprised they're so surprised. They have yet to realize the Two Big Things all comedians know." [may be triggering] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 28, 2014 - 53 comments

...and then I *tried* to have a shit.

Dylan Moran on the differences between a weekend with and without kids.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 22, 2014 - 154 comments

Bill Cosby's Greatest Comedy Album

"The routine Cosby was about to perform—immortalized on the landmark album To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With—represented a turning point in his career. A full 16 years before The Cosby Show debuted, the performance would serve as the blueprint for the themes that would define his work: the father as a loving disciplinarian; the siblings who could switch from screaming at one another to plotting together at the drop of a hat; the confidence that no matter what conflicts and tragedies arise, the bonds of family will hold. In To Russell, Cosby didn’t just find his voice; he tapped into something deeper." [more inside]
posted by I am the Walrus on Jun 19, 2014 - 37 comments

"Thank you for what I assume is a standing ovation"

"Live comedy thrives off an audience, but what if the comics have no idea how the crowd is responding? At 7 Minutes in Purgatory, half a dozen local [Chicago] comics were tasked with doing a set alone in a soundproof room while the crowd watched via live stream elsewhere in the venue." [more inside]
posted by Iridic on May 20, 2014 - 24 comments

“You can see why some of the stadium guys like to keep it light."

Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle is both a television show featuring stand-up comedian Stewart Lee (previously), and the whimsical clown car in the opening credits of the show’s first season. Lee’s patronizing, repetitive, and defeatist style may appear thoughtful or ironic, but taking him at face value reveals a darker, more interesting picture (NSFW language): [more inside]
posted by Hume on May 5, 2014 - 53 comments

On Being One's Own Fairy Godmother

Amy Schumer's tale of courage, sex and self-worth as told at the Ms. Foundation Gala. "I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it."
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto on May 3, 2014 - 60 comments

"I'm mostly gluten"

Comedian John Pinette is dead. I've always been partial to his "everything has gluten in it" bit.
posted by anothermug on Apr 6, 2014 - 49 comments

Milton Berle, Carlos Mencia, and Dane Cook walk into a bar

Given the expense and uncertainty of lawsuits, how does the comedy community enforce the proscription on joke theft? Part of an ongoing Slate series called The Humor Code.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 1, 2014 - 45 comments

why can't they dance?

As the twittersphere ridicules a White Man March in NYC, perhaps now is the time to watch Aamer Rahman, one half of the comedy tour Fear of a Brown Planet (with Nazeem Hussain), on the topic of Reverse Racism.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Mar 15, 2014 - 89 comments

Certainly is nice to see yah

Don Rickles gives a tour of Brooklyn in 1968 (via)
posted by timshel on Jan 5, 2014 - 10 comments

Maybe it's a Rodney-Rodney type of thing

The Lost Roles of Rodney DangerfieldRodney Dangerfield starred as himself in this unsuccessful NBC pilot about a pre-teen boy who idolizes Rodney Dangerfield and gains the ability to magically make him appear to give him advice. Where's Rodney? was a co-production between Aaron Spelling and Hanna-Barbera and also starred Jared Rushton, Soleil Moon Frye, and Breckin Meyer.
posted by timshel on Nov 28, 2013 - 24 comments

"It's called intimate, fuck-face!"

NPR and Vulture talk to Sarah Silverman about her HBO special 'We Are Miracles', and why women run comedy. Though according to Variety she shouldn't be so dirty... or maybe Variety should shut up.
posted by Artw on Nov 27, 2013 - 39 comments

The longform.com guide to standup

The longform.com guide to standup. Not a ranking, but rather a collection of links to long form articles about some legendary stand-up comedians. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Oct 27, 2013 - 6 comments

"It's a cake with two tiny dolls that look like us. EAT A SLICE."

Marriage is an insane proposal. [slyt]
posted by Rory Marinich on Oct 27, 2013 - 42 comments

If he hollers let him go

Searching for Dave Chapelle ten years after he left his own show.
posted by evil otto on Oct 6, 2013 - 25 comments

They couldn't put one quote up here from my act?

Set List is a live show where "the world’s top comedians get a never-before seen “set list” of bizarre, outrageous, and ridiculous topics as the audience follows along on the screen behind the performer." Edited highlights of this combination of improv and stand-up have just started to be posted on the Nerdist's Youtube channel. Including sets by: [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 23, 2013 - 20 comments

It’s the goddamned theorizing.

A Closed Letter To Myself About Thievery, Heckling and Rape Jokes - Patton Oswalt
posted by nadawi on Jun 14, 2013 - 103 comments

Cerebral palsy isn't funny, but 14 year old kid w/ cerebral palsy is

"In comedy, a lot of times, your weaknesses are your strengths". [SLYT]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Apr 24, 2013 - 27 comments

Where are all the right-wing stand-ups?

Stewart Lee asks "Where are all the right-wing stand-ups?" after BBC Radio 4's commisioning editor Caroline Raphael recently admitted they struggle to "find comedians from the right" on shows such as The News Quiz.
posted by dng on Apr 17, 2013 - 166 comments

Melissa Villasenor makes comedy jokes [MLYT]

Melissa Villasenor does stand-up comedy, but also likes to sing, both as a part of her act and just because she's good at it. She garnered some attention for her impressions on America's Got Talent (various videos abound) and does a mean Maria Bamford.
posted by lordaych on Feb 18, 2013 - 9 comments

Paid in Vibes

Last week a debate erupted in the US comedy community between stand-up comedians (like Kurt Metzger and Mike Lawrence) and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater about the fact that at none of their three theaters pay any of their performers (including UCBEast in New York, which often has Saturday Night Stand-up shows). Other comics such as Chris Gethard eloquently came to their defense. This week two of the founders Matt Besser and Matt Walsh released an episode of Besser's pocast Improv for Humans that goes into details about the club's philosophy, including why they have never taken any money from founding and running the theater. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 1, 2013 - 68 comments

I've drowned and dreamt this moment

You may love Paul F. Tompkins (previously) for his stand up comedy, or his character acting, or his internet hilarity across many media or his startlingly good style, but did you know you can love him in a different way? Namely for his ability to cover Adeles "Skyfall"? (previously) Now you do.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 3, 2013 - 39 comments

The Uneasy Relationship Between Mental Illness and Comedy

"There are plenty of reasons to recover from addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma....But comedians are perverse people who often don't care about any of those things. So maybe this will convince them, and maybe this will convince me: get better — so you can get funny." In a frank, personal, and revealing article, essayist Jaime Lutz interviews comedians Marc Maron, Eddie Pepitone, Paul Gilmartin, and Anthony Atamanuik about the uneasy relationship between mental illness and comedy.
posted by scarylarry on Dec 14, 2012 - 9 comments

wouldn't it be funny if

After I called out to him, Tosh paused for a moment. Then, he says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”
Daniel Tosh has more or less apologized after a Tumblr user posted a friend's experience at one of his recent shows. But the controversy has now somehow drawn in Louis C.K., who posted an apparent message of support for Tosh on Twitter the same week a date-rape-themed episode of Louie aired on FX. C.K. has also broached heckling on Louie [NSFW], and had previously defended Tracy Morgan in a similarly charged situation. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Jul 10, 2012 - 847 comments

writer/director/actor

Louis C.K. on eating pressure and providing an alternative to The Man - "I ask him to think about what he really needs; when he tells me, I give him a little more. It buys me goodwill with this person; I feel good about what I'm paying them. I like to give people a little more than they want, and I like to ask people for a little less than they're willing to give." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 6, 2012 - 40 comments

I cant promise you that I won’t be a dick.

Patrice O’Neal (RIP previously) didn’t just want to be famous, he wanted to be as good as Richard Pryor. To hear his fellow comics tell it, he was—a brutal truth-teller who spared no one, starting with those closest to him. (Print friendly version)
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 14, 2012 - 62 comments

Two whole stand-up shows and a story album by Daniel Kitson

Two whole stand-up performances by comedian Daniel Kitson can be downloaded on a pay-what-you-want basis (even if you want to pay nothing). These are the 2004 and 2005 Edinburgh performances (2004 performance previously on MeFi). Kitson has also recorded a story album with musician Gavin Osborn, selling for ₤2.50, and the first three tracks, of eleven, can be streamed online. [via The Bugle]
posted by Kattullus on Feb 23, 2012 - 11 comments

early performances of well-known comedians

Early performances of well-known comedians, collected by mikl-em on Laughing Squid: Louis C.K. (also see The Evolution of Louis C.K., a YouTube edit of his tribute to George Carlin - previously - intercut with clips throughout his career); Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and Steven Wright; Sarah Silverman; David Letterman; Steve Martin; Robin Williams; and "What They Did Before 30 Rock". Also see posts on George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Father Guido Sarducci, and Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.
posted by flex on Feb 18, 2012 - 23 comments

Time has not been kind, madam.

A story about "That One Time When Patton Oswalt was an Asshole" and Oswalt's response.
posted by eugenen on Jan 7, 2012 - 196 comments

There's a law in New York state about driving with a live moose on the hood of your car

Here (from NPR's All Things Considered, 2008) is Woody Allen's classic stand-up routine, the Moose Story. A few more, from YouTube: Science Fiction Film, Eggs Benedict (unfortunately with distracting animation), on the Jack Paar show. MLYT [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 11, 2011 - 9 comments

That will cost extra

Australian comic Jim Jefferies tells a story: Last Wish for a Friend [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 1, 2011 - 12 comments

You get me

Congratulations Graduates! Here are some comedic commencement speeches to send you off into the world:

Stephen Colbert's advice for the Northwestern graduating class of 2011: Don't follow your stupid dreams. Jokes start right away, serious bits start 18 minutes in.

Amy Poehler addresses the facts of the 9/11 memories of recent graduates.

Comedian Dwight Slade speaks to his own high school graduate.

More? [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 20, 2011 - 19 comments

Here's a picture of me when I was younger

The website of the late comedian Mitch Hedberg has been revamped and relaunched by his widow Lynn Shawcroft, with photos, videos, and selections from Mitch's notebooks. (via) (previously) (sadly)
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 27, 2011 - 30 comments

"No, no, you can just talk to the comedian anytime!"

[NSFW: swear words galore] Hecklers, the bane of many a performance. Here you can watch a documentary about Hecklers [ part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part 4 ] and other critics. Someone at the beginning of that "Heckler" movie says something like, "A show was never made better because of a heckler." If only all of the banter was as funny as when Matt Walsh was heckled at SXSW. More often, it's like how Kyle Kinane states right off the bat during his act: "Every trainwreck needs a fuckin’ caboose; let’s get it over with," before he launches into a semi-drunken 9-minute conversation/shoutfest. But every once in a while, you get the perfect "point, counterpoint" moment. Let's see how different stand-up comedians react when the social contract of audience/performer is broken. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on May 16, 2011 - 96 comments

One-Man Show

Louis C.K. has what most artists dream of: total creative control over his show.
posted by reenum on May 16, 2011 - 45 comments

“Yes, that’s what I want to do – develop visionable avatars.”

Comedian Stewart Lee on not wanting to be a "content provider"
posted by Artw on Apr 23, 2011 - 47 comments

A heartfelt display of something I can't do.

"Anybody else give up the use of their left side for Lent?" Carl Warmenhoven, the owner of a Seattle's Comedy Underground had a stroke -- and two weeks later does a stand-up routine about it. [SLYT, via SLOG]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Mar 16, 2011 - 14 comments

concerns met with giggling

The manager of Girardi's Frozen Yogurt wants to make sure his employees understand what the corkboard in the back is for...in a monologue entitled: Girardi's Frozen Yogurt ( via ) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 28, 2011 - 52 comments

I'm Saying Being White is Way Better

Monica Potts on Louis CK and privilege: "For the most part, people of color are the ones who initiate serious discussions about race and privilege in the public sphere -- and in the world of comedy ... Some white comedians, like Sarah Silverman, tend to joke about racism, making fun of white people and their ignorance in ways that shock and offend. ... But Louis' comedy is about being a white man -- and about how others view white men. He doesn't accept ignorance as a point of view. Moreover, this isn't the occasional stand-up bit; a significant number of his jokes are about race, class, and gender." [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Oct 15, 2010 - 75 comments

butwhatabout

Comedy's 17 Favorite Comedians [more inside]
posted by Flashman on Sep 26, 2010 - 72 comments

I have no words.

David Bowie Standup. That is all.
posted by yellowbinder on Sep 22, 2010 - 45 comments

"Does it count number of smashed watermelons?"

Can a stand-up comedian's performance be objectively evaluated and ranked? In the recent documentary I Am Comic [imdb | clips], Steve Roye demonstrates his product, the Comedy Evaluator Pro. A "Positive Audience Response" (PAR) score is the percentage of PAR during the time the comedian is on the stage (not taking into account other factors such as venue size, etc.). Of course, this method stirs controversy about the art vs. science of stand-up. Ritch Shydner, the protagonist of I Am Comic, thinks that booking agents shouldn't rely on PAR scores to choose who gets to be on stage, while the director of I Am Comic, Jordan Brady, disagrees, seeing PAR as a way to elevate the quality of stand-up. So, drum roll, please: Who is the world's funniest comedian? According to PAR score, it's J.R. Redwater, during this bit at the Pow Wow Comedy Jam. [agree | disagree]
posted by not_on_display on Aug 19, 2010 - 112 comments

Christ, what a Masshole

Louis CK is a pretty funny guy. While the Boston comic hasn't fared well in scripted formats -- projects like The Dana Carvey Show, Pootie Tang, and Lucky Louie were all commercial flops -- his stand-up is quite popular, and his new series Louie (premiering tonight on FX) looks like a winner -- and just in time, too. But that's something you'd need a TV to know about. Luckily, the guy's a big hit on YouTube, and has even added some of his own homemade content to the mix. Click inside for a collection of some of his best (and most NSFW) routines. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 29, 2010 - 86 comments

Rob Paravonian's Life as a Comic

Life as a Comic is series of short videos by Rob Paravonian (famous for The Pachelbel Rant) about what it's like to be a working stand-up comic. It has recently started up again after a long break. Here's the first episode which is about doing gigs at venues which aren't full-time comedy clubs. Direct links to the rest of the episodes, all of which are in quicktime-format, below the cut. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 19, 2010 - 14 comments

So long ago he's doing a Rae Dawn Chong joke

A 1989 NYU student film (shot by Judah Friedlander) asks "Who is Chris Rock?" (via)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 19, 2010 - 17 comments

"Who Cares!"

Funnyman and "All American immigrant" Joe Wong at this year's RTCA dinner [SYTL]
posted by sk381 on Mar 25, 2010 - 13 comments

Maria Bamford's One-Hour Homemade Christmas Special!

Maria Bamford's One-Hour Homemade Christmas Special! by Maria Bamford, stand-up comic and pretty much a native speaker in Pretend Tiger. FYI, if you've heard some of those jokes before... it's a gift! She made it for us, for Christmas, to celebrate her success at selling out this year.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 16, 2009 - 49 comments

Not big and not clever.

"For a lot of comics, it's OK to talk about raping women now. That's the new black on the comedy circuit." "One false move, and I'm Jim Davidson." "Don't go thinking I'm the new Bernard Manning. I'm being postmodern and ironic. I understand that what I'm saying is unacceptable." The new offenders of standup comedy.
posted by permafrost on Jul 28, 2009 - 168 comments

this guy knows what I'm talking about!

It's RAAAAAAAANDY!!!!!!!! (nsfw) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jul 15, 2009 - 83 comments

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