Victoria Wood - comedian, actress, singer and songwriter, screenwriter and director - has passed away at 62 on 20 April 2016, after a short battle with cancer. [more inside]
Two years ago today I last got shithoused. It was the closing night of the Lincoln Lodge, a fantastic comedy venue in Chicago in the back of a now-closed diner. They’ve since moved, but after that show, I thought I should take a breather from drinking... I’ve learned a lot in two years, so I thought I’d share that with you, in case you’d like to take a break from the booze cruise.Andy Boyle writes about lessons learned from two years without alcohol.
Comedian Jack Carter has died at the age of 93. The Comic's Comic site has some great clips, as well as a link to the Shit Jack Carter Says tumblr. Also this great anecdote: "William Morris sent Reggie Rose the screenwriter, you know. He came to one of our first meetings and said, 'A sketch has got to have a beginning, a middle and an end.' Larry Gelbart said, 'So does a piece of shit!' And that was the end of Reggie Rose."
Anne Meara passed away this past weekend at the age of 85. Meara was a remarkable actress and commedian who is known to modern audiences for her work on "King of Queens", "Sex and the City" and, of course, her slightly famous son Ben Stiller. But Meara also laid claim to one of the longest comedy partnerships in the entertainment industry with her husband Jerry Stiller, whom she first met in 1953 and started working with in the early 1960's. Here are some choice clips from five decades back: Highlights from Stiller and Meara on the Ed Sullivan show. Stiller and Meara illustrate how to break up with someone. Audio of their "Last Two People in the World" and "Moments of Truth behind TV Commecials" sketches.
Comedian and actor Taylor Negron, dead at 57 from cancer You may remember him from such movies as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Better Off Dead, or The Last Boy Scout. You may also remember him from his work as a writer and producer, notably in The Aristocrats. [more inside]
Peter Cook interview from 1967: Part 1 [YouTube]. Cook talks about the writing process, creating Bedazzled, taxes, Beyond The Fringe, stage-work, and more in this unguarded interview. [more inside]
Guardian: Alexei Sayle’s Marxist demolition of Strictly Come Dancing. In which the English Marxist-Leninist comedian and author details his dislike of the British version of Dancing with the Stars.
Stand up comedy as gifs. Ron Funches, Chelsea Peretti, Tig Notaro, Aziz Ansari, Demetri Martin, Wyatt Cenac, Sheng Wang, Maria Bamford, and Eugene Mirman, to name just a few.
Richard Pryor moved to New York City in 1963, where he performed regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. He even opened for singer and pianist Nina Simone, who talked of his early nervousness, when she put her "arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down." You can see something of that young man in this clip of Pryor singing a bit of jazzy blues in 1966. The performance is also available on YouTube with slightly better quality, but faded in from different scene. [more inside]
The God of ‘SNL’ Will See You Now. "How do you please Lorne Michaels? Twenty-two ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast members – and one who came close – share tales of the audition that can make or break a career." Also, extended interviews with Kristin Wiig, Will Ferrel, Chevy Chase, Dana Carvey, Jimmy Fallon and Molly Shannon, on what it took to get hired for 'SNL.' Check out audition tapes from: Phil Hartman, Andy Kaufman, John Belushi, Jimmy Fallon, Dana Carvey: 1 & 2, and Dan Aykroyd. [more inside]
Will The Real Mr Sellers Please Stand Up - a rare ~50min film narrated by Spike Milligan and made during the filming of 'The Magic Christian'*via Cinephilia and Beyond. [NSFW - some nudity] [more inside]
John Oliver, a standup comedian from Birmingham in England, takes over from Jon Stewart as host of the Daily Show for the summer from tomorrow. The Guardian profiles him. [more inside]
Scott Kennedy - Texan, comedian, founder of Comics Ready to Entertain (USO alternative for incredibly dangerous deployment locations), and co-founder of Gay Comedy Jam passed away on March 14th. The silence was deafening for one writer, who went on to intersperse pithy fury with honest admiration in an unforgettable mix of eulogy, obituary, and media rant. [more inside]
"It’s really simple. I just want as many guys as possible who have an opinion about how they see women treated in culture whether it’s an observation about the news or speaking up about how they feel when their wife comes home and tells him about an instance of gender discrimination." - Comedian Jen Kirkman on why she started MA'AM: Men Against Assholes & Misogyny.
Russell Crowe has signed on to make his feature film directorial debut - a biopic about the life of the late US comedian Bill Hicks. [more inside]
Comedian Bill Burr drives the streets of three major cities and yaps away. From his bio: "I love my dog. I hate bankers. I have issues with women. In my head, I’m a great guy."
For a time, Max Linder was considered the greatest of film comedians. Star of over 500 films (examples, 1, 2), inventor of the mirror gag, he was arguably the first film star. His life changed forever when he fought on the front lines in World War I, surviving three serious wounds, including a gas attack. Thereafter, he began bouts of depression. In 1925, he talked his new bride into a suicide pact, dying on Halloween. [more inside]
Dave Chappelle, still facing pressure from audiences who want him to do bits from "Chappelle's Show", did not amuse an audience in Austin. Which begs the question: Do we expect too much from entertainers?
Dave Gardner scored his first Top 20 hit in 1957 with White Silver Sands, and while a fine singer (and drummer), it was the stories he told between songs that transformed him into "Brother" Dave Gardner.
Comedian Patrice O'Neal passed away on Monday evening, following a stroke suffered in October. A few clips. Rest easy, Big Man.
Vancouver comedian Guy Earle and the restaurant he was performing at were fined a combined C$22,500 by the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal after a 2007 incident where Earle mocked a member of the audience. [more inside]
I am a stand-up comic. Before that, I was a drug counselor. Before that, I was a drug addict. Before that, I was 12.
Comedian Mike DeStefano has died of a heart attack at 44. DeStefano told wrenching tales from his life as a recovering drug addict, like the MOTH monologue in the title link, which begins with a very bad day he had while caring for his wife as she was dying of AIDS (NSFW language). [more inside]
Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Comedian and activist, Mark Thomas, has been touring the UK over the past year, compiling a set of policies that his audiences want to see implemented in Britain. As part of the publicity for the resulting book, The People's Manifesto, his publishers are offering to pay one lucky applicant's £500 deposit and campaign expenses to stand for public office at the upcoming general election, on the condition that they will base their campaign on the policies gathered in the book. [more inside]
Russell Brand talks to Dawn French about comedy, revealing a peculiar and compelling intelligence apparently gleaned from TV and substance abuse. Part 1, 2, 3, 4 [YT]
Dennis Wolfberg was one of the most distinctive voices (literally) from the stand-up comedy boom of the early 90s. A former schoolteacher, he became a fixture on the fledgling network Comedy Central roughly fifteen years BCM (Before Carlos Mencia). His vocal style and inflections had a way of selling the most outlandish comparisons. He was a guest on both Letterman and Carson, and had guest-starred as Gooshie on Quantum Leap on multiple occasions until he tragically died from cancer in 1994. Some of his most memorable routines were his experience with Fiber One cereal and encounter with a sigmoidoscope,, his wife's pregnancy and his twins' Bris. His HBO special is available in its entirety on YouTube: part 1 - part 2 - part 3 (most of part 3 linked above).
Virtual Vaudeville [shockwave] Watch a 3D simulation of legendary comedian Frank Bush in a vaudeville performance from a variety of perspectives. Switch between any of eight perspectives at any time and read the extensive hypermedia notes to gain a richer understanding of the performance in its historical context.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Bernie Mac has died. Bernie Mac most recently seen at a Obam campaign event and King of Comedy has died at 50-years old. Known for his tv show based on his own life as caretaker of his sister's kids. .
Jerry Clower (Wikipedia article) started telling his funny stories to boost sales when he was a seed and fertilizer salesman. He went on to become a successful comedian and Grand Ole Opry star. [more inside]
A world-class comedian, Victor Borge could please a crowd with his Phonetic Punctuation or Inflationary Language bits. But he was also a brilliant pianist, as showcased when he improvised an impressive encore to a piece he had only heard and never played before, much to his apparent delight. Still better was when he'd merge the two passions, like in Page-Turner or The Minute Waltz. He entertained for more than 75 years, performing up to 60 shows even at 90 years old. He died peacefully in 2000, just two days after performing a concert in Denmark, on the blue here, before dots were all the rage. [more inside]
A recording of stand-up comedian Daniel Kitson's Edinburgh show from 2004, about dancing and other things. (4-part audio (click next), can also download from the podcast feed on this page, has rude words so possibly NSFW, funny)
I'm a modern man, I'm a modern man, A man for the millennium, Digital and smoke free. - George Carlin hits one out of the park with the first four and a half minutes of this hour and a half Google Video. Then it's back to his stock in trade.
Comedian Mitch Hedberg died two years ago this Thursday. On March 29, see if a local deli will severely ruin their reputation as a tribute to his memory.
Lenny Bruce -Swear to Tell the Truth 1995 documentary of the rise and fall of the patron saint of samizdat 1:40 nsfw language nudity via
Lost in translation. British Comedian Stewart Lee explores comedy in Germany and finds it stymied by the peculiarities of language and sentence construction. Mark Liberman at Language Log disagrees. And an extended essay by Josh Schonwald explores in greater depth how the German comedy scene is transitioning (PDF) from the more traditional kabernett to a burgeoning stand-up comedy scene, which is characterized by one observer as being in "the Bob Hope phase of comedy."
Rick Moranis - Alt Country Balladeer. Whatever happened to Rick? The former SCTV star and 80s/90s movie comedian apparently doesn't miss "acting." His new album of humorous country songs is nominated for a Grammy.
Nipsey Russell, comedic "poet laureate of television," dead
The opposite of pro is con
That fact is clearly seen
If progress means move forward
Then what does Congress mean?
The opposite of pro is con
That fact is clearly seen
If progress means move forward
Then what does Congress mean?
Happy Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) Day • "PRD was created by the sex-positive group of redheaded friends, the Drunken Redheaded Sluts, as a hilarious way to denounce the 'bum rap' that self-gratification got Paul Reubens, while honoring the man’s erotic curiosity and zany character." The celebration will start with a pub crawl, followed by a Pornographic After-Party to benefit the The Center for Sex and Culture, and climax with a Midnight Mass with Peaches Christ (NSFW).
Rip Taylor on the web! For those who need a little confetti in their life.
Mitch Hedberg is said to have died of an apparent heroin overdose (Howard Stern confirms). Mitch was a fantastic comedian, and it's sad to think that he won't get the attention he deserved because he shares a death day with someone else. You can hear clips from his CDs Mitch All Together and Strategic Grill Locations on Amazon. (Previous MeFi thread on Mr. Hedberg)
Okay, the numbers are in. Now that die hard fans of the UK edition have vented, I'm curious to know what those who have not yet had the pleasure of Ricky Gervais' company make of the American version of The Office. Comments?
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