"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]
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.
Standup comedian Tig Notaro's celebrated early-August set at Largo at the Coronet (previously) has been released online as a $5 download (audio only), with a bit of help from Louis CK. [more inside]
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]
Yahoo! Screen launched its live stand-up comedy streaming service on February 23 with Bill Maher's CrazyStupidPolitics. The show is still available to watch (recorded, obviously) via Yahoo!, and also on YouTube. (about 1 hour)
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.
On the latest episode of Marc Maron's WTF, comedian Todd Glass publicly came out for the first time, and talks movingly about the fears of being typecast that kept him in the closet.
"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]
Comedian Robert Schimmel, a frequent guest on Howard Stern's radio show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, has died a week after being injured in a car accident. [more inside]
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]
Am I supposed to be laughing or taking notes? Comic Charles Fleischer, who played Carvelli on Welcome Back, Kotter and voiced Roger Rabbit, gives a Ted talk which degenerates into what appears to be a dissertation about the number 37 and its relationship to string theory, delivered in a rapidly shifting sequence of accents; watch the audience get more and more uncomfortable as they try to figure out whether they're watching a stand-up routine, a Kaufmannesque prank, or a guy going crazy right before their eyes. TED should have known what they were getting; Fleischer has been performing some form of this routine for decades. (Warning: numbered suit.) Transcript of the routine. Fleischer's strange myspace page. (Warning: strange music/talking on click which I can't figure out how to turn off.)
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]