This week, I decided to write about Rob Schneider after listening to him on Marc Maron’s WTF. The man who starred in dreck like The Animal, The Hot Chick, and Big Stan was on the show and he was laid back, interesting, and funny! He also had some fascinating insight into stand-up comedy. For example when talking about a venerated San Francisco comic, Schneider points out that while funny, the comic lacked the discipline to put together an act, which Schneider feels kept him from breaking nationally. Which is a pretty damned astute and reasonable advice for any comedian. READ MORE
Here's the trailer for a Parks and Recreation porn parody, which is surprisingly a show that the porn parody people are just getting around to now. They went with the title "Porks and Recreation," ignoring comedian Scott Aukerman's suggestion of "Farts and Procreation." Watch the trailer if you want to see Dick Chibbles do a pretty okay Ron Swanson impression.
This week, Marc Maron's show Maron premieres on IFC. The show is based loosely on the comedian's experience creating and hosting his WTF with Marc Maron podcast. Since the podcast's creation in 2009, Maron has interviewed everyone from Carrot Top to Bryan Cranston to Jonathan Winters, and Maron's candid conversational style paired with his signature blend of honesty, insecurity, and resentment has shone a light on the emotional backstories behind respected and despised comedians, actors, and musicians alike.
After nearly 400 episodes, it's hard to identify the absolute best of anything without leaving a ton of great stuff out, but here is a list of some of the most important and defining episodes of WTF, the ones that make it obvious why this show is so good and important to podcasting as a medium. READ MORE
Jon Stewart surprised a lot of people in March when he decided to take the summer off from hosting The Daily Show to direct his first movie, a geopolitical drama called Rosewater. Longtime Daily Show correspondent John Oliver will be taking his place as host for the summer, and Comedy Central announced today the exact dates of the transition. Oliver will be hosting new episodes eight of the 12 weeks Stewart is gone for, and reruns will play for those extra four weeks. Oliver is set to take over Monday, June 10th. "Don’t worry, it’s still going to be everything that you love about The Daily Show, just without the thing that you love the most about it," Oliver said in a statement. His first week, he'll have a bunch of big-name guests to help him into the transition, including Seth Rogen, Armando Iannucci, Mavis Staples, and Fareed Zakaria. Jon Stewart will be returning as host on Tuesday, September 3rd. You know, unless people decide they like John Oliver way more or something.
After becoming one of the first people to rise to fame via YouTube as a teen writing funny songs from his bedroom in 2006, comedian/musician Bo Burnham is making the big jump to TV this week. He's starring in Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous, a new comedy he co-created that premieres this Thursday at 10:30pm on MTV. A mockumentary about a fame-obsessed high school grad who foregoes college so that he can stay in his hometown and hire a camera crew to follow him around, Zach Stone is Burnham's first-ever starring role. I had the chance to talk with Burnham this week in advance of the premiere of his show, discussing how he is similar and different to the narcissist he plays on TV, READ MORE
Longtime Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi attended the White House Correspondents' Dinner this weekend and turned down the once-in-a-lifetie opportunity to get his picture taken with Sarah Palin. Mandvi tells Vulture:
Somebody asked me if I would like to get my picture taken with Sarah Palin. She was standing a few feet away. She couldn't hear me, but [this guy] was like, "Do you want to get your picture taken with Sarah?" And I was like, "You know, I don't. I really don't."
Here's the first episode of the comedy documentary web series Modern Comedian's third season. This episode follows stand-up Phil Hanley, focusing on his beginnings in comedy and his love of crowd work. Up next week on Modern Comedian is Jim Gaffigan, which should be fun too but will probably feature less crowd work.
Marc Maron went on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night to promote his new book and show and to share stories about Michael Keaton and Judd Hirsch because that's what you do at a late night talk show (if you have stories about Michael Keaton and Judd Hirsch). READ MORE
Here's the first episode of Reggie Watts's new JASH web series, Life on the Road, which documents him on tour. The first episode finds him performing with Police Academy sound SFX whiz Michael Winslow for a meeting of the weird noise-making minds.
The Nerdist Podcast Network has added another promising new show to its lineup. After launching a podcast hosted by Matt Braunger earlier this month, Nerdist launched one called The K Ohle with Kurt Braunohler today. Host Kurt Braunohler, comedy partner of Kristen Schaal and host of the now-defunct IFC game show Bunk, plans to switch the format of his show up week-to-week, unlike most podcasts. Future episode formats include "PETophilia" (centered on the discussion of pets and sharing of animal stories) and "Get Lost!" (in which Braunohler blindfolds his guest and drives them far away to guess where they are and how to get back). Braunohler has guests like Matt Braunger, Jon Daly, Kumail Nanjiani, Steve Agee, and musician Nick Thorburn (who wrote the theme song) lined up to make appearances.
Today's premiere episode, entitled "The Boat Show," features Braunohler and Mayor of Podcasting Paul F. Tompkins having a 30-minute discussion about boating, a topic they both know nothing about. With so many podcasts' only premise being "a comedian and his/her friends talk to each other," it's refreshing to find one that's deliberately doing something so experimental and different.
With Futurama on the way out, Comedy Central has a new animated comedy in the works. THR reports that the cable network has commissioned an animated pilot called Moonbeam City. The pilot will be executive produced by Will Gluck, director of Easy A, and written/created by Scott Gairdner (pictured), a former writer/director for Funny or Die who is currently on Conan's writing staff. Moonbeam City is an absurdist riff on '80s crime dramas following Dazzle Novak, a dumb, handsome undercover cop who is desperate to avoid solving crimes. Gairdner, creator of web series like Tiny Fuppets and Clip Cup, surely has some amazing stuff cooked up for this, and it's about time a TV network gave him his own show.
IanRubbish.com, a website for Fred Armisen's punk rock character Ian Rubbish (of Ian Rubbish & the Bizarros) sprang up today. The character, a '70s punk rock frontman with a soft spot for "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher, debuted in a sketch called "History of Punk" (embedded below) from SNL's Vince Vaughn episode earlier this month. The website features photos of Ian Rubbish, an album cover, and a Best of Ian Rubbish EP composed of four complete downloadable songs – "Maggie Thatcher," "Hey Policeman!," "Living in the Gutter," and "Sweet Iron Lady." The songs are actually pretty amazing and a nice tribute to first wave English punk while standing on their own as good songs. So, this is how Fred Armisen spent his two-week vacation from SNL. READ MORE
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