Splitsider

March 30th, 2015

Watch Paul F. Tompkins and Cameron Esposito Talk Standup, Improv, and More on 'Speakeasy'

Here's the latest episode of Paul F. Tompkins' web series Speakeasy featuring special guest Cameron Esposito, who sits down with Tompkins for a lengthy chat about improv versus standup, her time as a circus ringmaster, coming out of the closet, performing on television for the first time on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and a whole bunch of other fun stuff. And ladies, please stop grabbing Esposito's butt at shows. She's an engaged woman, and the harassment has to stop.

Crowdsourced Edits to Various DIY Home Improvement Instructions to Account For My Incompetence, by Roger Taylor

• Before starting the job, put on shoes and pants.

• You’ve heard the phrase, “Measure twice and cut once”? Please measure three times. And then have someone else measure, because you aren’t doing it right.

• The only acceptable object with which to hammer is a hammer.

• If you don’t have a ladder, borrow one from a neighbor. Stacking a stool on top of a coffee table seems like a bad idea now, so think of how bad it’ll seem once you’re up there.

• I know that the four-year-old, unsealed tube of caulk is appealing because it’s already in the house and doesn’t cost any additional money, but it’s been 20 minutes and you can probably stop squeezing the caulk gun now.

• One door hinge is not enough. No, not even if you “put it in the exact middle of the door.”

READ MORE

Comedy Central Reportedly Considered Amy Poehler, Louis C.K., and Amy Schumer to Take Over 'The Daily Show'

Comedy Central revealed this morning that Daily Show contributor Trevor Noah is set to replace Jon Stewart when he leaves the show this year, and according to Grantland's Bill Simmons, Noah was considered among some huge comedy stars: Amy Poehler, Louis C.K., and Amy Schumer. As Simmons notes, both C.K. and Poehler were probably not the most realistic candidates for the gig, but had Schumer been offered the opportunity prior to making her new film Trainwreck with Judd Apatow, who knows what could've happened? In any case, Noah is an excellent choice for the job, and Schumer agrees.

Will Forte Sings a Heartbreaking Ode to His Beard on 'The Tonight Show'


Here's a clip from Will Forte's visit to Friday's Tonight Show, where he paid tribute to the glorious beard he grew for his new Fox show The Last Man on Earth through song. Hopefully Forte's mother turns his "trusted hair friend" into a timeless work of art he can appreciate for years to come.

'SNL' Review: Dwayne Johnson, Man for the Job

snldwaynejohnsonHere's a question I never thought I'd ask: does SNL need more men?

Of course not, right? Only recently has SNL begun to shake off its "boys club" reputation, with a cast of seven men and six women (not counting the two male Weekend Update hosts), and a writers room still predominantly male. The current female lineup is more stacked and well-rounded than ever — there are few roles that Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Leslie Jones, Sasheer Zamata, or Vanessa Bayer can't handle, and I hope that deep field of female talent is here to stay. Considering how pathetic the gender ratio is throughout the late night landscape, and the way Hollywood reacted to a Ghostbusters reboot starring SNL ladies, true gender equality in the comedy world is still a long way off.

However, a new development has emerged in SNL's gender balance, in that many of this season's stronger episodes have featured a "guy's guy" host (Chris Pratt, Woody Harrelson, Chris Hemsworth, and now, Dwayne Johnson), while suitably funny female hosts (Sarah Silverman, Amy Adams, and Dakota Johnson) have struggled to stand out. While it's easy — and usually correct — to accuse viewers and critics of holding women to a tougher standard, in this case I wonder if the cast's masculinity shortage may help set the table for traditional alpha-males to steal the show. Of the men in the cast, only Taran Killam seems capable of playing the leading man, but even he tends to subvert that stereotype by going low status (see: "Brother 2 Brother," "Big Joe"). Kenan Thompson, Bobby Moynihan, and Jay Pharoah stick mostly to oddball roles and impressions, while Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, and Pete Davidson skew toward high-school and college-aged boys. The current guys all play to their strengths effectively, but SNL seemed less reliant on musclebound heroes like Starlord, Thor, and The Rock when it possessed everymen like Jason Sudeikis, Jimmy Fallon, or Will Ferrell.

Whatever the reason, Dwayne Johnson became the latest action star this season to hoist the show on his freakish shoulders and carry it across the finish line. In his fourth time hosting the show, Johnson once again leaned on his macho toughness, showing off a trademark bravado that kept the laughs coming with few lulls. While it rarely packed the satirical punch some of this season's finer hours have, this episode gave us the kind of raw, fast, and physical entertainment we love to see from the pro-wrestling and Furious 7 superstar. READ MORE

Take 'Last Week Tonight's April Fools' Day No-Prank Pledge

Last Week Tonight was off last week, but John Oliver and crew uploaded a web exclusive last night to bring attention to a very important issue: April Fools' Day is the worst. Or as Oliver puts it, "April Fools' Day is to comedy as St. Patrick's Day is to Irish culture." If you agree, you can show your support by taking Last Week Tonight's No-Prank Pledge.

Trevor Noah Named the Next Host of 'The Daily Show'

The next host of The Daily Show has been chosen. According to The New York Times, South African standup and current Daily Show contributor Trevor Noah has officially been named the next Daily Show host and will take over for Jon Stewart when he leaves sometime this year. "I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor," Stewart said in a statement. "He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with." Noah made his Daily Show debut in November and has appeared on the show three times. "We talked to women. We talked to men. We found in Trevor the best person for the job," Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless said on the decision. "You don’t hope to find the next Jon Stewart – there is no next Jon Stewart. So, our goal was to find someone who brings something really exciting and new and different." Check out Noah's very first Daily Show appearance below: READ MORE

This Week in Comedy: 'Super Troopers 2' Is a Go

supertroopers-Broken Lizard launched an Indiegogo Campaign this week to make Super Troopers 2 and it reached its $2M goal within a day.

-We got a behind the scenes look at the secret technology that makes The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight work.

-Chris Tucker's long-awaited standup special, Chris Tucker Live, premieres on Netflix Friday, July 10.

-We went inside the big-time ambitions of Big Time in Hollywood, FL.

-Taraji P. Henson and Michael Keaton are set to host SNL in April.

-We took a look at Sealab 2021’s super stripped-down bottle episode "Fusebox."

-We unearthed the rare, out-of-print comedy albums of Albert Brooks. READ MORE

Watch Aasif Mandvi's Fantastic Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner Speech

On Wednesday night The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi gave a speech at the 2015 Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner, and the whole thing is now online in full. Mandvi's speech has pretty much everything, from improvement advice for C-SPAN ("C-SPAN needs to be more like CNN and just forget about the news"), thoughts on Netanyahu’s recent speech to Congress ("It took a black president to make Republicans finally wish for a Jewish one"), and insight about what it's like being a Muslim in America today: "Listen, I don’t care how this goes tonight, because tomorrow it’s gonna say 'Muslim Bombs' or 'Muslim Kills.' It’s bad for me either way."

Take a Tour of Some Futuristic Brasilia Hotspots with Reggie Watts

Looking for a new vacation destination? Consider Brasilia, the subject of a short film directed by Benjamin Dickinson that premiered on Indiewire today. The short features Reggie Watts as a friendly tour guide of the city in a disturbing, near-future sci-fi alternate reality. Here's the description of the film Watts provided to Indiewire:

An alternately factual documentary presented by nameless hosts Reggie Watts and Carolina Ravassa, "Brasilia" takes viewers on a whirlwind tour of the famed capital of Brazil. In topics ranging from architecture, religious ceremonial practices, and spiritual conscious alignment, Reggie and Carolina traverse some of the world's most impossibly futuristic human landscapes, extolling earnest advice about the culture, practices, and habits of the Brasilienese people. With a synthesizer soundtrack from the late 60/early 70s, BRASILIA exposes the unknown truths of this exotic utopian city nestled in the cradle of South America.

Talking to Gary Richardson (@garyyesgary) About Writing Jokes and Twitter's Power to Make Something Huge

garyrichardsonGary Richardson is a writer and performer having the time of his life in Brooklyn. He performs live around the city and encourages you to see him do live stuff if you can, but to find his internet stuff if you can't. This week I talked with Richardson about three of his favorite tweets, how Twitter has changed for him over time, and trying to hide the excitement that comes from favs and RTs. He also told me his mom is retiring from the military this year, and to give it up for that.

Richardson: I truly love how so many tough-ass dudes are also dumb-ass dudes. I feel like the Internet is one of the only places I get to stick it to em, this was an attempt at that. READ MORE

Watch the First Trailer for 'Blunt Talk' Starring Patrick Stewart

Bored to Death creator Jonathan Ames has a new Seth MacFarlane-produced show premiering on Starz this summer called Blunt Talk, and today the pay network released the first trailer. Patrick Stewart stars as a British host of an American cable news show "in which he gives advice on how Americans should live their lives, while dealing with a dysfunctional staff, network bosses, multiple ex-wives and children, and his British alcoholic manservant." An exact premiere date hasn't been revealed yet, but 20 episodes have already been ordered by Starz.

A Guide to the Hard-to-Find Comedy Albums of Albert Brooks

140 -brooksalbumsA few years ago in From the Archives, we did a deep dive and examined Albert Brooks’s early short films, and reminded ourselves at how creative and unique a talent the man is. Throughout these shorts we were shown a laundry list of creative ideas, jokes that still hold up today, and satire that is just as sharp now as it was in the seventies. Today we’re going to examine Albert’s two incredibly innovative albums and we'll find that even with the video component removed, these qualities still apply. Each album features a uniquely audio premise, and one was nominated for a Grammy and hasn’t been reissued since it’s initial vinyl release. Buckle up and prepare yourselves for 1973’s Comedy Minus One, and 1975’s A Star is Bought. READ MORE

'Coach' Is Returning for a 13-Episode Season on NBC

Your prayers have finally been answered: '90s sitcom Coach returning for a brand new season. Deadline reports that NBC has given a straight-to-series 13-episode order to the show, which originally ran on ABC from 1989-1997. Craig T. Nelson is attached to reprise his role, and original Coach creator Barry Kemp will write and co-executive produce with Nelson. The revamped series will be set in present day and follow Coach Hayden Fox as he's "called back to become assistant coach to his own grown son, who is the new head coach at an Ivy league school in Pennsylvania that is just starting up a new team." Like the original series, the new Coach will be multi-cam. The project joins a pile of recently announced/produced sequels to '90s television shows like Boy Meets World, The X-Files, and Twin Peaks.