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December 16th, 2014

Celebrity Fans and Former 'Colbert Report' Guests Say Goodbye to "Stephen Colbert"

After nine years on the air, The Colbert Report ends its run on Comedy Central this Thursday. To celebrate all the wonderful things Colbert has brought to the parody news show format, Vulture reached out to 49 celebrity fans and former Colbert Report guests to get their final word on the show and give "Stephen Colbert" a proper sendoff. Here's an excerpt from Dan Savage's response:

I think we clicked — me and "Stephen Colbert" — because that stuff doesn't offend or faze me, and I like my bigots like Homer Simpson likes his homosexuals: flaming. Stephen — the real Stephen — is a genius, first and foremost, but his character, this right-wing blowhard, was the best way to send up O'Reilly and Hannity and the rest of the right-wing blowhards. Stephen took their toxic politics and their self-regard as a starting-off point and added just a touch of cluelessness and something both of those men lack — charisma. Colbert demonstrated that agreeing with them — or pretending to agree with them — was the deadliest way to satirize them.

And here's J.J. Abrams:

The key for me was to remember that he is brilliantly funny — and that the last thing I needed to worry about was being funny. Stephen does all the heavy lifting. Its point of view [was what made it special]. The show had its rules, but they would bend and break them all the time. Knowing that Stephen usually felt the opposite of what he was saying — through some of the best writing ever on TV — was an added pleasure.

Read the rest of the collection over at Vulture, but be warned that it might bring you to tears.

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"I think the thing about finales is everybody writes their own finale in their head, whereas if they just tune in during the week to a normal show, they’re surprised by what's going on. They haven't written it beforehand, they don't know what the show is. But for a finale, they go, 'Oh, well this should happen to George, and Jerry and Elaine should get together,' and all that. They've already written it, and often they're disappointed, because it's not what they wrote."

- Larry David looks back on the mixed response to the Seinfeld series finale and more in a new interview with Bill Simmons.

Watch a Promo for Comedy Central's 'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore'

As The Colbert Report comes to an end, Comedy Central's new late night host Larry Wilmore is prepping for his big debut as host of The Nightly Show on Monday, January 19th. Comedy Central released a new promo for the show this week, which includes a promise from Wilmore that he'll bring "extra nightly-ness" to the late night world next year.

How the New Movement Built a Comedy Scene from Scratch in New Orleans

newmovementThe MC yells, “Please, sound like a million people for…!” and sweeps his arm as he announces the name of the improv group taking over the stage. This exhortation a familiar one to regular visitors to The New Movement Theater, a major player in the ongoing development of New Orleans’ comedy scene. Just that little tweak from the traditional  “Give it up for…” or “Please welcome…” affects audiences’ expectations, whether there are ten people seated or a full house. People respond to it and cheer like a multitude.

Tami Nelson and Chris Trew, the founders of The New Movement (TNM), have shaped their brand by challenging the expectations of what a comedy show and the scene around it looks like, how performers should engage their audience on and off the stage. They have two underlying principles: improv is a life force that can fuel all types of comedy, and that no one should have to leave New Orleans in order to build a national reputation in comedy. READ MORE

The Lonely Island Sings About Hustlin' on 'Comedy Bang! Bang!'

The third season finale of IFC's Comedy Bang! Bang! airs this Friday at 11:00pm, and Scott and Reggie close out 2014 with the above very special performance by The Lonely Island singing about life as a hustler. Thankfully we won't have to wait very long after the season finale — Comedy Bang! Bang! season 4 is just around the corner on Friday, January 9th at 11:00pm.

The Secret Society of John Hodgman

johnhodgmanJohn Hodgman, comedian, author and generally knower-of-all-things, has a live comedy show that you probably have never heard of, because by design it is a secret. A Secret Society that is. Members meet in the basement of Union Hall in Brooklyn and are sworn to secrecy about the comedy, guests, song or anything else that might happen… or so I’ve been told. The only reason I was given this coveted information is because for the first time, Hodgman is opening his society to the public in “A Secret Society Meeting & Public Holiday Spectacle” on December 18th in New York. Though I’m not an official member, I was given a little insight into the secrecies of this society (which is NOT A CULT) when I spoke to the man himself by phone.

Hodgman: This is John Hodgman. Is that Monique?

This is Monique. How are you?

Good. It was fated that we should speak.

It was?

I mean, I found out a few days ago that we were going to talk and I accept that destiny happily and I’m glad that it has come to be.

As am I. Well, I will ask you right off the bat, if it’s not too much of a secret, can you tell us about Secret Society?

I noticed that you said, “Right off the bat” and right off the bat I have to tell you that using a sports metaphor of that kind will not get me to reveal my secrets. Next question. READ MORE

Jordan Klepper Meets Sweden's New Prime Minister Stefan Löfven

In the hopes of fixing some of our government's problems back home, The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper recently took a trip to Sweden to meet its new prime minister Stefan Löfven for a crash course in the country's eight-party system. Don't worry, there's plenty of Ikea and Swedish Fish jokes too.

Eric Andre Performs an Impromptu Monologue on 'Conan'

Here's a clip from Eric Andre's visit to last night's Conan, where he insisted he was a better monologist than O'Brien and was given a few minutes to prove it with some solid jokes and a very supportive audience member. Watch more from Andre's appearance below: READ MORE

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What's On TV This Week: The End of 'The Colbert Report'

colbertThe biggest event on TV this week is a sad one: the end of The Colbert Report and a goodbye to the "Stephen Colbert" character. The final episode airs Thursday night, and as his final guest Colbert welcomes "Grimmy", his lifelong friend. Sounds like things could get a lil dark.

That's not the only goodbye this week: Friday, Craig Ferguson says farewell on his last Late Late Show with guest Jay Leno. Also that night, The Birthday Boys wrap up season 2 with sketches based off of their favorite summer. And on Saturday, be sure to catch Amy Adams host SNL.

Elsewhere in late night, The Daily Show has guest Chris Rock, Letterman has guests Rosie O'Donnell, Jeff Altman, and Jay Thomas, while Fallon is visited by James Franco and Seth Rogen, Nick Offerman, Ben Stiller, and Damon Wayans. Lisa Kudrow, Eric Andre, Dick Van Dyke, Jenny Slate, and Sebastian Maniscalco stop by Conan, and Tracy Ullman is on Kimmel. Seth Rogen will also be on Late Night with Seth Meyers as well as James Corden, Vanessa Bayer, and Greg Warren.

Check out this week's full comedy listings below: READ MORE

Abbi and Ilana Scope Out Some Hot Guys in the New 'Broad City' Promo


Broad City finally returns to Comedy Central for its second season on January 14th, and the network released a brand new promo today featuring the ladies checking out some hot poolside bros. Anything is possible with a little imagination, right?

A Spencer's Gifts Manager Chastises the Staff, by Lucas Gardner

Alright guys, team meeting. Let's make this quick, 'cause we've got some fucking strobe lights to sell.

Listen, I can't be here to manage this Spencer's Gifts all the time, and I need you guys to be able to run things on your own when I'm not around. Quite frankly, this staff ain't up to par right now. Most of you come in late and leave early. Maybe you think I'm not able to see you coming and going when the fog machine is running inside the store, but I've been working in this store for four years and I can basically see right through the fog now.

I need you guys to put in a lot more effort around here. When I came in today the place was in goddamn shambles. First of all, the life-sized Ron Burgundy cardboard cutout up front had its BACK to the entrance. I know that this always confuses you guys, but if you can see the front of the Ron Burgundy cutout from inside the store, that means the foot traffic outside can't.

Whoever is in charge of stocking the shelves on any particular day, please GROUP THINGS APPROPRIATELY. Ask yourself, should the bondage kits be stocked next to novelty “Small Pecker” Condoms? NO! One is sexy, and one is funny. Please group them accordingly. The place is a mess. We got beer pong kits on the Family Guy T-shirt shelves, the fake dog shit next to the sex handcuffs, the body jewelry next to the Poo Identification Manual books. How is anyone gonna know where to find anything? Don't just throw merchandise wherever you feel like. This is a Spencer's Gifts, not a Goodwill.

If a lava lamp breaks on the floor, don't just fucking leave it. Please mop it up immediately. And it's not real lava, guys. I can't have my staff running for cover every time a lava lamp breaks, like you all did today when that customer's backpack knocked one off the display shelf.

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Tom Scharpling's 'The Best Show' Returns Tomorrow at 9:00pm

The return of Tom Scharpling's Best Show just got a premiere date. In a Twitter update today, Scharpling revealed that his hit radio show will return on its new home at thebestshow.net tomorrow at 9:00pm. Here's what Scharpling had to say about reviving The Best Show online in our interview with him last week:

We’ll find out what we can do with this other area that we haven’t had a chance to explore. I really want to make a run at it and see what it can be. See what I can turn this thing into. I feel like I pushed pretty hard on the show in a lot of ways, but I don’t think I’ve pushed the way I plan on pushing. I’ve [recently] passed on stuff in my life that would pay — a real job that I really wanted — because I had to give this thing a chance. I can’t go thirteen-plus years with it and then, at the last second, not give it the shot that I have to give it.

Dan Soder and the Importance of Originality

dansoderDan Soder’s comedy career began in small town Tucson, Arizona in 2004. “I did a joke about homeless people in Tucson, like the stock joke for beginning comedians. You notice homeless people and you’re like ‘No one’s really dove into this in the US.’ Everyone has dove into [the homeless joke]. But my joke was about being tricked by a homeless guy because I was high on pot and he was high on meth. And he tricked me.”

Soder says, “It was one of the first jokes I did that worked every time I did it, so I just milked that motherfucker 'til I realized the wrong I was doing. It took me moving to New York to wash the hack off. Tucson was a great place to start as far as stage time, but it wasn’t good as far as artistic development, comedic development.”

Indeed, his comedy has evolved far beyond his beginnings in Tucson. His recent credits include Conan, Comedy Central’s Half Hour and nightly standup all across New York City. He’s spent most of his time this year on the road and right now he’s gearing up for his next few weeks in Providence, Arlington, and LA for Riot Fest.

We talked at a diner near The Stand NYC, where he was headed for his first of three sets that night. READ MORE