August 18th, 2014

'SNL,' 'Between Two Ferns,' 'Bob's Burgers' Win Creative Arts Emmys

The Emmys are set to air on NBC next Monday, but over the weekend all the Emmys that won't make the main show — called the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys — were handed out. The big comedy-related winners include the Barack Obama edition of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, Bob's Burgers for Outstanding Animated Program, and SNL, which walked away with five awards for directing, makeup, costumes, hairstyling, and Jimmy Fallon's hosting stint in December.

Click through for the full list of comedy-related awards: READ MORE

This Week in Comedy: Losing a Legend

robinwilliams-The world tragically lost a comedy legend in Robin Williams.

-Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, and Seth Meyers paid tribute to Robin Williams.

-Sam Haft shared a personal story about trying to know Robin Williams.

-We unearthed three sketches of Robin Williams on SCTV in 1982.

-Neal Brennan talked about his transition from behind the scenes to in front of the camera with his new show The Approval Matrix.

-We explored Comedy Central’s graveyard of short-lived sketch shows.

-Netflix announced premiere dates for standup specials from Bill Cosby, Chelsea Peretti, Jim Jefferies, Bill Burr, and Chelsea Handler. READ MORE

Craig Ferguson Has a New Talk Show Gig Lined Up

Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson might be leaving late night this December, but that doesn't mean he'll be leaving the talk show circuit too. Variety reports that the CBS host is currently in final negotiations to host a daily syndicated half-hour talk show to air on Tribune stations at 7:00pm, with a premiere date slated for sometime in fall 2015. Late Late Show executive producer Michael Naidus is also expected to serve as showrunner, and according to THR, the new talk show will tape in the same studio Ferguson uses for Late Late Show and "be quite similar to his current series — with occasional guest interviews." This makes Ferguson's second post-Late Late Show hosting gig; he also hosts a game show called Celebrity Name Game.

"This is the magic of John Oliver. It's been only 14 episodes so far (the show is slated for 19 this season) but the Last Week Tonight team has found a way to take a seemingly complicated issue, remove the talking points and cultural baggage surrounding it, break it into understandable parts—and then slowly rebuild it. It's an ingenious formula that's making a difference in the real world."

- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is showered with more well-deserved praise in a new Atlantic piece called "How John Oliver Beats Apathy."

'The Office's Dan Sterling Is Developing a CBS Comedy Produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller

A day after announcing its new deal with Will Arnett's production company Electric Avenue, CBS might be adding another new multi-cam show to its lineup. Deadline reports that the network has given a put-pilot commitment to a series by Dan Sterling, who has worked as a director, writer, and producer on The Office, The Sarah Silverman Program, The Daily Show, and King of the Hill. The currently untitled pilot follows "an accommodating, well-meaning, and all-too-compliant man, and a powerful, outspoken, embattled woman who form a new friendship and partnership by which they jointly strive to revolutionize themselves and their lives." Lego Movie directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller serve as executive producers for the project; the pair are also behind Will Forte's Fox series Last Man on Earth, which will premiere on the network sometime next year.

Here's a Clip of Alison Brie, Jennifer Lawrence, and H. Jon Benjamin in a Rejected Comedy Central Pilot

If you've ever wanted to see Alison Brie as a knockoff Buffy the Vampire Slayer or H. Jon Benjamin as an injured janitor, a short clip from Not Another High School Show — a rejected 2007 Comedy Central pilot from Not Another Teen Movie's Mike Bender — has been making the rounds on the internet today. A young Jennifer Lawrence also shows up near the end in a small but convincing part as a concerned high school student. (via Uproxx)

Comedy and Poetry Intersect in @MelissaBroder's Tweets

attachment_1Melissa Broder (@MelissaBroder) is a poet living in LA. She is the author of three poetry collections, Scarecrone, Meat Heart, and When You Say One Thing But Meet Your Mother, and her work has been published in a variety of blogs and magazines. Outside of her poetry, Broder is very active on Twitter, and her feed is dark, existential, and very funny all at once. I recently got Broder to expand on three of her favorite tweets, and she talked to me about her tweet editor, her visit with a shaman, and being teen girls' hero.

Broder: I like this tweet, because other people liked it and when other people like my stuff it gives me a false sense of wholeness. I tweeted this impulsively, from the heart, rather than running it by my twitter editor first.

The tweet is based on an experience I had with an NYC shaman a few years ago when I realized that what I thought was anxiety my whole life actually had deep depression underneath. The shaman said the 'core passage' between my heart and neck was clogged with foreign beings. She guided me into my 'core passage' and I found bats. I'm not sure if they were real or if I was just trying to visualize something to make her feel like I was 'doing the work' and to validate how much she charged, but metaphorically it made deep sense. READ MORE

Cameron Esposito Bravely Advocates for Straight People on 'Conan'

Cameron Esposito did a standup set on Conan last night and announced that she's an ally and advocate for straight people everywhere. She then made sure to create a safe space for all and looked back on her time as a party planning committee member to perfectly illustrate why we should celebrate our many differences instead of fight over them.

Examining the Marx Brothers' Television Appearances

120 - Marx BrothersWhen people describe the Marx Brothers as they walked, honked, quipped, and played on the silver screen, one word seems to come up over and over again: anarchic. Well, after a while, the Marx Brothers disappeared from the silver screen, but before long a new medium showed up for Groucho, Chico, and Harpo to jump on, and as you might imagine, they brought that same sense of anarchy to television. Today we look at a wide selection of the Marx Brothers appearances on television, sometimes in pairs, but usually solo, as seen in the new DVD set The Marx Brothers TV Collection.

Here's the thing about early television of the 50s and 60s: it's all over the place. There were sports shows, panel talk shows, sitcoms, hundreds of variety shows, and the Marx Brothers appeared on whatever they would throw at them. I don't know the best way to do dive into this because there's a lot of stuff in this set, and I have to imagine the majority of it has never been released, unless there's a box set of the TV show Championship Bridge with Charles Goren that I don't know about. (In 1960 there was an actual TV show that was just watching people play the card game bridge and Chico Marx lost badly on it. Now that I've typed that sentence, I realize that this show isn't all that different from the billion poker shows that were on TV a few years back.) Let's go brother by brother through the set and pick out the highlights, starting with the one, the only Groucho Marx. READ MORE

The Best Time I Worked As a Cruise Ship Comedian

HV FUN“Excuse me? My sign-on sheet has a mistake on it.”

It is not yet 8 a.m. and I’m blinking desperately at the stranger holding my passport in one hand and a leashed, drug-sniffing dog in the other.

“My date of birth is wrong?” I continue. “It says I’m 45. And also that I’m a man from Tampa.”

Taking his blank stare as an invitation to keep talking, I explain, “It’s just, I’m 25 and from Chicago. And also not a man.”

He takes the sheet, annoyed, and makes a series of illegible scribbles: “Just sign it. Welcome aboard.”

It is from these humble beginnings that I, Carley Moseley, née a girl from New Jersey, now a middle-aged silver fox from Tampa, become the proud resident of a 5,000 passenger cruise ship.

Even from the outside, my new home is a behemoth of a vessel. Flags, lights, a rock wall, and a lot more flags complement the painted hull, an ill-begotten love child of Tommy Bahama and a pack of melted Tropical Skittles. A ropes course and four water slides crown this sweet, sweet maiden of the sea, giving it an air of “that girl in seventh grade who was trying too hard to look older and probably hooked up with a bunch of sophomores” in the gentle, raking light of New York’s morning.

I maintain an air of professionalism even in the face of this monolithic perma-vacation suite. Turning to my producer, I muster a casual, “Cruise ships are like… really dumb—right?” He laughs, either because he half agrees or because he’s already planning on firing me. Who knows? READ MORE

'Last Comic Standing' Winner Rod Man Does Standup on 'Tonight Show'

Last Comic Standing's 100-comedian 13-episode run ended last night, and Los Angeles-based comedian Rod Man walked away with the coveted title and a same-day standup appearance on The Tonight Show, in which he covers the show's not-so-diverse audience, public restroom water restrictions, immigration reform, and his feelings on self-checkout lines.

FXX's 'Simpsons' Marathon Attains Godlike Status in This New Trailer

FXX has released an epic new trailer for its upcoming Simpsons marathon, which kicks off on the network with all 552 episodes as well as The Simpsons Movie in chronological order starting at 10:00pm on August 21st.

Today's Funniest Tweets


Mike Birbiglia Is Coming to 'Orange Is the New Black'

Standup Mike Birbiglia just got a big TV role. THR reports that Birbiglia has signed on to appear in a recurring role on Orange Is the New Black's upcoming third season. Details on Birbiglia's role are being kept under wraps, though series creator Jenji Kohan recently said in an interview that the new season will revolve around "faith, to a certain extent."

Orange Is the New Black one of many new projects for Birbiglia, including a standup tour as well as film roles in The Fault in Our Stars, Annie, Don't Mess with Texas, Digging for Fire, and Judd Apatow's Trainwreck. For more on Birbiglia, check out our interview with him from last month.