Talking About the Comedy Podcast Explosion with Earwolf's Scott Aukerman and Jeff Ullrich

These days, it seems like every comedian out there has their own podcast. Through the melee for listeners’ ears, the founders of the Earwolf network, Scott Aukerman and Jeff Ullrich, have emerged as the one’s leading the charge to progress the art form.

After getting his start at Mr. Show, Scott’s credits include co-creating both the deservedly lauded Between Two Ferns and the renowned alt-comedy showcase Comedy Death-Ray (CDR), which in 2009 he built upon to create Comedy Death-Ray Radio. In 2010, Jeff, a former finance-guy and business manager, came to Scott with a vision, and together they started the Earwolf Network with CDR Radio as the cornerstone.

In [...]

Behind the Scenes at Community with Writer Megan Ganz

Community is the sort of show that turns casual fans into semi-obsessed fanboys and fangirls. Wildly ambitious yet earnestly grounded, its episodes bounce from over-the-top homages to genre films to understated character studies, all while focusing on a group of characters that have only become more endeared to fans over time. To say it's a writer's show is an understatement.

Last year, Megan Ganz was a big Community fan. This year, she was one of the newest staff writers on the show, penning season-highlights "Cooperative Calligraphy" and "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking." Before landing the Community gig, she worked as an editor at The Onion and as a writer on Important [...]

Talking Delocated, ZZ Top and Conan with Jon Glaser

If I were as clever as Jon Glaser, I’d take my premise of him being the unsung hero of absurd comedy and come up with parody song about it set to Foreigner’s “Jukebox Hero.” But I’m not, so I’ll just say it: Jon Glaser is the unsung hero of absurd comedy.

Take an inventory of the most brilliantly silly and absurd comedy shows and programs over the past 15 years, and there’s a decent chance Glaser was involved in some capacity behind the scenes.

Second City pedigree? Yep, he was a member of the legendary Pinata Full of Bees Revue with Adam McKay, Scott Adsit and Rachel Dratch. [...]

Judd Apatow Interviewed on The Sound of Young America

This week's episode of The Sound of Young America has an excellent interview with Judd Apatow paired with two pieces by SNL writer Simon Rich that are read by Jen Kirkman and Paul Scheer. How can you argue with all of that? Here's a convenient stream of the whole thing:

Bill O'Reilly Visited The Daily Show Last Night

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c

Norm MacDonald on the Joy of Bombing

If you want to fan the flames of your excitement boner/lady boner for tonight's premiere of Sports Show With Norm MacDonald on Comedy Central, then go read the entirety of the Norm MacDonald A.V. Club interview. Everything he says is a dark gem. Rather than discuss his new gig, MacDonald instead explains why stand-ups can't act, insults Jerry Seinfeld and reveals the exquisite pleasure of completely bombing. "I guess what I find funny is that when I’m bombing, I start smirking; then they fucking hate me. Because they think I’m making fun of them or something. But the reality of it makes me laugh," Norm muses. "If I’m [...]

A Last Conversation With Mike DeStefano

I had the chance to chat with Mike DeStefano recently and was shocked and saddened to hear the news of his sudden death. He was very driven and talented and though his humor was rather dark, he was always warm. This particular interview took place on the stoop of the Comedy Cellar. DeStefano was chain-smoking and downing espresso shots, throughout. His sobriety inspired and helped many of his beloved fans and other fellow comics.

Tell me about your earliest memories of doing stand-up.

I began doing standup in '98 in Florida at The Comedy Corner. I happened to be living in Florida at the time, but I [...]

Interview: Aziz Ansari Is Everywhere

Aziz Ansari has a lot going on this week: Parks and Recreation comes back for its critically acclaimed third season tonight, he's doing reshoots for his first major movie role, and this Saturday, he comes to New York to play Carnegie Hall. Not a bad trio of things to be working on, especially when you're only 27.

I talked to him about all of these projects as well as the scripts he's working on for Judd Apatow, the free trip he got to Tokyo just by asking on Twitter, the future of Human Giant, and why he really didn't want to invite his parents to Carnegie Hall.

Tales From the Road: A Conversation with Mike Birbiglia

Mike Birbiglia is one of the best storytelling comedians around. He recently turned a successful run of his one-man show Sleepwalk With Me into an excellent book of the same name (you can read an excerpt from it here). He was nice enough to talk to me about the book, some of the weirder experiences he's had on the road and advice he'd give to comics just starting out.

Tales from the Road: A Conversation with Michael Ian Black

Michael Ian Black is a founding member of The State, a comedy troupe that produced the last intentionally funny programming ever seen on MTV. As the pitchman for products like Pets.com ad Sierra Mist, Michael Ian Black's whimsical commercials gave people a reason to pause their DVRs while zipping past ads.

Point being: Michael Ian Black is a performer. He has played a junkie, a pimptacular lover of pudding, a gay demon–trying to list all the memorable roles he's created would fill lots of space and IMDB does it better, anyway. But he didn't start doing stand-up until fairly recently.

I asked Michael Ian Black if he [...]

Tom Arnold On Roseanne, Chuck Lorre And The Julia Louis-Dreyfus Parking Spot Incident

Sometimes everything happens for a reason. Other times, everything happens because you're friends with Roseanne. In his new A.V. Club interview, Tom Arnold reminisces about the very many roles he's had during his decades-long career, and how it all began with that plum writer's gig on that insanely successful sitcom. "Your first job is on the number-one show, and you’re working around all these great writers and actors, and it’s a great place to learn, but it just seemed like my friend’s show," Arnold recalls, explaining that he took the job after a comedy club job in Minneapolis fell through. "She was putting together a show, I had [...]

Anthony Jeselnik Is Not an Asshole

With 2010 over and done with, Anthony Jeselnik has a lot to be cocky about. He finished up a stint as a writer for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, returned to perform on the show as its very first stand-up, and then released his debut comedy album in September. On Shakespeare, which is as arrogantly absurd as its title suggests, Jeselnik relentlessly dishes out meticulously constructed one-liners so darkly intelligent and subversively funny that Punchline Magazine voted it the best comedy album of the year and most everyone else agreed. And yet all the recent success and accolades haven’t gone to the comedian’s head. Anyone that’s ever seen [...]

Elizabeth Banks on 30 Rock: "I like to play Avery as though she is Jack Donaghy with boobs."

The AV Club has an interview with Elizabeth Banks today in which she discusses her character on 30 Rock: "The writers wanted a sort of money-honey. It’s a combination of a lot of those types of characters, and also sort of an indictment of Fox News, right? [Laughs.] In that, of course, the blonde beauty would be this person. At the same time, I personally take my inspiration from Jack Donaghy. I like to play Avery as though she is Jack Donaghy with boobs. Why they love each other as much as they do is that they agree on pretty much most things when it comes to the [...]

Inside the Writer's Room: Behind the Scenes at 30 Rock with Writer/Producer Kay Cannon

Kay Cannon is a producer and writer on 30 Rock, which just started its fifth season on NBC. A Chicago improviser who successfully made the transition to writing after moving to NYC, she now has the enviable position of spending her days coming up with funny things for Tracy Jordan to say.

I talked with her about her years doing improv in places like Amsterdam and Las Vegas, the all nighter she had to pull in order to get Tina Fey the spec script that got her a job, and what it's like in the 30 Rock writer's room.