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Talking to Brett Gelman About His New Adult Swim Special

Tomorrow night, Adult Swim is airing Dinner with Friends with Brett Gelman and Friends, a new half-hour special starring comedian Brett Gelman and directed by Jason Woliner, who co-wrote the script with Gelman. Beginning as a talk show Gelman hosts over a meal with six Hollywood actors a la Jon Favreau's Dinner for Five, Dinner with Friends with Brett Gelman and Friends quickly takes a turn and descends into an evening of psychological torture. Like Eagleheart, the Adult Swim show Gelman acts on and Woliner is a writer, director, and producer on, Dinner with Friends is fast-paced, funny, and unlike anything else on TV.

I recently talked with Brett Gelman [...]

Talking to Cartoonist Rich Stevens About His Comic Strip, 'Diesel Sweeties'

Rich Stevens’s comic strip Diesel Sweeties is an odd creation. An online strip with pixelated artwork, it features a strange cast of characters including an emotional robot, an ex-pornstar, and various humans, cats, and mechanical devices. He’s also the man behind merchandise including a “Fuck This” ice scraper and a mug “What Do We Want? Coffee. When Do We Want It? I’ll Fucking Cut You!”

Since 2000, he’s been making daily comics for the web about veganism, music, technology, and celebrating and eviscerating hipsters before the term was widely used. He has a new book just out, Bacon is a Vegetable; Coffee is a Vitamin, and I [...]

Talking to W. Kamau Bell About Standup, 'Totally Biased', and Diversity in Late Night

Long established on the San Francisco comedy scene, W. Kamau Bell was relatively unknown nationally when he began hosting Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell on FX in 2012. But following the internet outrage over the show’s cancellation this past November, Bell and Totally Biased received more critical attention, posthumously praising the show for its unique blend of humor and socio-political commentary.

Now, Bell is full steam ahead with his "Oh Everything!" tour, which will include doing standup at the Atlantic Ocean Comedy & Music Festival July 25-28, a comedy cruise put on by Jesse Thorn’s podcast and radio organization Maximum Fun. Before that, he’ll be in [...]

Talking with Rhys Darby About 'Short Poppies,' 'Flight of the Conchords,' and Playing Silly Characters Seriously

Most comedians are lucky to land a bit part for their first television gig, but New Zealand standup Rhys Darby struck gold when his friends Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement cast him in their HBO series Flight of the Conchords as the two-man band's incompetent manager Murray Hewitt. It's been five years since Flight of the Conchords ended, and during that time Darby has toured his standup around the world, appeared in a handful of films and television shows, and also developed a set of original characters that evolved into his new series Short Poppies, now available on Netflix. Ahead of the Short Poppies premiere, I recently got [...]

Talking to Rachael Harris About 'Bad Words', the Space Between Comedy and Drama, and Working with Jason Bateman

Rachael Harris's most recent appearance in Jason Bateman’s first foray into directing, Bad Words, was brief. Nevertheless, her time on screen occupied some of the funniest moments of the movie. She is largely known for her acerbic, caustic roles in comedy (like as Ed Helms's mean girlfriend in The Hangover) , yet she has also proven herself to be a talented actress in a wide range of roles (like earning awards attention and acclaim as the lead in 2011's Natural Selection, where she played a soon-to-be widowed, sheltered, Christian housewife, whose life is rocked by the news that her dying husband had an illegitimate son living in Florida).

Harris [...]

Talking to Chris Gethard About His New Album, His Comedy Central Pilot, and More

Chris Gethard has an exciting few months coming up. His debut standup album, entitled My Comedy Album, comes out today, his Comedy Central half-hour special is airing this summer, and he'll soon hear back on whether Comedy Central will be ordering his pilot of The Chris Gethard Show to series or not. He also recently returned to doing weekly episodes of the public access version of The Chris Gethard Show, which will soon be ending whether the Comedy Central version gets picked up or not.

I had the chance to talk with Gethard a few weeks ago about how focus groups reacted to The Chris Gethard Show's Comedy [...]

Talking to Dave Attell About His New Comedy Central Standup Show and Special

If you’re a fan of standup, you owe it to yourself to watch Dave Attell do a set at the Comedy Cellar, the famed New York club where he can be found most weekends. To see him in his element, that is telling dirty jokes in a dark basement full of drunk people, is one of the greatest things in all of comedy. If you’re unable to make the trip, Attell has a new special out this weekend on Comedy Central, Road Work, that captures the raw energy he brings to the comedy club experience.

But wait there’s more. Comedy Central has also brought back Attell to host [...]

Talking to Paul F. Tompkins About 'Speakeasy', Ice-T, and 'Mr. Show's 20th Anniversary

2014 has been a busy year for Paul F. Tompkins so far. He's starring in an ABC sitcom pilot opposite Molly Shannon and hosting the web chat series Speakeasy, Fusion's political puppet show No, You Shut Up!, the podcast/live show Dead Authors, and his Largo live show Varietopia. I recently caught up with Tompkins on the set of Speakeasy to talk about the plethora of projects he has going, being hoodwinked by an Ice-T impersonator, and Mr. Show's upcoming 20th anniversary.

Talking to Mike Nelson About RiffTrax's National Geographic TV Special

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett might all be better recognized by their voices than their faces. Throughout the '90s, they were a part of a group that gathered some of the most renowned movie theater hecklers around: Mystery Science Theater 3000. In 2006, the trio took to the internet to bring us RiffTrax, the next wave in movie heckling. Together, they've riffed a pretty wide range of movies, ranging from Casablanca to 300, from Inception to Fast & Furious. Now they have set their sights on the animal kingdom. Earlier this week, Nelson, Murphy, and Corbett returned to TV for the first time since their MST3K days, [...]

Talking with Hannibal Buress About 'Broad City,' Preparing for Onscreen Roles, and His New Standup Special

Hannibal Buress has come a long way from being a writer for SNL and 30 Rock and sometimes a crazy homeless man, enjoying a steady rise to success as both a popular standup and hilarious supporting television player on The Eric Andre Show and more recently Comedy Central's Broad City. His newest Comedy Central project, an hourlong standup special Hannibal Buress: Live From Chicago, airs on the network tomorrow night at midnight, so ahead of its premiere I talked to Buress about how his standup has evolved, his experience acting on Broad City and Seth Rogen's Neighbors, his Comedy Central pilot, the power of "Hannibal's Hands," and how [...]

Louis C.K. Tells 'GQ' Why Discomfort Is Important for Creativity

"You've got to embrace discomfort. It's the only way you can put yourself in situations where you can learn, and the only way you can keep your senses fresh once you're there."

- Louis C.K. in his new cover story for GQ, which names him "America's Undisputed King of Comedy."

Talking to Nick Frost About Dance, Passion, and 'Cuban Fury'

Nick Frost is putting himself out there. Just as his Cornetto Trilogy collaborators Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg are working on their own individual projects, Frost stars in his first solo lead role in the new romantic comedy Cuban Fury, a warm underdog story emphasizing the importance of passion and the value of challenging oneself.

Frost also lives the movie's message by taking on a technically-demanding role: Cuban Fury is a dance movie, and Frost plays Bruce Garrett, a former child salsa prodigy bullied into giving up his dream now living a safe adult life working for an industrial manufacturing company. Dance is a painful memory pushed firmly out [...]

Talking to Thomas Middleditch About HBO's 'Silicon Valley'

You're about to see a lot more of Thomas Middleditch in movies and TV. Middleditch got his start as an improviser and sketch actor in Chicago, where he performed at iO, Second City, and was a founding member of The Improvised Shakespeare Company, before moving to New York and then Los Angeles, where he's performed frequently at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. This year, he has both his first lead TV role  (Mike Judge's new HBO series Silicon Valley, which premiered last night) and his first lead role in a major movie (the upcoming Search Party, which he stars in alongside T.J. Miller and Adam Pally).

I recently [...]

Talking to Amy Schumer About Season Two of 'Inside Amy Schumer'

When Inside Amy Schumer premiered last April, it had the best first-episode ratings for any show on Comedy Central and got quickly renewed after only four episodes. The series successfully mixed often over-the-top scenes with standup, man-on-the-street interviews, and conversations with unique professionals, with Schumer always at the wheel.

Tonight, the show returns in full force, with a second season premiere called “Would You Bang Her” in which Schumer interacts with God (guest star Paul Giamatti), plays tennis, and goes deep with a porn producer. Recently, I got the chance to talk with Schumer, who in addition to Inside Amy's 10-episode second season is on tour doing standup [...]