Comedy is by nature an adaptable art form. While standups are at home on stage in front of a mic telling jokes, they know how to adjust their methods for a different type of entertainment. When a comedian writes a book, or makes a movie or TV show, they are clearly working within that medium and bringing their sensibilities to bear on it. Monologues become satirical essays, random thoughts become tweets, stories and family experiences become sitcoms. Mulaney, the show, knows it still needs sets and stories and other characters despite its seemingly cut-and-paste appropriation of the title comedian’s on-stage act. When bringing your act to the big or small [...]
Comedian and current host of weekly New York standup show Whiplash Aparna Nancherla wrote an interesting blog post today about last night's show, which featured a surprise performance by Chris Rock that quickly turned sour after several audience members started recording his set on their cell phones. Similarly, Hannibal Buress has been making headlines this week over a six-month-old bit he performed in Philadelphia last week calling Bill Cosby a rapist, which would've never made the news had it not been for an audience member recording the joke then uploading it to the internet. Unlike Buress, however, Rock's appearance at Whiplash last night [...]
Modern standup has been around in one form or another since vaudeville, but it’s only been since the late ‘70s that the standup special has gained traction as the crowning achievement of a successful comic. Fortunately, the beginnings of the standup special were as fertile as rock ‘n’ roll’s birth 25 years prior, with many of the all-time greats setting templates right from the start.
The material always comes first, of course, but as a video document of a honed act it’s also important to appreciate the visual elements — the framing, editing, and backdrop — and how they enhance or detract from the pacing and quality of the jokes. [...]
If you're a fan of watching old clips of standups honing their craft live onstage, the new Just For Laughs YouTube channel is for you. The Montreal comedy festival recently teamed up with Maker Studios to launch the channel this afternoon, which so far features standup clips from Bill Hicks, Louis C.K., Tracy Morgan, Bill Burr, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Dave Chappelle, and Mitch Hedberg. According to Variety, a total of "over 500 hours of JFL content" will be released in increments of three each week and eventually include content from current festivals. Check out a 1998 performance from Mitch Hedberg above, then click through to watch the [...]