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Aparna Nancherla to Audience Members Who Record Shows: "Don't Be a Jerk"

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 [...]

The 20 Greatest Standup Specials of All Time

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.

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Check Out Old Clips of Louis C.K., Mitch Hedberg, Chris Rock, and More on the Just For Laughs YouTube Channel

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 [...]

'SNL' Writer Leslie Jones Urges Women to Take the Crazy Back on 'Late Night'

SNL writer Leslie Jones, who won all our hearts on Weekend Update back in May with the eternal question "Can a bitch get a beef bowl?", did standup on last night's Late Night. Jones covers booty calls, why texting makes women crazier than they already are, and why women shouldn't be ashamed of the fact that they're crazy in the first place.

'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.

Watch Dave Chappelle Do a Four-Hour Standup Set in 2009

NYC comedy club Comic Strip Live has been posting a ton of vintage standup clips lately (see Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, and Jerry Seinfeld), and today they added a new clip that's a gold mine for Dave Chappelle fans — nearly four full hours of him doing standup and riffing with the audience back in 2009. That's right — four continuous hours of Chappelle standup. Hopefully you didn't have Friday night plans.

Eric Andre Discusses the 'Cops' Theme Song and Homophobia at Just For Laughs 2012

While you're waiting for the third season of The Eric Andre Show to begin, Just For Laughs' new YouTube channel just added a clip of Andre performing back in 2012, covering everything from watching Precious on mushrooms to the strange choice to use reggae music for the Cops theme song to what homophobics think about when they're relaxing at home.

Chris Gethard Wants to Do Standup in Your House This November

Comedian Chris Gethard is experimenting with a new way to develop his material that might involve him performing at your house if you're up for it. In a new post on his website, Gethard has reached out to fans who live within four hours of his home base of New York City to try to get some new and interesting non-NYC venues to work on his act. From the post:

I really want to have a whole month where I do low key house shows, where I bring comedy to places that maybe don’t have it as readily available as New York, and in environments that can be [...]

Brooks Wheelan Jokes About 'SNL,' Subway Rats, and Furbies on 'Conan'

Brooks Wheelan has certainly taken his firing from SNL in stride, and on last night's Conan he performed a five-minute standup set all about leaving the NBC sketch show, New York subway rats, his love for Furbies, and the moment from his childhood he realized he was meant to do comedy, which involves his dad, a possum, and a sledgehammer.

Netflix Announces Premiere Dates for Standup Specials from Bill Cosby, Chelsea Peretti, Jim Jefferies, Bill Burr, and Chelsea Handler

Netflix is embarking on a big push into standup specials. The streaming network recently announced premiere dates for five new standup specials from Bills Burr and Cosby, Chelseas Handler and Peretti (Handler's special was previously announced), and Aussie comic Jim Jefferies spanning from August 29th through December 5th. "“Jim Jefferies, Chelsea Handler, Bill Cosby, Bill Burr and Chelsea Peretti are some of the funniest comedians of our time who will have our viewers in stitches," said Netflix exec Lisa Nishimura along with the announcement”. "We are thrilled to bring this diverse slate of talent and their unique, multi-faceted and hilarious points of view exclusively to our members [...]

A Barcelona Comedy Club Is Charging Audiences Per Laugh Through Facial Recognition Software

Well this is weird. BBC News reports that a comedy club in Barcelona called Teatreneu is experimenting with a new way to get more customers to attend shows: Charging them per laugh instead of per ticket. The club installed tablets to the back of each seat with facial recognition software that tracks each audience member's responses during the show and charges 0.30 euros per laugh with a cap of 24 euros total (~$30USD). The experiment has so far driven the comedy club's overall ticket prices up by six euros and is reportedly getting a tryout run in several other Spanish theaters as well, but it's hard to believe [...]

Should All Standup Comics Write Their Own Jokes?

I was thirteen when I first saw a comic glance at his notes on stage, and I remember wondering why I was surprised to see this. Did you think he was making all this up on the spot? I asked myself. Well, I guess I did. Years later, when I began regularly attending comedy shows and would end up seeing the same set a dozen times a year, I began to have a similar feeling. What, I again asked myself, did you think comedians come up with a new routine for every show? Well, I guess I did. After all, isn’t that the rouse that so many standups employ in [...]

Why Chris Rock's 1991 Debut Standup Album Is as Relevant Today as Ever

Chris Rock’s first standup album, Born Suspect, was recorded in 1991, but it seems like it could have been recorded last month. Sure, comics are always kind of mining the same big issues in the human condition and that’s why we get lots of “black people are like this, white people are like this” “women vs. men” jokes. But seriously, both in overall tone and specific cultural references, this album is like…you know…relevant and stuff.

Background: Born Suspect was recorded in Atlanta in 1991 and came out I think only on cassette, although the internet kind of makes all that irrelevant. It was recorded in a black comedy club [...]

Jerrod Carmichael's HBO Special 'Love at The Store' Premieres on October 4th

Back in April it was announced that Jerrod Carmichael was getting his very first standup special on HBO directed by Spike Lee, and today the network dropped the first teaser and October 4 premiere date for it, called Love at The Store. In addition to the HBO special, Carmichael is also working on a second pilot for NBC on a "quick turnaround," so you can expect to see Carmichael all over your TV screen in the near future.