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Epix Announces Standup Specials from Lisa Lampanelli, Jim Breuer, and Jim Norton

Epix just revealed three new hourlong standup specials set to air this spring. According to THR, the network has added specials from Lisa Lampanelli, Jim Breuer, and Jim Norton. Norton's special Contextually Inadequate will air first on Friday, April 24th, Breuer's Comic Frenzy will air on Friday, May 29th, and Lampanelli's Back to the Drawing Board will air on Friday, June 26th. All three specials will debut at 10:00pm. Hopefully Epix doesn't have any problems releasing these specials after what happened with Patton Oswalt's Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time last year.

Buy Louis C.K.'s New Standup Special 'Live at the Comedy Store'

Louis C.K. just dropped his latest standup special Live at the Comedy Store. As always, it's available to purchase via his website for just $5.00. Here's what C.K. says on what you can expect from the special:

I developed and prepared this material over the last year or so, mostly in comedy clubs. This special kind of goes back to when I used to just make noises and be funny for no particular reason. It felt right to shoot this special in a club to give it that live immediate intimate feeling. The show is about an hour long. The opening act, who is seen at the beginning [...]

HBO Orders a Standup Special from Tig Notaro

Tig Notaro is headed to HBO. The network announced yesterday that Notaro will star in her first HBO comedy special, which will tape before a live audience sometime later this year. "Tig Notaro is a ‘comedian’s comedian,’ whose uniquely fearless and always funny voice has won acclaim from critics and fans alike," said HBO exec Michael Lombardo on the news. "I’m so happy that we will be able to introduce this remarkable performer to a larger audience." The name and location of Notaro's standup special have not yet been revealed.

Dan Klein's 'This Is Comedy' Is Both the Best and Worst Standup Special Ever

Comedian and Funny or Die writer Dan Klein released a brand new standup special today called This Is Comedy, which turns out to be the ultimate hourlong collection of standup's worst clichés. It's all here — mic drops, excessive audience pandering ("You guys like the show The Simpsons?"), water bottle breaks, behind-the-scenes clips, hecklers, repeated Starbucks jokes, jokes about how men and women are different, and so much more.

'The New Yorker' Profiles Tig Notaro's Topless NYC Standup Set

"She is a deadpan comedian of the driest vintage, and her face remained stolid. The patches of the audience that were stunned into silence alternated with the patches that were seized by deep, hoarse laughter, resulting in weird patterns of wave interference. Notaro is thin. She stood with her shoulders slightly hunched, her ribs visible, her lack of breasts visible, her surgery scars visible. 'Naked onstage' is a classic premise for an anxiety dream, and the moment felt surreal. So it’s true that she doesn’t wear a bra. Is this being filmed? Is this actually happening?"

- The New Yorker profiles Tig Notaro's standup set last night at The [...]

The Standup Special Returns to Its Roots

Shortly after standup comedy burst free from the confines of Borscht Belt theaters and metropolitan nightclubs, cable television began its successful infiltration of the American living room, and the marriage between the evolving art and the expanding medium soon spawned a wholly new creation: the standup special. Many of these early performances were filmed on college campuses (Robert Klein at Haverford College, 1975; George Carlin at USC, 1977), evidence of the craft’s rapid transformation of character. Once relegated to a few shadowy corners of nightlife and the counterculture, standup had, by the mid-1970s, established itself unequivocally within the cultural firmament of the young, the intellectual, and the hip.

The airing [...]

Brooks Wheelan's Standup Album 'This Is Cool, Right?' Is Out Tomorrow

SNL alum Brooks Wheelan has a new album out tomorrow. Titled This Is Cool, Right?, the album will be available tomorrow on iTunes, Amazon, and more via Comedy Dynamics and follows Wheelan "from his early years through his tenure on SNL, with hysterical and heartbreaking anecdotes. He’s always upbeat though as he discusses the ups and downs of his life from witnessing his father murder an opossum to his rejected SNL sketches." Get your copy over at Wheelan's website.

Eddie Murphy Shares His "Ultimate Vision" for a Live Music/Standup Show

"My fantasy I always be having when I think about getting onstage is to do everything. If I came back and did stand-up again, I can't just be like the other standup comics. To have a real hot band, play some tracks for about 40 minutes, the curtain drops and then you do an hour of jokes? That's a unique-ass show. [Laughs] That's the ultimate vision."

- Eddie Murphy fantasizes about a possible return to the standup stage in a new interview with Rolling Stone.

Re-Formatting the Comedy Album

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 [...]

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 [...]

Aziz Ansari's New Netflix Special 'Live at Madison Square Garden' Premieres March 6th

Aziz Ansari has a brand new standup special due out in March. In a press release today, Netflix announced that Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden will debut on Friday, March 6th. The special was taped at Ansari's sold-out Madison Square Garden shows last year and covers topics "ranging from the struggle of American immigrants to the food industry to relationships to gender inequality." Here's what Aziz had to say when we asked him about selling out Madison Square Garden back in September:

I couldn't imagine that I'd get to play the Garden or something like that when I started out doing comedy. I didn't even [...]

Matt Braunger's Comedy Central Special Airs on February 6th

Standup Matt Braunger has a new standup special out next month. Comedy Central announced today that Braunger's second hourlong special Big, Dumb Animal will air on Friday, February 6th at midnight. Big, Dumb Animal was filmed at The Bell House in Brooklyn and covers "why being 39 is lamer than being 40, the absurdity of a quiet Jägerbomb, why his hometown of Portland is too nice of a place, and what it is to be a big dumb animal with an anger problem. Also, how he got the nickname 'Peaches.'"

Cameron Esposito on Taboo Joke Topics: "The Best Defense Against Criticism Is a Better Joke"

"IN THE END: Tell the jokes you want to tell. But know that feedback isn’t censorship or persecution, especially when it comes from a group more affected by the topic of your joke. The best defense against criticism is a better joke."

- Cameron Esposito explains how to joke about Bill Cosby and other taboo standup topics in her latest column for The A.V. Club.

'GQ' Highlights Dave Chappelle as One of 2014's "Men of the Year"

"I have to say that comedians by and large are some of the most sensitive people on earth. Even if they're socially callous. If you sat at the back of a comedy club and just heard the way we banter, you wouldn't know that these were sensitive people, 'cause it's such an open-air market of ideas. The other night, I was talking about Robin Williams with Bob Goldthwait, and people kept coming up to me saying, 'Hey, Dave! Man, thanks for coming. We loved the show, it was so good to see you, blah blah blah.' Real nice things. And I go, 'That's very kind of you. Thank you.' And [...]