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James Van Der Beek Says He Doesn't "Have the Balls to Do Standup"

"If I had the balls to do standup, I would probably start at a free club somewhere and just fall on my face. You have to fall on your face so many times in order for that to work."

- James Van Der Beek an an interview with THR about how he's been doing more comedy lately via sitcom work on Don't Trust the B—- and Friends with Better Lives and wants to do more.

Louis C.K. Says He Doesn't Intend to Be a Wholesale Comedy Mogul

“I’m not going to become some mogul, putting out wholesale chunks of comedy. If I find something I haven’t seen, that’s unique, and I could get it out the right way, then I’ll do it.”

- Louis C.K. in a New York Times piece about the release of Todd Barry's new standup special Todd Barry: The Crowd Work Tour, which is now available via C.K.'s website.

Bostonians: Get Free Tickets to See Comedy Central's 'Half Hour' Standup Tapings

From Tuesday, March 25th through Friday, March 28th, Comedy Central will be taping its Half Hour standup specials at The Royale in Boston, and the network has made tickets available for free. If you're in the area, you can find show tickets (two shows nightly at 7:15pm and 9:15pm; 6:45pm and 8:45pm on Friday) by visiting The Black List's website, where you can look up show info for all the comedians featured, including Ron Funches, Fortune Feimster, Mark Normand, Kurt Braunohler, Michael Che, and more.

The Grawlix Releases a Free Standup Album Featuring T.J. Miller, the Sklar Brothers, and More

The Grawlix, a Denver-based trio of comedians who run the popular local standup show of the same name, just released a compilation album of the best stuff from their show in 2013. The album is free and features standup from two dozen comedians, including T.J. Miller, the Sklar Brothers, Beth Stelling, Baron Vaughn, Jonah Ray, Brent Weinbach, and of course, Grawlix members Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl, and Ben Roy. If you haven't checked out The Grawlix's show in Denver due to not living in Denver, this album is the next best thing.

(via The Comedy Bureau)

Read a Great Piece Patton Oswalt Wrote About Bill Hicks

"Bill Hicks had to make his voice heard through the amorphous, ever-shifting fog of Reagan-era comfort and complacency. Comedy club audiences in the 80’s actually thought they were being revolutionary and dangerous, listening to a sport-coated, sleeves-rolled-up comedian railing against the absurdities of airplane food, the plot holes on Gilligan’s Island and the differences between cats and dogs. Like Kurt Vonnegut’s Kilgore Trout, laying down world-saving truths in the pages of disposable stroke magazines, Bill Hicks was trying to light the way into the 21st century – on the stained-carpet stages of strip mall chuckle huts, usually following a juggler."

-Patton Oswalt in a piece he published today on his blog [...]

Jon Daly Turns Dumb Joke Prompts to Comic Gold on 'Set List'

Here's the newest episode of the improvised standup series Set List featuring Kroll Show's Jon Daly, who has to riff on pun prompts like "blow jog" and "of corpse" then turns into a very ditzy "pretty pretty pretty pretty comedienne" alter ego whose entire family died in a triple murder-suicide all thanks to the concept of escalators.

Hannibal Buress Talks About Impersonating Donald Glover in This Preview of His New Comedy Central Special

Here are two preview clips from Hannibal Buress's new Comedy Central standup special, Live from Chicago, which debuts on Comedy Central Saturday, March 29th, at midnight, and will be available on the 24th via CC: Stand-Up Direct. In the first clip (above), he talks about saying he's Donald Glover in order to get into an Eddie Griffin show in Las Vegas for free, and in the second clip (below), he tells a story about an ecstasy trip.

Comedy Central to Debut Dave Attell's New Standup Show and Specials from Tracy Morgan, David Spade, and More Next Month

Comedy Central announced today that April will be "Standup Month" for the network, with a bunch of original one-hour specials debuting starting March 29th. Here's the list of premiere dates, including previously-announced dates for specials from Hannibal Buress and Jim Gaffigan:

  • Hannibal Buress: Live in Chicago – Saturday, March 29th at midnight
  • Patton Oswalt: Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time – Sunday, April 6th at 10pm (making its Comedy Central debut. Special debuted on cable network EPIX and streaming in January.
  • Dave Attell: Road Work – Saturday, April 12th at midnight
  • Comedy Underground with Dave Attell – a new 8-episode standup series hosted by Attell and featuring [...]

Jackie Kashian Has a New Standup Special Out Today for $5

Comedian Jackie Kashian has a new hour special that just dropped today. Called This Will Make an Excellent Horcrux, it's available for $5, and is the first standup release from Bill Burr and Al Madrigal's podcast network All Things Comedy. Kashian is perhaps best known as host of the podcast The Dork Forest. She's also done standup on Conan and has performed a half-hour special on Comedy Central. This Will Make an Excellent Horcrux is her first hour special, following two albums (2007's Circus People and 2010's It Is Never Going to Be Bread).

Check out a trailer for the special below:

Watch 17-Year-Old Jimmy Fallon's Very First Standup Set

Continuing in today's unearthed before-they-were-stars video trend, here's footage of Jimmy Fallon's very first attempt at standup when he was just a 17-year-old kid from Saugerties with a solid Travolta impression. Funny how he's retained those trademark flashes of mid-performance lip-biting shyness even as host of The Tonight Show.

Mitch Hedberg Helped Out Hannibal Buress Early in His Career

Hannibal Buress did a Reddit AMA to promote his new standup special, and he ended up telling a pretty cool story about the late Mitch Hedberg being nice to him early on in his career:

"I started doing comedy in 2002 and I had a VHS tape of one of my first few sets. I took it to my RA, Open Mike Eagle. He watched it and said you sound like this dude, he played some [Mitch] Hedberg for me. I thought it was amazing.

Mitch played Zanies in Chicago in 2005. I was brand new and I went up to his green room and asked for [...]

Watch Todd Glass Be Amazing at Improvised Standup on 'Set List'

Here's the latest episode of Nerdist's web series Set List, based on the popular live show of the same name, in which comedians do standup without having any material prepared and have to discuss topics that appear on a screen. Todd Glass is the guest this time, and he takes a rather unconventional approach to the show.

Jim Gaffigan's New Special 'Obsessed' Debuts on Comedy Central April 27th

Comedian Jim Gaffigan has a new hour-long standup special on the way. Called Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed, it debuts on Comedy Central on Sunday, April 27th. The special will then be released as an extended 70-minute version on DVD and CD on April 29th (available for preorder now).

This is Gaffigan's fourth hour-long special. His last was Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe, which he self-released in 2012. In addition to the special, Gaffigan is working on a second book and starring in and co-creating a sitcom pilot for CBS that's in contention for the 2014-15 TV season after having been passed over last year.

Check out a preview [...]

Joe Mande Is Releasing a Standup Mixtape Later This Week

Standup and Parks and Rec writer Joe Mande is putting out his first comedy album this week. Called Bitchface, it's being released as a mixtape on Friday, March 7th, as the first comedy release from hip hop label Greedhead Music. Mande will also be doing a "mini world tour" at the end of the month to promote the album and a release party in LA next week. Mande, who has also written for Kroll Show, NTSF:SD:SUV, and Delocated, released his first standup special, a Comedy Central Half-Hour, in 2012.

Here's Greedhead founder Himanshu "Heems" Suri talking to Stereogum about the project:

Comics often do put out their standup [...]