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The Year In Interviews

In 2013, we interviewed over 170 standups, writers, actors, directors, podcasters, and producers about their projects, how they got started in comedy, future plans, and whatever else is going on. Featuring people involved in SNLArrested Development, The Daily Show, The SimpsonsBob's Burgers, The Best Show on WFMU, The Eric Andre Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Community, The Office, The Chris Gethard Show, Key & Peele, and more, here’s a list of the funniest, most interesting, or most inspirational quotes from our interviews this year.

Eric Andre on doing The Eric Andre Show live: "We did the show at UCB, and they paired us up with some other show. The other show they [...]

The 36 Best Sketches of 2013

2013 was an excellent year for sketch comedy on both television and across the web. Online venues like Funny or Die, UCB Comedy, and Above Average delivered a constant stream of funny content while Key and Peele, Inside Amy Schumer, Kroll Show, Comedy Bang! Bang!, and The Birthday Boys showed Comedy Central and IFC stepping up their sketch comedy game as well. On top of all that, 38-year stalwart Saturday Night Live underwent one of its biggest cast transitions in years, resulting in a surprisingly varied sketch selection from both the outgoing veterans and new hires. So with that, here are 36 of our favorite sketches from the year [...]

Saturday Night's Children: 2013 In Review

This year turned out to be another round of 1980s domination for Saturday Night’s Children. While it’s been a low-key year for the column as far as SNL superstars go, we reached feature #100 with Eddie Murphy a few weeks ago and passed the 70% mark on cast members covered overall – 101 out of 137 and counting. In the continued spirit of underdogs and lower-key SNL names, my favorite two cast members to learn about this year were Gary Kroeger and Danitra Vance, two underappreciated 80s players whose stories are both enlightening and inspiring in vastly different ways. So with that, here’s a rundown of the Saturday Night’s [...]

Mean Jeans are the Best (and Funniest) Band of the Year

What happened in the last year of my life. I can't tell. Laughing at myself all I want in the middle of the night. Oh well.

- Mean Jeans, "Tears in My Beers" 2011

Before going on to lament about how good some BBQ sauce would be right about now, Mean Jeans' lead singer and guitarist, Billy Jeans, makes a pretty apt statement for how his band views themselves. Even the most sensitive and self-deprecating forms of rock music don't leave much room for self-parody. The undying need for musicians to make themselves look cool and/or sincere outweighs any semblance of laughter towards themselves. Turning yourself into the [...]

Big Wins, Empty Crowds, and (Obviously) Louis C.K.: The Best of Comedic Television in 2012

2012 was such a big year for comedy on television that it deserves more than a measly run down of the best episodes of the year. That is why you will find a whole bunch of awards below…as well as a top five list of the best episodes of the year. (Splitsider isn't behind in the episode ranking game; Splitsider is ahead of awards season.)

The Year in Comedy Podcasts

It's been a few years since the big comedy podcast boom of 2009/2010, but the medium is continuing to be popular. 2013 was a year that saw the number of new shows declining a bit as most comedians were already hosting shows at the top of the year, and it's also a year that saw some well-known podcasters (Marc Maron, Pete Holmes, Chris Hardwick, Nikki Glaser & Sara Schaefer) getting their own TV shows off their success in the medium, but the big story in the podcast world this year was host Tom Scharpling ending The Best Show on WFMU after 13 years (although it may continue in some form).

On top of [...]

A Comedy-Filled Year in TV

There's never been more comedy on TV than there was in 2013. With several channels amping up their comedy programming, an explosion of new shows in the late night world, and Netflix and Amazon rolling out their first batch of original content, countless TV comedies — both new and old — aired this year. Beloved series like 30 Rock, The Office, and Eastbound & Down ended their runs, while excellent new comedies like Nathan For You, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Birthday Boys have emerged as qualified heirs to the throne.

Let's take a look back at the TV comedy of 2013, including Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's stint as Golden Globes [...]

The Year in Comedy Movies: A Few High Points in an Otherwise Disappointing 2013

Let's just get this out of the way: 2013 was a crummy year for comedy films. A passing glance over the Golden Globe nominees for Best Comedy or the list of the year's ten highest grossing movies paints a familiar picture – audiences prefer action and violence over laughs, expensive special effects over punchlines, and when they are willing to pay for a funny movie, it's probably a computer animated one they can see with their kids. But looking at the success of Iron Man 3 – the year's biggest blockbuster that grossed over $400 million – it's arguable that while its big-budget superhero premise and impressive visual [...]

The Year in Comedy Podcasts

2012 saw the comedy podcast universe continue to expand, with new shows popping up from industry veterans, comedy neophytes, and everyone in between.  Dan Harmon launched Harmontown; Dana Gould kicked off The Dana Gould Hour; Earwolf debuted Brian Posehn's Nerd Poker, Jake Fogelnest's The Fogelnest Files, Adam McKay and Owen Burke's Funny Or Die-produced Owen & TJ Read the News, and a slew of non-comedy programs; Nerdist started up Jonah Raydio, Cashing In with T.J. Miller, and Mary Lynn Rajskub's Kickin' It Mary Lynn Style; and Maximum Fun snatched up Risk! and Throwing Shade in addition to launching the UK/US game show International Waters and turning The Sound of Young [...]

The Year in Comedy 2012: Young But Broken People Trying to Heal

Comedy has thankfully evolved from its universally beloved origins as Milton Berle one-liners and saucy harlequins. Broadly put, comedy at its best is a patient, pointed examination and calling out of the absurdity of human existence. Narrative comedy, from Shakespeare to M*A*S*H, takes that conceit and adds “making the best of it” to the mix.

As our social mores and collective existential despair change, so does the style of comedy we produce and consume. In the ‘80s, the Reagan-fronted superficiality and “America is perfect” attitude meant the dominant comedy of the day was gentle, listless sitcoms about upper class families. The Nietzschean depair of post-9/11 gave way to a [...]

10 Funny People We Lost in 2013

With another year past, the comedy industry was forced to say goodbye to many talented people. Most of us can only dream about accomplishing what the guys on this list have done, and they sure have done a lot. From writers to actors to writer-director-producer-actors on stage, TV, and film, here are 10 recently departed people who really knew how to make you laugh.

11 Uniquely Brilliant Standup Specials of 2013

As with most years, 2013 saw an overwhelming amount of excellent standup, far too much to ever catalogue. But the greatest specials of the year were unique and inventive; many played with the very idea of a special itself, while others featured profoundly personal stories spun into brilliant standup. What they share is their distinctness — each of these comics has made a special that captures their own undeniable form of genius. Here are the most distinctive, memorable standup specials of 2013.

The Year in Comedy Movies

A year ago, we reflected on a raunchy, female-dominated, fairly diverse year in comedy and concluded that 2012 would likely bring a similarly strong crop of films. Coming out of 2011’s Bridesmaids-induced box office boost, 2012 promised eagerly awaited new works from Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Woody Allen; plenty of reboots and sequels (The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, The Amazing Spider Man, MIB3, 21 Jump Street); an end to Twilight; and the birth of The Hunger Games and The Hobbit.  Among all the action, young adult, and animated films rolling out each week, comedy fans didn’t have quite as many premieres to look forward [...]

A Year of Lost Roles: Looking Back at 12 Awesome, Weird, and Terrible Movies and Shows that Never Happened

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring “what might have been” in movie and TV comedy, as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn’t get, and the projects that fell apart altogether. To close out 2012, we've put together a list of 12 of the most interesting movies, shows, or alternate casting choices that almost happened but didn't – some good, some bad, some just super weird. Read on for the best abandoned projects we've covered in 2012, including an SNL reality show in which comedians would have competed to be cast members on the [...]