British comedian Simon Amstell’s career is deeply rooted in his own anxiety and awkwarndess. His pensive, neurotic nature was explored in his 2010 stand-up special Do Nothing, where he opened with the line, “I’m quite lonely, let’s start with that.” He recently finished starring in the second season of the BBC sitcom he co-created, Grandma’s House, in which he played a pensive, neurotic comedian named Simon Amstell who is searching for greater meaning in his life.
He’s brought his new show Numb to New York for a five-week residency at Theatre 80. I caught up with him recently to discuss shameful honesty, being the new guy, and [...]
The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 120,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)
Hey, do you know The Goon Show? It was a radio show that aired on the BBC in the fifties that was written chiefly [...]
Beloved web series Ronna & Beverly didn't get picked up after its 2008 pilot in the US, but Sky Atlantic HD in the UK has ordered six episodes of the mock talk show, with Paul Feig producing. Guess the British did a better job of appreciating Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo's characters. “British audiences responded to these overbearing American characters, and the show is Ab Fab meets everyone’s obnoxious parents who ask horrifying questions,” said Feig. Fingers crossed for your return to the US, Ronna and Bev, but until then, cheerio, have fun driving on the left side of the road, and don't fall down the apples [...]
The Secret Policeman’s Ball, the legendary British charity event benefitting Amnesty International, is taking up residence at Radio City Music Hall on March 4. It’s scheduled to feature a smorgasbord of American and British comedians, including Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Russell Brand, Reggie Watts, Sarah Silverman, Kristen Wiig, Peter Serafinowicz, and Noel Fielding. The New York Times reported this morning that the show will air on the cable channel Epix and stream online at EpixHD.com.
The Secret Policeman’s shows date back to 1975, a time before Live Aid or Comic Relief when the idea of a celebrity benefit gala was still a bit novel. Amnesty International was a fledgling [...]
“I could get tables at a moments notice. I was stopped on the street by people telling me how ‘unbelievable’ my show was. I was hot and it felt goooooooood. And then, live on the air in the sixth and final episode of my chat show, I shot a man through the heart with a gun.” — From Chapter 13, “Lift Off, Show-Wise”, of I, Partridge
Upon finishing I, Partridge on January 3rd I made the somewhat rash declaration that it would be the best book that I will read in 2012. I suspect that devoted Steve Coogan/Alan Partridge fans that get their hands on this endlessly quotable [...]