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Posts tagged as interviews

Talking to Jillian Bell and Charlotte Newhouse About Their Comedy Central Web Series 'Idiotsitter'

Jillian Bell and Charlotte Newhouse’s Comedy Central web series Idiotsitter wraps up this week, with the series possibly seeing its odd couple of Gene, a super rich, under-house-arrest woman-child, and Billie, her uptight GED tutor, becoming friends, celebrating Gene getting her ankle monitor off, or burning down Gene’s mansion. The web series showcases Bell and Newhouse’s talents as writers and performers, adding to the two Groundlings’ growing credits. Bell and Newhouse sold a pitch of an arranged marriage comedy last year to MGM, and Bell has popped up in several high-profile comedies like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bridesmaids, as well as in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master (apparently he’s [...]

Talking to Morgan Murphy About Her New Standup Special, '2 Broke Girls', and Her Beginnings in Comedy

It’s easy to be funny in private. Standup, however, is an entirely different thing. After watching Morgan Murphy effortlessly kill at a packed room at Laugh Factory, it became clear to me why she has been responsible (at least partially) for so much TV comedy. Murphy currently writes and produces the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls. Before that, she wrote for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (where she was part of the original writing staff), and Crank Yankers and consulted on Human Giant. After over a decade in comedy, Murphy released her first standup special, Irish Goodbye, earlier this year, and I recently chatted with her about [...]

Talking with Jackie Kashian About the Comedy Renaissance, Being a Dork, and Her New Standup Special

Comedian Jackie Kashian is a little bit of everything in This Will Make an Excellent Horcrux, her hour standup special now out through Al Madrigal and Bill Burr's All Things Comedy. It's Kashian's first and chronicles everything from being a tough but terrified standup in Iraq to a book nerd with a love for grammar jokes and literary references to a video game designer's wife to a comedian who has worked the road for nearly 20 years. She's also fronted the best dork-centric podcast for eight years, opened many times for her friend Maria Bamford, and appeared on Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, and [...]

Talking to 'The Onion's New Editor, Cole Bolton

It’s a story as old as time itself: man dislikes his job, decides to pursue a career in comedy, sends a bunch of unsolicited work into The Onion, and eventually becomes editor of the world’s most popular satirical news site. Well, maybe it’s not that conventional, but it is the general career outline of newly-appointed Onion editor Cole Bolton. A former associate economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and research associate at Harvard Business School, Bolton’s comedy experience was practically nonexistent before he joined The Onion as a contributing writer in 2006. But despite never once being a member of a college improv troupe, Bolton’s passion and [...]

Talking to Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter About Their Podcast 'Topics' and Other Stuff

In the increasingly competitive world of comedic podcasting, earning the title of "must-listen" can be quite challenging. With an abundance of engaging options available to occupy your 9-5, a discerning ear is essential to remain up-to-date on the very best in audio entertainment. Earwolf, arguably the industry’s leading tastemaker in comedy podcasts, recently added the sophisticated humor of frequent collaborators Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter to their all-star roster by agreeing to host their previously independent podcast, Topics. A comedy podcast set in the non-traditional world of intellectual debate, Topics eschews a number of traditional podcasting norms to create a droll, uniquely entertaining experience certainly worthy of [...]

Talking to Todd Barry About His New 'Crowd Work' Special

Todd Barry has a new crowd work standup special coming out on Louis C.K.’s website.

That’s the narrative we’ll be hearing over the next few weeks. Louie and Todd are friends, Louie thinks Todd is funny and offered to produce his special, Louie holds a lot of sway in the comedy world.

Just keep in mind Barry’s special isn’t some run-of-the-mill comedy special C.K. is producing as a favor.

A standup special consisting entirely of audience interactions hasn’t been done before, and Barry is definitely a master of the skill. This is going to be worth checking out.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Barry briefly about [...]

Talking to Hari Kondabolu About His New Album and the Impact of 'Totally Biased'

Hari Kondabolu was not really supposed to become a professional standup. The otherworldly circumstances that brought him from a career as an immigrant rights organizer to the present-day release of his first album, Waiting for 2042 (named for the alleged year in which white Americans will be in the statistical minority), could have easily taken him on another professional trajectory.

This path is probably part of why he is extremely humble. Despite an extremely productive career that included regional fame in the Seattle comedy world, a writing and presenting slot on FX’s now-defunct Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, a well-regarded podcast and live show with his brother [...]

Talking to Joe Mande About His Standup Mixtape, Writing for 'Parks and Rec', and Buying a Million Twitter Followers

Joe Mande always seems one step ahead.

Whether it’s his Twitter stunts, multimedia shows, or stories about attending a live taping of The Mike Huckabee Show really high, the LA-based comedian and writer has a knack for getting out in front of trends.

It makes sense then that Mande’s latest project is a comedy mixtape he’s releasing in place of a traditional album, complete with DJ drops, comedy sketches, and cameos from Amy Poehler, A$AP Yams, Nick Kroll, Jenny Slate, Jon Daly, Roy Hibbert, and more. The mixtape, which drops today, is called Bitchface and it's being released on former Das Racist frontman Heem’s record [...]

Watch a Two-Hour Interview with Michael Showalter

Michael Showalter has been part of a lot of great comedy things, from The State and Stella to Wet Hot American Summer and most recently They Came Together starring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd. Recently Showalter sat down for a long meandering talk on The Kevin Pollak Chat Show that covers everything from his favorite Olympics sports to getting his start as an intern on The Ha! Channel before it was called Comedy Central to his love for, and expertise on, all things cats.

When Edward R. Murrow Visited Sid Caesar's Place

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 150,000 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.)

Last week, as I'm sure you're already well aware, we lost one of the greats. Sid Caesar passed away at the age of 91. [...]

Talking to 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Co-Creator Dan Goor

Network TV's best new sitcom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, sure has had a successful first season. In its inaugural year, Brooklyn won two Golden Globes, received an early renewal for a second season, and got to air an episode in the coveted post-Super Bowl slot.

I recently chatted with Brooklyn Nine-Nine's co-creator and showrunner, Dan Goor, who got his start working on The Daily Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien before becoming one of Parks and Recreation's key writers and eventually co-creating Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Parks mastermind Mike Schur. Goor and I discussed the future of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, what makes a good sitcom pilot, and having your [...]

Paul Feig on Producing the 'Peanuts' Movie: "It's My 'Star Wars'"

"This one is really exciting for me. I like to say it’s my Star Wars. To get the opportunity to help guide that along is really a thrill … Charles Schulz’s son and grandson and writing partner are writing the script so we’re being very slavish to the original material. I’m of the mind that we don’t need to modernize these characters. I liked what these characters represented and the tone of what they had … We are finding ways to bring in modern technology too, but in a way that doesn’t break the purity of it."

- Paul Feig on producing the upcoming animated Peanuts movie in an [...]

Talking to Andy Daly About ‘Review’, ‘The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project’, and His Many Characters

Comedy Central’s Review, a new show for which TV reviewers must already have their puns locked and loaded, premieres tonight. Based on the Australian cult hit Review with Myles Barlow, it stars Andy Daly (who also created the show) as Forrest MacNeil, a straight-laced, intellectual “life critic” who wholeheartedly commits to reviewing firsthand experiences — including drug addiction, racism and sex with a celebrity — and weathers through the resulting chaos. Review also stars Jessica St. Clair, Fred Willard and James Urbaniak, and features such five-star guests as Jason Mantzoukas, Maria Thayer, Lance Bass and Andy Richter.

I recently had a chance to ask [...]

Talking to 'Daily Show' Correspondent Jessica Williams

In only a couple of years, Jessica Williams has become a vital member of one the most influential comedy shows on television. She joined The Daily Show in 2012 at the age of 22, making her the show's youngest correspondent ever. Since then, she's become an integral part of the Daily Show team, often reporting as the show's "Senior Youth Correspondent." I got the chance to talk to her about leaving college to join the show and the scariest part of her job.

You were so young when you started at The Daily Show. Did you have any background in political comedy or satire?

I didn’t have a lot [...]