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Posts tagged as interviews

Indie Rock and Standup in Portland with The Thermals' Hutch Harris

Musicians are often thought of as self-serious crybabies, holding their craft to the highest imaginable standards and scoffing at anything that resembles fun. Often, that's not the case, however, as many musicians moonlight with comedic output, and vice versa. From follow-worthy Twitter accounts to viral videos and other projects, we're here to point out some of the most interesting crossovers between the worlds of music and comedy.

With 13 years of experience and six albums for labels like Sub Pop, Kill Rock Stars and Saddle Creek, there's no denying that The Thermals are an established indie rock institution. The Portland trio's blistering, punk-inflected musicianship and politically charged lyrics have made [...]

Staying Busy with 'Broad City's Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson

It's been a little over a year since Broad City premiered on Comedy Central, and since then stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson have been working nonstop. A lot has happened in the past year including a live tour and production on their second 10-episode season, and with with a season 3 already in the works, at least we have one Comedy Central gem that has no intention of going away anytime soon. I recently spoke with Glazer and Jacobson about what they learned from making season 1, how their show came to such a deft balance of New York City reality and absurdity, and their thoughts on [...]

Brett Davis on Taking Over for 'The Chris Gethard Show'

Comedian Brett Davis has been making name for himself — well, several names for himself. Known to many as Smith, rival public access host to Chris on The Chris Gethard Show, Brett and his many alter egos have a reputation for delivering some of New York's most unpredictable comedy. From professional wrestlers to Dracula, and college professors to hacky standups, Brett is building worlds that Marvel comics would be jealous of.

Having spent the last few years producing, writing, and starring in live comedy shows throughout New York City, Brett is bringing his characters to MNN public access as the successor to The Chris Gethard Show. Taking Gethard's former time [...]

Margaret Cho and the Practice of Turning Pain Into Comedy

An obvious product of the exuberant and diverse culture of San Francisco, comedian Margaret Cho has always provoked thoughts and laughter through her exploration of her own racial and sexual identity. It’s admirable, if sometimes a detriment, as people tend to label comics by their demographics. This became a problem for a few people who saw a certain Golden Globes skit. Because a small group of nay-sayers happen to have access to the internet, there were complaints against a Korean’s imitation of their own heritage.

But the reduction of a comic’s entire history to a single skit is as irresponsible as calling self-deprecation an act of racism. With Cho, we [...]

David Cross on Kickstarter, Millennials, and His Directorial Debut 'Hits'

2015 is off to a great start for David Cross. Not long after launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund distribution costs for his new film Hits, the project met its $100,000 goal with eight days to spare, ensuring that the film will premiere in at least 35 markets across the US next month. Written and directed by Cross, Hits debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last year and marks a big push for Cross not just into filmmaking but finding new ways to get low-budget indie films into actual theaters in small towns across the country, rather than just a VOD and limited theatrical release. While Hits has [...]

Inside 'The Jack and Triumph Show' with Jack McBrayer

Playing the lovable but slightly creepy Kenneth the Page on NBC's 30 Rock from 2006-2013 brought Jack McBrayer to fame, but he's delivered that trademark sunny Georgian charm to tons of onscreen roles and television appearances. McBrayer has long served as a reliable supporting player on both the improv stage and television screen, but tonight he's the star alongside a brash plastic dog puppet with a flair for pop culture-grounded insults. The Jack and Triumph Show, a brand new Adult Swim series from the minds of Robert Smigel and Michael Koman, boasts perhaps the ultimate yin-yang comedy pair: Smigel's poop-obsessed Rottweiler Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is the perfect [...]

Wrestling, Weed, and Comedy with the Lucas Brothers

In a Venn diagram where one circle is weed and one is wrestling, at the intersection you’ll find Keith and Kenny Lucas.

The identical twin standup comedians are passionate about both, which is apparent if you’ve spent any time watching their funny and surreal animated show, Lucas Bros. Moving Co., now in its second season on FXX.

The Lucas Brothers also star in the sketch show Friends of the People on TruTV, and are developing a live-action autobiographical show for Fox. They are about as busy as stoner, wrestling nerds can be.

I recently had the chance to talk to the Lucas Brothers about their shows, wrestling, and why 90s [...]

Vampires, Gangs, and Avian Puns with Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi

Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords fame) and Taika Waititi (director of Eagle vs Shark and Boy) have been friends since their college days. Despite initial reservations toward one another, the two became great friends through performing and continued together down the creative path. In 2005, they hatched the idea for a short about a group of vampires who share a house in Wellington, New Zealand. After filming the initial short, they spent the next eight years fleshing out the plot and the script in order to create the new and hilarious What We Do in the Shadows, slated for release this Friday in US theaters.

The film [...]

Making the Audience See Through Your Eyes with Matt Braunger

At 40, Matt Braunger has found the comedic balance of youth and wisdom. In his newest hour special, Big Dumb Animal, he jokes about trying to keep up with his younger friends’ partying habits and Jagerbombs, but it’s also his most personal work yet. Big Dumb Animal follows Matt’s debut album Soak Up the Night in 2009 and his first hour special Shovel Fighter in 2012. It premieres on Comedy Central Feb. 6, this Friday, at midnight. And don’t let the title fool you: despite his stature, Matt is full of insightful musings, both in his new special and in conversation.

When we talked, Matt shared his advice for young comedians [...]

Fred Armisen on the Evolution of 'Portlandia,' 'SNL,' and American Accents

Portlandia's fifth season premiered on IFC earlier this month, and for longtime fans of the show, the newest crop of episodes have been the perfect culmination of four years' worth of exploring the many characters, small businesses, and human idiosyncracies in the magical world of Portland. But Portlandia isn't the only thing that's evolved and changed over the past few years — co-creator and star Fred Armisen has moved from his SNL roots to be the new Late Night band leader and has a brand new IFC show set to debut later this year, so it looks like 2015 will be another busy year for one [...]

Meditating with Rob Corddry

Actor, writer, producer, Daily Show correspondent — when I think of Rob Corddry I think talented and hilarious, but quite frankly a little jerk-ish. He tends to play the rougher, sarcastic, to put it in his words, asshole. I’ve learned not to judge someone based on the roles they play. Yet I was still didn’t expect Rob to be so nice, nor to learn the secrets of life and how to meditate from him. (Yeah, you read that right.) Yet, our conversation about his new movie Hot Tub Time Machine 2 took us down that road and somehow I came out of it a little more enlightened.

The End, and Beginning, of 'Jake and Amir'

About eight years ago, two boys with a dream and some spare time after work started making short, funny web videos. Those boys were Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld and their little web series, Jake and Amir, grew to become one of CollegeHumor's longest running series, amassing more than half a billion views over some 750 episodes. This week marks the first of the final eight Jake and Amir episodes. I talked to the duo about the evolution of the series, the final countdown, a possible TV series and their plans for the future.

Looking back over the life of the series, what are some of the benchmarks where [...]

Expose Yourself to the Dark Side of Life with Brett Gelman

From early in his life Brett Gelman knew he wanted to be a comedian. Heavily influenced by the Marx Brothers and Mel Brooks, Gelman worked his way up the comedy hierarchy – performing regularly at UCB and eventually landing recurring roles on shows including Married (FX) and Eagleheart (Adult Swim). Gelman has appeared in The Other Guys and 30 Minutes or Less and hosts his own podcast, Gelmania.

Gelman’s humor often blends insanity, confusion, and occasionally a psychological reflection of self, which, when combined with the former creates an eccentric elixir of comedy. I spoke with Gelman about Joan Rivers, frightening numbers, and his Late Night-themed Bar Mitzvah. His new [...]

Inside the Boom and Bust Cycle of Standup Comedy with Jordan Brady

Jordan Brady’s love of comedy has carried him through two great comedy “booms” and “busts” over the past 30 years. Although he was a highly active comic during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Brady’s interests turned towards directing and producing. His experience in comedy and love for the art of stand-up led him to make I Am Comic in 2010, which presents deeply personal and insightful interviews with comedians such as Louis C.K., Phyllis Diller, Jim Gaffigan, Janeane Garofalo, Sarah Silverman, and Dave Attell.

More recently, in 2014, Brady released I Am Road Comic, which focuses more specifically on the unique issues that face comedians [...]