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Posts tagged as interviews

John Mulaney on His New Fox Show, 'SNL,' and the Scars of Catholic Schooling

It's been nearly two years since news first broke that standup and former SNL writer John Mulaney landed his very own television show. Since then, Mulaney has evolved from a proposed NBC series to a highly anticipated Fox sitcom with the backing of executive producer Lorne Michaels and an all-star cast including Nasim Pedrad, Martin Short, and Elliott Gould. Ahead of Mulaney's series premiere this Sunday, I recently got the chance to talk with the man who co-created Stefon about how the pilot evolved from NBC to Fox, why he prefers the multi-cam sitcom format, and some of the misleading advice he took during [...]

The Enduring Legacy of Phil Hartman

As much as Phil Hartman's work and influence lives on, the Ontario native has so far escaped the kind of mainstream legacy re-appraisal that so many other late standups and sketch players have enjoyed.

You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman, which takes its name from the catchphrase of The Simpsons mainstay Troy McClure (voiced by Hartman), aims to right that. The long-overdue appreciation of Hartman's genius, which will be published tomorrow by St. Martin's Press, looks at the arc of his career — from his little-known stints as a rock 'n' roll roadie and album-cover designer to his comedy work with the Groundlings and beyond — as well as [...]

Getting Weird in Toronto with Tim Gilbert

Tim Gilbert has been a fixture on Toronto’s alternative comedy scene for almost a decade, and is one of the most consistently funny comedians in the city. He’s a member of Laugh Sabbath, a group that boasts alumni like Nathan Fielder. Tim released his first album, Please Help Me I Am Very Sick, as a pay-what-you-want download on Bandcamp. I spoke to him about the album, his wide range of work, and how his blend of horror and comedy has led him to wear a Crypt Keeper costume on stage.

Puck Magazine and the Birth of Modern Political Cartooning

In the late 19th Century, long before Mad Magazine and the Daily Show, there was Puck. The magazine helped to change the very nature of political cartooning, was at the forefront of printing technology and agitating for progressive causes during the Gilded Age — and is even credited with helping to put Grover Cleveland in the White House in the election of 1884! In their new book What Fools These Mortals Be: The Story of Puck, America’s First and Most Influential Magazine of Color Political Cartoons writers Michael Alexander Kahn and Richard West look at the history and the influence of the magazine. Richard West has written extensively about [...]

Taking Standup to Netflix with Jim Jefferies

"There's a formula in stand-up comedy: The more offensive the joke, the funnier it has to be. It's simple math." This is a formula that Jim Jefferies knows by heart. He has built his comedy career on straddling the fine line between offensive and insightful. His brand new stand-up special, Bare, just released on Netflix, shows the math at work. "The new special is probably the most confrontational special that I've ever brought out," says Jefferies, who phoned us from Los Angeles to discuss Bare, his creative process and which part of the world has best mastered the use of the "c-word."

Here we are at 1pm on a Wednesday. [...]

Chelsea Peretti on 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine,' Writing for 'SNL,' and Her New Netflix Special

As an early adopter and prolific user of Twitter, Emojis, Instagram, you name it, actress and standup comedian Chelsea Peretti is somewhat of an authority on all things social media.

So when she says it’s time to move away from our internet-obsessed culture and get back to the basics, we should probably listen.

This is just one of the topics Peretti will be exploring in her upcoming one-hour standup special, One of the Greats, which premieres in November on Netflix.

In the meantime, Peretti is back for another season playing self-absorbed office manager Gina on Fox’s breakout hit Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which debuts in a new timeslot this Sunday.

I recently [...]

Inside 'Marry Me,' 'Hotwives,' and 'Drunk History' with Tymberlee Hill

Having to transition from being an eccentric sitcom neighbor to a reality show housewife to any number of historical figures as filtered by intoxicated comedians would normally make for a serious case of mental whiplash, but it’s no issue for the incredibly talented and incredibly funny Tymberlee Hill. The Virginia Beach native began her career as a classically trained stage actress before making the completely accidental switch to comedy after her move to LA. A few chance performances at UCB have since led to roles as the insanely entrepreneurial Phe Phe on the Hulu exclusive The Hotwives of Orlando, as a frequent player on Comedy Central’s Drunk History, and as [...]

On the Road with Gary Gulman

Gary Gulman is on tour right now in support of his upcoming third standup special, It’s About Time. Like his jokes, the title has several layers and meanings. But you could add one more: it’s about time Gulman is recognized as one of the best standup comedians working today.

Now 20 years in, Gulman is one of the most consistent performers around in the vaunted New York comedy scene. He’s done specials for all the major comedy networks and is one of the few comedians who can boast of appearances on all seven late night talk shows. His joke writing is legendary, and he’s got an uncanny ability [...]

Throwing a House Party with Adam Devine

Part sitcom, part standup showcase, Adam Devine’s House Party might be difficult to describe, but it’s a fun hybrid.

Mensch that he is, Devine created the show in part to give the up-and-coming comedians who perform on it a chance to display their acting chops. The show features short written scenes interspersed between standup sets, and for many of performers Adam Devine's House Party is their television debut.

Season one was set in a gaudy Los Angeles mansion, but in Season two the party has moved down to New Orleans for even more debauchery.

I recently had the chance to talk to Devine about the upcoming season, his love of [...]

Plumbing Politics and the Crazy State of the World for Comedy with Andy Zaltzman

Andy Zaltzman is best known in the States as half of the excellent satirical podcast The Bugle, which he co-hosts with long-time collaborator John Oliver. A lover of all things satire, he's hosted his "Political Animal" show for years, and his new show, "Satirist for Hire", adds a twist to the format. For each show, audience members request topics for him to satirize with his sharp, pun-loving wit; topics range from war and government policy to sports and fashion trends. I caught up with him at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to talk about audience suggestions and why The Bugle will last forever.

You’ve been coming up to the Fringe for 15 years. What’s the [...]

Living the Standup Life with Sam Morril

Sam Morril is a great writer of jokes. His comedy often comes from a place of uncomfortable honesty.

"I look exactly like my biological father so I showed my friend a picture, and he said, 'wow, it's like you guys were separated at birth.' I said, 'we were.'"

"My girlfriend always got mad at me because of my ADD. She'd say, 'Sam, you suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder.' I'd say, 'if you see me suffering, why don't you tell shorter stories?'

Sam is currently working on his new album and will be touring a lot this fall — he's been on Conan, Adam Devine's House Party on Comedy Central, and [...]

Finding Business Lessons in the World of Improv

In his book Funny Business, Bill Connolly explores the connection between business and comedy. With interviews from Boston’s powerhouse standup Gary Gulman to the owners of Boston’s Improv Asylum, Connolly explores how his ten comedic principles, if applied, can better any boardroom or office.

For several years Connolly performed at the Improv Asylum in Boston and worked as a marketing analyst. He couldn’t deny the benefit his professional life received from his comedic one, and it inspired him to research the correlation.The result? His book and a new career.

Connolly currently travels for the ad agency iCrossing teaching improv to all its US employees. I caught up with him while [...]

Aziz Ansari on Selling Out Madison Square Garden and the Business Side of Comedy

Aziz Ansari might be a TV star on NBC's five-year favorite Parks and Recreation and soon-to-be published author, but performing live standup has always been his main love. Ansari recently finished up several dates on the Oddball tour and kicked off his own tour Aziz Ansari Live!, becoming only the seventh comedian to sell out New York City's Madison Square Garden in the process. I recently got the chance to talk with Ansari all about his new tour as well as what it feels like to sell out the Garden, how he's working to make buying tickets a stress-free experience, and what we can expect from [...]

Inside Rachel Bloom's Showtime Pilot 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

Rachel Bloom made her first big splash in 2010 with the hilarious short "Fuck Me Ray Bradbury," which was so successful that Rachel had the honor of being present for Bradbury's first time watching it. Since then, she's produced numerous other successful and equally hysterical shorts, released two albums (Please Love Me and Suck It, Christmas!!! A Chanukah Album), produced a short Disney musical parody, and written for and voiced characters on Robot Chicken.

Bloom, together with Aline Brosh McKenna, is now developing a musical television series for Showtime, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The show will follow Rebecca (played by Bloom), who leaves her job in a prestigious New [...]