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Posts tagged as interviews

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 Nate Bargatze About Standup and Developing an NBC Sitcom with Jimmy Fallon

If you need any validation that Nate Bargatze is a great young comic, just know that notorious crank Marc Maron is one of his biggest fans. And Maron doesn’t like anybody.

Bargazte is a rising star in the standup world known for his clever personal anecdotes and laid-back Southern charm. He’s made multiple late night TV appearances, toured with Jimmy Fallon and others as part of Fallon’s Clean Cut Comedy Tour, and recently sold NBC a pilot based on his act.

I recently had the chance to chat with the Tennessee native about his start in comedy, his relationship with Maron, and the process behind selling [...]

Talking to 'Girls' Co-Showrunner Jenni Konner About Season 3

Serving as an executive producer, writer, and Lena Dunham's co-showrunner, Jenni Konner has been with HBO's Girls since the beginning, playing an integral role in the series. Konner started her career as a writer on Girls EP Judd Apatow's Fox sitcom Undeclared and created a couple short-lived network shows of her own before she started working as a script doctor in the movie world and eventually transitioned back to Girls when it was brand new. Now in its third season, Girls is still full of the same honesty we’ve seen in the past. Before this season's premiere even aired, HBO ordered a fourth season and their faith in the show is completely [...]

Talking to Wayne White About Cartooning, 'Pee-wee's Playhouse,' and Humor's Role in the Art World

Prior to the release of the 2012 documentary Beauty Is Embarrassing, artist Wayne White's work had much more mainstream recognition than his name. A comedian of the art world and vice versa, White's storied career has consistently eluded a singular identity; he's made cartoons for The New York Times and The Village Voice, both acted in and fabricated puppets and sets for Pee-wee's Playhouse, worked on a handful of children's television series, made music videos and commercials, and created the world's largest country star George Jones head. It wasn't until White debuted his trademark "word paintings" inspired by both his Chattanooga upbringing and lifelong [...]

Talking to Hayes Davenport and Sean Clements About Their Podcast 'Hollywood Handbook'

Chances are if you’ve ever admired a television program or were moved to tears by a film, you’ve appreciated the virtuosity of Hollywood A-list it-boys Hayes Davenport and Sean Clements. Last October, the two entertainment prodigies decided to unlock the golden gates of Hollywood to John and Jane Q Public, and reveal their previously confidential industry expertise by launching Hollywood Handbook, a podcast on the Earwolf Network that aims to help listeners achieve their showbiz dreams. In three short months, Hollywood Handbook ascended from the new podcast on the block to weekly must-listen status with its endearing mix of subtle charm and subversive comedy. After exchanging countless emails [...]

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 New 'Daily Show' Head Writer Elliott Kalan

Over the last decade, comedy writer Elliott Kalan has risen up the Daily Show ranks, starting as an intern before becoming a production assistant then a segment producer then a writer until, last month, being made the show's head writer. Kalan took over for Tim Carvell, who left to be the showrunner for John Oliver's new HBO show, Last Week Tonight. I recently had the chance to talk to Kalan about what the new job entails, how The Daily Show's writers' room works, and doing standup.

Inside 'The Thrilling Adventure Hour' Podcast with Ben Acker and Ben Blacker

The LA-based monthly short-form comedy and variety show The Thrilling Adventure Hour is entering its ninth year in March, and as a self-proclaimed “new-time podcast in the style of old-time radio,” the show is ever-gaining in popularity and expanding into media beyond its live show roots. Last fall, creators Ben Acker and Ben Blacker released a graphic novel adaptation of the show, bringing their idiosyncratic sensibility that regularly mixes vaudeville humor, the tropes of old genre serials, arch wordplay, and catchphrase humor all wrapped in good-natured whimsy to the page and realizing characters like Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars and the time-traveling, Nazi butt-kicking Amelia Earhart in a [...]

Talking to Colin Quinn About Standup, Twitter Hate, and 'Girls' Season 3

SNL veteran Colin Quinn, who sarcastically hails himself as “one of the great writers in the entertainment industry,” will host the 66th annual Writers Guild Awards in New York Saturday. Quinn is currently touring his one-man show Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional (nicknamed “The Toosh”) and appearing on Girls as Alex Karpovsky’s bespectacled, coffee-shop-owning mentor. He’s also working with old friends Jim Norton, Nick DiPaolo and Tom Papa on a very meta Jerry Seinfeld-produced cop show about making a cop show. It’s called Cop Show.

I recently had a chance to talk to Quinn about his thoughts on the New York standup scene, the sheer vitriol he faces [...]

Talking to Matt Piedmont About 'The Spoils of Babylon' and 'Saturday Night Live'

What began as a joke Matt Piedmont thought of in a bookstore became the IFC miniseries The Spoils of Babylon, which he co-created and co-wrote with Andrew Steele. Inspired by the epic miniseries of the ‘80s, Spoils has an equally epic cast to match, with Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Tobey Maguire, Val Kilmer, Haley Joel Osment, and a Carey Mulligan-voiced-mannequin. I recently got the chance to talk to Piedmont about his inspiration for The Spoils of Babylon, directing material he wrote, and writing for Saturday Night Live.

Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen Talk All Things 'Late Night'

Late Night successor Seth Meyers is on the cover of this month's issue of The Hollywood Reporter, which includes a lengthy interview with the former longtime Weekend Update anchor and SNL head writer about his journey to the late night throne. It's full of SNL anecdotes from Meyers and his collaborators and also has a nice glimpse into his first few years as a cast member back before he found his footing:

He joined the cast in 2001, the same year Amy Poehler did, but it would take him a few seasons to get comfortable. "I had so much self-doubt about my role on the show," he says, [...]

Watch an Hour-Long Interview with Bill Murray

If you like Bill Murray then you'll love his recent interview with PBS's Charlie Rose, which is an hour long and spans subjects like Monuments Men, science, living in South Carolina, his inability to quit acting, Lost In Translation, his never-heard Oscars acceptance speech, and some very candid views on life, including the great piece of advice to, as Murray puts it, say yes to life and be alert and available: "We're living this life, we're in this life, and if you're not available, ordinary time goes past and you didn't live it — the day passes and you didn't live it. But if you're available then life becomes [...]

Lorne Michaels Gives Post-'SNL' Career Advice to 'New York' Magazine

"The advice I give most often is, build a bridge to the next thing. When it’s solid enough, walk across it. Don’t go because somebody promised you this or somebody promised you that. You’re a star on SNL. That does not automatically mean you’ll be a star in everything else you touch."

- Lorne Michaels in a new interview with New York magazine about SNL, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon's upcoming late night turns, and how comedy has evolved over his 40+ year career.

Talking to Beth Stelling About Gender in the Standup World and Getting Her Start in Comedy

Beth Stelling has been making people laugh professionally for almost seven years with her signature quirky, laid-back style. Having moved from Chicago to LA a few years ago, Stelling has since appeared on Conan, @midnight, and all over the LA standup scene. She released her debut album, Sweet Beth, in the fall of 2012 via Rooftop Comedy. I recently caught up with Beth Stelling to discuss her first open mic, the advantages and disadvantages of being a female in the standup world, and the highs and lows of comedy.