Modern standup has been around in one form or another since vaudeville, but it’s only been since the late ‘70s that the standup special has gained traction as the crowning achievement of a successful comic. Fortunately, the beginnings of the standup special were as fertile as rock ‘n’ roll’s birth 25 years prior, with many of the all-time greats setting templates right from the start.
The material always comes first, of course, but as a video document of a honed act it’s also important to appreciate the visual elements — the framing, editing, and backdrop — and how they enhance or detract from the pacing and quality of the jokes. [...]
Before we start, let me say that I know there are many that will take issue with Janeane Garofalo’s inclusion in this series and understandably so. She is, after all, one of the architects of the so-called “alternative comedy” movement and despite a lower profile compared to her 1990s heyday, still commands quite a bit of respect from the comedy community and continues to perform throughout the country as well as appear in film and television.
However, there are those within the comedy community who, to this day, take issue with Garofalo’s reliance on notes on stage, not to mention the many people who abandoned her idiosyncratic style of [...]
The cast and crew of The Ben Stiller Show reunited at The Paley Center in New York this weekend, celebrating the short-lived but influential Fox series' 20 year anniversary. The panel included co-creators Ben Stiller and Judd Apatow, cast members Andy Dick and Janeane Garofalo, and writers Rob Cohen and Jeff Kahn, with cast member/writer Bob Odenkirk appearing via Skype. The Comic's Comic reports that Garofalo and Cohen announced the annulment of their fake marriage at the panel. The two, who were dating at the time, married each other at a Las Vegas drive-thru wedding chapel as a gag 20 years ago and recently got it annulled so [...]
“Teen-agers, bohos, camp culturati, photographers – they have won by default, because, after all, they do create styles.” — Tom Wolfe
One of the blazing revelations I’ve had over the last few whirligig weeks of reading about, seeking out and conversing with the progenitors of our favorite old Nickelodeon shows is that, for the most part, this was a bunch of ragtag art kids in their twenties and thirties who — in lieu of heading to the West Coast to fuse a punk-rock ethos to mainstream accessibility in music — brought the “alternative” sensibility to an even more unlikely place than the radio: shows for kids (and, when they [...]
It's new show season! That special time of year when dozens of hopeful comedies are plucked from the minds of their creators like flowers, ready to be arranged in the elegant glass vase of the fall TV lineup – some to flourish, but many to quickly die (cancellation) or wilt (be pushed to midseason to make room for new X-Factor episodes). So let's celebrate them while we can! Can you guess which of the following new shows is real?
A) Janeane Garofalo stars as a cynical police officer whose life is turned upside-down when she's assigned a new partner, hippie bongo player Zac Efron, in Life On Our Beat. [...]