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. [...]
This week Chris Pratt takes to the late night circuit to promote Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens on Friday — he'll be appearing on both The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Seth Meyers. Comedians Josh Wolf and Ron Funches, who frequent the Round Table on Chelsea Lately, will also be on late night this week. Other comedians to watch this week on late night include Scott Aukerman, Mike Birbiglia, Michelle Wolf, Aubrey Plaza, Paula Pell, Dana Carvey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Martin Lawrence.
Check out the week’s full comedy listings below:
As with most years, 2013 saw an overwhelming amount of excellent standup, far too much to ever catalogue. But the greatest specials of the year were unique and inventive; many played with the very idea of a special itself, while others featured profoundly personal stories spun into brilliant standup. What they share is their distinctness — each of these comics has made a special that captures their own undeniable form of genius. Here are the most distinctive, memorable standup specials of 2013.
After 13 years in comedy, Mike Birbiglia has reached his ultimate goal. This coming Sunday, he'll culminate his 70-city tour of My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend on the apotheosized stage of Carnegie Hall. His story goes that shortly after moving to New York City in 2000, he saw Jon Stewart play the venue, laughed his ass off, and decided that he would be on that stage some day too. Now after countless ups and downs in his life and thousands of comedy shows under his belt, Birbiglia has made it to one of the most highly regarded theaters in the world. I caught up with Mike to hear about why he’s [...]
Mike Birbiglia went on Jimmy Fallon last night and told this story about meeting Boy George and getting goaded into doing a joke about Boy George for Boy George, who was pretty supportive and nice despite it not being a great joke.