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Posts tagged as oral histories

Updated Edition of 'Live from New York' Book Will Be Available This September

Since its publication in 2003, Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller's oral history book Live from New York has served as the quintessential SNL bible for fans and students of TV history alike, and according to Miller, the book is currently being updated to include all the post-2003 SNL history the original edition missed out on. To put it into perspective, Live from New York ends with the 2002-2003 cast when Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, and Will Forte were mere featured players — years before the explosion of The Lonely Island's viral-friendly Digital Shorts — so the updated book will include 11 more years of interviews, anecdotes, and [...]

"It Was a Fighter's Comedy Show": The Oral History of 'Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn'

2013 has brought an unprecedented wave of new late night shows. Most stick to the tried and true late night format of scripted segments and celebrity guests, or the faux news style of Comedy Central's late night lineup. But years before The Colbert Report became a staple of that network, another topical show occupied its coveted post-Daily Show spot. A mix of the roundtable debates of Politically Incorrect and the unpredictability of live standup, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn was possibly the purest form of comedy ever on television: a bunch of comedians in a room, having it out over politics, current events, and [...]

The Oral History of 'Freaks and Geeks' Is Wonderful

If you're reading this website, you probably don't need me to say much to convince you to go read Vanity Fair's amazing oral history of Freaks and Geeks. They even reunited the entire cast for a class photo! Seriously, set aside some time to read this one. It's worth it.

Heaven, or the Wet Hot American Summer Set?

Forget Party Down and Arrested Development. After reading this oral history of the making of Wet Hot American Summer, I am throwing all my support behind a Wet Hot American Sequel. If only for the opportunity to drive up to the camp where it's being filmed and participate in what sounds like the most fun couple weeks anyone has ever had anywhere. As Amy Poehler described it, "We were being given the chance to take one more shot at summer camp, only we were wiser, better drinkers, and more sexually experienced."

Only read this article if you have the time and emotional stability to get really jealous and [...]

Read an Oral History of The Kids in the Hall

“When the five of us are together, we become the Kids in the Hall. It becomes something that is apart from any one of us. That’s why we keep doing it. It’s fun and exciting when we’re together. It can also become pretty horrible and mean, but we end up laughing more together than we do at any other time in our lives."

-Dave Foley in Toronto newspaper Now's in-depth oral history of The Kids in the Hall. It's definitely worth reading, going into the group's early days playing for 15 people a week to their cult sketch show to their breakup while making the movie Brain Candy.

There's a New Oral History of the UCB Out Today in E-Book Form

Writer Brian Raftery has a new, exhaustive oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade that was just released today, exclusively through Barnes & Noble's Nook program. Chronicling the UCB's rise from a small theater in the mid-'90s to a bicoastal behemoth now, the e-book is an expanded version of the excellent oral history of the UCB Raftery put together for New York magazine two years ago featuring interviews with Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, Conan O'Brien, Ed Helms, Andy Richter, and many more. The e-book version, called High-Status Characters: How The Upright Citizens Brigade Stormed A City, Started A Scene, And Changed Comedy Forever, is [...]

Fun Thing to Buy of the Day: 'We Killed: The Rise Of Women In American Comedy'

You know that thing when people are all like, "Blah blah blah women aren't funny," and you're all like, "What!? Is that a thing people actually say?" and then you never speak to those people again? Yes, do know that thing because we're friends. As friends we should both read We Killed: The Rise Of Women In American Comedy. It's a new oral history about women in comedy by writer Yael Kohen. She spoke with many, many people, including: Ellen DeGeneres, Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Kudrow, Eugene Mirman, Mon'que, Aubrey Plaza, Sandra Bernhard, Maya Rudolph, Joan Rivers, David Cross, Phyllis Diller, Robin Williams, Kristen Wiig, Matt Besser, and more and [...]

Read an Oral History of LA's Wildly Influential Groundlings Theater

THR has a new oral history of The Groundlings Theater, the LA-based comedy institution where Phil Hartman, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, and also people not on SNL, like Paul Reubens, Lisa Kudrow, and Jim Rash, honed their chops before breaking into movies and TV. The piece contains the story of Reubens creating his character Pee-Wee Herman for a Groundlings workshop, a big fight between the creative heads of the theater, and a story about Lorne Michaels responding to a Groundling asking him how it feels to have Phil Hartman on SNL with, "I don't even have to go into work."

Read an Exhaustive Oral History of "Weird Twitter"

"I met a guy named @fart on the Internet and I let him into my apartment and it was actually really great."

-Comedian Jake Fogelnest to Buzzfeed in an exhaustive oral history of "Weird Twitter," a name given to a subset of Twitter comedians who specialize in absurdist humor. The article itself is a weirder read than even the weirdest tweet ever.

'Friends': the Oral History

Vanity Fair has an extensive oral history of Friends, in which they talk to the folks responsible for the show about its entire life. They didn't talk to the whole case — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry are absent — but it's a pretty fascinating look at one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. Here's Matt LeBlanc on developing Joey as a character: There was a conversation I had early on, when the show was just starting to take shape, and I remember standing back and being as objective as I could about Joey and thinking, This thing could go a long time. Does [...]