Posts tagged as profiles

'The NY Times' Has an Excellent Jack Handey Profile Today

Longtime SNL writer Jack Handey, who's responsible for recurring sketches like "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer" and "Deep Thoughts," is the subject of an excellent, in-depth profile in The New York Times Magazine today. Titled "Jack Handey Is the Envy of Every Comedy Writer in America," it covers Handey's entire life and features quotes from Al Franken, George Meyer, Jim Downey, Ian Maxtone-Graham, and tons of other big-time comedy writers.

Mindy Kaling Is Ready for the Close-Up She's Writing for Herself

"Later, [Mindy Kaling will] do the scene with [Chris] Messina and all the white babies, followed by a scene where she finds out that her ex-boyfriend’s wife is pregnant, which will lead into the next day’s filming of a montage of her trying on wacky Halloween costumes like 'Tinker Bell Tailor Soldier Spy.' When she’s done with the day’s shooting, she heads back to the writers’ room to punch up lines. She’ll stay there until 3 a.m. 'I don’t understand how and when she sleeps,' says  [Ike] Barinholtz. 'There are nights where she’ll be taping until two in the morning and I’ll come in earlyish, and she’ll already have been there, [...]

Everyone Agrees that Steve Carell Is the Best

"I don't want to take up any more space than I'm given; I don't feel I'm entitled to any more than anyone else…If I'd had a great level of success early on, who knows how I would have responded. I might have been a complete jerk." – Steve Carell in a Hollywood Reporter profile on him and how he's seemingly the nicest, sweetest, most genuine comedian working.

Paul Simon Writes about Lorne Michaels Cracking Jokes to Dead Sharks

“I remember a summer Sunday walking along the beach in Sagaponack. Lorne was, again, telling me something about himself as we approached a group of Hamptonites standing in a semicircle. In their midst was a beached and apparently deceased shark. ‘Is it dead?,’ Lorne inquired. No one seemed to know or be willing to find out. To my surprise, Lorne broke the circle and, placing his mouth inches from the beady eyes, said to the shark, ‘A rabbi, a minister, and a priest walk into a bar … ‘ There was a moment of tense silence as Lorne finished the joke and waited for a reaction. Getting none, he stood [...]

The Business, History and Philosophy of Funny or Die

Did you know that Funny or Die is worth $300 million and that Michelle Obama watched "The Landlord"? All that and more can be found in this profile of the site from conception to the present. Read or die.

Master of Ceremonies: Ardie Fuqua's Rough Road Through Comedy

Ardie Fuqua is worried that he's been too funny. “I didn’t get too many laughs, did I?” he asks, sliding into a seat next to me in the back row.

He has just finished a 25-minute set at Caroline’s on Broadway, the argyle-patterned comedy club steps from Times Square, where he is opening Tracy Morgan’s lineup of Thanksgiving Weekend shows. The sound of applause is still ringing throughout the 300-seat club, and Ardie is visibly out of breath, his forehead drenched in sweat from the heat of the spotlights.

It’s easy to understand why overshadowing Tracy would not be on Ardie’s to do list. This is one of their [...]

Kevin Hart: Turning Personal Tragedy Into Comedy Superstardom

“'When you first hear it,' says Mr. Hart, a compact, energetic comedian, 'you’re like: "What? Your dad was on drugs? That’s crazy."' Still smiling, he adds: 'It’s not that bad. I’m going to tell you why.' Among the advantages to his father’s habit? 'There’s no such thing as a bad idea to a cokehead,' Mr. Hart explains. Among the downsides? When your dad shows up stoned to a spelling bee and roots for it like a sporting competition." — The New York Times profile of the soon to be world dominating Kevin Hart.

To Profile Charlie Sheen, 'Newsweek' Sent in a War Correspondent

Newsweek knew that they needed someone pretty tough to go profile Charlie Sheen, so they skipped the standard roster of entertainment reporters and went with someone who they knew could handle a disaster: Australian war reporter Michael Ware. And it sounds like he was the right man for the job: We break away and scamper up the carpeted steps, ostensibly to grab a suitably warm addition for my ill-prepared outfit, the same as I wore the day before and have evidently slept in. The movie star scoops up my jacket without breaking stride, and we slam to a halt in one of the domain’s smaller en suites. We [...]

Todd Barry, the "Laurence Olivier of Sarcastic Twerps"

This profile of Todd Barry is a master class in backhanded compliments. (He's funny, but not because of his material or delivery. I love this one joke of his – and it's not even that good!) But it also does an impressive job of labeling the slippery cadences and qualities of delivery that make Barry a great standup, and pointing out the similarity between standup comedy and music. Other than the main similarity that they get people laid a lot! (Except for comedy.)

Let's All Continue Pretending We're Best Friends With Mindy Kaling

This New York Times profile cements our already healthy admiration for Mindy Kaling. For one thing, she writes scripts while sitting at Johnny Rockets. A woman of the people! The article touches on her skill at navigating the "central contradiction of her career thus far, which is that she is a smart, ambitious woman who has excelled in the still-macho arena of comedy at the same time that she’s most widely recognized for playing the part of a materialistic, ditzy customer-service rep." And her new show for NBC might feature her as a gossipy OB/GYN based on her mom, which sounds kind of amazing.

That's a Thing: How Eugene Mirman Cut His Own Path in Comedy

Eugene Mirman's first hour-long Comedy Central special, Eugene Mirman: An Evening of Comedy In a Fake Underground Laboratory, will be arriving on your television sets this Friday at midnight. Who is Eugene Mirman and what does it take to put together an hour of broadcast-worthy standup? Earlier this year I decided to find out. So for a few months, beginning in March, I followed Mirman as he prepared for his special in venues around Brooklyn. I tracked down his life story as well, to get a picture of a comedian's career in progress. I started at Pretty Good Friends, Mirman's weekly show:

Journey Inside Adam Scott's Storage Unit

“What if we get there and it’s just filled with dead bodies?” asks Adam Scott of his New York profiler, Jada Yuan. Scott took Jada to his storage unit to find "one of [his] most prized possessions, a thank-you note from fucking Martin Scorsese.” Instead they find lyrics for "Ice Ice Baby" and old chubby photos and a masturbating Santa. Apparently, even while looking at pictures of himself shooting a gun on the set of Torque, he remains the best. Read the whole thing here.

Looking Back at the Life and Untimely Death of Patrice O'Neal

“When you question a lot, you are wrong a lot—so wrong—but he’d present the case like a champion,” says Keith Robinson, a comedian and former roommate. “I’m arguing, and at the same time thinking, How this dude is working this!” [Patrice] O’Neal was always maneuvering to make room for the man he was still discovering himself to be—a seeker with competing appetites and sorrows; a half-domesticated feminist ­super-misogynist; an iconoclastic black man who defended the freedom of white racists on Fox News; a brilliant 325-pound jock philosopher from the hood whose favorite books were Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Skinny Bitch: A No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop [...]

Who Is Matt Graham?

(To the tune of the theme from Shaft:) Who's the comedian Louis C.K. and Janeane Garofalo thought would be famous in Boston in the 80s? (Graham!) Yes, Matt Graham. Who is the man that's been paying his rent with Scrabble winnings? (Graham!) Who's the cat that played NCAA ball when he was 40 years old? (Graham!) He's a complicated man, but no one understands him but Marc Maron. (Matt Graham!) Okay, enough theme song. If you've never heard of Matt Graham, here's a fascinating short profile on the comedian, who Colin Quinn describes as being "like a high school Indiana point guard that drives you nuts, because [...]