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Posts tagged as sketch comedy

Sketch Anatomy: Lucia Aniello Goes Behind the Scenes of Above Average's "Ghost Tits"

Welcome to our column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite comedy writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.

For this week's installment of Sketch Anatomy we spoke UCB performer and Broad City writer/director Lucia Aniello for a behind-the-scenes look at her sketch "Ghost Tits." Starring Olivia Munn and Aniello's sketch comedy partner Paul W. Downs, "Ghost Tits" premiered on Above Average back in 2012 and currently has over six million views on YouTube. [...]

Sketch Anatomy: Adam Conover on "Why Engagement Rings Are a Scam"

Welcome to our column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite comedy writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.

For this week's installment of Sketch Anatomy, we spoke with CollegeHumor writer/performer Adam Conover about his video "Why Engagement Rings Are a Scam." CollegeHumor released "Engagement Rings" at the perfect time on Valentine's Day earlier this year, and its instant and overwhelming success (the video is currently creeping toward five million views on YouTube) led to [...]

Sketch Anatomy: Phil Augusta Jackson Breaks Down 'Key and Peele's "Alien Imposters"

Welcome to our column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite television writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.

For this week's installment of Sketch Anatomy we spoke with UCB grad and The Chris Gethard Show's resident poet Phil Augusta Jackson, who was recently hired as a writer on Comedy Central's Key and Peele and also joined the writing staff of NBC's upcoming comedy Mission Control. Jackson took us behind the scenes of his very first [...]

What's So Special About 'The Richard Pryor Special'?

There's a famous story about The Richard Pryor Show — as Richard Pryor's star was rising in Hollywood in the 1970s, NBC commissioned the man to make a 10-episode sketch program to be broadcast in prime time. Family-friendly viewing not being Pryor's first priority, he clashed with the censors again and again until finally they let him off with only four episodes. These four episodes are still credited with an enormous influence over the genre of TV sketch comedy — directly cited by future blockbusters such as In Living Color and Chapelle's Show — and launching the careers of several performers, including the late Robin Williams in one of his [...]

Read an Oral History of the Sketch Group Murderfist

"We all went to college at Florida State University together. Well, some of us went to the community college, some lied about going to school at all, and one was our weed dealer."

-Henry Zebrowski in Paste magazines's oral history of the NYC-based sketch group Murderfist.

Bob Odenkirk on Being an Amateur Standup and the Inevitable Decline of Improv

Bob Odenkirk may be busier than ever, starring in the upcoming Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, but that doesn't mean he's put comedy on the back burner. If anything, he's amped up his comedic output as of late. Odenkirk released his first book A Load of Hooey last month, he's producing and writing for the IFC sketch show The Birthday Boys (currently in its second season), he just got back from a book reading/live comedy tour, and his debut standup album, Amateur Hour, comes out today. Recorded this summer at LA's Nerdist Theater and released by A Special Thing Records, Amateur Hour consists of a standup performance by Odenkirk, as well as a set from [...]

'Friends of the People': A New Sketch Show Finds Its Voice

Since truTV greenlighted Friends of the People, their new sketch comedy show set to anchor the network’s crossover into original comedic programming, the storyline that’s occasionally popped up is that the series’ inception came to fruition after the In Living Color reboot ultimately did not reboot. However, FOTP is not a revised version of the scrapped ILC series.

The grain of truth in that narrative is that three of FOTP’s cast members, Jermaine Fowler, Jennifer Bartels, and Lil Rel Howery, were set to star in the ILC revival and that’s where they met. That’s it. What did happen is Fowler, Bartels, and Rel realized they had chemistry and that they [...]

Sketch Anatomy: Going Inside "Shutterbugs" with 'Human Giant's Jason Woliner

Welcome to our column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite television writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.

For this week's installment of Sketch Anatomy we spoke with Jason Woliner, who has written and/or directed for Parks and Recreation, Nathan for You, Jon Benjamin Has a Van, Dinner with Friends with Brett Gelman and Friends, and Funny or Die and most recently served as executive producer, director, and writer on Adult Swim's Eagleheart. Early in Woliner's [...]

Inside 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip' with Matt Albie

This fall, the long-running NBS sketch show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is set to enter its 29th season, and no one has been a larger part of the program's success than its head writer and executive producer Matt Albie, who has been a major creative force behind the show since he was first hired in 1997.

I was fortunate to be granted a rare interview with Albie, who contacted me via his Twitter account to set things up during his summer break from S60. Albie and I discussed the show's legacy, Emmy chances, and his tips for young comedy writers.

Here's the Cast for NBC's New Sketch Comedy Pilot

It was reported over a year ago that former Comedy Central VP Lou Wallach was developing a new primetime sketch show for NBC, and the pilot for it was just shot this summer. Like Saturday Night Live, the pilot for the untitled sketch show features a large group of performers culled from all over the country, and The Comic's Comic has a list of its writing staff and cast. The pilot was directed by Bruce Leddy, who directed the bulk of Fox's MADtv, and it's being produced by Mick Napier (Annoyance Theater, Exit 57) and Wallach, who, during his stint at Comedy Central, oversaw the development of Chappelle's Show, The Colbert Report, Crank [...]

Sketch Anatomy: Matt Besser on His Favorite Andy Kaufman Late Night Appearances

Welcome to our column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite comedy writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.

For this week's installment of Sketch Anatomy we spoke with Matt Besser, co-founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade and host of the Earwolf podcast improv4humans who most recently appeared on Drunk History, The Birthday Boys, Comedy Bang! Bang! and the Adult Swim infomercial "In Search of Miracle Man." Besser chose to take a look back at some [...]

How the Birthday Boys Found Their Footing in Their Second Season

Watching The Birthday Boys feels strangely candid. Their antics and self-described "stupidity" are immersed in a sort of all-inclusive comradery that dates back 10 years, to their time together at Ithaca College. Since moving to LA, the troupe has performed out of UCB LA alongside sketch troupe A Kiss From Daddy, produced numerous shorts for Funny or Die, and performed at the Montreal's Just for Laughs.

In 2013, none other than Bob Odenkirk agreed to collaborate with the troupe (consisting of Mike Hanford, Matt Kowalick, Jefferson Dutton, Tim Kalpakis, Chris VanArtsdalen, Mike Mitchell, and Dave Ferguson), to produce their show for IFC, The Birthday Boys.

After a [...]

Sketch Anatomy: Brian Stack on the Traveling Salesman and His Many Other 'Conan' Characters

Welcome to our column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite television writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.

Every longtime Conan O'Brien fan knows the work of Brian Stack, who joined the Late Night writing staff in 1997 and helped define Conan as the unpredictable oddball of the late night talk show circuit for the last 20 years. Stack has shown up on 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and elsewhere, but he's best known [...]

Watch a Clip from TruTV's First Ever Sketch Show, 'Friends of the People'

Reality-focused cable network TruTV is expanding into scripted programming, and here's a sketch about Steve Urkel from their first-ever sketch show, Friends of the People. The 10-episode first season debuts later this year and features a cast that includes Kevin Barnett, Jennifer Bartels, Jermaine Fowler, Lil Rel Howery, Keith Lucas, Kenny Lucas, and Josh Rabinowitz, having grown out of Fox's failed 2011 In Living Color reboot.