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Posts tagged as standup

The 9 Best Standup Specials and Albums of 2014

2014 was a banner year for comedy of all stripes, including an incredible collection of standup specials and albums. While the year may have had fewer boldly unique specials than 2013, it compensated with an overwhelming number of solidly funny, well-produced hours from comics of all levels, with a particularly strong crop of debut albums – for each special on this list, there are three other great hours worth checking out. Nonetheless, here are our best albums and specials of the year (in no particular order):

A Russian Broadcasting Company Got Dan Klein's 'This Is Comedy' Special Removed from YouTube

Earlier this month, comedian Dan Klein released a fantastic collection of standup tropes and clichés in the form of an hourlong special titled This Is Comedy. Last week, however, Klein discovered that YouTube had removed his video due to a copyright claim by a Moscow-based broadcasting network named "OJSC TNT," which according to Businessweek focuses on "serial, reality-show, and talk-show programs for men and women." Klein's special clearly didn't include any footage from another source, let alone a Russian television show, but removing videos due to bizarre copyright claims is nothing new for YouTube. In any case, YouTube told Klein that if the claim is [...]

Iliza Shlesinger's Standup Special 'Freezing Hot' Premieres on Netflix January 23rd

Netflix just added another new standup special to its slate. According to Variety, the streaming network will premiere former Last Comic Standing winner Iliza Shlesinger's brand new hourlong standup special Freezing Hot on Friday, January 23rd. The special was recorded at Denver's Gothic Theatre and "explores truths about first-date attire, fantasy breakups and women’s obsession with fall." In addition to winning season 6 of Last Comic Standing, Shlesinger also starred in her own Comedy Central Presents special in 2010, has appeared on @midnight, The Pete Holmes Show, and The Tonight Show, and currently hosts her own podcast Truth and Iliza.

Cameron Esposito on Taboo Joke Topics: "The Best Defense Against Criticism Is a Better Joke"

"IN THE END: Tell the jokes you want to tell. But know that feedback isn’t censorship or persecution, especially when it comes from a group more affected by the topic of your joke. The best defense against criticism is a better joke."

- Cameron Esposito explains how to joke about Bill Cosby and other taboo standup topics in her latest column for The A.V. Club.

Re-Formatting the Comedy Album

Comedy is by nature an adaptable art form. While standups are at home on stage in front of a mic telling jokes, they know how to adjust their methods for a different type of entertainment. When a comedian writes a book, or makes a movie or TV show, they are clearly working within that medium and bringing their sensibilities to bear on it. Monologues become satirical essays, random thoughts become tweets, stories and family experiences become sitcoms. Mulaney, the show, knows it still needs sets and stories and other characters despite its seemingly cut-and-paste appropriation of the title comedian’s on-stage act. When bringing your act to the big or small [...]

Hope-Less: How Different Would Standup Be Without Bob Hope?

The truth is, Bob Hope actually dug Lenny Bruce, he really did — even considered him “brilliant,” according to Richard Zoglin in his new biography Hope: Entertainer of the Century. Zoglin tells the story of Hope dropping in on a Florida nightclub to check out Bruce’s act. “Bruce introduced Hope in the audience and after the show,” writes Zoglin, “ran into the parking lot to flag him down, asking Hope if he would give Bruce a guest spot on one of his TV shows. Hope laughed him off: ‘Lenny, you’re for educational TV.’”

Whether there was more sharpness or self-deprecation in Hope’s remark, it’s a tender moment between two [...]

The Secret Society of John Hodgman

John Hodgman, comedian, author and generally knower-of-all-things, has a live comedy show that you probably have never heard of, because by design it is a secret. A Secret Society that is. Members meet in the basement of Union Hall in Brooklyn and are sworn to secrecy about the comedy, guests, song or anything else that might happen… or so I’ve been told. The only reason I was given this coveted information is because for the first time, Hodgman is opening his society to the public in “A Secret Society Meeting & Public Holiday Spectacle” on December 18th in New York. Though I’m not an official member, I was given a little [...]

The Weasel Grows Up

The late 80s and early 90s were good to Pauly Shore. The Weasel — an alter ego born out of Shore's standup — became, for a time, more than just a character. The Weasel was a living, breathing thing whose mannerisms and catchphrases, like it or not, infiltrated the fabric of American pop culture. From the small screen to the big screen, there was no escaping Pauly Shore. Shore's new documentary, Pauly Shore Stands Alone, which recently premiered on Showtime, opens with archival footage from that wildly successful point in his career. But the film quickly shifts focus to the reality of today: Pauly Shore, age 46, dealing with the [...]

The Secret to Bill Burr's Success

Bill Burr was never an overnight sensation. It happened gradually. He's a comedian who has been so consistently hilarious, so consistently impassioned about his jokes, and so consistently on edge that after two decades, hardly anybody can remember a time when they didn't know Bill Burr.

But that's not to say that he's never the subject of widespread media interest. In 2006, Bill Burr walked onto a stage in Philadelphia in front of an audience that had booed and jeered every comedian who had come up before him, and they treated him the same. That became his shining moment. Bill Burr unleashed a torrent of witty rage that was so [...]

Here's the Trailer for Bill Burr's Netflix Special 'I'm Sorry You Feel That Way'

In addition to landing an upcoming Netflix animated series and starring role in the FX pilot Pariah, Bill Burr has a new standup special premiering on Netflix this Friday called I'm Sorry You Feel That Way. The streaming network released the full trailer today, which covers Burr's thoughts on everything from overpopulation and child labor to how much Scientology and Christianity have in common.

The Young Standup: Brandon Wardell on Drake, Bob Odenkirk, and Taking the Unexpected Path

At 22 he may be young, but he looks even younger. With a recent move to Los Angeles from his native DC, Brandon Wardell's notoriety in the comedy scene is growing.

He was included as the opening act of Bob Odenkirk's latest album Amateur Hour and even featured on the album's cover — a dream for any young comedian. He's even begun to make the podcast rounds as a recent guest on the OMFG Earwolf podcast and The Todd Glass Show – listen if you are prepared to hear a Brandon Wardell song stuck in your head for days.

To understand his humor, read his Twitter feed of one-liners about pop [...]

Dan Soder and the Importance of Originality

Dan Soder’s comedy career began in small town Tucson, Arizona in 2004. “I did a joke about homeless people in Tucson, like the stock joke for beginning comedians. You notice homeless people and you’re like ‘No one’s really dove into this in the US.’ Everyone has dove into [the homeless joke]. But my joke was about being tricked by a homeless guy because I was high on pot and he was high on meth. And he tricked me.”

Soder says, “It was one of the first jokes I did that worked every time I did it, so I just milked that motherfucker 'til I realized the wrong I was doing. [...]

Captive Audience: Meet the Protester Who Did Standup in Jail

Most people will go their entire lives without knowing the simple joy of telling jokes in front of an audience and pretty much no one on earth but Evan Jones will ever understand what it’s like to do standup comedy in a concrete cell surrounded by steel bars. Last week, while protesting against the Grand Jury’s decision to forego an indictment in the Eric Garner murder, comedian Evan Jones was arrested by the NYPD. After being ziptied and tossed into a paddy wagon, he was driven to a holding cell where he proceeded to do what he does best.

What’s it like to tell jokes in jail?

It was awesome. [...]

Dan Klein's 'This Is Comedy' Is Both the Best and Worst Standup Special Ever

Comedian and Funny or Die writer Dan Klein released a brand new standup special today called This Is Comedy, which turns out to be the ultimate hourlong collection of standup's worst clichés. It's all here — mic drops, excessive audience pandering ("You guys like the show The Simpsons?"), water bottle breaks, behind-the-scenes clips, hecklers, repeated Starbucks jokes, jokes about how men and women are different, and so much more.