On Mark Malkoff’s wonderful Carson Podcast, several guests have been asked about why they believe that when Johnny said goodbye on May 22, 1992 he never returned to television in any substantial form. Several of them say that Johnny cited Bob Hope as the inspiration behind his desire to remain off the air. Hope was being wheeled out on stage until the very end as a comedy icon that performed less and less comedy as the years went on. Carson, on the other hand, wanted to get off the stage before that could happen to him, ensuring that his audience would forever remember him as a master of [...]
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. [...]
Here's a nice lighthearted break amid a day of sad news. Back in August, comedy superstars Steve Martin and Conan O'Brien delivered a Letterman-style Top 10 bit, and today the show released the above behind-the-scenes footage of their rehearsal. Though this may shatter the assumption that late night interviews aren't painstakingly rehearsed beforehand, Conan's frequent bursts of laughter sound very authentic.
Here's Steve Martin's appearance on Letterman from Friday night, which he mostly spends busting Letterman's balls about his frequent anniversaries and his taste in suits. It's always fun to watch these two talk to each other.
Funny or Die continues to trot out the big guns for its fancy new redesign. Here's comedy's two most famous banjo players, Steve Martin and Kermit the Frog, playing "Dueling Banjos." Both of their entire comedy/banjo careers have been building to this moment.
The video is first in a series to promote Matt Hoyle's upcoming photo book, Comic Genius: Portraits of Funny People, with videos featuring Tina Fey, Chevy Chase, Robin Williams, Patton Oswalt, Weird Al Yankovic, and more set to release on Funny or Die in the coming weeks.