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Talking to Amy Schumer About Season Two of 'Inside Amy Schumer'

When Inside Amy Schumer premiered last April, it had the best first-episode ratings for any show on Comedy Central and got quickly renewed after only four episodes. The series successfully mixed often over-the-top scenes with standup, man-on-the-street interviews, and conversations with unique professionals, with Schumer always at the wheel.

Tonight, the show returns in full force, with a second season premiere called “Would You Bang Her” in which Schumer interacts with God (guest star Paul Giamatti), plays tennis, and goes deep with a porn producer. Recently, I got the chance to talk with Schumer, who in addition to Inside Amy's 10-episode second season is on tour doing standup and will start filming soon for Trainwreck, a movie she wrote and is starring in to be directed by Judd Apatow. Schumer told me about season two, working with her sister, and how she feels about certain topics being off-limits for jokes. READ MORE

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Talking to Matt Walsh About His New Improvised Film, ‘Veep’, and More

One of the founders of the UCB Theatre and a friendly face in the comedy ecosystem, Matt Walsh returns to TV April 6th when Veep premieres its third season on HBO. In addition to Veep, Walsh has a number of other interesting projects up his sleeve including a role in the found-footage tornado film Into the Storm and David Cross’s directorial debut Hits. Most recently, Walsh turned to Indiegogo to crowdfund A Better You, an improvised film (the writer-director’s second, after High Road in 2011) starring co-writer Brian Huskey as a hypnotherapist in the midst of his mid-life crisis. I recently got to talk to Walsh about the process of making an improvised film, what's next for UCB, and being an action hero. READ MORE

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Season 3 of 'Girls' Was Best When Everyone Was Together Being Weird

In the pilot of Girls, when Hannah Horvath expressed desire to be “the voice of [her] generation, or at least the voice of a generation” the line embodied the 20-something’s comically directionless ambition, yet critics seemed to take the message at face value, crediting Lena Dunham with being that voice in the real world. This baggage bestowed upon the show made it an exhausting topic of conversation (at the very least for young women living in New York) in spite of two strong, funny seasons. This year, Lena Dunham said to Marc Maron in her recent appearance on WTF, “People expect me to either defend or explain my generation but, because I feel 75 inside myself, I’m not really the right candidate for the job.” Luckily this year, either the think-pieces have subsided or I have learned to maneuver around most of them, clearing room for a third season that feels a touch lighter albeit more weirdly personal. In this way, season three has eclipsed the show’s previous depiction of Brooklyn life unfortunately mistaken as speaking for a cultural movement by focusing on the characters’ unique, often slightly disturbed drives as they navigate creative careers, brushes with death, and the distance between friends. READ MORE

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Revisiting the 'Late Night' Debuts of Letterman, Conan, and Fallon

Tonight sees the premiere of the fourth iteration of NBC’s Late Night franchise, with Seth Meyers taking over the position previously held by David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jimmy Fallon. In honor of Meyers’s debut, we decided to look back at those of his three predecessors. Each host’s first night came with some of the same: characters, bits, and segments that would return in the future, and ones that failed, often due to nerves. Although it’s unfair to judge a host based on their first show alone, it’s interesting to look back at how each era of the show started. READ MORE

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Broad City's Portrayal of the New York Hustle Feels Fresh, and Very Funny

Broad City premieres on Comedy Central at 10:30 tonight after Workaholics. The new show, based on the web series of the same name, stars series creators and UCB alums Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson as heightened versions of themselves going about their daily lives as young New Yorkers — daily lives that include temp jobs, bad roommates, and quests to get high. Glazer and Jacobson act as executive producers of the show alongside Amy Poehler.

Originally developed at FX, Broad City is Comedy Central's third show from the creators of popular web videos, following this summer’s Drunk History and the new show's timeslot buddy Workaholics. And although Broad City comes about during an influx of shows based on web-centric sketch comedy, shares the weed references and bathroom humor of Workaholics, and occupies the same geographical territory as recent hits like Louie and Girls, the new show’s characters and tone give it a unique perspective that makes its stories feel fresh. READ MORE

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Follow Friday: @horselythighs (An Ornery Horse)

A lot of Twitter users take to the platform to test out their latest jokes and quips, but certain people truly excel at making us laugh with the available characters and constraints. With the Internet being such a big place, it can be difficult to find the comedians most worthy of your RTs and favs. Each Friday we feature one person whose consistent short-form online humor deserves your attention and to be on your Twitter feed.

(If you're reading this from an RSS feed, you might want to come on over to the website so you can see the tweets.)

For this week's Follow Friday, we took a quick dive back into Weird Twitter. With horses on the mind it seemed right to look at An Orney Horse (@horselythighs).

@Horselythighs has a couple things going for him/her/it, but one of those has got to be the penchant for absurdist imagery.

READ MORE

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Talking to June Diane Raphael about ‘Ass Backwards’, ‘Burning Love’, and ‘NTSF:SD:SUV’

June Diane Raphael is a familiar face in the comedy world. She’s known for her starring roles in the web series Burning Love and Adult Swim’s NTSF: SD: SUV:: in addition to guest and recurring appearances on the likes of Party Down, Happy Endings, New Girl, Drunk History, and more.

In her time away from TV, Raphael also performs at the UCB in LA and co-hosts the popular Earwolf podcast How Did This Get Made? with Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas.

Most recently, she stars alongside her writing partner Casey Wilson in Ass Backwards, a raunchy road trip buddy comedy about two best friends revisiting the beauty pageant they lost as children. Meanwhile, Raphael and Wilson also have a series in the works at ABC, and Raphael’s due to appear in Parks and Rec’s star-studded doppleganger episode this season.

I recently had the chance to talk with June Diane Raphael about some of her recent projects both as an actor and writer, as well as comedy partnership, bad movies, and marriage. READ MORE

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Follow Friday: @TimNeenan

A lot of Twitter users take to the platform to test out their latest jokes and quips, but certain people truly excel at making us laugh with the available characters and constraints. With the Internet being such a big place, it can be difficult to find the comedians most worthy of your RTs and favs. Each Friday we feature one person whose consistent short-form online humor deserves your attention and to be on your Twitter feed.

(If you're reading this from an RSS feed, you might want to come on over to the website so you can see the tweets.)

Tim Neenan is a sketch writer at the UCB in LA, a contributor for the Onion News Network, and more. He walked us through a few of his funniest tweets.

 

"I have this sort of love/hate relationship with Twitter where one day I'll think it's really, really great and amazing and the next I'll think it's the dumbest thing we've ever done – "Sigh, more internet" is how I feel about most social media distracting me from doing anything productive. I went with an "Oops All Berries!" reference for the other name option because the name of that cereal has always been really funny to me. "Oops, All Berries?" Such a lazy name, Captain. And the idea that they would package and distribute this mistake instead of just mixing them back in with the Crunch Berries? I could talk about this for hours." READ MORE

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Follow Friday: @amfmpm (Dan Chamberlain)

A lot of Twitter users take to the platform to test out their latest jokes and quips, but certain people truly excel at making us laugh with the available characters and constraints. With the Internet being such a big place, it can be difficult to find the comedians most worthy of your RTs and favs. Each Friday we feature one person whose consistent short-form online humor deserves your attention and to be on your Twitter feed.

(If you're reading this from an RSS feed, you might want to come on over to the website so you can see the tweets.)

Dan Chamberlain (@amfmpm) performs at UCB in New York, releases music mashups under the pseudonym Chambaland, and co-created the podcast Left-Handed Radio (available on our very own Splitsider Podcast Network). In addition to his regular tweeting, Chamberlain got some press last fall for a twitter account he'd made for respected journalist Cokie Roberts, and also he's pretty good at retweeting.

From Dan:

On a ridiculous tear of "social media is false and empty!" in early 2012, I actually deleted my Twitter, only pulling my head out of my ass and admitting that the platform was really quite fun after I pulled off that @CokieRoberts prank last fall. Also, I don't have a smartphone, but I can text for free (and TWEET FOR FREE) from my raisin-box burner phone, so writing jokes is often my only option for entertainment when I'm on the train.
Let's take a look at the tweets:

"#GOPDOG is a single panel comic I began earlier this year. He is a very good boy and a registered member of the Republican party." READ MORE

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Talking to Max Silvestri About Brooklyn, Twitter, and Big Terrific

Brooklyn-based comic Max Silvestri has been in the business for a decade now. His free weekly standup show Big Terrific, a New York comedy scene staple that he started with friends Gabe Liedman and Jenny Slate, celebrated its fifth anniversary this past March. Since Liedman and Slate moved to LA, Silvestri's been running Big Terrific on his own, and in addition to his weekly hosting gig, he's writing reality cooking show recaps for Grantland and Eater, appearing in web videos all over the place, and keeping busy as a standup, all the while maintaining a consistently very funny Twitter presence.

On August 2nd, Silvestri recorded his debut standup album for AST Records at NerdMelt in Los Angeles. The week before, I got the chance to sit down with him and talk about writing vs. performing, New York vs. LA, and other things, all before he went to learn archery on camera for a web video. READ MORE

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Talking to Derek Waters About 'Drunk History,' Comedy Central, And Humanizing Abraham Lincoln

In 2007, Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner created the first video in the web series Drunk History, in which wasted comedians retell stories of figures such as Thomas Edison, Aaron Burr, or Abraham Lincoln, and familiar actors reenact the sloppy histories. The video gained the attention of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who made it into a Funny or Die exclusive series, as well as a heaping handful of comedians and actors who later starred in the reenactments, including Jack Black, Don Cheadle, Zooey Deschanel, Ryan Gosling, and more.

On July 9th, Drunk History makes its television debut launching an eight-episode season on Comedy Central. Waters acts as host of the new series, which has him travelling across the US to hear comedians and locals drunkenly share the hometown histories they are most passionate about. I recently got the chance to talk with Waters about converting web shorts into a TV show, never exploiting his intoxicated storytellers, and some of his favorite bizarre moments in history. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy: 'Arrested Development' Returns and Another Twitter Prank from Nathan Fielder

-Arrested Development's long-awaited fourth season debuted on Netflix. We reviewed the first two episodes in-depth, reviewed the season as a whole, and created an encyclopedic guide to the new season's best gags, callbacks, and running jokes.

-Nathan for You's Nathan Fielder pulled another Twitter prank, this time devastating romantic relationships.

-A report says that Dan Harmon confirmed he's been asked back to be Community's showrunner.

-Vince Gilligan addressed the possibility of a Saul Goodman spin-off to Breaking Bad.

-We talked to Mike Birbiglia about the impending final performance of My Girlfriend's Boyfriend and to stand-ups Jared Logan and Mike Lawrence about their Comedy Central Half Hour specials. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Christopher Guest, Cake Boss, and 'The Fast and the Furious 6'

The comedy podcast universe is ever expanding, not unlike the universe universe. We're here to make it a bit smaller, a bit more manageable. There are a lot of great shows and each has a lot of great episodes, so we want to highlight the exceptional, the noteworthy. Each week our crack team of podcast enthusiasts and specialists and especially enthusiastic people will pick their favorites. Also, we'll keep you posted on the offerings from our very own podcast network. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy. 

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn - Christopher Guest

JAY: About once in a generation, a true comedy pioneer graces our presence. In 1984, with This Is Spinal Tap, Christopher Guest (and his all-star crew of collaborators) created a completely original genre of comedy: the mockumentary. On this week's Bullseye, Guest reflects on his career and discusses his new HBO show Family Tree with Jesse Thorn. From Tap to Guffman to A Mighty Wind, Guest has displayed his skill in both comedy and musical satire. He explains his process during this interview without creeping into the Jerry Lewis "serious business of comedy" realm. Perhaps the greatest insight into why Guest's films succeed is that his characters are really trying their hardest, but ultimately look ridiculous because of their limitations. It also helps that he uses the talent of some of our greatest comedic actors such as Fred Willard, Eugene Levy, and Catherine O'Hara. Thorn is the perfect host here because he is clearly a student of Guest's work. This podcast is essential listening for any fan of the Christopher Guest cannon. As far as great comedy podcast interviews go, this one is an 11. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy: 'Arrested Development,' 'Arrested Development,' 'Arrested Development'

-To prepare for this Sunday's Netflix debut of the new Arrested Development season, we contributed to the internet's Arrested Development overload with a list of 12 more shows Netflix should resurrect a review of the AD documentaryanother giant list of the show's hidden jokes, a ranking of our favorite side characters, and a reminder of where the show left off in 2006.

-Universal Orlando is building a mini-version of The Simpsons' Springfield.

-SNL wrapped up its 38th season over the weekend, which saw the departures of Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, and we gave you a guide to Stefon's eclectic wedding guests. We also reminisced about the season's best moments and broke it down by cast member

-Carol Burnett will receive the Mark Twain humor prize this year.

-We talked to Mike Schur about Parks and Recreation and his new show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Todd Barry about his new podcast and stand-up tourJonah Ray and Gabe Liedman about their respective careers and experiences on Comedy Central's The Half Hour, and Sammy Obeid about his 1001-night standup streak. READ MORE