Over a decade into his standup career, Sheng Wang has amassed a list of credits that includes Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show, and his own Comedy Central Presents special. Wang, who came up via San Francisco's comedy scene, currently resides in New York, where he plays both alt rooms and clubs. Wang is one of several comedians, alongside Janeane Garofalo, Eugene Mirman, and Michael Che, featured in A Night at Whiplash, a Splitsider-produced standup concert movie based on Leo Allen's long-running live standup showcase Whiplash. I recently had the chance to talk to Sheng Wang about his beginnings in comedy, when he knew he would actually have a career as a standup, and performing in both San Francisco and New York. READ MORE
A couple weeks ago, I put in my two weeks notice as Managing Editor at Splitsider.com because I have other stuff I've gotta go do. Today is my last day. I've been working here full-time for nearly two years now and it's been a blast and a super enjoyable job, but it's time for me to move on and go do some vague other stuff. I leave you in Adam and Megh's absurdly capable hands and am excited to see where they take the site in the future. Don't cry or whatever; these aren't the last words I am writing for Splitsider. I have a handful of interviews I've done that will be running over the next few weeks and I'll maybe pop my head in every now and then, or not. Who knows?
Comedy duo Tim & Eric announced earlier this week that they're going on a big North American tour with Dr. Steve Brule (John C. Reilly) starting this September. Here's a crazy video Tim, Eric, and Brule made to promote said tour, and yes, the tour will feature a one-on-one between Brule and President Baranga Obrama.
In May, CBS passed on ordering comedian Jim Gaffigan's family sitcom pilot Gaffigan to series, but it looks like the show may be finding new life on another network. Deadline reports that TV Land has been in talks with Sony TV, the studio that produced the pilot, for the last month or so and that TV Land is "well down the road of trying to make the show work there." Deadline says TV Land is trying to get the actors' rates down for a lower budget.
Gaffigan, a single-camera comedy co-created by Jim Gaffigan and Peter Tolan (Rescue Me), stars the titular comedian as a fictionalized version of himself raising his five kids with his wife in a two-bedroom NYC apartment. The show was originally developed at CBS in 2013, but the network passed on it and rolled it over to the 2014 season, producing another pilot before rejecting the series again. The 2014 pilot starred Gaffigan, Ashley Williams, Tongayi Chririsa, Adam Goldberg, and Michael Ian Black.
Adult Swim announced today that Black Jesus, a new live-action comedy created by Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks) will be premiering on August 7th, and here's the trailer for the show. Black Jesus stars TV newcomer Gerald "Slink" Johnson (Grand Theft Auto V) as Jesus Christ, living in modern day Compton. Charlie Murphy, Corey Holcomb, and John Witherspoon play supporting roles. Aaron McGruder recently signed a first-look deal to develop and create new shows for Adult Swim and is currently writing a pilot called Hooligan Squad for the network.
Check out an extended version of the Black Jesus trailer below: READ MORE
The popular improvised sketch podcast Superego hasn't released a new episode since the spring of 2013, but the group behind the show is finally bringing the show back. A fourth season of Superego is set to debut September 1st, with frequent guest Paul F. Tompkins joining the group full-time as a regular member alongside Matt Gourley, Jeremy Carter, and Mark McConville. Superego Season 4 will also feature Neko Case as a guest star, plus returning guests Andy Daly, Tom Lennon, Colin Hanks, and more.
Launched in 2006, Superego has attracted some of the biggest names in comedy, including Patton Oswalt, Jason Sudeikis, John Hodgman, and more. During the show's year-plus hiatus, the group has been releasing animated versions of old sketches via Nerdist, and they put out a country-rock comedy album, Mount Us More, last year under the guise of their fake band The Journeymen.
VICE announced today that they're giving a late night web show to comedian Jim Norton. The Jim Norton Show will debut on VICE.com on Wednesday, July 23rd. The program will have a loose, unstructured feel and it will feature a monologue, in-depth interviews, and standup performances, all shot in front of a live audience. Mike Tyson, Dana White, and drug dealer Freeway Rick Ross are lined up to be guests. "I wanted to do a talk show that reminded me of the old school ones I loved as a kid, without all the fake enthusiasm and sound bite-driven conversations," Norton said. "I also wanted to do a monologue that represented my standup sensibilities and not have to worry about it being 'family friendly.' Because I’m not family friendly."
In honor of the passing of Broadway great Elaine Stritch, CBS's Late Show uploaded these super funny segments from a 1996 episode in which Stritch sporadically interrupted the show to scream at her pool boy, David Letterman.
It's been three months since Craig Ferguson announced he's leaving CBS's The Late Late Show in December, and the network has yet to say who his replacement will be. CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler, in a Q&A with TV critics today said that the network's new 12:35am program might not even be a talk show. Here's what she had to say:
"There’s certainly a knee-jerk reaction to go for a more traditional, behind-the-desk interview format, but who knows? This is an opportunity us look at all kinds of hosts — not only from the comic world, but maybe the political world. Right now, we’re doing our homework and having a lot of meetings and talking. We want to make the right decision."
Tassler added, "But who knows? … It might not [be a comedy talk show], but it also might be.” CBS has had The Late Late Show, in various incarnations, in the post-Letterman slot since 1995, with hosts Tom Snyder and Craig Kilborn preceding Ferguson, so potentially dumping the long-running but not-super-popular franchise would be a pretty monumental change in the late night world.
Back in May, Comedy Central passed on Chris Gethard's pilot for a cable version of his public access show The Chris Gethard Show, and now that it looks like TCGS landing on another network is unlikely, Gethard wrote a passionate manifesto on his blog today called "EVOLVE OR DIE: This Summer We Burn Down The Chris Gethard Show." Here's a bit of it:
It is time for us to burn [The Chris Gethard Show] down. It’s time for us to set a forest fire to this show, that might be the end of it but might just be the thing that allows new growth to happen. In short, the motto for the rest of this summer when it comes to TCGS is evolve or die. Evolve. Or. Die. That’s the new mantra. This thing has to grow, or it has to go. Those are our options.
Gethard had previously said last year that the public access version of his show would likely end if Comedy Central rejected the pilot, but now, it looks like there's a chance for the show to evolve into something new.
Aaron McGruder, creator of the comic strip-turned-Peabody Award-winning Adult Swim series The Boondocks, has signed a new first-look deal with Adult Swim to create and develop new shows for the cable network. His first project under the deal is a live-action adventure pilot he's writing called Hooligan Squad that is set in the future in Japanese-occupied San Francisco, following an American insurgency. McGruder has another live action Adult Swim show he created, Black Jesus, which is set to start airing this August. The Boondocks ended its four-season run on Adult Swim earlier this summer, with McGruder having left the show after its third season.
To coincide with the release of his new album Mandatory Fun, "Weird Al" Yankovic did a question and answer session on Reddit, which was full of funny and interesting responses. Yankovic delves into a whole slew of different topics about his career, like how making song parodies is different now than it was 30 years ago, a studio's plans to "make him their new Woody Allen" in the '80s, and why Mandatory Fun might be his final album.
Click through to read some of Yankovic's best responses from yesterday's AMA: READ MORE
Here's Howard Stern's interview with John Oliver from earlier today in its entirety, in which the duo discuss Oliver's difficult early days in show business, Ricky Gervais recommending him to The Daily Show, turning down a full-time job on Community to stay on Daily Show, and Last Week Tonight in depth.
Comedy Central's new Colbert Report replacement, The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore, just added The Daily Show's former showrunner. Rory Albanese will be an executive producer on Minority Report, which is set to launch in January 2015 after Colbert Report concludes its nine-year run in December so that Stephen Colbert can take over for David Letterman. Minority Report was created by Jon Stewart and will be EP'd by Albanese, Stewart, and Wilmore. Albanese spent 14 years on The Daily Show, starting as a production assistant in 1999 and rising through the ranks to executive producer/showrunner, a position he left last fall.
The Minority Report is currently in the early stages of being assembled, but here's the show was described in a Fast Company piece back in June:
The Minority Report setup will be similar to The Daily Show and Colbert Report, but with a twist: For parts of the show Wilmore will be joined by a panel of co-hosts, presumably along the lines of The View or Real Time With Bill Maher. "The general concept is Larry will be the anchor of the show and the first act will likely be Larry's take on the news of the day or cultural hot topics of the moment," says [Comedy Central president] Michele Ganeless. "Then [there will be] a panel. The panel will be the second act, we'll likely have a guest interacting with the panel in the third act."
Check out Jon Stewart's farewell tribute to Rory Albanese from last year below: READ MORE