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This Week in Comedy: A North Korean-Dictated Week in Comedy

theinterview-Sony cancelled the release of The Interview after violence was threatened.

-We talked to standup Dan Soder aboutthe importance of originality.

-John Hodgman took us inside his secret society.

-We looked into how Tami Nelson and Chris Trew, founders of The New Movement, built a comedy scene from scratch in New Orleans.

-The Drawn Together creators are making a sitcom/hidden camera hybrid series, Broken Lizard’s Quality Time lands a pilot order at TBS, The Chris Gethard Show is headed to cable, HBO ordered a comedy pilot starring Sarah Silverman, and David Fincher is developing an HBO comedy about making music videos in the 80.

-This week’s great SNL featured host Martin Freeman, and we broke down the best and worst sketches of the night. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Jenny Slate Delights On 'WTF'

jenny_slateThe 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. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.

WTF with Marc Maron - Jenny Slate
WTF_with_Marc_MaronLeigh: This week's episode of WTF with Marc Maron is so good, I'm still coming down from a contact high, which can only be attributed to Jenny Slate's incredibly delightful energy. On top of that she's got the most hilarious and refreshing perspective on things. Take aging, for instance. I don't think you'll hear too many people talk about how they look forward to the day their hair is 100 feet long and their skin is like bark. If you've ever read or heard any interview with Slate, it seems like it's not only mandatory for the interviewer to bring up her departure from SNL, but also make a joke about how she must get asked about it all the time. And, you can usually see the question coming from a mile away. This time, however, when the topic of her time at SNL comes up so naturally it's the story of how she got hired that she shares. It's a very moving story and Slate even gets a little emotional. As a listener, I dare you to not get overwhelmed with feelings. It's great to hear Maron and Slate talk about people she admired growing up, like Ruth Gordon, Madeline Kahn, Gilda Radner, and Laraine Newman, who she describes as "women that have a cool style and can't be replaced." After her success with Obvious Child, Marcel the Shell, and the fact that she's on just about every TV show right now, it's safe to say Slate herself is most definitely a woman with a cool style who can't be replaced. Maron sums it up best at the end of the episode: "How can you not love her?" READ MORE

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What's On TV This Week: The End of 'The Colbert Report'

colbertThe biggest event on TV this week is a sad one: the end of The Colbert Report and a goodbye to the "Stephen Colbert" character. The final episode airs Thursday night, and as his final guest Colbert welcomes "Grimmy", his lifelong friend. Sounds like things could get a lil dark.

That's not the only goodbye this week: Friday, Craig Ferguson says farewell on his last Late Late Show with guest Jay Leno. Also that night, The Birthday Boys wrap up season 2 with sketches based off of their favorite summer. And on Saturday, be sure to catch Amy Adams host SNL.

Elsewhere in late night, The Daily Show has guest Chris Rock, Letterman has guests Rosie O'Donnell, Jeff Altman, and Jay Thomas, while Fallon is visited by James Franco and Seth Rogen, Nick Offerman, Ben Stiller, and Damon Wayans. Lisa Kudrow, Eric Andre, Dick Van Dyke, Jenny Slate, and Sebastian Maniscalco stop by Conan, and Tracy Ullman is on Kimmel. Seth Rogen will also be on Late Night with Seth Meyers as well as James Corden, Vanessa Bayer, and Greg Warren.

Check out this week's full comedy listings below: READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy: Reggie Watts Is Headed to 'Late Late Show'

reggie_watts_19-Reggie Watts was named the bandleader for James Corden's Late Late Show.

-Tom Scharpling talked with us about the new Best Show.

-We dove deep into PFFR's insane trilogy of ignorance, which just wrapped up with the season finale of The Heart, She Holler.

-Cameron Crowe’s Showtime pilot Roadies adds Luke Wilson and more to the cast, Amy Schumer is producing a Comedy Central pilot starring Rachel Feinstein, Showtime is developing a corporate espionage comedy, Sony is reportedly developing an animated Spider-Man comedy and 23 Jump Street/Men in Black crossover, ABC cast Justin Long in a semi-improvised comedy Irreversible, and Dan Fogelman is producing an NBA-set comedy for ABC.

-FX renewed The League for a seventh and final season, USA renewed Playing House for a second season, truTV renewed Friends of the People for a second season, and Adult Swim renewed Black Jesus, Mike Tyson Mysteries, and Mr. Pickles.

-We rounded up ten weird and wonderful recently cut SNL sketches. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Chris Rock and John Cleese Hit the 'Bullseye’

rock_cleeseThe 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. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn - Chris Rock and John Cleese
bullseyeMarc: The guests that pass through the portals of Bullseye with Jesse Thorn run the gamut of show business and the conversations can get serious. Still, given the host’s comedy connections, no one would debate that his show counts as a comedy podcast. This week offers two insightful chats, the first with Chris Rock upon the debut of his latest film Top Five. Thorn delves into the similarities between the lead character, played by Rock, who is a comedian turned movie star, and Rock’s real life as a comedian turned…movie-kinda-star. Thorne also talks to the delightful John Cleese of Monty Python fame, who just published his memoir So, Anyway. Cleese amusingly reveals the truth behind what brought he and the remaining members of Python together for their reunion in London last summer: A legal settlement of $800K against the cast. Solution: Put on a show! In between the two chats, in a segment called "I Wish I’d Made That," is Comedy Bang! Bang!’s Scott Aukerman waxing wistfully about TV’s quirky Twin Peaks series. Finally, Thorne closes the show talking about the triumph of Amazon’s video series Transparent starring Jeffrey Tambor. At one hour and 14 minutes this week, Bullseye serves up one hell of a show. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy: Bill Burr's Netflix Special Debuts

billburr2-We talked to Bill Burr about his standup career and new Netflix special.

-We got dark and weird with Amy Sedaris and Scott Adsit from The Heart, She Holler.

-We took a look at the ubiquitous pop-culture artifact known as the comedy album.

-Barry Rothbart is keeping busy and he told us all about it.

-We examined the plight of Canadian comics who want to perform in the US. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Marc Maron Chats with Norman Lear

lear_maronThe 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. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.

WTF with Marc Maron - Norman Lear
WTF_with_Marc_MaronMarc: As we round on the end of another year, it’s worth noting that podcasts are drawing guests of increasingly notable status. (True, a number of them think they’re doing a radio interview but, that aside, the pool is getting deeper and more interesting.) Marc Maron ventured forth from his garage this week to sit with television and film comedy legend Norman Lear. The creator of such historic and hysterical fare as All In The FamilyMaude, and Good Times, at the age of 92, has a lot to relate and Maron guides him thorough telling us some great highlights. As his guide, the host of WTF is using Lear’s recently published memoir, Even This I Get To Experience, and it’s great to hear some of the behind the scene stories brought to life. Like when, as a comedy writer, he received a gift from his then-boss Jerry Lewis back in the comedian’s heyday, only to be abruptly dismissed the next day. Or how executives from NBC had to sneak into CBS Studios in Los Angeles to watch a presentation of Sanford & Son because Lear’s home network passed on the project. Then there were the first two pilots he shot of All In The Family WITHOUT Rob Reiner in the role of Mike “Meathead” Stivic… Great stories within a great conversation. And one of the best things about Norman Lear being on a podcast? More legends will likely want to start doing them, too. READ MORE

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What's on TV This Week: 'The Heart, She Holler' Returns

heartshehollerThis week Comedy Central is back full throttle with new episodes of The Daily Show, Colbert Report, @midnight, South Park, and a Sneak Peek that will take you inside Kroll Show. Adult Swim primers the third season of The Heart, She Holler with a new episode each night. Also in store is Showtime's Pauly Shore Stands Alone — a documentary that gives a glimpse into the comedians Midwest tour, his ailing mother, and his life outside of comedy. And be sure to catch a new Saturday Night Live with host James Franco.

In late night, Don Rickles visits Kimmel, and Steve Carell and Drew Carey stop in to chat with Ferguson. Fallon and Conan are jam packed with comedic guests that include Martin Short, David Sedaris, Chris Rock, Cedric the Entertainer, Mindy Kailing, D.J. Demers, Billy Eichner, and Bill Burr.

Check out this week's full comedy listings below: READ MORE

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What's on TV This Week: The All-Star Non-Denominational Christmas Special

broadcity-xmasForget Thanksgiving, it’s already Christmas time at Comedy Central — and of course, there’s something for everyone. Thanksgiving night the network premieres its first ever All-Star Non-Denominational Christmas Special that runs through Sunday. The all-encompassing show will feature Stephen Colbert, Nick Kroll, Nathan Fielder, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson as well as Key and Peele who in the promo, broke down the meaning of Kwanzaa (it’s worth watching). Also, Tuesday night the network is giving a sneak peek of the new show Big Time in Hollywood, FL. The series is executively produced by Ben Stiller and is about brothers and self-proclaimed filmmakers who are kicked out of their parents’ home and forced to face reality. And if you’re looking for more new shows, be sure to catch Comedy Bang! Bang!, The Birthday Boys, New Girl, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

In late night, Seth Meyers is getting into the holiday spirit–members of his family will be guests on his show, along with Aasif Mandvi, Jason Sudeikis, and Aubrey Plaza. Seth Rogen and Adam Resnick will be on Letterman and Erin Foley, Wayne Brady, and Jermaine Fowler stop by Ferguson. Kimmel has guest Mindy Kaling and Fallon has Tim Allen.

Check out this week's full comedy listings below: READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy: Some Cancellations, Some New Shows Born

themillers-CBS canceled The Millers, AMC passed on its first comedy pilot We Hate Paul Revere, and TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland will end after season six.

-SNL had its best episode of the season so far with host Woody Harrelson, and we broke down the show’s best sketches.

-On WTF this week John Mulaney and Marc Maron talked SNL, standup, and Mulaney.

-Austin Rodrigues thought a lot about bits.

-Rob Riggle will star in the adaptation of German sitcom Braunschlag that Fox is developing, Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner’s Difficult People was ordered to series by Hulu, American Dad! was renewed by TBS for a 12th season, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore premieres on Comedy Central January 19th, Nick Stoller is writing a Tinkerbell comedy to star Melissa McCarthy, and Will Forte’s Last Man on Earth premieres on Fox on March 1st. READ MORE

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What's on TV This Week: Thanksgiving Specials to Be Thankful For

modernfamilythanksgivingThis week the Thanksgiving festivities begin. Tuesday's Marry Me has Annie trying to host Thanksgiving dinner for the first time while Wednesday's The Middle has the family taking on a buffet for their Thanksgiving meal. Continuing the theme, Modern Family's Phil cooks their turkey and enlists Luke as his sous-chef, and The Goldbergs opt out of celebrating the holiday altogether. Also new this week is Comedy Central's late night lineup. Jon Stewart visits The Colbert Report, Pete Holmes is a contestant on @midnight, and Stan Lee is pitching new super heroes on Key and PeeleSNL is live on Saturday with host Cameron Diaz.

In late night, The Horrible Bosses 2 cast takes to the late night circuit. Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day visit Letterman while Jason Bateman is on Conan and Kimmel.  And Kimmel has a big week ahead; Tuesday he reveals People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" and also has guests Jamie Foxx and John Mulaney. Conan as well has more guests, which include Key and Peele and Forrest Shaw. Russell Brand is on Meyers and Fallon, and Fallon is also visited by Jon Stewart and Stephen Merchant. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson has Jane Lynch and a performance by Frank Nicotero.

Check out this week's full comedy listings below: READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy: 'High Maintenance' Returns

highmaintenance-Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair talked to us about their wonderful web series High Maintenance, which started its new season this week.

-We had a guide for students on how to start their comedy career in college.

-Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant talked to us about the lasting legacy of Reno 911!

-The Community cast added Paget Brewster and Keith David to season 6; Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart will star in the buddy comedy Central Intelligence; Brooks Wheelan and Kurt Braunohler were cast in The Out of Town Wedding; Fred Armisen, Judy Greer, Selma Blair, and Billie Joe Armstrong will star in Geezer; and Nick Kroll, Tim Heidecker, Kaitlin Olson, and Michael Pena joined the Vacation reboot.

-Both Funny or Die and The Onion are for sale.

-Amazon Studios added another round of original pilots to be considered for early 2015, IFC is developing a show starring David Krumholtz as a Jewish grandmother, and you can now spy on the Netflix viewing histories of Arrested Development characters.

-IFC has teamed up with UCB and Above Average for a new online comedy hub.

-We reviewed Rosewater, Jon Stewart's directorial debut.

-UCB’s Kristen Bartlett told her story about confronting grief with humor.

-We took a closer look at Ken Finkleman and the art of being derivative.

-The Second City archives had Debra Downing and a shirtless Jack McBrayer arguing in 2000.

-Clair Phillips broke down for us the making of BedHead, a web series that took two long years to make.

-We talked to Big Jay Oakerson about his new album. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: 'Happy Sad Confused' and "Denzelishness"

kudrowThe 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. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.

Happy Sad Confused - Lisa Kudrow
happysadconfusedLeigh: While Happy Sad Confused may be one of the podcasts that has moved over to the new Wolfpop network, happy, sad and confused are also all things we've felt over the creation, loss and return of The Comeback. Lucky for us, Happy Sad Confused host Josh Horowitz sits down with Lisa Kudrow this week to talk about all of those things. The exceedingly delightful Kudrow shares how the second season came to be, what they originally had in mind for Valerie Cherish in a second season, and how the idea for the show first came about, which includes one very confusing lunch with Michael Patrick King. And don't worry, Horowitz asks about Friends too. (How could he not?) They go into how Friends was a show that perfected what a sitcom should be, but what Kudrow is drawn to now, in shows like The Comeback and Web Therapy, is working to pick that form apart and create something new. We've already waited 9 long years for the second season of The Comeback, don't waste any more time and listen to this episode. Unless of course you're watching The Comeback. READ MORE

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What's on TV This Week: New Episodes Aplenty

bdb-love-hate-dump-620x340Prepare for a week with loads of new episodes every night. Tonight on The Millers, Nathan attempts to be less self involved while Tuesday's New Girl features Nick feigning to be gay and CeCe contemplating a breast reduction. On Wednesday, one of Key and Peele's sketches has a henchman cramping a super villain's style, and Thursday night's Two and Half Men has Alan and Walden convincing a social worker they're ready to adopt. Friday the Birthday Boys explore romance in a series of sketches that range from male swingers to a married couple in need of a date. On Saturday, Woody Harrelson returns to host SNL, and on Sunday night Fox lineup is back — in The Simpsons, Bart's new teacher wants to crush his spirit and in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jake is in charge of the precinct when it goes on lockdown Thanksgiving night.

And speaking of the night, this week in late night shows, Steve Carell, Jon Stewart, and Frank Caliendo visit Letterman, directors/producers/writers of Dumb and Dumber To, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, are on Fallon along with Tracey Ullman, while Mike Myers and Jim Carrey stop by Kimmel.  Monty Python's Eric Idle is on Ferguson as well as guests Steven Wright and Paula Poundstone and Late Night with Seth Meyers has performances from Matt Jones and Mike Lawrence.

Check out this week's full comedy listings below: READ MORE