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This Week in Comedy: 'Comedy Bang! Bang!' and 'The Birthday Boys' Return

comedy-bang-bang1-We took a look at the TV networks’ comedy depth charts; we examined which network offers the most in quantity, which offer the most in quality, and who’s taking the biggest risks.

-We talked with Dane Cook about his standup evolution, joke theft allegations, and the “comedy purists” who love to hate him.

-We took at look at how Mad Libs are written.

-Upright Citizens Brigade announced the grand opening of UCB Theatre Sunset in LA.

-We spoke with the free-wheeling Todd Glass.

-Neil Patrick Harris will host the Oscars next year.

-Scott Aukerman told us all about the evolution of Comedy Bang! Bang!

-Three of The Birthday Boys shared how they all found their footing in the shows second season.

-Bill Hader delivered a masterful performance hosting SNL and we broke down the best and worst sketches of the night. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Gottfried and Weird Al Deliver a Punch

weirdalThe 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.

Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast - Weird Al Yankovic
Gilbert___600x360Zoe: 
“I’m the second lowest on the totem pole. It’s me and then Carrot Top,” says Weird Al Yankovic of his career as a musical parodist. “Every album of mine is a comeback album.”  While there couldn’t be two Weird Als, there’s certainly a place for one Weird Al, and his wholehearted embrace of this “lower” status has boosted his career to the point of having the number one album this year. He’s also just a really good guy. He and Gottfried get along famously, despite having seemingly opposite sensibilities; where Yankovic is the goofy, eccentric nerd you can listen to with your parents, Gottfried is the cynical, brash roastmaster who was the first to tell a 9/11 joke. But what unites these two is a love of all things over-the-top, a mutual appreciation that’s felt throughout the episode. It’ll give you a craving for the brand of shameless, gag-rich comedy that was ubiquitous in Mel Brooks and Leslie Nielsen movies, but which we don’t see much of these days, save for the Scary Movie franchise. Amidst the current trend observational storytelling, sometimes you just need a quick punch in the gut, which this episode most certainly delivers. READ MORE

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What's on TV This Week: 'Marry Me' and 'The Birthday Boys' Start Their Seasons

marry me nbcThis week more new shows are added to the fall lineup. On Tuesday, Marry Me kicks it off on NBC with its series premiere followed by the second season premiere of About a Boy on NBC and Friday The Birthday Boys are back with their second season on IFC. Also Modern Family, The League, and The Mindy Project continue their all new episodes while Saturday Night Live takes a break until October 25.

In late night, Russell Brand and Bill Murray are on Letterman, Zach Galifianakis is on Fallon, and Cristela Alonzo is on Kimmel. Ferguson has Weird Al Yankovic performing and Meyers has Ike Barinholtz and Dane Cook. Be sure to catch John Oliver give his weekly roundup on Last Week Tonight.

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

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This Week in Comedy: An 'SNL' Great Passes On

janhooks-philhartman-SNL alum Jan Hooks died at 57 and we paid tribute to the late star in Remember Jan Hooks.

-The Daily Show hired Hasan Minhaj and Trevor Noah as new correspondents.

-Tom Scharpling’s The Best Show is returning next month.

-The Ghostbusters reboot is really, officially happening, with Katie Dippold set to write it for Paul Feig, who promises that it will be “really scary” and respect the original films.

-Sarah Silverman returned to SNL.

-Cameron Esposito talked to us about the business of being herself.

-We broke down the dispute between Groundlings and SNL over the “Rivers Sisters” sketch and SNL’s parallel thinking excuse. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Jim Gaffigan Tells Some Lies

Jim_GaffiganThe 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.

Lies - Jim Gaffigan Got Cut Like an Abercrombie Model
nerdistLeigh: Everybody, take your headphones out for just one second. You hear those cheers off in the distance? Those bursts of excited shrieks? Those are the sounds of people discovering Sara Schaefer has a new podcast. Lies, the newest podcast on the Nerdist Podcast Network, produced by WYNC and hosted by Schaefer, features an interview with a public figure every episode. Seems straight forward enough, right? Not so fast. If you listen to a lot of comedy podcasts, chances are you've heard a comedian tell the same story more than once. Well, that will never happen on Lies because, just like the title says, it's all lies. That being said, you've probably never heard about the premiere episode's guest Jim Gaffigan's stint as a tattoo model, his time in Estonia studying gymnastics, or the makeup consultations he used to give in Scandinavia. And you'll probably never hear it again. The episode is incredibly funny, but perhaps the most incredible thing is that Schaefer and Gaffigan only break and laugh once. So if you want to hear about Gaffigan's line of yogurt or learn where to buy his bikrim yoga DVDs, Lies is your only chance. READ MORE

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What's on TV This Week: The Fall TV Season Gets Into Full Swing

themindyprojectThis week is jammed packed with your favorite fall comedies. From sitcoms like New Girl to late night shows like Colbert Report, every night has something new. Also this week ABC adds Cristela to its Friday lineup and Mark Viera and Barry Brewer perform for Gabriel Iglesias Presents Standup Revolution on Comedy Central. The week comes to a close with Bill Hader hosting SNL.

In late night, Letterman has guests Aziz Ansari, Tom Dreesen, Chelsea Hander, and Key and Peele while Fallon has Carol Burnett, Artie Lange, Steve Carell, and Nick Kroll.

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

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This Week in Comedy: 'SNL' Returns, Yvette Nicole Brown Leaves 'Community'

chrisprattsnl-We ran through the 20 greatest standup specials of all time.

-We took an inside look at Louis C.K.’s weird and wild three-hour radio show from 2007.

-Yvette Nicole Brown is leaving Community.

-Our SNL review said the 40th season opener with host Chris Pratt gave the show a new hope.

-We highlighted the passion of Kathy Griffin.

-Netflix released the trailer for Chelsea Handler’s standup special Uganda Be Kidding Me Live.

-Let’s do something different with comedy crowdfunding is a list of amazing and creative projects to help inspire new concepts for the media platform.

- Tim and Eric directed the best ever lightbulb infomercial starring Jeff Goldblum.

-FX renewed Married and You’re the Worst and moved You’re the Worst to FXX.

-Tracey Morgan may not be able to perform again after his accident with a Walmart truck.

-We talked with John Mulaney about his new Fox show, SNL, and the scars of Catholic schooling.

-This week in web videos we took a look at Rita Chin’s B1G Ten Trash Talk.

-FX ordered a pilot from the It’s Always Sunny guys starring Bill Burr.

-Adam Sandler signed a four-movie deal with Netflix.

-We chatted with Jerrod Carmichael about his first HBO special and don’t worry—he’s not nervous.

-The Second City Archives featured Mike Myers speaking French with a Scottish Accent in a 1986 sketch. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Dan Harmon and Neil Berkeley Visit 'Nerdist'

harmon_berkeleyThe 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.

Nerdist - Dan Harmon and Neil Berkeley

nerdistElizabeth: This actually isn’t the first time writer/showrunner Dan Harmon has taped the Nerdist podcast, but it’s the first episode that was actually released. Chris Hardwick brings up the initial recording, which involved Harmon being left in a room for “150 minutes of pure drinking time”  before coming on stage at San Francisco Sketch Fest. This time he’s joined by Neil Berkeley, the director of the upcoming Harmontown documentary. Harmon addresses the Chevy Chase debacle and the media attention he’s received, criticizing blogs for re-reporting stories from other sites (Splitsider gets a mention here), but ultimately admits it could be much worse: “For every thing you read my name in, there’s like nine things I totally got away with. It’s just that a Kardashian had an abortion that week. I just luck out.” For Community fans who are wondering if the show will be different when it moves to Yahoo!, Harmon says the added freedom won’t change things. He’s committed to making sure the series feels the same, using the admittedly flawed metaphor: “You can’t change the shape of a Snickers bar” (prompting Hardwick and Berkeley to point out that yes, actually there are plenty of ways to change the shape of a Snickers bar). The episode also offers a ringing endorsement for couples therapy. If you’ve ever doubted its effectiveness, wait until you hear what it’s done for Dan Harmon. READ MORE

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What's on TV This Week: 'Mulaney' Debuts and New Episodes Aplenty

mulaneyAnna Faris and Allison Janney kick start the week with the season two premiere of Mom tonight on CBS. The week is packed with new episodes from favorites like Key and Peele, Modern Family, The Mindy Project, and so many more.  Gabriel Iglesias Presents Standup Revolution Friday night on HBO and Sarah Silverman hosts SNL's second show of the season. You can catch John Mulaney on The Tonight Show and Late Night as he promotes Mulaney, which premieres Sunday night on Fox.

Also in late night, Dane Cook is on Fallon, John Oliver and Simon Amstell are on Letterman, and Martin Short and Tim Allen are on Kimmel.  Seth Meyers has guests Michael Che, Weird Al Yankovic , and Sarah Silverman while Ferguson has Jim Gaffigan, Don Rickles, and Daniel Sloss.

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

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This Week in Comedy: The Return of 'Key and Peele,' 'SNL,' 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine,' and More

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-Chicago comedy and theater great Sheldon Patinkin died at 79.

-We broke down the economics of internet comedy videos.

-We debated whether all standup comics should write their own jokes.

-You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman is a book that takes a look at Hartman’s enduring legacy.

-Tymberlee Hill gave us an inside look at Marry Me, Hotwives, and Drunk History.

-Sam Morril shared what it’s like living the standup life.

-Chelsea Peretti talked with us about the new season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, writing for SNL, and her new Netflix special.

-We broke down what you can expect from SNL in Season 40.

-This week The Chris Gethard Show returned to public access.

-We looked at the dark and absurd sci-fi comedy Space Station 76.

-Saturday Night’s Children examined Chevy Chase’s short career on SNL.

-This week's Second City Archives unearthed a clip of Steve Carell and Amy Sedaris talking insomnia in a 1993 sketch.

- We explored the origins of David Letterman's Top Ten List.

READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Joe DeRosa Gets Down with Batman

joe_derosaThe 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.

You Made It Weird – Live From High Plains Comedy Festival

You-Made-It-WeirdScott: The live shows are always a good, weird, often uncomfortable time, and this one is no exception. The six guests on the show this time are Chris Thayer, Mike O’Connell, Kate Berlant, Billy Wayne Davis, Matt Knudsen, and Nick Thune. Right up top, Holmes and Thayer make it weird with the revelation that Thayer has never enjoyed his sidekick nickname “Weird Boy” and goes on to explain the time in his life when he was called “Creepy Chris” and was totally fine with it. Berlant casually mentions that she grew up having out-of-body experiences and then just tries to move on as if Holmes wouldn’t lock on to that tidbit, but it gets even better when she talks about asking for medical tests for birthdays and the time she convinced herself she had breast cancer before she actually had breasts. As the last guest, Thune brings it all home with a bunch of talk about farts – creating, consuming, new techniques for creating and consuming – and by the end, you’re left wondering what exactly you just listened to, which is kind of the point of the YMIW live episode. READ MORE

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What's on TV This Week: The Season Premieres of 'Key and Peele,' 'SNL,' 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine,' and More

snlstageThis week is full of premieres. The Big Bang Theory kicks it off tonight on CBS with its season 8 premiere. ABC keeps it going Wednesday with all new episodes of The Middle, The Goldbergs, and Modern Family as well as the new series Black-ish starring Anthony Anderson. Wednesday night also has the season premieres of South Park and Key and Peele on Comedy Central. NBC continues the stride on Saturday with a new SNL hosted by Chris Pratt, and Fox brings it to a close with new seasons of The Simpsons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Family Guy on Sunday. And while this week welcomes back shows it also says goodbye to Married at First Site and Pen and Teller: Fool Us.

In late night, Letterman’s guests are Jim Gaffigan and Jerry Seinfeld, Fallon has Andy Samberg and Chris Pratt, Ferguson has Bill Hader, Judd Apatow, and Ben Schwartz, and Meyers has Roy Wood Jr. performing. On Sunday, John Oliver wraps it up with a new episode of Last Week Tonight.

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

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This Week in Comedy: 'SNL' Adds a New Announcer and Featured Player

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-SNL hired Darrell Hammond as its new announcer and new featured player Pete Davidson.

-SNL’s October 11th host is Bill Hader, and Jim Carrey will reportedly host an episode this year to promote Dumb and Dumber To.

-On the Daily Show Jon Stewart gave Michael Che the perfect goodbye.

-Cecily Strong said she was “genuinely happy” about leaving Weekend Update.

-We discussed how FX’s You’re the Worst has quietly become the best new comedy on television.

-We interviewed Gary Gulman who is on the road promoting his new special It’s About Time.

-Tim Gilbert got weird in Toronto.

-Bill Connolly shared how there are business lessons in the world of improv.

-We looked at what it means to direct an Adam Sandler movie.

-We explored the hidden racist past of the Looney Toons.

-We took a look back in time when Bill Cosby helped launch Joan Rivers’ comedy career.

-John Swartzwelder’s failed 1996 pilot Pistol Pete showed up online in full. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: 'Pauly Shore's Interested' Gets Serious

pauly-dinerThe 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.

Pauly Shore's Interested - The Robin Williams Tribute 

interestedPablo: Right off the bat, Pauly Shore's Interested is not what you'd expect from the '90s stoner icon. I'm not saying I assumed this podcast would be something akin to his MTV VJ days, but I also didn't expect interview clips to fade in-and-out to soft acoustic guitar like your average public radio show. The superb production values give what I'm calling This American Weasel a more serious tone than Shore fans are used to but it works given the somber topic on hand: the suicide of Robin Williams. Shore's two guests are Ed Begley, Jr., who performed standup at the Shore family's Comedy Store before focusing on acting, and comedian Rick Overton, who was Williams's best friend. Both open up their minds and hearts to discuss the late legend's love of bike riding and performing for the troops, his partying heyday in the '80s, and the possibility that the rapid-fire voices in Williams's head that gave him his signature style could have turned on him in his final months. Overton also dishearteningly notes that in Robin's last weeks, their communication dwindled and his texts kept getting shorter. With such a promising start, I highly recommend subscribing to Interested, especially with guests Chris Rock, Paul Rodriguez, Arsenio Hall, and Marc Maron on the horizon. READ MORE