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This Week in Comedy: Leslie Jones Gets Promoted at 'SNL'

leslie-jones-snl-SNL writer Leslie Jones was made a featured player.

-We spoke with Wyatt Cenac about standup, writing, and being a puppet aficionado.

-Fox cut Mulaney's season from 16 to 13 episodes.

-We got personal with Jonathan Katz.

-ABC has loads of comedies in development. Maggie Carey, Elizabeth Banks, Tina Fey and Fortune Feimster, as well as 30 Rock alums Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, and writer/doctor Simon Stephenson all have shows in the works for the network.

-Key and Peele’s first film Keanu will be about a kidnapped cat.

-Alan Tudyk talked with us about the joy of playing idiots.

-We reviewed Jim Gaffigan’s new book, Food: A Love Story.

-Netflix ordered an animated series to be created by and star Bill Burr.

-Adam McKay revealed he rewrote the Ant-Man script with Paul Rudd.

-Megan Amram announced she is going on a Science…For Her! book tour. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Pee-wee Herman Visits 'Nerdist'

pee_wee_hermanThe 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 - Paul Reubens
nerdistpodcastv2Zoe: This week, Paul Reubens visits The Nerdist to discuss the trajectory of Pee-wee Herman, from his conception at The Groundlings to the Saturday morning character on Pee-wee’s Playhouse. For those of us who grew up with Pee-wee Herman and have since become adult fans of comedy, it’s a fascinating listen. Watching these types of characters as a kid, we don’t always have the appreciation for the hard work that goes into creating these universes. If you were like me, your kid brain just kind of assumed these stories were designed with you in mind, end of story. But the more you learn about the industry itself, the more you see that these worlds are the culmination of many complicated processes, years of hard work, and acutely honed talent. Pee-wee is no exception; at The Groundlings, Reubens originally played him as a cheesy standup who would’ve gotten eaten alive at a club. He then explains how this character came to have a playhouse on an HBO special, which led to a movie (Reubens interestingly describes it as a rewrite of Pollyanna), and ultimately became a kids’ show on CBS. For an hour-long episode, it’s a very comprehensive view of the life of a character in all its incarnations. It’s so good, I forgot to recommend it. READ MORE

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What's on TV This Week: Jim Carrey Returns to 'SNL'

jimcarreysnlThe week starts off with the second season premiere of The Millers tonight on CBS, and while many shows are on hiatus there's still plenty of must-sees. From new series like Marry Me and Selfie to favorites like Modern Family the week has something new in store every night. And SNL is back this week with host Jim Carrey.

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

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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

brooklynninenine_s2

-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