Controversy over Upright Citizens Brigade flares, but is it much ado about nothing?
What started as one comedian’s off-the-cuff vocal displeasure over the way a well-respected comedy institution runs its business evolved into a needlessly divisive, hostile online battle fought via Facebook updates and Tumblr posts. I’m not including... [Read More]
 
Image of Today in unmitigated gall: Professor Marlon Wayans rants against Scary Movie 5 for degrading the art of comedy
Today in unmitigated gall: Professor Marlon Wayans rants against Scary Movie 5 for degrading the art of comedy
Is there anyone more qualified to wax highbrow and pretentious about the oft-overlooked art of comedy than one of the minds behind Scary Movie 2 and White Chicks? Marlon Wayans doesn’t seem to think so. In a fascinating interview with Hitfix, Wayans uses the similarly timed openings of his new opus ... [Read More]
 
Image of The Chicago Tribune thinks it’s okay to be a heckler, they’re wrong
The Chicago Tribune thinks it’s okay to be a heckler, they’re wrong
A really polarizing story was recently published by The Chicago Tribune that basically was a defense of the heckling of a comedian. If you aren’t familiar with the term, “heckling” is when someone in the audience becomes disruptive during the time a comedian is on stage performing.... [Read More]
 
So two Comedy Bars walk into a scene…
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a comedy club opens in a major city, with a mandate to offer performance space to emerging talent (standup, improv, storytelling or “whatever”) and to provide a home-away-from-home for local comics to ... [Read More]
 
Image of Jerry Seinfeld (Really!) Riffs About ... Something | NY Times
Jerry Seinfeld (Really!) Riffs About ... Something | NY Times
"Your Critic’s Notebook column about the overuse of the term “Really?” was so deeply vacuous that I couldn’t help but feel that you have stepped into my area of expertise. Really, Neil? Really? You’re upset about too many people saying, “Really?”? I mean, really. " [Read More]
 
Image of Idiocy on the high seas: John Wolfe sues P&O Cruises over comedians
Idiocy on the high seas: John Wolfe sues P&O Cruises over comedians
We stumbled across this article on USAToday.com, which in turn led us to the original account (in the UK Guardian) of an Irish man who sued the P&O Cruises because the comedians on two cruises made Irish jokes. Here’s the troubling part: [Read More]
 
Image of Has Dave Chappelle handled fame exactly right?  | The A.V. Club
Has Dave Chappelle handled fame exactly right?  | The A.V. Club
Chappelle’s reasons for leaving and the way he’s taking cautious steps toward returning make him a fascinating character—in addition to the fact that he was one of the smartest, funniest comics in the world at the time of his self-imposed exile. [Read More]
 
Image of Dick Cavett: Comedy Pain and Comedy Pleasure | NY Times
Dick Cavett: Comedy Pain and Comedy Pleasure | NY Times
Let me take you back to the Ed Sullivan days and start with that which was part of the life of a New York-based scuffling comedy writer of the time: the phenomenon of the B-level comedian. Not the beginner or the guy who entertains at picnics and church socials, but a professional comedian who is sort of in the Big Time without being of it. He works reasonably steadily in nightclubs and the Borscht circuit, has had a few TV “shots” and a modest house in Queens or Brooklyn. He is, as the sayin... [Read More]
 
Image of How Tosh.0 survived the decline of the “clip show”
How Tosh.0 survived the decline of the “clip show”
Not so long ago, though, Tosh.0 wasn’t the only Soup clone on the airwaves; the two shows shared space with The Dish, Sports Soup, and Web Soup. Now all those shows are gone, and aside from The Soup and Tosh.0, the basic-cable clip show has largely returned to the abysmal talking-head/wink-’n’-smirk VH1 model. Did the Soup copies die off because their hosts and writers weren’t clever enough? Or was it because the kind of material they were highlighting—viral videos and crazy moments from sports ... [Read More]
 
Image of When the Comic and the Heckler Both Take Offense | NY Times
When the Comic and the Heckler Both Take Offense | NY Times
No moment in popular culture is more charged and anxious than when a stand-up comic battles with a heckler. It usually ends with a knockout insult and a huge laugh. But when things turn ugly, as happened three times last week, it can expose the gap between comedians and patrons who see this clash very differently. [Read More]