‘The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale’ Reimagines ‘The Soup’ for Netflix
Before Joel McHale starred as Jeff Winger on the much-beloved Community, he became a household name as the host of The Soup, the E! series where he would give us grade-A snark about the latest round of reality TV schlock. McHale’s wit spared no one, and the show familiarized itself with audien... [Read More]
Review: Chris Rock, “Tamborine” on Netflix
Is Chris Rock’s Tamborine his best stand-up comedy special? Well, no. Is it his most interesting, most revealing and perhaps most important hour for these times? Perhaps yes. And that’s all you really need to know about the first of two Netflix specials Rock has up his sleeves. That, and... [Read More]
Review: Eddie Griffin, “Undeniable,” on Showtime
One of my friends says Eddie Griffin is his favorite comedian. He doesn’t put Griffin in his all-time top five, but still, cites Griffin as his fave and his own inspiration for getting into stand-up comedy. I don’t see the same things in Griffin as my friends do, but after watching Unden... [Read More]
Not My ‘Cartoon President’
The first satirical portrayal of Hitler on film was in 1940, when Moe Howard lampooned Hitler in the Three Stooges short You Nazty Spy! Later that year, Charlie Chaplin played Adenoid Hynkel in his classic The Great Dictator. At the end of The Great Dictator, Chaplin’s Jewish barber-masqueradi... [Read More]
Andy Kaufman Gets Illustrated in ‘Is This Guy for Real?’
Around 2010, I worked at a coffee shop for a man who believed Andy Kaufman was still alive. It had been a generation since Kaufman’s apparent death, in 1984, from lung cancer. My old manager isn’t alone, either; Kaufman’s career onstage included comedy, songs, impersonations, wrest... [Read More]
Review: Fred Armisen, “Standup For Drummers” on Netflix
Fred Armisen is an acquired taste. That’s something we all probably can agree on, whether or not you agree with my takeaways from his first Netflix special, Standup For Drummers. You can see parts of many of his characters, from his long-running Portlandia on IFC to his SNL Weekend Update pers... [Read More]
‘SNL’s Only February Episode Featured Natalie Portman and Lots of Fart Jokes
Natalie Portman mentioned in her monologue that she hasn’t hosted since 2006, and the entire cast from that season came by to honor the occasion. Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Andy Samberg, and the Brain that Wouldn’t Die—Alec Baldwin. Perhaps it was a big deal because this was apparent... [Read More]
Humor in Hindsight: Zach Galifianakis and his twin in “Live at the Purple Onion” and “Between Two Ferns”
For my latest Humor in Hindsight column for Decider, I took a look back at how Zach Galifianakis has perfected the art of playing himself opposite his own self. Sure, you can see Galifianakis pull off this feat weekly on FX’s Baskets, which just returned in January for its third season, now wi... [Read More]
NBC’s ‘A.P. Bio’ Falls Short of Its Potential
Mike O’Brien’s new show A.P. Bio, whose pilot previewed on NBC last night in advance of the official series premiere on March 1st, is Glenn Howerton’s first starring role since his sort-of leaving It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Coincidentally, like Kaitlin Olson on T... [Read More]
‘A Futile and Stupid Gesture’ Takes an Honest Look at ’70s Comedy History
Doug Kenney flamed out early. A child of the 1950s, he produced comedy in print, radio, and film from the late ‘60s through his death in 1980 that has become classic, either through its enormous influence on the comedy that followed or as works in their own right (“People really like Cad... [Read More]