good comedy vibes

GondelMan of the Year

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“John Oliver is funny. John Oliver is smart. John Oliver is telegenic. John Oliver has a mischievous twinkle made twinklier by his Liverpudlian lilt and dimples that you could eat clotted cream out of. John Oliver has an inquisitive and agile intellect yet is still humble and disarming. John Oliver smells like kittens eating ice cream. I wish I had known all this before letting John Oliver host The Daily Show all summer. Fuck that guy.” – Jon “Jonny Stewbeef” Stewart

GQ named John Oliver as one of its Men of the Year, so that got his boss to do a writeup on him. One day, I want a boss who’ll write, “Fuck that guy” in a thing about me. Jokingly, of course. Although I’m kind of expecting someone to say it un-jokingly.

(The link, in case you wanna see John Oliver in a suit.)

I am invincible, and so can you.

As a person who performs stand-up comedy*, I’m always self-conscious about my stage presence. I figure that I just need to get up on stage as often as possible. But apparently, you can just train stage fright and embarrassment out of you. You know– provided you’re an unbelievably talent performer first. Fuckin’ Colbert… being amazing…

*I’m not calling myself a stand-up comedian without feeling like the biggest asshole.

An evening with Colbert & the Report.

To officially release America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t, Stephen Colbert and the Colbert Report writers held a quick Q&A and a longsigning at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square.

From L-R: Jay Katsir, Tom Purcell, Opus Moreschi, Barry Julien, Eric Drysdale, Meredith Scardino, Rob Dubbin, Frank Lesser, Stephen Colbert. (Not pictured: Glenn Eichler, Rich Daum)

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Remember this?: “Who Made Huckabee?”

During the 2007-08 Writers Guild strike, guys like Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert were left alone in the offices without much to do. Although they have writing credits on their respective shows, because of their overriding Executive Producer credits, they were still contractually obligated to make a show. They couldn’t join their writers on the picket line. So, with a crap ton of time on their hands, these guys decided to start a feud over who gave then Republican candidate Mike Huckabee a popularity boost. Colbert went to The Daily Show to plot with Stewart, only to have Conan interrupt to issue an ultimatum of ass-whoopings. Conan and Jon patiently waited for Colbert to finish his Report. This was the final encounter at the Late Night studio. 11:00, 11:30, 12:30 — It’s cross-network mayhem!

3:44 takes the cake for me. There’s nothing like three grown men, dancing around like morons.

Funny People #5: George Carlin

It’s been a really long time, and I wasn’t planning on posting anything today. But today would’ve George Carlin’s 74th birthday, of course, if he had the courtesy to stay alive this long. So I had no choice.

If you’re a comedy fan, you don’t need an introduction to George Carlin. He’s one of comedy’s holy trinity: Bruce, Carlin, and Pryor. Jon Stewart couldn’t put it any better,
“There are two things that comedians of all stripes have in common basically: (1) the belief that someone who’s not as funny as they are is doing better than they are, and (2) a sincere love and respect for George Carlin and his work.”
The man was an absolute genius; he elevated the art form. But my words can’t do him justice, so I’ll let George do the talking.

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Funny People #4: Brian Regan

It’s not hard for a comic to work blue — to let the faucet loose on his or her mouth and let the profanity run like a verbal golden shower. (Eww. Descriptive language)

But it takes a lot for a comic to work clean. Brian Regan not only works clean, he works squeaky f*&kin’ clean. And he can make anyone laugh. The breadth of his material is astounding; he can take a premise and work it until all that’s left is a hollow carcass of comedy gold. He’s a comedian for all ages. Greg Giraldo (RIP) even said that he watched Regan with his kids.


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Funny People #3: Ricky Gervais

All of Hollywood is at a standstill. Dozens of celebrities and executives are mourning the loss of their dignity and self-importance after Sir Ricky Gervais dropped a comedy bomb at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. How great was that!?


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Funny People #2: Russell Peters

Race comedy can be a little sketchy. Comics walk a very thin line between hacky and brilliant, with most of them acting like jackasses on stage. For some reason, Russell Peters avoids the awful predictability and hackery that plagues racial humor. This guy is a pro; he can kill a room without even saying a word. And no ethnicity is safe when he’s got a microphone. He hits everybody square in the jaw, and leaves them asking for more. Another great export from Canada.


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Funny People: Bo Burnham

It’s a new year, so I’ve decided to start up a new project. Every week, I’ll (try to) write a little bit about comedians that I like, accompanied by videos of their stuff. I’m a huge comedy nerd, so I hope this will be a lot of fun.

I first saw Bo Burnham on Comedy Central Presents one afternoon, and I couldn’t believe that he was only two years older than me. I certainly wasn’t the only one. To this day, Bo is the youngest comedian to ever have a CCP special, and he recently won the Panel Prize at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (which is kind of a big deal). Like all great comics, he kills most of the room while offending a few uptighties. He’s devilishly clever and a master of wordplay, and he puts me to shame every time I see him.
(P.S. If you’re easily offended by Bo, go f&%k yourself.)

Early stuff from Bo’s bedroom:

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