Stand-Up ComedyLatest News and Opinion
Posted Monday 10/15/18 at 4:02PM EDT
Louis CK joked in his latest standup set that he's been "to hell and back" and "I lost $35 million in an hour"
According to Laughspin, the comedian performed at several New York City comedy clubs last week and finally though obliquely acknowledged his sexual misconduct scandal. “Good to be here even though some of you might not like me,” he said at West Side Comedy Club, according to Laughspin. Host AMarie Castillo told the comedy website: “It’s like he didn’t even skip a beat with the year he had. He was so genuine and reflected on how weird his year was, tried out some new dark and dirty material…Sounds to me he is owning up, acknowledging, and trying to figure it out.”
Posted Wednesday 10/10/18 at 1:29PM EDT
Monica Lewinsky says she "bawled my eyes out" watching Hannah Gadsby's Nanette
Source: The Daily Dot
Gadsby mentions Lewinsky in her acclaimed Netflix standup special, noting that she became a late-night punchline. Lewinsky got to talk to Gadsby at Vanity Fair‘s New Establishment Summit on Tuesday, telling her “for at least a week after I saw your show, I would find myself zoning out, reliving this moment of transformation you created onstage.”
Posted Monday 10/08/18 at 6:10PM EDT
SNL alum Finesse Mitchell lands a Showtime standup special
Mitchell will star Finesse Mitchell: The Spirit Told Me To Tell You, airing on Showtime on Friday, Oct. 19. Mitchell is best-known for his three-season stint on Saturday Night Live, joining the cast in 2003 along with Kenan Thompson.
Posted Friday 10/05/18 at 3:56AM EDT
Aziz Ansari's new standup act decries extreme wokeness, but still doesn't address his sexual misconduct scandal
Source: The New Yorker
"The bemused but progressive spirit that once informed Ansari’s commentary on current events seems to have crusted into suspicion about wokeness and its excesses," Eren Orbey says of Ansari's new act, which he calls “Working Out New Material." "Without ever mentioning the #MeToo movement—or his own experience as one of its most disputed casualties—Ansari decries the destructive performativity of Internet activism and the fickle, ever-changing standards of political correctness."
Posted Wednesday 10/03/18 at 9:05PM EDT
Jimmy Kimmel under fire from Padma Lakshmi and others for his comments about Louis CK's comeback and for calling comedy "very democratic"
"If we get into the business of sanitizing every comedian and doing a thorough background check before they walk through the door, it’s going to be a very empty stage," Kimmel said when asked about Louis CK's comeback in a Hollywood Reporter interview announcing Jimmy Kimmel's Comedy Club in Las Vegas. "I think people tend to focus on the one or two people who walk out of a situation like that. Ultimately, the audience decides whether someone is welcomed back." Kimmel also laughed off the idea that comedy clubs should be a "safe space." Padma Lakshmi was among many on Twitter who criticized Kimmel's comments, tweeting: "Love you @jimmykimmel but the comedy community can also evolve their culture so that a known abuser who sexually humiliated women & silenced them for decades isn't welcomed back w/ open arms by @ComedyCellarUSA. I know a lot of standups who are NOT ok with sharing a bill with him. A 'background check' isn't really necessary for someone who openly admitted to masturbating in front of/on the phone to female colleagues for decades. We could just, as a culture and an NYC comedy community say, 'Actually f**k that.'" Kimmel was also criticized for saying, in response to a question about female comedians, that "comedy is very democratic. The people who are great, rise to the top; the people who are good, rise to the middle; and the people who aren’t good, don’t make it." As NPR critic Linda Holmes tweeted in response: "First of all, it's incredibly naive at this point to believe in absolute meritocracy in any endeavor, but to blow off the influences of any kind of discrimination in comedy is ludicrous. Second of all: Right in this same piece, they're talking about CK being given a spot on stage. A spot many people would kill for. Giving him that spot is a specific choice made by a specific person or people. That doesn't just *happen*. There are people who would give him that spot -- people who think his comedy is funny -- and people who don't. The idea that it's like the hot air balloon in The Good Place and you walk near a stage and it turns red or green? That's fake. I hate this depersonalization of the ways that people become famous, get opportunities to remain famous, and get opportunities to recover from stumbles. Those are all choices. It's not an algorithm." William Hughes added that Kimmel's "inner Adam Carolla emerged" in the interview, saying his "declaration against safe spaces is still a pretty f*cked-up thing to hear from a guy who is about to start actively employing people, especially since he just spent his last two responses first deflecting the idea that a club has a responsibility to make sure its employees won’t, say, take their d*ck out in front of other performers backstage, and then refuted any responsibility for making sure his club’s line-up isn’t a lazy parade of shitty-but-funny men. It is, in other words, both a continuation of the comedy club status quo, and a major bummer, especially since Kimmel has positioned himself in recent years as a voice for at least some angles of progressivism, ostensibly far removed from his old 'Girls jumping on trampolines' origins."
Posted Wednesday 10/03/18 at 1:47PM EDT
Jimmy Kimmel weighs in on Louis CK as he announces the opening of Jimmy Kimmel's Comedy Club in Las Vegas
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Las Vegas native is partnering with Caesars Entertainment for Jimmy Kimmel's Comedy Club, an 8,000-square-foot space opening in spring 2019 across the street from their hotel. “It was an easy yes,” says Kimmel, noting his family's ties to the city, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Kimmel says that while he plans to bring his talk show to Vegas, it won't be at the club. "We’d probably do it in a much bigger theater, but this club will definitely be a part of our show in a variety of ways," he says. The Hollywood Reporter asked, since he's opening a comedy club, about his thoughts on New York City's Comedy Cellar allowing Louis CK to perform. "If we get into the business of sanitizing every comedian and doing a thorough background check before they walk through the door, it’s going to be a very empty stage," he said with a laugh. "I think people tend to focus on the one or two people who walk out of a situation like that. Ultimately, the audience decides whether someone is welcomed back." Kimmel was also asked if he'll use his venue to champion more female comics. "Comedy is very democratic," he says. "The people who are great, rise to the top; the people who are good, rise to the middle; and the people who aren’t good, don’t make it. We want to get a lot of very funny people, and we want to give new comics an opportunity to work. I don’t focus on their gender or their skin color. I’d never want a woman to think that the reason she’s booked to be on stage at a club is because she’s a woman. The reason she’ll be booked to be on stage is because she’s funny."
Posted Tuesday 10/02/18 at 7:13PM EDT
Comedy Cellar owner: Why I allowed Louis CK to return for another surprise set
Source: Rolling Stone
“I don’t know what else to do,” said Noam Dworman of CK's surprise second appearance at his comedy club on Sunday night. Dworman declined to say whether or not he ever considered the option of disinviting CK from performing at his club in the first place when asked by Rolling Stone. “I’ve thought about this from every angle, and have sought a lot of outside advice to try to guide me," said Dworman, adding: “The one complaint that I felt I didn’t have a good answer for, was customers who came who felt ambushed. One option was to put (CK) on the line-up, but for practical reasons that won’t work, so I decided the next thing to do was to have this policy and give customers notice.”
Posted Tuesday 10/02/18 at 4:56AM EDT
Louis CK's second return may be proof of a "nonchalant reintroduction into the cultural bloodstream"
When Louis CK generated outrage in the aftermath of his surprise return to standup comedy at the Comedy Cellar in late August, Christina Cauterucci predicted that his comeback without any fanfare, apology, statements or interviews about what he’d learned in his time away would probably be the model for some men disgraced by the #MeToo movement. "The more likely route to reputation renovation will simply be nonchalant reintroduction into the cultural bloodstream, little by little, like routine allergy shots that cause a milder reaction with each prick," she wrote. As Matthew Dessum points out, "it appears that CK is taking precisely this route, returning to the Comedy Cellar to give the public one of his trademark surprise pricks about a month after the last one." CK's return to the Comedy Cellar on Sunday night, five weeks after his first comeback, may have reportedly prompted two women to walk out, but he was greeted with "wild applause" and left with a "warm send-off," according to The New York Times. The Hollywood Reporter obtained audio of the audience's reaction, and there was a lot of cheering and whistling. It's unclear at this point if CK's comeback will generate the same level of outrage as his first comeback.
Posted Tuesday 10/02/18 at 4:56AM EDT
Elayne Boosler, stand-up comedy's "first female star," hasn't gotten her due
Source: The New York Times
The 66-year-old standup comic is releasing a new box set of her old TV specials. A regular on David Letterman's Late Night and on HBO and Showtime specials in the 1980s and early 1990s, Boosler was unlike Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller, says comedy critic Jason Zinoman. "Her act — hard-hitting, topical and dense with punch lines — anticipated the future of comedy better than most if not all of her peers," he says. But, Zinoman adds, Boosler "never got her big break in the form of her own network sitcom or talk show and had very limited success getting booked on the Tonight Show, where Johnny Carson preferred female comics who were not aggressive. When Larry King asked Ms. Boosler on CNN, 'Why is comedy considered not for women?,' the question answered itself. Ms. Boosler’s career clearly suffered from systemic sexism, the impossible bind that demanded women command the stage without being too, well, commanding. You see this perhaps most clearly in her positive reviews, which maintained that she was not abrasive or feminist, as if that would scare away audiences. (She actually could be both, but that was part of her charismatic power.)"
Posted Monday 10/01/18 at 6:35PM EDT
Louis CK performed at the Comedy Cellar again last night, resulting in two women walking out
Source: Page Six
“He went on around midnight,” a source tells Page Six. “A few women walked out. He didn’t address (the #MeToo allegations against him). He was a little arrogant … he made some comment like, ‘I’ve been off for a while, ‘cause everyone needs a break.’” According to Gothamist, CK received "a pretty enthusiastic reception" and that the people walking out received a refund, per the Comedy Cellar's new policy. Gothamist reported that Aziz Ansari also performed at the Comedy Cellar last night.
Posted Wednesday 9/26/18 at 6:40PM EDT
Comedian Ted Alexandro used Louis CK's comeback venue to crack jokes at his expense
Alexandro posted video today of his standup set from earlier this month at the Comedy Cellar, where he targeted CK and the applause he received at the venue last month. He also went after Bill Cosby and the comedians who are defensive about the #MeToo movement. “What’s with this PC culture, it’s suffocating, right?” asked Alexandro. “Do you want to live in a world where a man can’t politely ask a colleague if he can take off all his clothes and masturbate to completion?”
Posted Monday 9/24/18 at 3:53PM EDT
Bill Burr and Al Madrigal sign their company to a production deal with Comedy Central
As part of a deal with Burr and Madrigal's production company, All Things Comedy, Burr will host a half-hour standup comedy series and star in three one-hour specials. The deal marks a return to Comedy Central for Madrigal, who had a Comedy Central Presents special in 2005 and who was a correspondent for The Daily Show.
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 10:47PM EDT
T.J. Miller was reportedly denied a chance to perform at an open mic night in Denver
Byron Graham writes that he and his fellow co-host of Denver's longest-running comedy open mic discussed whether to bar the former Silicon Valley star from performing after recently spotting him in the audience. Graham writes that they "promptly agreed that allowing an alleged perpetrator of sexual and physical violence on the stage of our beloved dive bar sanctuary ran contrary to the spirit of the scuzzy, yet safe performance space we endeavor to cultivate week after week. So we couldn't let Miller perform in good conscience, but we also couldn't figure out how to make him leave without causing an unwelcome scene." So they opted to say things on stage that would make him uncomfortable while ignoring him. He eventually left.
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 8:17AM EDT
Did Hannah Gadsby "subtweet" Michael Che during the Emmys?
Source: Vanity Fair
Emmys co-host Che has obliquely criticized Gadsby's Nanette while emphasizing repeatedly that he's never actually seen her critically acclaimed Netflix standup comedy special. On the Emmys, Gadsby seemed to fire back at her harshest critics, who apparently include Che and Norm Macdonald, who also has never seen the special. “What are jokes these days?” Hannah Gadsby asked during her time on stage. “We don’t know. Nobody knows what jokes are, but especially not men. Isn’t that right, fellas?”
Posted Monday 9/10/18 at 2:00PM EDT
Netflix execs are silent on a Louis CK comeback, but they address concerns over the lack of black female comedians and too many comedy specials
Source: The New York Times
The New York Times' comedy critic Jason Zinoman sat down with Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s vice president of original documentary and comedy programming, and Robbie Praw, the director of original stand-up comedy. When he asked about the potential of Louis CK returning with a new standup special, Zinoman reported that they paused to reflect for a minute before a publicist said they wouldn't be able to answer. They also addressed concerns over the lack of black female comedians with Netflix specials in 2017 and 2018. When asked if Netflix has a responsibility to do better, Praw said: “I think we have a responsibility, but it’s also what our members want.” The next day, Praw emailed Zinoman saying that having so few black women standup specials has been a failure. Since their talk, Netflix has signed Tiffany Haddish and Wanda Sykes to do standup specials. As for whether Netflix is oversaturating the market by putting out too many standup specials, Praw said: “We would never look at musicians and say let’s put out 10 albums this year." ALSO: Netflix's silence about Louis CK's return is concerning.