In this episode of Inside Joke, Kumail Nanjiani brings you along as he works on material for his act.
In this episode of Inside Joke, Kumail Nanjiani brings you along as he works on material for his act.
If you had "four days" in your office's "How long till Dave Chappelle loses it on an audience?" pool, congrats, it's time to collect some money. Last night, in Hartford, Connecticut, on just the fourth date of the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival — which Chappelle is co-headlining with Flight of the Conchords, in what everyone is understanding as more or less his official comeback move — things did not go well. Things did not go well at all.
As Chad Swiatecki's report from the first night of the tour pointed out, Chappelle's not doing as many big, punchy jokes these days, choosing instead to sketch out stories or let the muse carry him off track. And with more space between the cackling and cheering, apparently, comes more space to yell stuff out. Stuff like "booooo" and "I'm Rick James, bitch."
The official return of Dave Chappelle is now upon us: The first date of the Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival, which Chappelle is co-headlining with Flight of the Conchords, is in Austin next Friday. So where's the big splashy tell-all magazine profile to go with the comeback? Considering this is the famously private and happily reclusive Chappelle we're talking about, that may never come. But what we do have, for now, is Jason Zinoman's New York Times preview of Chappelle's new act. Zinoman, who has also written a Kindle Single on the Great Return titled "Searching for Dave Chappelle," bounced around the country catching Chappelle's one-off warm-up shows. And he's got a couple of things to report.
In case you had any doubt (how could you have had any doubt?), Jason Sudeikis is officially leaving Saturday Night Live after 10 years on the show, two as a writer and eight as a performer. SNL bid good-bye to veterans Fred Armisen and Bill Hader in its most recent finale, and with Seth Meyers’s departure when he takes over the Late Night seat this winter, it’s impossible to predict what to expect from its 39th season (though we do know that Stefon creator John Mulaney’s sister Claire will be joining the writing staff). It would be nice to see more people of color join the ensemble, a shortcoming that has been a sticking point for SNL viewers for a while, especially when impersonations come into play.
With the addition of Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon, the cast — especially its women — still has a strong core, so it seems that what will make or break SNL’s near future are the changes made in its writers' room. “Weekend Update” has remained consistently brilliant in the past few seasons, but sketch-wise the show could benefit from a mix-'em-up. Even the most talented writers fall into the warm, sleepy embrace of slump valley: When you answer the question of whether you're planning to exit a show with “definitely,” you know the snooze alarm has been thwacked to capacity. It’s time. Go sexercise into the sunset with your Wilde woman like "Kenyan marathon runners," good sir, for you have earned this privilege. Now let us celebrate you, your sketches, and your chiseled body of work.
In February, after popping up unannounced at New York's Comedy Cellar, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle talked about touring together. And it wasn't just a "Hey, wouldn't that be crazy" kind of giddy late-night chatter. They where hammering out dates and everything! At the time, the Comic's Comic reported the conversation:
"Come out to Oakland," Chappelle told Rock.
"You should come down to West Palm," Rock replied.
Chappelle: "After next Tuesday, I'm free for like 11 years."
Rock said he has a new movie of his own he's going to film later this spring, and would be cutting it over the summer. "I've got time between now and the movie," Rock told Chappelle onstage. "By Halloween, I could do dates."
After that, Chappelle officially broke his unofficial semi-hermitness by announcing live dates: As you may have heard, he'll be headlining Funny or Die's Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival alongside Flight of the Conchords. An actual, real-deal tour? Like, one we could buy tickets to? After seven years of nothing more than random, unannounced club appearances, what more could we ask for? Well, maybe we could ask for that Rock-Chappelle team-up to happen after all.
The Internet incubates and extinguishes trends at a rapid pace. Offensive Trendencies, a new series, will evaluate whether or not the latest trend has disrupted culture, technology, and the human experience.
Somewhere on a nearby mobile device, some bro is recording a Vine that isn’t at all interesting, funny, or engaging. He only has six seconds to tell a story, but within those six seconds, this bro has found a way to collectively make us wonder if the Internet has afforded the non-creative class too many opportunities for self-expression. If you thought the selfie was the ultimate form of congratulatory self-promotion, then the world of Vine has created a new realm for capturing the flawed essence of one’s self.
Pete Holmes has a podcast called You Made It Weird and an upcoming TBS talk show called The Midnight Show with Pete Holmes. That might help bump his credit as "the voice of the E-Trade baby" further down his Wikipedia page. See how long you can go without repeating this McDonald's joke (not very long, probably).
Best YouTube Comment: "He really did trick me with the joke, I had no idea what he meant by the phrase, nor was I expecting a follow-up. Really funny shit." —LeftyHangsLower
The Office’s series finale airs tomorrow night, and while it has certainly had its highs and its lows, it cannot be denied that it left behind an unforgettable legacy of cubicle parkour, Jell-Oed corporate property, and yes, true love. Here are some of the Grantland staff's favorite highlights from its nine-season run.
Viral video factory Funny or Die threw its hat into the Steve Jobs biopic ring just about a month ago, and today it beats the Ashton Kutcher–starring jOBS and Untitled Aaron Sorkin–penned Steve Jobs Biographical Motion Picture Classic to the punch with iSteve, a 78-minute parody biopic (yes, the parody now precedes the parodied) starring Justin Long and written and shot by FOD staffer Ryan Perez in 10 days. It features a supporting cast including Jorge Garcia and James Urbaniak, and a fourth wall–removing narration device deeply indebted to the 2012 Lifetime movie Liz & Dick. If you haven't got 78 minutes to spare in this fast-paced digital world of ours, at least skip to the part where Jobs drops acid with Billy Corgan (Paul Rust) at Woodstock '94.
First of all: We missed you, Don Pardo, and I really hope you’re recovering from your broken hip. I’d send you an edible arrangement of candied Z-Shirts if I could. Feel better.
I am familiar with Kevin Hart, and I like him. His energy and delivery have the effect of making me slowly scoot toward the edge of the sofa until I’m basically doing a wall squat. It’s as if he’s telling a particularly engaging story at a loud party, and during his monologue I was thinking that this episode was going to be something special.
As a stand-up, Anthony Jeselnik has carved out his own space with punchy one-liners that play verbal ping-pong with topics most others wouldn’t touch: disease, rape, cancer, death, baby death. Nothing was off-limits. The idea was, “Fine. If no one else will talk about them, I will.” Now, with his own show on Comedy Central, that sheer abuse of the envelope has moved to late night. Last night, I sat down with Jeselnik right after the taping of The Jeselnik Offensive’s second episode to talk about his early stand-up career, what he took from his time as a writer on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and choosing between comedy and the bullshit that often comes with it.
So I want to start with your stand-up. I remember seeing you do Comedy Central Presents, but when was that?
I want to say I did it in 2009. I remember being on Fallon, and I remember it airing around the end of Fallon, which was in 2010. So late summer 2009, I recorded it.
Oh Adam, you human bandsaw. Welcome back, hon. On their way to Staten Island during a wild dog chase, Ray tries to make contact with Adam by blathering aimlessly about sex (like he always does), prompting Adam to reveal that what turns him on is a woman who's comfortable in her own body, regardless of age or type. Hannah certainly fits that bill and always seemed open to exploring any strange position Adam put her in, physically or emotionally. Ray tries to prod Adam into talking shit about Hannah, but Adam is a chivalrous ape who disapproves of gossiping behind her back. He praises Hannah's often disastrous ethics because he respects her misplaced sense of justice. (Wait, does Hannah have a fetish for Libertarians?)
Jessa finally created a problem that she couldn't blag her way out of with charm and good looks. Her narcissistic posh charm was on trial at dinner with husband Thomas-John's parents, resulting in a split verdict. While she was able to flirt her way (as always) into Thomas-John's dad's good graces, it was at the expense of alienating his mother, who was not here for Jessa's bullshit. Thomas-John was also flustered, as he fully realized over his Peter Luger meal from hell that Jessa was never going to do anything besides precisely what she wants to do, ever.
Louis C.K.'s dictatorially controlled sitcom/weekly short film/art project/sometime comedy-delivery system Louie will wrap its third season tonight on FX. It's been a tremendous run: Heightened plot coherence, including two multi-episode arcs; unforgettable cameos by Parker Posey, David Lynch, and Melissa Leo, along with welcome spots from Robin Williams, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, Paul Rudd, Susan Sarandon, and Jerry Seinfeld; advanced prowess in the filmmaking, scoring, and writing. Even in the few wonky moments, it's been a pleasure to witness C.K. whittling this series toward further excellence the way he did with his stand-up act and his business acumen. While Sir Szekely has built the show around his nonexistent need of assistance, we're in for a long, bitter Louie-less stretch of months after tonight's finale, so we're gonna daydream about Season 4 for just a moment. Here are 10 humble requests for a man who takes orders from no one.
Tom Scharpling is beloved in the alternative comedy world for his call-in radio show The Best Show on WFMU. While The Best Show has run for more than 10 years, Scharpling has continued to diversify his résumé, including writing for the entire eight-season run of Monk, contributing articles to print and online publications, and doing a periodic podcast with Marc Maron called The Marc and Tom Show. In 2010, Scharpling began directing hilarious concept-heavy music videos for indie rock acts. These videos often feature appearances from comedians, including his Best Show partner and Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster. His videography includes a trailer for a fake New Pornographers biopic and Titus Andronicus doing a one-day tour of New Jersey.
Recently, Scharpling directed the video for Aimee Mann's "Charmer," which features Mann buying an increasingly assertive robot, played by Laura Linney, to handle her public appearances. This week brought the premiere of "Labrador," his second collaboration with Mann. The video for "Labrador" is a shot-for-shot remake of "Voices Carry," the breakthrough hit by 'Til Tuesday, Mann's group from the 1980s.