Archive for the ‘Funny Business’ Category

Koldcast’s 15 Most Under-Appreciated Comedians

July 26, 2010

Koldcast.tv is a great site for digital content of all sorts, but today I found a simple blog post that I found incredibly interesting.  As a MONSTROUS comedy nerd, I tend to value and follow certain comedians that most people don’t care at all about, if they’ve ever even heard of them.  Which is quite a shame.  Because for every unfunny JB Smoove and Pauly Shore character out there that has struck enormous mainstream success, 30,000,000 other MUCH-funnier, MUCH-more-cerebral, MUCH-more-deserving comics are still struggling with a fan base not much bigger than their immediate friends and family.  That’s why this list of the Under-Appreciated made me so happy!  And while certain people on here have just recently blown up (or are just about to) the list still mostly rings true for these funny people.  First, here’s the actual link to the post itself.  Below I have quickly and succinctly gone down the list and analyzed Koldcast’s suggestions.  If for nothing else, it would be a small victory if just one of these artists received a smidgen of recognition off of this list.  So, without further ado:

1.  Andy Kindler

While Andy Kindler IS great, he just recently landed the VERY cushy, coveted title of being a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing.  Kindler has been doing comedy for YEARS and after all the writing gigs and stand-up, it is extremely refreshing to see him in such a great position.

2. Matt Berry

Berry is actually one of my favorites from this list.  I fully agree that his voice is like a soothing chorus of angels against a light thunderstorm in the background of my mind.  He is absolutely hilarious on Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and exceptional, as well, on my favorite, The Mighty Boosh.  American audiences need to wise up to this man’s incredi-mazing-ness right quick.

3. Peter Serafinowicz

Another incredibly talented Brit who seems to appear all across the board, but still hasn’t achieved that massive name success that so many comedians bank on to further their careers.

4. JB Smoove

This entry I outright disagree with (as referenced above).  His style of EXTREME over-the-top comedy punctuated with random yells and the most trite, predictable comedy I have seen in years, keeps you rolling your eyes and groaning through his entire set.  To add insult to injury, Comedy Central just recently gave Smoove a half-hour special to MC.  While I love Comedy Central dearly, they do have a problem with just handing loud, overbearing, unfunny people money (i.e. Carlos Mencia).

5. Andy Daly

Andy Daly has been plugging away at the comedy scene for years now.  While he’s not quite my brand of ha-ha, he has been at it for years continues to weave in and out of random groups and circuits with relative ease.

6. Aisha Tyler

Tyler is hilarious and represents a demographic with almost zero representation in the comedy world, the demographic of fangirl.  Tyler’s comedy is hilarious and generally tends toward the nerdy side, which usually leaves audiences either scratching their heads or simply disregarding what she says as not true, because the woman looks like an Amazonian.  She’s incredibly tall and gorgeous, to boot, so when she starts on a Slave Leia Cosplay story, many have trouble imagining her going to lengths to perfect the tin bikini.  Content aside, she is INCREDIBLY deserving of greater recognition and more roles in front of larger audiences.

7. Michael Hitchcock

Hitchcock I, myself, have not heard of, yet I have seen Waiting for Guffman.  That being said, an acolyte of Guest’s is usually not right up my alley.  His humor is generally too dry for my tastes (and as an avid fan of Stephen Wright, that’s TRULY saying something).  What I’m trying to say is that I can’t pass judgment, though I would like to.

8. Jessica Walter

Walter is someone I know when I see her, but, once again, I don’t know enough to comment!

9. David Pasquesi

Ditto.

10. Terry Crews

Terry Crews has always been hilarious.  With his Old Spice campaign and his role in the upcoming move The Expendables, I don’t know if this man needs much more exposure.  Mr. Crews may be right where he needs to be.

11. Molly Shannon

While I do dearly love Molly Shannon, I will say this, she has had more than her time to shine.  Shannon was a formidable presence on SNL during its third most popular streak, in which Tina Fey was writing and Will Ferrell was still performing every minute of.  Shannon even had multiple engagements after SNL, with movie and TV deals (remember Kath and Kim, anyone?) yet simply couldn’t capitalize.

12. Kristen Schaal

Schaal is an all-around talent, more-often-than-not actually taking to the stage, rather than the screen.  Her work transcends SO many different formats, however, and it would be lovely to see what she could do on a larger scale.

13. Nick Swardson

Swardson is hilarious.  His illustrious stand-up career has never seen a lull and he has consistently had his hand in Happy Madison’s productions, either writing, performing, or both.  In the Fall, however, Swardson will finally get his own sketch show on Comedy Central!

14. Amy Sedaris

Sedaris seems to have been everywhere and seems to have done it for the last 15 years.  I first came across her on Stranger’s With Candy, but between hawking her book and just making guest appearances, she pervades ALL FORMS OF MEDIA.  She even narrated a PBS special on the history of American comedy.

15. Robert Smigel

Smigel has written for SNL and Conan and is responsible for Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, The Ambiguously Gay Duo, and DAAAAAAAAAAAAA BEARS!  In some form or another, people know Robert Smigel.  They just don’t know…Robert Smigel.  I’d be very interested to see what the man is up to currently, and what he has in store for the future.

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Punchline Magazine

April 30, 2010

Maybe I’m just REALLLLY behind the times, but the other day I stumbled upon punchlinemagazine.com and ended up losing entire hours of my life in the videos, top 1o lists, and rampant interviews that inundate the site.  I realize that this feels like a complete ad (despite the fact that I’m getting paid in 100%, pure, NOTHING) so I’ve just compiled a list of the best things that I managed to happen upon during my first visit to this site.  Do with it as you please.

1.  Top 10 Best Stand-Up Comedy DVDs

2. Interview with Dov Davidoff

3. Interview with Nick Swardson

4. Comedians of Chelsea Lately Share Their Holiday Memories

Top 10 Craziest Casting Conundrums

April 19, 2010

Hello, my little chickadees!  After ANOTHER ridiculous hiatus I am back, and better than ever!  I simply couldn’t let 2/3 of April go by without a post so I will phone-in this quick link that I found on Cinematical, which is just a phoned-in link from Josh Spector over at comedy.com about the tumultuous world of Hollywood casting that has the ability to change at any minute, up until the finished product.  This Top 10 was fascinating as it included casting FAILS regarding Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Jim Carrey.  If you look at nothing else, however, check out the entry on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Matthew Broderick beat out some of the biggest names of the last twenty years to play hookie on screen.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

March 23, 2010

 

I want this to be an actual movie, IMMEDIATELY.  This short, put together by the celebri-sponsored team over at Funny or Die, consists of some of the best comics currently working.  A slightly embellished telling of the Weird One’s life which paints the picture of an alcoholic Al overcoming adversity and his own demons with the help of his parents, his lover, Madonna, and, of course, Dr. Demento.  Weird Al deserves an awesome send up on a monthly basis for his contributions to all that is funny funny ha-ha, so seeing Patton Oswalt, Paul Scheer, Olivia Wilde, Gary Cole, Aaron Paul, and Eric Appel produce this and slap it on Funny or Die made my day.  h, and, of course, Al gets in on the fun, himself.  Click below for fun times!

Weird

Honest Movie Titles

March 21, 2010

College Humor has yet to fail me.  This directory of what the leading movies of 2009 SHOULD HAVE been called is extremely true to form, even if some of them are a bit disheartening.  (As much as I loved Up in the Air, College Humor could not be any more dead-on).  Click below for the listtttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!

Honest Movie Titles: Oscars 2010

Bitch-Fest Wednesday: Moviefone’s Top 25 Funniest People Working in Hollywood (Right Now)

March 17, 2010

I’ve got problems with this list, BIG problems.  That being said, however, what this list does at least do is compile an overarching docket of comedians who are currently winning at Hollywooding.  I’ll let you follow the link to see the list for yourself, but some of my gripes are:

*Spoilers ahead (if you actually care about spoiling a Top 25 list)*

Mostly they have to do with placement rather than actually being put ON this list.  I understand the rationale behind LISTING all of these actors, but the stack-ranking involved has left me baffled.  For Instance, I have no idea why Elizabeth Banks is #14 on this list, ahead of Russell Brand, Ricky Gervais, and Ken Jeong.  Granted, she was in Role Models and Zack and Miri, and has played a couple of laughs for the Apatow gang in the past, but can ANYONE give me a reason that she should be ahead of the incredibly talented and devoted people behind her who have been creating and performing in comedy for years?  To further bitch, how is Anna Faris even farther up the list at #11?  Funny in the Scary Movies, yes, and pretty good in Observe and Report, but how far have we ACTUALLY seen her stretch?  She has adequately portrayed slapstick-ditzy and train-wreck-of-humanity, to great laughs.  That’s basically it.  And now that I mention it, I think I’m going to copyright both of those…

In addition to ranking wrong, I feel that this list is labelled wrong, as well.  This list is compiled of strictly Film and Television actors, nowhere on this list can producers, stand-ups, or late-night personalities be found, all of which, I would argue, constitute “Funny People Working in Hollywood.”  My notable ommissions would include Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Judd Apatow, Eddie Izzard, Craig Ferguson, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Chelsea Handler, Jo Koy, Loni Love, Josh Wolf, Guy Branum, Whitney Cummings, The It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Gang of writers, producers, and actors, and the list could go ON AND ON AND ON AND ON…

To wrap up, I feel that the most egregious error comes with placing Paul Rudd at #1.  I’m certain that there are some die-hards out there that will greatly take offense to that, but let’s face it, Rudd is our generation’s leading straight-man.  An important position for comedy, sure, but his range is CERTAINLY no greater than that of Bill Murray, Sacha Baron Cohen, Steve Carrell, and Tina Fey, just to name some of the accompanying members of the list.

Moviefone’s Top 25 Funniest People Working in Hollywood (Right Now)

Glitter Puke

February 14, 2010

Have you ever heard puke auto-tuned?  No?  Neither had I, but let me tell you, it’s fabulous.  The Key of Awesome strikes again with a brilliant send-up of Kesha entitled Glitter Puke.  Basically, it’s a musical intervention.  Yea, it’s that famazing.  So here’s a great way to start off you Valentine’s Day for those of us that will be spending the day trolling the internet in our underwear (this guy). 

Do You Want to Date My Avatar

February 10, 2010

The Guild has been around for a few years now, offering up a superb skewering of MMORPGers and the lives they inhabit (or don’t).  It’s EXTREMELY well-produced and contains some great moments in the world of webisodic comedy.  Helmed by the GEEE-orgeous Felicia Day, The Guild apparently produced this little diddy as far back as August.  As you can tell, I’m quite behind on EVERYTHING.  Anyways, it’s a catchy number and it sets the bar for internet humor even higher as the bourgeois of film become more and more prevalent.

Nathan Rabin’s “Why Some Comics Aren’t Laughing at Jay Leno”

January 17, 2010

This is an amazing article about the recent backlash against Leno and how it’s been a long time coming, at least in the Comedy world.  The author, Nathan Rabin, makes great points throughout the article, but none struck me quite as significantly as when he points to the fact that Leno represents the comedy of mediocrity.  Big Chin seemed to cash in all his credibility and chutzpah from the 80’s when he took over The Tonight Show from Carson.  Now, we have seen him pander to the lowest common denominator night after night, in an effort to maintain his ratings and vice-hold on the market.   What I didn’t necessarily agree with was the entire section diagramming comedy writer’s innate jealousy for other writer’s success.  While I am an EXTREMELY jealous, catty person, and I COMPLETELY fall into this category, I’m not certain that the whole of the comedy collective does.  In some circles, comedy is still very communal and viewed as a sort of team sport, with groups trying to make it and bring their team with them.  Also, while I do detest Leno’s success, I hate it because I feel that he hasn’t earned it.  Every night that Conan has a hit show, or every post I read in defense of Conan, I revel in, because I WANT to see Conan succeed, because I love his work and respect him so greatly.  Overall, however, the article is FANTASTIC, and made it onto The Wall Street Journal.  You may have heard of it. 

Why Some Comics Aren’t Laughing at Jay Leno

Shy Ronnie

January 15, 2010

Andy Samberg seems to be made of musical gold.  Everything I hear from him is either absolutely hilarious or absolutely catchy.  And Shy Ronnie is both.  Samberg has teamed with Rihanna to produce an incredibly addictive two-minute duet that you’ll be humming all day.  Oh, and it’s also pretty funny as well.  Seriously, is Samberg the sole factor keeping SNL on the air right now? 

P.S.  I have no idea why the click is backwards, and if the Youtube vid gets taken down for copyright reasons, HERE is the clip on Hulu.