Posts Tagged ‘Comedy’

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

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

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)

Dantania

March 14, 2010

I have some incredibly talented friends.  Some insanely, ridiculously creative and talented friends.  In a list of posts that I want to entitle “Friends of Shwayblog,” or FOS, for short, I want to compile a list of my closest friends on teh intranets that continually make me look more and more juvenile with their immense outpouring of work.  First, allow me to introduce the most multi-talented man on the internet and good friend of mine, Dante Ross!  Dante’s personal blog site, Dantania, contains basically every form of creative content you can imagine.  For starters, Dante writes some of the best, most elaborate fiction I have ever read.  And the rate of output that he manages to produce content is staggering.  I have an incredibly hard time just keeping up reading it all, which is an incredibly good thing.  I would rather be inundated with content than busy waiting a month for the asshole webmaster of a site to update his posts (see: Shwayblog).  But getting back to the boy’s fiction, Johnny Panic! is what I’m currently working my way through and it’s an AMAZING introduction into the world that Mr. Ross is able to so seamlessly paint with nothing more than words. 

In addition to his writings which do, in fact, span from the fictional all the way to the most endearlingly candid of nonfictional works, Dante is also an artist in the most traditional sense of the word.  His skills with a traditional brush make me blush (Look, the creativity is rubbing off on me!) as he has an INCREDIBLY talented eye that manages to precisely reproduce whatever his mind can dream up.  Unfortunately, whenever I attempt to reproduce what my mind has imagined, I either get stick figures, or a lawsuit.  And while his drawings are exceptional, his short films show even another side to this Rubik’s Cube of a man.  Dante’s one-man films never come off as such because he plays each and every of however many parts he can possibly dream up.  Doommates is one of my all-time favorite series in which Dante chronicles the life he occupies sharing an apartment with Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, Death, and the always-fabulous, Pretty Ricky. Living Room Wrestling is another awesome webisode that Dante has formed and maintained with a wealth of characters that consist of mostly he, himself, and…uh…him…eh, that just doesn’t seem like the correct form.  Anyways…keep an eye out for the very talented and attractive young man named The White Shadow in Living Room Wrestling.  To say that I have never seen a greater wrestler in all my days, would be an understatement.  Plus, his dapper looks are strikingly familiar to my own…

At this point, one would obvioulsy infer that we had come to the very end of the laundry list of features that litter the Kingdom of Dantania.  Of course, one would be very wrong.  IN FURTHER ADDITION to everything listed above, Dante is also an avid podcaster and radio personality.  His personal podcast, Rosscast, spans the topics of ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING and is ridicu-fyingly entertaining.  Going through the archive of Rosscasts is a favorite pasttime of mine, and it’s a great reminder of all the hot-button issues of the day, with Dante’s stamp of either approval or FAIL across the front.  Dante also contributes his smooth jazzy voice to Canadian wrestling cast, The O Show (No correlation to Oprah Winfrey…YET!). 

So, in short, Dante Ross is both a close friend of mine and also a fueling source of my depression (In a good way).  Everytime I feel as though I have accomplished something with this here internet game, I look at Dante’s incredibly diverse and lovely portfolio and feel all that more insufficient and lazy.  I’m sure that at some point I have left out the 38 OTHER endeavors that he undertakes at any one, given time, like saving Alaskan baby seals, or screenwriting under the pseudonym “Tina Fey,” (Ironically, Dante IS also a screenwriter and VERY adept at film).  Way to make the rest of us look bad Mr. Ross.

But SERIOUSLY, check out:

Dantania!

Rosscast!

Living Room Wrestling!

The O Show!

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). 

Banana Song (I’m a Banana)

February 11, 2010

I love the internet.  The ever-shifting landscape of the entertainment industry coupled with the prevalence of new media and content sharing has birthed a beautiful new class of entertainer, what I have dubbed the Bourgeoisie of Filmmaking.  There is a new middle class of filmmakers that have little to no funding, yet make videos with just enough quality and technical finesse that they require a skilled hand to create.  Pulling together makeshift equipment, props, actors, and crafts, these new pioneers of the digital shift are very much akin to George Lucas in the early 70’s trying to get his space-epic made.  Of course, Lucas has morphed into the all-powerful digital monolith that he has become and has done everything in his power to distance himself from humanistic endeavors and cinematic techniques, but I digress.

All this just to talk about an absurd video with a banana suit.  At first I simply thought this video was hilarious.  Then I slowly began humming the tune in my head after a few views.  THEN I began to crave the video in its intravenous state.  Eventually I had to check into rehab and bunked up with Sam Ronson to kick my addition to this wonderful little digital short.  That Onision guy is talented!

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.

Letterman Comes to Conan’s Aid and Bashes Leno

January 13, 2010

Remember when the late-night wars were about ratings, and generally between the stations?  Well, not anymore!!!  Jay Leno is REALLY ruffling the feathers of talk show-hosts nation-wide and his old friend Mr. Letterman is finally speaking out on it.  While I am in NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM, a Letterman fan, I actually quite enjoyed these two clips that I was sent on Ain’t It Cool.  Maybe out of all this insanity, Craig Ferguson can emerge and finally get the recognition he deserves.  Enjoy!

Clip on CBS.com!

Nick’s Commercials

November 18, 2009

CollegeHumor never fails me. The four videos in the Nick’s Commercials section are a lovely serve up to cheap infomercials for local businesses, costume warehouses, and…well, not much else. But they are hilarious. I wish there were 4000 more of these. My personal favorites are the Costume Warehouse and Winter Wonderland. And Frog. Enjoy.

Nick’s Girl’s Costume Warehouse

Nick’s Zune Warehouse

Nick’s Fireworks Emporium

Nick’s Winter Wonderland