“Super Serious” Offers an Oral History of LA Indie Stand-Up Scene in a Gorgeous Coffee Table Book
It’s unclear as to exactly what was going on in 2010 in LA comedy, but it was the starting point of almost everything that makes it special now (well, right before COVID-19 struck anyway). The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail started around then, WTF with Marc Maron was picking up steam and kickstarted LA’s comedy podcast explosion, and even we had our humble beginnings around then. Also, so many indie comedy shows popped in and around LA giving the LA comedy scene the sort of connective tissue that it was missing years prior.
One such show is The Super Serious Show and, as they’ve kept their high flying variety show going for a decade between a handful of unique, wondrous venues around LA, they’ve seen the ebbs and flows, the new, the old, the highs, the shifts, the rumblings, the lows, and everything in between that has been going in the venerable indie LA comedy scene, especially when it comes to stand-up. Thus, Super Serious Show co-creator and portrait photographer Mandee Johnson assembled a lovely and exhaustive oral history of the comedy scene here in LA, accented by her signature polaroid portraiture of the hundreds and hundreds of performers that have stepped on The Super Serious Show stage. Contributors to this special oral history entitled Super Serious: An Oral History of Los Angeles Independent Stand-Up Comedy include Hasan Minhaj, Rory Scovel, Anthony Jeselnik, Karen Kilgariff, Baron Vaughn, Dave Anthony, Andy Kindler, Natalie Palamides, Kristen Schaal, Ron Funches, Reggie Watts, Rachel Bloom, Dana Gould, Eddie Pepitone, Cameron Esposito and dozens more.
If you’re as obsessive about comedy as we are, it’s definitely a must have for your coffee table (or whatever table you have). Super Serious: An Oral History of Los Angeles Independent Stand-Up Comedy is available for pre-order now and will be released on Aug. 18th from Andrews McMeel Publishing. Given how there are plenty of shipping delays for non-essential items these days in the U.S., best to put your order in now. Get more details and get your copy here.
Fun news alert: We have a BOOK!
Super Serious: An Oral History of Los Angeles Independent Stand-Up Comedy is available for pre-sale NOW!
— Super Serious Show (@seriousshow) July 14, 2020
Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik Trailer Aims for a Much More “Serious” Sort of Talk Show
Anthony Jeselnik is not only returning to TV with a brand new show, but doing so in much more classed up (and more vulnerable?) way.
Rather than all flash and histrionics of The Jeselnik Offensive, his new talk show, Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik puts on much more refined airs (just look at all that dark wood interior) and has Anthony, as advertised, having a good, “serious” talk with comedians. This will likely show a bit more of the ever elusive “real” Anthony as well as something a tad bit different in the talk show realm (you can’t imagine Anthony just doing a “normal” late night interview, can you?).
Just see for yourself in the trailer here, then look for Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik to premiere on Comedy Central on Sept. 6th.
Anthony Jeselnik Tells the Story of Opening for Queens of the Stone Age at San Quentin State Prison
Anthony Jeselnik pretty much lives up to the expectations that come from that headline.
Enjoy the story from last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! here.
This will undoubtedly be a night to remember as Jacqueline Novak puts herself and her act on the line with Anthony Jeselnik on stage the whole time, possibly interjecting, “offering guidance” the whole way though. Perhaps, it’ll be the closest thing to a thrilling chess match in stand-up comedy.
Tickets are $12 and you best get them here.
With the horrific damage that the fires took on California, there are plenty of big, fantastic benefit shows coming up that will raise money for victims of said fires.
Judd & Adam & Friends @ Largo at the Coronet Theatre Fri. Dec. 14th 8PM (currently sold out)
Holidaze! @ Dynasty Typewriter Fri. Dec. 14th 7PM, $15 in adv., $20 at door
The Comedy Store Festival @ Fonda Theatre Sat Dec. 15th 8PM $46-$131
If you can swing it, you should go to all of them as they’re all very stacked line-ups and, in the spirit of the holidays, it’s a great opportunity to give to people very much in need.
The rest of our listings for comedy shows, events, screenings, open mics, maps, and more can be found at www.thecomedybureau.com.
Comedy Central Signs Anthony Jeselnik to a Multiplatform Deal Which Includes a Half-Hour Series and Also a Weekly Podcast, “The Jeselnik and Rosenthal Vanity Project”
Watch Trailer for Gilbert Gottfried Documentary “Gilbert”
It really takes a special kind of comedian to be worthy of a documentary that puts their life, both on and off stage, under the microscope.
Gilbert Gottfried is definitely one of those comedians.
The upcoming documentary Gilbert from Neil Berkeley will not only looks into the long, winding, storied career of Gottfried, but show what he’s like in between being the unmistakable voice on stage and screen. In fact, you get to hear what his real voice sounds like.
See for yourself in the trailer.
Gilbert starts playing in NYC on November 3rd and in LA on November 10th.
After recently transplanting to LA, we’ve very much enjoyed Megan Gailey’s presence on the scene. Megan is a fantastic stand-up, but she also brings the worlds of comedy, feminism, and sports together quite nicely as well.
In fact, she’s putting on an entire show, Good Sport with Megan Gailey, this Saturday, July 22nd at UCB Franklin at 10PM where she takes on the world of sports from her very unfiltered, yet charming perspective. Her guests for this inaugural show will be Anthony Jeselnik, Mike Lawrence and Kara Klenk.
Tickets are $12 and you can (and really should) get them here.
San Francisco Is Getting Another Big Comedy Festival This Year with Comedy Central’s Very First “Clusterfest”
At the beginning of the year, San Francisco always has one of the biggest comedy festivals in the world, SF Sketchfest.
Just announced today, SF will be getting another giant comedy festival in the summertime, specifically June 2nd-4th, brought to you by Comedy Central.
The first ever Clusterfest has a gigantic line-up of the sort proportions and depth that Comedy Central can summon. It’s also the flip of most big time music and arts festival in that it’s mostly comedy with a bit of music as opposed to there being a comedy tent and lots and lots and lots of music a la Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, etc. (Note: producers of both those festivals are involved here). See the line-up below or in this glitterbomb filled announcement video here.
Tickets/passes go on sale this Thursday, March 2nd here. They range from $199.50 earlybird pass-$599.50 VIP Pass.
Per usual, The Super Serious Show is going to be a really good time.
Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. You can (and should) get them here.
The rest of our listings for comedy shows/events as well as open mics, maps, etc. can be found at www.thecomedybureau.com.
Poster by Barry Blankenship.
Here’s Line-Up for Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle on Comedy Central
This might be the most fun roast that Comedy Central has put on in recent memory.
Going burn-for-burn on the televised Roast Battle, tournament style over four nights from July 28-31 at 10PM on Comedy Central will be:
Jimmy Carr vs. Christi Chiello
Earl Skakel vs. Tom Ballard
Mark Normand vs. Tony Hinchcliffe
Steve Rannazzisi vs. Sam Morril
Ralphie May vs. Ms. Pat
Matthew Broussard vs. Mike Lawrence
Sarah Tiana vs. Chris Cubas
Olivia Grace vs. K. Trevor Wilson
Anthony Jeselnik, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman and David Spade are all set to judge the contests next to Roastmaster General Jeff Ross along with Brian Moses officiating.
So, you might not want to miss out on this.
Garfunkel and Oates’ First Special “Trying To Be Special” Now Available on Vimeo
Intrigued? More than intrigued? Already intrigued before you read any of this
Please Enjoy the Trailer to the Garfunkel and Oates Special “Trying to be Special”
For something that’s entitled Trying to be Special and features a lot of supposed behind-the-curtain action as well as some roasting from Anthony Jeselnik, Garfunkel and Oates’ very first special actually does look quite special.
When that has you hooked, you can pre-order the special on Vimeo for $8.99 before its release on Thursday, May 5th.
Anthony Jeselnik’s “Thoughts and Prayers” Now on Netflix
If you’re going to use your lunch break to watch this, make sure you work at some place that’s maybe cooler with NSFW than elsewhere.
Anthony Jeselnik’s latest hour special, Thoughts and Prayers, has just arrived on Netflix. Taped in San Francisco, Jeselnik makes a point, as he always expertly does, to leave no sacred cow undesecrated.
Watch in on Netflix here.
Here’s a Trailer for Anthony Jeselnik’s Latest Special “Thoughts and Prayers” Coming to Netflix Next Week
For his latest hour special, Anthony Jeselnik decided to test himself by taping it in a very politically correct town like San Francisco. Having seen Jeselnik alive, well, and still toeing the line with his villainously clever material after he finished the taping, we’re thinking that it went pretty well.
You can see for yourself in a trailer for Thoughts and Prayers here, then, in full, on Netflix on Oct. 16th.
We’re Really Glad We Stopped by Denver’s High Plains Comedy Festival and Comedy Scene
From what we saw, Denver has a good thing going in its comedy scene.
As you might imagine, we don’t get out of LA often or, really at all since there is so much to cover around the scene.
However, last month, we found our way to Denver, Colorado for the 3rd Annual High Plains Comedy Festival and we sure didn’t regret taking a week to explore the ins and outs of comedy in Denver. The Grawlix, which created the upcoming truTV series Those Who Can’t, rose to their current station from Denver and following in their stead is a great bunch of comics operating in what seems to be a well-balanced eco-system of comedy.
With the bureau’s budget, we could only send one person to Denver, so here’s the highlights of what they were physically able to catch at High Plains as well as bit of the local scene on the eve of the festival:
-Everything we’ve heard about Comedy Works in Downtown Denver being one of the best comedy clubs in the entire country, which comes from so many respected people that we and everyone know, is absolutely true. The set up of low ceilings and no tables and stadium seating eliminated any possible distraction from the person on stage. We got to see Ron Funches warm up for his album taping and it was electric.
–The Fine Gentlemen’s Club has established as another solid, rising grouping of stand-ups in Denver. Chris Charpentier, Sam Tallent, Bobby Crane, and Nathan Lund made quite the showing at their own weekly show at The Deer Pile as well as their High Plains show at Three Kings Tavern.
-The storytelling showcase The Narrators, created by The Grawlix’s own Andrew Orvedahl, ran the gamut of emotions from hysterical to sobering to hysterical again. They just branched out to San Diego FYI.
-The three primary venues for High Plains were The Hi-Dive, 3 Kings Tavern, and Mutiny Information Cafe, which were all about two blocks from each other. That’s always a big plus at any comedy festival.
Sean Patton, photo by Carlos Madrid
–Sean Patton got to headline several shows throughout the festival, which is a real treat to see his rich and deeply colorful comedy for both fans and first timers alike.
Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl, and Ben Roy, photos by Emily Coates
-Hometown heroes The Grawlix (Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl, and Ben Roy) got a rousing, rollicking homecoming when they headlined at 3 Kings. At one point, Roy lead almost half the crowd, pied piper like, up on stage and through the green room just for the hell of it.
-Recent LA transplants via Denver, Kristin Rand and Haley Driscoll put on a display of how spirited and charming they are several times at High Plains as well as at a few shows we caught before the festival.
Kristin Rand, photo by Carlos Madrid
–Mara Wiles and The Funky Brunch was one of our favorite shows at High Plains. It pitted stand-ups to do sets that had to finish with a funk/soul-inspired obstacle/restriction like literally being tied up with rope as a silky smooth love song is playing.
-One of the after parties featured German rock “group” Total Ghost where The Nix Brothers, highly regarded directing duo from Denver, pretending to play their instruments during a crazy multimedia light extravaganza. It was a pretty solid way to kick off an after party of a comedy festival.
–Ian Abramson’s 7 Minutes in Purgatory made yet another great festival appearance that took its concept of isolating performers from the audience with sound proof headphones and made them perform on the street with a whole other random crowd watching. The sheer number of levels of which of which you could enjoy the show on were pretty great.
Ian Abramson, photo by Carlos Madrid
-High Plains’ marquee show The Paramount Theater was a real sight to see with a near 2000 people in attendance to see Anthony Jeselnik headline. As Anthony himself noted, it was nice to see that he didn’t get too high like some folks have gotten at past years of High Plains.
-Denver’s own Aaron Urist was also on that big show at The Paramount and killed with his dark observational humor.
Aaron Urist, photo by Emily Coates
-On a live recording of Kevin O’Brien and Taylor Gonda’s These Things Matter podcast, we really enjoyed Jay Larson not having seen a good majority of the favorite movies and TV of the hosts and guests Ron Funches, Jonah Ray, and Karen Kilgariff, which each guest has to defend why it’s their favorite.
-Hailing from Portland, Wisconsin, and NYC respectively, Sean Jordan, Sammy Arechar, and Noah Gardenswartz gave Denver a great taste of their comedy brand with Sean and Sammy on the more silly side of the comedy spectrum and Noah on the sharper, precise side.
–Guy Branum proved why he’s an exquisite comedy force over the course of several shows on the festival as well as why he deserves to be on way more stages doing comedy than the many he is doing currently.
-The edgy competitive Madlibs adjacent game of Uncalled Four, birthed and grown in Denver, showed why it could become a game show for those looking for something a little darker/more blue/more fun than Steve Harvey’s reactions to answers on Family Feud.
Kurt Braunohler, Matt Braunger, Beth Stelling, Byron Graham, and Guy Branum at Uncalled Four, photo by Emily Coates
Ron Lynch, photo by Carlos Madrid
-Recently formed comedy music duo Drennon Davis and Karen Kilgariff have been making a case to rethink you possible prejudices against musical comedy so you can enjoy some of the funniest and best crafted songs, often made up almost entirely from Drennon’s loop pedal, to come along in the last several years. Their performances at the festival furthered that notion.
Drennon Davis and Karen Kilgariff, photo by Emily Coates
-We have to give a big hand to Andy Juett for being at the helm of High Plains as well as Sexpot Comedy, which he co-founded, being a big driving force behind the festival and making something that should become an institution in Denver comedy if it already isn’t one.
Andy Juett, photo by Carlos Madrid
Netflix’s Next Set of Stand-Up Specials Will Be from John Mulaney, Anthony Jeselnik, Demetri Martin, and Brent Morin
You do have a Netflix account by now, right?
Of the things that Netflix has on its production slate, stand-up specials seem to be probably on the cheaper side of things and the sort of content that does well on the streaming service giant.
So, they’ve got another whole round of hour comedy specials coming this year that will be worth making a reminder wherever you make reminders including:
Demetri Martin: Live (At the Time)-Fri., Aug. 14
Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers-Fri., Oct.16
John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid-Fri., Nov. 13
Brent Morin-Tues., Dec. 1
So, if you don’t have Netflix, now would be a good time to get it, especially since Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp comes out this week.
Season 9 of “Last Comic Standing” Premieres Tonight
It’s a two hour premiere event on NBC at 9PM.
Anthony Jeselnik is a host, Norm MacDonald is a judge, and Last Comic Standing, despite labor disputes, is actually happening.
Tune in tonight to see how everything in the competition goes down as well as get to see some really funny comics whose names you should commit to memory on TV.
Funny or Die’s Oddball Festival Announces 2015 Line-Up and Tour Schedule
Aziz Ansari, Amy Schumer, Anthony Jeselnik, Ashley Barnhill, Bridget Everett, Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Jay Pharoah, Jeff Ross, John Mulaney, Jim Norton, Michael Che, Nick Kroll, Nick Thune, Nikki Glaser, Rachel Feinstein, Rory Scovel, Sebastian Maniscalco, Tim Minchin, TJ Miller, Todd Barry, and many more are set to take the stage at arenas and gigantic theaters around North America for the 2015 edition of Funny or Die’s Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival starting Aug. 28th going through Oct. 18th.
Stops in Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Toronto, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, California, Florida, Texas, and Georgia have been planned thus far and you’ll be able start snatching up tickets this Friday on July 10th.
Watch FoD’s announcement video, in case you’re flabbergasted that a comedy festival tour this big can still be happening and need more proof, here.