TCB Debriefing 4/26-5/3: SF Sketchfest, Ian Abramson, Dave Merheje, Peabody Awards, Alex Edelman/Tonys, Keke Palmer/SZA, Scooby Doo, Chonga Girls, The Ugly Stepsister, Netflix, Jerry Seinfeld

1. SF Sketchfest, one of the biggest comedy festivals in the entire world, is now taking submissions for (pretty much) anything and everything for next year’s festival (Jan. 16th-Feb. 2nd). Find out more details, deadlines, submission fees, and more at

2. Ian Abramson has told jokes in a shock collars controlled by the audience, challenged comedians to perform in an empty space while an audience watch a live feed from a remote location (and this was well before the pandemic), and even created his own DIY version of SNL when COVID-19 indefinitely postponed Saturday Night Live in 2020. With such daring feats, it’s almost unbelievable that Ian hasn’t done the simple, tried and true format of a comedy special (especially since Ian is one of the most original and purely silly comedians working today). Thank goodness for Heist, Ian’s first hour special that was just released by Comedy Dynamics, which, effectively is a greatest hits of the beautifully intricate absurdist comedy that Ian has perfected. Many a time there is a dual joy to be had from an Abramson bit in the mere spectacle of him being able to do it (or survive it in the case of the shock collar) and how surreally and deeply funny it really is. Suffice it to say that if you’re pining for the stand-up of 70s Steve Martin, get into everything Ian Abramson right now.

3. Dave Merheje continues his well deserved ascent in comedy with a killer Don’t Tell set. Per usual, Dave blurs the line between being off-the-cuff and doing material better than almost anyone since he’s so extremely present on stage. Please enjoy his set here.

4. The Career Achievement and Trailblazer Award for this year’s Peabody Awards are going to comedy with the honors going to the comedy legend Mel Brooks and potential comedy legend in the making Quinta Brunson (Variety).

5. Alex Edelman will be getting the T of EGOT covered very soon because of the brilliance of Just For Us.

6. Don’t be surprised if the upcoming Keke Palmer and SZA buddy comedy from Issa Rae is the buddy comedy you didn’t know you were waiting several years for (Deadline).

7. Though it’s far from a sure thing, Tinseltown is dead set on cashing in on live action versions of animated IP, hence another go at a live action Scooby Doo (Deadline).

8. Fingers crossed that The Chonga Girls will have the magical ingredient to make multicam work (it’s a long way to fall from Seinfeld to Big Bang Theory, FYI) as a concept again with their CBS project in development (Deadline)

9. If you were wondering if there was going to be some sort of gritty reboot of all the Disney canon following Winnie the Poo: Blood and Honey, indeed that is a thing. Just check the villain origin story vehicle that is The Ugly Stepsister coming as the first feature from Norwegian director Emilie Blichfeldt (Variety).

10. Netflix is sticking with their stars by giving specials to pretty their biggest stars (that don’t keep tripling down on problematic trans jokes) Ali Wong, Bert Kreischer, Deon Cole, Fortune Feimster, Gabriel Iglesias, Jo Koy and Michelle Buteau. Wonder if they’ll ever get back to their roots when started off with a not-yet-famous Ali Wong, Tom Segura, and Jen Kirkman.

11. We’ll leave you with this: Jerry Seinfeld is still not over not being able to do his iPhone bit at colleges?