Yesterday, people wore shorts. Today, it's snowing. Am I in Las Vegas? Good guess, but no, this all has happened right here in Brooklyn (aka The Comic's Comic HQ). Yet another sign that up is down, down is up, and there must be news going on in comedyland. Let's catch up.
Anyone who still thinks the National Lampoon has anything to do with the landmark magazine or company of the same name that produced Animal House and Vacation a generation ago probably got snookered by the stock market scheme that landed the current Lampoon execs in court (NYT).
Rob Corddry took over Comedy.com yesterday because he could, and he shows you his favorite clips, and his favorite stand-ups.
NBC has promos up for Howie Mandel's new TV prank show, Howie Do It. Premieres Friday, Jan. 9, 2009. Hello, Larry.
Punchline Magazine is helping Marc Maron get a new one-man show off the ground, launching Scorching the Earth, on Jan. 3, 2009, at The Green Room at the Bleecker Street Theater in NYC.
The Apiary catches up with my friend DJ Hazard to see what's going on in his noggin. It's almost always stimulating stuff.
Which reminds me, up in Boston, they're throwing the Greater Boston Alternative Comedy Festival tonight, which is weird, because last time I checked, that's mostly everyone in Boston comedy these days. Read a new interview with The Walsh Brothers, back home for the holidays. Meaanwhile, the brand-new Boston Comedy Hall of Fame inducted Steven Wright last night in that alternative of venues, Showcase Live next to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough (you say Foxboro, I write Foxborough, let's call the whole thing off).
DJ Hazard told me last night that he'll be opening for Louis CK this weekend in Boston as CK tapes his latest special. Are tickets still available? I don't know. I'm not Ticketmaster. But I do have a Ticketmaster button for Louis CK tickets conveniently located on this page.
Docucomedy or mockumentary?
Either way, Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story is an amusing look at the people who play paintball -- and Rob Corddry is at the center of it all as the movie's comeback kid. The film starts a weeklong run at Cambridge's Brattle Theatre.
Corddry, 35, said filming Blackballed was a nice change of pace, mostly because it was a lot less work than filing his fake news dispatches for Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Corddry and the film's cast, which included several members from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre plus stand-up DJ Hazard, improvised all of the dialogue.
"I knew I had my work cut out for me," Hazard said. "This is what they do, even between takes. You think they're offering you a sandwich, and then 30 seconds later, they're on some tangent. They're two astronauts getting ready to land on Mars!"
Does that describe paintball? "It's sort of this cross between alternative and X sports and boys with guns playing war," Corddry said. "It's like skateboarding meets Civil War re-enactment." It's nothing like actual war. "You don't even hold a gun the same way. There's no Pulp Fiction aspect to it."
Ultimately, Blackballed is a redemption story. How does it compare with other comeback sports movies? "Are there other redemption stories? I thought we were the first one. Can you name one?" Corddry asked me.
How about Rocky 6? "Do you mean the upcoming one? Or the one with the robot?" Corddry countered.
Just then, business calls. "I just made my intern get dry cleaning. My ego has just reached a new level. Print that he did it humility," Corddry said. That might not be the case soon. "I will say that I just shot a pilot with Lenny Clarke. If that pilot goes, I will soon be having Lenny Clarke get my dry cleaning."
Don't expect jokes about the Emmys, hurricanes, politics or anything current when DJ Hazard records his new stand-up comedy CD this weekend at The Comedy Studio in Cambridge.
"I tend not to have anything topical, anyway,'' Hazard said. "It takes me a long time to figure out what to say about something or somebody, and then when I do figure out what to say, they're dead.''
Or out of the public eye.
"Even the current administration, you'd think you have eight years to write something. Not me. I'd shy away from writing jokes about George W. Bush because he's a lame-duck president, and three years from now, these jokes won't work. Why bother?''
Truth be told . . .
"I'm lazy,'' Hazard confessed. "I write a bit, and it's like, OK, this is good for 10 years.''
Hazard has been making New Englanders laugh for longer than that, as a founding member of the Ding Ho Club. Louis CK cited Hazard as an influential mentor.
"Somebody said to me, 'Wow, you're like a raw naked nerve on stage. You perform like it's your last show ever.' I do. I always hope that it is my last show, that I'll get offstage, some wall will open up and aliens will say, 'You've done well. You've passed the test.' There'll be gobs of money, showgirls, a big throne, turkey. There's got to be turkey.''
"The nice thing about turkey is tryptophan,'' he said, referring to the protein chemical that puts people to sleep. Hazard calls it "God's gift,'' but wonders, "Why don't turkeys just fall asleep standing up? They're made of turkey!''
DJ Hazard, the official site.
DJ Hazard records a new comedy CD this weekend at the Comedy Studio, above the Hong Kong restaurant, 1236 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. Tickets: $9. Call 617-661-6507.