Do you know Donald Glover only as one of the stars of NBC's sitcom, Community? Do you know Glover as a member of the sketch/improv comedy group Derrick? Yes and maybe.
But do you also know Glover as rapper Childish Gambino?
Well, now you do. Here he is with his track, "Freaks and Geeks," out today as a music video directed by Derrick cohort Dan Eckman. Note: Language is most definitely Not Safe For Work.
Tickets go on sale next week.
I was just having a conversation with a comedian last night about careers, and he said he thinks the key is to just to do everything you can and see what sticks. Clearly, whatever Donald Glover seems to throw down is very very sticky.
Is there a more likely sign of success than appearing in an ad campaign for the Gap? How about being in the Gap's holiday ads?
The buzz buzz buzz surrounding Donald Glover continues as he appears in this new short for Gap's "Want" series featuring hip and hot people helping out communities. If you like Glover's video on Gap's Facebook page, money gets donated toward his cause, Community Connections. Other details within the video. Roll it.
Just For Laughs has announced it'll honor The Second City with a lifetime achievement award and Glee with its comedy writers of the year award when JFL convenes in Montreal next month. The festival also has created two additional awards to recognize the star power of comedians Aziz Ansari and Donald Glover -- Ansari will receive the "Breakout Comedy Star of the Year Award" while Glover will get the "Rising Comedy Star of the Year Award."
Among those on hand from The Second City will be the organization's president, Andrew Alexander, as well as Colin Mochrie, Fred Willard and other members to be announced later. They'll be taking part in a live panel discussion, "The Second City -- The First 50 Years," to take place Thursday, July 15. They'll get their award the following day, July 16, at the annual Comedy Conference luncheon.
Ian Brennan, meanwhile, will accept the "Comedy Writer of the Year Award" at the same luncheon on behalf of his fellow writers and producers of Glee (Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy).
The festival is saying Ansari's award "is reserved for the comedian/actor who has made the jump from talented star to super-stardom," while Glover's award "is reserved for a talent who is the NEXT BIG THING."
In addition to these new awards, JFL Montreal also is launching what it's calling its Insider Series this summer. Among the events from July 14-17, 2010: The premiere screening and a Q&A for Exporting Raymond, with Phil Rosenthal trying to adapt Everybody Loves Raymond into a Russian sitcom; discussions with Kevin Smith, the cast of Childrens' Hospital, JB Smoove as Curb Your Enthusiasm's Leon Black, The Trailer Park Boys, Kenny Vs. Spenny, and the Not Inappropriate Show with Bob Odenkirk.
Tickets are available for all of these events at www.hahaha.com.
Comedy fans can also look into a $99 Comicpro Fan Pass for $99 (CDN) at www.hahaha.com/fan
Industry passes and more information about the Comedy Conference can head to www.hahaha.com/conference
For the second year, Just For Laughs Montreal is putting several of its shows into an offshoot called Zoofest, and this time, they're opening acknowledging it as the "off the wall parallel" to JFL. In other words, for all of the unique, interesting and possibly amazing one-person shows by performers who aren't headlining Galas or otherwise big-ticket names to Canadians, why don't you try Zoofest? "1 show for $15, 2 shows for $20" Or get a Zoopass for $29.99 (do I need to tell you these are in Canadian dollars) It's all about marketing, really.
What comedy fans want to know is who's going to be there this July? Why don't I tell you!
Bill Burr, "You People Are All The Same," July 12-16 at Theatre Ste-Catherine
Bo Burnham, "Words Words Words," July 12-15, 17 at Theatre Ste-Catherine
Donald Glover, "Gross!", July 12-17 at Katacombes
Jamie Kilstein, "No God, No War, No Nickelback," July 14-15, 17, at Theatre Ste-Catherine
Jim Jefferies, "Alcoholocaust," July 12-17 at Katacombes
"Kim Noble Will Die," July 12-7, 20-24 at Theatre La Chappelle
Noel Fielding Live, July 12-17 at Savoy at Metropolis
Patrice Oneal, "Mr. P," July 13-17 at Katacombes
Phil Nichol, "A Deadpan Poet Sings Quiet Songs Quietly," July 12-17 at Katacombes
Tim Key, "The Slutcracker," July 14-17 at Savoy at Metropolis
Tom Wrigglesworth, "An Open Letter to Richard Branson," July 12-17 at Savoy at Metropolis
Related: Zoofest ticket info.
If timing is everything, then the bid by comedian and Community actor Donald Glover to get an audition for the reboot of Sony's blockbuster Spider-Man franchise shows a keen awareness of how to capitalize on it.
A few days ago, Marc Bernardin wrote a lament on io9 about the fact that all of the actors seemingly up for the part that made billions of dollars previously with Tobey Maguire were, well, seemingly less exciting and bland. Like white bread bland. So Bernardin asked, does Spider-Man have to be a white guy? Sure, the teen who gets bitten by a radioactive spider on a high-school field trip always has been white-skinned in the Marvel comic books, movies, and TV movies. But the orphaned outcast from the outer borough of Queens, New York, might as well be black, Latino or Asian, right? And when a few commenters on Bernardin's blog post suggested Donald Glover for the part, complete with a photo of Glover as a geeky high-schooler from his film, Mystery Team, the comedian himself noticed.
Glover launched his own campaign for the role last night on his Tumblr, writing: "I'm putting myself in the running for the Spiderman reboot. I'm actually quite interested to see how far this goes. If this happens, I'll buy each and every one of you a mini cooper."
That last part may or may not be a joke. But he quickly went to Twitter to spread the word and promote his bid via the hashtag #donald4spiderman.
Comedy vlogger Michelle Vargas quickly created a Donald Glover 4 Spiderman Facebook group for the effort, gaining more than 2,200 fans in the first 24 hours. After all, if Facebook can get Betty White a one-time hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, then why not help Glover get considered for a blockbuster movie franchise? Hey, wait a second. Those don't sound like similar things. So I asked Vargas how she felt about helping Glover, and whether it was a fun diversion or serious. Her reply: "I don't know Donald personally, but I have seen him perform live at UCB enough times to adore him. I was SO excited for him when Community came about. It's one of the only shows I watch and I think he is an exceptional actor. I'd say I'm part 'fun diversion' and part 'should be seriously considered.'"
With the laziness of a holiday weekend leaving media outlets and bloggers few things to write about and many reasons to want a fun distraction from the BP oil spill (yeah, that's still happening, people!), several people have picked up on the donald4spiderman campaign, whether through ReTweets or blog posts.
For his part, Glover said a half-hour ago on Twitter that he is serious enough to clarify that he doesn't expect Twitter and Facebook to get him the part. He wrote: "Some people are mistaken. I don't want to just be given the role. I want to be able to audition. I truly love Spider-Man. #donald4spiderman"
He already has the attention of one Sony publicist (thanks to his Community connection; Sony Pictures Television is behind the show alongside Universal Media Studios), but he's hoping to become a Trending Topic to get more people noticing and thinking about him. So if you see that happening in the next hour, then now you'll know why.
Two years ago, Donald Glover was a writer for Emmy-winning best sitcom 30 Rock, which is quite an achievement for anyone straight out of college. A year ago, Glover had left that show to pursue a career in front of the screen, booked what he thought was a small role in another NBC pilot, Community, and starred in an independent film (Mystery Team, out on DVD next week) he and his partners in Derrick Comedy mostly self-financed and debuted in Sundance. And in the past year, Glover has seen his early efforts in stand-up comedy result in two different Comedy Central specials, recording and filming both a Live at Gotham spot and a half-hour Comedy Central Presents.
Oh, and he's also a rapper, aka Childish Gambino.
The 26-year-old Glover talked to me about all of this earlier this week in advance of tonight's first-season finale of Community and his headlining weekend Friday and Saturday at Comix comedy club in New York City.
As I recall, you only thought your Community character, Troy, would be on for a few episodes? "I didn't think I'd be a heavy character. I didn't think I'd be in all of the episodes. Things have worked out." He laughs.
One of the break-out moments of the show was your final-minute segments with "Abed" (Danny Pudi). How'd that come about? "I think they wanted tags. NBC wanted tags. And me and Abed, Danny Pudi, were rapping at this thing once. And Dan Harmon liked it. And people liked it. I wish it was a better story. Oh, we did something and it worked." Sounds like that's a recurring theme for your young career. "That's a lot of what I do now. I wish i had a better story of what I did. Tina Fey heard of me, and interviewed me, and that's what I do...Usually I don't have to make up stuff. And I go, oh that is sort of weird, becuase I will talk of things and not think of them as weird. Most of the time, I just take things as they come, and go, that's not weird."
Did growing up with foster kids make you think that way? "I think you grow up with this, oh, you come home and there's a new kid. That's not weird. In other homes it'd be, where'd this extra kid come from??? The household was a strange household, and my parents were funny and weird people."
Here's a clip from his half-hour Comedy Central Presents in which he talks about that:
You acknowledged in that Comedy Central special that you're still quite new to stand-up. What was it like coming to the game of stand-up after you'd already established yourself in improv, sketch and TV? "Stand-up just kind of happened like two years ago now. It was something that I tried because we were, literally what it was, we had extra time to do stuff, and people at The Creek (in Long Island City) were like, Rebecca was like, we have this space, and we couldn't do improv, because we had the show at the UCB, and we didn't do sketch because we hadn't done it in a while, and I just fell in love with stand-up. I can talk about whatever I want. I can say things I never said in public before. I just feel it made me mad that I had never done it before."
Do you enjoy the Facebook and the YouTube? Do you wish they could be better? Wait. They could be better? Derrick Comedy (Donald Glover, DC Pierson and Dominic Dierkes) has discovered a way to make it happen. Frankly, they had me at Shmorkle-Blinxx. You can see Glover tonight on NBC's Community, and the whole Derrick crew on Mystery Team, out on DVD May 25. OK. Roll the clip!
On last night's edition of The Late Late Show, host Craig Ferguson welcomed Donald Glover back onto the program and truly saved the best for last. Their chat easily could have gone completely off the rails once Glover explained that his Twitter handle used to confuse people that he was @DongLover instead of @DonGlover (he's @MrDonaldGlover now, fancy to go with his suit and tie). And well, @CraigyFerg did let things get weird. But in his own special way. And Glover was right there with him, as they enjoyed not one, but two extended pauses that ended the show. It's fun when a talk show is really a talk show and not merely a vehicle to promote a celebrity's latest project (though we did see a clip from Mystery Team, out on DVD on May 21). Let's watch!
As good as Glover was being silent on a talk show, he's not as good at keeping a secret, since his "secret" stand-up show this Friday at the UCB Theatre in New York City has been on the schedule long enough for advance reservations to sell out.
My friends at Atom.com caught up with Nick Kroll and Donald Glover at the kickoff of their Axe Twisted Comedy Tour -- they'll be appearing at a college or comedy club near you later this month (April 25 at Comix in NYC), with Chelsea Peretti and Whitney Cummings.
Watch Kroll and Glover talk about the online videos they produced with their friends before they became known on the TV, and why it's important to make your own shorts and find good co-workers. Roll the clip.
This video has circulated in the past day or so, thanks in part to Robert Reich himself posting it to Talking Points Memo, but it dates back to July 22, 2005, if IMDB is to be believed. Yes. It's funny to see Conan O'Brien team up as buddy cops with former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. And it's not difficult to believe that Reich has a good sense of humor -- I've interviewed his son, Sam Reich, who heads up CollegeHumor TV.
But what gives it a double-dose of extra fun watching it now in 2010? For one thing, Conan had no problems calling that prostitute "Coco," five years before he'd get tabbed with it as his own nickname. And if you keep watching, you'll see Donald Glover (now co-starring in NBC's Community) in what quite possibly is his first TV credit. Just the kind of fun and informative thing to watch on a Friday afternoon. Roll it!
Are you doing some last-minute gift shopping today? Then Donald Glover, from Derrick comedy (Mystery Team) and seen Thursday nights on NBC's Community, is here to help! He went out to an outdoor shopping mall in Los Angeles and shared some of his ideas with the people recently, including Zhu Zhu Pu Pu Platters, and a Little Lil Wayne doll. I found this on The Jay Leno Show's online pages, but it's labeled as a "Backstage With Bryan" exclusive Web clip. Wait. What? You mean to tell me this wasn't good enough to be seen on the TV, but some of Leno's other jokes were? Please tell me this is an error. Otherwise, no wonder Leno's in trouble. Enough about him, though. Let's get back to Donald Glover and his toy ideas. Enjoy. Roll it!
With all of the talk this week about YouTube's "Fred" getting his very own feature film, I wanted to make sure you didn't forget that there already is an actually funny movie starring, written, directed and fully produced by Derrick, the formerly NYC-based sketch group that recently relocated to Hollywood.
So, time for another peek with the makers of Mystery Team. Don't let the shaky camera work fool you. It's just the debut of the web series that's going to sweep the nation, "Beer With Shakes." Very literal, this one. Not for me, but for my guests. I sat down with three-fifths of Derrick comedy in between screenings of their debut feature film, Mystery Team, in NYC. It's playing at the Quad Cinema here for another week. And if you see it twice, you'll get your name on the movie's DVD plus a sword?! Yes. A sword. Nearby at Stand (I'll have to go back to try their burgers and shakes, which both looked tasty!), DC Pierson, Dominic Dierkes and Meggie McFadden enjoyed some beers with their shakes while they talked to me about their nomadic experience marketing and screening their comedy film in city after city around America. It's coming soon to Albuquerque, Chicago, Los Angeles and maybe a city near you! Click to demand Mystery Team in your city. It works. It really works.
And now, the debut of Beer With Shakes...
Related: Derrick member Donald Glover wasn't in NYC. He's in L.A. filming episodes of NBC's Community. You can hear Glover talk to The Sound of Young America in their new interview with him.
When Comedy Central announced its special "Hot List" showcase of new talented comedians, I could not say the list surprised me. Many of these people got multiple mentions here at The Comic's Comic in the past year, and when I thought about Kumail Nanjiani's achievements in the past year, even I was duly impressed with what he's been able to accomplish since moving to New York City from Chicago. So I talked to him briefly outside of Comix during the club's holiday party this week (holiday parties already!) and asked him to put it into some perspective -- Letterman, Kimmel, Live at Gotham, Michael and Michael Have Issues, The Colbert Report, and a development deal with NBC. Where does he go from here? Roll the clip! (Warning: Includes improvised absurdity from Eugene Mirman, who actually fits into Kumail's NYC story, as well as a joke at John Mayer's expense, and a cameo by Nanjiani's newlywed wife, Emily) Roll it!
Of course, Nanjiani isn't the only one on Comedy Central's Hot List special, which airs on Sunday, Dec. 6. Here's a clip featuring all nine -- Anthony Jeselnik, Aziz Ansari, Nick Kroll, Matt Braunger, Jon Lajoie, Whitney Cummings, TJ Miller, Donald Glover and Nanjiani -- describing why they made the cut. Roll it!
We've had a serious case of the Mondays in real life and on the Internets, comedy community, so we need something to lift our spirits. Which means calling upon our other comedy Community, the fun new sitcom on the NBC television network. I saw Don Glover briefly on Sunday night at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles, and as we joked about how I keep seeing New York comedians during the start of my Hollywood trip, and as he prepped for his Sunday-night improv group performance, Shitty Jobs, I wanted to let him know how great this is.
In case you've been missing the closing-credit scenes (which is entirely possible thanks to NBC's strategy of making you miss them in DVR schedule overlap mishaps), Donald Glover ("Troy) and Danny Pudi ("Abed") put their Spanish class lessons to the rapping test early in the premiere season. When Abed launched a Webseries based on their study group, the rap returned anew. Meta? Meta-fun-times. Sandeep Parikh and LeJon Stewart star as their dopplegangers. Watch both and enjoy both!
Sorry, comedy fans. The Comic's Comic did not don something scary or silly this Halloween, but that didn't stop plenty of our favorite comedians from celebrating (and sometimes even performing) in costume on Saturday night. And in the age of the Internets (the age...of the...INTERNETS) that also means going online to share our Halloween disguises with our friends and followers. Here are some of my favorites that I spotted over the weekend. Who were yours? Did I miss it? If so, please share!
To kick things off, though, how about a "doodle" from Michael Showalter about Halloween parties:
Even though many in the comedy industry were in Montreal last week, the comedy world kept making news. Go figure. Here's what you (and by you, I mean, of course, me) might have missed:
Want to see Sara Benincasa in a bathtub with Donald Glover, asking him about how he got his gig writing for (and appearing in this season's finale of) 30 Rock, as well as why he had to leave the show (Jack McBrayer is involved!), and his upcoming NBC sitcom, Community? Well, here is a video of just that sort of thing to wet your whistle, so to speak. Video contains some language NSFW.
This is good news for everyone, really, because Derrick's Mystery Team is a fun romp of a film, and Roadside Attractions announced today it had acquired the rights to distribute the movie in a cinema near you this fall after a series of advance screenings on college campuses. The Derrick team shared the good news this evening.