If Kathy Griffin were performing eight nights at Carolines on Broadway, it'd be considered just another week in the life of a comedy club. Even though Carolines is on Broadway.
But move Griffin a few blocks south and another block east, and suddenly, it's "Kathy Griffin Wants A Tony," a limited-run Broadway show at the Belasco Theatre on West 44th Street. The "one-woman show" will be exactly like her stand-up, meaning riffs on celebrity encounters and topical tabloid culture, with shows from March 11-13 and March 15-19.
In her official statement, Griffin said: “While I have been asked to understudy for Spider-Man and take over for Al when he has finished his run in ‘The Merchant of Venice,’ instead I have decided to take my very own show to Broadway.”
Nothing added about whether Bravo will be filming this for one of her scheduled four new stand-up specials to air on the cable channel in 2011.
Further proving that the Bravo channel has lost its marbles, comes this quote from Andy Cohen, who not only programs the network, but also puts himself on the network:
"There is no better way to start off 2011 than giving Kathy Griffin an unprecedented four new stand-up comedy specials on Bravo in one year. Kathy's quick fire humor and ability to tap into pop culture make for must watch television."
No. Just no. For all of the hard work that it took the late George Carlin, and the current Louis CK, to develop a new hour of hard-hitting stand-up comedy within the span of a year or two, just imagine the lack of effort it will take for Kathy Griffin to vomit out a new hour every three months of 2011 about whichever "celebrity" she stood next to the day before the taping. Because that's what Bravo viewers are going to get. Because that's what her brand of "comedy" has been about, since she played a version of herself mocking Jerry Seinfeld on Seinfeld almost two decades ago. Listening to someone yak about their day is not stand-up comedy. That's simply having a fag hag for a girlfriend. Bravo, Bravo.
Here were are, ladies and germs. The finals of the seventh season of Last Comic Standing. All five finalists are lowered on uncomfortable swings, and all five men -- Mike DeStefano, Felipe Esparza, Myq Kaplan, Roy Wood Jr. and Tommy Johnagin -- are wearing black suits. Host Craig Robinson is going with a tux for the occasion, while our judges -- Andy Kindler, Natasha Leggero and Greg Giraldo -- are in business casual, semi-formal and casual Friday, respectively.
Anyone care to guess who won without watching the finale but having read between the lines of my blog this season? If you have, then you win a special bonus prize.
Our first elimination?
In this outtake from the new documentary, I Am Comic, comedian Kathy Griffin talks about what it's like being a female stand-up in a world dominated by male comedians who only want to have sex with the comedy club waitresses. Funny because it's true. Lady comics really do intimidate the boys. Not me, though! This clip also contains a gratuitous NSFW joke. Roll it.
Looking for a new way to celebrate New Year's Eve that involves Times Square but does not have to involve too much Ryan Seacrest and/or Kathy Griffin and/or Griffin making jokes about Seacrest and Anderson Cooper? Turns out the folks at the Times Square Alliance have decided to put on their first-ever streaming Webcast from their central midtown Manhattan location for six-and-a-half hours on Dec. 31, starting at 5:50 p.m. Eastern and continuing until 12:20 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2010. You can get more information as well as a widget to catch the action on the Times Square 2010 New Year's Eve page.
They'll have five co-hosts and a team of bloggers on-site, and one of the co-hosts is a young stand-up comedian named Harrison Greenbaum. This is not the photo of him hearing the news, but you can imagine his excitement. Actually, you don't have to imagine his excitement, because I've asked him about his new gig. Tell 'em, Harrison!
So, tell me about your new New Year's Eve gig! I'm actually one of five co-hosts, as opposed to one of the bloggers. I'll be broadcasting live from Times Square for over 6 hours, from the ball being lifted at 6 PM to post-ball drop at 12:30 AM. As a co-host, I'll have my own camera crew, field producer, and security guard and will be at different places in Times Square throughout the night. The bloggers, on the other hand, will be blogging and Tweeting from within the Hard Rock Cafe, screencapping the live broadcast and supplementing our live broadcast that we'll be doing live outside.
Who are the other co-hosts? I'm the only male co-host -- the other four co-hosts are female. I haven't met them yet (except for two of them, who I met very briefly at the callback); we have our first rehearsal on Monday. As far as I know, though, I am the only one with a comedy background and definitely the only stand-up comedian in the group.
How did you get selected? Was this because of your role in producing and promoting shows at the Sage Theater? There was a three-part process for being selected: there was the initial submission, followed by an audition, followed by a callback. (The audition and callback were really fun, consisting mostly of improv based on situations that we as co-hosts will be involved with during the broadcast -- for example, "This guy will be playing a drunk reveler. Interact with him for 2 minutes. And, GO!" We even got to do a mock countdown!) I did have my show at the Sage Theater on my resume, but it didn't have any influence or effect on my getting cast.
And how does this New Year's Eve compare with your experience last Dec. 31, or any previous one for that matter? Last New Year's Eve, I was at a friend's party, trying to take it as easy as one can on New Year's, since I had six shows scheduled for the next night. Having six shows on Jan. 1 turned out to be an accurate indicator of how busy I ended up being for the rest of 2009 -- I'll have done close to 730 shows by year's end. So I hope that being part of the first-ever world-wide webcast from Times Square will be as accurate an indicator of the kind of stuff I have to look forward to doing in 2010!
Here's what the Times Square 2010 New Year's Eve video player looks like -- without added chat boxes for Twitter and Facebook folks. You can go to the page highlighted at the top of this post and grab yourself the appropriate widget.
People have made a big to-do in recent days about how and why the Grammy rules could not allow Lady Gaga to get a nomination for Best New Artist because she already had received recognition by the academy in a different field before this year. But the Grammys were more than willing, it seems, to bend the rules for George Lopez. His new stand-up comedy CD, Tall, Dark & Chicano, hasn't even come out yet. It'll be released Dec. 15, 2009, on Comedy Central Records. That's what it says on the press release Comedy Central sent out, as well as, well, everywhere. You cannot get it on Amazon.com yet.
Of course, the recording is based off of a live performance for HBO from earlier in the year. But still. That doesn't mean Lopez's "comedy album" came out between Oct. 1, 2008 and Aug. 31, 2009 -- the official "Eligibilty Year" for the 52nd annual Grammys. Hmmm. Maybe they watched the HBO special and thought, that'll make a great album: Let's nominate it ahead of time?! The future is now, people.
UPDATED: Seeing that the Grammys also called upon Lopez to introduce the nominees for Song of the Year -- and make a Tiger Woods joke in the process -- perhaps there's even more to this than meets the eye? Here's a clip from last night's telecast on CBS:
UPDATED UPDATED: Sources tell me that Comedy Central, in fact, released a vinyl edition of George Lopez's special shortly after it debuted on HBO in August. Which would qualify. Barely. Vinyl???
With that, here are the official 52nd annual Grammy Awards nominations for Best Comedy Album:
Best Comedy Album
(For comedy recordings, spoken or musical)
In other Grammy nomination news that involves comedians, The Lonely Island's "I'm On a Boat" originally seen and heard on Saturday Night Live as an SNL Digital Short with T-Pain, is up for best rap/sung collaboration. Steve Martin's "The Crow" is up for best Bluegrass album. Jonathan Winters is up for best spoken word album for "Jonathan Winters: A Very Special Time." And Jamie Foxx's "Blame It (On the Alcohol)" with T-Pain is up for best R&B duo or group with vocals, as well as best R&B song, and Foxx is up for best R&B album. You can see the full list of Grammy nominations here.
Kathy Griffin has a new stand-up special, She'll Cut a Bitch, debuting tonight on Bravo, followed by Griffin's hosting of the second annual A-List Awards, which only serves to prove that Griffin is as much of an actual D-lister as the young ladies and germs on The Hills are real people doing real things in real life. But as Griffin proved many years ago in an episode of Seinfeld, one can never speak ill of Kathy Griffin, because that only feeds into her act, which is all about her interactions with other famous people. Vicious circle, indeed. Anyhoosiers. Since Bravo is part of the NBC Universal network, Griffin talked turkey this morning on Today:
After the jump, a couple of preview clips of Griffin dishing dirt in She'll Cut a Bitch...
For the 51st annual Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy went with a live, primetime announcement/mini-concert. But you want to know who got nominated, don't you? While putting American Idol's star judge Simon Cowell up for Record of the Year (he produced "Bleeding Love" for Leona Lewis along with Clive Davis and Ryan "Alias" Tedder) certainly contains some comedic value because you wonder if he'll show up in a tight black V-neck or a tight black tuxedo, we do have some other actual comedy honors to share with you as well. Although there are some truly outrageous and ridiculous nominations among the dozens of categories, too (but that's for me to analyze in another forum).
Best Comedy Album nominees from 2007-2008
Lewis Black, "Anticipation"
Flight of the Conchords, "Flight of the Conchords"
Kathy Griffin, "For Your Consideration"
George Carlin, "It's Bad For Ya"
Harry Shearer, "Songs of the Bushmen"
Didn't Flight of the Conchords win last year for their EP, which is just a shorter version of this album? If you want to get all technical about it, then, yes. So cross them off the list. And do not be surprised for a posthumous honor to go to Carlin.
In Best Spoken Word Album, Steve Martin's "Born Standing Up" goes up against Stephen Colbert's "I Am America (And So Are You)" and David Sedaris ("When You Are Engulfed in Flames")! Also in this category: Sidney Poitier ("Life Beyond Measure") and the trio of Beau Bridges, Cynthia Nixon and Blair Underwood (reading Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"). As much as Colbert has been the man of the moment for the past two years, Martin really should get this, wouldn't you agree?
Freestyle Love Supreme can celebrate some more, as Lin-Man and King Sherman's "In The Heights" soundtrack is up for Best Muscial Show Album (against Gypsy, The Little Mermaid, South Pacific and Young Frankenstein).
John C. Reilly singing "Walk Hard" got nominated for Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (also earning Judd Apatow a nomination as co-writer). They're up against John Mayer, Peter Gabriel, Carrie Underwood, and Amy Adams.
And you think some comedians churn through too much material? Bravo has agreed to give Kathy Griffin not only a fifth season of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, but also two one-hour stand-up specials for the network to be filmed "during her current nationwide tour" (emphasis mine, quote comes from Broadcasting & Cable). How many stand-up comedians do you know who have enough jokes to fill two separate specials on one tour? Then again, when your material consists primarily on topical observations based on encounters with celebrities, I suppose her TV show (and her hosting gig for Bravo's A-List Awards) will give her enough fodder to feed her hungry fans.
Some comedians get accused of not having punchlines. So what to make of Kathy Griffin? In one word: Snark.
Jerry Seinfeld got and understood Griffin almost a decade ago when he included her in two episodes of his sitcom Seinfeld. She likes to mock celebrities. If you engage her, that only makes her mockery that much stronger. If you think you're getting her into trouble, you're only adding fuel to her comedic fire. Example A: Her Emmy acceptance speech this year, which gets put front and center in her new Bravo special, Straight to Hell. You have to hand it to her for her ability to carve out a career as a comedian who revels in her "D-list" status and uses it to maintain enough snarky commentary about celebrity encounters to film a new Bravo special every year. This is her sixth Bravo special (it reairs Monday, Dec. 3, at 9 a.m., Tuesday at 1 a.m. and 5 p.m., Dec. 8 and Dec. 13). In it, Griffin dishes about Paris Hilton, Paula Abdul, The View, Martha Stewart. It's very Bravo-oriented. Or in another word: Snark.
One of the funnier Super Bowl commercials this year featured comedians Kathy Griffin and Jim Gaffigan as airport security workers, giving Michael Ian Black the wand treatment over his Sierra Mist bottle. How could they have known that seven months later, you couldn't get soda pop through airport security?
A little eerie, eh? So...is this funnier now that life imitates art? Or just eerie?