Two things everyone should know about Jamie Masada before reading any news item regarding his Laugh Factory comedy clubs in Hollywood and Long Beach, Calif.: 1) Masada's heart is usually in the right place, and 2) the guy knows how to get mainstream press.
His latest idea is the hiring of an in-house therapist so comedians can work out whatever issues they cannot work out onstage.
NPR interviewed the clinical pyschologist, Dr. Ildiko Tabori, and also had Kevin Nealon phone in from Denver. Between cracking jokes, Nealon did offer his own honest perspective on how comedians have a different need for therapy, describing one of his bouts with depression:
I should have been, you know, seeing somebody or taking something. And I think for some comics, I know in my particular situation, getting on stage is an escape for me. If I - whatever problems are going on in my life, when I'm on stage, it's like going to Disneyland. I don't think about it. And then when I come off stage, it hits you like a ton of bricks.
So it's kind of being on stage is that - I think if every comic that has emotional problems could just be on stage all the time, they would be fine. But they have to step off the stage eventually and deal with what's going on.
Every comedian has a different opinion on this subject. Getting laughs onstage gives you a powerful high. An addictive high. Whether comedians have a need to be in pain before getting that high, as Tabori alleges in this NPR interview, and whether having a therapist inside the comedy club is a good idea, however, are things upon we might not agree.
It's nice of Masada to offer therapy sessions for stand-ups who truly need it. Offering it in the club? Not entirely sold on that.
If you'd like to get to know the kid who convinced his dad to throw a pile of money at Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, and call it Funny or Die, well then, this is your chance.
Michael Kvamme is an aspiring stand-up comedian himself. That's why he got his dad, Mark Kvamme at Sequoia Capital to fund Funny or Die more than three years ago. Nowadays, the younger Kvamme is hosting the monthly "Fresh Faces" showcase at The Laugh Factory, and in this clip, explains how he decided to join a fraternity at USC. Kevin Nealon has a couple of follow-up questions.
Roll the clip.
Sometimes it seems like every comedian has a podcast and a streaming online talk show, because I think every comedian has launched one in the past year. Where's yours?
Kevin Nealon has started doing something slightly different on Tuesday nights at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. It appears to be live comedy show, combined with a live talk show. The club is posting clips from the first week already. Here are highlights from Nealon's frank discussion with Robert Kelly on sex and marriage. Do I need to tell you it's NSFW? I think I just did. Roll the clip!
They say one of the keys to comedy is timing. Well, how's this for timing? As all of the celebrity blogs were abuzz about reports of a reputed sex tape between one Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman being offered for sale -- the Los Angeles Times reported it, too, with a spokesperson's denial -- Kimmel actually was getting naked on TV and the Internet. Twice.
Here he was on last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, stripped down in front of Ricky Gervais:
And in what can only be a coincidence (right, people?), Kimmel suggested Kevin Nealon promote the DVD of his stand-up special by putting out his very own sex tape, and then offering to help him out on that front. And back. Roll it!
Congrats, Jimmy Kimmel. You picked the perfect day to put yourself out there!
You've known comedian Kevin Nealon for going on almost decades plural at this point, from his "Subliminal Man" on Saturday Night Live to appearances in films as a supporting player for Adam Sandler, and for the past several years, as stoned Doug Wilson on Showtime's Weeds. How is it only now, at age 55, that Nealon is filming his own hourlong stand-up comedy special? Well, Showtime has stepped up to remedy that now with the broadcast premiere tonight of "Now Hear Me Out."
Let's take a look at some preview clips, shall we? First, here's Kevin Nealon preparing for the show, with a comical run-in with Garry Shandling in the men's room in which Bluetooths are played for miscommunication misadventures. Jo Koy also cameos here.
And now for the official show promo:
But what about clips? Here's how Kevin Nealon really feels about smoking pot. Before you judge, now hear him out: