If you're still landing here -- and especially if you aren't -- then you probably sensed something different. Something special in the air.
I've decided to launch a major redesign and overhaul of The Comic's Comic to take it big-time, and I've found a partner in My Damn Channel to help me do it! If your bookmark or your RSS feed is coming from this site, please readjust your settings for http://thecomicscomic.com/ and take a look around. It's still in development. Not sure if I'd call it the beta version. But it is going to be bigger and even better than before. Certainly is easier on the eyes. Loads faster, too! (I hear you)
This site will still be around, and I've got to move all of the archived content over to the new version, and well, as you can tell by the fact that it's the annual finale of Montreal Just For Laughs, that'll have to wait for August.
I'm the second official member of My Damn Channel's new Blog Network. Earlier this month, they launched Slacktory, run by former Urlesque editor (and Valleywag founder before that) Nick Douglas.
As I said in the official press release, I’ve watched My Damn Channel grow into a respected entertainment company over the past four years. I’m honored to join Rob’s team as we work to bring you the definitive guide to the best comedy and comedians in the world.
For his part, My Damn Channel Founder/CEO's Rob Barnett said, “Sean’s baby is a perfect partner for the My Damn Channel Blog Network. We’ll also launch The Comic’s Comic video channel in the weeks ahead with interviews and performances.” He added, “We love Sean’s taste and love every comic he covers. They’re all now potential victims of more mass promotion and cash and prizes from My Damn Channel.”
So. Please. Take a look at the new site. Suggestions are welcome as I get used to a new platform and design. And if you've got a hot comedy scoop or want to contribute to The Comic’s Comic -- either financially or yes, as a writer, because I'm open to your ideas and I have plenty of ideas that I cannot do all by myself -- email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to advertise on the new site, please email Ali@MyDamnChannel.com.
Seriously. What can't you do in an Apple Store? In his latest video stunt for My Damn Channel, Mark Malkoff investigates, and finds out that these geniuses will let him get away with pretty much anything.
Roll the clip!
Michael Sorrentino's nickname is a misnomer: Having a washboard stomach is not "The Situation." Having a gut is.
Mark Malkoff didn't quite have a gut when he started his latest video challenge for My Damn Channel, but he did feel like most people who see people with six-pack abs and wonder: Could I have six-pack abs, too?
Says Malkoff: "Men's magazines always have headlines reading, 'Get Six-Pack Abs in 30 days.' I wanted to see what a regular guy who doesn't work out would have to subject himself to in order to look like 'The Situation.'"
See what happened, after the jump!
This technically isn't a Big Wheel, or they've dramatically changed the popular children's toy since I had a Big Wheel. But still. Mark Malkoff has issued some fun and silly challenges in the past. Lived in an IKEA. Lived on an airplane. Lived in his bathroom without any access to technology. Got across Manhattan by having people carry him.
Now he has challenged New York City's MTA bus system by racing a bus across Midtown Manhattan on a "Big Wheel."
Place your bets!
It's never too early to start planning your schedules for Montreal's Just For Laughs festival, and this year, you'll have to adjust your schedule to the end of July. Because that's where all of the action is.
The festival announced that Louis CK would be honored as this year's Comedy Person of the Year at its conference on July 29. It'll be followed by a special panel with this year's "Variety 10 Comics to Watch" (normally they only appear to pick up their awards, but this year they'll speak, too!), and then the annual "State of the Industry" address by Andy Kindler.
JFL liked Marc Maron's intro of Kindler from a couple of years ago so much that they've asked him back to provide the keynote address on July 28.
And on July 30, activities will include a special pitch session that'll reward one lucky comedian/group with a development deal from My Damn Channel.
The Just For Laughs Comedy Conference runs this year from July 28-30, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency in Montreal. The full comedy festival itself starts July 14 and goes through July 31.
OK, people. Raise your hands if you remember when Onyx recorded a very NSFW Hanukkah rap for an HBO series called Hardcore TV in the early 1990s. Raise your hands if you remember Onyx? Raise your hands if you just don't care. Now you're getting it...
My Damn Channel reminded us of this raunchy Jewish jingle a few years ago, and like that, they're back this week with another reminder that 'tis the season to light the menorahs. You should have reminded us a few nights ago, actually. We're already in Hanukkah to win it!
Roll the clip to roll down Memory Lane.
Mark Malkoff recently spent five straight days in his bathroom. On purpose. Got quite a bit of publicity for it, because he's got a knack for these wacky stunts. See my previous report on Malkoff.
But as we see in Part 1 of his My Damn Channel series, "5 Days in the Bathroom," Malkoff already finds himself halfway out the window at one point. He has gone bonkers, I tells ya. Bonkers! Roll the clip.
Mark Malkoff has generated plenty of attention before with his sociological stunts -- in January, I wrote about his attempt to traverse Manhattan from south to north only through the kindness of strangers carrying him along the way. Previously, Malkoff has visited and consumed purchases at all 171 Starbucks locations in Manhattan within 24 hours, lived in an IKEA in New Jersey for a week, and spent a whole month on an AirTrans Airways plane to get over his fear of flying.
For his first achievement on his own channel on My Damn Channel, Malkoff is attempting something simpler, yet perhaps more difficult in this day and age, particularly for someone with an Internet channel. About an hour ago, he entered his own bathroom, and plans to stay in there until 10 a.m. Saturday. No Internet. No email. No Facebook. No Twitter. And also: No TV. No laptop. No iPhone. No news sites. At least he has his bathroom, right? He also has his wife, Christine, who can relay emergency messages to him, but also, I suppose, tempt him with information from the world outside of the bathroom.
Mark tells me he compiled a to-do list of things he has been putting off, that now, finally, he may be able to accomplish during a five-day stint in his bathroom. He wrote to me before entering his sanctuary: "A few of the things include memorizing the location of every country in the world, learning how to play “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” on guitar, reading “Gravity’s Rainbow”, and writing a love letter to his wife."
This is the first of several stunts he has planned for the site. Malkoff told me he'll try to do one big thing a month. You can see video of his past experiments on the Mark Malkoff channel on My Damn Channel.
Here is a short promo he filmed before starting. The final results should appear on the site Sept. 8.
My Damn Channel got Rob Huebel to get into character as Dr. Owen Maestro from the Adult Swim series Childrens Hospital, and answer real questions from real children. It gets a little too real. And by that, I mean it's probably NSFW. But you should watch this, and also watch Childrens Hospital on Adult Swim. Thank you. Roll it.
I also had the chance at Just For Laughs Chicago to talk to David Wain, who along with Rob Corddry and Jonathan Stern is the third executive producer, and sometimes writer and director of Childrens' Hospital. Wain helps explain how they changed the show to make it more TV-friendly, how several other funny people have helped out in writing the show, and why Wain has no plans to try to turn his MyDamnChannel series Wainy Days into a TV show.
Not sure how I missed this news yesterday, but My Damn Channel has announced that it's taking the live showcase of famous people reading memoirs of famous people, aka Celebrity Autobiography, and turning it into a weekly web series on Wednesdays starting May 19. Here's the trailer:
The next live show is June 7 at the Triad Theatre in NYC.
The new FOX series Glee has earned critical praise and a cult-like devotion from its first season fans, and tonight's all-Madonna tribute shouldn't change that. Fanning the flames even more? Glee decided to host an open casting call on FOX-owned MySpace for professional actors and singers, as well as amateurs, old enough to play high school students in the show's second season. You have until April 26 to submit. So far, thousands already have done so. And even comedic performers are getting into the act.
Although I'm not sure this entry from Candy Slice counts, since it's a group and they're covering Ludacris (not on the approved song list?). If you'd like to see these ladies host a live variety show, then mark April 23 on your calenders and head to Gotham City Improv. Roll their clip.
So that's a fake. What about this real entry, though, from YouTuber MirandaSings08? Despite being essentially already a character imagined up by Colleen Ballinger, Miranda filed the actual monologue and song per the rules and has thousands of fans and subscribers already. Let her tell you!
She's I guess sincerely fake. As in, she wants Miranda Sings to get the role.
And then there is Michelle Vargas. Vargas, one half of My Damn Channel duo Grace N Michelle, has posted personal videos of herself singing on YouTube for a few months now. She uploaded an entry for Glee this morning and sincerely would love to be on the show. Here is Michelle Vargas' entry, and here is her song:
I'm sure there are more of you Gleeks out there who are comedians or know of comedians dying to join the cast next season. Feel free to introduce yourselves in the comments!
Rob Barnett has built My Damn Channel into a unique blend of original online comedy and music programming, and today's announcement of MDC's new fall season shows how Barnett's commitment is moving forward.
Notably, actress Illeana Douglas stars alongside Keanu Reeves in Douglas' second online series for the channel about a Swedish band called Sparhusen. Todd Spahr and Rob Mailhouse round out Douglas' band, Reeves plays the band's record producer. Want to watch a trailer? Great. We have that technology.
Douglas also returns to MDC with a second season of Easy To Assemble, in which the actress chucks her Hollywood career for a life inside of an IKEA. Past and present cast who join her in this effort include Justine Bateman, Tom Arnold, Ed Begley Jr., Craig Bierko, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Pollak, Jane Lynch, Cheri Oteri, Ricki Lake, Tim Meadows, Daryl Sabara and Eric Lange. Both of her online series will debut on Oct. 8.
Also airing online the channel this fall: Knight Shift, an animated series in which the Queen of England reinstates the Round Table with her actual knights (such as Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Sean Connery, Sir Elton John and Sir Richard Branson); RAMP, a daily email blast about music and the radio biz from Radio And Music Pros; new music videos from Harry Shearer and Don Was (the first two artists who signed onto My Damn Channel); and a new series called Grace Crashers (funded by Southern Comfort) that follows comedians Grace Helbig and Dave Ahdoot to office parties across the land.
If you're already familiar with My Damn Channel, that's most likely because you are a fan of Shearer, his band Spinal Tap, David Wain and his projects Wainy Days and Stella, the soap opera parody Horrible People from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon's head writer A.D. Miles, the rebroadcast of Sam Seder's TV series Pilot Season, or perhaps the award-winning series, You Suck at Photoshop.
When you throw a party for a TV show, much less a Web series, you're never quite sure how it will translate as a live experience for audiences to sit and enjoy. No such worries last night at the 92YTribeca, which hosted "Wainy Days Live," a party that not only marked the start of the fourth season for David Wain's amusing ode to seeking love and finding plenty of sex jokes along the way, but also the relaunch of a newly designed My Damn Channel, which made Wainy Days possible.
Rob Barnett, head of the small, plucky crew at My Damn Channel, told the audience at the start: "My Damn Channel is a brand-new thing today." The redesigned site features a larger player and a cleaner design. Barnett told me that his strategy all along has been to focus on a small group of talented performers and give them free reign to do what they do. That's how My Damn Channel can stand out from the many other players in Web comedy. He told me that Sam Seder's "Pilot Season" had gotten two million views in its first two weeks as a reborn Web series. So far, so good.
David Wain kept the live show moving at a nice pace last night. In between video clips of this week's latest episode (Amanda Peet has a curious fetish in #27, "Jill") and a snippet from #28 that features Lake Bell -- Wain warned before screening it, "If it shows up on YouTube, I will kill you!" -- he treated the crowd to several musical performances from Wainy Days (Wain has skills both on the drums and piano), readings and an anti-chat.
Leo Allen and Callie Thorne re-enacted their performances from Episode #4: Cyrano d'Bluetooth, with Joe Lo Truglio playing Wain's part. Live, the pacing was a bit slower and the reactions a bit more animated. But still quite amusing and over-the-top NSFW. Amy Miles sang selections from an upcoming "two-part epic rock opera" that may not be epic, but certainly provided reason enough to bring Paul Rudd onstage. The crowd also got a sort-of Stella reunion when Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter arrived to perform a sketch the Michaels claim Comedy Central does not want them to produce for their upcoming series, Michael and Michael Have Issues. Though for the life of me, I could not see what could be so wrong about having "extra farts" with dinner. "Can you believe it? They don't want us to do that one," Ian Black said. "But we're going to tell them that the f---ers at 92YTribeca f---ing loved it!" Wain got most of the actors from Wainy Days, plus Thorne and Rudd, to stage a reading of what Wain claimed was his first draft of the series, written when he was 12 (but most likely last week). Let's just say that even as a middle-schooler, he was preoccupied with sex. Best offensively funny line: "That's cool. What's the point of Roe v. Wade if we're not going to use it?" The "Stella" trio also got the audience to indulge them in their own spin on Mad-Libs. And he topped off the evening with an anti-chat segment with Rudd (sample topics: How much fun must it be on a Judd Apatow set? And the cast of Friends really are friends!).
Videos after the jump:
So here it is, my friends. Pilot Season is back where audiences can actually relive the magic of the mockumentary that looked at how various relationships unfolded in show business during the actual "pilot season," starring Sam Seder, Sarah Silverman, H. Jon Benjamin, Isla Fisher, David Cross and Andy Dick, among others. New episodes will appear on Mondays via My Damn Channel. Enjoy it all over again, or for the first time:
Episode two is after the jump...
The Webby Awards have announced their 2009 nominees in as many categories as they can get people to pay $295 to get considered for honors, so for what that's worth, here are the comedy-related nods:
In Television: The Flight of the Conchords Lip Dub contest
In the Online Film & Video categories (links to videos included): Stickman Exodus (Atom.com) and 23/6's Get Your War On compete in animation; Rob Corddry (Childrens' Hospital) goes up against Sara Benincasa (Sarah Palin vlogs) and Lil' O'Reilly (Spike Feresten's talk show) in best individual performance; The Onion News Network vies with Funny or Die's Prop 8 musical number for best writing; Awkward Rap (CollegeHumor), episode four of Childrens' Hospital, "New Portable Sewing Machine Lets Sweatshop Employees Work On The Go" (Onion News Network), Paris Hilton responding to John McCain, and Prop 8: The Musical are up for best individual episode; Childrens' Hospital goes up against NBC's The Office, Comedy Central's online The Weekly Evils, Today Now (Onion News Network) and You Suck At Photoshop (My Damn Channel) for best series; The Onion also magically got considered for the actual news category for its election coverage; the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon crew got a nod in the variety category; and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is up for the mashup category.
Congrats to all of the above. In addition, you can login to access a ballot to vote for "People's Choice" winners in five of the overall categories.
Say the word "Trio" and you'll think of many things (but probably not about the short-lived cable network), which is why when I tell you about "Pilot Season," you'll maybe think of a real thing that happens in Hollywood each winter/spring, but you're not likely to think of the documentary that Trio did about that real-life thing, and definitely not going to say, hey, wasn't there an improvised comedy about that real thing? (Unless you are a comedy nerd to the nerd power, or knew these people personally) Before NBC Universal acquired and terminated the Trio network, the channel was perhaps best known for celebrating TV pilots and programs that didn't get their due in Brilliant But Cancelled. In 2004, Sam Seder (who now co-hosts a daily online show with Marc Maron) wrote, directed and starred in Pilot Season, a six-episode mockumentary about actors and actresses going through the TV pilot process. The cast included -- are you ready for this -- Sarah Silverman, David Cross, Jon Benjamin, Isla Fisher, Andy Dick, Matt Besser, Ross Brockley, Laura Krafft, Marc Maron, Matt Price, Laura Silverman, Brendon Small and David Waterman. And now,
"8 years later," My Damn Channel is giving us another look at Pilot Season. More coming in April. Here's a teaser voiced by Janeane Garofalo, who famously does not have an email or use computers, and yet voices an Internet comedy spectacle. UPDATE: Sam Seder wisely reminded me that Pilot Season was, as explained in this clip, the sequel to a 1997 project Seder and company did called Who's The Caboose? If only that was available on Netflix! Enjoy:
So, having just witnessed the end of Super Deluxe, we move on to the survivors in the online comedy video business, and it should come as no to surprise to anyone who has watched Wainy Days on My Damn Channel that David Wain has brought his Stella mates, Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter, into the fold. Here is their new original short, Birthday, that debuted this week:
Heh heh, heh heh, heh heh. Here's something to brighten your Friday, especially if you live in any part of America that got doused and frozen yesterday (which is many parts). Dana Foyer from 50/50 caught up with animated TV icons from the 1990s -- Beavis and Butthead -- live and in the flesh to see what they're up to now that they're in their late 30s. Face it. You've waited long enough to hear someone say they're Cornholio, haven't you. Starring Slovin & Allen, and featuring Heather Fink. Enjoy!