First piece of mail received at my new HQ: A package containing the DVD for Pete Correale's new stand-up special, "The Things We Do For Love," which debuts tonight on Comedy Central. Ding, ding, ding! Tell the senders what they win: A fresh review. Wait. That's it? Yes. That's it. And here we go...
Pete Correale has an everyman's appeal. Married. Has a dog. Things are good, but maybe only because he tries so hard to avoid confrontations. He's just like you, right? Which explains how he gets through life and his relationship, whether it's building IKEA furniture together, or trying to keep up with other couples on double-dates, and especially in knowing the power of sharing gossip. Between bits about how he keeps his marriage running smoothly, Correale shares his observations about drinking, smoking, musical instruments (why does anyone play the recorder, anyhow?), and more.
Correale was supposed to get the chance to promote his special on Late Show with David Letterman last week, but he got bumped when an auto chairman's talk with Letterman went long. Personally, I'd rather hear observational comedy from someone like Correale about how the auto manufacturers screwed the pooch than listen to excuses from a CEO. Oh well. Correale told me his Letterman date was getting rescheduled -- too late to advance tonight's airing on Comedy Central. But I'll help spread the word. Here's a clip from the special/DVD, in which Correale talks about Christmas cards with dogs on them, and his own idea for one. Roll it!
More clips after the jump...
Today we have multiple tidings of joy to relay your way...
HBO has heard us and listened, granting us with a second season of Eastbound & Down. What will Kenny Powers do next? We'll find out in 2010.
Comedy Central has announced that it's next roast "victim" will be Joan Rivers, taping in Los Angeles on July 26, and airing on Aug. 9, 2009.
Comedy Central also has announced a deal with Levity Entertainment to release 12 stand-up specials over the next two years. The deal includes orders for Christopher Titus, Gabriel Iglesias, Pablo Francisco, Jim Breuer, Mitch Fatel, Pete Correale airing this year, and six more to shoot this year and air in 2010, including ventriloquist Jeff Dunham. It's all business. Longtime Levity client Dunham recorded the highest ratings ever for Comedy Central with last year's "Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special." A couple of weeks ago, the network inked Dunham individually to a deal that included not just another special and DVD, but also consumer products (his fans love to buy his puppets) and a new series(?). All of this also means the network is moving ahead with Levity on a fourth season of Live at Gotham, the showcase for up-and-coming stand-ups (also read as comedians who have yet to appear on Comedy Central in a half-hour or hour). Casting is happening now for the new Gotham lineups.
And Netflix announced it has lined up the first nine seasons of South Park for immediate streaming by its subscribers. Which sounded great until I remembered that you can watch any past episode of South Park already via the show's South Park Studios site.
Did you know there are really two sides to the comedy of Jim Breuer? Sure, there is the Half-Baked, heavy-metal rock comedy persona Breuer has developed over the past decade, and certain to be in effect tonight in Las Vegas when Breuer performs with his Sirius "Breuer Unleashed" sidekick Pete Correale. But there's also this "family-friendly" comedy side of Breuer, which you can see in these two new videos...
Related: Breuer recently recorded a new one-hour Comedy Central special and DVD, "Let's Clear the Air." For info, go here.
Anyone who doubted whether TBS could or would pull together a full slate of A-level comedy talent for its first edition of The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas without HBO as a partner, well doubt no more. Over the weekend, TBS unveiled its first look at the official schedule for Nov. 20-22 at Caesars Palace, which includes Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld, Dane Cook, Katt Williams, Jim Breuer, Kids in the Hall, Russell Peters, Jim Norton, a roast of Cheech and Chong, David Alan Grier, Jeff Dunham, Laffapalooza hosted by Tracy Morgan, Andrew Dice Clay, Mike Epps, John Oliver, and Caliente Comedy with Gabriel Iglesias, Pablo Francisco and Anjelah Johnson. The network also says it'll have 25 up-and-coming stand-up and sketch acts performing in a separate LOL Lounge. Full sked after the jump!
Apologies in advance for the last-minute notice: This week is a busy one for new hourlong comedy special TV/DVD tapings, especially at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College here in New York City, where Robert Schimmel is taping his latest special for Showtime tonight, and Pete Correale, Adam Ferrara and Jim Breuer all follow suit with their own individual stage-to-screen efforts this weekend. Ticket info here.
If the lineup for the 7th annual Gerry Red Wilson Foundation comedy benefit didn't warn me, then the crowd waiting outside Town Hall on March 5 should have...as much as the comedians onstage wanted to celebrate and honor their late friend, the audience in the seats wanted jokes about sex and hating their girlfriends/wives.
Host Greg Fitzsimmons, who serves on the foundation board and noted onstage that both his wife and his son have contracted meningitis since Wilson died, had to face the rowdy crowd first. When he said he'd moved to Los Angeles, the crowd booed. "Great. Fine. Boo a city," Fitzsimmons replied. "I hate living there, too. You don't have to tell me." He then surveyed the crowd and found more than a few Opie and Anthony fans, and even more Howard Stern fans. "Why can't they get the (Sirius-XM) merger done?" he wondered. Having surveyed them thusly, Fitzsimmons went straight into dick jokes and stripper jokes and porn jokes. He did get a strong adlib riff out about the spotlight guy's gaffe after a joke about how nobody's having sex with Asian men.
Pete Correale saw the afterwork party crowd and addressed them immediately with bits about drinking and partying, then veered into material about being married and having single friends. He ended his 16-minute set with airplane jokes.
Jim Norton didn't care what the audience wanted. He spent the bulk of his 16 minutes on the 2008 presidential campaign, with thoughts on Hillary Clinton ("She's not a good enough actress to hide what a fraud she is"), Barack Obama, John Edwards, John McCain ("Do you really trust a Vietnam vet with the button?") and Rudy Giuliani. Norton also weighed in on the San Francisco tiger attack from Christmas. These choice bits had immediate repercussions for Nick DiPaolo, who had to follow Norton and still wanted to make his set political. DiPaolo has recently started an online talk radio show, but he managed to remain bitter enough onstage to unleash some questionable bits on race, homosexuality and women. And in case you're wondering, he's also nostalgic for drunk driving and cocaine.
Which proved enough of a transition for Artie Lange. "Do I look tired?" Lange asked. "This is one of those cocaine nights." Lange really needs to get it together. Sure, his fans might be appeased by seeing this mess play out on the radio and onstage, but Lange has to regain some focus on making himself better, not just comedy-wise but also health-wise. He joked about his gambling habits and winning big on the Giants, saying he should've bet that he'd live longer than Heath Ledger. Then he segued into old and beyond hack material on Brokeback Mountain. At least he apologized for it. "Yep. That's the most updated bit I have. I had to use Heath Ledger to get there," he said. Dozens of people stood up and walked out once Lange finished, not to protest him, but because Lange was the only reason they'd come to this show.
Dave Attell, up next, tried to get their attention with: "Who leaves a benefit early? A c*nt, that's who!" Attell tried tackling the tiger attack but the crowd had already heard that from Norton. But Attell turned it around with some choice one-liners and a strong bit about presidential candidates withdrawing early "for the good of the party."
That left it to Louis CK to bring the show home. After an opening line about masturbation, he had the audience in his hands for the next half-hour, with several of the honestly raw hits you'll see in his next "Chewed Up" special.
Fitzsimmons returned with a cardboard checking representing a $50,000 donation to the Meningitis Foundation of America, and said they should have another $20,000 to donate in the coming week. If you'd like to make a donation or learn more:
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