Just a quick programming note and reminder. In about an hour, or 2 p.m. Wednesday EDT, I'll be joined by Michael Ian Black, Judah Friedlander, Sara Benincasa and The Comedy Store's Alf LaMont for a free-wheeling discussion about comedy and the Internet for Internet Week NY.
The panel is called "Everyone's a Comedian," and you should be able to follow along via UStream at the #iwny live-streaming site.
We talked about how the Internet has opened up the world of comedy to everybody and anybody, and how that is both a very good thing, and sometimes a problematic thing. And also other things. Twitter! Tumblr! YouTube! Witstream! Facebook! The Bronx Zoo Cobra! An obligatory Weiner reference up front, despite it being too easy! Just sit back and listen. Maybe you'll learn something. Hopefully you'll laugh. And there will be at least one moment while Judah talks that leaves us all slightly stunned.
UPDATED with VIDEO! In case you missed it, or just want to relive it all over again...
My panel at SXSW Interactive 2011 on social media and comedy was so much fun ("F**k Yeah!"), that when The Comedy Store's Alf LaMont told me about Internet Week New York, it took me no time at all to say, let's do it again! But different.
So. Please. Come and join me, Alf, Michael Ian Black, Sara Benincasa and a wild card to be announced shortly for the panel "Everyone's a Comedian" at Internet Week New York 2011.
It's all happening at 2 p.m. June 8, 2011, at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th Street, New York, NY 10011.
From the description I wrote up for it: "Comedy is Hard, So Why is Everyone Doing It Online? A look at how Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube has made everybody -- and we mean everybody -- feel like they're now comedians. From Charlie Sheen to Pro Wrestlers, from Taco Bell To GM. Why it's important to separate the pros from the amateurs, and what it takes to move from the latter to the former. Comedians, Comedy Bloggers, and Industry professionals discuss the comedic takeover of the Internet and how you and your business can profit from the use of some levity in your marketing."
Speakers: Sean McCarthy, Editor/Blogger The Comic’s Comic - Michael Ian Black, COO of WitStream, Author, Comedian, Actor - Sara Benincasa, Award-Winning Comedian, Writer & Radio Talk Show Host - Alf LaMont, VP of Marketing & Development at The Comedy Store
On the Internets last night, comedian and Sirius XM sex talker Sara Benincasa asked her fans for a good Halloween costume idea. She was trying to decide between Mad Men TV characters Joan and Peggy, but open to other suggestions. Obviously, Benincasa has the ginger hair, the killer curves and sassy attitude to be Joan any day and night she desires, but she told me she thought she could pull off Peggy, too. After seeing her first attempt to show us how a Mad Men Peggy vlog would look like, I have to say, she's right! (Note: Contains language that is NSFW) Benincasa rocked the Internets in 2008 with her Sarah Palin impersonation. What do you think of her Peggy? (It probably helps if you watch Mad Men)
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.
Sara Benincasa used to have a chat show called "Tub Talk." Well, Benincasa is back in batheland, and in her new show, "Gettin' Wet," she chats up Margaret Cho about how Cyndi Lauper talked her into exploring her musical side, things you may not already know about Cho's mother, and Cho's new variety show. Tiny bubbles!
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.
Has livetweeting replaced liveblogging as the way to share the experience of watching TV events? If you have no idea what the words in that sentence mean, then, well, let me explain. TV is an abbreviation for television. Oh, comedy. But seriously, Nia Peeples. What happened to her? She was one of the 100 most beautiful People in the world last year, according to People who know Peeples, and I learned that after watching the Flash intro to her site that opens with a quote from Jacques Cousteau. True story! I could not have told you all of this in one Twitter because of the 140-character limit, and that gets me back on message. Twitter! Earlier this month, I found myself among several comedians and journalist types who enjoyed the Grammys even more than usual by providing and sharing our running commentaries via Twitter. The future must be now.
With all of the hullabaloo about Tina Fey hobnobbing with the object of her mockery, Sarah Palin, on Saturday Night Live, I wonder if the meeting of the mind and the mindless marked the peak of Fey's impersonation, a peak we can never meet again. It's one thing for President George H.W. Bush (Papa Bush) to co-opt Dana Carvey's "not gonna do it" line at public speaking engagements for a quick laugh, but it's quite another for a politician in the heat of the campaign moment to face her mocker. Whether or not Palin gets the joke, the moment in which Palin met Fey showed in Fey's performance Saturday night. One of those, oh, God, it's her moments. For SNL, though, now what? How do you (you being Fey and SNL) top that?
It may only have been seven weeks -- really, eight weeks ago, we didn't have Palin to consider or parody -- and she certainly has been a comedic gift for many in the comedy community. So let's take a moment, this moment, to honor some of the best moments in Sarah Palin impersonations...
Not to be undone by New York mag's fete, and actually even before that and bigger, the New Yorker did it up earlier this month with a series of big-time panel discussions, and we can now start seeing some full video from this year's New Yorker Festival. Here is a link to the 84-minute talk on political comedy (what, no embed?) with Andy Borowitz, Samantha Bee, James Downey, Todd Hanson and Allison Silverman, introduced by Sara Benincasa as Gov. Sarah Palin with sidekick Diana Saez.
You can also get their recap of the talk with Stephen Colbert. Or you can read all about it from a new comedy blog, from the Back of the Room, launched by Toronto-based journalist Sharilyn Johnson. File her blog title under: Great Minds Think Alike. Welcome to the club!
What do Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin from Alaska and New York City comedian Sara Benincasa have in common? Well, since the former's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant and the latter worked for Planned Parenthood, you'd think not much. But put Benincasa's hair in an updo, change her accent, and just like Palin, she becomes a "sexy piece of insanity." Ahem. Proving how fast the Internet works, Benincasa and her friends already have uploaded a series of fantasy vlogs for John McCain's VP pick.
Did you realize right away on Friday that you could pull off a Palin impersonation? "Oh, no. I didn't think so," Benincasa told me. "I just wanted to eff around for fun. Diana Saez and I were just hanging out with our respective significant others at 1 in the morning, talking about how nutty Palin is. And we remembered that I had a camera, glasses, bobby pins and lip gloss. And voila!"
"At the time, we wanted to make fun of the rumors that her daughter, Bristol, and actually given birth to her son, Trig," she said. "But then the story about Bristol being pregnant broke, after I edited the first one. And suddenly everyone was looking at the first one, so I cut three more. Just on a Ramen and water bender. I love Ramen. And water. Like a panic attack of Palinanity."
I think feeling loopy makes it better, don't you? "Yes," she said.
Gossip Girl's second season starts Sept. 1, so everybody get your xoxo's ready! Of course, if you live in New York City, you cannot go anywhere without knowing that -- and in fact, they filmed another upcoming scene in my Brooklyn neighborhood earlier this month, so really, you cannot escape it. But the show already got a wee bit crazy near the end of its first season with the big reveal that Serena...killed....someone. And then, it turned out to be all OK, somehow. Spoiler? Here's something better: NYC comedians such as Heather Fink, Sara Benincasa, Rick Shapiro and VH1 contributor Brian Faas as Chuck Bass filmed their own, more realistic version of what happened last spring. Also note Sara Copeland and Adam Good, for the record. Slightly NSFW. Enjoy:
New York magazine talked to Craig Bierko about his bathing show on Super Deluxe and whether he should invite Tub Talk's Sara Benincasa on his program. Bierko said, um, no. Apparently, she's not big enough of a star to get in Bierko's bathtub.
Super Deluxe caught wind of the naked scandal involving its new series, Bathing With Bierko, and Sara Benincasa's Nerve.com series, Tub Talk with Sara B. So the Super Deluxe blog interviewed Benincasa.
Here is a snippet from said interview (Benincasa in bold, Super Deluxe blog in italics):
Actually, I think that he’s in love with me and is trying to send me a message through his Super Deluxe show that says “Sara Benincasa, I’m in love with you. I would like you to get into a bathtub with me in a private, not-on-the-Internet way.” And I don’t blame him. It happens a lot quite frankly. I know right now he’s probably concerned that I’m mad at him. But it’s really more that I’m concerned that he’s so in love with me that he had to go to these great lengths to get my attention. He could have just emailed me.
Well, as you pointed out before, he’s “romanced Meg Ryan and Charlize Theron.” So, logically, the next step is…
Me. Because I’ve been on national television once. And I’m a reporter for the Internet. And I have a comedy show in a room that seats 30 people. So, yes, I am the next logical step in his trail of Oscar-bait poon-hounding, if you will.
Related: On my Google calendar, please note that Benincasa's "Family Hour with Auntie Sara" show is at 7 p.m. tonight at Ochi's Lounge (Comix), 353 W. 14th St., New York, NY.
UPDATED! Hours after I posted this, this entire Super Deluxe blog interview vanished. Hmmm...maybe their sense of humor conflicted with their sense of...??? I still have this snippet. And Sara Benincasa thought to print out the entire interview for posterity (and evidence?).
Imagine, if you will, a sex blogger, also a comedian, who becomes a political reporter for MTV, reporting on the fall of a governor, due to a sex scandal, and getting comedians to offer perspective on the rise of New York's first African-American governor. I believe everything has come full oval.
Sara Benincasa reports for MTV:
Does a hot tub automatically make any interview funnier? Apparently so. And I'm not the only one to think so. Super Deluxe is the latest to co-opt the concept with the debut today of Bathing with Bierko, with Craig Bierko in the tub talking up John Malkovich.
This may not come as a surprise to anyone who has seen Tub Talk with Sara B., which can be, well, NSFW. It's been on Nerve.com, after all. It did come as a surprise to Sara Benincasa, however, who sent me this missive: "Here is my official statement on this heinous act: "'Tub Talk with Sara B.' fan Ryan Grim's eagle eyes have alerted me to perhaps the greatest act of creative skullduggery since Esau wore Jacob's robes to eff with Isaac's sense of smell and steal the sacred birthright: an Internet bathtub talk show on SuperDeluxe entitled "Bathing with Bierko," hosted by one Craig Bierko. This rape of my web video vision shall not go unpunished! Bierko must prepare to feel my wrath! Cursory Wikipedia research indicates that Bierko has romanced such actresses as Meg Ryan and Charlize Theron. I have romanced a variety of drunken unknown bitter actormedians. Also, I don't have a Wikipedia entry. The point? Bierko's playing with fire here, and his Oscar-bait girlfriends had best get out the way, lest they get burned. This isn't over, Craig Bierko. In fact, it's only just begun. And P.S. Maybe you got Malkovich, but I got Mulaney. Suck on THAT!" And here is that evidence. Did I mention it's NSFW?
Neither of these should be confused with Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal's Hot Tub Variety Show, hot tub no longer included.
Previously: Eddie Murphy as James Brown. Hot tub!
Sara Benincasa got a gig this year contributing to MTV's 2008 Choose or Lose campaign coverage, which means we're sure to see plenty of comedians weigh in with opinions on the election. Here, she sits down with Stella (yes, Michael Showalter, David Wain and Michael Ian Black, together again) to talk about Super Tuesday, which is this Tuesday. The trio hosts a sold-out benefit concert Monday night at Bowery Ballroom for Democratic contender Sen. Barack Obama.
Related: Sara Benincasa's MTV site.
Related, also: Barack Rock.