Why sketch comedy in particular? IFC already has renewed The Whitest Kids U' Know, and season two of Z Rock (which includes several roles for comedians) premieres in June. And the network is getting behind several other comedy hybrids this summer, including BBC sketch show Wrong Door, Canadian import The Jon Dore Television Show, a cooking show with puppets and special effects called Food Party, and BBC sitcom Moz. IFC also plans a six-part interview show with the surviving members of Monty Python to air in October.
Kreisler said details about his new IFC blog are, well, sketchy. But you can get to know more about him and the blog here. Go say hello when you get a chance.
February is wrapping up with some interesting and curious comedy items to relay from around the Internets. To wit:
-- Dave Chappelle performed a four-hour set earlier this morning (as in late last night) at the Comic Strip Live in New York City, and comedian/employee Adam Cozens took advantage of being bumped to take some photomographs. Cozens said only 17 of the 60 audience members managed to stay for the full show. But could they, or Chappelle, do 50 hours at the Strip? (Earlier: The world record 50-hour marathon show at the Strip)
-- Coincidentally, at the same time Chappelle was doing a surprise set at the Strip, Chris Rock stopped in for an unannounced set at the Comedy Cellar in the Village. Less coincidental, perhaps, the model who has been engaged in a decade-long lawsuit against Rock had her files unsealed (Los Angeles Times).
-- Comedy Central Insider has compiled a list of 100 funny Twitter feeds to follow. I am on it. Follow me @thecomicscomic.
-- Among the new Twitter members this week: Dane Cook and Louis CK. A clip of Louis CK on Conan from October apparently has gotten some renewed mileage on YouTube this week. Why? Because it's funny. That's why. Louis CK also reported via Twitter that he has postponed taping his new DVD (was planned for March 14 in Boston -- show will go on, but without big cameras). Dane Cook, meanwhile, ranked among the biggest concerts in the world among all acts (music, comedy, whatnots) in January, selling out the 19,092-seat St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 31. That show grossed $1.2 million with a top ticket price of $102.75 (before service charges?). So if you thought the Dane Train was slowing down, think again.
-- Boston comedy correspondent Nick A. Zaino has a new interview with The Whitest Kids U Know, which is good and timely, because the group began as a live sketch show, has moved to TV and IFC, and is currently on a nationwide comedy club tour performing live again (and also a feature film starring two of them!).
New York magazine gave WKUK frontman Trevor Moore the 21-question treatment yesterday. They asked if he likes the old or new Times Square better. His reply? "That's like asking if you'd prefer to hang out with a scary, stinky whore or a loud, annoying cartoon character." Catch The Whitest Kids U Know tonight through Saturday at Comix, and starting Jan. 27 WKUK back on TV on IFC.
Here are a couple of sketches from the new season. In this clip, Gandalf gets some seriously NSFW second-guessing from the rest of the Lord of the Rings gang in an alternate ending to the saga.
Trevor offers up his services to a zoo to whip the bad animals into shape. Literally.
Trevor and Zach get some help from Craig Robinson and Hugh Hefner in the trailer for their upcoming road movie, Miss March. Watch it here:
While my computer decided to take most of Friday off, the folks at Gawker pieced together footage showing how Rob Schneider's bit explaining the multiple uses of the word "dude" during his Young Comedians special in 1989 has resurfaced almost two decades later and repurposed as a nationwide ad for Budweiser. Hence becoming the best publicity for Rob Schneider in years. Here's the link to the video.
Updated (4/27/2008)! The New York Times writes about the guys who wrote and sold the Bud ad.
IFC has said yes to a third season of televised sketch comedy from The Whitest Kids U' Know. Two new episodes remain in the group's second season, and you can find videos on their IFC site (including from the first season when they were on FUSE). Here's a music video from Trevor that takes patriotism to another level.
In related news, IFC also ordered 10 episodes of a "semi-scripted" comedy, Z Rock, about a real band trying to hit it big. The show debuts in September with a recurring cameo role for Greg Giraldo.
Further related: This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter, and I've added a widget for them on my page so you can keep up with industry news, too. Check it out!
The Whitest Kids U'Know make their second-season splash at 11 p.m. tonight on IFC, followed by a half-hour highlights package from their first season back on FUSE. The IFC promos make much of the fact that the Whitest Kids can now be seen uncensored, and tonight's episode certainly reminds you of that early and often, from the opening scene (fun fact: that really is all Sam, and if you pay attention, you can even see him pulling out his, er, um, package). Trevor celebrates pot smoking in "The Dinosaur Rap." There's plenty of cussing, playing with racial stereotypes, and things that kids certainly should not try duplicating at home. The Whitest Kids stopped by the Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy show Friday at Rififi to preview two of the sketches (the rap video and a sketch involving bizarre notes from a director for a movie murder scene). The final version of tonight's episode whips through 10 scenes in 22:45, so some jokes almost fly past. A mouth-farting sketch that goes on a bit too long was the finale in the draft debut, but the final version adds another sketch displaying the power of proper eyewear.
Here's one brief sketch from tonight that features the always-hilarious Jenny Slate.
Meet the Whitest Kids in this behind the scenes promo:
Related: The Whitest Kids on IFC.
Over the years, I've witnessed some of the uglier facets of comedy contests as both a participant and as a judge. Last night, however, I saw the sunnier side at the ECNY Awards (please don't call them the Emerging Comics of New York anymore) ceremony at Comix in New York City. Even before the showcase started, you could see something special happening. Comedians got dressed up. There was a red carpet. Small, to be sure, but still there and still red with correspondents talking to a camera in footage that presumably will wind up on the Internet. A very festive air. And so nice to see a scene -- or at least a distinctly unique scene -- come together in celebration of the art of comedy. Host Jon Friedman said they changed the name of the awards KFC-like to just ECNY to show they were rewarding all sorts of comedy, not just the emerging kind. At the same time, though, it would've been nice to really see all of New York comedy represented in the room. When the ceremony ended, several comedians had to turn around and go back to their table because they didn't have their proper receipts on hand for the door guys. We spent the night in a traditional comedy club with traditional item minimums and rules, and yet we could've used a few more traditional club comedians. Maybe next year?
Anyhow. I was saying how nice the night was, right?
Some highlights: The show opened with a six-minute video montage of the nominees speaking directly to the camera. Well-edited. And made funnier after Joe Mande said it'd be creepy if this montage turned out to be their memorial video. Friedman, not only hosting the show but also an organizer and a nominee for best host, acknowledged the conflict, quipping: "This for me is a lose-lose." Later, when he lost, he immediately asked the other "losers" in his category to play his Rejection Show. Another big laugh line from Friedman: "I was told to be very Seacresty." Scott Bateman provided professional animated videos to list all of the nominees. And most of the award presenters brought it, too. Matt McCarthy, presenting best director, opened the proceedings with a wicked Stanley Kubrick from the set of The Shining. Andres Du Bouchet delivered the opening and closing lines from Act 1 of his upcoming fictional one-man-show (100 and Me Percent?) that went over so well, he almost wasn't joking when he said, "I can tell it's going to be a big hit." The Whitest Kids U'Know went to see a psychic yesterday for help determining the best sketch group winners. Carolyn Castiglia joked: "It's great to see so many comedians get dressed up to get drunk and cry. Usually I do it naked and covered in pizza!"
What else? All of the musical comedy nominees performed during the show. Only Reggie Watts got a standing ovation. And didn't win. Eddie Brill received the first "lifetime achievement award" and really took it to heart, confessing in his speech, "I've never been more nervous." They also debuted a new soap opera parody from A.D. Miles called "Horrible People" that'll begin airing soon online on My Damn Channel. I sat next to Jordan Carlos and Andrew WK. Carlos was nice. WK was nice, but awfully quiet aside from his brief stint as a presenter. The show limited acceptance speeches to 30 seconds, but the show still lasted close to two-and-a-half hours. The afterparty at Comix lasted just as long. At said afterparty, Nate Sloan from The Apiary wanted Todd Jackson from Dead-Frog and I to dish our "hot tips." I'm no Gossip Girl. XOXO.
The winners! Congrats to all, for whatever an ECNY Award is worth, you got one! Hooray!
Best Director: Kurt Braunohler
Best Improv Group: I Eat Pandas
Best One Person Show: Nick Kroll (Fabrice Fabrice)
Best Sketch Comedy Group: Harvard Sailing Team
Outstanding Achievement in Flyer or Postcard Design: The Apple Sisters (Matthew C. Johnson, Keith Huang)
Best Technician: Pat Baer
Best Short Comedic Film: Minesweeper: The Movie (Elephant Larry)
Best Website, Original Content: The Onion News Network
Best Website, News and Commentary: The Apiary
Best Host: Eugene Mirman and Michael Showalter, Tearing the Veil of Maya
Emerging Comic Award: Joe Mande
Best Musical Comedy Act: The Apple Sisters
Best Female Stand-up: Kristen Schaal
Best Male Stand-up: John Mulaney
And for those of you playing the Full Disclosure Home Game, four of the five producers of the ECNY Awards also were up for awards (the exception: Alex Goldberg). Friedman (host) and Carol Hartsell (tech) didn't win. Alex Zalben (sketch) and Nate/The Apiary (website/news) won. I was not nominated. Snub? Jackson joked to me that I was too new to New York City to get a nod and would have to wait my turn, like Barack Obama. I'll take an Obama comparison, so thanks, Todd!
UPDATED/CORRECTED! I cleaned up a couple of things in this post that weren't entirely clear when I first wrote them (thank you, commenters!). Also, if you want to see what I look like, as well as Dead-Frog's Todd Jackson, there is a lovely picture of us taken last night by Rachel Kramer Bussel!
Is this considered vlogging, podcasting, or something altogether different? At any rate, this is my first experiment with my new camera, in which Timmy Williams from The Whitest Kids U' Know talks about how he also got the same camera in his Christmas stocking. Note how the lack of lighting seems even darker once I uploaded it. Argh. Note to self: Must have lighting.