This is silly.
Todd Barry had a nice part in Darren Aronofsky's film, The Wrestler. But what if it turned out that his deli manager was supposed to get a sequel, and that sequel turned out to be Black Swan? Well, that's what this Funny or Die video imagines.
The second season of Jon Glaser's Delocated will return to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on Aug. 22 as a half-hour, twice as long as before, and sources have told me that Adult Swim liked the early episodes so much they already have extended the second season. You can see some behind-the-scenes shots and comments from Glaser about Season 2 and Season 2.5 on the Delocated Tumblr.
Here's what else I can tell you based on the first two half-hour episodes, which I have seen. It almost immediately switches from a silly comedy to a "silly drama" as the TV network seeks out Sergei Mirminsky (Steve Cirbus) to do the job that his brother, Yvgeny (Eugene Mirman), could not: Kill "Jon." Episode #201, "Decoys," ups the ante as Sergei goes on a killing spree, while "Jon" goes on defense by hiring a slew of decoys. We also see the introduction of Jerry Minor as "Mighty Joe Jon, the black blonde," and Todd Barry playing himself, as a comedian friend of Yvgeny's. If you remember from season one, Yvgeny, in addition to being a Russian hit man, also began to pursue a career in stand-up.
Episode #202, "Conversions," finds things spiraling further out of control. Mather Zickel shows up as federal agent Rob, who also happens to be the new boyfriend of Jon's wife, Susan.
Larry Murphy returns as the doorman, Jay, while Kevin Dorff plays Jon's personal agent, Mike.
There's violence, there's nudity, there's multiple personality disorder. Something for everyone, really, wouldn't you agree? "Jon" made this clip to welcome us all back to his meta world of being the first reality TV star who's also in the witness protection program. Roll it.
When FX and Louis CK announced that they'd be collaborating on a sitcom that consisted of stand-up routines followed by vignettes based on his stand-up routines, it'd be fair of you to think that Louis CK was doing his version of Seinfeld. But this is not a show about nothing. This is a show about something. Actually, Louie, which debuts June 29, is more than something. Louie is the most original, honest comedy on TV in a generation. Think of everything you've liked about All in the Family and Curb Your Enthusiasm, then remove the live studio audience and the cringe factor, and then you're prepared to have your thoughts provoked.
After debuting the first two episodes at a red-carpet premiere at Carolines on Monday night, Louis CK talked to me about the series Tuesday on his way to the airport to California for his Leno and Lopez appearances.
But first, here's a short scene from the pilot, in which Louis CK jokes about volunteering for his daughters at their NYC public school, followed by comedian William Stephenson as an aloof bus driver hired to take the field trip to the Bronx Botanical Gardens:
In the third episode, we see Louis CK get into a fight with Nick DiPaolo at the Comedy Cellar after both had performed downstairs -- a fake fight that some people were duped into thinking was real.
"I was really pleased with the reaction. I wanted it to feel like a real fight. It's filmed like a real scene. The camera pushes in and then when we start, the camera has to look up to find us...I didn't want to fool people...but that's what i wanted it to be...and then when this guy put it on YouTube and Howard Stern talked about it. Nick is really that good of an actor. Nick is a fucking good actor. I was fucking pissed that this extra put this clip up on YouTube. It's one thing if a fan walking by...that's obnoxious, but it's a fan, it's hard for you to stop...but an extra, a professional actor who works for you, that's absurd. We had to get a lawyer."
Louis CK also gets naked in two of the first three episodes, showing his ass. Is that symbolic of the naked honesty you were aiming for in the series? Or do you just like getting naked on camera? "That was necessary for a proper level of humiliation. I don't do it for nothing. I do think that nudity should have a reason story-wise. I remember when I was on Lucky Louie and I was naked once, and so was Rick Shapiro. I was on a radio show in Cleveland. It was one of my worst experiences ever...One of them goes, 'Why are you naked on your show? I don't want to see that! Why isn't the chick naked? Why can't I see her titties?'...The premium people put on that shit..."
The tone of Louie -- short films done without an audience, as opposed to a multi-camera sitcom filmed in front of a live studio audience -- is the polar opposite of Lucky Louie. Was that intentional? "It wasn't a reaction at all in any way to Lucky Louie. This was its own idea. I've been making short films for years. Features. I love directing. And shooting on location in New York. I've kind of been able to do everything I want with this show."
For fans who have seen your earlier shorts, is that the same helicopter in the pilot that you used for your short stealing the ice cream from the kid? "It sure is. It's the same guy. We have this friend who has this cheap helicopter. He's been really good to us. I don't want to say his name because he's been so good to us....When we shot this HBO stuff a couple of years ago, when I did that helicopter thing, we did other helicopter shots..He said, 'I can't go anywhere near a building or a bridge.' I said OK, we'll get a long lens. And then he was hovering two feet above me. It was so good. I was very proud of Chelsea (Peretti), she got in there and he took off. She was fine with it."
At the premiere, FX's John Landgraf said: "When you say original programming, and you attribute it to Louis, you get really original programming." How important was it to you to do something completely original? I know some people early on wanted to compare Louie to Seinfeld.
Such a beautiful day here in New York City. Snow fell overnight. Everything looks pretty. Maybe you'd like to pay us a visit? If you do, you'll need tips. The 92YTribeca assembled a bunch of comedians to offer their best advice already, and now they've done it again.
Remember to carry your walkie-talkies when you visit the Eiffel Tower on 34th Street.
Featuring: Paul Scheer, Eliza Skinner, Todd Barry, Fred Armisen, Julie Klausner, Jenny Slate & Gabe Liedman, Rob Huebel, Janeane Garofalo. Thanks, 92YTribeca!
This got my attention. It reminds me of the fun comedians had trash-talking each other for a spot in the "coveted" AST Top 20 poll from the message board of message boards for comedy nerds. Things like the Comedy Central Stand-Up Showdown and the AST poll are silly, and I'd like to see more comedians acknowledge that silliness with videos like this. With that, here is Pete Lee's smear campaign against Todd Barry. At this writing, they're both in the top 20. Good luck, fellas!
Yes, as the headline suggests, it's that simple. Well, you will have to videotape yourself chanting "Todd" as 2009 counts down into 2010, but as comedian Todd Barry explains in this short video, it's for charity! Show the ones you love that you care, by doing what's right to ring in the new year. It's the Todd! Todd! TODD! New Year's Eve Project, now with Tumblr. Roll it.
Todd Barry is launching a four-city tour of New England this week, just in time for the holidays. That's why, isn't it, Todd? Here's what he told me:
"I got an offer to do the Allston club, so I just told my booking agent to 'run wild' and book some other stuff around it. I probably didn't phrase it that way, but you get the idea. I'm pretty excited about the tour, because all the cities are just a few hours apart, so I can do some of my famous "after-show partying," and then sleep late, before conquering the next town."
If you cannot catch those shows, and you happen to live in or near Los Angeles and would like to both see the Comedy Death-Ray Nativity Pageant on Dec. 15 AND receive a phone call from Barry live onstage, then you can bid on that very thing on Ebay. Bidding ends Dec. 14.
The Bentzen Ball opened its inaugural comedy festival in our nation's capital last night, and The Comic's Comic was there for what seemed like a flash (because I was only there for about as many hours as I actually spent on the bus back and forth between NYC and DC from yesterday afternoon to this morning). But there I was in the shadows alongside Kyle Kinane, enjoying Rory Scovel's "country bumpkin" act during the Patton Oswalt and Friends show that served as the ball's opening gala at DC's Lincoln Theatre. Did I say country bumpkin? Yes, I did.
I'm fairly sure few people in the audience knew what kind of a show they were getting from Scovel, who joked about needing to smoke pot to enjoy this summer's rash of 3D animated movies, about fulfilling the WWJD motto, and at one point, telling the audience: "This is like Christmas, but I'm eating it!" Oswalt may have been the big draw for opening night -- and certainly did his part closing with a 50-minute set that touched upon routines from his latest CD/DVD, as well as a few memories about his start in stand-up in D.C. clubs, plus a rant about the Christmas song, "Christmas Shoes." He also encouraged the crowd to check out many of the not-so "famous" comedians performing at this weekend's fest. Not that they had to go very far, for they got treated to sets from Kinane (he received prolonged spontaneous applause after his performance, which closed with an adventure in a Chicago public bathroom -- so no need for him to be consoled by one of the festival's organizers, Andy Wood, afterward (as pictured!)), Ian Edwards (who provoked them into rethinking their attitudes on race and sex, and even made them gasp during his closer), and sets by the more famous acts of Todd Barry and Mary Lynn Rasjkub, and host/curator Tig Notaro. For a full set of photos from last night, check out Dakota Fine's full collection courtesy of fest organizer Brightest Young Things.
I also checked out the late show at the Bohemian Caverns, which has a basement set up to look like a cave. Nice touch? Maybe, but the stage lighting was a bit off, and the upstairs had turned into a dance club, factors that made it tough for many of the performers Thursday night -- although Seth Herzog and Morgan Murphy both seemed to get the crowd's attention in a good way. The local comedians, meanwhile, were showcasing over at HR 57, and there was an open mic advertised at Ben's Chili Bowl, which I don't remember seeing when Barry, Herzog, Reggie Watts and I went over there to sample the local institution's Chili Half-Smoke (online, the menu says it's named after Bill Cosby!).
Oh, did I mention that the Question Mark Suit Guy (informercial guy Matthew Lesko) was there, opening the festivities with a horrible comedy sketch that he and DC Councilman Jim Graham planned out? You can see that and more in this short highlight reel I put together from my brief sojourn to DC:
If you want to attain a more natural high, just go back in time and remember when you and your favorite comedians were younger, back before they were famous. First up, Sarah Silverman shares with us this photo that shows her and her pals, circa 1993: Todd Barry, Janeane Garofalo, Dave Attell, and Dave Juskow.
And if you think that's something, then please check out this rare footage of a young Jim Carrey, circa mid-1980s (Brezhney, My Three Sons and E.T.?), performing five minutes of facial impersonations for a crowd at The Comedy Store that had no idea what they were seeing.
Oh, to be a young comedian again. Happy days.
If Eugene Mirman could pull off his own comedy festival, then what would he have in store for the release of his first book, The Will to Whatevs? We had to take the first B75 or F train we could get to the Bell House in Gowanus Brooklyn to find out last night for ourselves (why do I refer to myself in the first-person plural? not relevant). A sold-out crowd watched what turned out to be two hours of comedy and a full set by GnR tribute band Mr. Brownstone, and before you ask, why Mr. Brownstone, note that Eugene's brother joined them on guitar for "Knocking on Heaven's Door," with Eugene and David Cross taking over one of the microphones, and Todd Barry and Cross' girlfriend Amber Tamblyn joining them all onstage.
Of course, it wasn't all rock and roll. After all of that, Sarah Vowell took over the turntable with a more leisurely mix of tunes.
But first, Mirman welcomed the crowd with a multimedia presentation about his new book (related: read my interview with Mirman about The Will to Whatevs). John Hodgman took the stage and immediately apologized for being sick with the cold/flu bug that has circled New York City. Although that's not how Hodgman caught it, as he claimed instead: "I got sick hugging Al Gore last week at the TED conference." If that wasn't odd enough for you, Hodgman talked a bit more about the personalities who show up to talk hot topics at TED each year, and revealed that he once tried stand-up comedy at one of Mirman's shows. "Eugene was nice enought to let me come up and insult his profession, and now he has insulted mine," he said. And now that they're competitors in the book world, Hodgman decided to plug his own book and read from it.
If you live near New York City, or even in New England, you see the TV ad for the New York Times Weekender subscription a lot. A lot, a lot. Perhaps this ad even runs nationally? Regardless, the new 92YTribeca facility, which has been booking lots of great comedy shows (thank you, Bart Coleman), just released this new advertisement written and directed by Michael Showalter and featuring Paul Rudd and many funny stand-up comedians. How many do you recognize? If you need a hint, just look at my category tags below. Related: The 92YTribeca's comedy schedule. Enjoy!
To Do Thursday: See Wayne Federman host Todd Barry, Dave Hill, Jessi Klein and others in 92YTribeca's weekly Comedy Below Canal series (tickets and info).
Have you seen The Wrestler yet? You should! In the meantime, enjoy this new interview with Todd Barry via New York magazine.
And here comes another surviving new player on the online comedy video front, The Huffington Post's financed humor arm, 236.com, with a new video looking back on the lewd conduct arrest of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who, you may not recall, never did resign his office after getting caught trying to hook up with another guy in an airport bathroom in Minnesota. Nope. Craig is still in the Senate. So here's a reason to toast the forgotten heroes of anonymous airport bathroom sex, with featured starring roles by Jon Benjamin, Tom Shillue, Todd Barry and Aimee Mann. Surprisingly almost safe for work!
In real-life, the New Zealand comedy music duo Flight of the Conchords won a Grammy this year and is up for another one in 2009. In their HBO show, however, Bret and Jermaine are still trying to catch a break as the second season opens. Funny or Die gets to bring us the premiere a month before it airs on HBO, for American audiences only (sorry, not my call), so watch it now, and see what happens. Greg Proops, Andrea Rosen and Andrew Secunda make appearances, as well as season one regulars Kristen Schaal and Arj Barker. There's also a subplot for Crazy Doggs (the competing band from Todd Barry and Demetri Martin).
Watch to the end, and you'll also get a sneak peek at the HBO comedy, East Bound & Down, featuring Danny McBride, Will Ferrell and Andrew Daly. Enjoy!
It appears Super Deluxe wants us to see what happens to Todd Barry's prostitute character in the cliff-hanger comedy series that is Sexus. In addition to this week's new episode, the site implores us to come back Sept. 3 for the next NSFW episode. Such range, Mr. Barry. Such range! So you can watch this installment knowing the storyline will not die just yet. Is it Sex Sigma, or Sex Stigma, though? Hmmm...ma Cache amour, indeed:
Why is Todd Barry prowling around in a towel in a hotel room as a prostitute? Why are you asking me these questions? You should ask the folks at Super Deluxe why we had to wait until now to enjoy this NSFW new classic. This is the third episode in the Sexus series. UPDATED: Probably, as Todd himself noted, best to start from the beginning. So. Here we go!
To be continued???
Jon Benjamin showed this video at last Friday's last "Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy" show at Rififi, and it debuted online overnight. Too soon? Regardless, just watching Todd Barry and Larry Murphy in this shirt is humor enough...but is that stunt hair? Enjoy!
Almost missed this entirely somehow...but tonight, as in an hour from now, doors open at 7 p.m. at the Knitting Factory in NYC, there's a comedy benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society featuring Todd Barry, Eugene Mirman, Leo Allen, John Mulaney, Max Silvestri, Seth Herzog, Andy Blitz, Daniel Dratch, Mike Birbiglia, Jim Gaffigan and more? Get out of town. No, stay in the city and head on over and donate $20 to the cause. Here's a link.
AltCom fest organizer Brian Joyce paced backstage at the Somerville Theater minutes before the scheduled 8 p.m. showtime and tried to pump up his performers. "It's a healthy crowd," he told the comedians. "There's not a stretch of empty seats downstairs." Eugene Mirman couldn't help but laugh right away, telling Joyce his pep talk really helped. Actually, there wasn't a need to worry. By the time Myq Kaplan and Micah Sherman took to the stage at 8:25 p.m. to open the festivities with their "Comedians National Anthem," fans had filled most of the seats in the lower orchestra level.
Nevertheless, Mirman felt like addressing the seating situation upfront, inviting folks from upstairs to come downstairs. "Why spread people out, unless you're different races?!" he announced with his usual absurdist flair. "This is Boston!" Mirman had plenty of fun throughout his 20-minute set, especially by poking fun at himself and his tendency to color his routine with local jokes and town names. "Now to stick it to the old Fleet Bank machine!" he said at one point. Later, he enjoyed ad-libbing a thought about a local audience member attacking a bear and yelling at it, "You're queah!" that he completely skipped over his usual punchline and tags on his bit about bears. He tailored another portion of the set for the Boston-area audience with a clever video spoof of ads for Boston.com, the Boston Globe's online portal. Mirman also included a recent observation from his 236.com-sponsored trip to Philadelphia for last month's Democratic debate, talking about anti-abortion protesters, and ad-libbing a retort to his own description of the presidential race as "Obama and the lady."
Also worth noting about Eugene Mirman: Michael Showalter followed him around offstage with a video camera (for a documentary? for a spoof? just because? we'll investigate this further), and Mirman told the other comics beforehand that he and his fellow Stand-Uppity Tour performers (Andy Kindler and Marc Maron) are looking forward to hitting the road together next week. Actually, that tour starts Sunday in Kentucky! Moving on...
Emo Philips joked with Todd Barry beforehand about Barry being limited to a 20-minute set. "If you're having fun," Philips told Barry backstage, "you'll want to fight that impulse...to stay onstage!" Barry also joked with me about the New York Times review earlier in the week of his performance opening for Flight of the Conchords, noting how reviewers often resort to lame jokes in critiquing a comedian. The Times, for the record, said this of Barry on Thursday: "A comedian whose deadpan delivery was drier than an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting." I won't attempt anything of that sort here. Leave that to the couple of audience members (fans of Barry's, it'd turn out afterward) who felt compelled to shout out oddities during his set. And that's even after Barry told his joke about an audience member "who wanted to challenge him...comedically." Argh. Barry also had to bear witness to a couple near the front who stood up and apparently walked out. Not his fault. "How awkward would that be if I cleared the room?" he joked. Not as awkward as what happened next, when he asked a guy in the front row if he was the most famous person to ever talk to him. "No," the young man replied, and then, after a pause, offered: "Wesley Willis." I hadn't heard of the late, overweight, schizophrenic, homeless musician, but Barry had. He joked about that, then went on with his act, and I thought he'd close on his Facebook jokes, but just then, Mirman's laptop computer -- still onstage -- beeped loudly. "Eugene got a new Gmail?!" Barry said. Another pause to regroup. A couple more jokes. And by then, Barry had gone 28 minutes. Again. Not his fault. Just one of those odd sets that gets derailed by the audience and other factors out of his control, forcing him to take extra time to get the show back on track.
Kaplan and Sherman also attempted at this point to remind the audience not to get in the way of everyone's good time. They did not, however, fully prepare everyone for doktor cocacolamcdonalds. How could they?
This one-man band from the UK has wowed crowds in Edinburgh and plays the big Leeds and Reading festivals later this summer. He'll also be swinging down to NYC on Monday for a show at the PIT. You have to see and hear this guy, and even then, you might not believe it. He bounded onstage wearing only face makeup, a scarf tie, colorful briefs and sneakers, and alternated between a keytar and other odd instruments for a few musical numbers. First up: "When you generalize, the general...lies." Another song he wants to be more R&B, so a GameBoy supplies the beats. His truncated set (this only showcased him for about 18 minutes) also included an appearance by his performance poet, Ray: Man of Words, who closed with a "cover" -- in this instance, his rendition of the theme rap song to TV's Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. You could hear doktor cocacolamcdonalds on the radio, disc or iPod and chuckle a bit. But his humorous success proves it's really all in the presentation.
He also proved to be a good transition between the stand-up of Mirman and Barry to the headlining performance of Emo Philips.
I spent so much time trying to jot down notes between giggles the last time I saw Philips that this time, I wanted to sit back and absorb his set as a fan. What really hit home with me now was what also connected deeply with me when I first devoured Emo's E=MO2 over and over again as a teen. Sure, his jokes and one-liners are amazingly funny. But what makes him amazing is how devious and mischievous he is. It goes beyond clever. The guy opens with remarks about appreciating us appreciating live stand-up comedy, and somewhere in there is a joke about incest. He knew enough about Boston to work in baseball jokes, and also, perhaps unbeknownest to some in the crowd, a dating joke with a wickedly funny and subtle nod to the Kennedys! Philips also manages to jab at religion, politics, the homeless and so many other topics with his trademark wit and mannerisms that you're usually too busy laughing to get how wonderfully subversive it all is. For example, here he is on capital punishment: "We shouldn't execute the mentally retarded. No. Right? But what if they do something wrong?" Or this little ditty: "I like the South, but, of course, I'm prejudiced." By the end of his 55-minute set, the crowd couldn't help but give him a standing ovation.
AltCom continues Saturday night with Patton Oswalt, Morgan Murphy, Jim Jeffries and the Walsh Brothers.