Wyatt Cenac may not have performed stand-up on last night's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, but he did drop some comedy knowledge bombs on Fallon and the audience. Such as: Cenac interned at SNL in the days before Fallon!
He also let it be known that he's taping his own stand-up comedy special this Jan. 22, 2011, at the Skirball Center at NYU. No link available yet for tickets. I'll post it here when it's up. Presumably, this is for Comedy Central, although neither Cenac nor Fallon mentioned the network by name.
Exhibit A: Roll the clip!
We're about to see a bunch of new live stand-up comedy on our basic cable TV sets thanks to Comedy Central. The fourth season of Live at Gotham debuts this weekend, and in the first week of November, 24 stand-ups get to tape their very own half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials to air in early 2010. In between those two things, the network has given the go-ahead to John Oliver to present his very own stand-up showcase. If John Oliver & Friends sounds like something as fun and magical as the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, well, then you can pretty well guess the lineup. It's going to be good.
There will be three tapings (Oct. 23-25) at NYU's Skirball Center, which will produce six half-hours of stand-up comedy, featuring Oliver and his friends. A few names appear multiple times, which is curious and suggests the format could spin a bit. We'll just have to wait and see, won't we!
SHOW 1 ~ Friday - Oct. 23 - 6:45 p.m., with Marc Maron, Janeane Garofalo, Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Wyatt Cenac and Pete Holmes
SHOW 2 ~ Saturday - Oct. 24 - 7:45 p.m., with Paul F. Tompkins, Maria Bamford, Greg Fitzsimmons, Nick Kroll and Eugene Mirman
SHOW 3 ~ Sunday - Oct. 25 - 5:45 p.m., with Brian Posehn, Kristen Schaal, Wyatt Cenac, Greg Fitzsimmons, Eugene Mirman, Pete Holmes and Mary Lynn Rajskub
If you're going to be in NYC and are at least 18 years old, go to The Black List's John Oliver page and follow the instructions to request tickets.
We've got ourselves a big Monday here, which means it's time to catch up on what's been happening in comedy and see if we missed anything. First up, what funny things from comedians have I posted recently over on The Laugh Track?
But that's not all. There was also some comedy in the news. Such as, for instance, this, that and the other thing:
New York magazine lets comedian Dave Hill interview other performers and put it to video, and what makes it special is how he conducts his chats openly in a public elevator. "Going Up!" Here, Hill corners Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac, who has a feature film debuting tonight, Medicine for Melancholy, at the IFC Center. The conversation takes a turn and targets John Oliver. I enjoy the fact that Hill and company don't mind at all that other people get on and off the elevator. They cannot be deterred from their mission of providing us with chuckles. Watch:
Related: After the jump, watch the trailer for Medicine for Melancholy.
When I saw The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was going live last night on Comedy Central, at first I lowered my expectations, because their live editions in the past on election nights have been, well, not so funny. And this was the inauguration of President Barack Obama. How would they make us laugh last night? Turns out they did more than just fine. They had help, of course. Dick Cheney in a wheelchair?! The show had Wyatt Cenac reporting live from the Youth Ball, telling us we finally had a cool president, and not merely just the first black president. The rest seemed just like a regular standard funny edition of the show that happened to air live. Jason Jones, after a segment showing Obama's address was more similar to Bush's address than you might think, wailing: "Why is cheese delicious on Italian food, but when you melt it on Chinese food, it's disgusting!?" Bishop Gene Robinson getting in a zinger about queens, and he didn't mean royalty. Watch the full episode here.
While we all wait with bated breath to hear if anyone new has made it onto the cast of Saturday Night Live, the folks over at The Daily Show have not been shy to pull the trigger on hiring new correspondents, and I have to hand it to them. After seeing some of their cast members leave to go on to starring TV and movie roles (Steve Carell, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms and Stephen Colbert), they've successfully hired some bold replacements. John Oliver has more than proven himself worthy of any assignment. Rob Riggle has made big splashes traveling abroad to Iraq and China. And their hire of Wyatt Cenac this summer already has provided some classic new Daily Show moments. This one is my early favorite, in which Cenac meets with elderly Florida Jews to talk about Obama. The dinner talk is priceless!
Since Cenac moved to New York for the show, I've also gotten to see him perform stand-up a few times in mainstream clubs and the smaller alt rooms. Sharp, edgy stuff about race. Here are a couple of clips of him in action onstage, courtesy of Effinfunny. Examples: Wyatt Cenac on how other n words are not the n word (NSFW, obvs); and on being single (also NSFW).
They say when one door closes, another door opens. Usually they say this to console someone. Wyatt Cenac needs not your consolations but instead your congratulations. He probably has gotten over getting passed over by SNL now that he started his new job last night as the newest correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In his first report, he explains why the Democratic primaries actually could have been more exciting. I need a polar bear, too!
The return of Saturday Night Live tomorrow night will mark the first cast changes in three years. Casey Wilson joins the troupe as a featured player, and Defamer got her on the phone yesterday for a very very brief Q&A, in which we learn that she sent in a 10-character video, heard in December that Lorne Michaels showed interest, then auditioned in January. As for who'll play Barack Obama? Who knows? Obama played himself the first time. Where is Obama on Saturday night?
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Lots of rumor spreading about SNL cast additions this week. Let's break down one such addition with fun facts. Yay. Fun facts.
On the record, Lorne Michaels said he'd make a decision late Thursday. That's...today.
Donald Glover performed his Barack Obama impersonation Tuesday night at Seth Herzog's Sweet show. Herzog said it was "the best Obama" he'd seen. Of course, how many Obamas have we seen, anyhow? Which is why Lorne Michaels didn't already have an Obama impersonator before today. Glover writes for 30 Rock, which connects him to Tina Fey, which connects him to...Baltimore? Glover's comedy troupe, Derrick, will be performing live this Saturday night at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
Wyatt Cenac may have recently joined Funny or Die, but his Obama "campaign posters" video originally found its way onto YouTube on Jan. 29, 2007.
Here's another fact. Just because a comedy blog or message board says "they've heard" something to be true, doesn't necessarily make it true. I've heard that some people want Jordan Carlos to get the SNL Obama gig. See what I just did there? Fun facts!
UPDATED (1:41 p.m.): Someone at Gawker is Facebook friends with Donald Glover, which reveals that fun facts are even funner when they're factual! Rumors are tumors, people. Stay tuned for the funniest fact to be revealed soon enough.
Lorne Michaels made the interview rounds yesterday to promote the return of Saturday Night Live, and more than a couple of people wondered who'd play Barack Obama. Michaels wonders, too. He told the USA Today that he auditioned candidates last week, "and expects to pick from two or three late Thursday." I don't get the sense that current cast member Kenan Thompson has an Obama impersonation, so it's more likely for someone else to get the gig. But whom? Obama likes to say the election campaign is about the past vs. the future. So might Lorne Michaels' decision. He could look to the recent past and invite Dean Edwards back into the fold. Edwards has plenty of experience with impersonations. Or Michaels could look to the future. Donald Glover, as a writer on 30 Rock, has an in with Tina Fey, and sketch/improv experience with UCB's Derrick. Speaking of the New York branch of the UCB, there's also Justin Purnell, who hosts the weekly School Night showcases. I also thought of my friend Baron Vaughn, who has acting chops to go with his stand-up delights (you can see him most Monday nights co-hosting Shoot The Messenger's satirical morning show with Lizz Winstead), but when I reached him by phone, he was in St. Louis at the national NACA conference which I could've learned from reading his MySpace page. What? You want more name speculation out of me? How about Leonard Robinson?
Whom else should Lorne be considering for the choice role of Obama on SNL? And do you think the guy who gets the gig will get a chance for non-Obama parts in the show, too?