Aziz Ansari's performance at Madison Square Garden was nothing short of masterful. There is an old myth that big stadiums kill comedy. "They're too big, you don't get the same intimate feel as a comedy club." Aziz put that idea to rest with his newest special.
Comedian Nat Baimel Talks Reddit Trolls, His Writing Process, and The Time He Bombed on His Birthday
If you follow the Stand Up Comedy Twitter Account or if you frequent /r/standupshots on Reddit, you probably have seen Nat Baimel (pronounced N@, not N8). Sometimes absurd, sometimes serious, always funny. Personally, that's my favorite kind of comedy. I asked him some questions about starting out, writing, and his worst bombing story:
Kristen Schaal is fucking funny. You know this. I know this. There's really not much need for discussion. But, there always seemed to be something one dimensional about her parts. In every one of her roles it felt like you weren't getting a new character, you were getting Kristen Schaal. Which, up until this point, most comedy fans seemed o.k. with (myself included). She has built an outstanding career as a character actor on some of comedy's most respected T.V. shows: The Daily Show, Bob's Burgers, 30 Rock, and ten thousand other bit parts and cameos.
You've probably heard something about SNL's ISIS sketch that aired this past weekend. In terms of sketch writing, the ISIS sketch was perfectly executed: A excellent premise, well acted, well paced, and it didn't drag on for an extra two minutes too long (as SNL tends to do). But some people want you to believe that SNL pushed the envelope by airing an "edgy", "controversial" sketch. Everybody in charge of releasing that sketch - from the folks who wrote it, to Lorne Michaels, to NBC executives - knew exactly what the reaction was going to be like. They knew that some people would complain, but most people - especially after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and "The Interview" fiasco - would be all gung-ho about freedom of expression.
Colin Quinn's "Cop Show" is a rare example of meta-comedy done right. It is self effacing, perfectly paced, and very familiar for fans of Colin Quinn. Colin has been fucking with people's heads with cringe-worthy jokes and fake self aggrandizement for years before doing so on Twitter. But it's his non-stop fuckery on the social media platform that has at least as many people
Monotony, existentialism, and watching yourself lose your own mind.
I can only speak for myself when I say that there's not a day that passes where I don't fear at least one of those things. Some days I fear all three at once. Those days tend to be the blackest moments of my existence. But I refuse to accept the idea that I am so unique, that I am so rare that only I fear those things. I assume that all of those themes are simply part of the human condition, whether or not we are all aware of it.
Tom Segura’s ‘Completely Normal’ starts off appropriately low-key, because Segura doesn't have a huge physical presence. There’s very little physical movement in Segura’s act, he’s never very grand or animated. When Seinfeld interviewed Kevin Hart in Comedians in Cars, he said that stand-up comedy should be a reduced essence. This is why guys like Segura are extremely important. Simplicity is key to what makes stand up such an unyielding force in an absurdly sensational, unnecessarily flashy culture. Segura’s act represents exactly that: a performance stripped down to the craft of stand up and nothing more.
The existence of Todd Barry's comedy is a big "fuck you" to a lot of people's "comedy rules". Pseudo comedy intellectuals have lots of rules: Racial humor is hack. Stand up has to be personal. Stand up has to be loud.
It's all bullshit. Stand up has to be funny. End of story.
For the next 12 days we'll be posting reviews for 12 comedy specials that you should watch. They're not in any particular order, they're just good specials from good comics from 2014. Some specials that aired this year aren't on this list. That's because either I didn't like them (I don't believe in negative reviews) or I haven't seen them yet. Here's the list: