Tag Archives: Matt McCarthy

John Oliver’s NY Stand Up is Back!

Britwit John Oliver has tickled our funnybones in featured guest roles on The Daily Show and Community, and last year he was given the reins of a comedy showcase called New York Stand Up. The format was deceptively simple; straight ahead stand-up comedy without the fluff, featuring some of the brightest minds working the NYC scenes today. Although limited to six episodes, we were treated to hilarious spots from Kristin Schaal, Matt McCarthy, Marc Maron, Janeane Garafolo and Nick Kroll among many others.

And wonder of wonders, it got renewed! The new season, again hosted by Oliver, premieres on Thursday, March 24 at midnight, after The Colbert Report.

The obviously titled John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show features Oliver opening each of the six episodes with original material and then introducing four comedians across the hour. Maria Bamford, Greg Behrendt, David Koechner, Kirk Fox, Al Madrigal, and Pete Holmes close each of their episodes with super-sized stand-up sets. The complete line-up boasts new stand-up from Anthony Jeselnik, Brendon Walsh, Deon Cole, Glenn Wool, Jen Kirkman, Kumail Nanjiani, Kyle Kinane, Marina Franklin, Mike Lawrence, Moshe Kasher, Rory Albanese, Rory Scovel, and Tommy Johnagin.

If you know these names, you will certainly agree that it’s an incredible lineup. And if you don’t know those names…man, are you about to have your mind blown. Oliver kicks off the season with a harrowing story of a flight diversion to Hanover, Germany and a thorough defense of the importance of swearing. Joining him on the premiere are Kyle Kinane, Glenn Wool, Rory Scovel and Pete Holmes. Leading up to the on-air premiere and throughout the new season, Jokes.com will feature preview clips and highlights from the series, as well as a special live version of the show staged at SXSW.

After yesterday’s devastating news, I can sure use some cheering up. It will be bittersweet knowing that there are a couple of people missing from that lineup, but I’m looking forward to great stand up comedy once again displacing some of the celebretard programming dominating my cable guide.

 

Such a cheeky little monkey...

 

 

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Best Comedy Albums of 2010: #10-9-8

Year End List caveat: I’m splitting comedy albums apart  from comedy DVD projects, so if someone had a DVD that was basically the same as the album, I’m rating it as an album. If someone winds up in the DVD category that doesn’t mean their album wasn’t top ten material…just trying to find some way of being fair. That said, there’s not an item on either of these lists that I don’t think is worth your immediate attention…click to hear clips and judge for yourself!

***

#10: Mike DeStefano, OK KARMA:

What a breakout year for Mike, who lit it up on Last Comic Standing and brought cringe humor to the forefront. Hysterically funny, he also has a personal back story so cathartic and outrageous that it will stop you dead in your tracks. Many comedians have a persona, but I believe this is the melting pot of the real guy bursting through. Irreverent and fearless, I love that he’ll swing for the fences, miss, and then dig in and swing harder because he knows he will get you eventually. (Stand Up! Records)

***

#09: Matt McCarthy, COME CLEAN

Total nutjob, and that’s fine by me. Prone to explosive rants of ridiculous logic as frequently as deceptively subtle comic gold, McCarthy’s debut album still has me laughing months later, especially the closing piece where he answers an Internet survey in reverse. Probably the most unusual opening and closing bits on any comedy album, ever, but both kill …as does most of what’s in between them. (Live at Comix)

***

#08: Sean Kent,  WAITING FOR THE RAPTURE

Kent’s “take no prisoners” attitude is relentless but funny, even bringing a unique take to common targets like Wal-Mart, Glenn Beck, Facebook and religious fanatics. Sure, there are dick jokes and local references and social outrage and little girlie voices, but Kent is willing to go all the way out there to take the mundane and the topical and wring something fresh out of both.  (Uproar Entertainment)

***

The countdown continues Wednesday with #7, #6, #5 and #4.

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Stand Up Wit…Matt McCarthy

You might have seen that expressive Irish puss on commercials for Verizon, Doritos and other companies, or perhaps like me your first prolonged encounter was on John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up program on Comedy Central. Or maybe you know him from his work with Front Page Films along with Pete Holmes (no relation!) and Oren Brimer. Whatever way it happens, Matt McCarthy makes an immediate impression. 

Looking like a leprechaun on steroids, McCarthy is a bit of a madman onstage, prone to explode on occasion in a loud and boisterous manner. Hell, you can tell he’s a little nuts just by the URL for his MySpace page. His debut comedy album Come Clean (recorded at Comix in New York City in April 2009) was just released and is available digitally; hard copy CDs are only sold at his shows. Which now gives you two reasons to go see the man perform, of course. 

Video: The first KISS meeting. 

 Come Clean is pretty hilarious, but I’ll admit when the first track “Greetings” (a string of ethnic impressions) kept going and going I wondered why he had opened by beating something to death. But just as it got uncomfortably awkward he segued into Zortar, a man from the future…and I lost it – I almost drove off the road. 

And that’s McCarthy in a nutshell – unafraid to go off the radar if there’s a great line at the end worth getting to. And who records his own preview track and inserts it into the middle of the album…or segues The Incredible Hulk, American Beauty and not-so-tough guys together into one joke? “Badass Poetry” was hit and miss, but there are so many original ideas like the “Love Lotto” or the Planned Parenthood t-shirt bit that are pure genius. 

Other highlights include “Funerals and First Dates”, “Old Suicide Notes” (a great segue from “Black Ops”) and the brilliant closer  “Get To Know Me”. A bookend to the protracted intro track, he bids the crowd good night while rapidly completing a twenty-five question Internet poll in reverse (“favorite flower” and “favorite vegetable” are among the many killers). It’s like the fireworks display at the end of an event; everything including the kitchen sink gets tossed at the crowd before he spikes the ball and leaves. 

I’ve heard Come Clean three times already and I’m still laughing. But I never want to hear the phrase baboon load again. Ever

Really...don't ask.

Matt’s commercial reel 

Matt McCarthy videos at Comedy Central 

McCarthy’s classic Michael O’Donahue impression 

Come Clean at iTunes

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