Tag Archives: Pete Holmes

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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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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T.G.I.F. – Ten Comic Clips

We’re a little more than halfway through the fourteenth season of Comedy Central Presents; this year two new episodes are aired every Friday night at 11:00pm and 11:30pm Eastern Time. There have been a few minor changes from previous seasons, but the channel remains committed to putting fresh comedy out there on a frequent basis, and for that they should be applauded.

Gone are the (usually) elaborate backdrops and sets, which usually added some flavor to the event; in its place the comic’s name is smeared across the upstage scrim so that the feeble-minded among us can remember who we are watching. This in turn allows the comic a graceful exit instead of stopping by their small marquee sign by the stage right curtain to do the obligatory turn and wave so their name is visible in the background. (One would hope that the patrons seeing the show live could simply stare at their ticket stub whenever the need arose).

So maybe that saves them a few bucks, or maybe last-minute negotiations with the set designer went horribly awry and they decided to wing it; either way it’s no big deal. What does matter is who is in front of that curtain and what they do. In 2010 we’ve gotten a good sampling of talent; it’s been great to see some of the up and comers get their shot.

Here is the list of Season 14 performers.

So as I get ready to strap myself in again this week, I thought it only appropriate to present Ten Comic Clips from the season 14 performers. Like any year its been hit and miss, but there have been a couple of standouts so far – and there are some great names yet to come. So in totally random order

* Rory Albanese is yet another writer from the Daily Show factory. Classic old-school look and delivery.

* Jon Lajoie was very strong. I usually get bored by comedians who play music – I get the puppet gag reflex – but he’s an exception. “Regular Everyday Normal Guy” is a classic.

* Amy Schumer totally knocked it out of the park with her set. Excellent timing and a twisted mind behind that very pretty face.

* Pete Holmes (no relation) does exasperation really well; I’ve never seen a set of his I didn’t like.

* The Sklar Brothers were pretty good; the material was decent on its own but when they act out scenes between them it’s far funnier. Closing with the Diceman bit was huge.

* Rob Riggle had a decent set, but I’ve seen him do better (like his small scene in The Hangover), but in fairness I did have the bar set way high for him.

* Myq Kaplan is scheduled for the end of April; his album Vegan Mind Meld is out this month. Great wordplay – maybe the best since Mitch Hedberg.

* Rachel Feinstein knows that a forward lunge is never attractive. Great voices and physicality to back up strong material.

* Jon Dore was phenomenal! Great set-ups that he twists into something dark and sick, and even when you know something is coming, he gets you anyway. With Schumer, the show of the season so far.

* Matt Braunger is on tonight; I reviewed his album a while back. His material is great, his energy is amazing, and he’s fast becoming one of my favorite comics.

Click here to see the list of every CCP special.

Comedy Central website

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Comedy Central Presents – New Season!

Thanks to Comedy Central and to the fine folks at AST for sharing this:

Get ready for some spanking new funny! Unveiling a fresh, new look and showcasing its best-ever, all-star line-up of today’s finest comedians, COMEDY CENTRAL Presents premieres Friday, February 19. The season kicks off with COMEDY CENTRAL Presents Tony Rock” at 11:00 p.m., followed by COMEDY CENTRAL Presents Doug Williams” at 11:30 p.m. on COMEDY CENTRAL.

In anticipation of the funniest season yet, COMEDY CENTRAL is whetting viewers’ appetites with a special half-hour sneak peek.  COMEDY CENTRAL Presents Best of 2010 – featuring selected highlights from the upcoming season – is on Friday, February 12 at midnight.

COMEDY CENTRAL Presents is the premiere showcase for top stand-up talent. Filmed at New York City’s Gerald W. Lynch Theater in front of a live audience, the 14th season of COMEDY CENTRAL Presents will air every Friday night beginning February 19 with two all-new episodes each week at 11:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Hot, new episodes of this season will include stand-up performances from Jon Lajoie, Rob Riggle, Matt Braunger, Pete Holmes, Amy Schumer, Andy Kindler, Iliza Shlesinger, Owen Benjamin, Rory Albanese, Jon Dore, Shane Mauss, Donald Glover and The Sklar Brothers.

That’s a serious list of potentially great shows, folks. First John Oliver‘s limited run of stand-up shows – featuring several killer sets from the likes of Mark Maron, Maria Bamford, Nick Kroll, in addition to really funny work from the host. Now this! Friday nights are an oasis for comedy lovers once again.

It also goes without saying that after so many years there are several great older CCPs still in rotation, so maybe setting that TiVo or DVR to record “all episodes” wouldn’t be a bad idea. Who couldn’t use a laugh today?

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