Baloney Has A First Name, It's O-S-C-A-R
Not everyone made an ass out of themselves this past week, though!
Before we get into the comedy news for the week ending March 12, 2023, I must stress that it’s just a coincidence that baloney’s second name is also one of the names in legendary movie studio MGM. A coinky-dink, I tells ya! Louis B. Mayer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was born in Russia, while Oscar F. Mayer was born in Germany. No relation. Although it reminds me and pains me to also point out that the Number One Enemy of bringing a televised live awards show in under three hours is, in fact, due to harebrained ideas transformed into sketches or comedy bits (see above, Jimmy Kimmel dragging his ass onstage and pretending it’s “Jenny” from The Banshees of Inisherin, or when he pestered Malala Yousafzai, Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain with “fan questions”). I’m friends with comedy writers who get paid to come up with these bits, and yet, we all can agree that nobody ever needed to see any of this. Not last night. Nor in years past. It’s all filler, no killer.
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Kimmel delivered an efficient opening monologue that found jokes in last year’s Slap and covered all the necessary bases. I wanted to scream at the TV (and social media) that they “stole my bit” by having RRR dancers dance Kimmel offstage, but they never followed through on this threat during any of the acceptance speeches that went long (instead, the orchestra, per usual, seemed to rush off any Oscar-winning team that wasn’t completely full of white guys until the final awards of the night?!?). I say “stole my bit” because anyone from the Seattle comedy scene of 1998-2001 knows that I also played the role of Dancing Boy at the Comedy Underground, bum-rushing the stage to the sounds of KC and the Sunshine Band whenever open mic-er’s went long. Although even Carl Warmenhoven at the Underground would want me to note that Gene Gene The Dancing Machine did the thing long before me on The Gong Show.
Anyhow. Loved the Jeff Cohen shout-out by Ke Huy Quan in his acceptance speech (Goonies Never Die!). Here’s Jeff showing brotherly love right back earlier in the year.
And of course, congrats to The Daniels on all their wins for Everything Everywhere All at Once! Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert met as students at Emerson College, where they first starting making short comedy films and projects together (and where they also met fellow Emerson alum Sunita Mani, who appeared in some of those shorts during college and enjoyed a supporting role in EEAAO).
Marlon Meets The Mayor
From Mayers to the mayor, via Marlon…
You might find it fun to see Comedy Central’s The Daily Show rotating through celebrity guest hosts, but I’ve found too much of it so far to be too underwhelming. But this segment last week with Marlon Wayans interviewing NYC Mayor Eric Adams is worth a second look. Marlon was born in NYC in 1972 and grew up in the Fulton housing projects, so when he decided to interview Adams in character as “Quan,” you knew this might be ridiculous and go off the rails. As opposed to other politicians, though, Adams wasn’t getting pranked. He knew what he was walking into here — which makes his answers to some of Quan’s questions even more suspicious. That is, unless you’re a New Yorker or have been following closely. The Adams Administration so far has been a joke, no joke, disaster. If you really want to know why, just watch his smugness (which Chris Redd portrayed last season on SNL as swagger). There’s simply too much sad but true stuff to talk about with regard to NYC policies for this comedy newsletter to even attempt to cover it in this dispatch. Hell Gate is a good place to get acquainted with life in this city these days, though!
R.I.P. Rick Scheckman
Rick “Shecky” Scheckman died Friday in NYC. Scheckman had worked with David Letterman from NBC’s Late Night in 1982 through the end at The Late Show on CBS, starting as a film coordinator who knew how and where to dig up obscure clips on deadline, and also sometimes appearing onscreen in sketches with Dave. He was 67.
Bert Kreischer’s Fully Loaded Comedy Festival 2023 Tour
Following in the footsteps of Funny or Die’s Oddball summer festivals, or before that, Opie and Anthony’s Traveling Virus comedy tours, Bert Kreischer has announced dates and lineups for his 2023 “Fully Loaded Comedy Festival.” It all kicks off June 14, 2023, with Big Jay Oakerson, Dan Soder, Dave Attell, Rosebud Baker, Shane Gillis and Tiffany Haddish joining Kreischer at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens.
Industry News and Notes
What else is new?
Submissions are now open for the annual “Stand Up And Pitch” and “Eat My Shorts” competitions at Just For Laughs Montreal in July.
Congrats to Sam Mullins for winning Podcast of the Year at the 2023 Ambie Awards for “Chameleon: Wild Boys”! Nicole Byer won Best Comedy Podcast for her Team Coco series, “Why Won’t You Date Me?”
Elizabeth Banks not only scored a hit with her feature film, Cocaine Bear, and scored laughs with it at the Oscars, but she also just landed a pilot presentation at FOX for an animated spinoff of Flintstones, Bedrock. Banks would voice a grown-up Pebbles, with Stephen Root as Fred; Amy Sedaris as Wilma; Nicole Byer as Betty; Joe Lo Truglio as Barney; and Manny Jacinto as Bamm-Bamm.
It’s Suzy Eddie Izzard now, people. “I’m going to be Suzy Eddie Izzard, that’s how I’m going to roll,” the comedian told the Political Party podcast. Izzard began cross-dressing publicly in 1985, but only changed her preferred pronouns in 2020. But you can still call her Eddie, too? “So, people can choose what they want. They can’t make a mistake. They can’t go wrong with me.”
Malcolm D. Lee has extended his first-look deal with Universal Television.
Hoping to offset the increasingly pricey nature of mounting a show at the Edinburgh Fringe in August, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is launching a £100,000 Keep it Fringe fund, supported by the Fleabag for Charity campaign and funds donated to the Fringe Society, which will distribute 50 £2,000 grants to artists this year.
Netflix has ordered an 8-episode series from Mike Schur starring Ted Danson, based on the Oscar-nominated documentary, The Mole Agent.
A&E has ordered 10 episodes of a reality show, tentatively titled Kings of BBQ, following Anthony Anderson and Cedric the Entertainer as they launch their own barbecue label, AC Barbeque.
ABC pilot orders: Public Defenders, a single-cam starring Anthony Anderson; and Drop Off, starring Ellie Kemper based off the British comedy, Motherland. ABC also has bought Overtime, a single-cam pitch from David E. Tabert about a retired NBA player.
Mo Gilligan will host an audio stand-up showcase for Audible. Mo Gilligan’s Spotlight runs six episodes, with performances recorded throughout March at South London’s Up the Creek Comedy Club. Among the performers: Eddie Kadi, Thanyia Moore, and Kae Kurd. The series will premiere on July 6, 2023.
And Alex Moffat has found a new gig post-SNL: Broadway! Moffat will make his Broadway debut this summer in “The Cottage,” directed by Jason Alexander, and also starring Eric McCormack, Laura Bell Bundy.
Last Week’s Specials
NOTE: I missed another one in February — Nick Youssef: Take Care showed up on YouTube on Feb. 18 — which means the previous subtotal entering last week stood at 105 stand-up specials for 2013.
New on YouTube
Josh Means Business (via Four by Three)
Kelsey Cook: The Hustler (via 800 Pound Gorilla Media Studios)
Nitish Sakhuja: Person (via Macaw Studios) CANADA
Brian Scolaro: Never Not Sh*tting (via Helium Comedy Studios)
Jenny Zigrino: Jen-Z (via Comedy Central)
plus previously released elsewhere but now for free specials from Sarah Tiana, Rachel Bradley, Dave Merheje and more
New on Amazon (for rent/sale)
THIS WEEK: 9 (Previous subtotal: 105) Running total for 2023: 114 stand-up specials!
Fun Things To Do In NYC
This past weekend’s show(s) I plugged in The New York Times: Oscar watch parties hosted by comedians and performers around the city.
Piffany subscriber and Emmy winner Rachel Bloom announced a new tour this past week, too! Bloom’s IG post said her June 6 date in NYC at the Gramercy had limited tickets but when I just checked this morning it had sold out. SO: Buy tickets to Rachel Bloom’s “Death, Let Me Do My Special” tour through her links before they all sell out!
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