A Conversation Between Two Clean Comics

Brian Regan recently performed the first ever live Comedy Central special at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. It was a huge deal in the comedy community and most of my friends were either watching together online or actually there in person.

One of the reasons Regan was one of the only people who could be considered to do such an unprecedented show was because he is known so well as a clean comic.

Jim Gaffigan is one of the best known clean comics who actually resents being labeled as one. That’s just one of the things these two comics talk about in this Comics Talk to Comics piece in Vulture. It actually came out just before Regan’s special, so you’ll benefit from the extra excitement.

How to Get a Comedy Central Half Hour

Here’s an article that I found that was written by Adam Newman, a comic who recently recorded his Comedy Central half hour. Half hours are a huge deal in the industry because Comedy Central gets your name out there. You probably have never heard of Adam Newman, even though he’s a fantastic comic who has performed on several late night talk shows.

In the article Newman describes the process for submitting to Comedy Central and discusses his approach for the submission video. I hadn’t heard of ComedianU before I read this article, which seems blasphemous. It looks like a fantastically cool site and now I’m going to check it out all the time!

Read How Adam Newman Got His Half Hour Special On Comedy Central here.

Dealing with Hecklers

For whatever reason, people (on the internet, especially) are obsessed with comedians interacting with hecklers. They love seeing a comic take hecklers down. Which I think actually kind of hurts the comedy experience. It’s a negative feedback loop where people see comics dealing with hecklers and think, “that’s hilarious! I want to heckle so that the show is funnier.” But the show is the funniest when the comic is doing his material and no one interrupts.

However, I thought I’d share this video because it shows a lot of creative ways of dealing with hecklers that I admire. It takes a lot of talent to deal with a heckler in a new creative way. Here are some great comedians doing that.

Paul F. Tompkins on Peanut Brittle

The first time I heard Paul F. Tompkins was in the car on the way home from a comic’s retreat in upstate New York. Never before had I heard a guy who was so willing to push a joke concept to the extreme. He just seems to keep hammering a concept until you’re forced to laugh.

This is a fantastic bit of his about peanut brittle. Enjoy.

Hannibal Buress’s Unemployable Pilot Released

Way back when, Comedy Central ordered a pilot of Hannibal Buress’s show Unemployable. It was never picked up. Hannibal was recently allowed to release the episode.

The premise is that Hannibal has never had a job other than comedy before, so he tries out a bunch of odd jobs to see how truly unemployable he is. Sort of like Dirty Jobs, but less dirty and more funny. Honestly, I think the show could be better given Hannibal’s awesome sense of humor. It doesn’t really play to his strengths and I can see why Comedy Central didn’t pick it up. But it is a fun 20 minutes with some funny editing. People love Hannibal. And he’s from Chicago, like me! Check it out!

My Name is All Over Long Island City

All over my neighborhood there are these graffiti tags that say “Stu.” Which on one hand makes me wanna be like,”Woah – I did not do that, officer!”

But on the other hand it makes me feel like I own Long Island City, which is pretty cool. I don’t mind owning all of the buildings and streets and cars that go by – I relish the power. People walk down the streets because I allow them to, not because they chose to do so. I let them take the train because I’m a good guy. I own that shit, but I’m humble about it. People bow down to me, but I’m cool about it. One time a man in a raggedy coat knelt down in the trash outside my apartment and I was like, “Oh no it’s totally fine, don’t worry about it.”

But a few weeks ago I noticed a new tag that as put up right next to one of mine. One that says “Randy.” And all of a sudden, more and more “Randy’s” are showing up all over Long Island City. Which makes me feel like I should be watching out for a guy named Randy. Who also lives in Long Island City. Because I feel like one day well just run into each other on the street and I’ll be like, “ARE YOU RANDY?!”

And he’ll be like, “YEAH!! ARE YOU STU?!”

And I’ll be like, “YEAH!!”

And then he’ll be like, “I’m a comic and my graffiti joke is better than yours! You didn’t even consider it from my perspective. Think of how much better the joke would be if you knew that we were both comics. You could say things like, ‘Mannnn, a comic will do anything for some free publicity!’ or ‘We should have been writing our jokes and twitter handles on the wall.'”

And I’ll be like, “Shit. You’re right. I am a pretender to this throne. Long Island City is yours.”

And he’ll be like “Nah dude, whatever.” Cuz we’re just regular dudes, neither of whom actually put up those tags.

I wish I also had a picture of a Randy tag.

Doug Stanhope on Giving Advice

Doug Stanhope is a comic whose style I don’t particularly like, but one who I really respect. Someone on reddit posted this great quote of his about why comics shouldn’t give advice to other less experienced comics. The redditor who posted it said they found it on his blog.

“I was once in my early years of comedy and semi-popular in the ranks of the open mics in Phoenix when a comic higher-up in the ranks – Joey Scazzola – caught me giving advice to a new guy.

He said ‘Never give anyone advice because you’re only telling them how to be more like you.’ Every time I’ve erred and given someone advice, I remembered that.

If you want advice, you most likely just want someone to reassure you of what you already know. If they tell you otherwise, you’ll either discount it or you’ll take their advice and no longer be following the instincts that got you in this to begin with. So either way, you didn’t need the advice.”

Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo Now On HBO

Amy Schumer has been everywhere this year. Trainwreck, Saturday Night Live, Inside Amy Schumer, and a million different talk shows.

Her new stand up special, Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo came out yesterday on HBO. Someone with HBO, hook me up?

Here’s her trailer for it.

Fun fact: Amy Schumer used to date Anthony Jeselnik, who’s special came out the day before on Netflix.

If You Appreciate Sports and Comedy…

Check out Bill Simmons’ old podcast, The B.S. Report. Bill Simmons is the former ESPN analyst, journalist, and founder of Grantland who was fired from ESPN last spring for “no one really knows why.”

I’m a huge fan of his, mostly because he’s interested in a lot of the same things I’m interested in: sports, film, and comedy.

His old podcast is mostly interviews with sports figures, but it’s also many other things. My favorite interviews are those with comedians, of which he has a decent number. And they’re all top notch comedians and writers who he invites on the show because he personally likes them, not because they’re promoting something. Bill Burr, Louis C.K., Jimmy Kimmel, Lena Dunham, etc. He also knows a surprising amount about comedy for not being a comedian and does a lot of great research for the show. He asks interesting questions that aren’t always about comedy, which is also a nice change of pace from the typical comedian interview.

You can find The B.S. Report on Youtube here and his new podcast, which I have not had the pleasure of hearing yet, here. I particularly like Simmons’ interview with Larry David, head writer of Seinfeld.