So, NO! I haven’t had the time to read and watch all of this because it takes freaking forever. But, I think that looking at the history of comedy is really cool and this timeline is a great synopsis of some things that helped shape it.
Looking at the really old stuff is especially useful for me because I know very little about it. That’s for sure. There’s stand up, sketches, TV shows, cartoons, pretty much any comedy thing you can think of in this timeline and it all has a little blurb about what makes it important to comedy.
Some of the choices are a little selective (i.e. one single line from a movie). And I don’t agree with all of the choices being that influential. And I also can think of other things I’d put on my timeline that aren’t on this one. BUT that’s what makes it fun!
Tons of great video and audio clips to accompany this article, so CLICK THIS LINK AND FRIGGIN READ IT! I’m using a lot of caps lock today.
Here’s who put it together, by the way:
“The list was put together by Vulture senior editor Jesse David Fox; New York senior editor Christopher Bonanos; comedians Wayne Federman, Phoebe Robinson, Halle Kiefer, and Rebecca O’Neal; comedy historians Yael Kohen (author of We Killed) and Kliph Nesteroff (author of The Comedians); and journalists Elise Czajkowski, Matthew Love, Katla McGlynn, Ramsey Ess, Dan Reilly, Jenny Jaffe, Lucas Kavner, and The Guardian’s Dave Schilling. (Fox, Bonanos, Keifer, O’Neal, Czajkowski, Love, McGlynn, Ess, Reilly, Jaffe, Kavner, and Schilling wrote the blurbs.)”
Well this one is pretty shocking to me. I didn’t take it seriously for a second, but apparently this Canadian comedian Mike Ward is on trial for making fun of a disabled guy in his act? Which, to me, is absolutely crazy!
So I think what’s happening is that Jeremy Gabriel is trying to get Ward to stop telling this joke about him, stop doing comedy, and even get him fined for telling the joke. AND Gabriel wants $80,000 from Ward for the damages. Seriously?! Gabriel says that the joke made him contemplate suicide. Ward’s argument is obviously: “Hey, but free speech!” It takes me right back to reading about Lenny Bruce and his struggle against the law in the U.S. for telling (at the time) very scandalous jokes.
I’m just very confused…to me this is such a ridiculous non-issue. Is this a weird P.C. thing? Is Canada really that different from the U.S.? Can you really claim that someone’s joke was so bad that it caused you “emotional pain and suffering? Yeeesh.
Weird, but very interesting. Here’s some more info from a Quebec newspaper if you’re curious.
Oh, and I didn’t even mentioned it yet because it didn’t seem important at all, but from what I understand, this is the essence of the joke that Ward told: 1) Gabriel has a syndrome that disfigured his face 2) he got tons of perhaps unwarranted media attention because he got to sing for the Pope 3) Ward defended Gabriel at first for getting this media attention, but now five years later Gabriel hasn’t died yet, making Ward look bad.
Have you ever been like, “Hey! I like comedy, but I have no idea where comedy happens! Do people do it in nail salons? Or, like a shoebox?” Well, actually it’s neither of those things: it’s comedy clubs. Oh no…but which ones are good?
Well, lucky you: the nice fellows at ClickitTicket shared this list of the best fifty comedy clubs in America with me and I think it’s pretty good! On this list there are a lot of great clubs that I know or have heard great things about: The Creek & the Cave (NYC), Meltdown Comics (L.A.), Acme Comedy Club (Minneapolis), Comedy Works (Denver), The Setup (San Francisco), Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (NYC, L.A.). And there are some lesser known gems, too. So, no matter where you are in this wonderful country, you can go: “Oh wow now I know where to see comedy! Yay!”
A couple other clubs I’ve been to that I really like: Punch Line Comedy Club (San Francisco), Harvey’s Comedy Club (Portland), and you have to go to the Comedy Cellar if you’re in NYC. This list makes me think it would be fun to crowd source a list of the best clubs from different comedians around the country to see what they have to say! Some are just way cooler than others.
Time Out New York magazine came out with this list of all “the best open mic nights in New York City,” and, as many open mic comedians such as myself have noted, the list is not accurate. At all. Maybe it’s a marketing thing, but it’s mostly just a list of the biggest clubs in the city. Which, very obviously to comedians, are often some of the worst open mics in the city. The very first one listed, the Comedy Cellar, doesn’t even have open mics!
If you’re looking for good open mics check out badslava.com or freemicsnyc.com. There are tons of great open mics where a bunch of better comics come to try out their stuff…and it’s usually the basement of some bar in Brooklyn, not all the best clubs in Manhattan. Maybe I’ll make a list of my favorite mics one day!
A couple of comics who host great mics made this video calling out Time Out NY for what they’ve done. Funny stuff.
I found this article when I was looking up the definition of “riffing” for a project and I think it’s pretty funny. Although some of it is true, it basically says “riffing is a surefire formula for disaster and don’t try it, but some professionals are good at it though.” Hmm…how do you think professionals got good at riffing?
You think they just one day woke up and did it well? Doesn’t make any sense – riffing is the same as any other skill in comedy. You just have to get up there and try stuff. Sometimes it doesn’t work. So you try something different. It doesn’t mean “you should never riff unless you’re a professional.”
I did some further research on Steve Roy and I found this hilarious article he wrote about how his “Killer Stand-Up Comedy System” is NOT a scam. If you have to write a post about how your “system” definitely is not a scam (so don’t worry) I feel like that’s pretty…telling.
If you want a good, free online course for comedy check out John Roy’s free online comedy class. Steve Roye even sounds like a ripoff on John Roy! Look I know nothing about the guy so maybe he is legit, but regardless I find this stuff fun.
This is a very cool little graphic that shows how comedians make their money. It’s a reminder to me how awesome and good at everything comedians are – and definitely some of the hardest working people I know.
Here’s a fantastic, pretty brief list of advice from New York City comedian Mike Lawrence on starting out in New York.
I’ve seen Mike Lawrence performing all over New York. He still comes to open mics once in a while to try out new stuff even though he’s a working comic who writes for Inside Amy Schumer, which I think is cool. He takes it seriously.
Here’s a great Modern Comedian video about him, too.
This is a fantastic piece in a series of articles that are being written about NYC and L.A. comedy this week in Vulture.
I know nothing about the comedy scene in L.A. (okay not nothing), but my sister does live there and I’ve visited several other times, too. And from what Gethard says about the two locations…well, I can’t help but agree with him. New York is awesome! I don’t like L.A. right now. Does that mean I’ll stay in NY forever like him? I donno. But I can certainly hop on board with the NY lovin’.
One thing I definitely don’t get about L.A. is that even though you abbreviate NYC like this: NYC, you abbreviate L.A. like this: L.A.. That doesn’t make any sense! Look how clunky those two periods look next to one another! I’m not even sure I did that right…either way, it’s confusing! Come on, L.A.! Efficiency! Take those gosh darn periods out of there. No one will confuse you with Louisiana. I don’t know why you’re insecure about that; you’re much more popular than LA.
Anyways, Chris Gethard is awesome. The way I remember how to spell his last name is that it spells “get hard.” There can’t be a cooler person than that! You can see more of him on The Chris Gethard Show on Fusion.
BTDubs, the picture of Gethard I used was taken at The Creek and the Cave, which I go to pretty much every day.
I found this website and it’s very lovely. It’s got interviews, videos, and news about comedy…and what more could you ask for? A lot, but that’s because you’re not being grateful. Grateful should be spelled greatful not grateful. It just sounds like it means “full of grates.” That doesn’t sound too pleasant.
Anyways, here’s a good little article about Brent Morin to give you a taste of their lovely work at StandUpTalk, which I believe is run out of The Comedy Store in LA. Looking…looking…I think that’s true.
Regardless, they have some great stuff if you’re a comedy fan. Going on the Things I Like.
Well hey this is a pretty exciting article because it makes me go, “Oh wow, maybe I really can be a comedian!” Whoever wrote this (Debra Kessler) is pretty darn optimistic about the state of comedy. And I say, I say she’s convinced me. And also convinced me that I need Seeso.
Kessler actually wrote the article about the views of Brian Volk-Weiss, the President of Comedy Dynamics. But either way, I’m on board. Great read. I learned a lot. That’s all I’m gonna say.