If you haven’t heard this recording between Jim Norton and Amy Schumer, it’s a must-hear. She defends herself regarding all the recent accusations of her joke stealing and it’s fascinating.
A lot of comics rush to Schumer’s defense, and rightfully so. I can’t say for sure that she didn’t do it, but the jokes that she’s been accused of stealing are really…well, not that great of jokes that basically anyone could think of. I think it’s more likely to have been coincidence. That won’t stop the internet from bashing her, though. Just take a look at the comments on the video…sheeeeeesh!
On the other hand, Schumer does say a lot of things in this interview that she probably doesn’t have to say. Saying over and over that her accusers aren’t famous like her and suggesting that accusing her of joke stealing is how they think they can get famous is not exactly super classy. That doesn’t mean she’s wrong, and I know she’s clearly upset in the recording, but I might try to handle it a little differently if I were her.
I came across comedian Owen Benjamin in a very weird way recently. A guy on twitter started following me who is friends with Benjamin. Which is how I found Benjamin’s site and eventually came across his documentary, 60 Minutes, 7 Days.
If you’re a fan of comedy, this is a must see documentary. The premise is that Benjamin tries to write 60 minutes of show-ready material in 7 days – which, if you didn’t know, is pretty darn insane of a goal to hit.
A lot of the documentary is narration. Some of it is kind of weird. But it takes you into the mind of a writer and comedian: who Benjamin is and what it’s like to turn horrible material into something people will laugh at. I love it.
I eventually realized that a friend had recommended Benjamin’s podcast, Why Didn’t They Laugh, to me before. I’ve only listened to one episode of it so far, but I absolutely love it too. It breaks down comedy and quite literally offers answers to why certain jokes don’t work. It’s an analytical approach to comedy, but it’s also a really fun show.
Both the doc and podcast are fantastic if you ask me – Owen Benjamin has a new fan!
Day Five: Esther Povitsky
Povitsky also came through the Just For Laughs Festival a couple years ago and has been a big name in the LA comedy scene. Yay! Not a New York person!
She’s been on late night a few times and you might have also seen her appear on @midnight or Parks and Recreation. She’s also from Skokie, Illinois. Illinois! Like me!
Povitsky also goes by Little Esther and hosts a podcast called Weird Adults, where she talks to other comedians about what makes them weird. Whoopie! This is how I conclude paragraphs now!
Day Two: Joe List
To New York City comedians, Joe List is a name you gotta know. He’s been around the best clubs in the city for a little while now and he’s starting to make his way onto TV. He was on last season of Last Comic Standing and made it pretty darn far. He’s also performed on late night several times over the past couple of years.
This article paints List as “the comedy underdog,” a guy who’s been around the New York comedy scene for forever, but has never quite gotten his big break. If you like him, check out the podcast he co-hosts with Mark Normand (also hilarious), Tuesdays With Stories.
I haven’t had the chance to check out all of the podcasts on this list yet, but ComedianU put together a list of the best podcasts about comedy. And they seem pretty comedy nerd-y which is awesome. I’m still trying to explore and look for new podcasts and stuff about comedy always interests me. I think they’re also tailored more for the comedian, but hey, they might be interesting to fans nonetheless.
I found some cool threads over the past several days. The first one is called What comedian do you find terribly unfunny? and it’s pretty funny to hear what people tend to say. It reminds me of the article I wrote about how people can find very different things funny or not. It’s always interesting to see which names come up more often and hilarious to see how angry people get trying to argue who isn’t funny. It isn’t that serious…
I also saw this other thread: ELI5: What makes our brains go “that was funny, now let’s laugh”? which is pretty damn interesting. The guy who wrote the top answer actually wrote a book on what makes people laugh and he also shared a great podcast episode about it. He gives an explanation of his thesis and there are a lot of comments filled with speculation. Which, to me, shows how ridiculous humor research can be. Through my experiences, everyone has a slightly different explanation for laughter. It’s caused by surprise or the unexpected. It’s a social relationship thing. It’s something to do with pain. Whatever. In my opinion it just is what it is. Interesting to think about, though, maybe.
As I’m getting ready to launch a podcast with my comedy friend Matt (who also happens to be my roommate), I’ve been trying to find out more about what it takes to make a good podcast.
I just found this list of comedy tips that a comic named Simon Caine has compiled on his website from all his podcasting. He podcasted for a full year (34 episodes) and compiled all the best advice he got from each episode. The best thing is that his guests are people “from the industry,” so they kind of know what they’re talking about. Haven’t had a chance to actually listen to his podcast yet, but the tips are super helpful, and I think the podcast idea is really terrific. Just asking people questions about how comedy works can get you to a much better level of understanding.
Some of the episode topics look fascinating and I’m excited to give the episodes a listen!
This might be the first time I’m posting about Bill Burr, and for what I think is as fantastic a reason as any. I listened to his latest podcast episode yesterday and he mentioned a pie crust video that he uploaded to YouTube that got like 600k views. He said it has gotten more views than some of his comedy specials, which is pretty funny.
The video has got more than 700k, last I checked. It’s pretty funny. Just the idea of a tough guy with a thick Boston accent walking you through how to make pie crust is funny. It’s not every day you hear a baking video where the host goes, “You know what? I bet someone, somewhere is jerking off to this.”
I’ve heard from other famous comedians that he’s actually pretty awesome at cooking and baking. So I’d listen to him.
I just found this website called The Comedy Nerds and it’s a pretty darn cool little site dedicated to all different types of comedy. That’s right: stand up, sketch, improv – you name it. Seriously, name it. Okay, fine. Don’t.
So The Comedy Nerds has thousands of podcast episodes talking about everything comedy. On cool topics like “Were the 80’s the golden age of comedy movies?” I feel like I’ll spend a lot of time exploring the site.
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve added a “Things I Like” page to the site. Pretty self-explanatory. These are really just a bunch of links to things I like in the comedy world. Mostly great websites and stuff for people who are interested in comedy. Like, comedy nerds. This one’s been added to the list!
The Writers’ Room on Netflix and The Writers’ Room Podcast offer a glimpse into what goes on in the heads of the people who pen the most popular and interesting television scripts out there today.
I first found the show through a screenwriting class (cool, right?) and then rediscovered it on Netflix recently, prompting me to watch all six episodes in quick succession. If you’re curious about what it’s like to write for Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation, Dexter, New Girl, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, and more, definitely take a look. It’s not just about comedy; it’s about the beautiful, lovely craft of writing!
Here’s a taste…