Remember Nick Vatterott? I posted about him a week or so ago. Well, I found this really cool site called Sketchpad Comedy which is focused on helping people with sketch comedy and is based in St. Louis. And, one of their first blog posts is an interview with Vatterott. And it’s pretty great.
It has a lot of great advice about how to get started writing and that sort of thing. It also has some awesome videos from Vatterott. One of those is the cold open sketch he wrote for the Critics’ Choice Awards (hosted by TJ Miller) and the other one is his Late Night With Jimmy Fallon appearance. The sketch was awesome, but I was even more impressed by his tight 5. The set he put together for Fallon was so well put together and memorable that it makes me want to get way better! I’ve attached those videos below.
One great piece of advice that Vatterott shares in the interview is…
“Be prepared for the things that you want, so that when they come your way you’re ready for them. Don’t blow you’re chance to be seen by a club owner by getting an audition when your not ready, when your comedy is still hit or miss. Wait to get the audition when you’re killing on a regular basis. You don’t want to do an audition just crossing your fingers hoping you get it, you want to destroy and walk off the stage leaving them with no choice but to book you.”
I’m looking forward to more from Sketchpad! Seems like a fun site with good people.
I saw this fantastic little piece about Louis C.K.’s experience with film on Splitsider and, as I just implied, I think it’s fantastic. The author actually went through all the interviews of C.K. he could find to pick out everything about film, and when you look at all those pieces altogether you get a much better appreciation of who C.K. is as a filmmaker rather than just a comedian.
As much as he is respected, I think C.K. never gets as much credit as he is due. When people talk about C.K., they’re usually talking about him being funny – being a comedian. Rarely do they talk about him being an artist and filmmaker who directs, writes, edits, and all but films himself in his various projects. Some people mention that, but rarely do they go further to explain how much he knows about film. If you’re just a consumer of the content he puts out, chances are you probably wouldn’t talk about C.K. in the same way you’d talk about Woody Allen, for example.
This article gives you that appreciation for C.K. way better than I could. Awesome read. Eddie Brawley has also written some other really cool pieces, so check him out on Splitsider.
If I can bring up Louis C.K. twice in one week, it’s a pretty good week!
Saw this article recently about how Louis C.K. is teaming up with Albert Brooks to write and star in an animated pilot for FX. (don’t start sentences with “I” because I’m cool)
I heard of this before and I’m really excited for it. Why wouldn’t you be excited to see something Louis C.K. is involved in? The article also mentions the other projects tht C.K.’s production company is working on right now and there’s a bunch of cool stuff I’m excited about too – projects with Zach Galifianakis, Pamela Adlon, and Tig Notaro.
Apparently there’s no word on when this stuff will be coming out, which pisses me off. I guess I’m just looking people to co-anticipate with me. Maybe I’ll watch some more Louie in the mean time.
Day Seven: Phil Hanley
Okay this is the guy you’re most likely to have heard of, but I’m still pretty darn sure you haven’t. Hanley is a huge name in New York, performing regularly at the biggest clubs like The Cellar and Caroline’s. I’ve seen him a bunch of times and every time he’s one of my favorites. He’s kind of a lovable asshole. And he’s from Canada. And he used to be a male model. Still a male, not a model anymore.
Anyways, he’s swell. Is it a coincidence that pretty much every one of these comics has performed on Ferguson’s show? I don’t think so. Ferguson and I have good taste.
If you like his work, Hanley’s Comedy Central “The Half Hour” came out this past November. Check it out.
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 Four: Sam Morril
Morril is also a New York comedian! Surprise, surprise!
You might have seen him on Last Comic Standing, @midnight, or Inside Amy Schumer. He also recently released his half hour Comedy Central special on iTunes.
Day Three: Cam Newton
(jk it’s Carmen Lynch)
Carmen Lynch is very funny comedian who’s big in New York. When she isn’t doing the best shows in the city, she’s traveling around the country headlining clubs.
She’s also a writer on Inside Amy Schumer and has appeared on late night several times. I picked this video because I loved Ferguson’s show. Any comedian he has on is usually a little weird or different from what you’re used to seeing – and you know it’s going to be an interesting set. This is a fun one!
I’m trying a thing to see if people like this sort of idea, and the thing is called “Great Comedians You Probably Haven’t Heard Of Week.”
I tried to make the title as straightforward as possible so that I don’t have to waste this paragraph explaining what I’m gonna do. You get it!
Some notes, though:
- If you know about comedy, you might have heard some of these names before. If you don’t then you probably haven’t.
- I chose comics that weren’t too unknown (all have been on tv) because it’s better that way.
- I’m mostly sticking to NYC comedians. Why? I’ve seen more of them. It makes it more personal! (fake enthusiasm)
Day One: Michelle Wolf
I remember hearing about Michelle Wolf about a year ago and didn’t really know much about her. Well, she’s all over New York City and if you don’t know who she is then you’re crazy! (sorry) A few months ago, I saw her at Hot Soup, one of the best free stand up shows in the city. And she absolutely killed. She’s a lot of fun and her voice is pretty wacky.
She got her break performing at the Just For Laughs festival a few years back and she’s worked as a writer on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Any time you see a set that looks like like an A Midsummer Night’s Dream patio party, you know what you’re seeing has to be good.
A comedy friend shared this fantastic YouTube video with me that’s from The Hollywood Reporter: a roundtable discussion with a bunch of comedy actors who are on shows that are really big right now. Ricky Gervais (Derek), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Will Forte (Last Man on Earth), Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Jordan Peele (Key & Peele), and Thomas Middleditch (I’m not gonna tell you which show he’s on…jk it’s Silicon Valley). They talk about what it’s like to be improving on set, how working with the writers and directors works, and just generally a lot of stuff you wouldn’t normally hear about their television shows.
Any “roundtable discussion” seems very overly structured to me. Like, just call it a discussion or something, right? But, the conversation here flows really naturally and you get the sense these actors are having a good time. Any time you get people in the industry together just talking I feel like better stuff comes out then when it’s just an interview with the media or something like that. I enjoyed watching it a lot. And, having seen most of their shows, I can vouch for them as funny people.
I also like how they threw in a woman to lead the discussion when they realized “Wait, these are all men actors. And they’re funny. We need a not funny woman to keep them on track.” Yay diversity!
P.S. I can’t help but feel like they coordinated the colors of the suits.
Cameron Esposito is visiting my alma mater this week for a performance, which is great! And as colleges tend to go, the people who invited her probably don’t really know who she is. She’s a lesbian comic, and that seems to be their main selling point on students going to see her. College students tending to be liberal and thinking, “oh that’s great! I support lesbians! I’m gonna go see that!” and going to see the show for that reason instead of just, like, just wanting to see good comedy.
I have no problem with that strategy, because Esposito also happens to be a really great comic. But, I wanted to point out that she’s not simply a lesbian with a voice, but also just damn funny. She’s really funny and she just happens to talk about how she is a lesbian sometimes.
Some people even call her the next big star of stand up. Who’s to say? She’s from Chicago originally (like me) so I’d be pretty down with that happening. Some great comics lately coming from there: Hannibal Buress, Kyle Kinane. Represent!
Typing “my alma mater” feels weird. I feel like I wouldn’t like someone who talks about “their alma mater” for some reason. Like, “Ooh, so fancy! You know Latin!” But I’m pretty sure that’s the only word for that.