comedy

Interview with Never Not Funny Hosts Jimmy Pardo & Matt Belknap

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Jimmy Pardo (L) and Matt Belknap (R), photo by Liezl
Guests: 
Jimmy Pardo
Guests: 
Matt Belknap

Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap are the hosts of Never Not Funny, one of the world's most popular comedy podcasts. Pardo has been a standup comic for twenty years, and has appeared on the Tonight Show and been featured in his own Comedy Central special. He's also hosted television shows like National Lampoon's Funny Money on GSN and Movies at Our House on AMC. Belknap works in film development, and is the founder of the comedy fan website aspecialthing.com.

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TSOYA Classics: Two Sides of a Coin (July 22nd, 2006)

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We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.


Guests Dave Attell and Michael Showalter. Dave Attell is a celebrated standup comedian, and the former host of Comedy Central's Insomniac. Michael Showalter is best know for his work on MTV's The State and Comedy Central's Stella; he also wrote and directed the feature film The Baxter.

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Ep. 100: Old Home Week with Chris Hardwick

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Guests: 
Chris Hardwick

Guest Chris Hardwick joins Jesse and Jordan to talk about The Bonnie Hunt Show, Jesse's high school reunion, and more.

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"America. All she stands for." - Hank Kingsley

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Episode one of the Larry Sanders Show. My favorite television show of all time, bar none. Even more than The Simpsons or Seinfeld or anything.

Click through for parts two and three, then buy the DVDs, download/steal the whole series, and for God's sake watch it.

I love Larry Sanders SO MUCH.

Zach Galifianakis in the New York Times

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The Times Magazine this week features an extended profile of Zach Galifianakis, Real American Hero and one of my favorite TSOYA guests.

I saw his new movie, The Hangover, last week, and thought it was very funny. Zach really couldn't be a more compelling figure on screen, and he just destroyed the packed audience in the screening I saw.

Interview: Peep Show Co-Creator Jesse Armstrong

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Jesse Armstrong is one of the co-creators and writers of the BAFTA-winning BBC sitcom Peep Show. (A BAFTA is like a British Emmy.) Now entering its sixth series, with a US version in development at Spike TV, Peep Show is a funny, but cringe-inducing, depiction of the lives of two twenty-something flat mates, played by past TSOYA guest David Mitchell and comedy partner Robert Webb (above). Its first season recently became available in the US on Hulu. No less an authority on UK comedy than Ricky Gervais called it "The only British thing that I was really blown away by in the last few years."

Armstrong has also written for other acclaimed television series, including the sketch series That Mitchell & Web Look and the political satire The Thick of It.

MaxFun Contributor Matthew Phelan spoke with Armstrong from the UK.

Matthew Phelan: You've said that you and co-creator, Sam Bain, and the show's stars [David] Mitchell and [Robert] Webb, met in something called a "writing team experiment" within the BBC …

Jesse Armstrong: Yeah. [laughs] It was fascinating because there is a definite mystique around American writing techniques in the UK--the long runs, the more successful audience figures. We have a problem getting mainstream comedies to work and people often think that it may be something to do with [not using] the team system. I think there are interesting things about having teams of people on a show, but I definitely don't think it's a magic bullet.

So, this was a really ill-thought-through plan to create a British, team-writing situation. The people behind it thought that, to do a team show, you got six people (in this case who didn't know each other) in the room with a producer and a one-line idea--which was, "What if there was house that was squatted and these people all lived together." We wrote the script between the six of us. Each taking, one sixth of the script and we came up with this horrible, kind-of "Frankenstein's monster" as anyone would imagine. Anyone with any knowledge of the US system knows that you still have a show creator who writes the pilot, sets the tone.

So, that was disastrous, but we went into it not knowing David [Mitchell] and Robert [Webb] and came out knowing them quite well, as we sniggered behind our hands and went, "Oh, god. This is terrible what we're doing, isn't it?"

Click "Read More" for more with Peep Show Co-Creator Jesse Armstrong, including audio of the full interview.

Kasper Hauser in the Wall Street Journal

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Noted humor publication The Wall Street Journal just published a lengthy story about one of Kasper Hauser's two (count 'em - two) forthcoming books, "Obama's Blackberry."

This is how Rob from Kasper Hauser describes their writing process: "It’s kind of like four clowns driving a clown car and each one has a steering wheel and at any time two of them are sad and there’s no food.”

You can check out the whole article here.

They even get a comment from Joe Biden's press representative. Apparently, the book isn't funny, because Joe Biden would never actually ask the President if he can leave at 4:45.

The Human Giant on Reno 911

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RENO 911! Wednesdays 10:30pm / 9:30c
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Amy Sedaris + David Letterman = I LOVE TOO MUCH

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Would it be possible for me to marry both David Letterman and past TSOYA guest Amy Sedaris? I'd rather not divorce my wife, either, because she's way cool and super foxy. So I guess it's like a love square? California Supreme Court: please advise.

TSOYA Classics: Comedy-copia (July 15th, 2006)

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We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

This episode is a cornucopia of laffs. Jokes from Jonathan Coulton, Hard N Phirm, and more.

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