comedy http://wnpr.org en Happy 25th, Seinfeld! http://wnpr.org/post/happy-25th-seinfeld <p></p><p>Pop culture is ephemeral.</p><p>People eventually lose interest in music and television shows once a new fad surfaces and piques their interests. Not so for <em>Seinfeld</em>. It is still relevant after 25 years for a whole new generation of viewers.</p><p>But, it wasn't always that way. In the beginning, it didn’t test well with audiences. It had weak ratings, bad scheduling and creative differences. It survived under the wing of a lone NBC executive who believed in the show's emphasis on characters who felt like family.</p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:13:59 +0000 Colin McEnroe, Chion Wolf & Betsy Kaplan & Katherine Peikes 27229 at http://wnpr.org Happy 25th, Seinfeld! Iconic TV Announcer Don Pardo Dies At 96 http://wnpr.org/post/iconic-tv-announcer-don-pardo-dies-96 Fans of <em>Saturday Night Live</em> and the original versions of <em>The Price is Right</em> and <em>Jeopardy!</em> recognize Don Pardo's voice immediately.<p>They may not be able to identify his face, but his voice was famous.<p>Pardo died Monday in Tucson, Ariz. Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:53:00 +0000 editor 27180 at http://wnpr.org Iconic TV Announcer Don Pardo Dies At 96 Robin Williams: A Supreme Talent Who Was Always On http://wnpr.org/post/robin-williams-supreme-talent-who-was-always <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr1DSLoHni0</p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:56:40 +0000 Eric Deggans 26817 at http://wnpr.org Robin Williams: A Supreme Talent Who Was Always On The Scramble: How to Be a Guest on a Talk Show with David Rees http://wnpr.org/post/scramble-how-be-guest-talk-show-david-rees <p>This hour's Scramble starts fun and gradually grows darker. We begin with David Rees, host of a television show in which he layers expertise onto simple acts like opening a door or making ice cubes. Its motto is "de-familiarizing the ubiquitous so as to increase our appreciation and wonder thereby." We can get behind that.</p><p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:44:48 +0000 Colin McEnroe, Betsy Kaplan & Chion Wolf 26018 at http://wnpr.org The Scramble: How to Be a Guest on a Talk Show with David Rees At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight http://wnpr.org/post/monty-python-reunion-show-circus-makes-one-last-flight <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZlBUglE6Hc</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npjOSLCR2hE</p> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 15:40:00 +0000 Rich Preston 25593 at http://wnpr.org At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight The Elusive Dave Chappelle Re-Emerges, But For How Long? http://wnpr.org/post/elusive-dave-chappelle-re-emerges-how-long Just before Dave Chappelle took the stage Monday as part of a sold-out series of shows at Radio City Music Hall, a song featuring a loop of LL Cool J's famous opening line from "Mama Said Knock You Out" blasted over the sound system.<p><em>Don't call it a comeback!</em><p>You could take it as a suggestion that Chappelle had never really gone anywhere. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:11:15 +0000 Gene Demby 24397 at http://wnpr.org The Elusive Dave Chappelle Re-Emerges, But For How Long? Hartford Stage Closes 50th Anniversary Season with 2013 Tony Award Winner http://wnpr.org/post/hartford-stage-closes-50th-anniversary-season-2013-tony-award-winner <p>You might say Hartford Stage has Tony fever. Not only did the musical "A Gentlemen's Guide To Love and Murder," which was developed and produced by Hartford Stage, win big at last Sunday's Tony Awards, but also the&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">2013 Tony winner for best play is currently running at the theater.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:26:44 +0000 Ray Hardman 23526 at http://wnpr.org Hartford Stage Closes 50th Anniversary Season with 2013 Tony Award Winner Oh, Canada! How'd You Get So Funny? http://wnpr.org/post/oh-canada-howd-you-get-so-funny <p>David Steinberg, Martin Short, Mort Sahl, Rick Moranis, Lorne Michaels, Jim Carrey, John Candy, Kids in the Hall, Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, Howie Mandel, Rich Little, Norm Macdonald, Katherine O'Hara, Russell Peters, Leslie Nielsen - They are all Canadians. Tue, 10 Jun 2014 15:25:20 +0000 Chion Wolf, Betsy Kaplan & Colin McEnroe 23359 at http://wnpr.org Oh, Canada! How'd You Get So Funny? The Connecticut Ghostbusters Inspect WNPR http://wnpr.org/post/connecticut-ghostbusters-inspect-wnpr <p>Before Wednesday's&nbsp;<a href="http://wnpr.org/post/geek-chic-how-comic-con-became-pop-culture-phenomenon" target="_blank"><em>Colin McEnroe Show</em> on Comic Con culture</a>, we invited our guests, the Connecticut Ghostbusters John Kantor and Eric Gunther, to take a tour of the 6th floor offices at Connecticut Public Broadcasting.</p><p> Wed, 28 May 2014 19:41:18 +0000 Chion Wolf 22668 at http://wnpr.org The Connecticut Ghostbusters Inspect WNPR Louis C.K. On His 'Louie' Hiatus: 'I Wanted The Show To Feel New Again' http://wnpr.org/post/louis-ck-his-louie-hiatus-i-wanted-show-feel-new-again Louis C.K. is now commonly acknowledged as one of the greatest comics of his generation. His celebrated FX series, <em>Louie,</em> started its fourth season a couple weeks ago, after a 19-month hiatus.<p>Louis C.K. created, writes, directs and stars in the series as a standup comic named Louie, who, like Louis C.K., is the divorced father of two young girls and shares custody with their mother. Last year, Louis C.K. also had prominent roles in two films: Woody Allen's <em>Blue Jasmine</em> and David O. Russell's <em>American Hustle</em>.<p>Louis C.K. Mon, 19 May 2014 19:19:00 +0000 editor 22120 at http://wnpr.org Louis C.K. On His 'Louie' Hiatus: 'I Wanted The Show To Feel New Again' Breaking Things Up: 'Senior Black Correspondent' Gets Colbert Slot http://wnpr.org/post/senior-black-correspondent-named-successor-colbert It's not often the gods of TV hand you almost exactly what you ask for.<p>So it's time to praise Comedy Central for trying something different in late night, handing Stephen Colbert's time slot to the guy who plays <em>The Daily Show</em>'s "senior black correspondent," Larry Wilmore.<p>Not only did they break up the long line of white guy hosts in late night TV with this hire, they did it with a show that seems likely to talk a lot about race, gender and social issues. Sat, 10 May 2014 14:43:51 +0000 Eric Deggans 21615 at http://wnpr.org Breaking Things Up: 'Senior Black Correspondent' Gets Colbert Slot Obama Cracks Wise At White House Correspondents Dinner http://wnpr.org/post/obama-cracks-wise-white-house-correspondents-dinner <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq_wMv_MeQc</p> Sun, 04 May 2014 06:45:00 +0000 editor 21249 at http://wnpr.org Obama Cracks Wise At White House Correspondents Dinner "Wits" Host John Moe Answers Lightning Round Questions http://wnpr.org/post/wits-host-john-moe-answers-lightning-round-questions <p>At the end of every episode of&nbsp;<em>Wits</em>, host John Moe puts his guests through a lightning round of questions. The relevance of Moe's questions is not important. One of my favorite questions was about the prettiest state in terms of geographic outline.</p><p> Fri, 02 May 2014 13:48:18 +0000 Tucker Ives 21175 at http://wnpr.org "Wits" Host John Moe Answers Lightning Round Questions Songwriting With Colin: "Truckin' Bees" http://wnpr.org/post/songwriting-colin-truckin-bees <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's not too often I get to write a song with Colin, but I love when it happens. We had about two hours until </span>showtime<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> when Colin dropped off the lyrics to the song we wanted to use as an intro to </span><a href="http://wnpr.org/post/theres-more-bees-just-stinger" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">our show about bees</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> -- specifically about how bees are trucked to different locations throughout the country. I could hear the tune in my head right away.</span></p><p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:12:12 +0000 Chion Wolf 20998 at http://wnpr.org Songwriting With Colin: "Truckin' Bees" Creating the Sounds of a Wedding Reception http://wnpr.org/post/creating-sounds-wedding-reception <p>Having Colin McEnroe write the introduction for every day's show is always a surprise. I never know what kind of sound effects I'll need, or who else will be voicing it with me. This introduction was no exception.</p><p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:15:03 +0000 Chion Wolf 20179 at http://wnpr.org Creating the Sounds of a Wedding Reception Home Of Second City Comedy Ranks First In Humor http://wnpr.org/post/home-second-city-comedy-ranks-first-humor Need a good laugh? Try Chicago.<p>The Humor Research Lab at the Leeds School of Business at University of Colorado Boulder (and doesn't that sound like it was created by <em>The Onion</em>?) concocted an algorithm to <a href="http://humorcode.com/funniest-cities/">rate America's funniest cities</a>.<p>Humor researchers calculated factors like the number of working comics and comedy clubs per capita, funny local tweeters and visits to funny websites. They asked people to assess what they called their "need for levity."<p>Adrian Ward, a co-author of the study, says it's not all algorithms. Sat, 26 Apr 2014 14:31:40 +0000 Scott Simon 20850 at http://wnpr.org Home Of Second City Comedy Ranks First In Humor The Nose Replaces Colbert, Marries Jesus, and Has No Love For the Gov http://wnpr.org/post/nose-replaces-colbert-marries-jesus-and-has-no-love-gov <p>Scientists say the papyrus that mentions<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/10/science/scrap-of-papyrus-referring-to-jesus-wife-is-likely-to-be-ancient-scientists-say.html?hp" target="_blank"> a wife of Jesus</a> is not a forgery. Stephen Colbert will take over when Letterman leaves. I'm not saying the two things are connected, but maybe our weekly culture roundtable The Nose will find a common thread.</p><p>It might seem like a small thing - the departure of Stephen Colbert from his late night role in which he depicts a strutting, preening, right-wing media star. In the last analysis, who cares who takes over the Letterman show? Fri, 11 Apr 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Chion Wolf, Betsy Kaplan & Colin McEnroe 19927 at http://wnpr.org The Nose Replaces Colbert, Marries Jesus, and Has No Love For the Gov Stephen Colbert Will Take Over 'Late Show' http://wnpr.org/post/stephen-colbert-will-take-over-late-show Breaking news <a href="https://twitter.com/CBSTweet/status/454287447795326978" target="_blank">on CBS-TV's Twitter feed</a>:<p><blockquote><p>"Stephen Colbert to be next host of 'The Late Show'...press release coming"<p></blockquote><p>David Letterman <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/03/298889806/david-letterman-will-retire-in-2015" target="_blank">announced last week</a> that he plans to retire in 2015. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:05:00 +0000 Mark Memmott 19920 at http://wnpr.org Stephen Colbert Will Take Over 'Late Show' The Scramble: Intelligence Gathering, the History of Missing Airplanes, and the Book of Mormon http://wnpr.org/post/scramble-intelligence-gathering-history-missing-airplanes-and-book-mormon <p></p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 14:31:44 +0000 Chion Wolf, Betsy Kaplan & Colin McEnroe 18925 at http://wnpr.org The Scramble: Intelligence Gathering, the History of Missing Airplanes, and the Book of Mormon The Nose Lurks Behind the Backdrop of "Between Two Ferns" http://wnpr.org/post/nose-lurks-behind-backdrop-between-two-ferns <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">President Obama has consistently refused to be a panelist on The Nose, but his appearance this week on </span><a href="http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/18e820ec3f/between-two-ferns-with-zach-galifianakis-president-barack-obama" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">"Between Two Ferns"</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;with Zach </span>Galifianakis<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> has given us new hope!</span></p><p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Chion Wolf, Betsy Kaplan & Colin McEnroe 18383 at http://wnpr.org The Nose Lurks Behind the Backdrop of "Between Two Ferns" Obama Goes Between The Ferns To Talk With Zach Galifianakis http://wnpr.org/post/obama-goes-between-ferns-talk-zach-galifianikis "My mouse pad broke, and I had to get my great-aunt some diabetes shoes."<p>That's how comedian Zach Galifianakis begins his segment with President Obama in an episode of the online interview show <a href="http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/18e820ec3f/between-two-ferns-with-zach-galifianakis-president-barack-obama">Between Two Ferns</a> that was posted Tuesday. It was an interview unlike any other for a sitting U.S. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 13:30:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 18217 at http://wnpr.org Obama Goes Between The Ferns To Talk With Zach Galifianakis With Humor And A Nod To History, Fallon Takes Over 'The Tonight Show' http://wnpr.org/post/humor-and-nod-history-fallon-takes-over-tonight-show Opening nights of new incarnations of late-night TV talk shows are good, mostly, for first impressions — or, in the case of Jay Leno, sometimes a second impression. It's not fair to make strong judgments on the content alone, because a first show always is top-heavy with ideas, special guests and nervousness. But it <em>is </em>fair game to judge the set, the environment, the overall mood, and how well the host fits into the history of late-night television.<p>Jimmy Fallon, at age 39, fits into it very well. For one thing, he <em>knows </em>the history. He also appreciates it ... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:03:00 +0000 David Bianculli 17201 at http://wnpr.org With Humor And A Nod To History, Fallon Takes Over 'The Tonight Show' Jimmy Fallon, 'Your Host ... For Now,' Takes Over 'Tonight' http://wnpr.org/post/jimmy-fallon-your-host-now-takes-over-tonight The new guy's getting pretty good reviews.<p>Jimmy Fallon took over NBC's <a href="http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show" target="_blank"><em>The Tonight Show</em></a> on Monday night, saying he just wants "to do the best I can ... make you laugh and put a smile on your face."<p>I'm "your host ... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:56:00 +0000 Mark Memmott 17130 at http://wnpr.org Jimmy Fallon, 'Your Host ... For Now,' Takes Over 'Tonight' For 'SNL' Cast Member, The Waiting Was The Hardest Part http://wnpr.org/post/snl-cast-member-waiting-was-hardest-part <em>As part of a new series called "My Big Break," </em>All Things Considered<em> is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click and people leap forward into their careers.</em><p>For about a decade, Bobby Moynihan lived a double life. By day, Moynihan says, he tended bar at a Pizzeria Uno in New York. Sun, 26 Jan 2014 23:20:00 +0000 NPR Staff 16009 at http://wnpr.org For 'SNL' Cast Member, The Waiting Was The Hardest Part The Complications of Comedy http://wnpr.org/post/complications-comedy <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Dying is easy, comedy is hard. But, why is comedy so hard, especially on the stage, and what makes something funny?</span></p><p>The premise for a famously funny plot could easily sound like a tragedy. &nbsp;An out of work actor is so desperate for employment that he dresses up like a woman and then falls in love with a beautiful co-star whom he deceives and betrays on several levels. That doesn't sound that hilarious.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 02:00:00 +0000 Colin McEnroe, Betsy Kaplan & Chion Wolf 15514 at http://wnpr.org The Complications of Comedy As Zamata Joins 'SNL,' A Look At — And Beyond — The Prism Of Race http://wnpr.org/post/zamata-joins-snl-look-and-beyond-prism-race This week the long-running comedy show <em>Saturday Night Live</em> <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2014/01/08/260736176/saturday-night-live-takes-a-very-important-first-step">hired Sasheer Zamata</a> as a new cast member. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 23:27:00 +0000 Danielle Evans 15291 at http://wnpr.org As Zamata Joins 'SNL,' A Look At — And Beyond — The Prism Of Race Conversation About 'SNL' And Diversity 'Just Getting Started' http://wnpr.org/post/conversation-about-snl-and-diversity-just-getting-started It may seem, now that <em>Saturday Night Live</em> has hired a black female <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/06/showbiz/nbc-snl-sasheer-zamata">cast member</a> and two black female <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/saturday-night-live-adds-two-669180">writers</a>, that the conversation about diversity on TV's most influential comedy show is over.<p>But it's just getting started.<p>That's because the surprise move by <em>SNL</em> executive producer Lorne Michaels to actually address criticisms about the lack of diversity on NBC's storied late-night franchise brings with it Fri, 10 Jan 2014 17:39:47 +0000 Eric Deggans 15254 at http://wnpr.org Conversation About 'SNL' And Diversity 'Just Getting Started' For Key And Peele, Biracial Roots Bestow Special Comedic 'Power' http://wnpr.org/post/key-and-peele-biracial-roots-bestow-special-comedic-power-0 <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB7MichlL1k</p> Tue, 31 Dec 2013 17:05:00 +0000 editor 14759 at http://wnpr.org For Key And Peele, Biracial Roots Bestow Special Comedic 'Power' Samberg, Taccone And Schaffer: Three's Not A Lonely Island http://wnpr.org/post/samberg-taccone-and-schaffer-threes-not-lonely-island <em>This interview was originally broadcast on</em> <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/06/18/191347182/samberg-taccone-and-schaffer-threes-not-a-lonley-island">June 18, 2013</a>.<p>With digital shorts like "D--- in a Box," "Mother Lover" and "Three-Way," the parody trio The Lonely Island is responsible for some of <em>Saturday Night Live</em>'s funniest bits in recent memory, as well as funny collaborations with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar. Tue, 31 Dec 2013 17:05:00 +0000 editor 14758 at http://wnpr.org Samberg, Taccone And Schaffer: Three's Not A Lonely Island Colin Quinn Takes On The Constitution http://wnpr.org/post/colin-quinn-takes-constitution <p></p><p>There aren't that many jokes in the US Constitution. Either that, or there are too many, and they're all on us. Comedian Colin Quinn says most of you have never even read it. Who's gonna read something four pages long in this day and age?</p> Mon, 02 Dec 2013 20:32:08 +0000 Chion Wolf 13292 at http://wnpr.org Colin Quinn Takes On The Constitution