comedy

My Big Break
6:20 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

For 'SNL' Cast Member, The Waiting Was The Hardest Part

Bobby Moynihan (left) appears on Saturday Night Live as the character "Drunk Uncle."
NBC Dana Edelson/NBC

As part of a new series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click and people leap forward into their careers.

For about a decade, Bobby Moynihan lived a double life. By day, Moynihan says, he tended bar at a Pizzeria Uno in New York. By night, he performed improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

But he says he always had one dream: to join the cast of Saturday Night Live.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
9:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Complications of Comedy

Didi Conn and Burke Moses
Chion Wolf

Dying is easy, comedy is hard. But, why is comedy so hard, especially on the stage, and what makes something funny?

The premise for a famously funny plot could easily sound like a tragedy.  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. 

Read more
Comedy
6:27 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

As Zamata Joins 'SNL,' A Look At — And Beyond — The Prism Of Race

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:19 pm

This week the long-running comedy show Saturday Night Live hired Sasheer Zamata as a new cast member. The show had come under criticism for its lack of diversity, especially its lack of black women; Zamata will be the show's first female African-American cast member in six years.

Read more
Code Switch
12:39 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Conversation About 'SNL' And Diversity 'Just Getting Started'

Meet Sasheer Zamata, Saturday Night Live's new cast member.
Heidi Gutman ABC via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:10 pm

It may seem, now that Saturday Night Live has hired a black female cast member and two black female writers, that the conversation about diversity on TV's most influential comedy show is over.

But it's just getting started.

Read more
Comedy
12:05 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

For Key And Peele, Biracial Roots Bestow Special Comedic 'Power'

Keegan-Michael Key (left) and Jordan Peele both started their careers at Second City, Peele in Chicago and Key in Detroit.
Ian White Comedy Central

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 2:29 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 20, 2013.

Read more
Comedy
12:05 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Samberg, Taccone And Schaffer: Three's Not A Lonely Island

As kids, Jorma Taccone, Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer were all obsessed with hip-hop and TV shows like Yo! MTV Raps.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 2:29 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on June 18, 2013.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
3:32 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Colin Quinn Takes On The Constitution

Colin Quinn in his new show, "Unconstitutional".
Credit Mike Lavoie.

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?

Read more
Television
5:25 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Sarah Silverman, Serving Up Sinfully Divine Comedy

Nothing's sacred in We Are Miracles — but then as Sarah Silverman told Terry Gross in 2010, "there's a safety in what I do because I'm always the idiot. ... I'm always the ignoramus no matter what I talk about or what tragic event, off-color, dark scenario is evoked in my material."
Janet Van Ham HBO

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 11:18 am

Sarah Silverman is funny — sweet, bawdy, innocent, outrageous, Emmy-winning, milk-through-your-nose funny. And her new comedy special, We are Miracles, debuts tonight on HBO.

Performing in front of a live audience, the comedian takes on religion, pornography, childhood, politics and stereotypes, and no one's left standing. (No really: One punchline involves Hitler being assigned "Heil Marys" as penance.)

Silverman tells NPR's Scott Simon that she thinks good comedy comes from "some kind of childhood humiliation or darkness."

Read more
Laughter
6:35 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Losing It On The Air

Credit Pulse12, Flickr Creative Commons

I don't know why we love it so much when anyone in front of a live audience loses their composure and bursts out into laughter. Maybe because it shows them for what they really are - human. It's so fascinating to witness a spontaneous surrender to, well, giddiness, and because of good ol' fashioned empathy, we can't help but laugh along. 

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
12:03 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

The Nose: Why We Love It When Actors Break Character

Jacques Lamarre talked about Oreos and other foods of obsession on today's Nose.
Credit Chion Wolf

A popular video this week was a highlight reel of Stephen Colbert being unable to stay in character as a pompous, self-pleased right wing blowhard. Instead, Colbert is swept up in the hilarity of the material. One of his adorable tricks is to hide the lower half of his face behind something, allowing us to see only his laughing eyes.

Read more
The Wheelhouse Digest
10:12 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Prison Transfer; SNL Spoofs the Land of Steady Habits; New London has "Hope Bubbles"

Credit Kudumomo / Creative Commons

The plan to transfer all female prisoners out of the Danbury federal facility is back in effect today, although it remains to be seen whether the government shutdown will slow transfers. While we wait to see what happens next, The Wheelhouse Digest is making a pit stop in New London, where a German website has taken an interest in development news. Also a must-see: the "Saturday Night Live" send-up of a square white Connecticut mom who checks out Grand Theft Auto 5, and ended up playing it all week.

Read more
Comedy Cellar
5:41 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Five Comedians You Need to Check Out

Hannibal Buress is only 29, but he's quickly rising to the top of the American standup comedy scene.
Credit http://hannibalburess.com/

Standup is not an easy thing to do. You might think you're funny, but funny takes on a new definition when you're stranded on stage with just a microphone, a spotlight, and a judgmental audience. Today we talked comedy with Jason Zinoman, first-ever comedy critic for The New York Times. While researching the show, I watched a lot of comedy (what a job I have!) so I thought it would be fun to provide you with a sampling of a few of my favorite performers. Caution: some of these sketches may contain NSFW language so, you know, don't blast it at your desk.

Read more
Host's Diary
4:50 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being (on SNL)

Kyle Mooney in one of his roles.
Credit Wikipedia

"Saturday Night Live" returned for a new season on last weekend. There are six new "featured players," the biggest cast turnover in recent memory. Five white men and one white woman. 

I brought up SNL with Eric Deggans on a recent show, and before the question was all the way out of my mouth he was planting his palm on his face and moaning, "I know what you're going to say."

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
6:20 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Tales From A Thousand And One Stand-Up Shows

Comedian Hannibal Buress at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

You could say that most of the live comedy done by young performers in cities around the United States is just one big feeder system for Saturday Night Live, which launched a new season this weekend.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
2:30 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

The Nose Outlines Its Outrage With Chappelle, Line Cutters, And Always Following The Rules

Theresa Cramer
Chion Wolf

Come on, you must be outraged about something! These are the headlines: "Rich Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides so kids can cut lines at Disney World." "Dave Chappelle's Hate-On For Hartford Called 'Sad,' 'Asinine.'" "No Exception For Newington Veteran Being Evicted For Smoking." 

Read more
Arts/Culture
4:02 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

The Nose: Dave Chappelle Reacts To Hartford, Millennials Hate Phones, & Putin Puts On Sexy Lingerie

Patty McQueen
Chion Wolf

We have in the works, for next week, a show about J.D. Salinger, the American writer most at odds with his own greatness. 

Little did we suspect that Dave Chappelle, the comedian most at odds with his own greatness, would come to Hartford and have peculiar and very contrary experience with the audience here and create a national stir by his refusal to perform for them.

Read more
The Wheelhouse Digest
1:04 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Exit Stage Right

Dave Chappelle in 2006.
Credit Matias3000 (Flickr Creative Commons)

Hartford's Comcast Theatre seemed like an odd venue for the Oddball Comedy Tour.

Well, the night ended oddly enough when David Chappelle walked off after a few minutes. Unfortunately for him, audiences now obsess with recording everything (see this NSFW Louis CK bit), and there is lots of crummy cell-phone footage circulating from the performance.

Compared to some of the other stories in the world right now, this isn't a big deal. But it got us talking about something other than the VMAs.

Read more
Baseball
7:32 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Baseball All-Star Game Special: Abby and Costello

CPBN Media Lab

Just in time for Major League Baseball's All-Star Game festivities, the CPBN Media Lab Radio Theatre proudly presents Erin "Abby" Connolly and Tyler "Costello" Salomon in this homage to the great Abbott & Costelllo and their classic Who's on First?

Follow along below with this transcript courtesy of the Baseball-Almanac.com

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
4:05 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

The Birth, Life, and Death of Jokes

Chion Wolf

Some time in the late 1980s, when my main job was writing allegedly funny newspapers and magazine pieces and books  I was visiting a friend who worked in the offices of "Late Night with David Letterman." I think she was an assistant to Dave's assistant or something. Anyway, she introduced me to the show's head writer Steve O'Donnell and she must have mentioned me before because he said, "Oh yes. The humorist."

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
4:05 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

The Birth, Life, And Death Of Jokes

The Colin McEnroe Show
3:37 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

'Two Cheers For Anarchy'

Flickr Creative Commons, Free Grunge Textures

Today, in order to watch a Lenny Bruce monologue on YouTube, I had to sit through a Starbucks commercial. This feels like proof that some kind of fundamental battle has been lost, right? The Internet is free, but not really.

Read more
The Faith Middleton Show
8:06 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Connecticut’s First State Barn Trail, Author Of Take A Deep Breath And Comedian Noelle Gray

Connecticut launches it's first barn trail complete with an iPhone app. Helen Higgins, from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, walks us through the process of how the barns are chosen and what the trail has to offer.

Take a Deep Breath: Clear the Air for the Health of Your Childby Nina L. Shapiro

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
3:51 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

The Nose: Romantic Comedies & How 'Jerry Seinfeld Intends To Die Standing Up'

Flickr Creative Commons, david_shankbone

A romantic comedy about a substitute teacher recently discharged from a mental hospital after eight months of not necessarily complete treatment for bipolar disorder.  His potential object of affection? A woman whose own experience of psychic trauma has led her into a spree of promiscuous behavior that results in the loss of her job. 

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
2:32 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Fake News: A Lens on Satire

Comedy Central

I grew up in an era when the "political humorist" was a segregated specialty. 

Mort Sahl, Pat Paulsen, Mark Russell. These guys weren't part of the pack of regular comedians. It was the humor equivalent of a semi-obscure edical specialty. One saw them only occasionally. Like your dentist. Maybe twice a year. 

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
2:45 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

The Nose With Michael Ian Black: Olympians Behaving Badly & The Chick-fil-A Gay Debate

Chion Wolf

Today's edition of The Nose is an occasionally tense conversation about a series of issues all of which swirl around the issue of free speech. Chick-fil-A, a sandwich chain, sends millions of dollars in corporate profits to vehemently anti-gay groups, including ones that practice “gay-to-straight” conversion therapy. Its CEO went public this week with his anti-gay-marriage views. 

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
2:47 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

What Are You Laughing At?

Flickr Creative Commons, nahtanoj

Tomorrow night I'll be appearing with the comedy troupe Sea Tea Improv in a format requiring me to do little monologues based on prompts from the audience. The Sea Tea troupe will then improvise sketches based on my monologue.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
3:01 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Puns!

Ecstatic Mark, Flickr Creative Commons

Puns are terrible, right? But then why do we love Groucho? When Mrs. Teasdale tells him: "This is a gala day for you," he says: "Well, a gal a day is enough for me." He also tells her:
"You can leave in a taxi If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. "

These are puns, right? But instead of being agonizing they're part of the Rosetta Stone for the greatest manic American comedy.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
12:11 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

The Comedy of Mike Birbiglia

Courtesy Photo

Earlier this week we had the opportunity to talk to comedian Mike Birbiglia. Birbiglia will perform his latest show, "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend," in Harford Friday, May, 4, at the Bushnell. He'll also perform in Stamford on Thursday, May 3, and Northhampton, Mass. on Saturday, May 5.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
4:22 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Bill Griffith Talks Comedy, Art & 'Zippy The Pinhead'

Bill Griffith

True story ... last week, the Connecticut legislature's Environment Committee's public hearing agenda included, on the same day, An Act Permitting the Possession of Reindeer Year Round and An Act Concerning the Hunting of Deer with a Pistol.

This is why I don't celebrate April Fool's Day. Life is like this every day. Break that story apart into separate scenes, and your mind is flooded with images of a man plugging a deer with a Saturday night special or a young couple walking their reindeer on a leash.

Read more

Pages