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Norm Macdonald Teams With Netflix for New Talk Show

03/12/2018 09:51:41 AM

Norm Macdonald Teams With Netflix for New Talk Show

'Norm Macdonald Has a Show' secures 10-episode deal with Netflix

By 

Norm Macdonald's popular podcast will head to Netflix as the former SNL comedian agreed to a 10-episode deal with the streaming service for a series simply titled, Norm Macdonald Has a Show.

"It's a talk show with Norm Macdonald as host, along with his trusty sidekick, Adam Eget, and one celebrity guest for each episode," Netflix said in a statement. "The show will deliver great and unexpected conversation, jokes and a behind-the-scenes look at Norm's world."

Macdonald's talk show is Netflix's latest foray into the genre after giving series to Chelsea Handler and Joel McHale, as well as coaxing David Letterman out of retirement for his once-a-month series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. According to a press release, Letterman himself will serve as "location scout" on Norm Macdonald Has a Show; the former Late Showhost is actually a creative partner on the series.

A premiere date for the talk show has not yet been announced. On Twitter, Macdonald – Number 139 on Rolling Stone's list of the 145 Best SNL Cast Members – gave fans an inside look at how the Netflix deal went down.

 

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Shawn Wayans, Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier bring 'Off Color Comedy' to Hard Rock Live

03/09/2018 09:03:25 AM

Image result for shawn wayans tommy davidson david alan grier

Off Color Comedy: In Living Color was a cultural phenomenon when it debuted on Fox in 1990. It was a bold, raw, raucous laugh fest with a majority black cast and a distinctive family feel.

It was, in fact , a family affair, led by Keenan Ivory Wayans who, with his siblings and hilarious friends -- among them David Alan Grier and Tommy Davidson -- created something historic every Sunday night.

Shawn Wayans remembers fondly his days on set. He was a teenage kid having the time of his life.

"The funnest, funnest, funnest thing I ever did was 'In Living Color.' That was just the most explosive laugh fest ever, period. It gave us headaches with laughter. It was thee most fun I ever had in this business. I was 19!" said Wayans.

"Everybody tore everybody up. And as funny as the sketches were on TV, what was happening behind the scenes was even funnier and most of the stuff that made it to TV started behind the scenes," he said.

Perhaps there will be some behind the scenes magic Saturday as three of the In Living Color cast members gather for a stand-up comedy show at the Hard Rock Live inside the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield.

Shawn Wayans, Grier and Davidson will perform in the first stop on their "Off Color Comedy" tour.

Does it presage a reunion of the show one day?

"I have no idea. For me, it's just getting together with my schoolmates and doing some fun gigs. Who knows, though. You never know," said Wayans, who has worked extensively post 'In Living Color' with his brother Marlon, who headlined at the Hard Rock Live in 2016.

Davidson hopes a reunion of the show happens and why not? If 'Full House' and 'Roseanne' and 'Will & Grace' can make a comeback, why not a landmark show like 'In Living Color?'

"If it was up to me, it would be back. According to Shawn, he's going to try to encourage Keenan to get this thing cracking. We don't move without him. He's the Professor Xavier of us all," said Davidson, whose most recent TV gig has been hosting 'Vacation Creation,' a kind of "Extreme Home Makeover" for family vacations.

Said Shawn Wayans:  "As far as 'In Living Color' goes, that would be a difficult show to pull off today. Back when we did it, you were able to do whatever you wanted to do. I don't know if that's where we're at anymore. If they let us push the envelope, you guys will get some fun stuff."

Until then he and Davidson and Grier will push the envelope for fun stuff in individual stand-up sets.

"What can people expect? What they always got. I'm sort of like the Rubik's Cube of comedy, color on each side no matter how you twist it. There will be good action like always. You'll get impressions. And there's a lot more depth going on in the subjects. And I can go from talking about Trump and his State of the Union address to if a dog will bite or not. I can show you the difference between a white guy hearing a gunshot and an old black man hearing a gunshot," said Davidson.

Wayans promises energy.

"You're going to see funny, honest, physical humor. Everything. I talk about everything," he said. "Is anything off limits? Yeah, stuff that ain't funny."

The Off Color Comedy Tour with Shawn Wayans, Tommy Davidson and David Alan Grier is at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Hard Rock Live inside the Hard Rock Rocksino, 10777 Northfield Rd., Northfield. Tickets are $39 to $79. Go to hrrocksinonorthfieldpark.com or call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

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wellRED: From Dixie With Love? is comedy for those who love all people, but also blowing shit up

02/22/2018 09:40:40 AM

wellRED: From Dixie With Love​ is comedy for those who love all people, but also blowing shit up.

by: Liza Mitchell

When one mentions intellectual comedy, it’s unlikely that your mind travels south of the Mason Dixon line. The comic trio of Trae Crowder, Drew Morgan and Corey Forrester are redrawing the boundaries of what it means to be smart and funny in the south.

wellRED: From Dixie With Love​ is comedy for those who love all people, but also blowing shit up. It celebrates everything great about the South. It’s about loving your neighbor whether you have the same religion, skin color, or sexual preference, so long as they cheer for the same college football. It is about leaving behind bigotr y but remembering the fried okra. The wellRED tour stops in Jacksonville Feb. 23-24 at The Comedy Zone.

Known for his Liberal Redneck video series, Crowder performed his brand of southern comedy throughout the Southeast before teaming up with his writing – and drinking – partners. Forrester first performed comedy at 16, lying about his age to get into an open mic night. His stand-up blends humor and common sense into an act as full of as many silly faces and goofy jokes as it is thought-provoking rants on society, culture and politics. Hailing from Sunbright, Tennessee, Morgan’s act has been described as “Mark Twain on acid.” He was raised by a preacher and a librarian, which explains his intellectualism and constant state of existential crisis.

“We basically all three cover very similar themes but in pretty different ways. Most of it comes back to our separate upbringings in the rural south. I didn’t really grow up in the church, which is definitely uncommon for where I’m from, but Drew’s daddy is a preacher so as you can imagine, Drew talks about Jesus/religion significantly more than me,” says Crowder. “Similarly, I grew up super poor, so I talk more about poverty-related subjects than the other two. Corey actually does as much if not more political stuff than me or Drew, weirdly enough. I feel very confident saying that if you like my videos, you will like our stand-up. It’s very different, but it all comes from the same place, ultimately.”

 

Crowder gained a following as the Liberal Redneck, a video series targeting such hot button topics as Black Lives Matter, net neutrality, the transgender restroom issue, gun control and his open disdain for the current presidential administration. While the videos are factual and insightful, they are ripe with colorful colloquialisms that you only hear down yonder.

“The Liberal Redneck character is really only a character in that it’s me cranked up to eleven. I mean if I walked around living my life like that character, I’d be pretty hard to be around,” he says. “But yes, I’ve always pretty much been that way, in that I come from a very stereotypically redneck background and I’ve always had left-leaning political beliefs. I was doing similar material onstage for years before the videos.”

The notion to shoot his first video was divinely inspired for the admitted atheist. Crowder wanted to make video but wanted to learn more about production and editing to avoid looking amateurish until he saw a viral video of “some preacher dude in North Carolina ranting and raving about perverts in the bathrooms.” The video racked up 15 million views.

“This video was literally just this redneck preacher man in the woods standing by his truck, just preaching fire and brimstone at his iPhone about this stuff. Literally just screaming hatefully,” says Crowder. “I saw that, and it was like a light bulb went off. I realized that if this guy was what I was trying to satirize, then I didn’t need to be all fancy. In fact, that would probably be a mistake. The best way to do it was exactly the way he did it: just go out back and yell at my phone. So that’s what I did. And I hope one way or another that preacher finds out that all of this stuff with me – totally his fault. Or I guess maybe Jesus’s fault. I’m still not 100 percent clear on how all that works.”

Crowder grew up in the deep rural south of Celina, Tennessee where he railed against the traditional southern ideals, preferring film and literature over the church. His dad owned a video store which inspired dreams of show business. “When I was a little kid that meant making/being in movies. Then when I was 12, I saw Chris Rock’s HBO Special Bigger and Blacker and it shifted specifically to ‘I want to be a comedian’,” says Crowder. “Over the years it has shifted to television, but it never went away.”

When it comes to his friends and family relating to his material, Crowder says it’s a mixed bag. “The ones that I’m truly close to, if they disagree with me, they still take the stance of ‘I don’t agree with what you say, but I’m proud of you for doing well’. For the record, many of the friends/family that I am close to actually do agree with me about much of this stuff and so there’s no real conflict there. But I mean yes, there are definitely some cookouts I am no longer welcome at, for sure. But by and large they aren’t the ones I would show up to anyway.”

Crowder relocated his family to California and he is still acclimating to the west coast, where he says his accent “is the reason people think I’m going to start throwing raccoons through trailer windows.” He’s getting used to palm trees over pine trees but there’s just something about the south that calls him home.

“You know that runny white queso dip at Mexican restaurants in the south? Far as I can tell, it doesn’t exist out here. I mean, I get that that means it’s not authentic Mexican and all that, but I grew up on that stuff and I miss it so bad,” says Crowder. “In all sincerity, the challenges haven’t been too great. I knew pretty much what I was getting into it. I do miss the south though. I miss the food and the music and the fall and how green it is. I miss a lot, and a lot of the time. I’ll be back though. No doubt about that.”

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The Comedy Zone, Explore Elkin bring laughs downtown

01/24/2018 10:32:41 AM

By Wendy Byerly Wood - wbyerly-wood@elkintribune.com

“Laughter is a stress reliever.” – J. Bliss

Around 200 people settled into Coley Hall at The Liberty Saturday night for some stress relief and a lot of laughs. The second installment of Explore Elkin’s Comedy on Main featured three comedians booked through The Comedy Zone.

“There’s not a lot to do in Elkin, and this is something different and it’s exciting,” said Ernie Dumas, who was attending the comedy show with a table of his family and friends.

He said he’s enjoyed similar shows in larger cities like Charlotte, Asheville and Boston.

He and his wife, Becky, learned about the comedy show through an email chain which they were part of by being members of the Elkin Valley Trails Association.

Becky Dumas said she was looking forward “to some good laughs.”

Ellen Pometto and her friend, Jodi Sebastian, also were looking forward to an entertaining show. Pometto won two free tickets through an Instagram contest Explore Elkin hosted, but she said they probably would have come if even she hadn’t won the tickets.

The nearly two-hour show started with a short welcome from Explore Elkin Chairman Jeff Eidson, and then Derek Blackmon, a comedian with The Comedy Zone, took over as emcee, also providing a few minutes of comedy to kick it all off.

Jason King served as the opening act, followed by J. Bliss as headliner. Both were booked through The Comedy Zone and had the crowd laughing for an hour and a half nearly nonstop.

Derek Blackmon, emcee for the evening, opens the Comedy on Main show for Explore Elkin with a few laughs of his own Saturday

Jason King, the feature act, shares humor with those attending Explore Elkin's Comedy on Main Saturday at The Liberty.

The Comedy Zone's J. Bliss entertains the crowd at Explore Elkin's Comedy on Main Saturday at The Liberty.

 

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Tom Segura headlines the Hard Rock Rocksino / The Comedy Zone

10/17/2017 12:57:43 PM

Segura at Hard Rock Rocksino / The Comedy Zone Northfield, OH

Cincinnati native Tom Segura -- low-key and highly hilarious -- is funny onstage and in "Your Mom's House," the podcast he does with his comedian wife Christina Pazsitzky. But don't try to engage him in idle chit-chat. He describes himself in his act as an awkward conversationalist.

He says in "Mostly Stories," his recent Netflix special: "God forbid I meet a tall person. Like, if you are over 6-foot-4, there is no way I'm not addressing it. I'm gonna be like, 'Wow you're tall, ha ha. Do you like basketball? I have a friend that's tall. '"

Then he addresses himself, saying: "Dude, you just told a grown man that you have a friend that's tall. What's next, like, 'My dad's super strong. I bet he's stronger than your dad.' "

In his "No Teeth, No Entry Tour," Segura will mostly steer clear of politically charged humor and instead share stories about his relationship with his wife and his toddler, and his visits to the doctor.

Comedian Tom Segura

The Comedy Zone Worldwide provides the comedians for the Hard Rock Rocksino. 

Contact them at 704-295-4242 and ask for Joel Pace or visit them online at www.comedyzoneworldwide.com when looking for comedians for your events

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TV Ratings: ‘Marlon’ Hits Season High in Total Viewers

09/11/2017 09:25:05 AM

TV Reporter@JoeOtterson

'Marlon' Ratings Hit Season High in

Marlon” continued its solid Season 1 ratings on Wednesday night for NBC, with the series hitting a new total viewers high, according to Nielsen overnight data.

The 9 p.m. episode of “Marlon” averaged a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.5 million viewers. That beats the previous high in total viewers set by the series premiere (5.3 million), and matches the key demo record also set by the series opener. The 9:30 p.m. episode of “Marlon” drew a 1.0 and 3.7 million viewers, up in both measures from the 9:30 p.m. episode last week.

Earlier on NBC, “America’s Got Talent” (2.1, 11.7 million) — the most-watched and top-rated show of the night — was stable. After “Marlon,” “Hollywood Game Night” (0.7, 2.8 million) fell significantly in both measures.

 

On CBS, “Big Brother” (1.8, 6.3 million) and “Salvation” (0.5, 3.5 million) were both steady.

On Fox, the episode of “MasterChef” at 8 p.m. (1.1, 3.6 million) was even with last week’s ep in the same timeslot. The episode at 9 p.m. (1.3, 4 million) rose slightly in total viewers compared to last week.

ABC and The CW aired only repeats.

NBC won the night with a 1.3 and 6.4 million viewers. Fox was second in the demo with a 1.2, but third in total viewers with 3.8 million. CBS came in third in the demo with a 0.9, but second in total viewers with 4.3 million. ABC finished fourth overall with a 0.6 and 2.5 million viewers. The CW averaged a 0.2 and 774,000 viewers.

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Here’s the Trailer for Jeff Dunham’s Netflix Special ‘Relative Disaster’

08/30/2017 17:06:03 PM

Here’s the Trailer for Jeff Dunham’s Netflix Special ‘Relative Disaster’    

Jeff Dunham is set to make his Netflix standup special debut next month. Titled Relative Disaster, the special was filmed at the Bord Gais Energy Theater in Dublin and features Dunham and his “demented posse of dummies” in a “gleeful skewering of family and politics.” Dunham’s last special, Unhinged in Hollywoodaired on NBC back in 2015. Check out the trailer above, and catch the rest when Relative Disaster premieres Tuesday, September 12th.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2017 NEW FACES OF COMEDY FOR JUST FOR LAUGHS MONTREAL

07/24/2017 12:37:51 PM

Congratulations to the 2017 New Faces of Comedy for Just For Laughs Montreal

Here they are, they’ve auditioned multiple times, many of them for multiple years, to get here. A coveted spot in Montreal’s “New Faces” at Just For Laughs.

What used to just showcase stand-up comedians aiming for the big time from comedy club bookers, casting agents and development deals from the broadcast networks, has now expanded to include “Characters” who often show up on the short-lists for Saturday Night Live and other series, “Unrepped” to counter the trend in many New Faces already getting representation before Montreal, and new for 2017, “Creators” to recognize the funny people making videos, webseries and other projects online.

“For more than 20 years, the New Faces showcase at Just For Laughs has served as the launch pad for many of the biggest and most recognizable names in comedy,” says Bruce Hills, COO of the Just For Laughs Group. “We couldn’t be more proud to offer comedians this phenomenal showcase opportunity in front of some of the most important and influential people in the comedy business.”

NEW FACES OF COMEDY: (L to R): Blair SocciCalvin EvansCharles GouldChristi ChielloDanny JollesDave ThomasonJake NordwindJames Austin JohnsonJared FreidJonathan MorvayJR De GuzmanMartin UrbanoMichael LenociNorm Nixon Jr.Preacher LawsonRae SanniRamy YoussefSam JaySolomon GeorgioTaylor Tomlinson and Yedoye Travis.

These New Faces will be divided into two groups, performing back-to-back on July 26 at Monument National, and also July 28 at Katacombes.

NEW FACES: CHARACTERS (L to R): Ana FabregaAvery MonsenBill PosleyGeoff DowHeidi GardnerJohn TrowbridgeKat PalardyMatt GehringMatt Rogers and Yoni Lotan.

The Characters showcase takes place July 27 at Monument National, with a second performance July 28 at the Mainline Theatre.

NEW FACES: CREATORS (L to R): Brandon RogersGlenn BoozanGood Cop Great Cop (Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin), Handsome Dancer (Matt Pavich and James Manzello), Juhahn JonesQuinta Brunson and The Cooties (Ethan Edenburg, Jacob Jeffries, Eric Jackowitz and Raul Fernandez).

The Creators showcase happens July 27 inside the Hyatt at the Grand Salon Opera.

NEW FACES: UNREPPED (L to R): Andrew DismukesGeorge CiverisJackson McQueenJeremy McLellanJiayong LiJordan DollMarie FaustinMia JacksonSteven CastilloTurner Barrowman and Vanessa Gonzalez.

The Unrepped New Faces will showcase July 27 at Monument National, with a second performance July 28 at the Mainline Theatre.

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T.J. Miller tells Jimmy Kimmel why he left “Silicon Valley”

07/21/2017 10:34:00 AM

T.J. Miller visited Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, and the comedian opened up on his recent exit from HBO comedy Silicon Valley

Miller, a series regular from the show’s first episode (alongside Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, and Thomas Middleditch), was written out during last month’s season finale, a fairly surprising move that left many fans confused. 

But Miller seems more than okay with his decision to leave Silicon Valley, explaining to Kimmel: “An organic out arose. They had a cliffhanger and I thought it would be funny just to exit… It’s hard. You do a television show, it’s very lucky, it’s such a great show … it’s only gonna become better with me not on it because it has to change, it has to grow, there’s something dynamic that has to happen.”

Beyond all that, Miller admits, he was just tired of the cable show’s rigorous shooting schedule. He recently relocated from Los Angeles to New York, which makes filming on the West Coast more difficult — and he’d rather be spending time with his family than waiting around on set, anyways. 

Plus, Miller says, between the movie and his recently freed up schedule, he’s able to dive back into stand-up. “There’s a lot more stage time when I’m in New York. When I’m in Los Angeles, I do 2-4 sets, possibly. In New York, I do 6-10 sets in one night.”

Miller also told Kimmel all about why he chose to do The Emoji Movie (which hits theaters July 28th), and also, how he ended up wearing such a sassy outfit on the show.

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Late start hasn’t slowed comedian Sid Davis

07/05/2017 09:46:32 AM

Late start hasn’t slowed comedian Sid Davis

Bill Lynch , Staff Writer

A lot of comics start early in their lives. Most of them begin in their 20s. A few do their first shows when they’re in their teens.

 

Sid Davis did not.

Before he tried stand-up, Davis was an aviation technician. Before that, he worked as an airline baggage handler. He also sold insurance, wrote and worked in sales at small radio station.

He got married, had kids and lived half his life. But at the age of 48, after being forced to retire because of the airline industry downswing, he finally got around to doing stand-up comedy.

“I was almost 50,” Davis said.

So he took a class, tried his luck at the comedy clubs in Charlotte and quickly turned an old dream into a brand new career.

“I was retired from the airline. So I had some kind of cushion,” he said. “I never had to be the young guy living out of his car. I had a foundation, so I could venture out.”

Davis worked his way up through the comedy ranks, although it wasn’t easy in the beginning. Having some financial resources gave him some flexibility, but being in the vicinity of middle age worked against him.

“When you’re young and do this, you’re viewed as an up-and-comer,” he said.

A young person starting out doesn’t even have to be incredibly funny. They can just be a little funny, Davis said. It’s assumed they will get better after they spend a couple of years working the clubs and maybe going on the road.

Club managers looked at him and assumed he had been doing comedy for longer than he had. Davis said they watched his act in the beginning and thought, “This is as good as he’s going to get.”

“I was never looked at as someone who would go far,” Davis said.

After he spent some time working the comedy circuit, he got better and people began to ask how long he had been a comedian.

Things have gotten better since then.

These days, Davis said he is out working between 15 and 20 days a month. He plays clubs and comedy festivals, works cruise ships and even opens for the occasional big-name comedian.

“I don’t do political stuff,” he said. “I keep it fun. If anything, it’s a break from the political stuff.”

Davis described what he did as situational comedy. Life happens. He pays attention, particularly when things get weird or go wrong.

For example, Davis recently had a job on a cruise ship. During the trip, one of the passengers became ill. A helicopter was flown out to take the passenger to a hospital.

“The helicopter was hovering perfectly above the ship, like 80 feet, because it couldn’t land on the deck,” he said. “It was amazing, but the wind was wicked. It was whipping everything around. Hats were flying.”

To get the sick passenger, the helicopter had to lower a stretcher on a rope, which Davis said jerked and swung in every direction.

“We were all on the deck watching this,” he said. “And I started thinking, if that was me, I’d say I was feeling much better. You know, I think those chest pains were just gas.”

His humor is regular life, though he has a few general rules — no politics, and he steers away from making fun of women.

“If you’re going to make fun of somebody and you have a choice between a man and woman, you make fun of the man,” he said.

Poking fun at men being dumb is the cornerstone of the American television sit-com, he said.

“It’s on ‘The Honeymooners,’ ‘The Flintstones,’ and ‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’” he said.

He warned, “If you make fun of women, you do so at your own peril.”

So Davis doesn’t, usually.

Instead, he often just focuses his attention on himself. That’s always plenty of material.

“Things backfire for me,” he said. “They just go wrong.”

Reach Bill Lynch at lynch@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5195 or follow @LostHwys on Twitter. Follow Bill’s One Month At A Time progress on his blog at blogs.wvgazettemail.com/onemonth/. He’s also on Instagram at instagram.com/billiscap.

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