Comedy Wrap

Everything that is going on in the comedy world

SNL + Jim Carrey as Joe Biden

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Saturday Night Live will kicked off its 46th season on Oct 3rd, 2020 and has brought in Jim Carrey to play VP Joe Biden against Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump. In a Lorne Michaels interview with Vulture, Michaels revealed Jim Carrey signed on to play Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. “You’ll see the same people. I mean, Maya Rudolph is coming back, and Alec [Baldwin] will be back. And Jim Carrey is going to do Biden,” Michaels said, explaining that the casting started with Carrey expressing interest in the part and then “it came down to discussions of what his take was … He will give the part energy and strength, and [Laughs] hopefully it’s funny.”

Prior to Carrey stepping into the role, Biden has been portrayed by three different people throughout SNL’s 45th season. Woody Harrelson played Biden three times, starting with his hosting stint for the season premiere in September 2019. Jason Sudeikis, who played Biden on SNL during Barack Obama’s presidency, returned to play him during RuPaul’s episode in early February 2020, followed by a single appearance by John Mulaney during his episode later that same month.

Check out the season premiere opener

October 10, 2020 episode will feature comedian Bill Burr with muscial guest Jack White. Stay tuned.

Who is Bill Burr?

Other recent SNL news include Eddie Murphy winning his first Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series. Check out his acceptance speech below.

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Jamie Foxx: Dad Stop Embarrassing Me

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Jamie Foxx next Netflix project will be a father-daughter comedy starring and executive produced by Oscar winner Jamie Foxx. The series is inspired by Foxx’s relationship with his daughter, Corinne Foxx, who produces alongside Alex Avant.

Kyla-Drew (The Good Doctor, Jessie) will play Foxx’s daughter, with David Alan Grier (A Soldier’s Play, Sprinter) also joining this multi-camera comedy cast.

This marks Foxx’s return to multi-camera comedy. Following his breakout turn on Fox’s In Living Color, his successful family sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show ran for five seasons.

Jamie Foxx Impressions with Jimmy Fallon.

Jamie Foxx heckles a not funny comedian

Jamie Foxx vs. Jay Pharoah Impressions

Jamie Foxx: Wanda In Living Color - Stay To End For Scene Blooper

Hashtags: #inlivingcolor #jamiefoxx #tommydavidson

Michelle Obama: Pro-Voting Comedy Special on ABC

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Michelle Obama has partnered with ATTN: to bring some pro-voting comedy content in the lead up to the 2020 election. ABC announced that Obama and ATTN: will team for its primetime comedy special VOMO: Vote or Miss Out, hosted by Kevin Hart.

The hour long special set to air Sept. 14, will urge viewers to practice their civic duty and vote in the upcoming presidential election in November.

Set to make appearances during the one-time comedy special are Tiffany Haddish, Scarlett Johansson, Will Ferrell, Jay Leno, Jaden Smith and Willow Smith. Also joining in are Tim Allen, Whitney Cummings, Kaia Gerber, Charlamagne tha God, Cristela Alonzo, 2 Chainz and Lil Baby.

While a slew of entertainment personalities are set to appear, political figures will also stop by. Joining for the Michelle Obama comedy special are former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor Larry Hogan, Ann Romney and Cindy McCain.

VOMO feature a lineup of comedy bits, stand-up acts and a musical performance. Between the performances, guests will inform viewers about their role in the 2020 election, share additional information on voting and highlight changes to voting procedures.

VOMO will air on ABC from 10pm to 11pm on Sept. 14.

Letterman & Chappelle Hanging in Ohio

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David Letterman was spotted hanging with Dave Chappelle in his hometown, Yellow Springs, OH, sipping coffee and talking. This sighting suggests Letterman will interview Chappelle for the next season of his Netflix series, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction”.

Chappelle and Letterman, who had a Chappelle-branded face mask hanging off his ear, sipping coffee in the middle of Yellow Springs with a production crew.

Chappelle has been making news by hosting a series of socially-distanced comedy shows – which he’s dubbed ‘Chappelle Summer Camp’ – and Letterman popped up to see the show and maybe did a little stand up.

Chris Rock’s already flown in for one of Chappelle’s shows, which have featured Jon Stewart, Jon Hamm, Tiffany Haddish, Michael Che, Jim Carrey, Louis CK, Donnell Rawlings, Sarah Silverman and Michelle Wolf.

We hope Chappelle is taping these shows and drop them on Netflix. Seems likely because fans have shared online that there is a sign displayed for fans waiting to enter the show. It warned: “This performance is being recorded for future telecasts and other exploitation at the producer’s discretion and may include pictures of the audience or individuals in the audience and backstage. Attendance at this performance shall be deemed your consent to appear in such telecasts without compensation.” Hmm, sure sounds like a taping!

In any event, whatever Chappelle and Letterman are cooking up, it’s sure to be funny!!!

Check out some of the tweets from those shows.

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Camp Chappelle magic 📸 @candytman

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What Is This Ellen Controversy?

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Ellen DeGeneres built her career on being nice. Now that’s in jeopardy.

If you’re like me you might be wondering what is the controversy with Ellen DeGeneres. Apparently, it has to do the working environment offstage at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Many reports of a toxic work culture, discrimination, and sexual harassment is beginning to tarnish the 17-year-old, feel-good talk show’s reputation.

The cracks in this veneer started off thin and narrow. As the show became a daytime TV juggernaut over the past two decades, rumors simultaneously circulated, that DeGeneres was not as nice in person as the show portrayed her to be. But the cracks grew bigger over the past year, and became glaringly obvious during a memorable, uncomfortable interview on her show in November with Dakota Johnson and months later former employees began to speak up.

Here’s how the Today Show reported the Ellen controversy

DeGeneres acknowledged that the show had its faults.

“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect,” DeGeneres wrote, apologizing in a letter to her staff about the reports’ allegations. “Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.”

Clip of Ellen guest clap backs while appearing on her show.

Of all the guests featured in this clip, I’m most impressed with how Minhaj politely, respectfully and humorously taught Ellen the correct way to say his name. Great job, Hasan! Also, the next time I go to Starbucks I’ll tell them my name is Ansel Elgort!

Hashtags: #EllenDeGeneres #TheEllenShow #DakotaJohnson #HasanMinhaj

Comedy Albums: Joan Rivers & Bob Newhart

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New comedy albums featuring previously unreleased material from the late and great Joan River.

Comedy Dynamics will produce and distribute its acquisition of hundreds of hours of content from the Joan Rivers Estate. They plan to release a box set and digital albums. Rivers rose to prominence in the mid 1960s, best known for her quick wit and caustic style. She was truly a pioneer in the comedy world and influenced generations of comedians.

In 1986, Rivers made history by hosting her very own late night talk show, “The Late Show with Joan Rivers”. She won a Daytime Emmy for hosting “The Joan Rivers Show” and was also a bestselling author, playwright, screenwriter, film director, columnist, lecturer, and radio host.

“Joan is the icon of icons in every sense of the word,” said Brian Volk-Weiss, CEO of Comedy Dynamics. “Not only was she a comedic pioneer, she was an entrepreneur, author, actress, director and more. We’re excited to honor her career, and her life’s work for many years to come.”

To really appreciate Joan Rivers you need to watch her documentary, “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work”

Joan Rivers on the E!’s Red Carpet Fashion Show

Joan Rivers on Howard Stern

On the 60th Anniversary of Bob Newhart’s groundbreaking 1960 comedy album, Newhart discussed how it all came together.

Picture this: In early 1960, a 30-year-old unknown comedian with no stand-up experience walked onto the stage of a Houston nightclub to record an album which not only changed his life but also influenced generations of comedians and comedy fans.

On Aug. 1, “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart” reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts, the first-ever comedy album to do so, launching Newhart’s storied 60-year career, including the iconic CBS sitcoms “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Newhart.”

Bob Newhart On The Comedian Who Stole His Material - CONAN on TBS

Bob Newhart Remembers His Friend Don Rickles - CONAN on TBS

The one thing that separates Newhart from all classic TV series is the most clever twist TV series finale endings. During the last two minutes of series finale of Bob’s 2nd TV series, Newhart had spent the previous eight seasons playing Vermont innkeeper Dick Loudon.

He wakes up in an oddly familiar bedroom. “Honey, wake up, you won’t believe the dream I just had,” he says, right before bedmate Suzanne Pleshette, who played his wife in his first series, Emily, on the popular 1970s sitcom “The Bob Newhart Show”, rolls over. Big reveal! The eight seasons of Newhart — and thus the very existence of Dick, his charming wife, Joanna (Mary Frann), and even dimwitted woodsmen trio Larry, his brother Darryl, and his other brother Darryl — had been nothing but a wacky, indigestion-fueled fantasy within the more realistic world of Newhart’s earlier comedy series. “To me, it was the ultimate wink-wink, nudge-nudge kind of thing,” said Newhart. He can thank his real-life wife, Ginnie, for this idea.
Check out the finale

This series ending was the most-discussed series enders ever. “People still come up to me and talk about it,” says Newhart. “It’s held up to other shows as the standard.”

Kanye Puts Chappelle on the Spot to Be Funny

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Rapper and 2020 presidential candidate, Kanye West tweeted a video showing “true friend,” Dave Chappelle pay him a visit in Wyoming.

In his Tweet video clip, West seemed to mellowed, and maybe even upbeat with a group of friends. At one point, he asked Chappelle to tell a joke: “Alright Dave, can you please make us smile? The world needs some — we need some joy, we need a smile.” “The brotherhood is real,” Chappelle replied. “Love is real.”

West asked Chapelle again to tell an uplifting joke, to which the comedian quipped, “Now you know I don’t write them.” That made the Yeezy designer laugh and he and Chappelle exchanged hugs with Chappelle looking to get the hell out of there.

What Happened At Kanye’s Presidential Rally?

For some reason West was wearing a bullet-proof vest and had “2020” shaved into his hair. West spoke incoherently at his rally this past Sunday without a microphone to a crowd that was not observing social distancing despite the escalating pandemic. In his presidential rally he ranted on a range of topics that seemed to be random thoughts similar to what we see from a Trump rally.

  • Abortion (he’s anti, but believes in giving women proper financial assistance as an alternative). “My mom saved my life,” West said while discussing the issue of abortion. “My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life. There would’ve been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy … I almost killed my daughter.”
  • Addiction (he derided the availability of prescription painkillers),
  • Gun Control (he’s anti; “Shooting guns are fun,” he said)
  • Black Vote (“The most racist thing that’s ever been said out loud is the idea that if Kanye West runs for president, that I’m gonna split the black votes”). West spoke out negatively about abolitionist icon Harriet Tubman: “[She] never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people,” Audience groans.

Earlier this month, West withdrew his long-running support for President Donald Trump and expressed his intention to run for office. “[I’m] taking the red hat off,” he said in a lengthy interview with Forbes. “It looks like one big mess to me. I don’t like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker,” he said, referring to reports that Trump hid in a White House safe room during recent anti-police brutality protests in Washington, D.C.

Is Kanye running or not running for President? I still don’t know.

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Chris Wallace Rejects Trump's Receipts

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Trevor Noah broke down Chris Wallace’s interview with Donald Trump and offered rare praise for FoxNews nonpartisan interview with President Donald Trump.

Despite the belief that Fox is Trump’s favored news outlet, the Chris Wallace interview did not pull any punches and checked Trump on his incorrect and inaccurate assertions. This clip from “The Daily Show” where Trevor Noah praised Wallace’s ability to interrogate the president on an assortment of topics.

Hashtags: #DailyShow #TrevorNoah #Trump #ChrisWallace #foxnewssunday #antitrump #dumptrump #notmypresident #trump #impeachtrump #resist #donaldtrump #trumpmemes #impeach #lockhimup #democrats #trumpsucks #election #maga #putinspuppet #trumpforprison #theresistance #democrat #trumpisajoke #voteblue #politics #liberal #resistance #covid #liarinchief #protest #impeached #bhfyp

Steve Martin Wishes Aishwarya Rai a Speedy Recovery

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The coronavirus pandemic continues to prove no one is immune to this disease. Shockwaves hit India when news broke Covid-19 has struck Bollywood’s royal family, The Bachchans.

Comedian Steve Martin, who worked with the glamorous Bollywood diva, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, in 2009 on Pink Panther 2. Sent his prayers and well wishes via tweet.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter were taken to the hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier this week. The former Miss World is one of Bollywood’s most famous faces, is being treated at Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital, ANI agency reports. Unfortunately, her other famous family members have also contracted Covid-19. They include her husband, Abhishek and father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan and both are in the hospital. The 77 year old patriarch, Amithabh, tweeted he had tested positive for the virus.

News that the family, often described as Bollywood royalty, had been affected by the coronavirus sent shockwaves across India. This week, thousands of fans have held prayers for the family’s recovery. On Friday India recorded a record 35,000 new cases of coronavirus cases in 24 hours, surpassing the one million mark. Unfortunately, India now has now the third-highest number of cases in the world, after the US and Brazil. The current death toll is 25,602.

Check out Rai hold her own on with David Letterman

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Airplane! 40th Anniversary

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It’s summer in 1980 and movie goers were buzzing about a movies like Smokey and the Bandit, new Cheech and Chong movie, and of course, the big elephant in the room The Empire Strikes Back. Big bets were being placed on which studio comedies will dominate the summer box office. Will it be The Blues Brothers or Caddyshack? But out of nowhere came Airplane! to become the biggest summer movie.

Airplane! original trailer

Coming off 1978’s wildly successful and crazy funny National Lampoon’s Animal House, Studios began to think they could own the summers with big studio comedies. This $2.7M budgeted rude and crude snobs-vs-slobs frat-house comedy managed chug up $140M at the box office that summer and managed to blow past Mel Brooks’ classic Blazing Saddles as the highest-grossing comedy of all time.

National Lampoon’s Animal House original trailer

Blazing Saddles original trailer

As an encore, the creative team behind the 1978 classic, split into two camps to focus on other projects. John Landis and SNL’s John Belushi went to Chicago to work on The Blues Brothers while co-writers Harold Ramis and Doug Kenney went to Florida to make the anarchic country-club satire, Caddyshack. So, its no wonder no one paid any attention to Airplane!.

Blues Brothers original trailer

Caddyshack original trailer

Big bets and egos were on the line as industry insiders were glued to these chaotic productions and desperately trying to figure out who will come out on top and which cast and crew will consume the most cocaine. So, it’s no surprise no attention was paid to Paramount’s absurdly tiny movie filled with a barrage of slapstick humor that flew under everyone’s radar.

The movie origin begins with childhood friends David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker (a creative team later re-christened “ZAZ” after the initials of their last names). In 1971, this trio formed a sketch comedy troupe called The Kentucky Fried Theater while attending University of Wisconsin in Madison. They were obsessed over old cheesy B-movies they would watch together and ad-libbed their own nonsensical dialogue. Imagine a very early version of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

One of those B-movies was Zero Hour!, a preposterously straight-faced 1957 B-movie that starred Dana Andrews and Sterling Hayden. Wait of it… the plot revolved around a commercial flight where pilots and passengers were stricken with food poisoning forcing an ex-WWII fighter pilot to land the plane in heavy fog.

Since Abrahams and the Zucker lacked hands-on movie making experience, they began their foray into the movie world in 1977 by collaborating to write and produce an independently financed, buckshot collection of off-kilter sophomoric gags and drive-by film parodies called The Kentucky Fried Movie. Since none of them had any clue how to direct, they turned to a 26-year-old high school dropout named John Landis, whose only directing credit had been a $60,000 cheapie about a guy in a gorilla suit that was appropriately titled Shlock.

Abrahams and the Zucker boys went off to write Airplane! and tried unsuccessfully to get the movie made. Finally, Michael Eisner, then the head of Paramount, read it, liked it and agreed to give the trio a $3.5M budget to go make this movie figuring there was very little downside to this premise.

The key to what makes Airplane! so damn funny is that the ZAZ team made the creative decision to fill their cast with non-comic actors who could deliver absurd one-liners with deadpan conviction while not winking toward the audience.

Originally written for David Letterman, Robert Hays would ultimately beat out Bruce Jenner for the lead role of the psychologically scarred combat pilot Ted Striker. Julie Hagerty edged out Sigourney Weaver and future Cheers star Shelley Long as Striker’s stewardess flame, Elaine. Very quickly the cast was rounded out with Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Nielsen, and Peter Graves who initially was hesitant.

According to Jerry Zucker, when Graves first read the script, he threw it in the trash, thinking that his pilot character, Captain Oveur, who asks a young boy whether he’s ever seen a grown man naked and if he likes gladiator films, came off like a pedophile. Eventually, he came on board.

Here’s the full scene that almost scared Peter Graves away.

Cut back to that summer 40 years ago. Two of the most anticipated big studio comedies go over schedule and millions over budget (thanks in part to John Belushi’s spiraling cocaine habit), Universal’s eagerly awaited The Blues Brothers opened June 20 to lukewarm reviews. Little over a month later, Caddyshack came out to harsh reviews and weak box office. The immediate sleeper sensation came out on July 2nd. While Airplane! also got its share of bad reviews, movie critics had to admit its sophomoric sensibilities was funny.

Airplane! would go on to earn back its $3.5 million budget in its first five days in wide release and snowballed into a word-of-mouth hit, eventually pulling in $83M domestically and ultimately became the fourth-highest grossing movie of the year behind only The Empire Strikes Back, 9 to 5, and the Richard Pryor & Gene Wilder ex-con caper Stir Crazy.

Forty years later, Airplane! is now in esteem company of films on the Library of Congress Film Registry. Something that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone who can quote large stretches of the film’s indelible dialogue. The movie has held up really well because it’s still crazy funny. It’s a timeless comedy classic thanks to the creative decision by the directors whose only direction after saying “Action” was: “Pretend you don’t know you’re in a comedy.” After all, as long as there are actors—whether they’re A-list stars or bit players—who take themselves too seriously, puncturing and deflating them will never go out of style. Like Airplane! itself, it’s timeless.

Best Airplane! clips