Comedy Wrap

Everything that is going on in the comedy world

Oscars 2020 Hostless Again

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2020 Academy Awards (92nd telecast) will be on ABC Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. For the second consecutive year, the 2020 awards show will be hostless.

Billy Crystal stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live and quickly commiserated about the Oscars ceremony. Between the two of them they have hosted Hollywood’s biggest event 11 times (9 for Crystal & 2 for Kimmel). So, it would make sense for these guys on the eve of this year’s telecast to talk about show going hostless again.

“This year is another no-host show, which is like having a trial without witnesses,” said Crystal alluding to Donald Trump’s impeachment proceeding. “It moves faster, but it’s not quite the result that you want.”

Kimmel asked Crystal if he thought having a host was important. “Well, yeah! Don’t you?” the comedian responded. “It seems like it,” Kimmel said.

Check out their exchange…

Despite not having a host, plenty of stars will be on hand to pass out golden statues. Here’s what to expect from the 2020 Oscars.

In addition to airing on TV, the ceremony will be available to live stream on and the ABC app, which can be accessed by signing in with a participating TV provider. Those living abroad will be able to watch the ceremony. The Academy announced that the Oscars will again be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

To make things interesting for those going or hosting their own Oscar viewing parties to watch the red carpet to fawn over best or hate on the worst dressed celebrities, FanDuel is trying to get in on the action. FanDuel has made it easier and more fun for everyone watching by providing a printable pdf list of all nominees across all categories to make it easier to wager and get through a show that might as long as 3+ hours.

Democrats Need to Fight Dirty Like Republicans

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This week Senate Republicans voted to block any witnesses from appearing in front of the judge at the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. On late night’s Real Time With Bill Maher, the host didn’t hide his disappointment as he opened Friday night’s episode with a defeatist attitude. “Good news: the impeachment trial is almost over. The bad: so is rule of law in America.”

He goes on to say …“It’s a done deal” when it comes to Trump’s acquittal. “ This is going to happen. Trump will be acquitted on Wednesday. Republicans have nothing left to do but dot the i’s, cross the t’s, and f*ck the u’s.”

But it was his “New Rule” segment, Bill Maher offered his advice to Democrats … it’s time to fight dirty and offers two political ads to help them get started.

Preview of 2020 SuperBowl Ads

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SuperBowl remains one of the last annual programming events on TV that can deliver a massive US TV audience. Every year, big brands look to the SuperBowl as the best opportunity to put out their best creative work and/or launch new campaigns.

This year FOX will host the SuperBowl and will collect a large portion of this year’s biggest ad budgets. Initially, FOX sold 77 30 second ad units, but brands are going long with their ads, resulting in fewer spots in the game. So after FOX sold out its initial ad inventory by late November, they managed to find new real estate by creating an additional 2.5-minute ad pod opportunity to rope more brands into the big game. That means this year viewers can expect to see about 50 total commercials in Super Bowl 2020. It has been reported that FOX is selling 30 second ads going as much as $5.6M per ad spot (one 30 second ad).

Here’s a sneak peak of this year’s biggest commercials for the Big Game that will feature the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Feb. 2.

Smaht Pahk — Hyundai Features Chris Evans, John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch, and Big Papi himself, David Ortiz, Hyundai had fun with the traditional Boston accent. This year’s 2020 Hyundai Sonata features Remote Smart Parking Assist or, as the three Massachusetts natives and the New England sports legend call it, “smaht pahk.”

Whassup Again — Budweiser/Uber Budweiser teamed up with Uber to bring back Budweiser’s classic “Waaaassssup” commercial that will feature an entire house full of smart home devices taking center stage.

Monologue — Doritos Doritos brought Sam Elliott and Lil Nas X together for some comedic relief.

Where It All Began — Cheetos MC Hammer is featured in this Cheetos ad appears has the legendary hip hop star revisit where his hit 1990 song U Can’t Touch This began.

Dirty Laundry — Tide Charlie Day from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Emily Hampshire from Schitt’s Creek features the pair of actors literally going through their own dirty laundry.

Before Alexa — Amazon Features Ellen Degeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, at least briefly wonder out loud what people did before Alexa.

Jimmy Works It Out — Michelob Ultra Jimmy Fallon buddies up with John Cena and viewers will see these two guys hang out.

2020 Big Game Commercial — Pringles Rick and Morty bring their meta, fourth-wall-breaking antics to push Pringles.

Famous Visitors — Walmart Playing off the slogan “out-of-this-world convenience,” plenty of otherworldly figures will be featured.

As Good as The Original — Mountain Dew Running with the tagline “as good as the original,” Mountain Dew creates a shot-for-shot remake of an iconic scene from The Shining.

Daniel Craig vs. James BondHeineken Heineken ad has some fun playing up the differences between the real-world Craig and fictional 007.

Winona in Winona — Squarespace Winona Ryder travels to Winona, Minnesota, to find out what Winona is really all about.

Let it GoAudi Audi’s ad mixes Frozen‘s Let it Go with a Game of Thrones fan favorite.

All People Are Tax People — TurboTax Tries to convince viewers that doing their taxes are actually fun.

Throw a Punch for the Children

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” Friday night after officially sending the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate.

A lot has been said about Speaker Pelosi, but even her most harshest critics begrudgingly respect Speaker Pelosi for her ability to play Trump like a fiddle. In the season 18 premiere of Real Time, Pelosi was greeted as a rock star. She took questions on a whole host of issues and got props from Maher and his audience for her resiliency and perseverance she demonstrated in her current role as Speaker.

Maher also discussed with Pelosi on her reputation in the Democratic Party. “A lot of your accomplishments, instead of standing shoulder to shoulder with you and saying this is the person who saved the country, helped Obama from going into a depression by passing the stimulus, saved the automobile industry, got Dodd-Frank passed, and got health care, got Obama care passed, you’re kind of our Iron Lady here on the left,” Maher said to raucous applause. “I feel like the Democratic Party very often is the victim of their own purity tests.”

“Oh, I don’t worry about that,” Pelosi said of how younger members of the Democratic Party view her. “But in terms of me because I’m in the arena, you go in there, you go in, you have to be ready to take a punch, and you have to be ready to throw a punch, for the children.” “Love the children,” Maher said as the audience laughed. This got one of the biggest laughs for the night.

“What I am concerned about for the children is the future of this country and we have to have our common ground a mainstream message,” she said. “Now in [the most] recent election, we won, we showed in the House we know how to win, disciplined, focused, cold-blooded in terms of just winning.”

Here you can watch her full interview.

Dave Chappelle Endorses Andrew Yang

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Comedian Dave Chappelle officially endorsed Andrew Yang, a tech entrepreneur, for president. According to Yang’s campaign press release, Chappelle said “I’m Yang Gang.”

Chappelle is set to perform two shows in South Carolina, a crucial early-voting state, later this month to benefit Yang’s campaign. The shows will be in Columbia on January 29 and North Charleston on January 30. Chappelle joins actor Ken Jeong and actor/singer/rapper Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, as the latest celebrity to express support for Yang. Yang and Glover launched a merchandise collaboration at a one-time-only pop-up store in Los Angeles last month. Glover has also taken on a creative consultant role on the campaign.

“Dave is one of the most important voices in our country today and I’m thrilled he has thrown his support behind this campaign,” Yang said in the statement. “He and I share similar concerns about the future and hopes for what it could be. We are also parents who see the world that we are leaving to our kids and believe they deserve better.” Chappelle is among the most famous comedians in the US.

In October, Chappelle received the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Laughs Stop at CollegeHumor Media

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Shortly after CollegeHumor launched its online brand it was regarded as high-flying comedy brand that featured edgy sketches and satire.

Unfortunately the laughs will stop at CollegeHumor as they become the latest victim of the fast-changing digital media landscape. The humor site struggled to monetize its video content and couldn’t keep up with emerging streaming services like Netflix. Many online brands are finding it difficult to keep their audiences.

IAC has owned CollegeHumor since 2006. Founded in 1999, CollegeHumor targets people aged 18 to 49 and has more than 15 million unique monthly visitors, according to its website. IAC has been shifting its portfolio to focus on growth areas like online dating. it’s looking to spinoff one of its biggest moneymakers: Match Group Inc., which also owns dating app Tinder. It agreed to buy caregiver marketplace last month for $500 million, including debt. IAC owns more than 150 brands and products, including the video-sharing platform Vimeo and the Daily Beast news website.

CollegeHumor brands include CollegeHumor, Dorkly, Drawfee, and Dropout — only five to 10 people are left, according to Bloomberg.

Academy Awards Hate Funny Movies

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One has to wonder who exactly determines what movies are worthy of Academy Award nominations. Is it based on box office performance? This year’s (2020) Oscar nominations were either box office winners or had a populist revolution theme.

Below is a full list of Best Picture nominations and their box office grosses (as of Jan. 14) for 2020 Oscar best picture nominees:

“Ford v Ferrari” Domestic box office: $111 million Global box office: $211 million

“The Irishman” Domestic box office: N/A Global box office: $961,224

“Jojo Rabbit” Domestic box office: $21.9 million Global box office: $30 million

“Joker” Domestic box office: $334 million Global box office: $1.06 billion

“Little Women” Domestic box office: $74 million Global box office: $107 million

“Marriage Story” Domestic box office: N/A Global box office: $317,060

“1917” Domestic box office: $39 million Global box office: $60 million

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” Domestic box office: $141 million Global box office: $372 million

“Parasite” Domestic box office: $25 million Global box office: $132 million

Review of Monday’s most notable Oscar snubs and you’ll see a common disqualifying factor (no comedians or comedy actors): Eddie Murphy in “Dolemite Is My Name,” Adam Sandler in “Uncut Gems” and Awkwafina in “The Farewell.” Despite recognition of their respective performances, no nominations for them.

Sandler was named best actor by the National Board of Review, Murphy was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a handful of prizes from critics’ groups, and Awkwafina won best actress in a comedy at the Golden Globes.

In my opinion, past Academy Awards slights include two broadly comic performances: Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder”, Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”, Tiffany Haddish in “Girls Trip,” and Kristen Wiig in “Bridesmaids,” just to name a few.

Use post holidays and back to work doldrums of January to catch up on the Oscar nominated movies you may have missed over the past year. But don’t skip “Uncut Gems,” “Dolemite Is My Name” and the sublime “The Farewell.” You’ll see these movies got the last laugh on the Oscars.

PBS Will Broadcast Dave Chappelle's Mark Twain Prize Ceremony

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PBS will broadcast Dave Chappelle’s award ceremony of him receiving the Mark Twain Prize for Humor for merit back in October 2019. Peers and friends will gather to celebrate Chappelle’s genius. The program will includes footage from the ceremony and a stand-up set performed the night before.

Chappelle, who co-created Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show,” told the Oct. 26 2019 DC Improv audience it was his wit that served as his protection shield while growing up in the nation’s capital.

It also be known that Chappelle does not shy away from controversy. In his most recent Netflx stand-up special, “Sticks & Stones,” the comic questioned the validity of sexual abuse allegations of Michael Jackson accusers and downplayed Louis C.K.’s sexual misconduct.

From that same DC Improv stage, Chappelle said he was honored to receive the award. “Man, I cannot tell you what it is like to get an honor like this in the very city I started from,” he began. “In fact, a little trivia for you: The first show in this very room, I was the first comedian on stage. It was me, a guy named Brian Regan, and some (lesbian) named Ellen DeGeneres. We didn’t know she was gay back then. We were all trying to get (with her)”.

The stand-up’s candor was applauded during the Kennedy Center ceremony by “Saturday Night Live” cast member/comedian Michael Che. “When we talk about honesty, we talk about not being afraid to tell people the truth about how we feel. Because that’s the connection that comedians can have with people, and I think nobody does it better than you, ever,” Che told Chappelle. “He’s willing to make fun of everybody, whether you’re white or gay – end of list.”

What does Chappelle mean to comedy nerds? I’ll let Neal Brennan (co-creator of Chappelle show) explain.

Ricky Gervais Hosts Golden Globes for the 5th Time

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There are some comedians despite their mainstream success are just not funny to everyone. I would say Ricky Gervais is one of the most controversial Golden Globes hosts in recent history. Imagine an awards show host who makes jokes about the people being honored, insults the organization (that hired him) behind the show, and manages to turn a celebratory and self-serving event into a mini roast.

So why would the Hollywood Foreign Press Association asked the acerbic comic to return for the fifth time? Ratings. This all comes down to getting TV eyeballs and social media buzz. Basically every TV award shows are struggling to get people to tune in. It’s not hard to image the show producers sitting around the their conference table and say …“Let’s get a seemingly unpredictable (and mean) host shoot off a few controversial jokes to generate some interest and excitement.”

Just look at the NBC promo for 77th annual Golden Globes features Gervais spraying the cameras with champagne as a narrator promises, “As usual, we have no idea what he’s going to do!”

On a recent episode of The Graham Norton Show, Gervais revealed that the producers really don’t know what he’s going to do. When Norton asked about whether they approve Gervais' script, the comic explained, “When I do [the show], I say, ‘I’m gonna say what I want, I don’t have to rehearse,’ and they say, ‘That’s fine.’ But I do have to tell a lawyer [the jokes] just before I go on.” Norton said, “People ask, ‘Why do you go to so much trouble to offend people?’ to which Gervais laughingly replied, "It’s no trouble. It’s easy.”

So what should people at home expect to see? Here’s a quick recap of Gervais most controversial, offensive, biting, occasionally hilarious and downright brutal jokes from his four previous appearances.

In 2010 Gervais was tapped to host after the awards show had gone without a host of nearly six decades. No expectations or an understanding of what was about to befall one of Hollywood’s most fun evenings – Gervais hit the stage and truly shocked everyone with his brand of take-no-prisoners comedy.

Totally unafraid of mocking celebrities right to their face, Gervais brought the same kind of biting, often painfully awkward, fearless comedic sensibilities to the ceremony that he pioneered in his sitcoms The Office and Extras. And, honestly, a lot of people weren’t down with it.

Gervais Kicks Things Off With Genital Humor

“Looking at all the wonderful faces here today reminds me of the great work that’s been done this year – by cosmetic surgeons,” Gervais joked. “I’ve had some work done, too. I’ve had a penis reduction. Just got the one now. And it is very tiny. But then so are my hands, so when I’m holding it it looks pretty big.”

He Pokes Fun at Anglina Jolie’s Adoptions

“Actors aren’t just loved here in Hollywood, they are loved the world over. You could be in the third world and get a glimpse of a Hollywood star and it could make you feel a little bit better,“ Gervais said. "You could be a little Asian child with no possessions and no money. But you could see a picture of Angelina Jolie and you’d think, ‘Mommy!’”

He Starts His Public Comedic Feud With Mel Gibson

“I hope I haven’t offended anyone. It’s not my fault,” Gervais said toward the end of the show, holding up his glass of beer. “I like a drink as much as the next man. Unless the next man is Mel Gibson.”

In 2011

Gervais Takes Aim at Scientology

“Also not nominated, I Love You Phillip Morris. Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay. So the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists, then,“ Gervais quipped, adding, "My lawyers helped with that joke.”

He Takes On Charlie Sheen

“It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking – or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast.” Gervais said. “Wow, so let’s get this straight, so what he did was, he picked up a porn star, paid her to have dinner with him, introduced her to his ex-wife – as you do – went to a hotel, got drunk, got naked, trashed the place while she was locked in a cupboard, and that was a Monday. What does he do New Year’s Eve?”

Gervais Mocks Hugh Hefner’s Marriage

“Talking of the walking dead, congratulations to Hugh Hefner, who is getting married at age 84 to 24-year-old beauty Crystal Harris,” Gervais said. “When asked why she was marrying him, she said, ‘He lied about his age. He told me he was 94.’”

He Rips Into The Tourist, Accuses HFPA of Taking Bribes

“It was a big year for 3-D movies. Toy Story, Despicable Me, Tron. It seemed like everything this year was three-dimensional. Except the characters in The Tourist,” Gervais siad. “I already feel bad about that joke. I tell you what, I’m jumping on the bandwagon, because I haven’t even seen The Tourist. Who has? But it must be good because it’s nominated, so shut up, OK?”

“And I’d like to crush this ridiculous rumor that the only reason The Tourist was nominated was so that the foreign press of could hang out with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie,” he added. “That was not the only reason – they also accepted bribes.”

He Goes After the Women of Sex In The City

“There were a lot of big films that didn’t get nominated this year. Nothing for Sex and the City 2. No, I was sure the Golden Globe for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed that poster. Great job,” Gervais said. “Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza.”

In 2012

Gervais Goes After Royal Families, The Oscars and Eddie Murphy All At Once

“For any of you who don’t know, the Golden Globes are just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem,” Gervais joked. “The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton: A bit louder, a bit trashier, a bit drunker and more easily bought – allegedly. Nothing’s been proved.”

“But who needs the Oscars? Not me. And not Eddie Murphy,” Gervais continued. “He walked out on them. And good for him! But when the man who said ‘yes’ to Norbit says ‘no’ to you, you know you’re in trouble.”

He Pokes Fun at Natalie Portman’s Decision to Be a Mom

“Last year, our next presenter won both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for her work in Black Swan. This year, she took some time out to have a baby. Consequently, she’s been nominated for nothing. Really pathetic,” Gervais joked. “But she learned that valuable lesson you all already knew – never put family first. Please welcome the very foolish Natalie Portman.”

He Also Attacked Hollywood’s Sweetheart Colin Firth

“He’s also swooned over by women. I don’t see it. Good luck to him. … What you don’t know about Colin Firth is he’s very racist. I mean, really nasty stuff. I’ve also seen him punch a little blind kitten,“ Gervais deadpanned. "Please welcome the evil Colin Firth.”

Finally, in 2016

Gervais Sets the Tone Right Off the Bat

The comedian kicked things off with exactly the kind of satirical abuse people expected, amped up to 11, telling the star-studded audience, “Shh. Shut up, you disgusting, pill-popping, sexually deviant scum.”

Gervais Jokes About Caitlyn Jenner’s Transition and a Fatal Car Accident

“I’m going to be nice tonight. I’ve changed – not as much as Bruce Jenner. Obviously. Now Caitlyn Jenner, of course,” Gervais said. “What a year she’s had! She became a role model for trans-people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers. But you can’t have everything, can ya? Not at the same time.”

He Makes Light of Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal and Roman Polanski

“The excellent Spotlight has been nominated. Yeah. The Catholic Church are furious about the film as it exposes that 5 percent of all their priests have repeatedly molested children and been allowed to continue to work without punishment,” Gervais explained. “Roman Polanski called it ‘the best date movie ever.’”

Gervais Makes a Good Point About the Gender-Based Pay Gap In Hollywood

“All-female remakes are the big thing. There’s a female remake of Ghostbusters. There’s going to be a female remake of Ocean’s 11,” Gervais explained. “And this is brilliant for the studios because they get guaranteed box office results and they don’t have to spend too much money on the cast.”

He Jokes About Using His Own Golden Globe as a Sex Toy

“Remember if you do win tonight, no one cares about that award as much as you do. Don’t get emotional, it’s embarrassing. That award is, no offense, worthless. It’s a bit of metal some nice old confused journalists wanted to give you in person so they could meet you and have a selfie with you, okay? That’s all it is!” Gervais said, “I’ve got three Golden Globes, myself. One’s a doorstop, one I use to hit burglars with and one I keep by the bed to… doesn’t matter why. It’s mine! I won it fair and square. It’s just the right shape and size… It’s nothing.”

“So, to be clear, that was a joke about me shoving a Golden Globe, that I won, up my a**. And they asked me to host four times!” he added.

He Makes Things Awkward for Matt Damon

One of the most audible gasps of the night came when Gervais brought Damon out as a presenter and introduced him as “The only person Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to.”

He Finally Shares the Stage With Mel Gibson

After savaging Gibson multiple times during his times as host, Gervais finally had to share the stage with the controversial actor – who was asked to come out and present a tribute to Mad Max: Fury Road, which was nominated for Best Picture.

“I’m in the awkward position of having to introduce him again. Listen, I’m sure it’s embarrassing for both of us. I blame NBC for this terrible situation. Mel blames…we know who Mel blames,” Gervais said. “Listen, I still feel a bit bad for it. Mel’s forgotten all about it apparently, that’s what drinking does. I want to say something nice about Mel before he comes out. So: I’d rather have a drink with him in his hotel room tonight than with Bill Cosby.

Gervais will take the stage for his fifth and (supposedly) final time when the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony kicks off live coast-to-coast on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 5 from 5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET from The Beverly Hilton.

Eddie Murphy Delivers SNL It's Biggest Audience in 11 Years!

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Eddie Murphy’s SNL return was not only one of the best episodes in the show’s history, he also managed to deliver a 11-year audience high in viewership when delayed DVR playback is taken into account.

Eddie Murphy’s long-awaited SNL return on Dec. 21 2019 (Christmas show) gifted NBC’s late night comedy variety series its biggest-ever lift when counting a week’s worth of delayed viewing, according to Nielsen.

This was a special SNL as it marked Murphy’s return for the first time in 35 years plus the show featured pop star Lizzo as its musical guest. The final episode of 2019 averaged 16.3 million total viewers in Nielsen’s “Live + 7 Day” data, marking an increase of 6.3 million viewers over a week’s worth of mostly DVR playback.

The Dec. 21st episode also hit an 11-year SNL audience high in Live + 7 Day viewing, which now represents the largest time-shifted audience since its Oct. 18, 2008 telecast. That episode featured Sarah Palin, who was being impersonated by Tina Fey, with Josh Brolin serving as host and the musical guest was Adele averaged 16.8 million viewers with a week of delayed viewing.

Eddie Murphy viewing grew to 4.4 P18-49 (advertiser-coveted demo) rating. That’s the highest-rated episode in Live + 7 Day rating since Alec Baldwin’s Feb 11, 2017 appearance as host (musical guest Ed Sheeran).

SNL is currently in its 45th TV season and season-to-date (Sept'19 - Dec'21st) Eddie’s stint as host was up +112% in the key demo (4.4 vs. 2.1) and up +91% in total viewers (16.3 million vs. 8.5 million).

“SNL” will return with its first 2020 episode on Jan. 25 with host Adam Driver and Halsey as musical guest.