Summary of “How to Quit Your Job and Get Into Comedy”

Most late-night jobs, from Saturday Night Live to The Daily Show to Late Night With Seth Meyers, will require you to submit a packet of sketches in order to be in contention for a staff writing job.
Just like how improv introduced you to crucial components of a general comedic equation, sketch writing helps you translate onto the page what you may have learned in a less structured performance space.
Whether you go through multiple levels in each improv and sketch school’s program or decide short form just isn’t your thing, the tenets of using your keyboard to set a scene, introduce a funny premise quickly, build upon that premise, and get out with a bang will teach you how to write things people laugh at.
Comedy Career Skills Developed: Original idea generation, joke writing, story development.
Now’s the time to head back to your idea list and look at how many jokes you’ve written down versus how many sketches, essays, short film ideas, TV pitches, and feature takes.
Download an actual shooting script from the show you want to spec and take a look at where the show’s writers placed act breaks, how they structured dialogue, and how they broke the episode’s overall story.
Comedy Career Skills Developed: Idea generation, story development, writing.
Comedy Career Skills Developed: Idea generation, pitching, writing prose, networking.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘BoJack Horseman’ to ‘Rick and Morty’: Inside the Rise of Animated Comedy”

Bob-Waksberg’s critically hailed Netflix comedy – is building on a trail blazed by shows like Fox’s The Simpsons and FXX’s Archer – and has helped the genre break free of a stigma that came with cartoons like The Flintstones and The Jetsons.
The genre, which also includes Emmy-winning comedies Bob’s Burgers and Rick and Morty, continues to explore darker subjects that reflect issues in the world today.
Bob-Waksberg is adding to his Netflix slate with Tuca and Bertie, starring Tiffany Haddish, and Amazon’s Undone, with the latter set to bow next year as its first half-hour adult animated comedy.
Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, fresh off an Emmy win and massive 70-episode renewal for the Adult Swim comedy, also earned a two-season order for Solar Opposites, which will join a Hulu library that includes Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and South Park.
The push comes as streamers have turned their focus to building up animation after helping to drastically change the market for live-action scripted originals and stand-up comedy specials.
Animated comedies continue to be in high demand as they are typically cheaper to produce than live-action scripted originals, can better accommodate busy stars juggling multiple projects and are more prone to co-viewing among families.
Bob’s Burgerscreator Bouchard, who started his career at Comedy Central working on Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, credits the freedom networks allowed at the time to the fueling the genre’s creative spark.
On Amazon’s Undone, Bob-Waksberg is teaming with BoJack’s Kate Purdy, who won a WGA Award for her work on the Netflix comedy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Romantic comedies are having a moment. Can it last?”

All three hew to romantic comedy conventions but with a twist, and suddenly it feels like rom-coms may be back after all.
A lot of the very perfunctory romantic subplots in superhero movies feel ripped directly from the rom-com playbook.
The rom-com and its stars are in a symbiotic relationship: The right stars will make a romantic comedy sing, and the right romantic comedy can jump-start its stars’ careers.
There’s every indication that the audience will be there – for instance, look how successful K-dramas, with their shameless embrace of rom-com tropes and their tendency to retell well-known storylines, have been, both overseas and in the US. I also want to mention Love, Simon and perhaps even Moonlight and Call Me by Your Name here, because while those latter two aren’t rom-coms, and Love, Simon might be arguably more of a teen comedy than a rom-com, they collectively indicate an emerging positive space for queer romance.
It pains me endlessly to realize that the last queer rom-com I can remember making a mainstream splash is 2005’s Imagine Me & You – which is also one of the few really pure, trope-a-licious queer rom-coms.
Genevieve: I’m going to table that question for just a moment, Todd, because this is probably a good place to acknowledge that the past 20 years or so have seen their fair share of black romantic comedies, very few of which have been able to break out of that unfortunately niche distinction but have collectively established a roster of black actors with a proven history of carrying a rom-com.
Part of what killed the romantic comedy in the mid-’00s was that the biggest studio rom-coms, your How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or your Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, were getting increasingly slick and smarmy and cynical.
They followed the formula of a rom-com on a surface level – aspirational jobs, fancy clothes, beautiful people – but they were made with a palpable contempt for both their characters and the people who enjoy watching romantic comedies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Mel Brooks: Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man”

Mel Brooks has just turned 92, and, as far as anyone can tell, he is unaltered.
At other times, he murmurs rapidly, teenage-style, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” No one is ever likely to miss a Mel Brooks joke, since he speaks, sometimes roars, with great precision.
On Broadway, in 2007, Brooks and the director Susan Stroman mounted a musical version of the material, a show that Brooks now calls “Lugubrious.” It was only moderately successful, so he cut about 40 minutes, bringing the entire evening down to about two hours, and that version has been playing at the Garrick Theatre in London since last September.
On one occasion, Reiner asked him, “How do you differentiate between tragedy and comedy?” and Brooks answered, “If I’ll cut my finger, that’s tragedy. Comedy is if you walk into an open sewer and die.”
Brooks hit emotional pay dirt by teasing the sensitivities of the Jews, and he did it even more aggressively 13 years later in History of the World: Part I. That movie, an alarming pastiche-masterwork panned by several critical stiffs, including me, might be called a celebration of barbarous behavior throughout the ages-in the caves, during the Roman Empire, during the Spanish Inquisition, in the court of Louis XVI. Brooks again made musical comedy out of Jewish suffering-this time the persecutions of the Spanish Inquisition, with strung-up bearded Jews tormented by a singing-and-dancing Grand Inquisitor while merry nuns, also giving Jews a hard time, shed their habits and dive into a pool one after another like Esther Williams’s swimming chorines.
A few years later, he wound up writing gags and skits for the legendary comic Sid Caesar, whom he had first met in the Catskills during World War II. By 1950, Brooks was in Caesar’s writers’ room, which eventually included such luminaries as Lucille Kallen, Mel Tolkin, Larry Gelbart, Neil Simon, and Woody Allen, all of them laboring for the great man’s TV shows and specials: most famously Your Show of Shows, which ran from 1950 to 1954, and then Caesar’s Hour, which ran from 1954 to 1957.
He turned to Brooks without warning and said, “Here is a man who was actually at the scene of the crucifixion 2,000 years ago.”
Mel Brooks comes to his office in Culver City from Monday to Friday.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘I broke the contract’: how Hannah Gadsby’s trauma transformed comedy”

During the live run of Hannah Gadsby’s standup show, Nanette, she found herself sleeping 15 hours a night, then taking naps during the day.
In Nanette, Gadsby exposes and then destroys that formula.
In the first third of Nanette, Gadsby deconstructs the autobiographical material she has aired over the years, including a tale about nearly getting beaten up at a bus stop, which gets the audience laughing gamely.
“A lot of people who have experienced trauma at the hands of people they’ve trusted take responsibility, and that is what’s toxic,” Gadsby says.
Thompson contacted her after seeing Nanette in Edinburgh, and Gadsby stayed with her during the London dates.
Before getting into comedy, Gadsby drifted, taking a variety of jobs across different states, from planting trees to cinema projectionist – surely the introvert’s dream vocation.
“He’s obviously an unwell kid and there’s a lot of that in comedy,” says Gadsby.
Doubters may question Gadsby’s declaration in Nanette that she is quitting comedy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bill Maher, Hannah Gadsby, and the State of Stand-Up Comedy”

Last weekend, as Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix phenomenon Nanette continued to rack up impassioned reviews and think pieces, Bill Maher aired a new HBO special, Live From Oklahoma.
If you look at what both performers have served up as examples of their personal best, it’s hard not to be embarrassed for Maher, as well as anyone else in comedy who feels more kinship with him than with somebody like Gadsby.
Gadsby poses a question which, if answered affirmatively, would validate her stated wish to quit doing stand-up: What if “Funny” is the enemy of “Honest,” or at least at cross-purposes with it? There’s plenty of funny surrounding the comparatively brief sections where she talks about being beaten up on the street by a homophobic man at age 17, and raped after that, and Gadsby constantly introduces and then releases tension throughout, usually by way of jokes.
To illustrate this idea, Gadsby tells a joke that both she and the audience agree is amusing: “What sort of comedian can’t even make the lesbians laugh? Every comedian ever.” When the room dies down, Gadsby describes that joke as “Bulletproof” because it’s constructed in such a way that its target audience – lesbians – are all but required to laugh at it, in order to prove they aren’t humorless.
Gadsby does variations of that trick throughout Nanette, always pulling us along to the next joke, the next deconstruction of a joke, the next touching or wrenching personal anecdote, pointing out at each stage how she’s shaped the material to elicit certain reactions, and how other comedians find their own ways of doing it, whether their larger goal is to stimulate the audience’s imagination, shut down dissent, or just hear themselves talk.
Maher’s special is listless, comedy-flavored grumbling – an hour of the same formless, theoretically liberal but sounds libertarian posturing that fills up Real Time With Bill Maher.
Two-thirds consists of “Jokes” about President Donald Trump that were tired even before they hit the air and will have less of a shelf life than Maher venting on his weekly show.
While Maher is content to serve reheated runoff from his HBO show, Gadsby takes us on a guided tour of a range of human experiences, along with a Socratic discourse on the essence of comedy and storytelling, their role in liberating individuals and reinforcing social norms, and the falseness of “Separating the art from the artist” when the art is always informed by the artist’s personality, life experience, and moral code or lack thereof.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The best TV of 2018 so far”

Final episodes of long-running shows are fiendishly difficult to pull off, let alone final seasons, and a list of subpar TV conclusions would be long and exhausting, much like those shows’ finales.
Atlanta’s stellar sophomore year was subtitled Robbin’ Season, a reference to a real-life period of increased crime around the holidays, but it was also a potent metaphor for this season’s general aura of unease.
On the evening of May 11, the cop comedy was renewed by NBC. The 24 hours in between were an emotional roller coaster, but if you were watching closely after the show returned from winter hiatus, you were prepared for it: Brooklyn Nine-Nine threw a preemptive Viking funeral at the end of its fifth season, saying farewells to beloved characters like Doug “The Pontiac Bandit” Judy and making preparations for the wedding of Jake and Amy.Brooklyn cops, new girls, last men, and the end of a sitcom lineup for the ages.
The show outdoes itself in the second season; it’s both more pointed and restrained than the first.
Season three might have been set in Italy, but the love story that unfolds in season four is much worthier of the operatic treatment.
We’re only halfway into the first season, but Pose has earned its place among the best that 2018 has to offer.
In its second season, the show kept scaling new heights by branching out, turning their talents to a sweet Southern mom trying to get her gay son to come back to the church, and a trans man navigating a brand new life.
A devastating episode of American Crime Story is the season’s best yet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Finalists For The 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Are Hysterical”

The beauty of nature can often inspire awe or wonder.
If you have a quick shutter finger and a little luck, you might be able to capture a frame that will elicit laughter.
That’s what we’re here to celebrate today.
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards – an annual competition that exists to both find the world’s funniest nature photograph and spread awareness about conservation efforts – has named the finalists for its 2017 competition, and they’re really something.
You can see all of the finalists over at the contest’s website, and you should because they’re all wonderful.
The seal who is shocked and appalled at whatever it is that’s on his friend’s chin.
Penguins who have clearly yet to master object permanence.
O :O. Wild about these photos? Take a look at some of the funniest nature pics from 2016, or head on over to the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards website to see the rest of this year’s finalists.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Most Riveting Host in Late Night”

In his first years on TBS, Mr. O’Brien still seemed haunted by losing “The Tonight Show,” but his series now has the pleasing eccentricity of someone who doesn’t care about ratings or expectations.
Mr. O’Brien’s brand of silliness has always been delightfully, often gruesomely askew.
They won’t age well, and Mr. O’Brien, generally speaking, aims for jokes that depend less on the news cycle than his competitors do.
This even extends to how Mr. O’Brien handles politics.
While he does an ordinary joke or two about President Trump every night, he also produced one of the most truly daring episodes of political comedy this year, with a September show shot entirely in Israel and the Palestinian territories, one of his many episode-long forays into other cities.
Mr. O’Brien floated in the Dead Sea, engaged in some terrible haggling with street vendors and delivered a minute-long history of the area that covered thousands of years.
Much of the special was simply Mr. O’Brien unscripted, making a connection with game strangers and turning that into an amusing scene.
Comedy doesn’t need to serve a political end to be important.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Mockumentary Is Dead, Long Live the Mockumentary”

A decade has passed since our entertainment hit peak mockumentary, and the genre has been all but forgotten, pushed aside for the current wave of high-stakes drama and dark comedy known as prestige television.
The cast would go on to find their own respective success in comedy, but Guest in particular would make his name synonymous with mockumentary.
The poor opening numbers hinted that American moviegoers weren’t ready for the particular comedy of a mockumentary.
Guest struck gold again in 2003 with his movie A Mighty Wind, another mockumentary that was praised by critics and audiences alike.
Comedy Central teamed up with comedy troupe the State for the Cops spoof Reno 911; Canadian TV was airing the mockumentary-turned-series Trailer Park Boys; over in the United Kingdom, the BBC began broadcasting Ricky Gervais’s The Office, a bone-dry mock documentary about an everyday workplace that became the first British comedy to ever win a Golden Globe Award.
Hollywood finally saw that the mockumentary had the potential for both financial and cultural success-but could it thrive on basic cable and win over a mainstream-sized audience?
Courtesy of ABC. A couple of seasons into The Office, NBC greenlit another mockumentary project from its alumni: Parks and Recreation, which applied the same mock-doc lens to a ragtag team of government employees in small-town America.
The days of the deadpan half-characters and intentionally shoddy camerawork may be behind us, but it wasn’t coldly calculated; audiences seem to have simply moved past the mockumentary.

The orginal article.