The 500 with Josh Adam Meyers

Music and Comedy have very similar purposes to society. Can you name a civilization in the history of the world that didn’t have a version of music or comedy? It is a universal constant throughout the history of the world. The 500 with Josh Adam Meyers combines the incredible world of music and comedy into an hour and a half of podcast gold.

This Spotify exclusive podcast counts down the top 500 albums according to Rolling Stone magazine but with a twist. The host Josh Adam Meyers, a hilarious comic, invites his funny friends and uses “facts from the albums and song meanings as a road map to interview each guest.” The guests are either already fans of the artist/ album they are talking about but you can really tell they did their homework before going into the studio to chat with Josh.

Comedians are also the most suitable people in the entertainment business to comment on such albums. The best of both music and comedy evoke deep emotion from their audience whether it is a song that makes you cry or a joke that makes you laugh (or in today’s society enraged), there is always a reaction. The journeys of a musician are so similar to comedians as well. It takes experience to become a respected musician and years of rejection (for the most part, at least the artists of the albums on The 500 list), which almost every comic has had to experience. There is not one comic that doesn’t have a story about them bombing or a bad show.

It is self-described as “The 500 is the first Music Album Book Club representing the next decade of his life’s work talking to creative about the greatest recorded music in history. The first episode is the last and the last episode is the first. This is the only podcast where you know when it will end, on May 31st, 2028.” You will want it to last forever but unfortunately there is an expiration date.

Josh has gotten great comedians! Every episode has something to offer but here are some notable episodes

  • White Stripes White Blood Cells with Bill Burr
  • BB King Live in Cook County Jail with Ryan Sickler
  • Elvis Costello Armed Forces with Dana Gould
  • Marvin Gaye Here, My Dear with Roy Wood Jr
  • Cyndi Lauper She’s So Unusual with Big Jay Oakerson
  • The Smiths (Self-titled) with Christina P
  • The Fugees The Score with Andrew Santino

For a full list of episodes click here! The podcast world is evolving and can sometimes feel like listing to the same story from the same people. The 500 stands out in the sea of interview podcast! Take a listen!

Tiffany Haddish New Netflix Special

To add to the amazing list of talented comedians releasing new specials this year, Tiffany Haddish has released her new Netflix special, Black Mitzvah. The name of the special came to Haddish after she took an ancestry DNA test that revealed she was of part Jewish descent on her father’s side. The special is now available for streaming and is quickly gaining both traction and notoriety.

Haddish describes the special as a celebration of her own bat mitzvah, the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony that traditionally occurs when one is around thirteen. She adds, “I want to do something that represents growth and maturity.” Haddish’s late father was a Jewish refugee from Eritrea, which she discovered as a teenager. She even had some experience working as an entertainer and dancer at various bar/bat mitzvahs as she started her career.

Early reviews of Black Mitzvah have been favorable and have praised Haddish for her comedic chops. An article by FastCompany claims that it is a “comedy special as PR and it works.” The special highlights her humorous commentary on life, including the moment she discovered she was part Jewish. Check out the trailer HERE. To prepare for the special, she spent time reading the Torah and learning the Jewish language to prepare for her actual upcoming bat mitzvah ceremony she is having to celebrate her heritage as well as her 40th birthday.

Haddish has come on to the comic scene from film roles in Night School, Girls Trip, and Like A Boss. In addition to those credits, she also was part of NBC’s show, The Carmichaels, that aired from 2015-2017 and TBS’ The Last O.G. with Tracy Morgan. Black Mitzvah is her second Netflix special, the first one being They Ready, which premiered earlier this year in August.

Be sure to stream it on Netflix now!

THe HoneyDew With Ryan Sickler

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt there was no escape? Have you ever experienced something that you didn’t think you could come back from? Do think about it now and realize that it only made you who you are today?  When you tell the story of it now, are you able to laugh at it?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then The HoneyDew with Ryan Sickler is the perfect podcast for you.  Every Tuesdee, you can hear some of the best storytellers talk about some of their lowest points in life. Hear how they bounced back and are able to laugh at it now.

If you answered no to any of these questions then this is the perfect podcast for you too. Listening to Sickler and his guests talk about some of the darkest moments can provide some much needed therapy and perspective. As the tagline says, The HoneyDew is “Highlighting the Lowlights”. There hasn’t been a more concise and accurate motto ever.

The HoneyDew is only a year old but with 300+ episodes of CrabFeast, Sickler is a professional interviewer at this point. Having been in the game so long, he is able to bring the best storytellers in the entertainment landscape. Guests like Adam Ray talking about his childhood sheds light on Ray’s origin story to becoming a comic. You can “hear in the throat clear”.  Joey Diaz, who has more stories than anyone, talks about fighting a nun. Brad Williams virginity story is hilarious. Relive the stroytelling show Comedy Works had in January 2018 with Ari Shaffir by listening to Steve Simeone’s episode. It always goes deep but is able to remain playful and fun because Ryan Sickler’s ability to guide the conversation, his authenticity, and of course his laugh. This podcast is more than just your usually interview and people aren’t just going to promote things. Everyone seems excited to be there.

One of the most interesting things about this podcast is the format and what it will become in the future. The HoneyDew was made with the fans in mind. Not just to make a podcast that entertains fans but also to involve fans. Eventually, once the podcast becomes huge, which is just a matter of time; there is a chance you can be on it! Comedians aren’t the only people that have crazy stories and Sickle Cell knows that. He knows there are plenty of you out there with great stories and wants to provide an outlet in which fans can highlight their lowlights. With an ever-changing platform, fan involvement is just the next step in podcasting. Plus what better way to get through the hard times than to have Ryan Sickler’s laugh as constant reminder that it going to get better.

John Mayer: Current Mood

Most know John Mayer for his musical abilities; however, Mayer has been self-producing Instagram Live “episodes” of a talk show he is calling Current Mood.

Using the social media platform, Mayer hosts the show and has a variety of guests join him. The show is very informal and shot using an iPhone camera in his living room. To add a little more comedic flare, the set includes a homemade backdrop of stuffed animals that Mayer has hot-glued to a poster board. Past guests include Andy Cohen, Shawn Mendes, Comedy Work alum David Spade, and Halsey. On a recent show, Mayer and Mendes played a silly game with a catchy intro called ” Camila Camendes Camendes Cabello Cabello Cabelas Mendes ” where they tried to guess random facts about celebrities that have a combination of those names listed in the song. Watch the clip within the episode HERE.

The first episode of the show surfaced back in September 2018 and is a recurring Sunday night event, barring any musical performance commitments. It showcases Mayer’s wit and dry sense of humor where he contemplates very important issues like the reboot of Sonic the Hedgehog. He creates comedic segments complete with note cards, interviews guests, and typically rounds out the show with a musical performance by a guest, tying it back to his musical roots. While it initially started out as something Mayer wanted to do in order to combat loneliness, it has turned into much more. It is streamed live and can be found on Instagram for the first 24 hours after the show on Mayer’s personal page. Afterwards, the new shows can be found most of the time on YouTube after fans have uploaded them there. Click HERE to read why fans are interested in the show.

Mayer is known as a talented musician, releasing solo hit such as No Such Thing and Heartbreak Warfare. In more recent years, he has been touring worldwide with Dead & Company.

Be sure to catch the show live or watch it on YouTube if you are looking for some laughs!

Comedian Jenny Slate Releases Book

Looking for a good, funny read as we head into the winter months? Comedy Works veteran, Jenny Slate, has just released a brand-new book, Little Weirds.

The book is a collection of essays that explore a wide variety of topics – from thoughts on a haunted house to more serious topics such as divorce. Slate weaves in self-reflection and personal insights as she goes through each subject. The essays range in length and are easy to read. Slate herself describes the work as 48 different pieces where the reader can open up to any one theme and just start reading in any order of his or her choosing, but she recommends starting from the first page and reading in consecutive order as she designed the book that way.

Reviews for the book have been very positive since the release with an average four out of five stars. Mindy Kaling calls the book “magical”, and John Mulaney described it as “funny, poignant, and beautiful.” To read other reviews, click HERE. Little Weirds is Slate’s first solo print publication, but she has previously co-authored three other works: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me, Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been, and About the House. Marcel is a popular children’s book series that has also been made into a stop-animation short film, teaching the importance of finding something good in each day.

Slate started her career as part of the comedic duo, Gabe & Jenny, and quickly rose to fame after initial recognition by Time Out New York in 2008. Television and film credits include: Saturday Night Live, Zootopia, Gifted, and Comedy Central’s Drunk History. You can also currently catch her as the voice of Missy Foreman-Greenwald on the animated Netflix series Big Mouth. In addition, Slate has a comedy special on the streaming service, Stage Fright, that has received a lot of industry buzz and hype.

To read an excerpt of the book, click HERE.

The Daily Beast’s Last Laugh

The Daily Beast’s Last Laugh is a podcast that has gotten some big names from the newer and older generation of comics. An interview podcast in which Matt Wilstein has conversations with “some of the biggest names in comedy—as well as the new voices crashing the party—about what it’s like to be a comedian in this current cultural and political moment.” The first episode was only released in late March of 2019 and they already have an impressive archive of comics. Starting with Sarah Silverman ranging to Mindy Kaling, Bill Burr, and Judd Apatow.

Podcasts can be long and sometimes hard to follow. The Last Laugh is structured into segments. It still flows well but there are scripted questions more like an actual interview, which makes it easier to keep the conversation to about an hour. Though this format is not for everyone, it does provide a change from the other comedy interview podcasts, like Joe Rogan Experience or Bertcast, which can last up to 3 hours.

Matt Wilstien dives into comedians’ works, specifically referencing a certain joke and asks the comic the process and feelings behind the joke. If you haven’t seen the special or heard the joke Wilstien plays the joke or bit in which they are talking about to give the listener context. Nick Kroll discussed Big Mouth and the upcoming spin off series Human Resources. Desus and Mero talk about the switch from Vice to Showtime. Bill Nye shows that he is more than just the science guy.

The podcast does speak to today’s cancel culture and how comedians are adapting to this new wave of “woke” comedy. From the interviews conducted on this podcast it seems that comedians like Bill Burr and Anthony Jeselnik are not going to be affected by the new culture. Comedy is the same as it has been…funny is funny.

Jim Gaffigan Thrills in American Dreamer

See Jim Gaffigan like you have never seen him before! In the new thriller American Dreamer, Gaffigan plays Cam, a ride-share driver with an anger problem that costs him his family and job. With no money in the bank and child support payments looming over him, Cam’s ex-wife won’t allow him to see his tween son. To earn money, Cam drives around strangers all day who don’t seem to notice his existence. Except one. Maz, a high-ranking drug dealer, uses Cam and his low-profile sedan as a mule, making him drive across the city all day and paying him in cash. When Cam drops off Maz at the end of the day, he sees Maz’s family (girlfriend Marina and his son) standing in the doorway. This reminds Cam of what he wants most, to see his son, and sets him into a rage. He finally knows what he has to do.

Cam develops a plan to kidnap Marina for $20,000 cash in ransom. He breaks into Maz’s house to find nothing but silence. Thinking his plan was foiled, he opens a bedroom door and there is Maz’s son watching TV. Cam, in a frenzy, decides to take the toddler instead of Marina. The rest of the film follows Maz as he searches the city for his son, only wanting to murder the person who has him, while Cam acts as his chauffeur.

Seeing Jim Gaffigan play such a dark twisted role is a change for someone who is a fan of his clean-cut stand-up comedy. The LA Times called Gaffigan “great, eschewing sentimentality as he taps into his frustration and rage – with no joke in sight.”

This is the first time Jim Gaffigan has given me chills. Be sure to watch the trailer here.

American Dreamer is available On Demand and can be rented on Amazon Prime or iTunes.   

Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby

Late Night with Seth Meyers host, Seth Meyers, has announced a new Netflix special that premiered on November 5th. The new special is called Lobby Baby, poking fun at Meyers’ own experience of having his second child born in the lobby of his New York apartment building in April 2018. You can watch Meyers tell the original story HERE. The teaser trailer for the special shows Meyers with a toy stage and figurine of himself after having a funny conversation with some small children playing with toys of their own.

The special was filmed in Minneapolis at the Pantages Theatre. Topics for the special include family and fatherhood as well as drawing on Meyers’ Saturday Night Live and stand-up background. It shows what a family man Meyers is and displays his affection for both his wife and two sons.

Having spent 13 seasons on the show, there is a plethora of material from which he can draw from. He is most known for his time on the news parody, Weekend Update. Additionally, he took over the 12:35/11:35pm time slot on NBC for Late Night in 2014 when Jimmy Fallon went to host The Tonight Show. Staple segments of his main show include Emmy-nominated “A Closer Look”, poking fun of the latest current events nightly.

This Netflix special features a “skip politics” button, for those who are just tired of Trump jokes as well, making it appealing to those who are tired of some of the political satire circulating the television and Internet circuits. Vulture, a subsidiary of New York Magazine describes the special as a “sweet, endearing wash of cuteness that is also good but a touch naughty”. Click HERE to read the full review.

This is definitely a special we have on our “must-watch-soon” list, and it should be on yours too!

Greg Giraldo: Good Day to Cross the River

Greg Giraldo, to some people, is considered an insult comic, just a roaster, but he was clever, dark, and relevant. A comic who provided more insight to current events, society and culture that was beyond his time. With the politically correct culture of today, wouldn’t it be great to hear what Giraldo would have to say? He was always working and pushing material that could offend but instead ended up shedding new light on a topic instead of preaching at an audience. The main goal was to be funny, but he was able to educate the audience to view things in a different way. Greg Giraldo was a Harvard educated lawyer that decided to leave that life for a comedian’s life. Good Day to Cross the River is an incredible album no matter where it would have been recorded but the venue and audience definitely helped. That venue was Comedy Works Downtown in Larimer Square and that audience was you!

Good Day to Cross the River was recorded in April 2006 and was released October 2006. This was Giraldo’s debut album and what a honor it was that he chose Comedy Works to record it. He opens with a pretty generic statement about Denver and where he is from in New York City. But of course Giraldo makes it his own in a matter of seconds winning the crowd over very quickly. He touches on religion, marriage, gay culture, and immigration.

Giraldo died on September 29th, 2010. It is sad that we will never hear any more new Giraldo comedy. He will be forever immortalized in this album and his sophomore album, Midlife Vices. This prolific comic was always the best on the Comedy Central Roasts. If you want to learn more about Greg Giraldo read his biography, Greg Giraldo: A Comedian’s Story by Matt Balaker and Wayne Jones. Best of all he has inspired a whole new generation of comics. Many comics today, especially coming out of New York right now, idolize Giraldo.

New Jim Jefferies show on NBC

If any comedy nerds out there miss Jim Jefferies’ FX show Legit, you should get excited about the new NBC show. NBC has committed to a new untitled Jim Jefferies-Suzanne Martin comedy pilot. The comedy will feature a fictional version of Jefferies. He will be starring in the show as himself offering commentary on modern life issues and the complexity of relationships. Currently there is not a premiere date that has been announced but look for one soon! In the meantime, check out Jefferies on his comedy show, The Jim Jefferies Show, on Comedy Central!