There are many things that people are not sad to see go with 2020. Amazon Prime’s “year-in-review” comedy special, Yearly Departed, was no exception.
The special is set in a funeral parlor viewing room and features an all female cast as they say goodbye to things that won’t be missed from 2020 and that they hope are now dead. The cast features fake eulogies from Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman, Rachel Brosnahan, and several others and sheds a light on what each of them is happy to bid a final farewell.
From a personal standpoint, overall the special has some funny moments and provides some good comic relief. It is a fun way to leave 2020 and bury some of the things that have been in the news and top of mind. There are some political and racial topics discussed but overall in a light-hearted, comical tone while still driving the message of the need and call for more acceptance and equality home. Topics included pants, having more children, band-aids, and “making America great again.” For me, the most relatable topic discussed was the death of pants. Brosnahan comments on how 2020 brought the death of pants due to most people working from home and opting to wear more lounge clothes compared to traditional, more formal apparel. Despite this being the most universally comparable topic, the need to show the pants-less star wasn’t necessary.
The end credits showing the “behind-the-scenes” was very insightful and interesting to see as it showed how through the technology of green screen, the actresses could be all placed in the scene together while keeping all parties safe.
Reviews from IndieWire and Decider gave the special “middle-of-the-road” reviews as well, noting some of the funnier moments that make it worth watch but leaving room for viewers to decide on their own what parts resinate with them and what they deem funny. If nothing else, its cathartic nature helps to close the chapter on a tough year with some laughs.
With the rollercoaster year that was 2020, it is a good time to spend the last few weeks enjoying some much-needed laughs by highlighting the top comedy specials that were released this year.
Many people have been spending more time than usual looking for quality programs to watch with comedy helping to brighten the day. Vulture magazine announced their picks for the year earlier this week in this article. Top picks from the magazine include a variety of talent from Kevin Hart to Maria Bamford. The magazine’s top pick is Marc Maron’s End Times Fun which was filmed prior to the widespread shutdown seen this year by the pandemic. One notable piece in the special is Maron’s Book of Revelation–style closing segment which Vulture describes as “a mishmash of spiritual systems that combines Jesus, Iron Man, and current politics into a bizarre fantasy sequence.”
Other top-pick specials included Leslie Jones’ Time Machine, Patton Oswalt’s I Love Everything, and Fortune Feimmster’s Sweet and Salty. The best platform for viewing all of these comedy specials seems to be Netflix with a majority of them being available through that streaming service.
Comedy Works alums, Randy and Jason Sklar, have their own podcast series – Dumb People Town. The podcast started in January 2017 and chronicles dumb people doing dumb stuff, the instant recipe for laughter and comedic humor.
The dynamic duo partnered with Daniel Van Kirk to present this hilarious podcast to the world. Since its first episode, there have been multiple famous guests including Will Arnett, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Margaret Cho, and Harland Williams. A full list of available podcasts is available HERE. Some examples of topics for Dumb People Town are pickle juice, drunk people that like to brag, and many other offbeat subjects. The episodes also don’t miss an opportunity to poke fun at current events and politics.
The Sklar Brothers are well-known in the comedic industry from their multiple web series and podcasts that also feature Sklarbro Country and Cheap Seats. The brothers are also the creators behind the popular History Channel show, The United Stats of America, that can now be viewed on the AppleTV platform. They just finished a comedy tour, including some shows at Comedy Works this past fall. Daniel Van Kirk is also a well-known comedian that is recognized for his podcast, The Pen Pals Podcast, as well as his debut comedy album, Thanks Diane. If that weren’t enough, he has also been on the popular FOX television show, Bob’s Burgers, and The UCB Show on Starz. When they get together and join forces, the result is pure comedic gold.
The podcast has a few live tour dates that have been announced for 2020. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for upcoming dates! If there isn’t a stop near you, new episodes are released about once a week and are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud while listening and become a true “Townie” fan!
Comedy news coming from the Sundance Film Festival is reporting that Andy Samberg’s new comedy film, Palm Springs, will be coming to Hulu soon. To add to this announcement, the streaming service purchased the rights to the new movie for a record-breaking sum, making it the largest sale at the festival during its first weekend. In true comedic fashion, this title only out-sold the previous record holder by 69 cents for a total of $17,500,000.69.
Palm Springs centers around Samberg’s character who is attending a wedding as the guest of one of the bridesmaids and encounters the unenthusiastic maid of honor. After the initial meeting, the two decide to “begin wreaking spirited havoc on the wedding celebration” drawing some inspiration and concepts from much beloved comedic classics. The film was produced by Samberg and his Lonely Island partners, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. Other notable actors in the film include J.K. Simmons, Camila Mendes, and Peter Gallagher. Click HERE to check out some clips and interviews on the IMDb page. Additionally, the film has received early positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, and Metacritic.
Samberg is well known for both his time on Saturday Night Live from 2005 to 2012 and TheLonely Island. Check out some of his infamous SNL skits with a “Best Of” reel HERE. He is also one of the main stars of Brooklyn Nine-Nine which was picked up by NBC for a 2019 mid-season premiere after being dropped from FOX. The seventh season is going to start in February 2020. Alongside Samberg’s television credits, he has starred in the well-known theatrical releases of Hot Rod, I Love You, Man, and lent his vocal talents to the Hotel Transylvania films.
As of present there is no set release date for Palm Springs on the Hulu platform but be sure to check back for a date to watch it!
The man, the myth, the legend – Lorne Michaels is opening up about the continued success of Saturday Night Live. The show first debuted in 1975 and is currently in its 45th season proving that Michaels has remained committed and determined to continue its success.
When asked in a recent interview with Deadline, Michaels discussed some of the aspects that have helped shape the show and how for him, its permanence was solidified as the show reached its 40th season five years ago. In the spotlight feature written by Biography, show secrets are revealed as well.
First of all, the show name was not originally Saturday Night Live. This name was owned by ABC for a different show but purchased by NBC at the beginning of Michaels’ second season in the fall of 1976. Secondly, the show is purposefully made to look “run-down.” Michaels said that he didn’t want the set to look “terribly slick.” It gives it a New York look and feel that has become an iconic component of the show and to give it a theatrical vibe. Additionally, Michaels left the show in 1980 for five years but returned in 1985 and has been back ever since.
Saturday Night Live is filmed at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Studio 8H where it has been since the beginning. Hosts for this season have included Adam Driver, Harry Styles, and Eddie Murphy. Remaining shows for the season will have JJ Watt and RuPaul – others will be announced as the season progresses.
When asked about the future of the show, Michaels is quick to assert that each new generation brings a new generational perspective and cultural references. In a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Michaels says the production team “doesn’t have much of a wide shot, so when you see somebody going into the lens and taking it to some level that you hadn’t seen even at the dress rehearsal, it’s a magical thing.”
Be sure to catch new episodes of the show every Saturday night at 9:30 pm MST or here on the official NBC site.
Laurence Fishburne of Matrix fame, has announced that he is going to produce a new comedy for ABC in 2020.
The new comedy will feature 30 minute episodes and will be produced by Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions. It will star Eddie B, his real name is Eddie Brown. While details are still coming out, the premise of the show centers around Eddie – a teacher that aspires to become a comedian. Furthermore, the plot is inspired by Brown’s own personal stand up routine.
The official press release states that the show will follow ” an outspoken, stubborn middle school football coach (Eddie B) who, due to budget cuts, finds himself forced to teach 8th grade science if he wants to keep his job.”
In real life, Eddie B is a Houston-based teacher that became a comedian. He has been able to achieve fame and success with a strong social media following since his comedic start. A popular, recurring segment that helped him gain attention was one called “What Teachers Really Say”. To check out some of his clips, click HERE. From this segment, he is now considered by many to be an official “voice of teachers”, having tapped into the specific teaching professional niche, as only a previous educator could. Eddie B has also toured the country a few times with his famous “I’m Already Professionally Developed” and “Teacher’s Only” tours.
Laurence Fishburne’s company, Cinema Gypsy, has previously produced films such as Akeelah and the Bee and popular television shows, Black-ish and Mixed-ish. Both of those shows also air on ABC and its affiliate networks. To see a list of the production credits for Cinema Gypsy, click HERE.
This show will be a great addition to ABC’s diverse fall line-up. We will be sure to circle back as the show’s premiere date and more details are released.
Details are starting to be announced already for the much-anticipated fall premieres for all of the major broadcast networks! Exciting news! Comedy Works alum, Iliza Shlesinger, has announced that she is going to star new CBS sitcom.
The show, while still untitled, will center around Shlesinger. She will portray a young woman that moves back home to Austin, Texas to help run the family business with her mom and sister. In addition to starring in the show, Shlesinger will also serve as co-writer of the pilot episode along with collaborator Michelle Nader, who has a current contract with CBS. The show will be classified as a family comedy that will be shot using multiple cameras. It hits close to Shlesinger’s roots since she grew up in neighboring Dallas.
Shlesinger started on the comedy scene by winning Myspace’s So You Think You Are Funny contest in 2007. The following year, she became the first and youngest woman to win NBC’s Last Comic Standing during the show’s sixth season. After winning, she appeared on the nationwide Last Comic Standing Tour.
Since that time, she has released five Netflix comedy specials, including the latest one, unVeiled, this past November. Click HERE to check out the trailer of the newest one! Along with the streaming, Shlesinger had a role in the recent feature film, Instant Family, starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. She also has published a book entitled Girl Logic, which in her words is a “subversively funny collection of essays and observations on a confident woman’s approach to friendship, singlehood, and relationships.” To read more about the book, click HERE.
Be sure to check back as more information becomes available and don’t miss Iliza when she passes through town in early 2020! For a list of all tour dates, check out Iliza’s official website HERE.
Murphy has already made a big splash in 2019. He just released a hilarious movie
on Netflix titled Dolemite Is My Name, which I highly recommend, and
appeared on the infamous Jerry Seinfeld show Comedians in Cars Getting
Coffee. On Comedians in Cars, Murphy talked about wanting to make a
return to stand-up comedy. It has been more than 30 years since he has released
a stand-up special, with the last being the monstrous Eddie Murphy: Raw in 1987
that grossed over $50 million. Since then, he has starred in huge blockbuster
movies, released music with his band, and has generally laid-low and been a
Murphy is often
cited as the reason Saturday Night Live survived through the 1980s when Lorne
Michaels left the show for five seasons to pursue a career at Paramount
Pictures. Murphy left the fame sketch show in 1984 and has only been back to
Studio 8H once for the SNL 40th Anniversary Special. Murphy was quoted
from Actors on Actors presented by Variety Studios saying, “they had this 40-year
anniversary a few years back, so everyone that was ever on the show was there,
and it was this really great night. I got this big wave of nostalgia and great feelings
and seeing all these other actors that have been on the show. There was such a
strong kinship with everybody, I felt like I was at my old high school. I
decided, this Christmas, I’m going to go back and host the show. I hope it’s
We will be
seeing more of Eddie in 2020. It is reported that he is in talks with the
streaming giant Netflix for an undisclosed number of comedy specials for a
price tag of $70 million. We are hoping to see him on stage somewhere to test
new material before the special release but until then, catch him on SNL on December
Comedy specials are starting to be announced for Disney+, the new streaming service that debuted in November from the entertainment mogul.
One of the first to be announced is a new comedy starring Kristin Chenowith. She will be both starring in and executive producing the new series entitled The Biggest Star in Appleton. Currently the show is in the early stages of production without a release date; however, details are starting to surface.
The new show will be shot using a single camera and is a concept that was originally vetted by 20th Century Fox, now a part of the Walt Disney Company with the recent acquisition. Paul Rudnick from popular hits, In & Out and Addams Family Values, is the new show’s creator.
So far, the premise of the show chronicles Carol Dannhauser (played by Chenowith) who is a mother, wife and, waitress in the small town of Appleton, Wisconsin, who gets her deepest satisfaction from local stardom as she performs at the community theater. This sense of bliss becomes threatened when a down-on-her-luck chorus girl from New York comes to town.
To get you in the holiday mood, we have complied a list of the best holiday comedies of recent years to help put you in the spirit of the season and fill you with laughter.
In an article in Esquire, they list the top 50 best Christmas movies. On this list, there are multiple comedies including Last Holiday, Elf, and Love Actually. To check out the full list, click HERE.
Holiday comedies are a staple for the season, with new ones coming out each year. Below is a list of our favorites picks for this year along with a short synopsis of each.
A Bad Moms Christmas – While this is a sequel, it follows three moms through the holiday season in their efforts to create the perfect Christmas for their families while each of their moms come to town for a surprise visit. Can they deliver on their vow for larger-than-life celebrations? Click HERE to watch this laugh-out-loud trailer.
Elf – As a toddler Buddy, accidentally grows up at the North Pole and then returns to New York City as an adult to discover the harsh realities of adulthood by searching for his real father. Buddy has to adjust to his new life but also helps restore the Christmas spirit to those who need it. Click HERE to watch the trailer.
Bad Santa – This raunchy comedy follows two con-men as they try to pull off their annual holiday robbery; however, one of the partners isn’t into it this year. Click HERE to check out the trailer for a preview of the hilarity that ensues.
Some honorable mentions include Eight Crazy Nights, Home Alone, The Night Before, and A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas. For some other funny movie suggestions, check out the list compiled by Harpers Bazaar HERE.