Category Archives: Industry Buzz

LGBTQ Comics to Check Out

As the power dynamics of the comedy world shift towards balance, inclusivity and creativity, LGBTQ+ comedians are taking the country by storm.

Their sexuality isn’t necessarily the focal point of their sets, but for LGBTQ comedians, stand-up is an opportunity for their voices to be heard.

Though the industry still has a long way to go, the past few years have seen an extraordinary range of stories across the spectrum of queer experiences.

Joel Kim Booster

Joel Kim Booster is an LA-based comedian and writer. Joel’s TV and film credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm, BoJack Horseman, Big Mouth, and American Dad. He has appeared on Conan, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Netflix’s The Fix, and Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail.

“Gay people and Asian people are really, really underrepresented in comedy and just in pop culture in general, so both those communities are so thirsty to see anything that’s speaking directly to them.”

Joel Kim Booster

Fortune Feimster

She first became known as a writer and panelist on E’s hit show Chelsea Lately, and then starred as a series regular on The Mindy Project for Hulu and Champions for NBC. She has gone on to have many guest appearances on TV shows including Claws, 2 Broke Girls, Workaholics, Glee, Dear White People, and Tales of the City, as well as recurring roles on Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q and CBS’s Life In Pieces.

She’s had memorable roles in the movies Office Christmas Party, Social Animals, and Father of the Year. She also recently voiced the role of Evelyn on The Simpsons, she’s the voice of Brenda on Bless the Harts for Fox, and she voices Ava on Summer Camp Island for the Cartoon Network.

“I think if I had had a platform like that to watch when I was young where you see people like you, I think I probably would have come out sooner. Once a mirror is being held up to you, you can see yourself better.”

Fortune Feimster

Chanty Marostica

Chanty Marostica, formerly known as Chantel Marostica, is a Canadian stand-up comedian who won SiriusXM Canada’s Top Comic competition in 2018 and received a Juno Award nomination for Comedy Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2019 for The Chanty Show.

On September 20th, they came out to their parents as transgender. That same night, they started a series of hour-long solo shows at JFL42 (the Toronto edition of Just For Laughs), effectively becoming the first trans comedian to ever do so.


Bowen Yang

Bowen Yang is a comedian, writer, and actor based in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently a featured player on Saturday Night Live, where he wrote for one season before moving on-screen. He can next be seen recurring on Comedy Central’s upcoming Awkwafina. Bowen is the co-host of the popular podcast “Las Culturistas” which he co-hosts with Matt Rogers and which has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Splitsider and Time Out New York. TV credits include Broad City, High Maintenance, and Jon Glaser Loves Gear.

The addition of comedian Bowen Yang to the cast of Saturday Night Live is a triumph being celebrated by two minority communities that have been historically underrepresented on the long-running sketch comedy show. Though the show is embarking on its 45th season on the air, Bowen joins the cast as the first Chinese-American performer in history and one of only three openly gay male cast members ever.


Matteo Lane

Matteo Lane is a New York-based comedian whose stand-up special can be seen on Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup. He has performed stand up on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, This Week at the Comedy Cellar and The Comedy Jam, as well as HBO’s Crashing.

“I’m just saying this is the first time ever that gay, queer, male comedians are sort of on the spotlight that straight comedians are being seen in. So it’s all kind of just new. It’s all new and discovered and all new territory. I think it’s exciting.”

Matteo Lane

Jaboukie Young-White

Jaboukie Young-White is a comedian originally from Chicago who is currently a Correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch” at the Just for Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival, White has performed stand up twice on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and recently debuted his half-hour on “Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents.” White can be seen in the last season of HBO’s “Crashing,” the Sony feature “Rough Night,” the Netflix feature “Set It Up,” and in the feature “Someone Great” also on Netflix. Previously, White was a staff writer on Netflix’s “American Vandal” and “Big Mouth.”

In late 2017, Young-White came out as queer during his first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; he later clarified that he identifies as gay, in his second appearance on the program in late 2018.

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!

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!

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!

Michael Kosta gets his first Comedy Central Special

Michael Kosta, currently seen on The Daily Show, is going to headline his first stand-up special on Comedy Central, the same network that produces The Daily Show. The special is going to be recorded from Detroit’s Gem Theatre in November and then air on TV sometime in Summer 2020. Kosta has appeared on popular shows such as The Tonight Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Conan prior to joining the Comedy Central team. He is on our “must-see” up-and-coming comedian list making this special definitely one to check out!

CHELSEA HANDLER VISITS THE RED TABLE

Chelsea Handler recently visited the famous red table for an episode of Facebook Live’s Red Table Talk, hosted by Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Jones (Jada’s mother). While Handler was there, she promoted her new Netflix documentary, Hello Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea along with discussing her comedic past and personal viewpoints. In addition to the new special, she also just completed a podcast series based on her latest memoir, Life Will Be the Death of Me. The podcast shares the same name, and there are 20 episodes available. You can check out the podcast episode listing on iHeartRadio HERE and information about the documentary HERE.

ANIMALS WITH COMEDIC FLARE

Who doesn’t love cute animals being funny? The top 40 finalists for the 2019 Comedy Wildlife Awards have been revealed proving that animals too have the sense of comedic timing. Photographers could submit pictures of animals “posing”. Final entries include photos of lions, rhinos, and bears. A panel of judges will vote on the best entry to announce the overall grand-prize winner in November. There is a people’s choice award as well for the general public to vote on here; however, the best prize of all is the laughs from the photos and the extra exposure to nature and animal preservation.

Please click HERE to enjoy all of this year’s finalists’ entries.

Kevin James Stars in New NASCAR show

Kevin James is coming back to a multi-cam sitcom! “The King and Queens” star is teaming up with NASCAR to bring a racing themed show to the streaming giant, Netflix. He will play the role of an old-school crew chief in the midst of a modernizing sport. Jeff Lowell (The Ranch & Two and a Half Men) will be the show’s writer, showrunner, and executive produce. James will also bring back some producers and writers from “King of Queens”. This will be one of Netflix’s rare dabbles in multi-camera comedies, with most of their previous shows either cancelled or coming to an end.

Kevin James and NASCAR plan on having the show ready for streaming in mid-2020.  

Saturday Night Live’s First Asian-American Cast Member is from Denver!

It is hard to believe that SNL has never had an Asian-American cast member in their 45-season run. This season, Bowen Yang will be joining the legendary sketch show as on-camera talent. Yang, a Smokey Hill High School graduate, started the 2018 SNL season as a writer and finally got his chance to get in front of the lens.  In high school, Yang was voted “Most Likely to Be A Cast Member on Saturday Night Live”. The Las Culturistas host began comedy in Smoky Hill’s improv troupe, Spontaneous Combustion, and eventually moved to New York to attend college at New York University. Yang and Matt Rogers were at Comedy Works last month recording a Las Culturistas live podcast. We are so incredibly proud of Bowen for being the first Asian-American cast member. Denver will always be your home!