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2019 Comedy MVPs with Jason Zinoman of The New York Times

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Release Date: 12/18/2019

Lane Moore show art Lane Moore

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Lane Moore is a comedian, writer, actor, and musician. She hosts the show Tinder Live, swiping through dating profiles and baiting potential suitors, with a panel of funny people and a live audience to guide her. She also fronts the band, It Was Romance. And as a writer, Lane Moore has published jokes in The Onion, and offered sex and relationship advice as an editor for Cosmopolitan magazine, where she won a GLAAD award for expanding the magazine’s queer coverage. In 2018, Moore released her first book of personal essays, “How To Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don’t.”...

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Astronomy Club's Black Men Can't Jump (In Hollywood) show art Astronomy Club's Black Men Can't Jump (In Hollywood)

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Comedic actors Jonathan Braylock, Jerah Milligan and James III host their own podcast,  (In Hollywood), examining the problems of racial diversity in show business through reviewing movies of the past which featured actors of color. They also have firsthand experience with the topic. In 2014, they became part of the first all-black house team at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. Their comedy troupe, Astronomy Club, was named one of Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch in 2016, and produced a digital sketch series for Comedy Central in 2018. In December 2019,...

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Tammy Pescatelli show art Tammy Pescatelli

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Tammy Pescatelli lost her agent and manager back in 2016 after she spoke out about joke stealing and parallel thinking, but that’s not the first time in her career that Pescatelli did something her reps disapproved of — years earlier, Pescatelli continued performing in comedy clubs and theaters while more than eight moths pregnant, long before it became popular for women in comedy to do so. But Pescatelli is a funny woman of a certain age — she competed on seasons 2 and 3 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and after the birth of her son, she starred in her own reality series on WE tv called...

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Justine Marino show art Justine Marino

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Justine Marino is a comedian who joined The Groundlings shortly after moving from Denver to Los Angeles, and found herself working as a tour guide at Universal Studios while also performing stand-up at night. Her first big break came in the Jenny McCarthy comedy special, “Dirty, Sexy, Funny” which came out on EPIX in 2014 and also featured a then-unknown Tiffany Haddish. Later that year, Marino got New Faces at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy festival. More recently, she developed a live comedy dance competition with Heidi Heaslet at The Comedy Store called Stand Up 2 The Streets,...

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Atsuko Okatsuka show art Atsuko Okatsuka

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Born in Taiwan to Taiwanese and Japanese parents, Atsuko Okatsuka is a stand-up comedian, actress and writer. Since putting out her first hour comedy special in 2018 as part of Hulu’s Comedy InvAsian series, she has made the shortlists of comedians to watch by both New York Magazine’s Vulture site as well as Time Out LA. Atsuko also has written for two different series on Adult Swim, The Eric Andre Show and Soft Focus with Jena Friedman. She’s the creator and host of “Let’s Go, Atsuko!” a woke Japanese game show that’s a hit with live audiences as well as a podcast, and she’s...

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Tom Papa show art Tom Papa

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

In 2020, Tom Papa released his fourth stand-up comedy special, and first for Netflix, called You’re Doing Great!. And Tom Papa is doing great. He’s a regular performer on NPR, starring in his own segment on the weekly syndicated show, Live From Here, as well as a recurring role on the panel for NPR quiz show, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! He also has a weekly SiriusXM show and podcast featuring his funny friends called Come To Papa. That’s not to be confused with the NBC sitcom he once starred in called Come To Papa, or his former NBC reality show with Jerry Seinfeld called The Marriage...

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Lizz Winstead show art Lizz Winstead

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Lizz Winstead is a Minnesotan through and through, even though she has spent the better part of the past three decades in New York City. Winstead first moved to New York to pursue her stand-up comedy career, became a segment producer for The Jon Stewart Show in 1995, and while that talk show ultimately didn’t last long, Winstead found herself getting offered her dream gig by Comedy Central a year later. That gig? Co-creating The Daily Show. She later pivoted to radio, serving as the original program director for Air America Radio, where the 2004 lineup included Marc Maron in the morning,...

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Derek Gaines show art Derek Gaines

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Derek Gaines grew up outside of Philadelphia, and moved to New York City with his “6 Foot Nothing” crew after cementing his status as one of Philly’s Phunniest. After performing as a New Face in Montreal at Just For Laughs, Gaines began scoring TV credits, hosting MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show and delivering jokes on cable outlets from truTV to VH1 to AXS-TV.  Since 2017, Gaines has steadily appeared in higher-profile roles and series, starting with the revival of Will & Grace on NBC, where he plays Sean Hayes’s boss, and also including The Last O.G. with Tracy Morgan on TBS. In...

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David Wain show art David Wain

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

David Wain has been on the cutting edge of digital comedy since the turn of the century, making short films for his live comedy shows with Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black, debuting a webseries (Wainy Days) on the streaming platform My Damn Channel in 2007, helping Rob Corddry take his webseries Childrens Hospital to TV with Adult Swim and winning multiple Emmys for it, and adapting his first feature film, 2001’s Wet Hot American Summer, into two separate spin-off series (a prequel and a sequel) for Netflix. He’s directed multiple feature films amid all of that,...

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Joe Pera show art Joe Pera

The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Joe Pera is a Buffalo native who studied film and began his stand-up comedy career at Ithaca College. After college, Pera moved to New York City, where he started a regular showcase with his childhood friend Dan Licata and Charles Gould called the Dan, Joe and Charles Show. Pera’s comedy voice made the leap to late-night TV in 2016 with the animated Adult Swim infomercial, “Joe Pera Talks You to Sleep.” Adult Swim liked it so much they’ve kept bringing Pera back, first with the Christmas special, “Joe Pera Helps You Find the Perfect Christmas Tree,” and two seasons of “Joe Pera...

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More Episodes

As we put a bow on 2019, it’s time once again for me to sit down with New York Times comedy critic Jason Zinoman to look back on the year’s best and brightest moments in comedy, and which comedians brought out the best. We couldn’t help but discuss cancel culture, and whom that actually applied to this year. We also talked up the big years for Sebastian Maniscalco and Tiffany Haddish, the greatness of Gary Gulman and Anthony Jeselnik, and breakthroughs for Jacqueline Novak, Ronny Chieng and Ramy Youssef. We noted big years for Amy Schumer, Nikki Glaser and Julio Torres. We debated the relative greatness of Bill Burr and Dave Chappelle. We noted the other ways comedians made themselves noticed, whether they were clowns in real life, or amusing us via Instagram and Twitter. And we paused to reflect on how Joe Rogan became the biggest talk show host around. All that and more marked the year in comedy of 2019. So let’s get to it!