The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First
Last Things First asks comedians and funny performers about the historic lasts and firsts in their lives as their comedy careers have blossomed.
info_outline Astronomy Club's Black Men Can't Jump (In Hollywood) 03/23/2020
Astronomy Club's Black Men Can't Jump (In Hollywood) 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, Astronomy Club debuted a six-episode series on Netflix with executive producer Kenya Barris and showrunner Daniel Powell. I sat down with Jonathan, Jerah and James in North Hollywood in February 2020, back when they still thought they were participating in a regular “pilot season,” to talk about how some things had changed while others hadn’t. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Tammy Pescatelli 03/16/2020
Tammy Pescatelli 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 A Stand Up Mother. Since then, she has featured in Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty Sexy Funny special for EPIX, and formerly co-hosted Stuttering John’s Podcast. In March of 2020, Pescatelli has two new specials available for streaming or purchase. She’s part of Showtime’s MORE FUNNY WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE – headlined by Caroline Rhea and also featuring Carol Leifer, Carole Montgomery, Julia Scotti, and Thea Vidale. Pescatelli also stars in her own hourlong stand-up, The Way After School Special, filmed at her old high-school gym in Ohio. Tammy and I get into it, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Justine Marino 03/09/2020
Justine Marino 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, which has been developed into a TV series for E!. The Funny Dance Show debuts in March 2020 on E! I sat down with Marino in Los Angeles to chart all of her comedy and dance steps, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Atsuko Okatsuka 03/02/2020
Atsuko Okatsuka 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 developing it as a potential TV or streaming vehicle, too. Atsuko released a new stand-up album in 2020, “But I Control Me,” via Comedy Dynamics. She sat down with me in her Los Angeles home to talk about making it in America as an immigrant, twerking with her grandmother, and so much more. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Tom Papa 02/24/2020
Tom Papa 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 Ref. Or Papa’s current weekday SiriusXM talk show he co-hosts with Fortune Feimster for the Netflix is A Joke radio channel, What a Joke with Papa and Fortune. Did I mention Papa’s bread-baking show for the Food Network, or his books? His second book, You're Doing Great!: And Other Reasons to Stay Alive, is available for pre-orders and more online now. Papa sat down with me at SiriusXM’s Los Angeles offices to break it all down, and build us all up. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Lizz Winstead 02/18/2020
Lizz Winstead 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, Janeane Garofalo at night, and Al Franken at midday — Winstead, meanwhile, co-hosted a show from 9 to noon with Public Enemy’s Chuck D.. and a previously unknown radio host from Massachusetts named Rachel Maddow. Since then, Winstead has mounted a live parody of morning TV, written a book of essays called “Lizz Free or Die,” and came out of that process realizing she could be even more activist in her comedy. Her book tour begat a new organization, first called Lady Parts Justice League and now known as Abortion Access Front, or Abortion AF for short. Winstead is currently touring towns and cities across America with her Feminist Buzzkills of Comedy Tour. I caught up with her during a break between tour stops, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Derek Gaines 02/10/2020
Derek Gaines 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 2020, you can see Gaines on the big-screen in his former roommate Pete Davidson’s movie, “The King of Staten Island,” and you can hear Gaines on his first comedy album, Fuccboi Ground Zero. Gaines sat down with me to talk all about it, so let’s get to it!
info_outline David Wain 02/03/2020
David Wain 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, including The Ten, Role Models, Wanderlust, They Came Together, and A Futile and Stupid Gesture. His most recent trick he pulled off? Getting the funny folks of Childrens Hospital out of the hospital and around the world on an action-adventure caper called Medical Police. The ten-episode season debuted in January 2020 on Netflix. I sat down with Wain before the series premiered to find out how he has adapted to all of the ways TV has changed in the 21st Century. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Joe Pera 01/29/2020
Joe Pera 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 Talks with You.” You also may have seen Pera on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert or Late Night with Seth Meyers. I sat down with Pera in a diner near his Brooklyn apartment to talk about his life and career, and what may come next. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Chloé Hilliard 01/20/2020
Chloé Hilliard In an email to me on Jan. 3, 2020, Chloé Hilliard proclaimed “This is the YEAR of CHLOE!” and she may well be right. Hilliard already kicked off 2020 by releasing her first stand-up comedy album, “Big Dick Energy,” and has followed that up with the publication of her first book, “F— YOUR DIET: And Other Things My Thighs Tell Me,” from Simon & Schuster. Hilliard, whose TV credits include The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Last Comic Standing, tells me about her previous life as a culture and entertainment journalist for for Essence, Vibe, and The Source, how she decided to make a break for it as a comedian instead, and why she wanted to write about society’s relationship with food, and what it means for us. So let’s get to it!
info_outline 2019 Comedy MVPs with Jason Zinoman of The New York Times 12/18/2019
2019 Comedy MVPs with Jason Zinoman of The New York Times 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!
info_outline Becky Robinson 12/12/2019
Becky Robinson Becky Robinson grew up in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, and studied business at San Diego State University before she threw her everything into show business. A video she made of a McDonald’s wedding proposal gone awry went viral in the summer of 2015, leading her to multiple gigs, first going undercover as an on-the-street correspondent for Funny or Die, then as herself showing off her freestyle rapping chops on MTV’s Wild N’ Out with Nick Cannon. In 2018, Robinson went to Montreal to showcase with other New Faces in the Characters category, while also developing her own potential sketch comedy series with E! Comedy Central sent her to Comic-Con 2019 in character as techie Alan Gingrich. Now she’s shopping her potential TV series to other networks, while also showing off her range in her first headlining tour, called Snow Circus. She sat down with me as herself in New York City just before her tour launched at Gotham Comedy Club, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Abby McEnany 12/03/2019
Abby McEnany Abby McEnany stars as a fictionalized version of herself in the new Showtime series Work In Progress. On Showtime, Abby is a 45-year-old overweight queer dyke from Chicago who plans to commit suicide in 180 days if her live doesn’t get any better. Can she become a work in progress before it’s too late? In real life, McEnany is still queer and based in the Windy City, but a little bit older and happier, thanks in part to her longtime involvement in Chicago’s improv comedy community — she’s been a mainstay of improv Olympic’s weekly improv group Virgin Daiquiri for the past decade. That group’s alums include SNL stars Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong. McEnany created Work In Progress with another Chicago improviser, Tim Mason, and they independently filmed the pilot, premiering it in January 2019 at Sundance. Showtime picked it up to series, and Lilly Wachowski came on board as a co-writer and showrunner. Abby walks me through all of those progressions, both personal and professional, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Jeff Garlin 11/26/2019
Jeff Garlin Jeff Garlin is a comedian and actor who honed his chops in the 1980s with The Second City, alongside the likes of Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris. You know him from playing Larry David’s friend Jeff Greene on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, as well as playing the patriarch of the ABC sitcom family, The Goldbergs. You’ve heard his voice in such Pixar classics as Wall-E and Toy Story 3 and 4, and he has written and directed three feature films: I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With, Dealin’ With Idiots, and Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie. Garlin goes even deeper into his movie credits during his 2019 Netflix comedy special: Our Man In Chicago. But as he’ll tell you then and now, nothing is more fun than making it up as we go along, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Erik Rivera 11/18/2019
Erik Rivera Erik Rivera got heavily involved in comedy in the wake of 9/11 while studying at Pace University just blocks away from the World Trade Center. Rivera’s TV credits include performing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, his own hour special, “I’m No Expert,” as well as a season of reality TV with his wife on Oxygen, “Living With Funny.” In November 2019, Rivera stars in his own HBO half-hour special, “Super White.” He worked with Eva Longoria years ago trying to develop his life into a half-hour sitcom, and as he has Longoria still in his corner for another development deal in the making, Rivera sat down with me in his home in Burbank to talk about where his life and career have taken him, and might take him still. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Elliott Morgan 11/11/2019
Elliott Morgan Elliott Morgan is one of the members of The Valleyfolk, a crowd-funded Internet comedy troupe that won the inaugural season of NBC’s Bring The Funny in the summer of 2019, winning $250,000 and an invitation to perform at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. That’s a long way from central Florida, where Morgan grew up and got married at a young age. Morgan grew up in comedy online thanks to a gig as one of the original members of SourceFed, a Google-funded YouTube channel that had more than 1.6 million subscribers when it stopped making videos in 2017. He talks to me about all of that, plus working on Hollywood Boulevard as a costumed character, releasing an early stand-up special on Vimeo, working with historic YouTube accounts and what it means to be a YouTuber now, and joking through his failed marriage on his second stand-up special, “Holy Shit,” which he released in October 2019 via Comedy Dynamics. There’s a lot to get to, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Celeste Barber 11/04/2019
Celeste Barber Celeste Barber had appeared on Australian television as a regular on the hospital soap opera All Saints in the late 2000s, but that wasn’t translating into fans or followers on social media. Then Barber decided she’d have fun re-creating the outrageous photo shoots of celebrities and models, and posted her results on Instagram with the hashtag #CelesteChallengeAccepted. Eight months after she took on that challenge in 2015, her hashtag and her Instagram account went viral. Fast forward to 2019, and Barber has published two books (one nonfiction and one for children), toured the US with a stage act, gained more than 6.1 million Instagram followers, and now filmed and released her first comedy special for Showtime, Celeste Barber: Challenge Accepted. I caught up with Celeste in Showtime’s offices in New York City, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Matt Besser 10/28/2019
Matt Besser Matt Besser is known as one of the co-founders of the Upright Citizens Brigade, which began as a sketch comedy group in Chicago, moved to New York City, got a TV series on Comedy Central, and opened up theaters and schools teaching improv and sketch comedy in both New York and Los Angeles. Besser also created and starred in a second Comedy Central series, the parody debate show, Crossballs, and over the years has performed as a guest star in sitcoms such as Fresh Off The Boat, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, and Community. But Besser’s stand-up career predates his association with the UCB. He has four stand-up comedy albums out, including the audio version of his first solo comedy special, 2016’s “Besser Breaks The Record.” His second stand-up special, “Pot Humor,” was filmed for Comedy Dynamics in a cannabis club in Portland, Ore., full of stoners, including Besser. You can hear Besser hosting his popular improvised comedy podcast for Earwolf, called Improv4Humans, and still find him every weekend at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles performing the theater’s signature ASSSSCAT shows. That’s where I caught up with Besser recently. We had a lively discussion about changing attitudes toward both pot and improv over the course of our lifetimes, the highs and lows of both. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe 10/22/2019
Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe are an award-winning writing and directing team based in Los Angeles. They became friends and collaborators while performing together in New York City on an Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre sketch team called Onassis. They formed Gulp Splash Productions in 2015. Since then, they have written and produced three short films, which have appeared in more than 70 film festivals worldwide. They’ve also directed two episodes of Adam Ruins Everything for truTV. But it’s their first feature, “Greener Grass,” that has everyone talking. What began as their first short film, directed then by Paul Briganti, premiered at SXSW in 2016, where it won festival awards and begat a TV deal with IFC. DeBoer and Luebbe ended up turning Greener Grass into their own calling card, directing the feature film adaptation, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and got bought by IFC Midnight. In the film, they co-star as best friends, or are they frenemies, in a surreal suburban community where everyone drives golf carts and wishes they had what their neighbors have. It co-stars Beck Bennett, Neil Casey, Mary Holland and D’Arcy Carden, and opens in movie theaters and On Demand in October 2019. I sat down with the filmmakers in Hollywood, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Josh Gondelman 09/16/2019
Josh Gondelman Josh Gondelman is a writer and comedian who currently writes and produces comedy for Desus and Mero on Showtime. Before that, Gondelman spent five years at HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, earning multiple Emmys and other awards for his work on the writing staff. Much before that, before his comedy career took off, he taught preschool in the Boston area. As a performer, you’ve seen him tell jokes on Conan, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Late Night With Seth Meyers, or heard him on one of his three comedy albums. As a writer, his work also has appeared in McSweeney’s, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, the Modern Seinfeld parody Twitter account, and more. His book of essays, “Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results,” is out now. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan 09/09/2019
Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan have survived and thrived in ways they couldn’t have imagined when they pulled the plug on their TV Land series in the summer of 2016. Within months, Jeannie was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor, and the couple, who have five young children, wondered what would happen next. Jeannie writes about all of that in her new book, “When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith, and Funny People.” Jim, meanwhile, was nominated for Grammy Awards in both 2018 and 2019. And in August 2019, Gaffigan became the first stand-up comedian to launch a special with Amazon Prime Video as an Amazon Original with “Quality Time.” Jim and Jeannie gave me some quality time in their New York City apartment to talk about everything they’ve been through together, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Evan Shapiro 09/02/2019
Evan Shapiro Evan Shapiro had run cable TV stations IFC, Sundance Channel, and Pivot before he launched Seeso, a streaming comedy service owned by Comcast and NBCUniversal in 2016. Shapiro went independent for a couple of years after that, but in May 2019, he took the reins as president of the National Lampoon, where he’s in charge of all development, acquisitions, and production on television, digital and audio content for the entertainment company. Shapiro helped rebrand the Independent Film Channel as a home for celebrated comedy in IFC, and brought podcasters to TV with Comedy Bang! Bang! and Maron. What can he do to revitalize the National Lampoon brand? He’s already working with the Forever Dog podcast network to develop some of their shows for TV. Shapiro, who also teaches TV at NYU, invited me to his unconventional offices at Soho House to give us a crash course in what’s happening with comedy these days. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Quinta Brunson 08/26/2019
Quinta Brunson Quinta Brunson took classes at The Second City in Chicago and Los Angeles and was performing with iOWest when she first found success not onstage but online, thanks to a 2013 Tumblr video, followed by a series of shorts she made for Instagram known as “He Got Money” or “The Girl Who’s Never Been on a Nice Date.” A gig with Buzzfeed followed suit, where she developed, wrote and starred in series for Facebook Watch, YouTube and Go90. Brunson has appeared on shows on ABC, The CW and Comedy Central, writes and provides a voice on Adult Swim’s Lazor Wulf, and had a deal to develop a sitcom for CBS with Jermaine Fowler and Larry Wilmore in 2018. That fell through, but in doing so, opened the door for Brunson to join the cast of HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show. Brunson sat down with me to talk about the first season on HBO and what’s to come. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Julio Torres 08/12/2019
Julio Torres Julio Torres described himself as a Space Prince before casting himself as a Chocolate Prince in the surreal bilingual TV series, Los Espookys, which he co-created, co-wrote and co-stars in for HBO. Originally from El Salvador, Torres first moved to New York City to study at The New School. After his funny friends helped him with his immigration process, he joined the most American of comedy institutions, Saturday Night Live, as a writer, known for his distinctive short films that have filled us in on “Wells For Boys,” the font Papyrus, and the inner thoughts of a sink. Torres animates even more objects in his first solo comedy special, “My Favorite Shapes,” which premieres on HBO in August 2019. I had only a few minutes of alone time with Julio at HBO headquarters, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Jacqueline Novak 08/07/2019
Jacqueline Novak After performing a half-hour stand-up special on Comedy Central and writing a book on depression, what came next for comedian Jacqueline Novak would bring her to her knees. So to speak. The actress Natasha Lyonne has presented Novak in her first Off-Broadway show, “Get On Your Knees,” currently enjoying a limited run in the summer of 2019 at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village. It’s billed as “the most high-brow show about blow jobs you’ll ever see,” and it’s directed by the comedian and actor John Early, who also cast Novak in his own Netflix special. I sat down with Jacqueline at the Cherry Lane before one of her shows to talk about her place in the Georgetown University comedy community (which includes her show’s executive producer, Mike Birbiglia, her producer Mike Lavoie, as well Nick Kroll and John Mulaney) and how I hope to see her film and distribute “Get On Your Knees” to schools across America. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Brent Weinbach 07/29/2019
Brent Weinbach Brent Weinbach is an innovative and weird stand-up comedian, befitting of someone who won the Andy Kaufman Award in 2007. Since then, he has masterminded hit YouTube videos such as “Gangster Party Line,” “Man Gives Birth” and “Ultimate Drumming Technique.” With DJ Douggpound, Weinbach co-created and directed the Streamy-nominated web series, “Pound House.” Weinbach also has appeared on multiple episodes of IFC’s “Comedy Bang! Bang!” and Comedy Central’s “Another Period.” Even mainstream audiences have gotten to experience Weinbach courtesy of his stand-up sets on Conan, Lopez Tonight and The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. His stand-up special "Appealing to the Mainstream" originally debuted on Seeso in 2017 and is now available on Amazon Prime. He also regularly headlines a show called Brent Weinbach and Friends at the Hollywood Improv, which is where I caught up with him in 2019. So let’s get to it!
info_outline Marina Franklin 07/22/2019
Marina Franklin Marina Franklin is a Chicago native who has called Harlem home long enough to see her New York City neighborhood gentrify around her. She also has traveled the world as a comedian, performing in festivals from Melbourne to Montreal, from Kilkenny to Bonnaroo. Franklin’s onscreen credits include appearances on Chappelle’s Show, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Crashing, Louie, and The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, as well as performances on The Awkward Comedy Show and Showtime’s Women Who Kill. Her podcast, Friends Like Us, features female comedians of color talking about the topics of the day. And she has a friend in Conan and Team Coco, who have featured her on TV, on tour, and showcased the trailer to her first solo stand-up special, “Single Black Female,” which comes out in July 2019 via the Comedy Dynamics Network. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Catherine Cohen 07/15/2019
Catherine Cohen With degrees in English and Theater, Catherine Cohen not only graduated from Princeton University but also delivered a humorous speech at her own graduation. Five years later, Cohen became one of New York City’s newest It Girls, bringing the cabaret community back into the mainstream of comedy. She’s all over magazines such as Interview and GQ. Onscreen, you’ve already seen her in the finale of Comedy Central’s Broad City, as well an episode of HBO’s High Maintenance. Sh’ll soon appear on the big screen in the movie, Lovebirds. And all the while, Cohen holds court in the East Village with Henry Koperski as her accompanist on piano, weekly at Alan Cumming’s Club Cumming, and monthly at Joe’s Pub. In August 2019 she’s taking her show to the UK for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, “The Twist...? She's Gorgeous.” We caught up with her in San Francisco in June, where Cohen performed on several shows as part of Comedy Central’s Clusterfest. After our chat, we’ll listen to her first breakout song with Koperski, “Look at Me.” So let’s get to it!
info_outline Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle 07/08/2019
Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle met in college and became fast friends and comedy partners. But they did not take the typical path from Harvard to Hollywood. Their scenic route through show business included making their own videos before YouTube, to web series for a shuttered HBO website, to writing for Comedy Central’s Chocolate News, and eventually to joining the original Late Night writing staff for Jimmy Fallon — where they birthed successful bits such as Slow Jam The News. When they left Fallon, they found individual success — Bashir in GLOW and the upcoming Top Gun sequel, Diallo in the sitcom Marlon — and together wrote for the variety series Maya & Marty. In July 2019, Bashir and Diallo have not one but two new comedy series premiering — the sitcom South Side on Comedy Central, and the variety spoof Sherman’s Showcase on IFC. There’s a lot to get to, so let’s get to it!
info_outline Michelle Collins 07/01/2019
Michelle Collins Michelle Collins has that gift for gab that translates hilariously well both as a stand-up comedian and as a talk-show host. Collins co-starred for one season on ABC’s The View, and has gone on to host several after-shows for reality series. Among them: ABC's After Paradise, TLC's 90 Day Live: A 90 Day Fiance Fan Aftershow, and Lifetime's Little Talk Live. She can currently be heard hosting her very own morning show, The Michelle Collins Show, live weekday mornings on SiriusXM satellite radio. And she has a live stage show, “Strong Monster,” in which she recounts her life as well as the latest musings from the world of pop culture, via stories, slides and songs. She’s taking that show from New York City to London in July 2019. But first, she sat down with me to talk about her journey from Miami to Best Week Ever and beyond, so let’s get to it!