Favourite Comedians: Woody Allen

Louie CK with Woody Allen: Blue Jasmine

Woody Allen spent some time with Louie CK, shooting Blue Jasmine. Even if you’re not up to par with the comedy scene, you know Louie is THE stand-up comedian. Woody Allen is also THE stand-up comedian… of 1967.

In a recent interview, Louie described his audition with Woody – he was supposed to play a bad guy, a role that eventually went to the hands of Andrew Dice Clay. Woody grimaced at his acting and Louie understood why. He couldn’t play that character, but still auditioned for the chance of meeting his idol. He got another role, more suited to his skills and personality.

I learned about this a while ago, but this piece of news got a new meaning now that Woody announced to be toying with the idea of going back to stand-up. Woody is more into basketball than movies, nowadays, and I suspect he doesn’t watch much TV with Soon-Yi, but it’s in that medium that Louie shows his acting chops. He shows that he can play himself with some tweaks. He even mocks his acting skills in a hilarious sequence with Matthew Broderick. So, did he hire Louie just to measure himself against him? Continue reading “Favourite Comedians: Woody Allen”


Favourite Comedians: Daniel Tosh

If you’re a fan of YouTube videos you know him from his web-redemptions, where he finds famous fail-videos and gives the protagonists a shot to redeem themselves. If you’re a hardcore feminist, you probably know him from the voodoo doll made in his semblance you keep poking with needles. He was the center of a controversy thanks to a misguided rape joke. If you love stand-up comedy, you know him for his one hour specials “Completely serious” and “Happy Thoughts”. If you’re Mary Adelaide Tosh, you know him from being his mother.

As you figured out by the title, I know Daniel Tosh from his stand-up comedy. And Continue reading “Favourite Comedians: Daniel Tosh”

Favourite Comedians: Louis CK

Click the image to learn about why Louie CK is great

It was an interview he heard that made him change his stand-up to what it is now. It didn’t one-handedly put him in the place he is right now, but it set him in the course to now be able to say that we could end peanut allergies by letting some millions die. The interviewee was George Carlin.

Curious George had an unusual approach. Like a snake he shredded his material when he was done with it. The unusual side of it was that it happened once a year. Louie had been working for 20 years to get one hour of material that he refused to abandon, because he feared he couldn’t do better than those rotten comedic scales. It wasn’t awful comedy, Louie was the proud number 98 on a list of Comedy Central 100 Greatest Standups of all Time. But they were funny musings at best. What Carlin said that stuck with him was that after you exhaust your ideas on making jokes about dolphins’ flippers or hats, you have to go deeper to find material. If you do it long enough, you get to places most comics can’t or won’t go.

The first bit that did it consisted on him saying Continue reading “Favourite Comedians: Louis CK”

Favourite Comedians: Jack Handey

It is rare to find something that makes me guffaw. Part of that is due to my love of comedy and comedians. I’ve seen most stand-up acts worth seeing, and the ones I haven’t, I probably haven’t heard of them. Once you’ve seen it all, there’s a certain cynicism that arises. Patterns emerge, structure becomes obvious and punchlines seem evident even before the set-up is completed. Sometimes even jokes repeat themselves, with different but similar phrasing.

I recalled Louie CK talking about this sense of apathy towards comedy and what is needed to break it. Here’s an excerpt from his TV show where he talks about it:

It’s refreshing to find someone who breaks all patterns and manages to be funny in a complete new way. Jack Handy’s musings are constructed in unfamiliar moulds. Its premises are often unique and much of them even lack a punch-line. If Jerry Seinfeld is the observational humorist of the common man, Handey does Continue reading “Favourite Comedians: Jack Handey”