I'm mid-interview with Sam Brown and Zach Cregger from the sketch comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U'Know, searching for the words that might explain what makes them hilarious, as if they needed one more testimonial. They don't, of course — their IFC show and millions of YouTube video fans are proof that something they're doing is working. But what is it, exactly, that runs through all of their sketches?
For one, they know when to not say "When." They'll often take ideas and extend them and milk them until no surplus jokes remain, and then they'll milk it a bit more.
If you’ve ever watched the Discovery Channel trivia game show “Cash Cab,” and found yourself thinking “hey, this host is kind of funny,” well, that’s because he is. Ben Bailey, he of the mighty testosteroned voice, shaved head and 6’6” frame, got his start in showbiz by standing up on a stage telling jokes to strangers — before he made a living driving a casino-lit NYC cab around asking strangers questions.
In Arj Barker’s opinion, global warming is entirely the sun’s fault. As he puts it in his stand-up routine, “When I burn my toast, I don’t blame the bread.” This is just one example of Barker’s slightly twisted observations that have captured the attention of the masses. Despite his role in HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and appearances on Comedy Central and Late Night With Conan O’Brien, the comedian has yet to really take off in the U.S. Count yourself among the intimate group to jump on the Barker bandwagon at this month’s Cobb’s Comedy Club performances.
Anyone who has witnessed Bob Saget do stand-up or Dustin “Screech” Diamond do porn knows the actors' off-camera sensibilities do not always align with their television personalities. And perhaps it’s no surprise that some of our most endearing fictional network TV heroes are actually some of our crudest, gutter-minded citizens. Everyone needs a release from their day job, right?
Actor/comedian Tracy Morgan has reached the heights of television stardom differently than most character actors. That is, he’s been able to be himself. Kind of.
His 30 Rock character is vaguely similar to his own persona and even his own name — Tracy Jordan, a cartoon-voiced, overly manicured, narcissistic yet also sensitive TV talent. Critics generally say it’s a fantastically meta sendup of the Hollywood ego, but Morgan doesn’t really buy the similarities.
“It’s a fictional character, not me,” he says bluntly.
So who is Tracy Morgan? For one, he’s not all slapstick and gags. He’s a family man, a street philosopher, an artist. And yes, there’s still some street in the Brooklyn native.
First things first: Comedian/actor/producer/director Michael McDonald is a separate person from white fox/baritone/Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers voice Michael McDonald. The two inhabit very different worlds, but the former is slowly working his way toward a similar level of fame in his own mediums of stand-up and television. The former “MADtv” star has since found regular acting and directing work on hit shows such as “Scrubs” and “Cougar Town,” and still finds time to tour the comedy club circuit, which he’ll be doing this weekend at Cobb’s.
After seven seasons on Saturday Night Live and four seasons opposite Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey on 30 Rock, SAG award winner Tracy Morgan ’s still got it going on. Last year, Morgan published his hilarious autobiography, I Am the New Black (Spiegel & Grau), and showed up on the big screen earlier this year in Death at a Funeral.
Broken Lizard, the five-man comedy troupe that gave us the hilariously stupid classics Super Troopers and Beerfest, are coming to Cobb's. Presented by Sketchfest, Farva (aka Kevin Heffernan) and the gang will play four shows, Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5 at 8:00p and 10:15p. The shows will mix improv, new sketches, film clips, stand-up, and Q&A about what it's like to be as deranged as these guys are. Expect special guest appearances by characters from Broken Lizard movies.