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.
It’s hard to say exactly how Brent Weinbach — one of the Bay Area’s comic talents truly deserving of wider recognition — is funny. His shtick is inconceivably awkward, his delivery of punchlines uber-droll, his voice that of an unbearably uncharismatic statistics professor, with all the stage presence of a To Catch a Predator star.
It’s been a surreal two weeks for Amy Schumer, the cunning girl-next-door comic who will, for the foreseeable future, be known as the standup who told Steve-O she would have preferred he die, rather than fellow Jackass star Ryan Dunn, at the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen. Her infamous joke has caught the attention of both angry Jackass fans and also the national media, and now the 30-year-old New Yorker is riding the crest of a wave of notoriety. It’s a double-edged sword, of course: she’s now selling out shows, but she also reported to be on the receiving end of death threats from the unamused.
One of the great things about comedy is that there’s no one single conventional path to making a career of it. Advanced degrees, internships, corporate ladders, apprenticeships, none of them are prerequisites for getting up on a stage and trying to make people laugh. If only Johnny Tremain had known...
Loni Love’s journey to Hollywood — Hollyweird, she calls it — certainly has its own distinct trajectory. Before she realized her career in comedy, Love lived the unparallel life of an electrical engineer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in the subject, and worked for eight years at Xerox. Funny how things turn out. Very funny.
It’s no secret Asian-Americans are terribly underrepresented in Hollywood and other segments of the entertainment biz, but trailblazing comedian/actor Bobby Lee believes the industry is slowly warming up to the idea of the Asian-American comedic hero. The current posterboy, Ken Jeung, has won over mainstream America with breakout performances in the Hangover films. But long before Jeung started pulling in endorsement deals and nabbing awards, Lee was sending up every Asian archetype and celebrity in public view on MadTV, spending eight years crafting his lovable characters with a keen sense of slapstick.
You know that 30-something friend of yours who doesn’t have kids but already seems to have assumed the persona of a fun dad? That’s Pete Holmes, and that’s how he proudly describes himself these days. Indeed, on first glance, everything about him screams “average white guy” and “non-threatening,” but he’s got a subtle edge, which has helped him earn an increasingly wide pale of work. His growing résumé includes writing credits on NBC’s (recently canceled) Outsourced and Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, stage time on Jimmy Fallon and Conan, a half-hour Comedy Central special, a gig as cartoonist for The New Yorker and the voice of the ubiquitous e*trade baby. He’ll be at Punchline tonight, and he recently took a moment to answer a few questions about his career-in-motion.