Joan Rivers Always Knew She Was Funny
A profile of the comedian.
A profile of the comedian.
An interview with Murphy at the apex of his power, just before the release of Harlem Nights.
A profile of the writer behind “Deep Thoughts” on Saturday Night Live.
The thin, resentful line between comic and audience.
On film comedy’s silent beginnings.
In 1980, Richard Pryor doused himself in rum, lit himself, and streaked though the streets or Northridge in a ball of flames. He would go on to live another 25 years.
Their partnership lasted a mere four years, but transformed comedy forever. Mike Nichols and Elaine may give their first joint interview since breaking up 51 years ago.
“I read an article a few years ago that said when you practice a sport a lot, you literally become a broadband: the nerve pathway in your brain contains a lot more information. As soon as you stop practicing, the pathway begins shrinking back down. Reading that changed my life. I used to wonder, Why am I doing these sets, getting on a stage? Don’t I know how to do this already? The answer is no. You must keep doing it. The broadband starts to narrow the moment you stop.”
A profile of Mindy Kaling.
Creators, gatekeepers, and the future of the comedy business.
A transcript of Oswalt’s keynote at last week’s Just For Laughs conference.
An interview with Marc Maron.
Remembering Patrice O’Neal.
BARR: What makes you laugh? BERNHARD: Well, it's really a myriad of things, but usually it's something that's very organic. It's something that happens on the street. BARR: Like fat people falling down? BERNHARD: No, no . . . [laughs] BARR: That really cracks me up. It's terrible.
It didn't matter if these clubs were in Cleveland, Portland, Corpus Christi or Baton Rouge—if it was a nightclub, the owners were the Mob. For a good forty years the Mob controlled American show business.
An oral history of Saturday Night Live.
Part of our guide to SNL for Slate.
A profile of comedian Ricky Gervais.
A conversation with the comedian.
JW: You’ve talked about how you’ve had to explain moral lessons to your daughters, but do it in an inarticulate, catchy way. It’s almost as though you’re writing material for them. What’s the place of morality and ethics in your comedy? I think those are questions people live with all the time, and I think there’s a lazy not answering of them now, everyone sheepishly goes, “Oh, I’m just not doing it, I’m not doing the right thing.” There are people that really live by doing the right thing, but I don’t know what that is, I’m really curious about that. I’m really curious about what people think they’re doing when they’re doing something evil, casually.
Midtown Manhattan. The highest concentration of showbiz havens and hangouts in the whole entire world. The Chorus Girls. The Drunk Newsmen. The Jazz Hepsters. The Mob. They converge with the force of a fly against a windshield. This is where American popular culture is born. Its influence permeates the nation. Walk the streets and weave through the hustlers, the gangsters, the bookies, the rummies... and somewhere among that crowd - you'll walk past a nondescript artistic genius or twelve, indiscernible from the dregs, biding time until they transform the American landscape. And high-above the loud, syncopated beat of Midtown you can hear... The Comedians.
A profile of Mike Judge, creator of the now-resuscitated Beavis and Butthead.
Four unhealthy, bearded, mostly unknown comedians from Atlanta tour 3,020 miles in a van.
An oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade.
On the life and career of Chris Farley.
A profile of an up-and-coming director:
Well, according to Woody, his ascent has been a series of painful falls. Success hasn't changed him, Allen insists: he's still a schlemiel. "I'm afraid of the dark and suspicious of the light," he says. "I have an intense desire to return to the womb—anybody's." Ineptitude, Woody goes on, is a family curse.
The name Shecky can vacillate from noun to verb to adjective. The opinion of every comedian during that gilded age of show business, whether they were Republican Bob Hope or hipster Lenny Bruce, is that Shecky Greene was the wildest of them all. The craziest of them all. Most importantly - the funniest of them all.
A profile of the up-and-coming comedian just after the cancellation of his VH1 talk show, Late World with Zach. His sentiment at the time: “Hollywood is just such a fucking idiot machine.”