There has been some talk recently about comedy being too left wing. This seems to suggest that comedy, like politics is polar, which it is not!
There is an interesting analysis over on chortle on what comedy is and why trying to make it more right wing after complaining of it being too left wing merely highlights the people have no idea what there are talking about.
I am not going to argue today that comedy is or should be apolitical – society is political, and comedy reflects society. What I am going to argue is this idea of balance is erroneous because of the fundamental nature of comedy. Comedy is always counter-cultural and counter-hegemonic – by its very nature, it fights against the dominant culture and works to actively undermine it, regardless of the leanings of its proponents.
On this episode we have Staten Island native Mickey Burns. He is the host of the celebrity interview show Profiles on the NYC Media. He is also the Network President of Quest Media Entertainment, Inc.
Mickey discusses his TV show, Profiles, which has produced over 500 episodes. The challenges the format has endured under lockdown and how his show and the rest of the TV production in New York city exits lockdown.
…we went to Steve’s for grilled cheese and French fries and sat around to post-mortem the night, which, I can tell you confidently, is all comedians’ favourite pastime. Let’s break it all down. Any comic will tell you they would much rather be talking in a diner about life than attend the chicest nightclub. We want to talk.
Carrie and I worked together on our first podcast experience, 10, 9, 8 years ago.
Carrie is currently stuck in Melbourne, which is the only state in Australia back in lockdown. She discusses this, and the cancellation of the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She was actively producing shows for both festivals when the call came in to effectively down tools and discusses the financial hardships she and many other people connected with the arts scene are enduring at the moment.
Not to rest on her laurels her comedy company, Serious Comedy, has moved online and is producing live shows that people worldwide are tuning in for.
Carrie has produced comedy shows in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Perth’s Fringe World, Canberra Comedy Festival, as well as outside of festivals around Australia. She has worked closely with Tim Ferguson to run his Comedy Writing Masterclasses in various places around Australia, as well as debuting his runaway success show A Fast Life on Wheels. She’s also run regular comedy rooms and produced and toured theatre shows.
This article ran in the New Yorker in 2011, where Tine Fey discusses what it was like to join Saturday Night Live, what she learned and what is the difference between things that men find funny and the things that women find funny. Still feels fresh and relevant.
Producing is about discouraging creativity.
Figure out if there is something you’re asking the actor to do that’s making him or her uncomfortable.
The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s eleven-thirty.
When hiring, mix Harvard nerds with Chicago improvisers and stir.
Television is a visual medium.
Don’t make any big decisions right after the season ends.
Never cut to a closed door.
Don’t hire anyone you wouldn’t want to run into in the hallway at three in the morning.
Never tell a crazy person he’s crazy.
Sometimes the guys just literally didn’t know what we were talking about. In the same way that I was not familiar with the completely normal custom of pissing in jars, they had never been handed a bulging antique Kotex product by the school nurse.
Shelia discusses the challenges of casting shows that have started in a different territory and bringing them to the US market. She also goes into her experiences with giving reality TV lessons to the Chinese market.
Sheila also worked as a tour manager for comedian Phyllis Diller earlier in her career.
Marc Maron must be on fire recently after getting Jerry Seinfeld on his podcast recently, considered by many to be the great white whale he just got Jim Carrey on. Great interview with a lot of detail of how Carrey started out in comedy in the 70s.
Jim Carrey just wrote his first novel, a semi-autobiographical look at show business and an examination of persona. It makes sense because Jim has been playing with persona during his entire career in show business. Jim talks with Marc about his days doing stand-up in Canada, LA and Las Vegas, and the late night realization that forced him to change his act and create the public image that launched him to superstardom. They also talk about In Living Color, Ace Ventura, Rodney Dangerfield, Sam Kinison, and holding out hope for the future.