Documentaries consist of a very small slice of total consumer entertainment. After a comment was made on the subject, Bill Hader joked about how he, Fred Armisen and Seth Meyers approached IFC, “You know those movies not a lot of people watch? We want to celebrate those.”
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It’s a few years since Comedy Central had their last event at Summerstage (Stars Under the Stars), which featured then rising talent Amy Schumer. This year, Comedy Central hosted a show with talent from their flagship show The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Ronny Chieng, Jordan Klepper, Adam Lowitt, Desi Lydic, Hasan Minhaj, Michelle Wolf, and Roy Wood Jr. on Sunday, June 26. The free event was an “extra night of work”, joked Klepper, who quickly realized the audience hadn’t paid to get in either. He was probably “disappointed” that he and co-emcee Lydic were decked out for the night—chumps fawning for a crowd. Nonetheless, Klepper and Lydic proved gracious hosts, and introduced all the performers with baby pictures of that individual.
I find it difficult to translate comedy into a review, given I’d essentially spoil some excellent punch lines, but I can mention a couple of highlights. There was Wolf’s hilarious bit where she read texts from a person she dated, including the fake idiom “chipping away at the ham”. Noah himself offered great commentary on Rihanna being strong enough to withstand the rap artists guesting on her tracks, as he deftly imitated the body motions of a singer. There were many, many other laughs earned during the nearly two hour show; the audience responded heartily to each talent, even staying after the show was over to try and meet the comedians. Photos from the event are below.
Nine episodes into her new TBS show Full Frontal, Samantha Bee has quickly risen to the top of the late night game. In aptitude, her only rival may be HBO’s John Oliver with Last Week Tonight. Even before the show aired, the organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival recruited Bee and her showrunner Jo Miller to discuss her show with them, fully trusting Bee’s abilities to produce an excellent television program. Bee’s new network home also held the same confidence in her. After years of being a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Bee proved her worthiness and value as a comedian and as a political satirist. At the Tribeca talk, Bee said TBS, who had already been working with her husband Jason Jones, “just trusted us because we had already been working with them. They put a lot of faith in Jason and they put a lot of faith in me. I’m very thankful for them.”
The attitude of Full Frontal is apparent right from the intro where Peaches’ “Boys Want to Be Her” plays over the credits. Bee knew right away she wanted Peaches, “almost from the moment of knowing we were gonna be doing a show it came to me in a moment where I went, ‘Well, Peaches will do the song.’ Because, Peaches.” before reaching out to Peaches, another edgy Canadian female, via Twitter. Peaches, ever so generously provided additional cues, cuts and backing bits for the show to supplement her song.
I had never heard of the new Spike TV series Lip Sync Battle (airing Thursday nights) until I learned an event related to it was slated for an evening at Summerstage in New York City’s Central Park. Even then, I didn’t even realize that LL Cool J was part of the show till the day before Lip Sync Battle Live happened on Monday July 13th. But the loveable rapper makes for an excellent host with his sidekick Chrissy Teigen assisting by providing some oddball humor. As a intro Doug E. Fresh warmed up the Central Park crowd.
On the last day of July, Stephen Colbert made an announcement on his show, The Colbert Report. In just over one week, Colbert would be revisiting his 2011 week-long music event “StePhest Colbchella ‘011: Rock You Like a Thirst-Icane” with a newer version, “StePhest Colbchella ‘012: RocktAugustFest”. Last year, Colbert’s musical guests included Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine, Talib Kweli, and Jack White all with in-studio sessions and interviews broadcast on the television show. This year, Colbert decided to rock the boat a little and host Colbchella outdoors and on the USS Intrepid Museum in front of a larger audience.
Colbchella ‘012 featured four acts, one each to be broadcast nightly, including fun., Grizzly Bear, Santigold and the Flaming Lips. For the audience members lucky enough to get tickets (reportedly there was only a 1500 person capacity), they were treated to a couple of beers and a snack for their time plus a chance to see abbreviated sets from each of the acts. Unfortunately, as is the case with television recordings, some performances required multiple takes, including two from Grizzly Bear and Santigold, in order to be appropriately captured. To be sure, the three songs each artist performed would not all air on TV, some are internet exclusives. But the technical difficulties that may have marred the recordings did not necessarily ruin the song for those on the boat (excluding the moisture that got into one of effects pedals). It was to much annoyance that songs were redone and when the show finally ended around 12:30 am, people were deservedly tired. Even Grandmaster Flash, Colbert’s second in command, bailed from his decks on the deck before the night was through.
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