Jerry Stiller, "Frank Costanza" on Seinfeld, RIP

Jerry Stiller, who most famously played Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, has died. He was 92. Along with his role as George Costanza's dad, he also appeared on screen in Zoolander, both Hairspray films, and The King of Queens. From Variety:

Though known as a comedian, Stiller was also a serious dramatic actor with a long history on Broadway.

Long before Stiller became known for his appearances on “Seinfeld” and “The King of Queens,” Stiller and Meara, were a top comedy act in the 1960s, appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show” some 36 times. The pair were also members of the improv group the Compass Players, which later became Second City....

Stiller was born on June 8, 1927 in New York City. He graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in speech and drama, and he also studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village.

Read the rest

Watch Fred Armisen imitate every North American accent

If his comedy career fizzles, Fred Armisen could be a great dialect coach.

Read the rest

Comedian Maria Bamford tried to get a restraining order against Donald Trump

In this clip from Late Night with Seth Myers, comedian Maria Bamford talks about how she tried to take out a restraining order against "the unregistered sex offender in the White House." She said she felt unsafe having such a person in the Oval Office.

She says she "went down to the local courthouse. Saw a judge within a half hour. He denied me. Ultimately a useless gesture that didn't further the conversation in any way and wasted the time of caring professionals."

There are some other funny and heartwarming moments during the interview. Like, Maria picks people on Twitter and then meets up with them at Dunkin' Donuts to workshop her comedy. She also talks about the comedy special she did in front of an audience of two: her parents. And she talks about her show "What's Your Ailment?," where she talks, mainly to celebrities and fellow comedians, about dealing with mental health issues, something that Maria has very openly and courageously struggled with.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Comedians in a room playing foosball

When I was a teen in the 1970s, I lived for foosball. In the tiny town of Chester, VA where I grew up, the Family Circus Foosball Parlor, which had taken over the old turn-of-the-century pharmacy building in the center of town, was where all of the freaks, geeks, pool hustlers, and drug dealers hung out.

I smoked my first weed behind the hedgerow beside Family Circus, squatting among discarded Family Circus napkins and french fry cups, and spent condoms. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Jethro Tull enjoyed constant rotation on the Family Circus jukebox. The degree of your coolness was determined by the width (and amount of hem fray) of your bell bottom jeans. And the viciousness of your shot-wrist.

I got pretty good at foosball. But other players were scary-good. I still remember playing a two-on-two game with a friend where our opponents, the two real stars of the Circus, turned away and covered their eyes each time they took their goal shots. Blindfolded, they still beat us. For the rest of my life, I will always count the sound of definitively sinking a foosball, with a dramatic snap of the wrist, to be one of the most satisfying sounds (and feelings) there is -- that bell-like ring of the cork ball as it pings off of the metal backstop of the goal.

Comedian Kelsey Cook knows and loves that sound and feeling, too. Besides being a stand-up comic, Cook is a professional foosball player (as are her mom and dad). Read the rest

Watch Steve Martin do Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean"

Steve Martin takes a walk in Michael Jackson's loafers for "The New Show," a 1984 sketch-comedy TV program from Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels. The New Show only ran for one season but this clip lives for eternity.

(via r/ObscureMedia, thanks, UPSO!)

Read the rest

How Louis CK tells a joke

The Nerdwriter presents a fascinating analysis of why Louis CK's jokes are funny.

Read the rest

Difficult interview with Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis is in no mood to suffer a fool today.

https://youtu.be/xDllXqN684o Read the rest

Amazing comedian Jonathan Winters riffing between takes in a 1972 Big Boy commercial

"Oh, no! Oh crap! They shot big boy in the ass!"

As seen on r/ObscureMedia: "Raw footage of Jonathan Winters improvising during down time on a Big Boy commercial. Winters riffs on superstars, his early days, and his 8 months spent in a mental institution."

(Thanks, UPSO!)

Read the rest

Comedians describe the tricky balance between the road and home

The crowning paradox of the touring comic's life may be this: You have to leave home to make a name, but without the grounding and security of home you may not have anything to say. This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., three experienced comedians on striking the tricky balance between the road and home.

HOME is a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network. If you like what you hear, please consider leaving the show a rating and/or review at the iTunes Store. 

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | RSS

Thanks to Cathy Ladman, whose one-woman show, "Does This Show Make Me Look Fat?", opens soon; Brad Upton, whose upcoming tour schedule is available here; and Jackie Kashian, who can be heard on The Dork Forest and The Jackie and Laurie Show. Read the rest

Watch this trippy animated interview with Reggie Watts

From our friends at California Sunday, this beautiful animated interview with comedian/musician Reggie Watts. Animation by Drew Tyndell.

"California Inspires Me" (California Sunday)

Read the rest

Conversations with Matt Dwyer

The internet calls it the golden age of audio podcasts. Read the rest