Today’s guest, Tony Hendra, began his career at Cambridge University with the famed Footlights as the comedy partner of Graham Chapman, and starred in the annual revue with Chapman and John Cleese. He came to the United States as a duo act with Nick Ullett, appearing multiple times on The Ed Sullivan Show and Merv Griffin, before splitting up and taking a job as the first editor hired by the founders of National Lampoon. While there, he made the Lampoon’s first album, Radio Dinner, with Michael O’Donoghue, and followed that up by giving John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Christopher Guest their first starring roles in the Lampoon’s off-Broadway hit, Lemmings. Hendra appeared in This Is Spinal Tap, playing the band’s manager, co-created and co-produced the British TV satire, Spitting Image, and served as Editor-in-Chief of Spy Magazine from 1993-1994. He has written four books, including the posthumous memoir of George Carlin, “Last Words,” and for the past several years has led a new satirical operation called The Final Edition. He’s just put out a new comedy album with the Lampoon, “Are There Any Triggers Here Tonight?” There’s a lot of great comedy history and stories to get to, so let’s get to it!
With the 2016 election careening toward Judgment Day, Lewis Black is back on Broadway this fall, giving voice to the grand majority of Americans and citizens worldwide perplexed at our politics and our political discussion. Black is performing “Black to the Future” Monday nights on Broadway, and heading out on the road for tour dates across the country in between, delivering his comedic rants and interacting with fans both in his live audience and livestreaming online. Black called in to ShowBriz Studios to talk about what’s happening now, and how he found his way from playwriting to stand-up comedy, through three hosts of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show to now. So let’s get to it!
Gary Owen is the only white comic to host BET’s Comic View, and many years later, he’s bringing his whole family to the network in the reality series, The Gary Owen Show, debuting in October 2016. Not something you might have expected from a kid growing up in a trailer park with an abusive stepfather in southern Ohio. Gary always wanted to be a stand-up comedian, but he enlisted in the Navy straight out of high school. It was only when he was stationed in San Diego that he could use his leave hours to hit the comedy clubs there and in Los Angeles for open mics. He talks to me about all of that, how he sustained himself in the decade between getting a role in the Jamie Foxx movie Held Up and his eventual success with House of Payne and the Think Like a Man films, and how the death of his brother from a drug overdose changed Gary’s outlook on comedy. All of that, plus Gary’s decision to have his black wife and mixed-race children on camera with him in BET’s The Gary Owen Show. So let’s get to it!
Hosting duties are nothing new for Ben Gleib. He’s been doing that since he was a teenager, rubbing elbows with Hollywood stars and their children in Beverly Hills High School. Gleib’s college talk show became a national sensation thanks to The National Lampoon, eventually scoring him a TV pilot on FOX produced by Lorne Michaels. After appearing hundreds of times on panels with Chelsea Lately and The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda, Gleib has hosted the Game Show Network’s Idiotest for the past two years. You’ve heard his voice on the big-screen in the animated hit, Ice Age: Continental Drift, as well as hosting his own podcast, Last Week On Earth. His first stand-up comedy special, Neurotic Gangster, premiered this summer on Showtime, and Gleib sat down with me during Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival to talk about his journey. So let’s get to it!