When real life becomes even more ridiculous than satire, then what role is there for comedians to play? And how should comedians talk about serious issues while still keeping their senses of humor? Those are two of the questions I posed to comedians on the front lines of the discussion, and on the red carpet of the Golden Probes, a satirical award ceremony mocking misogyny. Among the comedians I chatted with: Comedy Central’s Jordan Klepper and Dulce Sloan, Lizz Winstead and Franchesca Ramsey, Brian Unger, and Margaret Cho. So let’s get to it!
You may or may not remember seeing J. Keith van Straaten in roles on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," “Gilmore Girls,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” and ads for McDonald’s, Nike, Pizza Hut, Cheez-It, and many more. But if you did, then you’re just the sort of trivia expert who would have loved watching van Straaten host Comedy Central’s TV game show “Beat The Geeks.” He currently contributes to an NPR game show, Ask Me Another, while hosting his own comedy game show podcast, Go Fact Yourself. We got just the facts from van Straaten this summer, so let’s get to it!
Ted Alexandro has made multiple appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson and The View, had two half-hour specials on Comedy Central, and spent the past couple of years touring theaters and arenas around the world with Jim Gaffigan. He also is one of the co-founders of the New York Comedians Coalition, which successfully organized hundreds of comedians to negotiate the first pay raise in decades in New York City’s comedy clubs. When he’s at home in his native New York City, you can often see Alexandro perform at The Comedy Cellar. He just released his third self-produced stand-up comedy special, “Senior Class of Earth,” out now via All Things Comedy. Alexandro sat down with me at our neighborhood comedy hangout, QED, in Astoria, so let’s get to it!
Darrell Hammond started carving out a career for himself with voiceover work in central Florida after graduating from the University of Florida. More than a decade later, a chance Clinton impersonation during a performance at Carolines scored him his fateful third-times-the-charm audition for SNL in 1995. And more than two decades after that, he’s still hanging around 30 Rock, now providing the lead-in voiceover intros for SNL. And he’s just put out the audio narration of his 2011 memoir, God, If You're Not up There, I'm F*cked. Hammond also has narrated an Audible Original called That’s Clinton recorded live at The Comedy Cellar, and is performing in a special all-star cast reading of the script, Have a Nice Day, recorded live in NYC for Audible with Billy Crystal, Kevin Kline, Annette Bening, Robin Thede and more in a dark comedy about a President trying to save his marriage and his country at the same time. So let's get to it!
Most people still think of Mary Lynn Rajskub as the counterterrorism techie Chloe from FOX’s hit series 24. But Rajskub has a long and storied comedy resume, from Mr. Show and Larry Sanders in the 1990s, to a prime time sketch TV effort with Kelsey Grammer in the 2000s, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Californication, to the movie Night School which opens this fall with Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish and many other comedians. I sat down with Rasjkub to talk about her own post-grad journey. So let’s get to it!