How are we supposed to make any sense out of this year in comedy, 2020? There’s only one way I know how…that’s by reuniting with Jason Zinoman of The New York Times, the Siskel to my Ebert in comedy criticism, to hash out 2020 and give some shout outs to the most valuable players in comedy…so let’s get to it!
Among those shouted out: Dave Chappelle, Conan O'Brien, Eddie Pepitone, Beth Stelling, Mike Birbiglia, Amber Ruffin, Amy Schumer, and Sarah Cooper and all of the other selfie stars who made us laugh on social media this year.
Michael Kosta is a Senior Correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Prior to The Daily Show, Michael co-created, produced and starred in the E! network’s The Comment Section, guest-hosted G4’s Attack of the Show and co-hosted Crowd Goes Wild on FOX Sports with Regis Philbin. He also served as a correspondent on The Soup spinoff series The Soup Investigates. Kosta has made the late-night rounds over the years from NBC to TBS and back to Comedy Central, and at the end of 2020 has released his first one-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central. Michael Kosta: Detroit. NY. LA includes material filmed in a theater in his native Michigan, as well as club sets at New York Comedy Club and the Hollywood Improv. Kosta joined me over Zoom to talk about making the move from tennis pro to stand-up comedian, lessons he’s learned along the way and more, so let’s get to it!
Kansas native Jeremiah Watkins trained at both The Second City and The Groundlings, and has become a fixture at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles as part of several trademark shows; among them, he was one-third of “The Wave” for Roast Battle as it developed and grew from late-night Tuesdays to multiple seasons on Comedy Central. He’s still the bandleader for Monday’s Kill Tony. And for more than a decade, Watkins has hosted an improvised riffing showcase there called Stand-Up On The Spot. You also may have seen and heard Watkins as the the saxophone-playing roadie for The Goddamn Comedy Jam. As a solo artist, he hosts his own podcast, Jeremiah Wonders, and was a New Face in Montreal’s Just For Laughs in 2018. At the end of 2020, Watkins has released his first stand-up special through Comedy Dynamics. “Family Reunion” really does bring it all back home quite literally for Watkins, as he filmed his special over the 2019 holidays with his family and friends in attendance at The Comedy Club of Kansas City. Watkins joined me in New York City to talk about the special, his career and more, so let’s get to it!