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The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Last Things First asks comedians and funny performers about the historic lasts and firsts in their lives as their comedy careers have blossomed.
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The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First
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Now displaying: October, 2021
Oct 25, 2021

Ricky Velez grew up in a blue-collar family in Queens and started living a blue-collar career before he discovered comedy, roomed with Pete Davidson, and won the New York’s Funniest stand-up competition. In that order. After winning that contest in 2014, Velez rose quickly through the ranks, earning a gig as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and appearing on Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch list. He has since appeared on Netflix’s Master of None, Comedy Central’s This Week at the Comedy Cellar, and he reunited with Davidson to co-star and co-produce the 2020 film, The King of Staten Island. Davidson and Judd Apatow now have teamed up to produce Velez’s first stand-up comedy special, Here’s Everything, for HBO. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Oct 18, 2021

Ahir Shah is a British comedian who was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and 2018. He has turned his 2019 touring show, DOTS, into his first proper televised comedy special, which debuted on HBO Max in 2021. Shah sat down with me over Zoom not once but twice, as we had far-ranging discussions about comedy, religion, the politics of satire on British television courtesy of Nish Kumar’s Late Night Mash, and how Shah feels about having an amplified voice in this time of great uncertainty. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Oct 11, 2021

After spending his 20s as a computer programmer, Will Hines caught the improv bug when he began studying and performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in 1999 in New York City. He has gone on to become one of the most respected and experienced improv instructors with the UCB in New York and Los Angeles, as well as working with corporate clients, and he turned his Tumblr, Improv Nonsense, into a book: How to Be The Greatest Improviser on Earth. His screen credits included a recurring role on Brooklyn Nine-Nine as D.A. Carl Kurm, plus appearances on Kenan, Broad City, Search Party, Inside Amy Schumer, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Adam Ruins Everything, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Community, as well as sketches with Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Funny or Die, CollegeHumor and AboveAverage. Will caught up with me during his return to NYC for the North Coast Comedy Festival, where he both performed stand-up and taught an improv workshop.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Oct 4, 2021

You’ve been hearing the wit and wisdom of Harry Shearer for the past four decades. Since 1983, Shearer has hosted and produced a weekly hourlong radio program, Le Show, that mixes news reports, interviews and music that can be equal parts referential and comedic. (It’s heard around the world on the radio or via podcasts.) You’ve also enjoyed Shearer’s contributions to the monumental rockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap, as Derek Smalls, and of course, absorbed so many funny lines from his vocal work on The Simpsons, where he won an Emmy for his work as Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner and Kent Brockman. He’s also been Grammy-nominated for multiple albums, and wrote and directed multiple documentaries about New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Shearer joined me over Skype from his home in New Orleans to talk about all of that, his younger days in The Credibility Gap with Michael McKean and David Lander, and his youngest days as a child actor working alongside legends Jack Benny and Mel Blanc.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

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