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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: November, 2021
Nov 29, 2021

I first met Alex Edelman when he was just a teenager, aspiring to become a stand-up comedian while already scoring a lucrative internship with the Boston Red Sox. He achieved much throughout his 20s. A New Face at Montreal’s Just For Laughs. Multiple performances on Conan. Co-founded the Off The Wall Comedy Club in Jerusalem. Wrote on The Great Indoors on CBS. Opened on tour for the likes of Beck. Wrote and produced the YouTube benefit Saturday Night Seder, raising millions for COVID relief. He’s written and starred in three hit stage shows in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe. His first, Millennial, won him the Best Newcomer Award. His third, Just For Us, launches its first proper U.S. run in New York City in December 2021 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Directed by Adam Brace and presented by Mike Birbiglia, Just For Us recounts what happened when Edelman decided to attend a meeting of white nationalists in New York City so he could face anti-Semitism, well, in the face. Edelman talked with me about growing up and finding his comedic voice, with plenty of shout-outs to the comedians and others who’ve helped him along the way.

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!

Nov 21, 2021

Carole Montgomery racked up dozens of TV credits as a stand-up comedian during the 1980s comedy boom, with her first big break coming on Showtime’s Comedy All Stars hosted by Don Rickles. After giving birth to her only child, she began a 10-year stint in Las Vegas, initially hired by Steve Schirripa at The Riviera, then eventually over at The Luxor. After returning to New York City in 2006, she performed on Nick at Nite’s The Search for the Funniest Mom in America, Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen, and on the TV Guide Network's Standup in Stilettos. But at 48, she couldn’t find regular work in the clubs. So she started her own showcase, Funny Women of a Certain Age. It quickly became a fixture back on Showtime, with stand-up showcases airing on the premium cable network in 2019, 2020 and again in 2021. Fran Drescher, who appeared on that first showcase, is now president of the SAG-AFTRA actors union. Her third showcase features actress Teri Hatcher, plus performances by Wendy Liebman, Monique Marvez, Leighann Lord, Marsha Warfield and Montgomery herself — she joined me to share her firsthand perspective as a funny woman of a certain age.

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!

Nov 15, 2021

Lukas Arnold is an actor and voiceover artist who graduated from Northwestern University in 2017 and decided to pursue stand-up comedy after taking a class at Carolines on Broadway. He was just starting to get gigs around New York City when the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. On March 18, 2020, Arnold posted his first TikTok video. A year and a half later, he had amassed 2.2 million TikTok followers. The young comedian sat down with me over Zoom to talk about using his voice to his advantage both before and during the pandemic, whether there are any secrets to TikTok success and more.

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!

Nov 8, 2021

Jenny Zigrino first hit my radar in 2014 via the Marlon Wayans comedy contest on TBS, Funniest Wins. Zigrino didn’t win the contest, but much like her colleagues who didn’t “win” Last Comic Standing, she may just be winning the long game. Wayans cast her in his parody movie, 50 Shades of Black. She also won a supporting role in the big-screen sequel, Bad Santa 2. She performed stand-up multiple times on Conan, and followed that up with appearances on @Midnight, Adam Ruins Everything, and Adam Devine’s House Party. She also has starred in and created her own Comedy Central webseries, “Bad Ass Bitches of History,” and has both a Comedy Central half-hour and a stand-up album already to her credit. In 2021, she co-starred in the horror comedy movie, Too Late, and Zigrino sat down with me just before she’s ready to film her solo hour special as part of the 2021 New York Comedy Festival. 

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!

Nov 1, 2021

As befits her name, Joyelle Nicole Johnson is a comedian and writer who brings joy to the stage. She made her network TV debut in 2018 on Late Night with Seth Meyers, but it was her May 2021 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that made such an impression that Fallon decided to executive produce Johnson’s debut stand-up special for Peacock. Her previous credits have included writing on Broad City, warming up the audiences for Netflix’s Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, and she’ll be seen on the upcoming season of HBO Max’s Search Party. Johnson released her first comedy album, Yell Joy, on Juneteenth of 2021, and recorded her Peacock special, Love Joy, on her 40th birthday. The comedian talks to be about all of that and more.

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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