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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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Now displaying: December, 2021
Dec 27, 2021

It’s time once again for Jason Zinoman, the comedy critic for The New York Times, to sit down with me as we deconstruct the year that was. This time we’re taking our best cracks at 2021. Was anyone bigger in comedy than Dave Chappelle? Was anyone better than Bo Burnham? We talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of everything in comedy worth talking about in 2021. Was there a Most Valuable Performer in Comedy this year? What does it even mean to be an MVP in comedy? Jason and I hash it all out, and through our differences, we find some common ground. It’s the only year-in-review comedy podcast you need to listen to, so listen up!

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!

Dec 20, 2021

Russell Howard is one of the UK’s most successful comedians, the writer and star of The Russell Howard Hour on Sky and Russell Howard’s Good News on the BBC network. After releasing his first Netflix special, Recalibrate, in 2017, Howard prepared to embark on a world tour in March 2020, with a documentary crew filming his preparations and family life. Instead, his new wife went back to work as a doctor on the COVID frontlines while he quarantined with his family — and from his childhood bedroom, began broadcasting a pandemic talk show for Sky called Russell Howard’s Home Time. When gigs began opening up again, Howard jumped at the chance to perform for live audiences, no matter where or how. You can see the results of his pandemic work in a new documentary, Until The Wheels Come Off, which accompanies his 2021 Netflix stand-up special, Lubricant. Howard spoke with me about his approach to comedy and to life, and how it may have changed 20 years after he first got onstage as a teenager.

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!

Dec 6, 2021

Mary Elizabeth Kelly is an actress who studied musical theater at Northwestern before moving to New York City. She didn’t quite land on Broadway, although she did rack up TV credits performing on Law & Order: SVU, Alternatino with Arturo Castro on Comedy Central, and Netflix’s Master of None, where she went on a date with Aziz Ansari’s character. Kelly and her husband moved to Los Angeles thinking she’d further her acting career, but the COVID-19 pandemic had other ideas. Instead, she found herself on TikTok, where her impersonation skills and mouth-acting parodies introduced her to millions of new fans. Kelly spoke with me about adapting her career from musical theater to TikTok, auditioning for Saturday Night Live in the summer of 2021, developing her first solo live comedy show, and what comes next for her.

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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