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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: March, 2022
Mar 28, 2022

Matt McCarthy began his comedy career as the Fordham Ram mascot, but quickly carved out a spot for himself in New York City’s stand-up scene, scoring TV credits with Comedy Central on both Live at Gotham and John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show. You may recognize him from his previous sketch comedy work on Conan, or from his many TV commercials, including a long-running stint as “the cable guy” one-upped by Verizon Fios, and more recently in national campaigns for Progressive and Planet Fitness. He’s also performed as recurring characters on both Adam Ruins Everything and Corporate. For a couple of years, McCarthy combined his comedy and wrestling fandom to write plot lines for the WWE. But it’s his personal and professional relationship with Pete Holmes that’s paid lasting dividends, from their early DIY videos that got them on TV during the Super Bowl, to a talk show on TBS, and they’re now reunited in 2022 on, How We Roll, the new CBS sitcom based on the real life of professional bowler Tom Smallwood. Matt joined me over Zoom to talk about his life and career, with plenty of funny stories about TV advertising, professional wrestling and carving out a separate niche for himself on TikTok as the ultimate film collector.

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!

Mar 21, 2022

Ben Rosenfeld was born in the city formerly known as Leningrad, but came to Connecticut as a toddler with his parents as the Soviet Union began to break apart. His comedy reflects his upbringing as a Russian Jewish immigrant in America. A graduate of Rutgers University, Ben entered a Ph.D. program in neuroeconomics at CalTech before realizing that his career path was meant for comedy instead. His TV credits include Laughs on FOX, as well as The Nick Cannon Show, and he has released multiple comedy albums since 2012: “Neuro Comedy,” “The Russian Optimist,” “The United States of Russia” and “Don’t Shake Your Miracle.” Ben also has published an illustrated coffee table book, “Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up.” That optimism seemed needed more in 2022 than even in 2016, ever since Russia invaded the Ukraine. Ben has tried to find jokes in that, too, producing daily TikTok videos to his more than 270,000 followers. He joined me over Zoom to talk about his comedy career, his Russian heritage, and how he has had to adapt to audiences as the geopolitics have changed.

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!

Mar 14, 2022

Colin Mochrie is one of the most successful and best-known improvisational comedians in the world, having performed on several hundred episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? since 1991, first broadcast in the UK, then later here in America on ABC, ABC Family and since 2013 on The CW. Born in Scotland and raised in Canada, Mochrie learned his theater and comedy skills at Vancouver TheatreSports and Second City Toronto. His face is famous in Canada, having appeared in countless TV commercials and series over the years. In 2022, Mochrie celebrates 20 years of touring North America in a two-man improv production with Whose Line co-star Brad Sherwood. He also tours with hypnotist Asad Mecci in a show called HYPROV. He sat down with me to talk about his career, as well as his most recent appearance on Amazon Prime Video’s Last One Laughing, competing against some of Canada’s other great comedy stars. And he had me laughing quite a lot.

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!

Mar 7, 2022

Ray Ellin has been the host with the most for most of his adult life. He started by MC’ing stand-up shows at comedy clubs in New York City. In the late 2000s, he launched a live interactive talk show, LateNet with Ray Ellin, first for his own website, DailyComedy.com, and later licensing it to air on AOL. Ellin also became the host for the official off-Broadway live edition of The Gong Show, receiving Chuck Barris’s blessing to do so. And before the pandemic, Ellin co-created, hosted and executive-produced a topical stand-up showcase for Comedy Central, This Week at the Comedy Cellar. Perhaps most uniquely, though, Ellin has spent the better part of a decade living almost half of the time in Aruba, where he has produced and hosted stand-up shows for locals and tourists alike on the Caribbean island as Aruba Ray. I’ve experienced Aruba Ray’s for myself, and got Ellin to tell me all about how he wound up a fixture on a tropical island 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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