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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: May, 2022
May 30, 2022

You may have heard Helen Hong as a regular panelist on the hit NPR quiz show, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.” Hong also has appeared on the big screen in Inside Llewyn Davis, and in recurring roles on TV in sitcoms and comedy shows including HBO’s Silicon Valley, The Unicorn on CBS, and The Netflix Afterparty. And as a stand-up comedian, Hong has grown up from her start as a “Little Ethnic Girl,” releasing her debut comedy special, Helen Hong: Well Hong, via Comedy Dynamics, which she recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. Hong sat down with me over Zoom to talk about her early days and nights as a TV producer behind the camera, how she moved to Hollywood without a steady gig and lived to joke about it, filming a nationwide TV commercial with a Muppet, and her life as the daughter of Korean immigrants.

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!

May 23, 2022

Wyatt Cenac and Donwill have enjoyed a long friendship and working relationship, with the DJ providing beats and sidekick commentary for Cenac when he had a long-running Monday night stand-up showcase in Brooklyn called Night Train, which begat a Seeso series of the same name. They also worked together on HBO’s Problem Areas with Wyatt Cenac. And since 2011, the duo has presided over a live movie screening event called “Shouting at the Screen,” in which they provide running commentary and more while watching a classic blaxploitation film. After hitting pause for two years during the pandemic, they have relaunched Shouting at the Screen at a new location in Prospect Park. Cenac and Donwill joined me over Zoom to talk about their comedy collaborations, the joys of guiding audiences through cinematic experiences, and how to balance jokes and silly ideas with weighty subject matter.

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!

May 16, 2022

Bruce McCulloch is a Canadian actor, writer, and director best known as one of the five Kids in the Hall — who came back in a big way in 2022 — their sixth season of sketch comedy premiered May 13 on Amazon Prime Video, with a documentary about them, Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, out the following week. As a solo act, McCulloch has written a book (“Let’s Start A Riot”), released two albums, Shame-based Man and The Drunk Baby Project, and created the sitcom Carpoolers for ABC. He’s also directed movies such as Superstar and Stealing Harvard, as well as shows such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Schitt’s Creek, and Trailer Park Boys, and he has shepherded a new Canadian sketch comedy group, TallBoyz, to TV on CBC and Fuse. His latest one-man show, “Tales of Bravery and Stupidity,” will make its off-Broadway debut in June 2022 at SoHo Playhouse. McCulloch invited me to his hotel room to talk about the makings of The Kids In The Hall, and his perspective on it all. 

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!

May 9, 2022

Addie Weyrich got an early jump on her comedy career, dropping out of NYU when the teenager’s work with the likes of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Improv Everywhere and Buzzfeed were taking off. She scored roles on episodes of Crashing on HBO, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon, and Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell on Adult Swim, and she began appearing in national TV commercials. That jumpstart gave her the juice to go Hollywood, where she co-hosts a live comedy showcase, “Everything’s Great,” with Nick Kocher and Demi Adejuyigbe every month at Dynasty Typewriter. In 2022, Addie plays a wiccan high-schooler in the Hulu romcom, Crush, and co-stars in the film, Mack & Rita, starring Diane Keaton. She sat down with me in Los Angeles to talk about her career, sharing her life on social media via Instagram Stories, hosting an impromptu election party in a gas station parking lot, martial arts 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!

May 2, 2022

Karen Chee is a writer and performer for Late Night with Seth Meyers. She has previously written for the Golden Globes and the Amazon Prime Video special, Yearly Departed, has developed TV pilots for Netflix and Comedy Central, and has published humor pieces in The New Yorker and McSweeney’s. All before the age of 27. No wonder she made Variety’s “Power of Young Hollywood” list as well as Forbes “30 Under 30.” Chee sat down with me to talk about getting an early start on her comedy career, how Twitter did or didn’t help her get her dream gig, and how she has managed supporting her grandparents in Korea during the pandemic while still writing remotely for Late Night, and picking up a new gig writing for Pachinko on Apple TV+.

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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