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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: August, 2022
Aug 29, 2022

Michelle Ortiz was born in Los Angeles but studied all over the world, including the Moscow Art Theatre School, and classical opera in Germany. A participant in both the ABC and CBS diversity showcases, Ortiz broke through first as a cast member on the reboot of MADtv for The CW — where she impersonated the likes of Kim Kardashian, Melania Trump, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Lopez, and Dora the Explorer. Ortiz also has appeared on I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, Mom, Life in Pieces, Gentefied, and When Nature Calls with Helen Mirren. In 2022, Ortiz has a new chance to shine as Maggie in the Hulu comedy series, This Fool. Ortiz sat down with me to discuss how she found her way in the world and in comedy.

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!

Aug 22, 2022

Alice Fraser first studied law in Sydney, Australia, but found comedy and the Footlights while getting her Master’s degree in rhetoric at Cambridge, and honed her stand-up skills in New York City’s open mics and comedy clubs before returning to Australia as a comedian. You’ve likely heard Fraser’s voice before if you’re a fan of The Bugle. She also hosts a weekly spin-off podcast, The Gargle — and in the first year of the COVID pandemic, she wrote and performed a daily satirical news podcast, The Last Post, set in an alternate dimension. She’s also co-hosted best-selling documentary audiobooks on Audible, and her 2020 stand-up special, Savage, was released as an Amazon Original on Prime Video. Fraser sat down with me between shows in her 2022 Edinburgh Fringe run of her latest hour, Chronos. We had an enjoyable and educational discussion about the harsh economics of stand-up comedy, whether you’re taking your show to the Fringe or just trying to pay the bills and support a family.

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!

Aug 15, 2022

The creator and star of HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” Robin Thede and her crew already have enjoyed 13 Emmy nominations and one Emmy win heading into the 2022 awards ceremony, as well as 2020 honors from the TV Critics Association for outstanding sketch/variety series. Thede grew up in Iowa, studied broadcast media at Northwestern and made a brief stop at The Second City before going Hollywood. She scored supporting roles in short-lived sketch shows for Mike Epps and Affion Crockett, but much of Thede’s early success came behind the camera as a writer — for the BET Awards, Real Husbands of Hollywood and The Queen Latifah Show. Thede broke through as the first black woman to serve as head writer in late-night TV for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, then got her own late-night show, The Rundown, on BET. When that show abruptly ended, it opened the door for Thede to take her talents to HBO, where she not only has shone brightly, but also helped pave the way for success with past and present fellow castmates such as Quinta Brunson and Ashley Nicole Black. Thede sat with me to talk 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!

Aug 8, 2022

Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher grew up near each other in Atlanta but only became a sketch comedy duo while attending NYU together. As BriTANicK, they’ve made viral videos for YouTube, Cracked, CollegeHumor and Funny or Die, catapulting them onto Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch list in 2013. They’ve acted together How I Met Your Mother, Much Ado About Nothing, and the indie comedy film Balls Out; they’ve written together for Saturday Night Live, as well as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Goodwin Games. They’ve been the voices of the Cartoon Network. And now in the summer of 2022, 14 years after they first took to the comedy stages of New York City, they’re back performing live once more, taking their best sketches to the Edinburgh Fringe festival. But first, they sat with me to talk about their journey.

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!

Aug 1, 2022

Originally from New Jersey, Anthony DeVito is a NYC-based comedian who has performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, released a half-hour special on Comedy Central, and a full special, “Brain Noise,” in May 2022 on YouTube. DeVito was a writer and sidekick of Sam Morril on MSG's People Talking Sports and Other Stuff. He followed that up by writing for Netflix’s The Break with Michelle Wolf, which also led him to writing jokes for Wolf when she delivered the keynote at the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner. You may have heard him talking about his relationship with his grandmother on This American Life, but you may not yet have seen or heard his one-man show, “My Dad Isn’t Danny DeVito.” He’s taking that show to the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe festival. But first, he sat with me to discuss his life and career. 

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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