John Oliver’s NY Stand Up Show began its third season on Comedy Central last night. John Oliver hosts this show, which features short sets from both established and up-and-coming comedians. It once again succeeded in showcasing one of the barest forms of entertainment. There is something very enjoyable in watching one person share his or her observations in an attempt to make strangers laugh. This is the ultimate form of creative control.
John Oliver is a British comic and is well-known as a correspondent on The Daily Show. As host of this show, it almost seems he wants to be portrayed simply as the opening act. The truth is, he deserves more credit than that. Not only is he funny, but his show gives comedians a chance to gain a larger audience.
The premium cable channel EPIX has announced a new monthly comedy showcase called Comedy Unbound. The show gives EPIX alumni a platform to perform new specials. The showcase kicks off with Jim Norton: Please Be Offended premiering on tonight. Each special will air on the last weekend of every month.
CEO Mark Greenberg said that the network has had great success with their original comedy specials since its launch and that the network is committed to featuring the most talented comedians today. He wants them to feel free to test boundaries as they please.
Comedian Jim Norton said, “My experience with EPIX has been unlike any other network. I’ve worked closely with the EPIX team throughout the entire process, including promotion, which is an incredibly rare luxury for a performer.” Other comedians feel the same way.
Comedy Unbound will also feature Kevin Smith, Austrailian stand-up Jim Jefferies, and Ben Stiller. Sherri Shephard, Eddie Griffin, and Lewis Black will also perform specials. The show will air new showcases on the last weekend of every month.
Once again, Jay Leno declares that he lives solely off the money he makes from stand up comedy. This time he made the claim in The Seattle Times, even though the story can be found online at the Boston Herald’s website. At least, Leno didn’t repeat that he has never touched his Tonight Show money.
Despite being a David Letterman and Conan O’Brien fan, I don’t completely hate Jay Leno because I don’t know him personally. However, when Leno makes comments about how he lives off of the money he earns from doing stand up comedy, I want to scream.
We get it Jay. You’re rich. I’m sure comedy clubs are paying you more than the struggling comics barely making a living. You’re the host of the freakin’ Tonight Show. It sounds impressive when someone says “Jay Leno performed here last week” because millions of Americans watch you every night. You probably make several thousand of dollars per stand up gig because of it. No one thinks you’re struggling to get by on your stand up money. Besides, you have an obscene number of cars, so shut up.
Another thing Leno needs to stop saying is “I’ve always looked at TV as a temporary job.” It is for some people. As Team Coco can attest, he’s not one of them. He managed to lose The Tonight Show, bomb in primetime, and then get The Tonight Show back. He makes 32 million dollars a year from television and apparently doesn’t spend any of it or spends it all on cars. I don’t know which one. Either way, if he loses The Tonight Show tomorrow, it’s not like he’s going to be standing on the welfare line because his stand up alone makes him wealthier than most people.