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Rob Corddry Interview

Members of Improv troops are known to have impeccable comedic timing, and Rob Corddry wears the stereotype well. In 2002, as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was riding a wave of popularity and praise from their Indecision 2000 coverage, Rob was asked to audition for and join the show. Within a year, he was one of their favorite and most recognizable correspondents, fitting right in with Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert.

Corddry left The Daily Show in 2006, taking roles in films such as Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay and Semi-Pro.  In 2010, Corddry was officially a lead in the movie Hot Tub Time Machine.

In 2008, Corddry developed his own web series, Childrens Hospital. A hilarious skewering of medical dramas, Corddry was nominated for a Streamy Award—an award created by the International Academy of Web Television “to recognize excellence in the arts and science of web television”—for his writing on the show.  In 2009, Rob was nominated for a Webbyaward for best individual performance, and won the Webby for Best Comedy: Long form or series. 

This July, Childrens Hospital will debut on The Cartoon Network’s late night programming, Adult Swim.

Rooftop asked Nathan Timmel to discuss Childrens Hospital, as well as wax philosophic on the 1980s television drama St. Elsewhere, with Rob. Read more »

LEBRON JAMES & “LOST”: THE FINAL SEASONS

There were high hopes for something epic to occur this spring in the world of sports and the world of television. LeBron James was finishing the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and on ABC, “Lost” was finishing its six-season run. Would there be resolution to all the frustrating plotlines? Was the storyline going somewhere (the NBA Finals, a parallel dimension), or were the powers-that-be simply spinning their wheels and throwing familiar parts together? Would everyone make their escape from the miserable land that sucks you in and won’t let you leave? By which I mean Cleveland, but it was unclear whether anyone would get off the Island either.

We all know that it ended in disappointment. But still, there are a lot of parallels between the final season of “Lost” and LeBron’s final (sorry, Cavs fans) season as a Cavalier: Read more »

W. KAMAU BELL TAKES MANHATTAN

After a successful run as part of the 7th Annual soloNOVA Arts Festival, the premier festival for solo performers in New York City, W. Kamau Bell’s critically acclaimed solo show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour, has just been extended by 2 weeks! “We scouted a lot more heavily this year,” says soloNOVA artistic director Jennifer Conley Darling. “We saw every solo show in the Fringe Festival, as well as the Frigid Festival… Partnering with other festivals has been key to identifying the best of the best. I knew immediately I wanted Kamau in the festival. His intelligence, humor, and timing far surpass a lot of comics out there. I see racism every day, all over the world, and to be able to talk about it with a humorous lens is key to continuing the fight against it.”
Read more »

MOSHE KASHER ON LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON

Rooftop favorite Moshe Kasher made his late night television debut on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night, and it was Moshe-riffic.

It’s no surprise that Moshe’s blowing up like we thought he would. He’s never scared to toe the edge, never scared to go off script. He’s irreverent, unapologetic, and never dumbs it down — even for network television. No wonder we named him “Best of the Fest” at last year’s Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival. The dude is hilarious. Also, he has really cool hair.

If you’re lucky enough to live in San Francisco, you can see Moshe headline the San Francisco Punchline tonight. If you don’t, well, you can always listen to Moshe’s album on iTunes.

LOST “THE PACKAGE” RECAP (S06E10)

This episode is titled “The Package.” Hehehe, penis and balls. A package? Get it?

I’m immature.

Well the package wasn’t a penis and balls, BUT, it did have those items.

But before that, let’s get that flash sideways out of the way.

In the new time line Jin and Sun are not married, however, they are in love and bumpin’ uglies. Jin is sent to America to deliver a watch and $25,000. However, the airport keeps it due to un-filled out customs paperwork. And who do these things go to? Keamy. That’s right, motherfunkin’ Keamy.

But they don’t have the money now, and Keamy is unhappy. So he sends Sun to the bank to get it out of her personal account and takes Jin to his restaurant. But Sun’s account is closed. Her dad did it because he found out they were sexin’ it up. And the money? It was for Keamy to kill Jin. SNAP!

But as you know, Keamy and his assistant are killed by Sayid, who helps Jin get free. And as Sun comes back with another of Keamy’s assistants (who happens to be Mikhail, the bastard who was an Other and drowned Charlie [CHHHHARRRRRLLLLIIIIEEEEE!]), Jin gets in a gun fight and Sun is shot in the stomach. And she’s pregnant.

Anatomy lesson: babies are in a woman’s stomach (or uterus, whatever Mr. Doctor). To the hospital!

Back on the island, Flocke comes to Sun and asks her to come with him to Jin. She runs, hits her head, and forgets how to speak English. When Miles thinks that’s crazy, Frank points out that he speaks to dead people.

I honestly think Frank represents the writers’ trying to shut up the audience sometimes and I love that. Basically, Frank is saying, “Wait, we can buy that you can speak to the dead and that we’re on a time traveling island, yet you call BS that she forgets English?” Point proven.

While Flocke is gone to attempt to bring back Sun, Widmore’s men attack the camp and take Jin. And the reason is awesome. See, Widmore needs to know where the electromagnetic fields on the island are. Back in the 70s, Jin took care of those. So the new version of the past (with the Losties) is now affecting the future.

Meanwhile, Flocke and Zombie Sayid go to Widmore to find Jin. This is what I love about LOST: you don’t know who the bad guy is for sure. We assume Flocke is bad because all signs point to that. And if you like Ben, Widmore is a bad guy. But if you like Widmore, Ben is a bad guy. But they all are bad guys. We are left to root for one, and that is awesome writing.

Back at the beach, Richard comes back and tells them they must go blow up that plane so Flocke cannot leave.

Sayid stays behind to find out what Widmore is hiding. And what is he hiding? Desmond. Why? We don’t know yet, but things are getting incredibly interesting. And finally.

One thing I’d like to point out. It seems, in the flash sideways, everyone is about to meet up. Here’s how. Jack is a doctor, ergo, he is at the hospital. Claire is there giving birth. Sayid’s brother is there and Sayid is going back to see him. Sun was just shot, so she and Jin are heading to a hospital. Now, Locke isn’t there, but he is tempted to take Jack up on his offer to help with his back. That could get him there. As for Kate and Sawyer I don’t know. But those two are together now.

Something is going to happen soon. I can feel it. And that’s not just my sadness and loneliness eating me away on the inside.

ROFL EPISODE 45

Check out “ROFL: Episode 45 based on Push a novel by Sapphire.” Okay, it’s not really based on Push. It’s based on hilarious jokes by Mike Vecchione, Vince Morris, Jackie Kashian, and many more.

Download ROFL for free on iTunes.

LOST “DR. LINUS” RECAP (S06E07)

By Mark Potts

Damn you, Michael Emerson! Your acting leaves me conflicting. As Ben, I want to hate you for everything you’ve done. You’ve killed John Locke, you’ve tortured the Losties we love, and you probably had sex with Juliet (who is super hot) while being a complete dick to her. But yet, Emerson, you somehow make Ben completely human. I feel bad for you. You’re a victim of fate, of jealousy, an abusive father, and fear.

So is the tale of this week’s episode of LOST. I was quite pleased with another solid episode. It really feels like we are gearing up for some excitement.

We got to see how Ben’s life would have been in the flash-sideways. He is a history teacher who lives with his father. And his father is actually somewhat nice to him too. And Alex, who was the child he kidnapped on the island, is his student! (Why she does not speak French or live in France like we suspect her French mother Danielle Rousseau would be is another story and probably a fact we should just ignore).

And the principal is mean. After hearing from Alex about how the principal is going to the school nurse for check-ups (hot and steamy school administrator sex) Ben decides to blackmail him to get his job. But the principal says he will ruin Alex’s life by writing a bad recommendation. What is Ben to do? Think about himself or Alex?

Meanwhile, back on the island, Ilana finds out Ben killed Jacob so she is going to kill him (dang!) And she forces him to dig his own grave (double-dang!) When he is about done, Flocke shows up and tells him to come join him. He set up a rifle for Ben in the woods. Ben runs for it, Ilana chases. Ben grabs the gun but, instead of killing her, he explains why he killed Jacob. It’s freaking heart-tugging. I’m not going to say I had tears in my eyes, because real dudes don’t cry, it was just dust or something. But then Ben says he is going to Locke because he is the only one who will have him. Ilana immediately says, “I will have you.” And then some more dust flew in my eyes and Ben went back to the beach.

And off island, Ben didn’t take the principal’s job in order to save Alex’s future. I think this episode proves that Ben has never been a villain, just a confused man trying to stay in control in order not to be left behind. Will he redeem himself with everyone on the island? Time will only tell.

Elsewhere, Jack continues to do badass things. Richard wants to die, but has to have someone else do it. So Jack lights some dynamite, sits it between them, and says Jacob won’t let him die. And guess what? The wick on the dynamite miraculously goes out. Thank God, because this Jack is awesome. If Jack from the last few seasons had a chance to die, I would have been rooting for it. But I have a feeling Jack is going to come out as a hero in the end.
As my friend pointed out, LOST again has separated the groups into rival camps in the same locations. Jack is at the beach, Locke (Flocke, really) is with the others. They’re setting up for a fight, that’s for sure.

And at the very end, we see a scary submarine heading to the island. It’s Charles Widmore! That old bastard. What is he doing there? My nipples are already hard thinking about it!

San Francisco! Get charitable

Just in case you somehow haven’t made good on your New Year’s resolution to stop being such a dick all the time, here is your last chance to redeem yourself! And it will be so painless.

Tonight at the Phoenix Theater our best friend W. Kamau Bell (you know… of Siskel and Negro, Comedy Central, the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival, and SF Weekly’s Comedian of the Year… to name a few of his million billion credits) will be headlining a Halloween/Thanksgiving/Hannukah/Christmas COMEDY EXTRAVAGANZA to benefit the non-profit Playworks as well as the San Francisco Food Bank.

Tickets are $15 but just show up with a non-perishable food donation to get in for just $10! Either way, you’ll be doing good and having a great time. Other comics include Janine Brito (recent winner of the SF Women’s Comedy Competition), me, and Chris Thayer. Marcella Arguello is sick – WHO WILL TAKE HER PLACE? SANTA? ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT! Come! Laugh! Be nice!

Happy Anniversary Punchline Magazine!

Has it been four years already? It seems like twas only yesterday that you pounced upon the Internets, Punchline Magazine, cool and sleek and hilarious, like the illicit spawn of a cheetah and a hyena. (Did we mention how fast you can run? It’s amazing.)

Punchline brings you (yes, you!) A Tight 5ive every week, without which we’d be lost. Emotionally. And, for that, we thank, adore, and stalk them.

To mark the anniversary of their four-year chucklefest, Punchline Magazine invites you (yes, you! Again!) to Comix (535 W. 14th, New York, New York) on October 13 at 7:30, to experience the comedic glory that is Lewis Black, Janeane Garofalo, Todd Barry, Ted Alexandro, Christian Finnegan, Pete Dominick, and Robert Hawkins.

Get your tickets now, before they sell out. Because if you fuck this up, you’ve fucked up EVERYTHING.

CHRIS FAIRBANKS IS TOTALLY KEYTARDED

Chris Fairbanks left the scenic comfort of Big Sky Country Montana a few years ago for the big city lights of Los Angeles, California, and he’s never looked back. In a relatively short amount of time, he’s performed at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, starred in two reality television shows, earned first runner-up in Comedy Central’s Laugh Riots Contest, and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Comic Standing, and Premium Blend. Not too shabby for a country boy.

Chris took a moment to talk to us about his upcoming live album, which he’ll be recording for Rooftop Comedy Records on Wednesday, September 30th and Thursday, October 1st at the The Punchline Comedy Club in San Francisco, Ca.

ROOFTOP: What can we expect from your new album, my man?

CHRIS FAIRBANKS: Mostly funny jokes, a few stories about my life, three awkward moments, one really sad moment, and of course, a lot of keytar driven jazz-metal fusion.

ROOFTOP: Walk us through the process of creating your upcoming album. Did you get to point in your act when you decided, “Man, my act is really tight right now, I need to get this down on tape”, or did you set a goal to record an album by a certain date, and work towards making that happen?

CHRIS FAIRBANKS: I never wanted to, or put pressure on myself to “drop” an album. I only started thinking about doing it when people started asking for one after shows. It’s definitely high time though, I’ve been doing this for over ten years and have yet to record. I’ve tried in the past, but a large part of my act is often unscripted and I rarely just stick to my jokes. I’d like to, but my brain always takes my mouth on little detours. I’d like my CD to just be of my material, so I’m going to try to curb the improvisation a little bit for this recording.

ROOFTOP: So, how have you been preparing for the recording?

CHRIS FAIRBANKS: The only way to prepare is to perform as much as possible, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve seriously gone up about 25 times in the last month.

ROOFTOP: Of all the clubs in the country, why did you pick the San Francisco Punchline to record your album? Of all the labels, why Rooftop?

CHRIS FAIRBANKS: Well, I only know of three comedy labels that even exist, and Rooftop approached me first, which kind of made it easy. I think with anyone else, I’d be completely on my own with any kind of promotion, and self promotion has never been my strong suit. The Punchline in San Francisco is undeniably one of the best in the country, and Rooftop is able to record there, so that was that. I’ve actually never really hit it out of the park there, which is good. I think the crowds there are pretty smart and savvy and you need to sort of earn their laughs – they don’t just hand them over. Knowing this will make me work harder to have a better set because I always like to do well at that club.

ROOFTOP: Aside from being a hilarious comedian, you’re also quite the artist. Will you be doing the artwork for your record?

CHRIS FAIRBANKS: Yes, for either the front or back cover, I drew up a keytar smashing through a brick wall. It looks like an Iron Maiden rock concert t-shirt had a baby with a Pink Floyd album cover, but the baby was born with an interest in hip-hop and techno, disappointing both of its parents. Does that make sense? Also,  I just had some amazing photos taken by Robyn Von Swank with some smoke machines and crazy lighting. I very well may use one of those as the cover. I’m oiled up and naked in a few of them.

ROOFTOP: Do  you have any interest in showing your artwork anywhere other than www.chrisfairbanks.com? Any plans on releasing a book or showing your work at a gallery?

CHRIS FAIRBANKS: First of all, my new website is “dropping” in like a month. As far as a book, I’ve been thinking about writing/drawing a graphic novel illustrating my jokes and stories. The only obstacle with that has been my laziness. In order to get something like that published, it has to be at least 150-200 pages, which would take me a year at least. My drawings are just too detailed. I think that’s something I’ll do when and if I take a break from stand up. Just in general, I plan on painting a little more. We’ll see about a gallery. My past experience has been, it takes more time and hustle than with stand up to be a successful artist, so I’ve laid off it in the past couple years to focus on comedy. But it’s been my dream  to have those two things intersect.

ROOFTOP: Once the record is in the can, what’s next for Chris Fairbanks?

CHRIS FAIRBANKS: Now I’ve gotta book some road gigs so I can sell the thing. I’ve kinda been flying solo with that lately. A few months ago, I had pneumonia for weeks and it made me crazy. One night, in a fit of sweaty fever dreams, I fired my manager, agent and girlfriend all within an hour. None of them were working hard enough. So, for better or worse, I’m dealing with a clean slate for getting my own gigs, and I feel like it’s for the better. But, I miss the girlfriend.

Buy tickets to see Chris record his awesome new album here!