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Comedy Issue

Back on Tour, Stand-Ups Confront a New Normal

After a year of empty clubs and quiet theaters due to COVID-19, stand-up comedy is slowly making its way back. John Mulaney, Bill Burr, Chelsea Handler, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jim Gaffigan and Nikki Glaser are all on tour or will be in the coming weeks, back to doing shows across the U.S. And yet the scene […]

Joel Stein: How Not to Sell Your Hilarious Comedy Pitch

I have started to worry that I suck at pitching. My suspicions emerged from the fact that I’m not selling any shows lately. Also, because the times I have sold shows, I was accompanied by another writer, producer or actor who I split the job with: They explained the premise, and I added, “Yes, exactly.” […]

The 6 Social Media Comics Hollywood Is Watching (or Should Be)

With comedy clubs shuttered and other typical forms of amusement depleted in 2020, locked-down comedians (and audiences) desperate for new creative outlets turned to shortform comedy on social media as a source of distraction, income and a method to make sense (or mockery) of an increasingly chaotic world. While comics like Trump lip-syncer Sarah Cooper […]

How an Assistant Created a Hot List of Comedy Talent and Got a Studio Deal

One of the forces shaping the next generation of comedy is a guy just barely out of college: Daniel Cramer, 25, whose monthly newsletter on rising comedic talent has Hollywood bigwigs checking their in-boxes to see where the next big hit might come from. The “Cramer Comedy Newsletter” is sent to about 1,000 executives, producers, […]

Why #MeToo Hasn’t Transformed the Stand-Up Scene

Stand-up comedian Mona Shaikh’s voice still quavers as she recalls what happened after her set in August 2018 at the Foxfire Room in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Valley Village. A prominent actor who also had performed that night wouldn’t let up after she declined his pass at her. Shaikh, uninterested, noted it was getting […]

The Best of Hollywood Reporter’s 2021 Comedy Survey With Kevin Hart, Judd Apatow, Kristen Wiig and More

The 40(ish) Most Influential People in Comedy Right Now took The Hollywood Reporter’s annual survey (below) and produced the funny, acerbic and, yes, occasionally earnest answers one would expect from those shaping the modern funny business. Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon revealed the joke he’d tell at his funeral, while actress Tiffany Haddish recounted […]

The 40(ish) Most Influential People in Comedy 2021

Earning a spot on the Comedy Power List doesn’t mean The Hollywood Reporter’s staff finds you hilarious (though that certainly helps). Rather, the creatives and executives honored — from the touring titans and living legends to the makers of this year’s hottest shows and its most distinctive new voices — are the ones truly shaping […]

Mindy Kaling on Her Shift From Performer-Writer to Writer-Performer

Mindy Kaling has quietly become a Gen Z heroine. Thanks to the evergreen popularity of The Office — her deftly deluded character, Kelly Kapoor, inspires new memes on the daily — and ascendant high-school-set Netflix creation Never Have I Ever, the 42-year-old writer, producer and actress has a proven knack for speaking to those outside […]

Will Ferrell Just Wants to Entertain You (and Himself)

I’ve yet to turn on my recorder and Will Ferrell is already apologizing. He’s rusty, he says, as he pours us both coffee. It’s been a while since he sat for a lengthy interview, the kind that requires him to reflect on his career and his place in a fast-changing business. And he’s not so […]

Groundbreaker Garrett Morris on Battling Racism on ‘SNL,’ Overcoming Addiction and Why Dave Chappelle Is a “Comic Genius”

Garrett Morris faced lots of resistance as part of Saturday Night Live's original cast, but he credits producer Lorne Michaels for having his back, praises Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle as comic geniuses and, when it comes to comedy, thinks everyone just needs to relax By Seth Abramovitch

‘A Star Is Born’ as a Comedy? ‘Silicon Valley’ Writers Punch Up Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga Scene

'Silicon Valley' writers Matteo Borghese and Rob Turbovsky are Hollywood’s go-to guys when Phil Lord and Chris Miller or Paul Feig need a script to be funnier, so THR had them take a crack at an iconic 2018 scene.

So Long, Ice Queens and Gay Best Friends: Hollywood’s New Rules of Rom-Coms

Creators updating the rom-com genre as it makes a Netflix-assisted comeback say that "ice-queen" heroines and gay best friends are out, while gender swaps and grand gestures are in.