Around the Industry This Week in Comedy…The Punchline is Moving, Jerrod Carmichael Pilot Tapes, TCGS Gets a Date and a Roommate

The stories and news people talk about around the industry when the club closes and they’re sitting at the bar….

. . . . . The Punchline in Atlanta, Georgia– one of the oldest and most respected comedy clubs in the country — is being forced to leave the home they’ve occupied for 33 years.  Recently the Punchline got some bad news that they would be losing their parking in their original space and had to make the very difficult decision to move.  Club owner Jamie Bendall told us that they are not shutting down- but they don’t have a final plan for a new space yet.  In the meantime, while they are between homes, The Punchline will be on the road, putting on shows at various venues throughout Atlanta.  Jamie told us that they’ll be giving the original club a memorable send off, with an amazing last show which will be headlined by J. Anthony Brown, who actually performed at the club’s opening night, on their very first show in 1982.  After the last show, they’ll be packing up the floorboards and taking the stage with them, along with hundreds of framed 8×10 headshots, and signed panels from the green room that have graced their walls for over 30 years.  The Punchline has an incredible history that includes Jeff Foxworthy’s very first time on a comedy stage and a list of the biggest headliners in comedy like Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Chris Tucker, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Dane Cook, Dave Chappelle, Ron White, and more.  We’ll be following their move and keeping you posted on any news while they search for their new home.

. . . . . Recent Pacific Northwest transplant Jonas Barnes is starting up two new shows in Brooklyn.  Comedians Under The Influence has already had a strong run on the west coast and features comedians first performing a regular set, then taking four shots at the bar and attempting to do a second set later in the show. His new show, Comedians Against Humanity, features a panel of comedians playing Cards Against Humanity live, bookended by straight standup sets.

. . . . . Mike Bocchetti has big news. He’s been cast in an episode of Louie this season.  He told us that Louis CK cast him in a Season Five episode without an audition after Louie’s casting director Gayle Keller saw Mike performing  at Rick Shapiro’s New York Comedy Crawl to benefit Parkinson’s Disease awareness and research.  Mike didn’t know Keller was in the audience that night, and then earlier this week he got a phone call out of the blue saying that Louie wanted Mike to appear in an episode of the show.  Mike didn’t share any details about the role or the episode just yet, but he did say it was a great sized role and an amazing experience.  When Mike’s not performing stand-up he’s been busy writing.  His new series of interviews with comedians will premiere this week on The IBang with his profile of longtime friend, Artie Lange. Mike’s also been doing appearances on The Anthony Cumia Show, and SiriusXM’s OpieRadio.

. . . . . Speaking of the Rick Shapiro benefit, we caught up with Emilio Savone, one of the new owners of the recently renovated New York Comedy Club.  The club was one of three clubs that participated in the January benefit which was organized by Rick Shapiro, his wife Tracy DeMarzo, and the Light of Day Foundation.  Emilio told us that the event was such a great experience, that they have already said they want to be on board again next year, which is great news because they not only sold out every seat in the house, but they also auctioned off a poster for over $1500 with all ticket sales and proceeds from the poster going to benefit Parkinson’s research.  Emilio likened the evening to ‘comedy camp’ where everyone felt like family, with a list of performers that could have sold out an arena.  Jim Gaffigan, Artie Lange, Mike Bocchetti, Greer Barnes, Rich Vos, Bonnie McFarlane, Big Jay Oakerson and of course Rick Shapiro, were just a few of the performers who took the stage.  Rick closed out the show, and performed an extended set, that was so great, he was almost late for the next gig in the Comedy Crawl at the Village Underground.  When he finally stepped off the stage he had to be whisked off into a waiting car to be hurried downtown, or the crowd would have kept him there all night.  Congratulations again to everyone who made that event such a tremendous success.  Emilio has a lot of big plans for 2015 at New York Comedy Club including some very exciting concept shows, and we’ll be sharing more on that very soon.

. . . . . Congratulations to Ricky Velez who was just recently passed at The Comedy Cellar and that stage suits him. He crushed some amazing sets last weekend.  Add that to the stack of successes Ricky has had this year.  He was recently named as a correspondent for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central, and named the winner of New York’s Funniest competition during the New York Comedy Festival.

. . . . . Last week we reported the great news that the Fusion Network has picked up The Chris Gethard Show which had previously aired on New York public access television.  We had a great conversation with Chris Gethard himself this week which we’ll be sharing in a few days, but we couldn’t wait to share the big news. The Chris Gethard Show has an air date– Fusion will air its first episode on Thursday April 23rd.  They’ll be taping a few weeks out, in their new studios.  And that’s where the really interesting news comes in to play.  According to Gethard, it’s looking like they’ll be taping in a Second Avenue studio, somewhere in the area of Grand Central Station and there’s some unverified info that TCGS might be sharing space with one of the most infamous conservative political mouthpieces in American culture.  Chris couldn’t share who that person is, but suffice it to say that a culture clash of Animal House proportions will take place if  our suspicions are correct, and should make for some amazing backstory.

. . . . .  This week in Los Angeles, Jerrod Carmichael taped the pilot episode of his show Go Jerrod Go for NBC and producer Sarah Mello got to be in the audience for the taping.  She told us that it was a huge success.  She said that the writing is so strong and the cast is tremendous with Lil Rel, David Alan Grier, Tiffany Hadish, Loretta Devine, and of course Jerrod.  The acting is excellent, she said, and she can’t see why it wouldn’t get picked up- it’s so great! Sarah also filled us in on the comedy shows that she is producing out in Los Angeles.  Her shows #Hilarious and Penthouse Comedy at The Comedy Store has been getting a lot of heat- in fact the last show completely sold out. Sarah is becoming known for having some of the most diverse, interesting lineups in the business, like her January 8th show at The Comedy Store where she brought together Neal Brennan, Kevin Nealon, Harland Williams, Sarah Silverman and Erik Griffin with a pop in from Joe Rogan.  


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