Around the Industry This Week in Comedy, News from Louis C.K., Rachel Feinstein, Margaret Cho and more…

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

…This week it was announced that Louis C.K. has a new special coming out, and it was filmed at the world famous Comedy Store.  Unlike Jerrod Carmichael & Ari Shaffir’s recent specials (the first to be filmed at The Comedy Store in decades), Louis C.K. filmed his new hour in the 350-seater Main Room.  Another key difference, the audience didn’t even know they were buying tickets for a special taping!  Louis has done a swing through LA in preparation for his last few specials, and those trips always included a number of last minute shows at both The Comedy Store and the Hollywood Improv. So the folks who lined up for the day-of, cash only tickets just assumed it was another practice run, not the real thing.

…In pilot news, Rachel Feinstein is right in the middle of taping her pilot for Comedy Central, and is having a blast.  She told us that it feels like her dream show– a combination of everything she’s ever wanted to do including a mixture of preposterous social experiments, talking with other comics, and asking insane questions. Amy Schumer is executive producing along with Kim Caramele (Inside Amy Schumer), Meghan O’Hara and Nick McKinney who worked on Insomniac with Dave Attell.  It’s really weird and fun to put together, Rachel said, even just having conversations like whether or not a stuffed dog in a sketch should be burned, and if so, how, or who is going to go make and collect gods eyes for another sketch.  Some of Rachel’s comedian friends who are a part of the pilot include Yannis Pappas, Dan Soder, and Keith Robinson.  More about Rachel’s pilot and other things she’s been up to later this week, but if you want to catch her live, she’ll be a part of Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground Live on Tuesday January 27th at the Comedy Underground in New York City at 8:00.

….Comedy Living Room, a hugely popular LA show that literally takes place in the producers’ apartment, will be heading to New York City this May.  Producers Matt Lottman and Frank Chad Muniz started Comedy Living Room in 2012.  Some past performances have included Dave Attell, Kyle Kinane, T.J. Miller, Jerrod Carmichael, Pete Holmes, Nick Kroll, Ian Edwards and the list goes on and on and on.  They’ll be doing a three run night at Brit Pack which is a SoHo performance space that’s also, basically, a living room with lineups and tickets announced next month.

Rainn Wilson was the most recent guest on Ron Bennington’s SiriusXM show, Unmasked.  Rainn talked about his new FOX series, Backstrom, his feelings about life and the universe, and despite saying he gets a little tired of talking about The Office he had some interesting things to say about his time with the show and about how tremendous the fan reaction to the show has been and continues to be.  One of the reasons for the show’s lasting appeal, Rainn attributes to the shows specificity, which he says creates universality.  One of our favorite moments was when Ron described Rainn’s Office character Dwight Shrute as the guy you don’t want to see win, or lose.  Where every win he screws up and every loss is heartbreaking, and shows his vulnerability.  Rainn loved that thought so much, he promised to steal it.  Rainn also hopes to be able to create a character that you start out hating, but end up caring about again ith Backstrom.  Rainn Wilson’s episode of Unmasked premieres tomorrow at 2pm on SiriusXM’s Raw Dog.

…Last week we reported that Sam Varela who runs Naked Comedy (which produces some of the hippest and most interesting shows in Los Angeles) has moved to New York!  This week we got some details from Sam about upcoming plans and recent big events.  Her team out west will still be continuing to create great comedy in LA with shows like Baked, Picture This, and The Entitlement Show. And now New York will get the benefit of Sam’s years of experience putting on shows.  She’s already hit the ground running taking over Kate Berlant’s show at Cake Shop every Tuesday from 8:00 to 9:30.  It’s going to be hosted by John Early, Liza Treyger, Sabrina Jalees and Jaqueline Novak who will be rotating hosts.  This past week Cake Shop had Matteo Lane, Sara Schaeffer, Brooks Wheelan and other great comics performing, and that should just keep getting even better.  Sam also announced that Cake Shop is going to have a residency starting in February!  Sam said she isn’t going to announce who their first residency person is going to be– they’re not billing her name so that she can have the privacy to work out new material, but it will definitely be cool, and that starts Feb 3 for the month.

…. Sam Varela gave us the updates on Baked.   The Baked crew is going to be at Sketchfest in San Francisco.  If you don’t know Baked, it’s a night of comedy and music that goes down once a month hosted by Steve Agee and Brendon Small.  This month’s Baked had Andy Kindler shredding on guitar to All Along the Watchtower, and SNL alum Laraine Newman singing/talking the Bowie version of Money, That’s What I Want.  If you catch Baked at SF Sketchfest on February 6th you’ll see Greg Behrendt, Todd Barry, and Natasha Leggero with the full Baked band.

 …The Lucas Brothers, Keith and Kenny, premiere their second season of Lucas Bros Moving Co tonight, and they have more big things coming up, like the live action show A Better Bushwick.  They told us they finished writing the pilot and submitted it, and they’re waiting for notes from the network.  They said they feel really good about it.  It’s absurd, it’s imaginative, and it’s very Lucas.  They said that Dana Walden, who is the head of FOX is a big fan of the brothers, and the cartoon.  Even though A Better Bushwick is live action, there are some animated sequences, and you’ll be seeing some familiar elements show up if the show moves forward.

Sean O’Connor, James Davis and Ian Karmel have all joined the writing staff of The Late Late Show with James Corden.  James Corden and his new team makes their Late Late Show debut on March 9th.  Sean, James and Ian will be joining Reggie Watts who was announced in December as the music director.  This could be the one to watch kids….

Margaret Cho is very excited about her new show All About Sex which airs on TLC.  We asked her, why a show about sex and what she has planned for the first season.  Cho said we can look forward to some amazing experts on the show, specialists, and they also plan to bring on viewers who have questions about different topics.  She said that sex is such a great topic, because it connects us to humanity, biology and then society and raises moral and scientific questions.  “Every aspect of culture can be traced back to it and also every aspect of being alive. there’s so much to say,” she said.  And she wants to communicate to women that they are in charge of their own sexuality, whether they are in a relationship or not.  “It’s a solo journey as well as a partnered one!”  Cho hosts the show along with comedian Heather MacDonald.

And a recap of other industry news this week, FX announced a return date for Louie– April 9th at 10:30, Louie will be following The Comedians starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad.  Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K. got a deal to create a pilot for FX.  The show, Better Things, will star Adlon.  Comedy Central gave a pilot order to Detroiters, to star SNL alum Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson as Detroit ad men.  Jason Sudeikis is the EP on that project.  More news on Roadies casting.  The Showtime project picked up Luis Guzman, Finesse Mitchell and Ron White this week.    Mike Epps has a new series for HBO about racism, that starts January 26th.  And Will Arnett will star in a series called Flaked for Netflix to be released in 2016. Finally, Amazon has dropped the news that they will be producing films for theater runs.  The films would then head to Amazon prime within three to eight weeks.

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