Comedy Bits: This Week’s Comedy Stories From Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Kenan Thompson, Desus and Mero, Ken Jeong and More

This week in comedy news we covered plenty.  Judd Apatow took some heat from Penthouse this week, via writer Mandy Stadtmiller, Greg Stone has a new album out, and we’ve got an exclusive first listen, Jimmy Carr put out a trailer for his new hour, Russell Peters showed some heroics during a theft in the diamond district, radio exec Tim Sabean knocked out a Friars Club bigwig, Ron Bennington announced he’ll be sitting down with Rich Vos and Bobby Kelly for a panel at SiriusXM, Bill Cosby compared himself to MLK and some other top ten sainted activists, and the Comedy Cellar started locking up phones for their shows. Nick Cannon attacked comedians who have appeared in black face, Amy Schumer announced a new special and we did an interview with Rory Scovel.    But there’s more.

Showtime announced that media-saavy politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will appear on the first episode of new half hour late-night-style series “Desus & Mero“.  Both hosts are from the Bronx.  The series premieres Thursday February 21 at 11pm, and will feature lots of top shelf guests including Ben Stiller, Issa Rae, Kirsten Gillibrand and John Legend. If you don’t know Desus Nice and the Kid Mero, give them a shot, we think you’ll love what they bring to the genre.  We’ve been following them since meeting them at a taping of MTV’s Joking Off and we’re excited to see what they’ll do with their own series.  You can see a promo here.

Moontower Comedy Festival added some more great names to the lineup for their annual April comedy festival in Austin Texas this week. Nick Offerman, Vir Das, Hari Kondabolu, Jon Glaser and Anthony Atamanuik have been added to an already spectactular lineup.  Visit their site for more.

Mandy Stadmiller wasn’t the only person angry with Judd Apatow for his hardline stance against certain types of comedy. Sam Tripoli used his podcast to tee off about episode four of Crashing which took a critical look at the old school comic- something Apatow considers a dinosaur in the business.  With Tripoli were Jimmy Shubert and Chad Daniels. Watch that on YouTube.

Chris Rock and Kenan Thompson are teaming up. It was announced this week that Rock will direct a single camera pilot starring Thompson.  Titled “Saving Kenan,” the series will center on Thompson playing a windower and now single father who is determined to be everything for his kid, while also dealing with a persistent father in law who wants to play a big role in their lives.  Rock has a solid history as a director, helming “Head of State,” “I Think I Love My Wife”, and most recently “Top Five” as well as Amy Schumer’s comedy special filmed at the Apollo.

More pilot news from Ken Jeong. He’s going to play the lead in a CBS multi-camera comedy pilot from the author of Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan.  This one’s titled The Emperor of Malibu centered in familiar territory.  Ken Jeong plays the son of a Chinese billionaire who announces his engagement to an American woman causing his family to show up in America to take control of their son back.  Source: Deadline.

The 2019 Lands Package has passed overwhelmingly, which is the bill designating Jamestown’s National Comedy Center as the official “National Comedy Center” of the United States.  Source: Post Journal.

Pete Davidson made a very strange appearance on Kevin Hart‘s YouTube series, What the Fit. It was obviously filmed before Davidson’s highly public breakup with Ariana Grande.  He refers to himself as “Mr. Grande” several times. It’s an odd series to begin with, Hart and comedy friends get fit doing everyday activities and its comedic and strange. Pete and Kevin are packing and moving a house, but its not their house and they’re not very good at it.  Watch the episode titled “moving” here.

Dave Chappelle had a big big heart this Valentines Day. When he found out that a woman who purchased tickets to his Charlotte show got scammed on Craigslist and was out $500 and tickets, he came to the rescue. Chappelle hand delivered four tickets to the group while they were in a restaurant eating dinner.  Yes, there was a news team on hand, so you cynics can say it was for the press but come on, this has good dude written all over it.  Watch video on Twitter.

Seven of the industry’s top podcast networks will present Winter Podcast Upfront – the first-ever West Coast podcast upfront event – on February 20 at leading global talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency’s headquarters in Beverly Hills. The Winter Podcast Upfront will give advertisers, agencies and media a first look at the newest partnerships, talent and shows slated for 2019. Presentations will feature stars, producers and leading industry executives. This is a big move that shows podcasts are a source of real revenue and are here to stay.  Stitcher and its advertising arm,Midroll, will be joined by actor and comedian Paul Scheer among others. Justin Long, Tom Segura, and Bert Kreischer will be there representing  Podcast Media Marketing as well. Source: PR Newswire

Read more comedy news.