Comedy Bits: This Week in Comedy News Kate McKinnon, Scott Rogowsky Have Everyone Talking, Plus News From Wanda Sykes, Ricky Gervais, Album Releases and More

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This week in comedy news, there’s so much we didn’t cover this week, so get ready to catch up. We’re very excited about upcoming Hulu series Ramy from Ramy Youssef, check out our review.  Jill Michele Melean taught us how to see Miami like a local, and Hannah Gadsby announced a new tour.  There’s a trailer for a new Netflix sketch series, and Netflix announced a move into radio.  But wait, there’s more.

The big news that everyone is talking about this week- the announce that Kate McKinnon is going to play Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes for a new Hulu series based on The Dropout. The news came as a Deadline Exclusive and quickly made the rounds. The dramatic series is expected to get a six to ten episode order.

If that wasn’t the big news this week for you, then this was: Scott Rogowsky has left the app based game show he made famous. Bye bye HQ-ties, the trapt Trebek will no longer offer you chances to win very small amounts of money. According to TMZ, Rogowsky left after HQ said he couldn’t take on a second gig on a sports show on a streaming service. HQ CEO wasn’t willing to keep Rogowsky on a weekend only basis, and Scott was anxious to branch out. He must have been noticing those numbers were going in the wrong direction, or maybe he just wanted to talk sports. This leaves comedian Matt Richards as the ranking popular host, but will it be enough to keep HQ from nosediving? Business Insider actually reported Rogowsky’s move two weeks ago to DAZN to talk baseball nightly, but there had been no official word on his status as the trivia-meister. The blood appears to be bad- no farewell show for Scott meant he had to make his explanations via Twitter, telling fans that its been a dream of his to talk sports Monday Through Friday, 7-10pm. Despite the rocky ending, he had loads of compliments for his HQ coworkers. Check out his full statement on Twitter.

Condolences to the family friends and fans of UK comedian Ian Cognito passed away this week, but did so in the most memorable way. He died, on stage. He’s not the first comedian to go out with his boots on (isn’t this the way all comedians hope to go?) Harry Einstein, father to Albert Brooks and Super Dave Osbourne died while performing as did Dick Shawn and a handful of others. Ian was performing at the Atic bar in Bicester. The audience initially thought his unresponsiveness it was part of the performance. Ian was described by friends and colleagues as eccentric, authentic, offensive, blistering, fiercely funny, and kind. A legend of the circuit and a firecracker of a human being, a maverick and an original. Social media erupted with friends crushed by his death.

Wanda Sykes Netflix special has a title now, and a date. Wanda Sykes: Not Normal will drop on May 21, 2019. Sykes, delivers a sharp-witted and hilarious critique on the state of the world for her first special with Netflix giving her perspective on the current political and cultural climate, which she can only describe as not normal.

Ricky Gervais is thrilled about the announced renewal of his newest project, After Life for a second season and says that everyone is coming back for the second run, except for one, who you will recall died in a particularly disturbing episode of Season One. Gervais told fans the news on Facebook, writing, “I cast the show in my head as I was writing it. Luckily, everyone said ‘yes’. And, yes, they’re all back for season 2. Except Julian, RIP.” If we’ve spoiled this for you, well what are you waiting for? Why haven’t you watched yet? It’s your own fault.

HBO announced a no-brainer. Barry would be renewed for a third season just as the second season is getting underway. BARRY received three Emmys® for its first season last September. Created by Alec Berg & Bill Hader, the show covers interesting ground as a hitman heads to Los Angeles and struggles with decisions about his future.

HBO has announced a project we’re excited to check out. On Tour With Asperger’s Are Us follows a troupe of comedians with Asperger Syndrome, debuting April 30th. Mark and Jay Duplass are the EP’s on this. The comedy group has been performing for nine years now, after meeting at a camp for kids on the spectrum. The special follows their first cross country tour, in an aging RV that has seen better days. Watch the team of four on a six-week trip that will test their understanding of friendship, comedy and carburetors. Noah Britton, Ethan Finlan, Jack Hanke and New Michael Ingemi are challenged to leave their comfort zones on the trip from Boston to LA, sharing their perspective on life as an “Aspie.” The six-part documentary series debuts with two half-hour episodes back-to-back TUESDAY, APRIL 30 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT), followed by two more episodes on both of the next two days, WEDNESDAY, MAY 1 and THURSDAY, MAY 2 at the same time.

Netflix announced a ten part comedy series from Chris Lilley called Lunatics. Presented as a documentary looking at the lives of six extraordinary individuals, the series and explores the idea that people are not what they seem at first. Through documentary interviews, self recorded and fly on the wall footage the six intriguing subjects are observed over a period of months. Their stories unfold with hilarious results. As eccentric and odd as they all are, they are scarily recognizable types and they teach us that its ok to just be you. The six characters will be played by writer/creator Chris Lilley. Visit for more.

Comedy Central has announced that Daily Show Correspondent Desi Lydic will debut her first hour special on the network in May. According to Comedy Central, Lydic is setting out on a global expedition — exploring how and why the U.S. has fallen so far behind much of the world when it comes to women and education, economics, health and politics. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents Desi Lydic: Abroad will premiere on Monday, May 13 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Comedians disagreed about whether its okay for Louis C.K. to be performing now at a Women in the World Summit panel this week. Judy Gold supported clubs that are taking a pro-speech stance and allowing C.K. to perform. Wanda Sykes said you leave it up to the audience to decide whether they are willing to support an artist. Cameron Esposito disagreed saying Louis is a terrible person who should have left the space empty for someone else to talk. Source: Page Six.

Everyone knows by now that the Simpsons are now a part of the Disney corporate family, which will have exclusive SVOD rights for the series. Source: Deadline.

Amazon Prime-ates can now watch dark comedy Scraps, a feature film made for less than $2,000 with cast from NBC, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Hulu, and The Second City. The 85-minute dark comedy about how one near-death experience at a dinner party drastically alters the lives of everyone in attendance has some strong comedy performers. Jo Scott and Mike Brunlieb have both appeared in Joe Pera Talks With You (Adult Swim). Brunlieb’s other TV credits include Southside (Comedy Central), Patriot (Amazon Studios), and Shrink (NBC/Hulu). Emma Pope is also in Shrink, and Damian Anaya has been in Chicago Fire (NBC). All four leads, along with guest star Jeff Murdoch, are New York Television Festival alumni, and all five perform regularly at The Second City, iO, and Annoyance theaters.

Bay Area comedian Kaseem Bentley is releasing his debut stand-up album, Lakeview, on May 3rd, 2019, via Blonde Medicine. Rife with crowd work, sly observations and honesty, Bentley has a knack for digging his wingtip heels in and sharing strong opinions while disarming even those who disagree with him. Kaseem was born and raised in San Francisco raised by hilarious parents (his father was a Muni driver with a snappy sense of humor and a hilarious storyteller; his mother, a social worker who was also funny and his sister, not so much). Bentley has appeared on Comedy Central, Viceland, Nerdist, and Seeso. He’s also served as a staff-writer on Problematic with Moshe Kasher for Comedy Central and worked on the first season of Comedy Central’s The New Negroes. The album art was done by the legendary Frank William Miller Jr. whose credits include Rockstar Games, Nike and album art for DJ Jazzy Jeff, Janelle James and Nore Davis to name a few.

Adam Sank is back for one more album before an early retirement. He pulled a Hannah Gadsby two years ago saying he was quitting comedy. Over the course of 15 years, the openly gay New York-based stand-up comic made a name for himself opening for such headliners as Roseanne (before she went insane), Kevin Meaney, Jennifer Coolidge, Hal Sparks and Lea DeLaria, as well as hosting long-running shows at New York hot spots like Therapy Lounge, Comix, Bar-Tini and The Laughing Devil. But he became more widely known as a frequent guest and fill-in cohost on a number of SiriusXM radio shows, including Tell me Everything With John Fugelsang, The Frank DeCaro Show and Derek and Romaine. Unlike Hannah, Sank claims he really is quitting, and this album is his last hurrah. Available for pre-order now on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and other platforms “Adam Sank’s Last Comedy Album” contains 16 tracks of mostly brand new material, with topics ranging from the pitfalls of watching homemade porn to an ill-advised “butt bath” Sank took while on a spectacularly bad date. It’s definitely not for kids. From 800 Pound Gorilla.

In the gossip quadrant, Andy Richter is getting a divorce after 27 years, his wife announced on Twitter. It seem to be an amicable arrangement. Sarah Thyre tweeted that the two have had wonderful years together and are looking forward to the next chapter.

The New York Times took a closer look at the problems plaguing The Friars Club. The legendary club has always had conflict, troubles run the gamut from diminishing (and aging) membership, a transparency issue at the top, and financial issues that include unpaid bills and tax evasion. You can read through the club’s dirty laundry in the Times this week.


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