Alonzo Bodden: "Finding a Good Mechanic Is Harder Than Finding a Good Doctor"

Categories: Comedy

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Alonzo Bodden is probably most widely known as a semi-regular panelist on the NPR show Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. However, the Brooklyn native has done quite a bit of TV hosting. In 2008, he hosted 101 Cars You Must Drive for Spike TV. In 2010, he hosted Travel Channel's America's Worst Driver. His current project, if picked up, will return him to Spike TV with a show tentatively called To Catch a Car Guy.

"We go after dishonest car mechanics and car salesmen," he says. "Needless to say, if they pick it up we'll have material for years to come. They say finding a good mechanic is harder than finding a good doctor."

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Justin Willman: "With Magic, It Takes Longer to Find a Voice."

Categories: Comedy

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One question a lot of comedians get both from journalists as well as fans is, "Where do you get your material?" Songwriters are often asked this, too. What many may not realize though is that magicians like Justin Willman go through the same creative processes and face the same challenges as their musical and comedic counterparts.

Willman came to magic by accident. After breaking both arms when he was 12, doctors recommended learning card tricks to help regain his dexterity.

"The cards were a makeshift physical therapy," Willman explains. From age 14 to 24, he always had a deck of cards in his pocket. "That also was a makeshift chastity belt. Keeps the ladies away."


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Comedians on Comedians: Chris Knutson

Categories: Comedy

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[Editor's Note: Raghav Mehta is a local standup comedian and writer. Each month, he'll be writing about people on the scene he meets along the way while working on his career.]

"There's enough 'good enough' in comedy," says local standup comedian Chris Knutson while nursing a beer at the West Bank's Corner Bar on a Thursday evening.

Chris Knutson is a comic who likes to push boundaries. But don't let boundary pushing be confused with crass or offensive. His material isn't forcibly edgy, but it isn't so eccentric that it's alienating, either. In fact, he's quite accessible. Balancing his waggish sensibilities with everyman cynicism, Knutson enjoys taking his material to a place far stranger than most standups are capable of going -- or even willing to go.

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Girl Code's Carly Aquilino: "I'm Still Trying to Figure Out a Lot of the Same Things As My Fans."

Categories: Comedy
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While it's not uncommon for fans to strike up conversation with their favorite comedians after a show, they usually aren't looking for real-deal life advice. Then again, Carly Aquilino's career is anything but usual. 

"I'll be doing a show at a college, and girls will come up to me and ask what they should do about their boyfriends," she says. "I'm like, 'I don't know? Ride it out?' It's weird because I'm the same age as a lot of my fans and it makes me relatable, but I'm still trying to figure out a lot of the same things that they are."

Aquilino's status as a modern-day Ann Landers is the result of her hugely popular MTV show, Girl Code, sharing stories, opinions, and advice on everything, including relationship issues, cooking, and porn. The 24-year-old comedian joined the show just six months into her comedy career. When it became a hit, her star skyrocketed.


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John Mulaney Talks SNL, New Standup Special, and Life Lessons

Categories: Comedy
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A few weeks ago, basically every living A-list actor, musician, athlete, and comedian came together for the grandiose Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary. Over the next several days, stars gushed about how amazing the event was, and how excited they were just to be there and partake in the festivities. John Mulaney, a writer for SNL for five years, was happy to be a part of the event, but not quite in the same way as some of the slightly more famous faces in the crowd.

"It was fun because I got to work on the show," he says. "I prefer having something to do as opposed to just being somewhere. The show itself was...it was fun; but also very sad. But sad in a good way. It's kind of like going back to visit your old college or a high school reunion. It's fun but it's sad thinking about that part of your life being in the past." 

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Bryan Callen on Political Stances: "You've Got to Figure Out What Ideas Are Worth Promoting"

Categories: Comedy
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Bryan Callen has plenty of outlets for his comedy apart from standup. He can frequently be seen on various sitcoms in guest starring and recurring roles, most famously How I Met Your Mother and more recently The Goldbergs. He was also an original cast member of MADtv. Currently, Callen also co-hosts two podcasts: The Fighter and the Kid and The Bryan Callen Show. On the former, he teams up with mixed martial arts star Brendan Schaub.

"It's really starting to take off," he reports. "We're getting a million downloads a month. It's not just about sports because basically the motto is to make people laugh. I'm having a great time doing it. Evander Holyfield is going to be a guest soon, and we've gotten some other really cool guests."

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Jimmy Shubert Rants on Greek Yogurt, Grocery Stores

Categories: Comedy

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A successful run on last year's Last Comic Standing gave veteran standup comedian Jimmy Shubert a wider audience and greater name recognition. It also helped his writing process.

"I had to shorten my stuff up for the show," he says. "I had to work on those sets and get them down to four minutes. If you come to see my club set, my stuff is longer. When I was doing that show I was in editing mode. Now that I'm off the show, I'm in writing mode and trying to expand those bits."


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Standup Comedian Pete Lee on Quitting Skateboarding

Categories: Comedy

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Long before he was a successful standup comic and TV personality, Pete Lee was a skateboarding prodigy, a really good one. "I was sponsored by [skateboard maker] Alva and then Vision Street Wear was my clothing sponsor," he says.

That was at age 13. "I grew up really poor," he explains. "Ridiculously poor. Like, below the poverty line. I got good at skateboarding, and realized it could lead to a better life."


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Fortune Feimster: "I Don't Look or Sound Like Anyone Else Out There"

Categories: Comedy
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If you want to say that you saw one of comedy's next superstars "before she was huge," you're going to want to get to the Woman's Club this weekend. 

Fortune Feimster, the lovable Southern comedian who gained notoriety as a regular on Chelsea Lately, has been a breakout star in the making for the past several years. With a successful standup career and several television projects that seemed like sure bets, Feimster has just needed that slight nudge to get her to the next level. That nudge, as it turns out, came from her past. 

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Wendy Liebman on the Monkees, SNL's 40th

Categories: Comedy
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When Wendy Liebman was young, she was limited to one hour of TV watching per day. "I would beg my mom to let me stay up and watch The Monkees," she says.

Like many young girls of that era, including Marcia Brady, she developed a crush on Davy Jones.

"I was six or seven, and my mom bought me the Davy Jones costume to wear on Halloween," she recalls. "I remember saying, 'I don't want to be Davy Jones, I want to be with Davy Jones.' I have managed to meet two of the Monkees since then."

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