Prof. Eric Hoffman and Dr. Gary Rudoren are two of the world's foremost researchers in the field of humor. Their new book, "Comedy By the Numbers" contains "The 169 secrets of humor and popularity." They promise that you don't need to be funny to be funny -- just memorize their system, and you'll quickly be impressing the cool kids.
Ben Karlin was an early editor of The Onion before heading to Hollywood to work on film and television projects. He eventually helped create the Jon Stewart version of The Daily Show as it's head writer and eventually Executive Producer. He was lead writer on the Daily Show's enormously succesful book, "America: The Book." He co-created The Colbert Report, then quit, in part to edit the new book "Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me." The book is a collection of essays on, well, the subject in the title.
Andy Kindler (above) is a legend in the world of alternative comedy. Since bursting onto the comedy scene in the early 1990s, he's appeared on innumberable television programs performing standup, including several appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, for which he is now a field correspondent. Within the comedy world, he's best known for openly mocking the standup world in his annual "State of the Industry Address" at the Aspen Comedy Festival. Andy's set was recorded live at the Westside Eclectic in Santa Monica, California.
Morgan Murphy is one of the fast-rising stars of the comedy world. She wrote for and appeared several times on Jimmy Kimmel Live, before quitting to pursue standup full-time. She's toured nationally with The Comedians of Comedy and Neil Hamburger, among others. Morgan performed as part of TSOYA Live at the SF Sketchfest.
Tony Millionaire is the creator of the comic strip Maakies, which runs in alternative newspapers around the country. The strip has also birthed two television adaptations: a series of shorts that ran on Saturday Night Live in the 1990s, and now a new longer-form series which premiers later this year on Cartoon Network [adult swim]. The strips are known for their combination of distinctive and often complex line art and typically profane humor. The newest collection of Maakies strips is "The Maakies with the Wrinkled Knees."
Joel Hodgson, Frank Conniff and J. Elvis Weinstein are 3/5ths of Cinematic Titanic. The series of DVDs and digital downloads combines old, terrible films with comic commentary. If the description sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the long-running cult comedy classic Mystery Science Theater 3000, of which Hodgson was the original host. We talk with Joel, Frank and J. Elvis about their careers in comedy, why they got the band back together, and more. We even delve into their relationship with Rifftrax, a similar outfit run by some other MST3K expats.
Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich are the host/producer and co-host (respectively) of the brilliant public radio program RadioLab. The show is a long-form investigation of life's Big Ideas, through the lens of science. It has won plaudits not only for its insightful and utterly comprehensible explanations of scientific principles, but also for its emotionally engaging narratives and bold production style. This American Life producer Ira Glass has said that when he heard RadioLab, he know immediately that "there's a new sheriff in town."
Colin Hay is a Los Angeles-based, Scotland-born Australia-bred singer-songwriter. In the 1980s, he was the frontman of the band Men at Work, and headlined festivals before hundreds of thousands of fans. Today, he performs at Los Angeles nightclubs like Largo, and is known for tightly-crafted songs and hilarious stage banter as much as for his former band. This second career has led to numerous Hay songs being placed in film and television, including one on the soundtrack to the film "Garden State." He's also brought an autobiographical stage show to the Edinborough Fringe Festival. His new album is called "Are You Lookin' At Me?"
Ken Freedman and Andy Breckman are the hosts of Seven Second Delay on WFMU, the legendary freeform radio station in Jersey City, New Jersey. For the past fifteen years, they've picked a "radio stunt" each week, then tried to execute it in just one hour of live airtime. They've chain-translated a Village Voice S&M personal add through 15 languages, then back into English, written the ultimate New York Times "Metropolitan Diary" column entry, then gotten it published, and failed more times than they can count.
When they're not on-air, Freedman serves as the station's manager. Breckman is a noted comedy writer, having written for David Letterman and Saturday Night Live (he penned the classic "White Like Me" sketch), and he is creator and showrunner of USA network's Monk.