Remembering Nanette Fabray

In the early 1940s, when Nanette Fabray was in her early 20s, she was touring with a musical revue called Meet the People. By chance one night, the musical director of the New York Philharmonic, Artur Rodziński, was across the street seeing another show and heard Fabray’s voice through the open door. Enchanted, he put […]

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Doug Kenney, My Teenage Pal

I met Doug Kenney, the subject of Netflix’s new biopic A Futile and Stupid Gesture, when I interviewed him for a New York radio station right before the launch of the National Lampoon. I would love to be able to provide some examples from the interview of the spiraling flights of wit Doug was known for (“Doug […]

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The First Annual Harris Phest Honors a True Comic Original

Some deaths remain fresh wounds that refuse to heal or dissipate with time. They remain eternally painful. The deaths of Johnny Cash and David Bowie and Philip Seymour Hoffman are like that for a lot of people. For many podcast and comedy fans, so was the death of Harris Wittels on February 19th, 2015. Harris […]

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Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, Mike Schur, and More Remember Harris Wittels

Ahead of what would be his 33rd birthday this Thursday, The Guardian has a wonderful piece out today about the late Harris Wittels, who died in 2015 after a short but prolific comedy career. In the piece, Wittels’ former coworkers and friends Sarah Silverman, Mike Schur, Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler, Scott Aukerman, and more reflect […]

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Remembering Lashonda Lester, the Funniest Person in Austin

A wave of shock and grief swept through the Austin comedy scene yesterday as news spread that 2016’s Funniest Person in Austin winner Lashonda Lester passed away unexpectedly. Known for her ease on stage, Lester was a consummate professional in both her writing and delivery with jokes that never had an unnecessary word and yet […]

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Stan Freberg: Guerrilla Satirist

Dan Pasternack is a comedy producer and programmer as well as a scribbler and superfan who loves alliterative couplets almost as much as he loves comedy. His passion and his professional life have brought him into contact with comedy legends and lore of the past and present. For each installment of The Comedy Curator, Dan […]

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Late Night Hosts Remember Don Rickles, “the Greatest Talk Show Guest of All Time”

Following yesterday’s news that legendary comedian Don Rickles died at age 90, last night, late night hosts paid tribute to Rickles in their own ways. Rickles’ passing hit the hardest for Jimmy Kimmel, who had him on the show many times and became close with him over the years. “I’m gonna tell you right up […]

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Remembering Chuck Barris, Accidental Comedy Pioneer

When she stumbles upon me chuckling at something she finds bewildering, my wife periodically asks me, “Is this that anti-comedy you like?” She’s invariably referring to something that I enjoy but that she finds unfunny, dumb, and weird for the sake of being weird. I can’t blame my wife for being unclear on the exact […]

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