In Last LaughMStarsNews talks to our favorite comedians or funny people about some of the last experiences they’ve had over the years. For this installment, we welcome in comedian Carmen Lynch.

Not many comedians attempt to get into the FBI before taking to the stage, but Carmen Lynch sure did. And while her path eventually led her to comedy, the Clarice Starling of stand up has made quite a name for herself in the New York scene. She has been featured on The Late Show with David Letterman and stars in her own web series titled Apt. C 3And now, she sits down for the MStarsNews Last Laugh interview series.

So, Carmen Lynch, who/what/where/when was the…

MStarsNews: Last time you wore something you hated?
Carmen Lynch: I had to wear a dress with big flowers to an audition recently. Flowers belong in a garden. I looked like a tree in the spring.

MS: Last person to see you naked?
CL: He knows.

MS: Last day job you had?
CL: I worked for an insurance company in downtown NYC. Our entire department was laid off by our sister company in Texas, so basically, we were fired in a conference room by a phone on speaker.

MS: Last place you traveled to outside of the US?
CL: Spain, last Christmas. I visit my nieces as much as I can, but they’re not old enough to understand why I don’t just live there. When I leave for the airport they’re like, “Can you come back for lunch tomorrow?”

Read the full interview at MStarsNews

 

There has been a lot of hype over ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic‘s new albumMandatory Fun, perhaps largely due to the parodist’s ownTwitter account. Sitting as his 14th record, Yankovic exclusively tellsMusic Times it’s the “best thing” he’s ever done — even behind the successes of the legendary Bad Hair Day (1996) andAlpocalypse (2011).

In speaking with MT, the man who made us all more aware of the Amish culture in “Amish Paradise” is nothing short of a delight, fully excited for both the release of the new record and the eight accompanying music videos that go along with it. Just today, in fact, he released the first video –– a “Happy” parody titled “Tacky.” And while many are equating the 8-day video-drop to the secret album Beyoncé released back in December 2013, the comedian-musician claims it was he who originated it in 2011, when he unveiled twelve-videos on the day of Alpocalypse‘s release.

Weird Al’s career has spanned decades, with each album acting as a “time capsule” to various eras of pop music, as he says. The musician’s pastiches and parodies of famed artists such as Michael Jackson,CoolioNirvana and Lady Gaga, to name a mere few, have garnered him a career of amazing accomplishments. And while he faces the unfortunate truth of outlets such as YouTube and Funny or Die allowing others of his ilk to join him in the parodist category, Yankovic’s opinion is one of optimism, calling it “healthy.”

Weird Al recently spoke with Music Times about Mandatory Fun, that now famous TMZ-Iggy Azalea “ambush” and how Beyoncé actually pulled a ‘Weird Al’ when releasing her self-titled album.

Music Times: Mandatory Fun comes out today. There seems to be a lot of hype about it, especially after you dropped the tracklist on Twitter. I assume you must be excited about the release.

“Weird Al” Yankovic: Yeah, it’s something I’m extremely excited about! I’ve actually been really excited about it since I started working on it a couple of years ago, but I had to be very quiet about it up until very recently. So, it’s nice that other people are starting to get excited about it as well.

MT: Your last album was 2011’s Alpocalypse. In those 3 years there’s been so many changes in the music industry and artists on the rise. Because of that, has there been anyone in particular you’ve been particularly excited and hopeful to cover?

AY: I’m happy to say I think I covered pretty much everyone I wanted to here. I’m a fan of everyone I’ve covered on Mandatory Fun. I like to think my records are time capsules of different periods in music, and I think with the parodies done on this album it gives a general sense of what pop music was in this era.

MT: I know TMZ sort of ruined things a bit by leaking the video of you asking Iggy Azalea but it seems she graciously accepted.

AY: [laughs] Yeah, stuff like that has never been documented before. That was interesting. And the [TMZ] headline was “Al Begs Iggy Azalea For Permission” … and I asked politely and respectively. I didn’t realize that was considered begging these days.

MT: I watched the video, and the truth is it’s all for clicks. That’s it. You were incredibly kind. Anyone watching that undoubtedly saw there was no begging involved.

AY: I like how they called it an “ambush.” Coming from TMZ, that’s kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. [laughs]

Read The Full Interview At Music Times

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At some point in time, television tossed away the good-hearted fun of shows such as Candid Camera and focused more so on pranks and tricks. Some would argue that such an act caused there to be a incredible disconnect between the at-home viewer and the television show itself. But now, truTV is attempting to bring back that feeling of awe with The Carbonaro Effect and magicianMichael Carbonaro.

The show, which premiered to outstanding numbers back in May, features Carbonaro as the host / magician who places himself in everyday situations with random, unsuspicious people and then performs baffling tricks for them right before their very eyes.

Carbonaro recently spoke with MStarz about the show, his love of both magic and improv, and how he’s hoping to bring back the feel of Candid Camera with his new show.

MStarsNews: The show puts an interesting spin on the whole idea of hidden camera shows. It’s very different from the Candid Camera‘s we’ve seen in the past. Were you a fan of those growing up?

Michael Carbonaro: Oh my gosh, yes! I might be Candid Camera‘s number one fan. What I loved about it, which I think we’re doing on this show, was the playful non-mean-spirited way it did a hidden camera show. Hidden camera shows took a turn and became just prank shows somewhere in time. What I loved about Allen Funt was the way it was really about watching yourself when you watched the show and how you’d react.

This show is a way to bring magic into a new light and watch the way we as people relate to magic. And the joy is not only in the voyeurism you get from a hidden camera show but also in the way we as human beings watch ourselves believe in the most impossible things.

Check Out The Full Interview At MStarsNews

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This weekend marks the return of veteran comedian Sinbad. Not to say he ever left, but the comic is about to drop a new special for Comedy Central titled Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla, airing this Saturday (June 14at 9PM ET/PT.

The new special surely comes with high anticipation considering his 2010 airing of Sinbad: Where U Been? was marked as the highest rated and most watched special on Comedy Central that year. The title was an obvious play off the many approaching fans he’s had over the years asking in deep curiosity what he’s been up to after a successful run in television and movies. Which is something the comic tells MStarsNews he finds amusing even to this day. “I love when people come to my shows and wonder if I’m still funny,” he says. “I don’t think I’ve ever stopped being funny!”

Whether you know him from his days on A Different World or films such as Houseguest, Necessary Roughness, and yes, Jingle All the Way, Sinbad is a name we’ve all grown to know in some capacity. And if there’s one thing we learned during our time with him, it’s the fact that he’s a genuine comedian, having “funny in the bones,” as some would say. If you’re looking for some sort of proof to back that, we point you to the fact that he’s never once stopped doing stand up comedy over the past three decades. And if you’ve ever attempted the art form, you understand fully the sheer amount of backbone it takes to do it once … let alone 30 years.

MstarsNews recently caught up with the comic about his new special, his passion for both comedy and music and what his thoughts are on the idea of fame today. Much to our delight, he was just as cool as we were hoping…

MStarsNews: Make Me Wanna Holla premieres on Comedy Central this Saturday, June 14. How do you feel about it? 

Sinbad: Honestly man, for me, any type of special is exciting. What I love most is you never know what’s going to happen. Especially after you haven’t done one in a little bit, you start to wonder who your new fans are. Plus, just when you think I got this, something new comes along.

MS: That’s sort of the cool thing about stand up, no? Once you think you’ve got it, something comes and makes you realize how difficult it is.

S: That’s very true. Stand up is such a unique art form, and I don’t think most people realize what it takes to be a comedian… especially a successful one. It’s not easy.

Read the Full Interview at MStarsNews

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Over the past few years, TBS has grown in leaps in terms of original content, morphing from a network of reruns to one that produces quality material viewers are actually searching for. Perhaps part of the reason for this change is comedian Steve Byrne‘s popular series Sullivan & Son, a sitcom of his creation (alongside Executive Producers Vince Vaughn, Peter Billingsley and Rob Long), in which he plays Steve Sullivan, a longtime lawyer who quits life in the big city and heads home to run the family bar.

The show carries a cast of legendary comedy icons, including Brian Doyle Murray and Christine Ebersole, as well as an impressive cast of fellow stand ups: Roy Wood Jr.Owen Benjamin and Ahmed Ahmed.

The third season of Sullivan & Son begins on June 24. To kick if off, Byrne recently spoke with MStarsNews about the show, his newest stand up special on Netflix and how working in television has made him a better comedian.

MStarsNews: Sullivan & Son begins its third season on June 24. Are you a little more at ease going into a new season as opposed to starting a brand new series?

Steve Byrne: I’d say just a little bit. It’s not easier because the challenge to come up with interesting stories and something solid is always there, but I think what is more defined for us now are the characters and what makes them each unique. We know the relationships and how each interacts so there’s a kind of freedom there.

During the first season you’re usually trying to figure out who the characters are and what works and season two is somewhat of a continuation of that. I think now we’ve learned from both our mistakes and our successes so we use those going into this season. And I have to say… this season is by far our best yet. I can’t wait for people to check it out.

MS: Because of that there’s a sense of familiarity there, which I would think could lend itself to a looser atmosphere. Does that make working on the show more fun? 

SB: Absolutely. I think everybody is accustomed to each other now. We’re all pretty close both on and off the screen so it really is like a family atmosphere. And I know that sounds cliché but it definitely is true. This show is such a great time.

I’ve actually had people who have done guest spots come up to me afterwards and say it’s never like that, which is pretty special. Because of that, it helps me enjoy it more. I now know we’re doing something right.

Read the full interview on MStarsNews

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The walls of Boston’s Wilbur Theater were certainly littered with laughter the night comedian Myq Kaplan stepped onstage to record what would be his newest stand up album and special… Small, Dork and Handsome. Kicking off with, “In conclusion, a joke about time travel. But first, everything else…” the album continues to deliver nothing but a steady flow of A-level material from a guy who is continually growing into his own.

If there’s one constant in the album it’s the comic’s distinct and truly original ability to prove that the traditional “set up / punchline” format is no longer the prominent way of performing stand up comedy.  As the listener will take in – much like the audience in attendance – the evening in which the album was recorded was filled (and I do mean filled) with funny from beginning to end – holding minimal, if any, lulls in laughter.

Many of the surprises of Small, Dork and Handsome come from the unexpected and seemingly unwritten jokes within the jokes. Track six, for instance, titled Buddhism, Feminism, and Math, is a three minute and twenty-five second journey that not only touches upon the subjects within the title, but also introduces puns and quips that leave us questioning whether or not they were prepared or completely improvised in the moment. In discussing those who mock has last name, asking if he could make them more intelligent (based on the Kaplan Test Prep), the comic’s witty return is flawlessly, “I feel like with that attitude anyone could make you smarter. I feel as though a tree could help you. Not that a tree would help. Would help… extra joke!”

And let’s not forget his short, but effective quip about men receiving emails for enlarging their penis size, “Do you want your d—k to be bigger, thicker, wider, hung more like a horse? Hung like a horse? Of course, of course! That’s a joke for the Wilburrr Theater.”

Read the Full Interview at MStarsNews

I was asked to create an interview series for Playboy.com. It’s a five part series in which comedians/actors take the time to sit down with one another one to discuss… anything!

Part 4: Comedians Jen Kirkman & Paul F. Tompkins Talk Shop
Part 3: Comedian Mark Normand chats with comedian Gary Gulman
Part 2: Comedian Aparna Nancherla interviews comedian Myq Kaplan
 Part 1: Comedian Jimmy Pardo talks with ‘Mad Men’ star Rich Sommer

 

With the always-expanding range of CGI and special effects, it’s refreshing to see something real. But in the case of the Cinemax series Banshee, “real” just doesn’t seem to cut it. Now coming to the end of its second season, the show delivers some of the most cringe-worthy, jaw-dropping fight scenes on TV, all surrounded by a story and characters that draw you in from the pilot…which actually isn’t the pilot. Don’t worry, you’ll understand soon enough. If you haven’t jumped onboard yet, get to it!
We recently spoke with Banshee showrunner Greg Yaitanes (House, Lost, Heroes) about the upcoming Banshee finale (Friday, March 14 at 10 P.M. on Cinemax), how it came about and his ingenious ideas that helped him get to work on the show he wanted so badly.

Playboy.com: Banshee may be one of the most intense shows I’ve ever seen. It’s dark, it’s gritty, the fight scenes make you cringe…almost as if the violence itself is a character. Was that the idea from the start?

Greg Yaitanes: I’m really thrilled to hear that! We pictured all of that early on. We made a change in our stunt team at about the third episode in because we wanted to really up the ante. I remember when I interviewed Marcus Young, he asked, “How far can I take this?” I told him I wanted to go all out. I said, “You go as far as you’re willing to go, and I’ll pull you back.” I don’t think there’s any better demonstration of that than the upcoming season finale. I’m so excited.

Playboy.com: I know this is going back some time, but how did the show initially come to you?

Yaitanes: At the time, I was executive producing House. It was the last season of the show and I was looking for my next project. I had seen some things along the road that I liked but I just wasn’t able to work on with my House schedule. I knew Alan Ball was doing a project with Cinemax. I was constantly stalking this project and its progress along the way. I didn’t know Jonathan [Tropper] and David [Schickler] at the time, but I knew I wanted to get out of network and move to cable. When I first started meeting about the show I went through a series of meetings…totally different than network. With HBO, it’s like, “Okay, we’ve got 10,000 Emmys. What else you got?” [laughs]

What I did for the meeting was create a trailer for Banshee out of other movies. I used it as a pitch video for what was in my head. I think that worked to my benefit because I was giving them a tangible way to see how I wanted the show to go. It was a great opportunity for me. Also, I had a very out-of-the-box concept for shooting season one. Normally, you shoot the pilot episode first. I actually shot episode four as the pilot. If people go back and watch, they’ll see that it’s totally out of sequence.

Playboy.com: That’s an ingenious idea. What made you do that?

Yaitanes: I’ve directed pilots and I often find that they’re the worst episode of the series. So I thought, the best chance I could give it was bury it in the middle of shooting. Maybe by the fourth episode the audience would grab on and move with it. By doing it that way, I didn’t have to worry so much about making everything perfect. It allowed for the characters to settle in and for us all to find the groove of the show. And when we got around to shooting the first episode of the series, things ran very smoothly.

I was asked to create an interview series for Playboy.com. It’s a five part series in which comedians/actors take the time to sit down with one another one to discuss… anything!

Part 3: Comedian Mark Normand chats with comedian Gary Gulman
   Part 2: Comedian Aparna Nancherla interviews comedian Myq Kaplan
    Part 1: Comedian Jimmy Pardo talks with ‘Mad Men’ star Rich Sommer

I was asked to create an interview series for Playboy.com. It’s a five part series in which comedians/actors take the time to sit down with one another one to discuss… anything!

Part 2: Comedian Aparna Nancherla interviews comedian Myq Kaplan
 Part 1: Comedian Jimmy Pardo talks with ‘Mad Men’ star Rich Sommer

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