If there’s one factor comedians have been good at in 2022, it’s being a part of the popular culture dialog. Whether or not tragic, stunning, triumphant or hilarious, there’s been no scarcity of occasions centered round comedy that created a mixture of native chatter and seismic shifts in the best way we view the humor behind stand-up. Listed here are just a few of the primary highlights of the 12 months thus far in stand-up comedy.
Jan. 9, Bob Saget dies: The world was dealt an sudden blow when Saget, beloved stand-up comedian and star of “Full House,” was discovered useless in his resort room in Florida simply hours after a present at age 65. Tributes poured in from comics in every single place, particularly in L.A., who mourned the lack of one in every of their heroes.
Jan. 21, Louie Anderson dies: The “Baskets” star, who was among the many iconic class of comedians to launch their careers on the Comedy Retailer, died in Las Vegas at 68 after battling most cancers. Recognized for his distinct, gap-toothed grin, Anderson introduced his expertise as a stand-up comedian to TV, internet hosting the revival of “Family Feud” between1999 to 2002. He additionally gained two Daytime Emmy Awards throughout his profession for his animated children sequence “Life With Louie.”
Jan. 25, Aziz Ansari particular “Nightclub Comedian” launched on Netflix: On the high of the 12 months, a weary and wiser model of Ansari took the stage on the Comedy Cellar in New York for a 29-minute set tackling the pandemic, politics, misinformation and the sexual allegations in opposition to him that turned his profession the wrong way up.
Feb. 4, Phat Tuesday documentary launched on Amazon: This three-part docuseries celebrates the favored city comedy evening on the Comedy Retailer that modified the panorama of stand-up from 1995 to 2005, giving Black comics like Tiffany Haddish, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina King, Luenell, J.B. Smoove, Jay Pharoah and Nick Cannon the proper launchpad to stardom. Directed by Reginald Hudlin, this comedy oral historical past doc reveals the underlying inspiration behind one in every of LA. comedy’s most star-studded weekly romps.
Feb. 14, Ali Wong’s particular, “Don Wong,” launched on Netflix: In her third comedy particular, Wong returned with swagger and sharp humor tackling gender roles, love and intercourse from a married (now previously married) lady’s perspective that got here proper on time for Valentine’s Day.
Feb. 22, The Superb Johnathan dies: The comic/magician born John Edward Szeles made his identify stunning audiences for many years as “The Amazing Johnathan.” It was equally stunning to listen to information that the person dubbed the “Freddy Krueger of Comedy” died at his Las Vegas residence following a battle with coronary heart illness. He was 63.
March 8, Taylor Tomlinson releases particular “Look at You” on Netflix: This rising star turned the highlight on her inside points in her newest Netflix particular. The Temecula native doubled down on her humor, placing much more distance from her early days on the Christian comedy circuit with jokes which can be as raunchy as they’re smart. Tomlinson additionally finds a manner for us to chortle concerning the loss of life of her mom from most cancers when she was 8 — “She’s in heaven, I’m on Netflix — it all worked out,” the comedian stated.
March 27, The Slap: After we look again on the world of comedy a long time from now, it’ll probably be divided into two elements: Pre-Slap and Submit-Slap. When Oscar winner Will Smith obtained up from his seat to hit Chris Rock on dwell TV for making a joke about his spouse Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head, viewers gasped. The second not solely shocked the world, it rattled the stand-up comedy group to its core (and provides all comedians at the very least 5 minutes value of latest materials). It ignited limitless conversations concerning the position comedians play in society and the suitable to free speech in addition to the implications that include that proper. Because of “the slap heard round the world,” the movie academy banned Smith from coming to its awards present for 10 years.
March 26, Jo Koy sells out the Discussion board: Clearly any comic likes to see the phrases “sold out” hooked up to their present. However whenever you’ve packed one of many greatest venues in L.A. as a headliner— it hits a little bit completely different. Although he’s no stranger to reaching this feat, Koy’s sold-out present on the Discussion board in Inglewood set the tone for a milestone 12 months in his three-decade profession that additionally contains the arrival of his first starring position within the movie “Easter Sunday,” impressed by his Filipino household gathering for the vacations.
April 1, Jerrod Carmichael comes out as homosexual in HBO particular: In the course of the comic’s intimate and soulful particular, “Rothaniel,” Carmichael determined to come back out with extra than simply jokes. He additionally got here out as a homosexual man for the primary time publicly. On the peak of telling a narrative about his dad getting caught dishonest on his spouse, Carmichael lets his fact out.
“After that was out in the open, I was left alone feeling like a liar because I had a secret,” he stated. “One that I kept from my father, my mother, my family, my friends — and you, all of you. Professionally, personally. And the secret is that I’m gay.” After a protracted silence, the comic’s revelation was met with big applause.
April 7, Comedy Retailer fiftieth anniversary: Blood, sweat and laughter helped Hollywood’s most iconic comedy membership make it to 50 this 12 months. On April 7, 1972, the Comedy Retailer opened its doorways and commenced a storied historical past as one of many anchors of L.A. comedy that turned out a few of the world’s brightest stars. The membership — as soon as presided over by its proprietor, the late Mitzi Shore — continues to be alive and nicely and has principally been stored simply because it was again within the day, with new generations of comics gracing its phases and bringing in sold-out crowds evening after evening. A part of the way forward for the Retailer relies on remembering the previous, Mitzi’s son Peter Shore — who’s now the membership’s chief govt — says. Preserving the traditions alive for these looking for a spot on this revered clubhouse for comics continues to be a very powerful factor.
April 12, Gilbert Gottfried dies: One of the iconic voices in comedy was unexpectedly silenced in April when Gottfried died at age 67 following a protracted battle with a uncommon muscular illness. Beloved for his grating vocal supply and foul-mouthed type of stand-up, Gottfried was all the time within the firm of giants, together with his good buddies Bob Saget and Louie Anderson, who each died earlier than him simply months earlier. The famend voice actor made his mark on Hollywood in many movies, together with his position because the squawky parrot Iago within the Disney animated basic “Aladdin,” in addition to the voice of the duck within the Aflac TV commercials.
April 28, Could 8 Netflix is a Joke Fest debuts in L.A.: This unprecedented, citywide celebration of stand-up comedy immediately develop into a monster occasion in L.A. comedy in addition to an indication of Netflix’s continued dominance within the comedy world. The competition featured greater than 250 reveals over 12 nights at 30-plus venues round L.A. together with a historic run of sold-out reveals at Dodger Stadium by headliner Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias. Nevertheless, that vast second was rapidly overshadowed by Dave Chappelle getting tackled by an viewers member onstage on the Hollywood Bowl in the course of the his second present on the competition.
Could 24, Ricky Gervais particular “Super Nature” launched on Netflix: One other month, one other Netflix particular inflicting controversy over transphobic jokes. This time it was Ricky Gervais stirring the pot in his newest hour, “Super Nature,” that highlighted wisecracks about identification politics, cancel tradition and trans ladies. “The one thing you should never joke about is the trans issue,” the comic stated from the stage. “They just want to be treated equally. I agree,” the comedian stated onstage. “That’s why I include them.” Criticism of the particular unfold rapidly on-line together with from many within the LGBTQ group akin to GLAAD, which accused Netflix of disobeying its personal guidelines of content material moderation by airing the particular.
Could 30, Norm MacDonald’s posthumous particular “Nothing Special” launched on Netflix: Practically 9 months after his loss of life, comic Norm Macdonald as soon as once more graced the screens of comedy followers for one final time, courtesy of his posthumous last particular — aptly titled “Nothing Special.” Arrange with a easy microphone, headphones and a pc, Macdonald, who died in September from most cancers at age 61, is seen preventing to remain in his ingredient, telling jokes that seemingly ignored his ache and struggling as a manner to deal with loss of life and maintain doing what he cherished. The unearthed video was launched unvarnished by Netflix as a tribute to a stand-up nice who nonetheless had a number of struggle and humorous one-liners left in him earlier than leaving his mortal coil.
June 1, The Crow comedy membership opens: This summer time, a brand new L.A. comedy membership was born — really, hatched — in Santa Monica. The Crow, a three-part membership that features a primary stage, a second-floor “nest” stage and an enthralling inexperienced room, represents husband-and-wife house owners Mickey and Nicole Blaine’s lifelong dream. Constructed as an inclusive den of guffaws inside artwork colony Bergamot Station, the small theater grew to become a much-needed addition to L.A.’s comedy panorama.
June 3, Louis C.Ok. releases his self-financed movie, “Fourth of July”: Right here’s a film with a twist we didn’t see coming — one starring disgraced comic Louis C.Ok. On June 3, he introduced a brand new movie challenge that he directed, independently produced and financed known as “Fourth of July,” launched July 1. It’s a couple of younger man from New York understanding his points together with his problematic household. Within the movie, he performs the position of therapist — yep, critically. The film marks C.Ok.’s return to the massive display since he was accused of sexual misconduct in 2017 in the course of the peak of the #MeToo motion.
June 10, Bob Saget memorial particular on Netflix: What higher option to salute the reminiscence of Bob Saget than a raunchy, star-studded send-off on the Comedy Retailer? Equal elements emotional and hysterical, a celebrity-filled memorial to Saget on the West Hollywood venue grew to become fodder for a Netflix comedy particular six months after his loss of life. Comedians onstage included Jeff Ross, Jim Carrey and Chris Rock, in addition to John Stamos, John Mayer and Saget’s longtime opening act Mike Younger — all gathering to roast and keep in mind one in every of comedy’s kindest and filthiest souls.
June 24, Lyric Hyperion reopens: The Lyric Hyperion in Silver Lake has been a staple of the improv and open-mic stand-up scene for 20 years. So when it was at risk of closing its doorways in the course of the pandemic, there was little question that somebody needed to step in and reserve it. Run by new managers Brandon Wooden and Kaela Inexperienced, the 65-seat black field theater expertise is now revived and dealing on rebuilding itself again to time-honored glory. The theater continues to host a variety of cabaret-style comedy reveals, together with its most up-to-date, “The Streaming-Verse of Madness: An Unauthorized Musical Parody” starring comic and thespian Aidan Park.
July 14, Jak Knight dies by suicide: Slapstick comedian, actor, author and producer Jak Knight took his personal life on July 14. Born Jakim Maulana, Knight, 28, starred within the Netflix animated sequence “Big Mouth” and the edgy comedy sequence “Bust Down” on Peacock. Knight’s physique was found at an embankment. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the pinnacle, in line with the Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner. The remembrances of Knight poured out throughout social media and the marquees of golf equipment just like the Improv, which payed tribute to the beloved comic.
Upright Residents Brigade reopens with in-person lessons (mid-July): UCB Franklin returned to the L.A. comedy scene in July to renew in-person improv lessons and start to unfurl its plans to totally reopen its legendary theater on Franklin Avenue after being darkish for over two years.
July 24, Chris Rock publicly addresses Oscars slap for first time: For the primary time because the notorious Oscars slap, Chris Rock addressed the incident whereas onstage for his “Only Headliners Allowed” comedy tour with Kevin Hart in New Jersey, the place they had been joined with particular visitor Dave Chappelle. Although it was a ache he’ll always remember, Rock stated he refused to let it put him down for the depend.
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock informed the group, in line with a number of shops. “I’m not a victim. Yeah, that s— hurt, motherf—. But, I shook that s— off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”