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DID YOU READ

10 Comedy Musicians You Need to Know

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Music has charms that soothe the savage beast, but comedy does the exact opposite. When you combine the two, you get something truly amazing. Laughs and melodies are very congenial bedfellows (as you’ll see when College Humor’s Comedy Music Hall of Fame airs June 19th at 10P on IFC). We all love Weird Al, The Lonely Island, Tenacious D and other superstars of the comedy music world. But what about the up-and-coming funny people who perfectly combine music and laughs in their act? Here are 10 rising stars who represent the next generation of comedy music superstars.

10. CDZA

This collective of over 150 highly trained New York City musicians have become YouTube superstars thanks to their clever breakdowns of nostalgic favorites like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.


9. The Gregory Brothers

Unlike a number of performers on this list who were comedians first and musicians second, the Gregory Brothers started out as a full-on band before finding unlikely viral success with an auto-tuned remix of a ludicrous news report. They were even nominated for a Grammy for their take on Charlie Sheen’s “Winning” catchphrase.) Recently they created the catchy theme song for Tina Fey’s Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.


8. Tim Minchin

Australian comedian Tim Minchin brings a theatre background to his unique form of cabaret, which features glam-influenced tunes with wickedly funny lyrics. His off-beat takes on religion and its adherents have made him a figure of some controversy. Cool fact: Minchin’s latest work is designed to be performed with a full orchestra.


7. Patrick Noth

Hip-hop and stand-up comedy have a lot of parallels –- some of the earliest rapping came from black comedians like Rudy Ray Moore, who added a rhythmic element to his delivery. New York comedian Patrick Noth might be white, but the UCB veteran busts some pretty great rhymes as part of his set.


6. Allie Goertz

Satirical songwriter Allie Goertz uses YouTube as a platform to deliver charming takes on pop culture stalwarts like Breaking Bad and The Jerk. She crowd-sourced a very successful album and currently works on @Midnight.


5. Trevor Moore

One of the founding members of New York City’s Whitest Kids U Know comedy group, Trevor Moore’s parents were Christian folk-rockers who had a minor chart hit in the ’80s. He combined his musical upbringing with comedy to create some incredible material. His album Drunk Texts to Myself touches on a flabbergasting variety of musical styles.


4. Bo Burnham

One of the youngest comedians on the scene, Bo Burnham rode a wave of YouTube popularity to a massive career before he was old enough to drink. He started coming up with comedic songs in between play rehearsals in 2006, uploaded a few and things exploded from there. He’s had his own MTV show and released four albums.


3. Rachel Bloom

Actress and writer Rachel Bloom just landed her own musical comedy series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, on The CW, so expect to see a lot more of her in the future. She’s already landed a Hugo award nomination for a YouTube video about wanting to have sex with sci-fi legend Ray Bradbury, which seems like a joke but is actually very, very serious.


2. Jon Lajoie

YouTube has been a godsend for comedy musicians, as the short video platform is probably the best way to consume their material. Jon Lajoie started blending tunes and laughs in 2006 and quickly became a viral sensation, leveraging it to a recurring role on The League and several albums.


1. Reggie Watts

One of the coolest things about combining humor and music is how it lets performers experiment with new comedy concepts. Reggie Watts is a true original in that regard, creating beat-based sound collages with his expressive voice that make you laugh and think in equal measure. He just exited his role as bandleader on Comedy Bang! Bang!, and we still haven’t gotten over it.

Watch the trailer for College Humor’s Comedy Music Hall of Fame below.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.