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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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

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

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

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

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

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

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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