In the magazine this week, Michael Schulman writes about Tim Minchin, the singer-songwriter-comedian who composed the music and lyrics forÂ “Matilda the Musical” (an adaptation of theÂ Roald Dahl book), which just opened on BroadwayÂ after a celebrated run in London. Here, Schulman listens to and explains a few of the songs that made Minchin famous in his native Australia and in the U.K. Also, a phone call with Minchin himself: http://nyr.kr/Zj0sJ4
Richard Brody on Eddie Cantor, “a street-smart New York comedian and singer, a big hit on the Broadway stage, and a strange, exuberant, yet hauntingly circumspect and reflective character, whose contribution is one part hard-nosed practicality and one part surprisingly symbolic.” Continue reading: http://nyr.kr/WFq4Qv
Yael Kohen’s “We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy,” out today, is an oral history that charts the role of female comedians in this country, from Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller’s lewd, joke-based night-club gigs of the nineteen-fifties to the idiosyncratic performances of the alternative comedians Kristen Schaal and Aubrey Plaza today, with Elaine May, Lily Tomlin, Janeane Garofalo, and many other doyennes of comedy interviewed and discussed along the way. The section of the book about the women of “Saturday Night Live,” excerpted here, focusses on a period in the nineteen-nineties and early aughts when a group of ambitious female cast members transformed “S.N.L.”—a notorious boys’ club since its first season, in 1975—into a space where female comedians could collaborate and thrive.
Stewart and O’Reilly have developed a surprisingly endearing bromance over the past decade or so. Since 2001, they’ve made numerous appearances on each other’s shows, and they seem to have a genuine mutual respect and admiration. According to Stewart, the idea for the debate came from O’Reilly: “I didn’t have much of a choice… He just calls up and says: ‘Stewart. O’Reilly. Debate.’ ” The two may share a similar perspective on political humor nowadays, but they’ve come to comedy from different starting places. Stewart always wanted to be a comedian. O’Reilly’s ambition was to be a news anchor. Now they’ve met somewhere in the middle. Over the past decade, The New Yorker has run Profiles of both men, tracing their respective transformations.
Click-through for more from Erin Overbey on The Rumble: 2012, and for a look into our profiles of the two contenders: http://nyr.kr/RiZkjs
Hand in hand with the arrival of the Borowitz Report on our site, today The New Yorker inaugurates a daily Shouts & Murmurs blog. This launch is the latest iteration of a department that traces its roots back to the magazine’s first decade. Since 1992, Shouts & Murmurs has been a regular venue for many notable humorists, including Bruce McCall, Steve Martin, Christopher Buckley, Veronica Geng, David Sedaris, Garry Trudeau, and Wendy Wasserstein. But long before flourishing as The New Yorker’s showcase for comic writing, Shouts & Murmurs was the personal column of Alexander Woollcott. Beginning in 1929, Woollcott’s Shouts appeared weekly for five years.
Read more from Jon Michaud on the origin of the magazine’s Shouts & Murmurs section: http://nyr.kr/Q7EfuT