I mean, look, I try not to take myself or this too seriously and throw around phrases like "Best of" or "to watch" but these might be the best shows in Los Angeles. So, in no particular order (OK TINH is the bestiest of the best), here are the shows I miss most from Los Angeles.
This Is Not Happening - Ari Shaffir's storyteller series brings a group of amazing comedians together to all tell longform stories on a single theme - drugs, fights, travel, love, whatever. It's always a very entertaining show because, of course, comedians have way more fucked up stories than everybody else. Comedy Central Digital picked it up a little while back and has posted two seasons worth of episodes.
Roast Battle - Two comedians enter, three comedians judge them hilariously and harshly, one leaves. The thunderdome of snarky one-liners, I've grown to love this not just for the jokes and the format and the judges, but the fact that it's an event. Packed up into a Belly Room that's full to capacity an hour before the show even starts, you're jazzed just to be there and witness these fleeting moments of high caliber shit talking.
Every Tuesday at midnight in the Comedy Store Belly Room. Follow @RoastBattle on Twitter for lineups.
What's New - First of all, I love the show because it's got good lineups and a great crowd and is always fun to watch. Second of all, I meta love this show for creating one of the best possible rooms for experienced comedians to try out new material. Third of all, I meta meta love this show because it's a crossover live show and podcast, but you have to do both to get 100% of the show (part of the live show isn't broadcast, half of the podcast is recorded offstage), so it markets itself.
Host Christian Spicer and three guests do short sets of new material, then retreat up to the Nerdist podcast studio to talk about the inspiration for the bits while the audience is treated to a long set from the headliner.
Standup On The Spot - This is another great show for new material, except it's completely new that second. Combining the not-awful parts of an improv show with stand-up, comedians take suggestions from the audience and riff a set off the top of their heads, often leading to new material that stays in the act. It's a fun show to watch, since it's so energetic and interactive, plus you get a little peek into how the comedians' minds work.
Picture This - Do you ever get mental pictures while listening to a comedian? Well, so do some professional animators, graphic designers and other people who are good at drawing things. And they share those internal images with you (and the comedian) via projector. Which of course often leads the comedians down a whole other tangent, which is great.
#KILLTONY - One of Deathsquad's live podcasts, this one features Redban and host Tony Hinchcliffe giving aspiring comedians a one minute shot at internet fame and constructive feedback from the seasoned vet guests. Though pretty often, it devolves into a shit show of lunatics and clueless newbies, which is almost more fun.
Monday nights in the Belly Room at The Comedy Store, online archive at Deathsquad.tv.
Yeah yeah yeah, I know, "but you forgot Comedy Juice and Meltdown and The Super Serious Show and Skinny Sundays and Blind Barber and Dot Comedy and regular old weekend shows at The Comedy Store and The Improv and..." Hey, the heart wants what it wants.