Monday, February 28, 2011


BOOKS: First One Digital Publishing has published Dick Gregory’s 1964 autobiography, “Nigger,” as an electronic edition for the first time.

Sally Wade, the parter of the late George Carlin, will share the decade she spent with Carlin in her book, “The George Carlin Letters: The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade.” The book is due March 8.

Gilbert Gottfried’s first book, “Rubber Balls and Liquor,” is scheduled to hit stores April 26. St. Martin’s Press is the publisher. Gottfried will make stops in New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco to promote his book.

Brian McKim and fellow comedian (and wife) Traci Skene, the duo behind the long-running website, are writing “The Comedy Bible: The Complete Resource for Aspiring Comedians.” Barron’s Educational Series has a Sept. 1 publication date. Both McKim and Skene appeared in season seven of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” with McKim making it into the semifinals.

Chelsea Handler will mark the publication of her fourth book, “Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me,” with a 19-stop tour of the same name beginning May 10 in Boston. Brad Wollack, Josh Wolf and Heather McDonald, regulars on “Chelsea Lately,” will join her on the tour. “Lies” is the first book to appear under her own publishing imprint, Borderline Amazing.

Comedian — and actor, writer and director — Albert Brooks has a first novel due out May 10 from St. Martin’s Press: “2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America.”

Gallery has signed publishing contracts with Louis C.K. and Joe Rogan, but don’t look for their books to hit the shelves until June 2012. Louis C.K.’s is still untitled, but Rogan’s is to be called “I Thought I Was Supposed to Be the High One.”

AUDIO: Lisa Lampenelli, the Queen of Mean, will release her latest CD, “Tough Love,” on April 5 on the Warner label.

Uproar Entertainment is experimenting with the release of comedy albums on vinyl. If enough buyers grab the first two releases, look for Uproar to press more albums in the future. Brian Regan’s first CD, “Brian Regan Live,” and National Lampoon’s “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick” have a May 3 release date.

TV: IFC has ordered a season season of David Cross’ series “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.” Cross created the series, and writes and stars in it as well.

“John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show” returns for a second season on March 24 on Comedy Central with “Daily Show” regular John Oliver playing host to a roster of talented comedians.

Comedy Central on March 26 will air a tribute to the late comedian Greg Giraldo.

Public television stations will air specials highlighting two classic comedies during March. “SCTV Golden Classics” and “The Best of Laugh-in” will be shown on various PBS stations around the country.

Cable channel WE tv is fast becoming the place for comedians who want reality shows. The channel already is home to Joan Rivers’ “Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best” and Tammy Pescatelli’s “A Stand Up Mother.” WE tv has put “Sinbad’s Family Affair” on its schedule beginning April 12. The hour-long series will run for six episodes.

Roseanne Arnold is returning to TV with her second try at a reality show. Lifetime Television has ordered 16 half-hour episodes of an as-yet-untitled show that captures her life running a 40-acre macadamia farm in Hawaii. ABC canceled Arnold’s last reality show, “The Real Roseanne Show,” after airing two of the planned 13 episodes.

Kathy Griffin, late of Bravo’s “My Life on the D-List,” returns to the cable channel in mid-March for her latest special — this makes No. 11 — called “Kathy Griffin: 50 and Not Pregnant.” She plans to make three more specials for Bravo this year, one each quarter.

BROADWAY: Griffin has eight performances scheduled for her first theatrical production, “Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony.” The one-woman show will run from March 11-19 at the Belasco Theatre.

Rosie O’Donnell would like to return to Broadway, but not in as dramatic a fashion as when she brought Boy George’s musical “Taboo” to the stage. She reportedly lost $10 million on that 2003 venture. This time, O’Donnell is lobbying for the role of orphan wrangler Miss Hannigan if James Lapine directs “Annie” on Broadway in 2012. A more definite project: O’Donnell returns to television in September, this time on the fledgling Oprah Winfrey Network. She says the show will look more like Winfrey’s former show than hers. “It’s not going to be a bunch of guests coming in to promote a movie. It’s going to be a single topic, one hour, similar to hers. Although, you know, nobody can come close to doing what she actually did.”

DVD: Alonzo Bodden’s “Who’s Paying Attention?” is due out March 1 from Entertainment One. Also on the release schedule: Colin Mochrie’s and Brad Sherwood’s “Colin & Brad: Two Man Group” (March 8 from Image Entertainment), Aries Spears’ “Hollywood, Look I'm Smiling” (March 22 from Vivendi Entertainment), Whitney Cummings’ “Money Shot” (April 12 from Image Entertainment), and Angelo Tsarouchas’ “Bigger is Better” (April 26 from Lol Comedy).

“Who’s the Caboose” premiered in 1999 at the Aspen Comedy Festival, but hasn’t had a video release in the United States until now. The mockumentary follows Sarah Silverman as she makes a move from New York to Los Angeles to try to land a part in a TV show. New Video releases “Who’s the Caboose?” March 29. Sam Seder directed and co-wrote the movie, and the follow-up TV series called “Pilot Season,” which also starred Silverman. “Pilot Season” aired in 2004 on the now-defunct Trio cable network.

FILM: The documentary on Jonathan Winters, “Certifiably Jonathan,” continues to make its way across the country. Between March 2 and April 27, the movie will open in Irvington, N.Y., Scottsdale, Ariz., Rosendale, N.Y., Modesto, Calif., Memphis, Tenn., Los Angeles, St. Johnsbury, Vt., Taos, N.M., and Las Cruces, N.M.

FESTIVALS: Aspen will try once again to hold onto a comedy festival, this one called the Aspen Laff Festival. The festival will be March 16-19 at the Wheeler Opera House. On the roster: Christopher Titus, Jackie Kashian, Caroline Rhea, Stewart Hoff, Darryl Lenox, Auggie Smith and Roy Wood Jr., among others. The Aspen RooftopComedy Festival lasted for three years before calling it a wrap last summer. Before that, the US Comedy Arts Festival – now in Las Vegas and known as The Comedy Festival – had a run from 1985 through 2007.


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