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STAND-UP RUNDOWN: Special First Times

The first time on an Improv stage is a milestone for comedians looking to make their stand-up bones.

by Chuck king

A comedian’s first time on stage is generally memorable.

Their first time on an Improv stage is generally unforgettable.

Today’s Stand-Up Spotlight leads with a group of comedians recalling their first times on an Improv stage. Following that story is one about a comic who will likely never reach an Improv stage – and , to his credit, realizes it.

The Spotlight concludes with news of a Wanda Sykes 2024 tour, and a story about what’s prompting Jimmy Fallon to plan more stand-up shows.

Make the memories funny.

STAND-UP SPOTLIGHT – November 7, 2023

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:“I grew up watching An Evening at the Improv with my dad,” comedian Whitney Cummings tells me. “And when I decided to become a comedian, I’d find any clips that I could — Rodney Dangerfield, Howie Mandel. And it would always say Evening at the Improv in the background.”

So it was a throwback thrill for Cummings to be included in the all-star line-up for Improv: 60 And Still Standing, a Netflix special premiering globally on November 7th. The comedy tribute honors the Improv comedy clubs on their 60th anniversary with performances by Cummings, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Bert Kreischer, Craig Robinson, Deon Cole, Fortune Feimster, Jeff Dunham, Kevin Nealon, Mark Normand and Jo Koy.

Opinion — Life as a former comedian

When I was 17, I thought being a stand-up comedian was the coolest thing in the world. I used to spend countless hours after school watching and even rewatching specials by Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks and John Mulaney. It wasn’t long until I decided I wanted to try it out myself.

So, about a week after I turned 18, I went to the Ore Dock during an open mic night and tried out a set. It was pretty bad, and while my friend who tagged along did his best to be polite, I was aware of how unfunny I was.


Wanda Sykes Announces ‘Please & Thank You’ Comedy Tour for 2024

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:Wanda Sykes will embark on her “Please & Thank You” comedy tour in 2024, the veteran stand-up comedian’s first major tour in six years, Variety can report exclusively.

The first 29 dates of the tour will begin on March 1 in Concord, N.H., and carry through June 15 in Kansas City, Mo., with more dates to be added into the fall. Artist presales will start on Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. local time, with tickets available to the general public on Oct. 27 at the same time, all on Sykes’ website.

Jimmy Fallon Says He’s Taking His Comedy on the Road Thanks to Impromptu Stand-up Set With Chris Rock

Jimmy Fallon revealed Friday that he just might take a stand-up comedy show around the country after being inspired by Chris Rock and an impromptu set at the Comedy Cellar earlier this week.

Kicking off “The Tonight Show” on Friday from behind his desk after the monologue, the late night host recounted the “great night” he had Thursday with comedians Mike Birbiglia and Chris Rock — one that started with dinner at Carbone New York and ended with a surprise comedy routine with Rock at the storied West Village comedy club.


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