1. Using Shock and Violence for Comedy’s Sake in ‘Wild Tales’Oscar Best Foreign Language film nominee Wild Tales, directed by Argentine filmmaker Damián Szifron, is an anthology of six short films […]
  2. How ‘Parks and Rec’ Transcended its Mockumentary RootsNBC’s Parks and Recreation ended its seven-season run Tuesday night and will go down as undoubtedly my favorite sitcom of its era. Created as a […]
  3. Looking at the Comedy-ish Movies That Premiered at Sundance This YearSundance 2015, the unofficial film industry new year marker, has come and gone, leaving in its wake as usual a pile of must-see titles, […]
  4. How Chris Rock Made the Personal Impersonal in ‘Top Five’I have been a big fan of Chris Rock’s since I was young. “No Sex (in the Champagne Room)” was one of the first comedy things I listened to in […]
  5. The Best Comedy Directors of 2014As this column wraps up its first full year, I present the 1st Annual 2014 Comedy Film School Awards. These awards are determined by a voting […]
  6. ‘High Maintenance’ and the Art of the Audience SurrogateWith the release of three new episodes last week, High Maintenance went from the one web series you need to be watching to the one web series […]
  7. How Adam McKay Directs at the Top of His IntelligenceAdam McKay’s path to becoming a director began as a notoriously mischievous improvisor under the tutelage of guru Del Close in Chicago, then […]
  8. The Subtle Brilliance of Jill Soloway’s ‘Transparent’Transparent, Amazon’s foray into the Netflix-infested waters of quality internet binge watching, is deservedly the most critically-lauded show […]
  9. What Does it Mean to Direct an Adam Sandler Movie?The Adam Sandler assembly line began production in 1995 with Billy Madison and has since churned out over 20 films under the Happy Madison […]
  10. Is ‘Modern Family’ Really the Best-Directed Comedy on TV?On Monday night, Gail Mancuso took home the Emmy for “Outstanding Direction for a Comedy Series” for her work the Modern Family season five […]
  11. How Richard Linklater Uses Naturalism to Find ComedyRichard Linklater is having what can probably be considered the most visible period of his career with the release of his highly anticipated […]
  12. How ‘Nathan for You’ Brilliantly Blows Up Reality TVPopularized by The Office in the early 2000s, the “mockumentary” format has become the common TV style choice to tell loose, location-based, […]
  13. ‘Annie Hall’ and Woody Allen’s Experimental Visual Film StyleThe prospect of writing about Woody Allen has loomed large over my writing since the inception of this column last year for many reasons. […]
  14. David Wain and His Parodies of ExuberanceThere are many ways to go about parodying a form, however from Mel Brooks’ smug send-ups to Nathan Fielder’s biting critique of the types of […]
  15. How the Visual Direction of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton Inform […]Many of those with whom I interact on the internet have sent me this fantastic video essay by Tony Zhou in which he eviscerates the experience […]
  16. How Nicholas Stoller Grounds ‘Neighbors’, ‘Get Him to the Greek’, and His […]Early in Neighbors, a new comedy by Nicholas Stoller, Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne), stuck in their carefully planned adult home with […]
  17. David Gordon Green and the Serious Foundations of His ComediesIf, in the year 2007, a reader wanted content on the films of David Gordon Green, a comedy website would hardly have been their first stop. At […]
  18. Does FX’s ‘Fargo’ Keep the Original’s Darkness While Losing the Comedy?Many words have been written this week about Tuesday’s premiere of the FX eponymous miniseries adaptation of Fargo, particularly in regards to […]
  19. The Duplass Brothers and Bringing the Lo-Fi Mumblecore Aesthetic to […]With the recent mainstream indie success of Mumblecore pioneers Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies and Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess, it seems […]
  20. Applying the Auteur Theory to Kevin SmithIn the early ‘90s American Indie boom, auteurs like Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh emerged into the zeitgeist with personal, […]
  21. How ‘The Lego Movie’ Manages to Keep a Bunch of Plates Spinning All at OnceWhile you certainly don’t need me to tell you that the number one movie in the country three weeks running is a success, The Lego Movie seems […]
  22. How ‘Family Guy’ Gets the Comedic Cutaway So WrongBy now, the cutaway has become a television comedy staple, allowing programs to reveal information, flashback, build on a joke, or […]
  23. The Evolution of ‘SNL’s Pretaped Sketches and Digital ShortsAndy Samberg and the Lonely Island were not the first to produce pre-recorded material for Saturday Night Live. The show has a long tradition […]
  24. How Lena Dunham’s Directing Style Makes ‘Girls’ More Emotionally Resonant […]At some point in the last two years it became a legal requirement in the United States to have an opinion about Lena Dunham. So, here is mine: […]
  25. Mel Brooks and His Wonderful Rejection of SubtletyBack in a time when our primary source of film-watching outside the movie theatre involved a trip to a video store, it was much harder to be a […]
  26. Paul Feig, ‘Bridesmaids’, and Comedy with a ‘Feminine Sensibility’Starting with the creation of his breakout sitcom, Freaks and Geeks, and the lead character of Lindsay Weir, Paul Feig has said publicly and […]
  27. How Director Peter Atencio Acts as the Unsung, Essential Third Member of […]In addition to being one of the most consistently funny sketch shows on TV, Key and Peele is also praised for its highly stylized, cinematic […]
  28. The Auteur Theory of Judd ApatowMore than any modern day comedy director, Judd Apatow can be considered an auteur. Auteur Theory, first written about by Francois Truffaut in […]
  29. How Louis CK’s Directing Style Helps Him Translate His Standup to the […]Louis C.K. is a filmmaker. That is not to undermine his world-class abilities as a writer and performer, but rather to emphasize the role his […]