MOST RECENT ARTICLES BY:

Erica Lies

  1. primers
    Cardsharps, False Identities, and Pratfalls: A Preston Sturges PrimerRounding up the eight best films by one of Hollywood’s first writer-directors.
  2. primers
    Love Triangles, Screwballs, and WWII: An Ernst Lubitsch PrimerLooking at the pre- and post-Code films of the early Hollywood director.
  3. Going Back to ‘Another Period’ with Natasha Leggero and Riki LindhomeAnother Period returns to Comedy Central for its third season tomorrow night. The early 20th century comedy created by and starring Natasha […]
  4. ‘Great News’ Will Fill the ‘30 Rock’-Sized Hole in Your HeartIn this era of “peak TV” it’s easy for genuinely great comedies to fly under the radar. But as more and more streaming shows create tons of […]
  5. Inside Season 2 of ‘Lady Dynamite’ with Ana GasteyerMaria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite returned to Netflix with its second season last Friday, and it’s turned up the absurdity on Maria’s world even […]
  6. Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson Are on a MissionWhen standup comic Corinne Fisher’s boyfriend waited for her to buy his lunch at Panera Bread and then promptly dumped her, her heartbreak […]
  7. Getting ‘Lady-Like’ with Stephanie SimbariYou may have caught standup Stephanie Simbari on @midnight or in the ensemble of Oxygen’s 2015 reality series Funny Girls, or heard her co-host […]
  8. On the Verge: Maggie MayeWelcome to our series On the Verge, where our contributors highlight comedians they feel are ready for their next big break. Whether they’re […]
  9. Netflix’s ‘GLOW’ Is an Ensemble Comedy TriumphGLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) opens on a close-up of Ruth Wilder’s (Alison Brie) face at an audition giving a rousing speech that makes […]
  10. The Gig Economy in ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returned to Netflix on Friday with season 3 picking up for the most part where it left off. At the start, Kimmy […]
  11. mockumentaries
    ‘Bob Roberts’: From 1992 Mockumentary to 2017 Reality If you want to be disturbed and yet also oddly reassured that American politics cycle through the same themes again and again, look no […]
  12. Remembering Lashonda Lester, the Funniest Person in Austin A wave of shock and grief swept through the Austin comedy scene yesterday as news spread that 2016’s Funniest Person in Austin winner […]
  13. There’s Never Been a Better Time to Watch Charlie Chaplin’s ‘The Great […]As the ugliness of the Trump administration’s nationalism and hate has roared into office in the last six weeks, it’s drawn more than one […]
  14. When Things Feel Hopeless, Turn to ‘The State’s Stupidity2016 was a very, very bad year no matter how you slice it. In tough times, comedy is often a form of escape that people turn to when they need […]
  15. The Comedy Luminaries We Lost in 2016 The verdict is in and 2016 was a real whopper of a year, one that’s felt more like the Twilight Zone or ever-so-slightly less intense episode […]
  16. Building a Comedy Scene in Austin with Sure ThingPopular Austin, Texas standup showcase, Sure Thing, packs the back-porch of the Austin Java coffeehouse every Saturday night, even in the […]
  17. The Comedy Legends We Lost in 2014We lost several funny people of note in 2014, but the year was a real doozy for comedy legends in particular, including writer/directors, TV […]
  18. Jon Stewart Finds Moments of Levity in a Horrifying Ordeal in ‘Rosewater’In early 2013, when Jon Stewart announced his first-ever hiatus from The Daily Show to direct a film about a journalist tortured in an Iranian […]
  19. Amy Poehler’s ‘Yes Please’ Is the Best Non-Self-Help Self-Help Book EverBefore I can start my thoughts on Amy Poehler’s Yes Please (Dey Street Press, out today), I have to put aside Professional Writer Voice and […]
  20. Looking at the Dark and Absurd Sci-Fi Comedy of ‘Space Station 76’The Jack Plotnick-directed Space Station 76 takes place in a 1970s vision of the future. You might ask what exactly that means, but it’s a […]
  21. An Updated ‘Live From New York’ Goes Inside the Last 12 Years of ‘SNL’ […]If the update of Live from New York from journalist James Andrew Miller and TV critic Tom Shales succeeds in one thing, it’s disproving the […]
  22. In ‘Poking a Dead Frog’, Comedians’ Advice, Stories, and Neuroses ShineNerding out on comedy just got a lot easier with Mike Sacks’ new Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers. In his […]
  23. Breaking Down ‘Silicon Valley’s Flawed Characters and Promising Debut […] Silicon Valley’s fourth episode, “Fiduciary Duties,” ends with Richard and Erlich as they leave Peter Gregory’s office, where they spy an old […]
  24. Diving Into the Cult of Dan Harmon in ‘Harmontown’When introducing the documentary Harmontown at the South by Southwest Film Festival, director Neil Berkeley (Beauty is Embarrassing) described […]
  25. ‘Silicon Valley’s Skewering of the Tech Industry Feels Spot-OnA few weeks ago, South by Southwest offered an advance screening of the first two episodes of Mike Judge’s new sitcom, Silicon Valley. It was […]
  26. Highlights from Lena Dunham’s Keynote Address at SXSWLena Dunham keynoted the South by Southwest Film Conference on Monday to a house packed with attendees, many of whom waited in line for over an […]
  27. ‘Girls’ Season 2 Review: Things Get DarkOver the course of its second season, Girls has solidified itself into the most analyzed show on the internet, with each episode bringing up a […]
  28. ‘Girls’ Season Two: Older and Not All That Much WiserThis Sunday, the show the internet loves to argue about returns to HBO for its second season. That’s Lena Dunham’s Girls, of course, a half […]
  29. Sibling Rivalry, Played Out Through Ridiculous Compeition in ‘The Do Deca […]Mark Duplass has a rising profile as a comedic actor through his turns in The League and the soon-to-be released Safety Not Guaranteed, but his […]
  30. Frankie Go Boom Manages to Keep its Supreme Weirdness From Spinning Out of […]Director Jordan Roberts’ Frankie Go Boom, which debuted at SXSW last month, is an entertaining, charmingly madcap comedy with an indie […]
  31. The Awkward Honesty of GirlsLast month at SXSW, HBO screened the first three episodes of Lena Dunham’s new show, Girls, to a packed house. For SXSW, it was an opportunity […]
  32. Talking to Seth Morris About Funny or Die, UCB, and First Dates with Toby […]We told you last week about  Yahoo’s new web comedy push. Part of that effort is a partnership with Funny or Die with the web series First […]
  33. Why ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop’Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop premiered at this year’s SXSW in the 1200-seat Paramount Theater to a capacity crowd who hung on every quip and […]