Comedy Central

  • Trevor Noah Will Take Over The Daily Show



    Since Jon Stewart announced his retirement from The Daily Show, the Comedy Central news entertainment program he’s hosted since 1999, speculation has been wild with who would replace him. It’s been especially of interest because there was no clear frontrunner. John Oliver, who filled in for Stewart two summers ago to much acclaim, would have been that frontrunner if his own HBO news program, Last Week Tonight, wasn’t becoming a bigger and bigger hit with each passing week.

    Stephen Colbert may have been expected to leave his own follow-up Report to return and helm The Daily Show, but David Letterman quashed that possibility when he and CBS chose Colbert as his successor for The Late Show. Colbert’s mainstream talk show will air later this year.

    Focus then shifted to the correspondents on The Daily Show, including long-time veterans and real-life married couple Jason Jones and Samantha Bee. Jones will be starring in a new NBC sitcom and Bee will be helming a new talk show on TBS directly competing with The Daily Show. Fellow correspondent Jessica Williams was predicted to host in Hot Tub Time Machine 2, but Williams quickly responded herself that she was too inexperienced for the job.

    So, after a weekend plus of rumors, current correspondent Trevor Noah will be replacing Jon Stewart and hosting the venerated show sometime next year. Though Noah is only 31 and has only been on the show since October, he has hosted a nightly talk show before, in his native South Africa. Noah has also been making a name for himself as a stand-up comedian and is currently touring in Dubai. Comedy Central choice in selecting Trevor Noah, a young, talented, up-and-coming South African star, also signals their effort to broaden diversity in all of their programming.


    March 30, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4623

  • Dr. Katz Is Going Live for Its 20th Anniversary


    dr katz

    Twenty years ago, the animated series Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist aired on Comedy Central and began six seasons of squiggly cartoon avatars of leading standup comics complaining to the ultra-dry shrink. Created by and starring Jonathan Katz, the show has maintained its cult status ever since, as well introducing the world to popular voiceover artists H. Jon Benjamin and Laura Silverman.

    To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the show will have a special live performance at the Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival in Austin, Texas. Katz will hold staged therapy sessions with today’s leading comics, including Andy Kindler, Emo Philips, Maria Bamford, Dom Irrera, Dana Gould, and Eddie Pepitone as well as surprise guests.

    While it’s been fifteen years since the show produced new episodes, its legacy lives on today. In addition to Katz, the show was primarily produced by Loren Bouchard, who went on to create the equally-squiggly animated series, Home Movies. Today, he runs one of the most critically acclaimed animated shows on television, the Fox sitcom Bob’s Burgers.

    Interested in working in animated TV? Check out New York Film Academy’s animation school program and screenwriting school program today!


    February 26, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4931

  • John Oliver in for Two More Seasons of ‘Last Week Tonight’


    john oliverWith the recent announcement of long-time news satirist Jon Stewart stepping down from his Comedy Central show, The Daily Show, much speculation has surrounded the notion that former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver would fill Stewart’s shoes.

    However, with Oliver hosting a successful weekly show of his own, Last Week Tonight, on HBO, one could argue why Oliver would leave a good thing. After all, don’t fix what isn’t broke. Well, rumors came to a close with Deadline’s report that HBO has in fact renewed Last Week Tonight for two more seasons.

    Season three will air on HBO in 2016, followed by season four in 2017. “We are incredibly proud to have John as part of the HBO family,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo says. “His unique ability to deliver socially significant commentary week after week, along with his innate comedic brilliance, puts John in a class by himself.”

    Oliver’s show has become quite popular with Stewart’s demographic as well as the writing community in general. The Writer’s Guild recently awarded the show with Best Comedy/Variety Series award.


    February 19, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4857

  • Jon Stewart Says Farewell to The Daily Show


    Jon Stewart

    Fans of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show got some sad news yesterday, as it was announced that host Jon Stewart will be leaving this year.

    Shortly after the network’s president, Michele Ganeless, released a statement about the host’s departure from the show, Stewart himself revealed the information to his live studio audience.

    You can see the clip of his announcement below:

    For over 16 years Stewart has been delivering nightly news story with a satirical twist. And although he has continuously claimed that he is “just a comedian,” it is clear to everyone that this isn’t completely true. His show has been a must-stop for anyone seeking political office, for example.

    Since 1999, The Daily Show has developed into the primary news source for a large portion for the millennial generation. The show has picked up 20 Emmy Awards along the way. And Stewart came away with an entertainer of the year award in 2004, beating out all the typical performers you would expect to win.

    Whether you agree with the political views of the “fake news” host, it’s hard to deny the impact he has had on society (which includes launching the careers of several other hosts like Stephen Colbert and John Oliver).

    In fact, it Stewart’s willingness to bring his views into the show that likely contributed to the show’s great success. People who agree with him watch the show, but so do people that disagree. Stewart actually thanked people who “hate-watch” his show during his announcement.

    Although there was no clear reason given for the departure, Stewart did hint that he was restless and that the show and audience deserved better. This isn’t the first time he clued us in on his potential future plans, however.

    During his leave from the show to pursue directing Rosewater, Stewart had mentioned that the The Daily Show may not be enough; that there is more out there.

    There are rumors that working on Rosewater has opened up more doors for Stewart to work on feature length filmmaking projects. But whatever the future holds, and although the host jokingly stated that his future plans involve having dinner with his family, it’s hard to imagine that the show is the last we’ll be seeing him.


    February 11, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4997

  • Filmmaker Denny Tedesco Brings ‘The Wrecking Crew’ to NYFA LA


    The Wrecking Crew at NYFA

    Last week the Documentary Department at the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy held its first Industry Perspectives Class of the Fall semester. Our first guest lecturer in the series was director Denny Tedesco, who screened his film The Wrecking Crew. Denny has worked on a number of Comedy Central productions, as well as The 72nd Annual Awards.

    His most recent documentary film tells the story of a group of studio musicians in LA who played on hits for such famous artists as The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, The Monkees, and the Mamas and the Papas. The group also comprised Phil Spector’s famous Wall of Sound. The music industry in the 1960s was rapidly changing from artists who had others create the arrangements, write and compose the music, and play the instruments, to bands who did everything themselves. The film interviews include icons such as Glen Campbell, Cher, Brian Wilson, Dick Clark, and the members of the Wrecking Crew itself. It also includes footage of Phil Spector and Gold Star Studios and other recording sessions from that era.

    The Wrecking Crew has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures and will have a theatrical release in March 2015.


    October 16, 2014 • Documentary Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 5469

  • New York Film Academy’s Alumni Spotlight: Jason Liles


    “Before I moved to NYC I was told by many that I was too tall to be an actor,” says New York Film Academy Acting for Film graduate Jason Liles. “However, it seems my height was been the very thing that’s been getting me in the door to this point.”

    The 6’10” actor has booked a number of high-profile jobs since his graduation in May 2010. Jason explains, “The very week after graduating… [I did an] episode of stand-in work for [pro wrestler] The Big Show as he guest starred on an episode of USA’s Royal Pains. That was my first experience on a big film or TV set ever.”

    “About a month later, [I was called] in to audition for a principal role as a tall alien in Men In Black III 3D!” says Jason. “I ended up working as three aliens over several weeks with [7-time Academy Award-winning] special makeup effects artist Rick Baker and his crew. I worked on the film… with nearly the entire main cast. I got all my SAG waivers and made some great connections. It was an incredible experience. I’m very much looking forward to it’s release on May 25.”

    Jason got another lucky break when he got a second callback for a role on a commercial. He recounts, “I was ecstatic… when I found out searching on the internet that it was a PRINCIPAL role in a NATIONAL Allstate commercial… This was my first time ever auditioning in front of the director, and all for a big project like this. MIB’s audition was for a camera. It was so cool to be getting direction from the director himself at the audition and I gave it my all in that room.”

    Jason waited anxiously until he got the news that he booked the role. He explains, “Because of the waivers I got doing Men In Black III, I had to join SAG to do it so I also got my SAG card!!! Meetings with agents were being set up!!! I couldn’t believe it. I was in denial even. I started to think, ‘Okay, it’s a commercial, but it won’t be that big. It can’t be.’ It just seemed too easy and too good to be true.”

    “The shoot went amazing,” he says. “Around 300 extras were cast for the crowd, and about 15 principals including us basketball players. I got to work directly with Dean ‘Mayhem’ Winters and his 11-year stunt double, David Shumbris, all day. It was such a pleasure to work with both of them and I can’t say enough nice things about them. Also getting to work directly with acclaimed commercial director David Gray was really exciting for me. He was nominated for the prestigious DGA Commercial Director of the Year award in 2004 and I believe this was his first Allstate Mayhem commercial.”

    “I had never experienced anything like a 2,000 frames-per-second high-speed camera getting my close-up for a national commercial before,” says Jason. “When we were setting up that shot, I can’t explain the anticipation and excitement for what was about to happen. I was so amped and felt so grateful to be standing on that court surrounded by such talent. After we got my close-up I went over to the monitor and watched it with David. It looked incredible! So epic! I remember standing behind David as he’s pointing at my face on the monitor saying to the assistant director, Peter Jackson, ‘That’s great! That’s perfect right there. Great, let’s move on.’ It was such a compliment for me to come from such a great director like him.“

    The commercial is currently airing on CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV, Comedy Central, History, Fox, ESPN, and AMC. Jason says, “Another graduate of NYFA, Nick Purdy, said my ‘shocked face is plastered all over Canadian television.’ So evidently it’s showing internationally as well.”

    “I love this business,” Jason says. “Less than a week before shooting the commercial, I knew nothing about it. Persistence is key in anything, and… especially in this industry. I feel so very blessed and so lucky to get this opportunity only a couple years into my career. I can’t thank God enough for the opportunities that have been given to me and can’t wait to see what’s next…. There’s one thing that I’ve come to learn in this business: you never know what’s right around the corner.”


    April 18, 2012 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 7366