Watching 'Saturday Night Live' in the Age of ISIS

Should we feel guilty about laughing in a world full of pain? Read More

A donut shop employee and aspiring comedian is paying tribute to one of the late Mitch Hedburg’s most beloved jokes, about receiving a receipt for a donut, on an actual receipt for a donut. Even though his boss initially made him stop adding the joke to receipts, after a Reddit post showing the meta homage to the comedy great went viral, the owner of Stan’s Donuts in Chicago brought it back. Mitch would be proud. The original bit, delivered in Hedburg’s legendary mellow style, can be heard here ... Discuss

Steve Carell and his wife Nancy Carell (who has appeared in a number of films and television shows herself), are writing, executive producing a directing a new pilot for TBS. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tribeca is a parody of cop procedurals that follows “an eccentric but brilliant group of people who investigate crime, reveal way too much personal information, and refuse to rest until justice has been served … sort of.” Sounds like it could be promising, though hasn’t Andy Samberg already beat them to the punch? Maybe we will get lucky, and there will be guest a appearance by Special Agent Michael ScarnDiscuss

If you’re an aspiring comedian, or simply appreciate a well-crafted joke, this video from a New York Times Magazine interview with Jerry Seinfeld is a must-watch. The comedy legend explains how it took him two years to write a brief series of jokes about Pop Tarts, how the joke is formed and why it’s funny. Spending two years to write a joke about Pop Tarts may seem kind of insane, but as Seinfeld points out, that’s all part of the joke. “It’s a long time to spend on something that means absolutely nothing. But that’s what I do. That’s what people want me to do … is spend a lot of time wastefully, so that I can waste their time” … Discuss

Forbes recently looked at the top 10 highest earning comedians in America, and somewhat surprisingly, two of them are practitioners of the time-honored art of ventriloquism, a form of entertainment that falls just under “prop comedy” on the lameness scale. The list ranks the performers based at how much they made in the last year. Jerry Seinfeld was the year’s top earner, brining in $32 million, followed by puppet-wielding America’s Got Talent winner Terry Fator, who earned $24 million. Russell Peters, Jeff Dunham (a ventriloquist), Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Larry the Cable Guy, George Lopez, Daniel Tosh, Gabriel Iglesias and Ron White round out the top 10 … Discuss

Readers of The New York Times didn’t find a recent column by comedy writer and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David very funny. In the op-ed “My Son the Terrorist”, David writes a hypothetical conversation between a reporter and his own mom in which she defends him in the same manner that the Tsarnaeva brother’s mother has defended them. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva insists that her sons were not involved in the Boston Marathon bombings, and they were set up, despite the fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaeva has confessed that he and his brother are responsible. Obviously, many readers didn’t think the joke was in good taste and wrote the newspaper to let them know.

Yesterday, Times editor Margaret Sullivan released this statement, saying, “Larry David’s piece misses the mark.” She said that the piece didn’t work “not only because it was insensitive, but also because it was unfunny.” However, the editorial page editor who oversees the section, defended the piece, saying it was a work of sharp satire: “We believed it was acceptable because a) good political humor is always edgy and sometimes difficult to hear … And b) the object of his satire was the mother and the absurd press conference at which she went on a dramatic tirade” … Discuss