Comedy Impact Report 2012: Power of Comedy
JOEL MCHALE HOST
Impact: In addition to playing Mark Wahlberg’s smarmy romantic rival in “Ted,” the host of E!’s “The Soup” juggled an intriguing turn as a con man in “Sons of Anarchy.”
Next: Will resume his role as the charismatic Jeff Winger on “Community,” which is slated to return to NBC in February.
Causes: Hillsides Foster Soles, an online shoe auction for charity.
Impact: The “Blewish” (black and Jewish) standup launched his bizarro-sketch comedy skein “The Eric Andre Show” on Adult Swim and appeared on “Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23.”
Next: Wrapped a role in the Vince Vaughn-scripted feature, “The Internship.”
Causes: Skyler Stone’s Comedy Rocks fundraiser
Impact: The team player has carved out a role on the TV comedy “Sullivan and Son,” in which he appears as Owen, Steve Sullivan’s childhood friend.
Next: Recorded a one-hour standup special, “High Five ’til It Hurts,” airing on Comedy Central in 2013.
ALEX BORSTEIN & RACHAEL MACFARLANE
Impact: Borstein (who voices Lois Griffin on “Family Guy”) could also be heard in “ParaNorman” (and seen in “Ted”), while MacFarlane’s voice was all over “Robot Chicken,” “American Dad” and “Family Guy.”
Next: Listen for both in future episodes of Seth MacFarlane-produced toons.
Impact: The former Variety 10 Comics to Watch honoree has been building a primetime following as co-star on NBC’s “Whitney.”
Next: Hopes to parlay his supporting turn in “Celeste and Jesse Forever” into larger standup and movie opportunities.
Causes: D’Elia is a regular on the charity comedy event circuit, with appearances at the Venice Family Clinic Benefit and Free the Children.
GARFUNKEL & OATES
Impact: Musical comedy duo Kate Micucci (on ukulele) and Riki Lindhome (on guitar) regularly perform together live and on TV. On the solo front, Micucci appearing on “Raising Hope” and “Motorcity” and Lindhome appeared in “Fun Size.”
Next: Lindhome is set to take a bigger role in “Hell Baby,” while Micucci will appear in “Decoding Annie Parker.”
Impact: The versatile comedic star and “Robot Chicken” exec producer debuted a new animation facility, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, with partner Matthew Senreich and the Buddy Systems team.
Next: Following up festival indie “The Story of Luke” with leading roles in Lionsgate’s “Sexy Evil Genius” and “The Identical” opposite Ray Liotta. Can also be seen in the miniseries “Delete.”
Causes: Artists for Peace and Justice, Turning Point
Impact: Broke out as Zooey Deschanel’s randy roommate Schmidt on Fox’s popular skein “New Girl.”
Next: Will appear in comedian David Wain’s new comedy pic “They Came Together.”
Causes: Led a Spin class at SoulCycle for children’s literary nonprofit Milk + Bookies.
Impact: The Variety 10 Comics to Watch alum shot a one-hour comedy special and appeared on several Comedy Central Roasts, including Rosanne Barr’s.
Next: His own series, a weekly topical show with a twisted spin, will air on Comedy Central in 2013.
Impact: Another Variety alum, the writer/co-star of FX’s “The League” has been prepping his own show.
Next: Comedy Central plans to launch his sketch comedy skein “Kroll Show” in January.
Causes: Has participated in charity auctions and Comedy Central’s “Night of Too Many Stars.”
Impact: Between hosting “Real Time” and performing 75 standup dates a year, Maher had a busy 2012. Speaking to Variety just before the election, he said, “I feel like a woman who’s 9 1/2 months pregnant. I just want the baby out of me.”
Next: “I’m thrilled that HBO has picked us up for another couple of years after this,” he says. “I just want to keep this going as long they’ll have me. And luckily, standup I can do until I’m 100. Like George Burns.”
Causes: On his $1 million donation to a Super PAC supporting President Obama’s re-election, Maher says, “It was no secret who I was for in this election. I didn’t think it made any sense to pretend anymore. I’m a citizen and I care about my country.”
Impact: Following his well-reviewed turn in “Young Adult,” the comic debuted “Nature Calls” at the SXSW film fest.
Next: Will star in “Odd Thomas” and the Ben Stiller-helmed “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”
Causes: Auctioned his ice cream Carvel Black Card to benefit the L.A. Regional Food Bank.
Impact: Played it tough in “Contraband” and tongue-in-cheek in “Ted,” both opposite Mark Wahlberg.
Next: “Gangster Squad” opens in January, followed by a role in the indie feature “Race to Save Nome” opposite Hilary Swank and Kurt Russell.
Causes: Shot a musicvideo for Cat Powers’ new charity single.
Impact: Grew his TV career in 2012, playing Andre on “The League” and Trent on satirical laffer “NTSF:SD:SUV”
Next: Has several films slated for 2013, including “Orenthal: The Musical,” “Ass Backward” and “Hell Baby.”
Causes: Malaria No More
Impact: Exec produced her own standup comedy special, “Mostly Sex Stuff,” and had regular TV appearances in “Delocated.”
Next: Her sketch-comedy pilot was greenlit by Comedy Central and will air in 2013.