Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Bitter Lawyer delivers attorney comedy, new Web series

As a comedy nerd, I sometimes come across some very specialized comedy, and the example of that I'm enjoying today is Bitter Lawyer. It's a comedy site created by, well, bitter lawyers.

Bitter Lawyer just posted the first episode of their new Web series, "The Bottom Rung." It focuses on the lawyers who, rather than signing to a big law firm, end up graduating from law school and doing the grunt work of document review.

It gets into the weeds a bit of the experience of law school graduates, but its also relatable enough for anyone who's ever had an office job they didn't enjoy. The first episode also sets up a relationship story, so it's got elements of romantic comedy. Writer/producer Matt Ritter stars as Dave, opposite Jess Garvey as love interest Paige. You can read Ritter's story of leaving law and moving out to L.A. that ultimately inspired the series.

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Improv Lab aims to shake up traditional comedy world

Courtesy Jamie Flam

Improv Lab manager Jamie Flam

The Improv Lab is a 50-seat theater attached to the Hollywood Improv and marks an attempt by one of Los Angeles's traditional comedy clubs to try something different from the standard club formula. In an online editorial, Comedy Store marketing and development VP Alf LaMont wrote that "The Improv Lab is a ray of sunshine in an otherwise bleak landscape."

Improv Lab manager Jamie Flam agrees with LaMont that one of the keys is developing talent. "It really is as simple as talking to people about their shows" and providing resources, Flam says. "Just talking about the show and helping give notes and feedback." Flam says that, as someone who knows other comedians and has produced hundreds of shows, he can recommend other comedians who should be on a show and give feedback on how to promote the show and what would take a show to the next level.

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The best Charlie Sheen Comedy Central roast jokes not about Charlie Sheen

Last night, Comedy Central aired the roast taped last week in Los Angeles for Charlie Sheen. They poked fun at Sheen for a couple hours, though "poked" may be too light a term for some of the shots. They ranged from the obvious (Sheen's manic catchphrases, drug use, sex) to some of the more personal (his children and his ex-wife).

One of the things I find the most fascinating about roasts, though, is all the jokes not about the one being roasted but about the roasters. There's a lot of time to fill, and there are only so many good jokes to tell about one man, so these roasts often fill time taking shots at everyone else on the dais. They took some of the most brutal shots, including jokes about Patrice O'Neal's diabetes and jokes about what nobodies outside of doing roasts many of the others were. Here are some of the highlights.

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Eddie Murphy's hosting the Oscars; which Eddie are we going to get?

Eddie Murphy's been announced as the host for next year's Oscars. Some of you may be saying "What the--?!" while others say "Isn't that the guy from those awful family films?"

I'm curious to see if he brings the old-school comic brilliance that made comedy specials"Raw" and "Delirious" and his time on "Saturday Night Live" so comedically spectacular or if it's a few hours of Nutty Professor Klumps-style dressup.

Let's take a look back at that old Eddie Murphy. One of his famous "Saturday Night Live" sketches, Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood:

I'm also going to post some Eddie Murphy standup. These old Eddie Murphy standup specials are so offensive I'm pretty sure I can't officially endorse any single syllable said in either of them. Needless to say, they contain adult language. Enjoy!

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Does anyone care about comedy clubs anymore?

Alf LaMont, director of marketing and development at Los Angeles comedy club the Comedy Store, wrote an editorial that ran this morning on comedy site Laughspin looking at how the influence of L.A. comedy clubs has changed. He charts their rise thanks to Johnny Carson and "The Tonight Show" to the decline in an era of Internet democratization.

When was the last time you went to a traditional comedy club? From anecdotal evidence, they seem to not have the same influence they once did. Rather than the Comedy Store being the place everyone talks about, it's more likely to be somewhere like the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater or other smaller venues. As LaMont puts it, "To the casual observer, the difference between the clubs is minimal, while the stellar casts of shows produced at Largo and UCB are cutting-edge and thrilling."

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