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The Missing Link is a British comedy Podcast where you delight in the absurdity of three comedians and the world they examine. With their hilarious takes on all those quirky things we just don’t think about. It's a delight for everyone with a sense of humour, large or small. Just when you think you’ve heard everything, you clearly haven’t listened to The Missing Link!
 
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As a tribute to the great Jackie Mason - who passed away this weekend - we have a reprise of our episode on Caddyshack 2. Jackie starred in the movie - which has the notoriety of being the worst sequel OF ALL TIME! Jackie took on the Rodney Dangerfield role for the movie - in this classic battle of the snobs vs. the slobs, (Spoiler Alert: The slobs…
 
Legendary comedian Rick Overton joins us to talk comedy. Rick's IMDB page is the size of a phone book; which includes Beverly Hills Cop, playing Matt Damon's boss in Steven Soderbergh's, The Informant! - to Showtime's: I'm Dying Up Here. Rick also has a new comedy special, out called: Rick Overton's Set List. We do a deep dive into Rick's comedy or…
 
From the archives: Sasha Baron Cohen plays activist Abbie Hoffman in the Netflix film, The Trial of the Chicago 7. As seen in the film, by day, Hoffman was in the courtroom - fighting conspiracy charges. By night, he would regularly perform at The Second City. Hoffman's stage appearance marked a transition at the theater - from a bunch of squares d…
 
To bookend the pandemic, we have a CH101 reprise on comedy helping to deal with tragic events. We look at comedy right directly after 9/11. They said irony was dead - but comedy help us pull through tragedy - especially with The Onion, SNL, Letterman, The Daily Show, and Gilbert Gottfried's legendary joke at the Friar's Club Roast.…
 
Our guest is Art Bell; the man who pitched the idea that became Comedy Central. Art was also the head of programming at the network. We do a deep dive into the origin of such iconic shows as Mystery Science Theater 3000, South Park, The Daily Show - and talk about the early careers of Jon Stewart, Marc Maron, and Bill Maher. Art also has a new book…
 
From the archives: I talk to David Litt- former head joke writer for President Obama. We dive into what made Obama funny in the Oval Office; and contrast that to Trump's vastly different sense of presidential humor. (Trump's humor wheelhouse: mocking a disabled reporter and making fun of a sexual assault victim.) You might also know David Litt from…
 
From the archives: In 1961, Dick Gregory was the first African American comedian to headline a white club. A pioneer in the world of stand-up comedy, Gregory's material mocked the bigotry and racism of the time. Gregory is equally known for his activism as well as his comedy. He's one of the most influential comedians in comedy history; inspiring t…
 
Our special guest is Wayne Federman author of the new book: The History of Stand-Up: From Mark Twain to Dave Chappelle. Wayne's impressive creds include Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Larry Sanders Show, Silicon Valley - as well as head monologue writer for The Tonight Show. We do some serious deep cuts into the history of stand-up comedy.…
 
From Our Archives: Remember in Goodfellas when mobster Henry Hill took his date, Karen, to The Copacabana? That was pretty true to form. The mob actually owned the legendary club. We saw this recently in the movie The Irishman - when Don Rickles was on stage performing for Crazy Joe Gallo. We dive into the mob’s connection with The Copacabana - whe…
 
From the Archives: Since the beginning of the 20th century, slipping on a banana peel has been a comedy trope. We’ve seen such legendary silent comedians as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Laurel and Hardy - all do a variation of the slipping on a banana peel gag. But how did the “slipping on a banana peel” gag come into our lexic…
 
We conclude our 4-part series on John Belushi - with his sad final years. This involves the film disaster, Neighbors - and what happened the night he died at the Chateau Marmont. Ending on a good note - Belushi is ranked #1 by Rolling Stone - as the best sketch performer on SNL. He also has an Albanian stamp with his likeness.…
 
John Belushi, at the height of his fame - was on top-rated TV show, SNL, had the #1 movie with Animal House, and had the #1 album with his band, the Blues Brothers. Belushi created iconic comedy characters while on SNL - but backstage, he was kind of turning into a mess. We cover all this and more in Part 2 - of the History of John Belushi.…
 
In this episode we cover the John Belushi origin story. From his early days growing up in Wheaton, IL - to his stint in Second City and starring in National Lampoon's Lemmings. Plus, all the other theatrical twists-and-turns Belushi took before being cast on SNL - and changing the face of comedy.Door Harmon Leon
 
In celebration of the end of a shitshow era - we bring this CH!01 Select: From mocking a disabled reporter to making fun of a sexual assault victim - Donald J. Trump has proven there is a vastly different sense of presidential humor coming from the White House. I interviewed David Litt - head joke writer for President Obama - for a story in the NY …
 
In the early 60s, Richard Pryor was a clean cut, mainstream comedian who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Then he had a meltdown in Las Vegas. Retreating from showbiz, he moved to Berkeley, California and began hanging out with The Black Panthers, the counterculture movement, and African American intellectuals. The experience changed the face of R…
 
Showtime has a new series on the History of the Comedy Store. Comedian Freddie Prinze was the first big breakout star of The Store. At 19, he appeared on The Tonight Show - and shortly after he got his own sitcom, Chico and the Man. Prinze seemed to have everything in the world. But it was all too much, too fast for Freddie Prinze...…
 
Sasha Baron Cohen is back - with his new movie: Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm. This time the confused Kazakhstan journalist takes on the pandemic and Trump America. In this episode we dive into both the Borat and Sasha Baron Cohen origin story. Where did they both come from and how did they get here? From the early days performing in the Cambridge Fo…
 
Sasha Baron Cohen plays activist Abbie Hoffman in the new Netflix film, The Trial of the Chicago 7. As seen in the film, by day, Hoffman was in the courtroom - fighting conspiracy charges. By night, he would regularly perform at The Second City theater. Hoffman's stage appearance marked a transition at the theater - from a bunch of squares doing sk…
 
Showtime has a new documentary series on the legendary Comedy Store in Las Angeles. That's why we're bringing back a CH101 Select on the history of the 1979 Comedy Store strike - which was lead by comedians David Letterman, Tom Dressen, and Jay Leno.It was a pinnacle moment in comedy history, when comedians walked out of the Comedy Store and demand…
 
What a week. Within the last seven days, Trump's tax returns have been revealed, there was an unhinged presidential debate, and now the president has tested positive for coronavirus - after spending months mocking people who wear masks. But back in 2011, Comedy Central decided to send up Trump in a televised roasts. Trump only agreed to doing the r…
 
Party Records were albums that people would play at night after the kids went to bed. Known for its XXX humor - Party Records helped launch the careers of Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, LaWanda Page, Skillet & Leroy, and numerous other classic comedians. You couldn't find these albums on the shelves at record stores; they were sold under the counter in …
 
Animal House starred John Belushi - and was a game changer in movie history. So less than a year after its release, ABC tried to cash in on the film's success with the sitcom: Delta House. Despite having some of the original cast members, and episodes written by the likes of John Hughes, Harold Ramis, and Doug Kenney - the show was a huge flop. It …
 
The Chevy Chase Show premiered in 1993. It starred Chevy Chase - and was FOX's talk show answer to The Late Show with David Letterman. The former SNL star looked lost, uncomfortable, and out of his element. Not only did the show only last 5 weeks - but this late night disaster is also ranked as the one of the worst TV shows of all time.…
 
From the archives: The Comedy Store in Los Angeles is home to a zillion famous (and not so famous) comedians. The condo, directly behind The Store - was literally home to numerous comedians who went on to change the face of comedy. Sam Kinison, Andrew Dice Clay, Robin Williams, Yakov Smirnoff, Marc Maron, and more... This comedy frat house was both…
 
In 1975, Warner Brothers filmed a sitcom spinoff of the hit movie, Blazing Saddles, called: Black Bart. The sitcom starred Lou Gossett Jr., featured pale imitations of the original cast, and had a canned laugh track. The only reason Warner Bros filmed the sitcom was due to a clause in Mel Brooks' contract - with the intent of producing a Blazing Sa…
 
The Unknown Comic skyrocketed to fame - from his appearances on The Gong Show in the 70's. His schtick was to perform with a paper bag on his head - and rattle off a series of paper bag-related puns. But did you know that Murray Langston - the man behind the bag - got his start on Laugh-In and was a series regular on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour? W…
 
The late George Martin will always be best remembered for his legendary work as the producer of The Beatles. Did you know that the man who made the Fab Four sound amazing got his start as a producer of comedy albums? Yes, the man behind creating the soundscape for A Day in the Life - also produced comedy albums for Peter Sellers, The Goon Show, and…
 
Let’s salute Carl Reiner! The comedy legend passed away this week at the age of 98. Here’s a man responsible for kickstarting the film career of Steve Martin, was a comedy partner of Mel Brooks, and created the iconic television sitcom, The Dick Van Dyke Show. It doesn’t get anymore comedy legend than the work of Carl Reiner!…
 
In 1961, Dick Gregory was the first African American comedian to perform at a white club. A pioneer in the world of stand-up comedy, Gregory's material mocked the bigotry and racism of the time. Gregory is equally known for his activism as well as his comedy. He's one of the most influential comedians in comedy history; inspiring the likes of Dave …
 
Fred Willard was a true comedy legend. Not only did he appear in the classic Christopher Guest mockumentaries - but he also got his start at Second City in Chicago and was a member of a comedy team that was featured on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Get Smart. As a tribute to the great Fred Willard - we dive into his comedy history that span…
 
Needless to say, we are currently living through a crisis. But we know that laughter is the best medicine - and comedy will help us prevail. It’s helped us in the past - in dealing with tragic events. This episode, we look at comedy right directly after 9/11. They said irony was dead - but comedy help us pull through tragedy - especially with The O…
 
We dive into the Sam Kinison origin story - and his role as a member of the Texas Outlaw Comics in Houston, Texas during the mid-1980s.. Kinison was a former preacher who turned to stand up comedy. During his Houston years, Kinison found his comedy voice - working alongside another future comedy legend: Bill Hicks.…
 
The Texas Outlaw Comics were a group of comedians based in Houston that formed at the Comedy Workshop in the mid-1980s. This collective of like-minded comedians became an incubator of a unique style of comedy - that brought the world such legends as Bill Hicks and Sam Kinison. In Part One, we'll dive into the Bill Hicks origin story; from clean-cut…
 
Yakov Smirnoff is a comedian from Russia. He's known for his catchphrase: "What a country." Yakov's comic persona was of a naive immigrant who was perpetually confused and delighted by life in the United States. And then came the fall of the former Soviet Union. What happened to Yakov's career? We have a surprise twist that will make you say....wha…
 
From the archives: Gallows humor is witticism in the face of – and in response to – a hopeless, tragic, or deathly situation. Gallows humor is typically made by or about the victim of such a situation. In this episode of CH!01 - we actually chart gallows humor - made by people in history right before they’re about to be executed. Yes, gallows humor…
 
Spuds MacKenzie was the original party animal - that women adored. The fictional dog made his debut in a Bud Light beer commercial during the Super Bowl in 1987. Spuds appeared in a series of commercials and became a marketing sensation. The premise of every ad: once Spuds arrived, the party could really begin. And there was the Spudettes, of cours…
 
When Charlie Chaplin hit the silver screen - the country suffered from a case of ‘Chaplinitis’. Audiences couldn’t enough of his films - so in 1917 a fake Charlie Chaplin, named Billy West, popped onto the scene. West stole Chaplin’s character and starred in 24 films - as a “tramp” character. Yes, being a hack was even a thing back in old-timey day…
 
"Where's the beef?" became the legendary commercial catchphrase for Wendy's. Back in 1984, the ad starred cantankerous old lady, Clara Peller, who uttered: "Where's the beef?" The commercial skyrocketed 81-year old Keller to fame - and the catchphrase is now in our pop culture lexicon. But things didn't go smooth with Keller and Wendy's - she was e…
 
Yo Mama jokes are a comedic staple. But did you know Yo Mama jokes date all the way back to ancient Babylon? Making fun of one’s mother was also mentioned in the Bible - and Shakespeare even utilized this comedy device. We also dive into the history of The Dozens - an interactive insult game - where participants try to one up each other - and saw t…
 
From the archives: We dive into the history behind the legendary sketch comedy show: SCTV. Learn how SCTV was an offshoot of the original Toronto company of Second City - and find out more about the original SCTV cast that consisted of John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis, and Dave Thomas. Hear what a…
 
Mother-in-law jokes were big back in the era of Mad Men and the ‘50s. The joke genre was once a mainstay for stand up comedians. The premise includes the stereotype that mothers-in-law are generally overbearing, obnoxious, and unattractive. What’s the historical origins of mother-In-law jokes - and what change in society led to their demise?…
 
Remember in Goodfellas when mobster Henry Hill took his date, Karen, to The Copacabana? That was pretty true to form. The mob actually owned the legendary club. We saw this recently in the movie The Irishman - when Don Rickles was on stage performing for Crazy Joe Gallo. We dive into the mob’s connection with The Copacabana - where you’ll learn suc…
 
Have you seen The Irishman? There’s a scene where Don Rickles (played by comedian Jim Norton) is performing at the Copacabana for mobster, Crazy Joe Gallo - on the night he was gunned down. The incident is pretty true. And Don Rickles, much like other comedians of that era, had a history of working at clubs owned by the mob. We jumped into Don Rick…
 
From the archives: The history of Moms Mabley, who was the first successful female standup comedian and had a career that spanned over 50 years. Moms bridged the gap between vaudeville and modern stand up comedy. She was also the first woman comic to play the Apollo theater and Carnegie Hall in 1962. Moms influenced the style of comedy legends Rich…
 
Gallows humor is witticism in the face of – and in response to – a hopeless, tragic, or deathly situation. Gallows humor is typically made by or about the victim of such a situation. In this episode of CH!01 - we actually chart gallows humor - made by people in history right before they’re about to be executed. Yes, gallows humor on the gallows.…
 
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