When Maria Bamford was a little girl, she wanted to be a South American animal physician. Or a nun. Anything with a uniform, really. Segue that confession into a riff on how many blow-up Christs the typical nunnery orders, as well as Bamford's advice to aspiring comedians -- "Just stay alive" -- and you've got another hilarious episode of the new web series All Growz Up.
In each episode, comedian Melinda Hill interviews one of L.A.'s finest stand-up comics about their childhood dreams. Molly McAleer wanted to be a politician; Mary Lynn Rajskub, a belly dancer/detective; UCB co-founder Matt Besser just wanted to be rich.
Guests sit on plastic crates in an alley behind Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill, home to Hill's weekly Hollywood comedy show, What's Up Tiger Lily? They enter in a fanfare of lights from a door discreetly labeled "Trash." "Before they enter, they are literally standing in garbage," Hill confesses of the unconventional setting.
The production company behind the series, Meetinghouse Productions, is one to watch in the digital era. In addition to producing for conventional formats, its online arm, Chuckler.com, features stand-up and original web series.
"We're always looking for what I call 'next-generation' comics -- people who aren't just funny but also have ideas for content," Meetinghouse president Jason Cilo says. "Web series become proof of concept for things we think are funny that have gone on to become actual TV series."
For aspiring comedians, All Growz Up is a dose of honest inspiration. For everyone else, it's a pretty cool crash course in the funniest people in the L.A. comedy scene.
The Tangled Web We Watch is our column on what's worth watching online. Watch all of All Growz Up at www.Chuckler.com Read Stephanie Carrie's full interview with Jason Cilo and Melinda Hill on her blog tangledwebwewatch.com.
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