Arts and Entertainment Virgin territory: scenes from Louis C.K.’s 1998 debut film, ‘Tomorrow Night’, with Steve Carell

Long before Anchorman and the American Office, Steve Carell played Mail Room Guy without Glasses. And long before Parks and Recreation and the Golden Globes, Amy Poehler was Woman Sprayed with Hose. Now superstars of comedy with Hollywood at their feet, both had their first, minor film roles in Tomorrow Night, alongside another comedy titan of the future, Louis C.K.

Laughing all the way...: Michael McIntyre's latest tour raked in £21m

Michael McIntyre lands BBC One chat show

The comedian says he is 'overwhelmingly excited' about the show

Louis CK and Zach Galifianakis team up for new comedy series

The show is part of C.K.'s new deal with FX

Nick Helm: Loud, aggressive - and a big pussycat off stage

The comic's aggressive style does not match his true self, finds Gerard Gilbert

Actor and writer Joanna Scanlan talks plus-size fashion, funny nurses, and why she’s working with her pet dog, Millie

Armando Iannucci recently said that the UK falls behind the US  when it comes to female comedy writers. Do you find it to be a male-dominated industry?

Blonde ambition: John Kearns

Best of 2014: Comedy preview

Julian Hall picks this year’s must-see comedy

Charles Zhang speaks to journalists during a press conference in Beijing

Saturday Night Live: US satire comes to China – but will the government see the funny side?

A popular online video site is bringing the irreverent, topical humour of Saturday Night Live to China.

Cresswell (left), with his young brother, Luke, creator of 'Stomp'

Addison Cresswell: Talent-spotter who brought a string of comedians to the fore and forged a new format for television comedy

By the time of his sudden death, Addison Cresswell was undeniably a captain of the British comedy industry. Tall, fast-talking, dapper and not averse to thumping tables to make a point, the power he wielded as director of the comedy management agency Off The Kerb gained him a fearsome reputation, and one of which he was well aware. In 2000, he brought up his having been described as "the Darth Vader of the Fringe" before his interviewer had a chance to. His philosophy was this: "Small acts feed off the big ones and you need a few big names to make people feel it's worth going to."

2013 - the year in review: The best comedy of the year

"Bo Burnham: What", Pleasance Grand, Edinburgh Fringe, August

Edward Snowden delivered this year's Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4

Edward Snowden should have asked the Queen for a few tips on his Christmas message

In fairness to Snowden, the Queen has been giving Christmas messages for a long time

David Blunkett thinks shows that mock politicians should be subject to tougher libel scrutiny

'We need to watch that': David Blunkett calls for satirical TV shows such as Mock the Week to be reclassified as 'current affairs'

Programmes that mock politicians cross the line from satire to comment, he says

Charming Robbie Williams swings by for a cosy Christmas treat on Radio 2

The Week in Radio: Williams was quick on his feet, and willing to cover mishaps with self-deprecating humour

Jonathan Ross’ agent, Addison Cresswell, pictured here with his brother, passed away in his sleep on Sunday night aged just 53 years old

Jonathan Ross’ agent Addison Cresswell dies, aged 53

The representative worked with some of the comedy circuit’s best known stars, including Lee Evans, Jo Brand, Alan Carr and Jack Dee

Cate Blanchett and Woody Allen

I wish I was someone who still had the joys of Woody Allen ahead of them

To work through that catalogue afresh would be a sumptuous delight

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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine