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.

Russell Brand’s autobiography has been banned from Guantánamo Bay, a detained suspect has revealed.

Russell Brand’s autobiography Booky Wook 2 banned from Guantanamo Bay

'Booky Wook 2' was among literature deemed inappropriate for inmates

Funny money: Lenny Henry is a co-founder of Comic Relief

Comic Relief scandal: There are red faces behind the red noses

The charity is under fire after a ‘Panorama’ exposé, but the laws governing investments are complex

Comedy books for Christmas

Sometimes it can be empowering to know you have nothing left to lose – that, at least, is the theory behind the birth of “my nemesis and my deliverer”, as Michael Pennington describes his alter ego in Becoming Johnny Vegas (HarperCollins, £20). In a thoroughly entertaining memoir, Pennington is also acute in his psychological evisceration of his own drunken shambles of an act.

Jack Whitehall and Gemma Chan attend the British Comedy Awards

British Comedy Awards 2013 winners: List in full

Jack Whitehall was crowned King of Comedy at the ceremony in London

High spirits: comedian Pippa Evans, co-founder of the Sunday Assembly

The Week in Comedy: The 12 gigs of Christmas

What does Miley Cyrus have at Christmas? Twerky. This, according to a poll by the comedy channel Gold, is the nation's favourite new festive joke and as such will feature in a specially commissioned box of comedy crackers this Christmas. I think I preferred the runner-up - Why is it getting harder to buy Advent calendars? Because their days are numbered - but they're neither of them close to the all-time classic: How do snowmen get around? They ride an icicle. You can have that one.

The controversial comedian said during a link:  “What is going on? We're next to 1Xtra, it's so white in here. Mandela would not approve of the situation at the BBC.”

Simon Amstell apologises for Nelson Mandela comment on Radio One

Simon Amstell has apologised for suggesting there was racial segregation between Radio 1 and its sister station BBC Radio 1Xtra in reference to Nelson Mandela.

High spirits: comedian Pippa Evans, co-founder of the Sunday Assembly

The Week in Comedy: All smiles on Sunday with a radical take on religion

It wasn't your average Advent Sunday service. It started with a rousing chorus of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' and ended with Abba's 'Waterloo'. In between there was a poem dedicated to Tony Wilson, a mini rave and a Danish clapping game. This was Sunday Assembly, a "godless church" which has one aim - to celebrate life. It has all the trappings of a traditional Sunday service – a sermon, songs, readings, community notices, a collection, tea and cakes – but none of the religion. Its only creed is live better, help often, wonder more.

Eddie Murphy became the latest victim of a Twitter hoax this week

Paul Walker tragedy sparks Eddie Murphy Twitter death hoax

Eddie Murphy became the latest victim of a Twitter death hoax when a series of online Chinese whispers escalated

Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

British Comedy Awards 2013: List of nominees in full

Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc are shortlisted for Best Female TV Comic

Books of the year 2013: Comedy

Stand-ups are good value when it comes to memoirs. Show-offs by profession they combine a knack for self-lacerating storytelling with an often chaotic private life and zero sense of embarrassment. Ideal. As Russell Brand put it in My Booky Wook: “My life is just a series of embarrassing incidents strung together by telling people about those embarrassing incidents.”

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: And now a word from our sponsors – spin included

Since the advertising ban, the tobacco industry has had to rely on product placement in unexpected contexts, like the House of Commons. “I confess that I enjoyed a Henri Wintermans Café Crème after breakfast this morning on the way to work,” Tory MP Robert Halfon announced, arguing that plain packaging might make it “easier to smuggle counterfeit cigarettes”.

Clockwise from left: Sarah Millican; Lee Mack; Alan Carr; David Mitchell; Graham Norton and Jack Whitehall are up for the King or Queen of Comedy Award 2013

British Comedy Awards 2013: Jack Whitehall, Alan Carr and David Mitchell shortlisted

Who should be crowned the King or Queen of British comedy?

James Franco and Seth Rogen parody Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in 'Bound 3'

James Franco and Seth Rogen parody Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in 'Bound 2' spoof video

The actors produced the 'epic' video while shooting new film The Interview

Chris Ramsey: The stand-up and 'Hebburn' actor talks failed one-liners, being thrown off TV and his tidying fetish

I can't do one-liners to save my life FHM asked me to do some for an issue. But some were libellous and some too rude to use, so the rubbish ones made it through. One guy tweeted me. "I've just read your jokes in FHM; I've read better on the back of a Penguin wrapper." And that's why my stand-up is all about personal stories and anecdotes.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
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HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

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'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
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Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower