Month: October 2005

Sinbad

Sinbad is calling from the mountains outside of Pasadena, Calif., on his way to a voice lesson.Is the 48-year-old comedian and actor going Broadway on us? Well, sort of. He performs Thursday at The Opera House as part of the Broadway Across America series.“I’m the next hot r & b pop star,” he jokes.Sinbad certainly doesn’t regret missing Boston’s “American Idol” auditions last week. “What, so they can find 10 more kids who can’t sing?”And yet, it’s consistently the nation’s most popular TV show.“We like the star thing. We like to see people become stars,” Sinbad says.He knows that firsthand, getting his big break in the 1980s as stand-up comic on “Star Search.” That was different, he maintains, because he and the other comedians had to pay their dues. “You know, we put time in, 40 weeks a year working it as a comic. ‘Star Search’ was that little extra push that you needed,” he says.“Idol” contestants talk about pleasing their fans? “Your fans? You’ve only been singing two months!” he says.Sinbad has done TV sitcoms (“A Different World”), late-night talk shows and movies (“Houseguest”), but his most enduring work seems to be the 1996 film “Jingle All The Way,” which has become a holiday staple for airlines’ in-flight movies.“I think it’s because of Arnold (Schwarzenegger),” Sinbad says. “Anything he touches turns to gold.”Plus, people can relate to the...

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The Colbert Report debuts

Early returns are mostly favorable on the debut last night of the latest, greatest Comedy Central attempt at a Daily Show follow-up, The Colbert Report. The premiere was absurd. But they were going for absurd, so they hit that. The first guest, an inspired choice in Stone Phillips, mostly because having him side-by-side with Colbert let the audience see exactly who Colbert has been mocking all these years. Hint: Not Bill O’Reilly. At any rate. Not sure how the show plans to keep up this pace, since they had a head-start for their debut. More interesting to see: How long Comedy Central waits before pulling it for the next 11:30 p.m. attempt. Can anyone name the last three shows to inhabit the time slot? Anyone. I’ll even spot you one: Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. As Wonkette wrote: "The Colbert Report tests the boundaries of just how long one can stand arch irony. Or maybe I mean satire and "arch" is just what Stephen Colbert’s eyebrow does the entire...

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Meet the Walsh Brothers

David and Chris Walsh, pride and joy of Charlestown, Mass. David and Chris Walsh in some ways resemble the Smothers Brothers as they tell their tales.But the Walsh boys don’t play musical instruments or fling yo-yos, they often dress in T-shirts and jeans, and they’re completely over-the-top ridiculous.Which is why they’ve been a hit many late Thursday nights at ImprovBoston in Inman Square, and Friday nights at The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square. Tomorrow, they ditch the skits and short stories to recount their attempts to be discovered at this summer’s Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.Perhaps if they had used one of their many prop mustaches, the Walshes could’ve crossed the border a bit easier.David: "We’ve got these six-way adjustable mustaches, which are inaccurate because we can adjust them 20 different ways and play 20 different characters.”Chris: "It’s not hiding anything, though.”Fans soon wanted their own fake ‘staches. Some receive them as prizes along with membership into The Walsh Bros. mustache club.Chris: "It was just a silly thing that became a good idea.”David: "We’re paying it forward.”Chris: "We found if we bought six mustaches we were wearing two and giving four away. They found it just as fun as we did when we were f—ing around doing silly characters. Dave always has three mustaches in his pocket because whenever there’s a dull moment, you just pull out a...

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SNL = Still Not Laughing?

You said it, goldenfiddle. After watching all of this Saturday’s Saturday Night Live and half of the season opener, I’m still waiting for the funny. Or more importantly, for some relevance. The first show at least featured Kanye West, and had the good sense to bring Mike Myers back to acknowledge his lack of improv skills during the Katrina telethon. But this past weekend, Jon Heder hosted. Um, why? Shouldn’t that have happened last October? The Napoleon Dynamite impersonators during the monlogue were funny, sure, but, still, isn’t SNL supposed to be hip? Not if you’re booking Ashlee Simpson as a musical guest for A SECOND TIME, because that only screams desperation. Right, I said they booked Ashlee Simpson as a musical guest. Ugh. And the new guys in the cast? Er, curious. Maybe they’ll be funny, if they’re given a chance to do something. But don’t applaud anyone for a good Al Pacino impersonation, because that is so hack. Page 2 Sports Guy, I expected more from...

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My life as a clown

I’m the clown on the right, silly! The first and only time I had seen the real circus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, I was but a wee little lad. My grandparents from Lynn brought me to Boston Garden, and I was amazed by an even littler lad named Michu, who in the mid-1970s toured with Ringling as "The World’s Smallest Man." (the Hungarian-born Mihaly Meszaros (1940-?) later put on the ALF suit(?!) and showed up in Big Top Pee Wee) Anyhow. I looked up to Michu (literally/figuratively/whatnot) because he turned his short stature into star status. That was the closest I got to Ringling until 1997, when a newspaper I worked for outside of Seattle sent me to Clown College auditions for a first-person assignment. Since I performed with a Seattle improv troupe at the time (Fresh Art Entertainment, now defunct, with several members now appearing in TheatreSports!), it seemed like a fun and natural fit. Didn’t get the Ringling job. If I had, I probably would’ve gone, just for the adventure (and perhaps the stories I could tell and write afterward). But a Seattle clown company offered me a job after the audition, trained me in the art of clowning and sent me on birthday parties and company picnics that summer (including Microsoft’s big shebang, in which I did not see Mr. Bill Gates but did...

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