Month: June 2006

Louis CK on Lucky Louie, Boston roots

Louis CK had just gotten finished with his controversial appearance on The View when he got on the phone with me to talk about his new HBO show, Lucky Louie. The View’s female panel took him by surprise with their stinging criticism. "All of a sudden, I’m watching life and they’re having this f—ing debate over my show," he told me. "I’m about to go out there, and I’m supposed to tell jokes? To have Fonzie and Baba Wawa debate the social merits of my TV show, that’s insane! That’s great." As for Barbara Walters’ accusation that CK’s show is racist, he countered, "That’s just ignorant. That just means somebody’s uncomfortable about it." CK, the 38-year-old longtime writing partner of Chris Rock, said he’d read most of the critical reviews of his show. "I like reading ones where they’re really upset," he said. "A lot of people who write bad reviews, in the description of the show, pay it great service. People magazine — they ended it with, ‘It’s like David Mamet doing a parody of Roseanne.’ Who wouldn’t want to watch that? Thank you! I actually wanted to put that on the poster." He cares more what viewers think of his show, anyhow. "This show is very honest. It’s very raw. All we’re really doing is letting this show be a limitless expression of the characters. We’re just...

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Alonzo Bodden on Last Comic Standing

In 2006, Alonzo Bodden was the unknown winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and here is what he had to say about the aftermath of that (this is all before he came back in 2007 to be a judge on the show). Ant, who never came close to winning on the second or third editions of LCS, somehow seemed to get more TV work than Bodden. What’s that about? "I guess it’s because Ant’s more of a Hollywood guy. Ant will talk s–t. Ant will stir up trouble, whereas I won’t. Ant will play the game. He used the show to play a bitchy gay guy, and then VH1 hired him to play a bitchy gay guy (for Celebrity Fit Club and other programs). Ant can change his level of gay. The most fascinating thing in the world. He can be less gay and more gay." What should viewers make of LCS? "There’s no way viewers know this, but how do I put it? Creative editing. What they’ll do is take segments and put them together to make it look like an argument was going on, or they’ll make someone look like they had an attitude. Like they made Tammy (Pescatelli) look like a bitch. She wasn’t. They just caught her when she was mad." Also: "It’s kind of like a regular election. It’s about popularity." I’d opened for...

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Nick DiPaolo, off the air

Nick DiPaolo sometimes give off the impression of an anti-comic, or perhaps a rather extreme example of the comic’s comic, playing to his fellow comedians more than he does his audience. When I talked to him in June 2006, we began by talking about his online home, which, at the time, needed some updating. "Trying to use a computer, I feel like I’m 78," he said. Is it always that way? "Only when I’m on MySpace, trying to meet underage girls! Then I feel like an unemployed electrician from Woburn." Him and everyone else, right? "Worked for Dane Cook, didn’t it?" he joked. Does he miss being on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn? You bet. "A lot of people miss it. I get 20 emails a day saying, ‘What happened? Why isn’t it on the air?’ People come up to me, pissed off." So why isn’t he still on Comedy Central? "You can only take so much Mind of Mencia, (expletive expletive)." DiPaolo cusses quite a bit, but creatively enough — as a guy from New York City via Danvers, Mass., might be — so fill in the blanks with your own expletives. "I still talk to Quinn every night on the phone, bust his balls," he told me. "Me and Quinn auditioned for a job, radio job on 92.3, the station (in New York) that hired David Lee...

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When Stand-Up Stood Out

You don’t need to be from Boston to appreciate When Stand Up Stood Out, the film by comedian Fran Solomita about the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Boston was, in fact, the Hub of the comedy world (or so it seemed). Think of Boston comedy in that era as something akin to Seattle music in the early 1990s. So, actually, this movie makes even more sense for outsiders, who probably don’t know or don’t appreciate what these locals with the funny accents and bitterly honest takes on society did for stand-up comedy. Sure, it’s quite nostalgic for those who, like Solomita, lived through the era. Simply put, though, this film is required viewing. Watch Comedian to see the mindset of stand-ups, then watch When Stand Up Stood Out for a history lesson on what it was (and still is) like to practice the art. The archival footage alone is priceless, capturing early sets by Lenny Clarke, Bobcat Goldthwait, Kevin Meaney, Steven Wright, Paula Poundstone and others. Solomita said they got more than 100 hours of similar magic from the Ding Ho, Stitches and the old Comedy Connection. That footage needs to be saved by someone, somewhere, so future generations can learn why comedy matters. The DVD also includes a seven-minute conversation with Dane Cook — who wasn’t part of this generation — about how the older guard inspired...

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The return of Last Comic Standing

Jay Mohr is out and Anthony Clark is in. Ponder that for a moment. Now let’s move on to a new season of Last Comic Standing. The first two hours aired last Tuesday. There’s an hourlong recap tonight at 8 p.m., but while you wait, here are some things you likely don’t know but probably should.Past winners John Heffron and Alonzo Bodden get updates, while original LCS weiner Dat Phan…um…where is he now? Buck Star gets invited back, but not Dat Phan. Ouch!Many comics "auditioned" in the other cities (rather than NYC and LA) for an easier chance.Bob and Ross act as if they don’t know who Gabriel Iglesias is, which is odd, considering they’ve booked him before on The Tonight Show. Same with Bil Dwyer (I hung out with him at a Cubs-Brewers spring training game in 2003, when he was appearing at the Tempe Improv and hosting TV’s Battlebots — he more recently hosted The 70s House on MTV and Extreme Dodgeball).Doug Benson, best known from VH1’s Best Week Ever but also part of a long-running touring trio gig called The Marijuana-Logues, what is he doing on this show?Only a brief shot of Kyle Cease onstage…wha? Kyle is huge on the college circuit and just got a Comedy Central half-hour special and CD package, so he’s going to be OK. Another face in the L.A. comic crowd…was...

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