Day: October 13, 2006

A comedian for president?

The premise behind the movie, Man of the Year, which suggests that a late-night TV host could become president. Sort of. Anyhow. Here are some additional thoughts from comedians on the subject. From Lewis Black, who plays the joke-writer/speechwriter for Robin Williams in the movie. When is the right time for a comedian to run for president? "Yeah, when Christ returns and there is total peace on Earth, then you might want to have someone who just tells jokes. Then, but only then." Black said he had some input on the script, sitting around with writer/director Barry Levinson and co-stars Williams, Christopher Walken and Laura Linney to talk out the plot and figure out speeches and jokes. But what if people wanted you to run? "My official stance is I would never run, because I would only use it to get laid on a regular basis." He said the trappings of the office offer too many diversions, from a bowling alley in the White House to a boat to anything else he probably could think to ask for. "And it wouldn’t be for good!" Most presidents wake up early, but he wouldn’t. "I would be asleep by five in the morning." No, but seriously. "I did some political stuff for a while. It just made, it wasn’t, the people who do it made me crazy." Of course, Black’s act...

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Gaffigan goes beyond the pale

Jim Gaffigan is one of the truly nicer and funnier guys I know. And I’m saying that even before typing in the part of the interview where he brings me down a peg or two. We talked recently while Gaffigan had a break from recording the upcoming TBS comedy, My Boys, which debuts around Thanksgiving. "It’s a million miles away when I think about it. Thanksgiving!" Last night on Conan, Gaffigan celebrated the unveiling of an all-new Pale Force cartoon and a new page on Conan’s NBC online home for the series. "We’ve done three episodes of Pale Force and it’ll be interesting to see how popular Pale Force could get, or if people will go…not interested! People will love something that makes fun of someone of Conan’s status." "I remember meeting you. You might identify with some of the pale thing. Because you’re a pale guy. It’s funny, because when I performed in Boston, and since the Pale Forces have started, there’s been a lot of pale people coming to the show. It’s the opposite of white pride. When you’re really pale, you think, geez, I’m the only one who spent an hour putting on sunscreen." Did you have any idea that people would take to "Beyond the Pale" the way they have to specific bits like Hot Pockets? "On my Website, it’s weird, you never know, you...

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Craig Ferguson, winging it late-night, soberly

When Craig Ferguson called me up Tuesday afternoon, it was still morning in L.A., where he wasn’t quite sure what his monologue topic would be for that night’s Late Late Show. "I think today, what I’m going to talk about is Man of the Year, the movie about a talk show host becoming president." Would he ever consider a run himself? "Not for me, because I wasn’t born in the United States, so it’d be Constitutionally impossible." Ah, but they’ve talked about amending that for Ah-nold, so why not you, too? "When you think about it, you have to feign interest when you talk to unpleasant people. It’s perfectly plausible for politics…(show business, too)…so yes, it’d probably be fairly good training. I think if I start wearing a tie, that might be a sign." As a Scottish immigrant, do you think it’s odd that us Americans still celebrate Columbus Day? "I’m an immigrant, and I had to work. There’s a certain irony to that." He started to offer more, then reconsidered. "I don’t have my citizenship yet. If I don’t watch what I say, I’d be back in the old country faster than I could say. I’d be back mud farming!" Do you think there is a certain charm to taking over a TV show from Craig Kilborn? "Jon (Stewart) and I talked about it. It certainly doesn’t hurt....

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