Month: September 2007

Jim Gaffigan explains Pale Force

Jim Gaffigan debuted the second season of his cartoon superhero farce, Pale Force, on Monday night’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien. For those of you who haven’t caught on, Gaffigan helps out, introducing the concept each time he’s on the show, saying how he and Conan "play superheroes who fight crime with our paleness and shoot lasers out of our nipples." And Conan always points out, as he did Monday, "I think I came across as weak and sniveling in some episodes — wait, all episodes!" And each time, they show the first part of an episode, end with a cliffhanger and send viewers online to see what happens next. Here is a sample clip from the first season: Gaffigan and I talked earlier today about how this bizarre Emmy-nominated cartoon came to be. "It’s the idea of Paul Noth. He’s a cartoonist for The New Yorker. It was his idea. He had come to a couple of tapings when I was on Conan and it just kind of, he came up with the idea and we pitched it to the Conan people and did a sample one." Was it a hard sell?"it’s kind of rare for them to take an idea, let alone one that costs a bunch of money to produce, but they liked it, and it kind of snowballed. We got 20 episodes for the first...

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Exclusive: Dane Cook answers his critics

The last time Dane Cook and I talked at length face-to-face, we were in his dressing room backstage at Boston’s TD Banknorth Garden, minutes before he’d perform for two sold-out arenas of screaming fans for his HBO special, "Vicious Circle." At the time, it was the biggest night of his life. He seemed pretty calm and content that night. Earlier this week, we met again, this time in a hotel lounge in Midtown Manhattan. And this time, Cook’s in a different place. He’s now trying to becoming a movie star. He has more than 2.1 million MySpace "friends." Yet he also is at the center of a nasty backlash, both from within the comedy community and from the mainstream media, who use his name as a punchline for things that are wrong about comedy. Perhaps for the first time, Cook decided to address it all (even Louis CK!). Part of our interview appeared in the New York Daily News. But here’s the full interview, in which fans and foes alike should get some rare insight into what this comedian and fledgling actor/musician is really thinking. You’re kind of inescapable at this point.“Now more than ever. The other night I was at a Red Sox game in Boston and a commercial came on for Good Luck Chuck and then a commercial came on for the MLB stuff (he’s the face...

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Christian Finnegan on becoming a NYC headliner

Christian Finnegan is excited to headline Gotham Comedy Club this weekend. I know because I’ve read the emails and MySpace bulletins in which he says so. But Finnegan (best known from VH1’s Best Week Ever) already tours the country’s comedy clubs and college campuses as a headliner, supported by Comedy Central. What makes this weekend different? Finnegan explained himself to me over the phone this afternoon. "I don’t get the opportunity to do longer sets around town," he said. "I headline around the country but in the city it’s five minutes here, seven minutes there. Plus, some of my friends will get to see me for the first time in a long while." "When you start doing comedy in New York and you’re doing weird open mics where someone is reading a poem and then someone gets an enema, and then comedy, you have these dreams in the back of your head about making it big as a comedian and not having to do this anymore. Granted, if you had told me it would’ve taken 10 years, I would’ve quit." Even now that he’s a NYC comedy club headliner, he still has to make sure he gets the word out amid everything else that’s going on in the city. "It’s not like when you’re playing the Dayton Funny Bone and there’s only two or three options for having fun,"...

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Pete & Brian, and Bill Murray, on video

Today on Funny Or Die, NYC comedy duo Pete & Brian unveiled their latest short film, FCU: Fact Checkers Unit with Bill Murray. Let’s play the clip, then talk with Pete and Brian about it. Directed by Dan Beers. Written by Dan Beers, Peter Karinen and Brian Sacca OK, boys. Explain yourselves. Pete: "The three of us wanted to work together in some capacity so we decided to make a short together. Brian had the idea to make a CSI spoof…I think it was Brian’s idea originally to do something about fact-checkers." How did they rope Murray into it? Dan Beers had worked on "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" with him. "We faxed Bill a question asking if he wanted to be in it," Beers said. Apparently, that’s how you get in touch with Bill Murray. As he added, "Bill doesn’t have an agent or a manager or a publicist, which makes it difficult to get a hold of him." Wow. Of all the comedy video sites out there, why Funny Or Die?Pete said they’ve hosted Pete & Brian shorts in the past.Brian: "One of the great things about Funny Or Die, because it’s a selective site, the content is…good quality. The stuff there is generally pretty funny. And we respect what they post." Bill Murray wasn’t originally part of the concept, though.Brian: "It was literally while we...

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