Day: July 16, 2008

2008: The year in movies, comedian comedy edition

This year, Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival has expanded to include a two-day Just Comedy industry confab to discuss the state of comedy and network and do all of those things that someone interested in taking their comedy career to the next step should be doing. Over the next two days (July 17-18), there will be keynote addresses, panels, workshops, pitch meetings, the customary Andy Kindler State of the Industry speech, celebrity discussions and a special fete for Judd Apatow, since the mainstream median and the comedy business clearly have anointed him as the guy who knows how to sell big-screen movies to the masses these days. Which makes it that much more worth noting, or, rather, looking back on the year so far in movies showcasing comedians. By the numbers. Because that’s how these industry types roll the dice, so to speak. The figures come courtesy of Box Office Mojo. The highest-grossing live-action comedy film of 2008 so far is…did you guess it yet? Get Smart. Oh, you probably missed it by that much, didn’t you? $112.6 million and still counting. Steve Carell, take a bow. Though it’s only the 11th most popular movie at the box office this year overall, and we still have some big flicks on the way. Adam Sandler’s You Don’t Mess With The Zohan didn’t exactly make Hollywood yearn for more Israeli spy...

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Montreal JFL 2008!

The Comic’s Comic proudly announces he has made it across the border into Canada and landed safely in Montreal, acquired media credentials for the 2008 Just For Laughs festival (media badges get a blue hue, which matches my site very nicely) and found my hotel room with Internet access. Hoo-ray. So sit back and get ready to enjoy my comprehensive coverage from JFL over the next four nights and five days. Nightly dispatches, recaps and perhaps some audio and video wonderment to share with you all. It’ll almost be like you’re here, too. Unless you are here. Then it’ll be like instant nostalgia for your...

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Who will replace Amy Poehler on SNL?

That’s a question certain to generate some buzz, suspense, alarm and excitement this summer. Really, though, Amy Poehler has played such a large role in the success of the current cast of Saturday Night Live, and her impending departure creates a void…and who will fill it? Who could replace Poehler? Ladies, get your headshots and reels to Lorne Michaels, ASAP! Michaels already knew this was coming, as Poehler announced her pregnancy (due date: fall) right after the debut of her movie with Tina Fey, Baby Mama. So she’d have to sit out at least part of this coming season on SNL. Both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety are reporting that Poehler may have a new, steady primetime gig, joining Aziz Ansari on the new not-Office-spinoff on NBC. So who would you like to see join SNL this fall? Nominations in the comments,...

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“Early” review: Ricky Gervais, live (HBO in November)

If last night’s show at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden is any indication, Ricky Gervais is not taking any chances with his first American TV stand-up special (HBO is taping his NYC shows this week for broadcast in November). Because for "The Out of England Tour," Gervais has crafted 70-75 minutes of his greatest hits and bits from his three previous tours, Animals, Politics, and Fame. They’re all available for DVD in the U.K., and also ready for your viewing online thanks to YouTube and the like. In recent interviews, Gervais has told reporters that "stand-up comedy is more of a process of evolution," as he told the Canadian press. "The audience chooses the best bits for you. It’s a process of natural selection. So over a hundred comedy dates, they’ve chosen your best hour. You thought it up and you said it, but they’ve done the difficult part for you. It’s cheating, in a way." And in this instance, most definitely cheating. Or is it? Not that you could hear anyone in the audience of 5,600 at MSG complaining. File under curious coincidence: While Ricky Gervais performed in the theater, Bon Jovi had the arena packed with a perhaps slightly different demographic. Or, if you know someone who is a fan of both, which show would that fan pick? OK. That’s a tangent. You want to...

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