Day: August 11, 2008

A moment for Bernie Brillstein

Before I get on to documenting the past weekend’s big news in live comedy, let us all take a moment to honor Bernie Brillstein, the manager and producer who died Thursday night at the age of 77. Variety has an industry obit, and here is Nikki Finke’s take on Brillstein. The biggest thing I remember about taking part in the Seattle comedy competition 10 years ago was the fact that someone from Brillstein-Grey would be judging us. That name meant a chance at stardom. Because Brillstein had an eye for talent that stretched back for decades. When SNL launched in 1975, Brillstein served as manager for Lorne Michaels, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner. Them’s good pickings right there. He also helped the careers of Adam Sandler, Martin Short, Jim Belushi, Dana Carvey, Dennis Miller. And that’s just a taste of the comedians he worked with. He also helped launch the Muppets! Here’s what he wrote for Variety in 2002: "Where has all the talent gone? Or, more to the point, where have all the people who love and respect talent gone? There’s nothing like the thrill you get in discovering a real talent; it’s a great feeling to share that discovery with the world. And to know you were there for the beginning.” Brillstein came out of William Morris and built his own business, which in partnership...

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Last Comic Standing 6: Who really won?

Who really won the sixth season of Last Comic Standing? Hint: It’s not a trick question. First off, anyone who missed the initial broadcast on NBC last week due to football can find it replayed this week on the Fox Reality Channel (check your listings) on Tuesday and Thursday, and on Bravo on Friday. It should make it onto Hulu.com someday, too. I caught up with the finale over the weekend. And, um, what? God’s Pottery got to open the show with a special song that really was an ode to the Olympics, and that only made me think, what did they do four years ago during the last Summer Olympics? Right. That was "season three," the year they brought back the first two seasons of stand-ups and didn’t air the finale on NBC. So off to a good start! (Not really) Having Joel McHale and Triumph the Insult Dog on hand to mock the finalists only served to take them down a peg, which is not exactly how you want to feel about your favorite comedian. Why is Iliza’s dad clapping after they show her in a bikini? Argh. Having last year’s champ, Jon Reep, also reminded us that in past years, we’ve actually gotten to see and hear more stand-up comedy in previous seasons. What happened this summer? Outside of Iliza Shlesinger, the only finalist to compete...

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