Day: August 26, 2008

Two comedic takes on the 2008 DNC in Denver

Yes, yes, The Daily Show has its own irreverent cable TV "news" spin on the political conventions, but in this groovy new media world, it’s all about online video and blogs and vlogs and going low-budget, low-key, low-tech. At the first convention I covered as a reporter (Democrats, New York City, 1992), we didn’t have no Internet. Al Gore was just a vice presidential candidate, remember? Memories. Anyhow. Back to the future present. Here are two different takes from the start of this week’s Democratic National Convention in Denver. First up is Eugene Mirman, on the scene with the big online kahuna Huffington Post’s 23/6 (236.com) team, and his first report is, well, NSFW but safe for fun-time viewing: 236.com: DNC ’08 Breaking Inside the BehindUploaded by twentythreesix Will Durst, on the other hand, takes his political comedy quite seriously. So he attempts to sum up Mama Obama’s speech and spin in 60 seconds. Take a deep breath, and click! Look for more from both Mirman and Durst over the course of the next week in Denver, then with the Republicans next week in St....

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Gossip Girl’s alternate killer ending

Gossip Girl‘s second season starts Sept. 1, so everybody get your xoxo’s ready! Of course, if you live in New York City, you cannot go anywhere without knowing that — and in fact, they filmed another upcoming scene in my Brooklyn neighborhood earlier this month, so really, you cannot escape it. But the show already got a wee bit crazy near the end of its first season with the big reveal that Serena…killed….someone. And then, it turned out to be all OK, somehow. Spoiler? Here’s something better: NYC comedians such as Heather Fink, Sara Benincasa, Rick Shapiro and VH1 contributor Brian Faas as Chuck Bass filmed their own, more realistic version of what happened last spring. Also note Sara Copeland and Adam Good, for the record. Slightly NSFW....

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Preview: HBO’s The Life & Times of Tim

Some clips have surfaced promoting the new animated comedy, The Life & Times of Tim, created by former ad man Steve Dildarian and debuting Sept. 28 on HBO. It’s set in New York City, and Tim, well, sounds a little bit like a calmer, low-key, perhaps easier to take Larry David, as the show describes him as a man who, "No matter the situation, life’s little challenges always manage to demand the most offensive solutions, which wouldn’t be such a problem if he weren’t continually caught red-handed." Let’s watch a couple of clips…first, here Tim is getting awkward with a homeless guy over spare change: Straightforward enough. Here is a "bonus awkward moment" when Tim goes to get a physical. But did she stay in a Holiday Inn Express? And here is a more official HBO promo clip: So, what do you think, peoples? Nick Kroll supplies the voice of Tim’s co-worker, Stu, and Whitest Kid ringleader Trevor Moore also is listed among the voice cast. Does that change your opinion? Cheri Oteri and Edie McClurg also lend their voices, too. How about now? Fun fact cut-and-pasted from HBO’s pages about the show: "Steve’s debut animated short film, "Angry Unpaid Hooker," was given Best Animated Short at the 2006 Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, and became the basis for the The Life & Times of Tim." Only this reminds...

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Interview: Eddie Brill

Whether you want to see David Letterman or tell jokes on his TV show, your gatekeeper remains the same. Paging Eddie Brill! That’s because Brill has two jobs on The Late Show with David Letterman, warming up the live audiences at Letterman’s Broadway "Ed Sullivan" theater each weeknight, then also booking the comedians who perform on the late-night TV show. The first part is easy, Brill says. "We’ve got it down to a science," he says. "It’s like hosting. You’re an emcee. Our whole job is to take an audience that is not cohesive and cohese them. That’s the best way to describe it." How much of a science is it? Watching it unfold is, well, literally, clockwork. Eighteen minutes before the hour, Brill bounds onstage with the microphone, says hello and introduces a hilarious classic clip of Letterman working the Taco Bell drive-thru to get the crowd in the right frame of mind, and remind them about just who they’re here to see. Then Brill gets a few minutes to warm up the crowd, joking about New York City and how much Times Square has changed in recent years. Examples: We now have an Applebee’s, we no longer get to play the Adam’s Apple or Not game. "That game’s gone," Brill tells the audience. Within a few minutes, it’s time for announcer Alan Kalter to take the stage...

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