Day: October 28, 2008

Did You Know: Rita Rocks on Lifetime

Perhaps it’s because the last time my TV landed on the Lifetime channel was a decade ago, but I had forgotten that the network might get around to launching a new sitcom. That happened last week, as it turns out, with the debut of Rita Rocks, starring MADtv alum Nicole Sullivan. It is the net’s first original sitcom in a decade. So I’ll have to catch up with the new episodes and report back on that one…on that note, it airs at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT Tuesdays, and full episodes from last week’s sneak peak barrage are online via the link. Here’s Sullivan describing her new...

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Interview: Richard Belzer

It’d been a long day for both of us. Richard Belzer had spent his Thursday promoting his new book, a novel based on his own personal and professional lives, while I had been running around putting out figurative fires, so we only had a few minutes to speak. I wanted to know more about his rare stage act, Richard Belzer and the Belzonics, who come together again Saturday at Comix in New York City. Last time they played, Late Show with David Letterman band leader Paul Shaffer made a cameo to provide the introductions. So. What makes the Belzonics show different from your straight stand-up act? "I do music. I do song parodies. And impressions. So the music’s very much a part of my act. It’s woven throughout," Belzer tells me. Right now, Belzer and the Belzonics is a rare treat, as he and the guys only get together "a few times a year." But Belzer himself is itching to perform more often. "I’m anxious to get back onstage more and more," Belzer says. "I miss the people. I miss the laughs, I miss the sweat. I miss the booze. I miss the broads." Did your experience as a judge on this season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing have anything to do with that desire to get back onstage? "It just happened to be coincidentally around the time I...

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Butterfinger Comedy Showdown

Speaking of contests, today is the final day for online voting in the Butterfinger Comedy Showdown. Judges already picked five semifinalists (Andy Woodhull, Andrea Henry, Danny Browning, Ronnie K, and Elham Jazab) from among the entries performing stand-up comedy, the two semifinalists with the most online votes through Oct. 28 will get to face off live before the judges and an audience at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. The winner receives an appearance at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, comedy career coaching and a year’s worth of free Butterfinger...

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The guy who wins online video ad contests

Earlier this year, a group of New York City comedians thought they had a chance to win $100,000 from Klondike for their ad spoof that put Ray Romano and Al Pacino in a thriller over Klondike bars. But they didn’t know they were up against this guy: Joel Moss Levinson. Levinson has made a career for himself winning online video advertising contests. One of my college roommates freshman year boasted of his abilities to win prizes from the local radio station, but this guy Levinson has turned public-generated ad contests into a mockery of a sham of a mockery by how often he wins with his jingle jangles. The New York Times profiles Levinson today. (Which got him the Gawker treatment, too) He filmed part of his Klondike song in the Arctic from a trip he had won from another such contest, and has taken advantage of won trips to Australia, four months free in Best Western hotels, an iPod and cash to win even more. Levinson explains his contest winnings and videos here. It’s fairly simple. He writes up a little ditty expressing his ode for the product and bugs everyone he knows to vote for him. No. It’s really that simple. But he’s made it his business. And he notes that he doesn’t always win: But what I’ve found is that I don’t just represent myself. I...

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