Day: February 27, 2009

Are you ready for your audition?

All over the country, stand-up comedians are preparing for auditions — comics try out for commercial roles, sitcoms and film parts all of the time — but this week, there's the added bonus of special showcases for Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival. I got to sit in on an industry showcase the other night for, among other things, Comedy Central's upcoming season of Live at Gotham. Most everyone scored laughs with the audience and the scouts. Of them all, though, I'd like to talk about TuRae's set, because I think he did something that even Simon Cowell over on American Idol would have approved. And no, TuRae did not sing. Millions of you watching the live semifinal telecasts (and even any of the past seasons) of Idol undoubtedly have heard Simon and the other judges criticize bad performances and highlight others with the same main points: You need to bring it with your best stuff, show us your range, make us remember you, be yourself, but also tell us a little about who you are, exactly. All of these keys apply just as well to stand-up comedians. I first saw TuRae as a "new face" last summer in Montreal. A Philly native, he now lives in New York City. When I saw TuRae again this week, his act struck a closer chord with me. We're both in our mid-30s,...

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Patton Oswalt’s new babies: CD, Comedy Central special, and actual baby

"I'm expecting a daughter at the end of April…(applause break)…I just hope she gets my looks and personality!"— Patton Oswalt, last weekend at Carolines in New York City, during a set full of material about how he'll have to change his lifestyle once he becomes a father. And also "sky cakes." He is recording his performances tomorrow, Feb. 28, 2009, in D.C., for his third CD as well as a new Comedy Central...

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In other news, blogs…

February is wrapping up with some interesting and curious comedy items to relay from around the Internets. To wit: — Dave Chappelle performed a four-hour set earlier this morning (as in late last night) at the Comic Strip Live in New York City, and comedian/employee Adam Cozens took advantage of being bumped to take some photomographs. Cozens said only 17 of the 60 audience members managed to stay for the full show. But could they, or Chappelle, do 50 hours at the Strip? (Earlier: The world record 50-hour marathon show at the Strip)— Coincidentally, at the same time Chappelle was doing a surprise set at the Strip, Chris Rock stopped in for an unannounced set at the Comedy Cellar in the Village. Less coincidental, perhaps, the model who has been engaged in a decade-long lawsuit against Rock had her files unsealed (Los Angeles Times).— Comedy Central Insider has compiled a list of 100 funny Twitter feeds to follow. I am on it. Follow me @thecomicscomic.— Among the new Twitter members this week: Dane Cook and Louis CK. A clip of Louis CK on Conan from October apparently has gotten some renewed mileage on YouTube this week. Why? Because it's funny. That's why. Louis CK also reported via Twitter that he has postponed taping his new DVD (was planned for March 14 in Boston — show will go on, but...

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Eddie Murphy to play Richard Pryor in biopic?

Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly said writer/director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) was shopping his own script with Eddie Murphy set to star in Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?, while HitFlix went further to say it had been shopped to Fox Searchlight with a $25 million budget. Condon helped Murphy get an Oscar nomination in Dreamgirls, and Murphy used to impersonate Pryor in his young stand-up act, so you'd think this would be a solid choice. Roll the NSFW clip: And here is a classic clip from Richard Pryor (also NSFW) about going to prison in Arizona: Then again. Two things. 1) Eddie Murphy is such a star himself, that despite the impersonation, I'll be curious to see how he slips into the role and life of the groundbreaking Pryor without reminding us that he is Eddie Murphy. In Dreamgirls, he was playing off of his James Brown/SNL riffs without having to play the actual James Brown, so it was a little easier to follow. Yes, yes, Jamie Foxx won an Oscar playing his Ray Charles. It is possible. And in a more of an apples-to-apples comparison, Jim Carrey pulled off Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon. But I sometimes watch Eddie's brother, Charlie Murphy, and find myself thinking about Eddie. I'm not the only one who does that, right? 2) Which leads me to a previous attempt at a...

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