Day: July 9, 2009

Review: Todd Glass, “Thin Pig”

Right from the get-go of Thin Pig, comedian Todd Glass shows how he can weave both old jokes, inside jokes and in-the-moment jokes all at once, making every performance of his a magically unique experience. Even if some of the jokes, such as his opening bit, have been in his repertoire for several years now. Glass does his own intro, then announces he's at "the George Carlin room" at the Tempe Improv, asks "how's the balcony doing?" (he's in the side lounge that's much smaller than the Tempe mainstage and lacks a balcony or room for more than 100), then launches into a familiar comedy trope, asking the audience: "Do I look like Fred Flintstone and Mel Gibson had a baby?" Glass acknowledges soon thereafter, "It's the only joke I wish wouldn't work!" Glass also is such a comic's comic that, when he slips into "the Jim Gaffigan voice" or something that references another stand-up, he'll poke fun at himself for it. "I feel like Brian Regan!" Glass says while talking about how he mangles the pronunciation of words in "Words." Glass does share a bit of the same everyman's perspective to life and society that Regan does, only Glass is more willing to use, say, more colorful language and break from the script at a moment's notice. When some comics mess up a word in their delivery, they...

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America’s Got Talent: Second chance for Last Comic Standing rejects?

Imagine a world in which you can audition for NBC's Last Comic Standing, be ruled funny, but not quite funny enough to win any cash prizes, and then return years later to the same network for America's Got Talent and the chance to win $1 million for doing essentially the same thing. Have you got that world in your head? OK. Open your eyes. You're already living in this world. Because last night, 75-year-old Grandma Lee went onstage in front of the Hoff, the Osbourne and the Piers and nailed her few punchlines, which apparently surprised the judges and audience sufficiently enough to jump to their feet in wild hysteria (either that, or the production company has resorted to shock therapy treatments). I'm not trying to disparage Grandma Lee. She knows how to deliver a zinger. Fair enough. But is that all it takes to win $1 million and a Vegas show? Maybe the latter. Which, by the way, it should be pointed out that in addition to appearing on Last Comic Standing, she won a comedy showcase in Vegas in 2003 — I learned all of this from her MySpace page. Hooray. OK. Now that I've said my peace, here is Grandma Lee from last night's show: In other words, no, Best Week Ever, Grandma Lee is not "America's Susan...

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Comedy Central greenlights 10 episodes for Jon Heder sitcom

Jon Heder should send a big bouquet of whatever to the Funny or Die folks for getting him front-and-center for a new Comedy Central sitcom. The network announced a deal to air 10 episodes of an untitled sitcom starring Heder and written and produced by Gary Sanchez Productions — aka Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy and Adam McKay, aka Funny or Die. These guys look to be expanding their comedy branding, as they already have a plan to air 10 half-hours of comedy programming with HBO. For this project, they're teaming up with Debmar-Murray, the company that has helped redefine sitcom distribution deals with their work on Tyler Perry's TBS sitcoms (this deal includes a similar option for Comedy Central to order an additional 90 episodes after the first season, and the rights for Debmar-Murray to later syndicate the show). Oh, right. The show? It'll star Heder as an unemployed IT guy who returns to his small hometown and moves back in with his folks and younger brother. Heder's big break came in 2004's Napoleon Dynamite, of course, though his highest-profile project since then was 2007's Blades of Glory, in which he co-starred with Ferrell. Here's the money quote from McKay on helming Heder's new sitcom: "We've always been fans of Jon's," McKay comments. "This deal gives us a chance to take some big creative swings without the risk of testing...

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Holly Montag heckles Chris Franjola at The Laugh Factory

We all know that hecklers are a scourge upon society and better left unpublicized, because the heckler is usually a person who craves publicity — which makes the vicious circle that much more vicious, particularly when we find out that the heckler in question last night at the Laugh Factory who disrupted a charity event by threatening to use her chain accessories against the performing stand-up was one of MTV's faux celebs, Holly Montag. Yes. Holly Montag, sister of Heidi Montag from The Hills and most recently bringing down the NBC network this summer on I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here with the mere suggestion that she was a celebrity (and forging an alleged relationship with American Idol publicity hound Sanjaya Malakar). Syndeee at gossip blog Hollywire was on the scene and filed a detailed play-by-play of how Montag melted down. That's comedian Chris Franjola (a story producer and regular panelist on E!'s Chelsea Lately) getting chewed out by Montag before security kicked her out. And is that Chelsea Handler's pint-sized sidekick Chuy looking on from front row center? Interestingly, in this increasingly instant-messaged society, Franjola did not go straight to his Twitter feed to share the news. Instead, here is some footage of Franjola trying to make sense of what just happened from the stage...

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