Day: July 10, 2009

Are you ready for the new Andy Dick?

Comedian/actor Andy Dick got his break along with many other alt-comics of the 1990s on the short-lived Ben Stiller Show, but he really got the public's attention later that decade with his portrayal of a wacky radio employee on NBC's NewsRadio. But somewhere along the line, his life became, well, a little Less Than Perfect, and the exploits offscreen became his persona and his reputation. Several trips to rehab later (including one televised on Sober House), Dick is attempting to come back again. This time, he's doing it online via his Atom.com talk show, House Arrest with Andy Dick, and a live touring musical production that shows its influences from another "crazy" Andy, Andy Kaufman. That tour comes to NYC this weekend at Carolines. I saw Andy Dick's live show last month at Just For Laughs Chicago, and the next day, sat down with the performer to talk to him about that and more, including his new pilot deal to develop a talk show for Comedy Central. You'll notice he's not quite as wild and crazy as the guy who was getting press for all of the wrong reasons a couple of years ago. Here's the first part of that chat, in which he talks about the differences between him and Kaufman, how he uses Twitter and technology to stream his shows free to fans, how he and his Los Angeles...

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Watch TJ & Dave improvise, onstage and/or on film

One of the Chicago shows I wish I had seen during my recent trip there for Just For Laughs Chicago was the two-man improv work of TJ and Dave. Fortunately for me and other New Yorkers, we'll have multiple chances to see and experience the comedic chemistry between TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi this weekend — they're in the city for their semi-regular run at the Barrow Street Theatre, presenting one-hour improvised plays, and also shuffling over to the 92YTribeca to present the screening of a documentary about their plays, called Trust Us, This is All Made Up. You may recognize TJ from the nationally-televised Sonic Drive-In commercial campaign. Gothamist's Billy Parker asked the duo about that, and more, in a new interview. Here's an excerpt: What's the greatest compliment you guys have ever received from another improviser? Dave: I stayed awake the whole time. TJ: I have a buddy now, Tim, who started coming to the show at the beginning of the Chicago run, so seven years ago now. And every once in a while, we'll recount a show pretty much top to bottom. So when he was touring with Second City, someone who was touring with him would say, "Oh my God, you don't know how often he would get in the van and recount the whole show for us on the drive." And to recap an...

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RIP: Cain Lopez

Cain Lopez died Thursday. The stand-up comedian, who began in the Bay Area and based himself out of Burbank, Calif., was only 30. UPDATED: Here are the funeral arrangements. Viewing from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, July 20 (with a rosary at 7 p.m. at the funeral home, McCune Garden Chapel, 212 Main St., Vacaville, Calif. Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 21 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Vacaville, Calif. Starting his comedy career in his teens, he already had gotten out of the trailer parks, survived a car accident that had shattered his jaw and broken his femur in 2002, then jaw cancer in 2003. Lopez had appeared on "Loco Comedy Jam," the "Latino Locos" DVD and other shows and he had made many friends among comedians up and down the West Coast. A recent diagnosis of lung cancer, however, sent him back to the hospital for good just over a month ago. Here was a message Cain Lopez sent out from his hospital bed, gratefully acknowledging the love his friends had shown him (even sadder to watch now that he has passed): As recently as July 1, the Ice House in Pasadena, Calif., held a fund-raiser for Lopez. And upon his death, his friends and fellow comedians were quick to pay offer their condolences publicly on Twitter and Facebook. I'm sharing a few of...

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