Day: July 17, 2009

Win “The State” on DVD prize package!

This has been a big week for fans of 1990s sketch comedy series The State and its many talented performers. Comedy Central and MTV2 began reairing episodes of both The State and Stella (the one-season reunion by Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black and David Wain) last weekend, Reno 911! continues into its sixth season on Comedy Central with now even more contributions from State members, and the network also launched the new meta-sketch comedy series, Michael and Michael Have Issues. All of this coincided happily for many fans with the release of the complete series of The State on DVD this week. The five-disc set includes all 24 episodes plus lots of commentaries, unaired sketches, rare performances and more. (Seth Olenick photographed the happy people earlier this year upon their 20th reunion as a sketch group at San Francisco's Sketchfest – Michael Ian Black ("Ed," "STELLA," "Viva Variety," Run, Fat Boy, Run), Michael Showalter ("STELLA," The Baxter, Wet Hot American Summer), David Wain ("STELLA," Role Models, The Ten,"Wainy Days"), Robert Ben Garant ("RENO 911!," Viva Variety, Balls of Fury), Kerri Kenney-Silver ("RENO 911!", "Viva Variety"),Thomas Lennon ("RENO 911!", I Love You Man, Balls of Fury), Joe Lo Truglio ("RENO911!", Superbad, I Love You Man), Ken Marino("Party Down," The Ten, Diggers), Michael Patrick Jann (RENO 911!: Miami, Let's Go to Prison) Kevin Allison (The Ten, RENO 911!: Miami), and Todd Holoubek...

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Emmy comedy actress roundtable: Always acting

I remember reading The Hollywood Reporter's Emmy package earlier this month, but Gabe at Videogum (aka Master of the Internet's Videos) saw that the trade mag put portions of these roundtable discussions on the YouTube, too. Yes, it's a happy coincidence that THR managed to get/predict the nominees for comedy actresses (not quite as lucky on the male side, however). But in this clip, you also get to see and hear how Sarah Silverman and Mary-Louise Parker deal with strangers coming up to them with their hee-haw-hilarious callback quotes and fandomness. Silverman shares her secret to managing the fan experience so everyone wins. Hint: Acting! It's something that most comedians who reach a certain level of fame and popularity can relate to. I've witnessed this many times hanging out with comedians in New York City, and Ben Bailey, host of Cash Cab, talks about his own experiences with fans in his current stand-up routines. Roll the...

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Adam Sandler’s return to stand-up in “Funny People”

Judd Apatow has created and spawned some extensive backstories for the funny people in his upcoming dramedy movie, Funny People, and many of them already have proved worthy of clicking, emailing, Tweeting, and forwarding about the Internets. What makes this newly-released featurette even better than the rest, however, is that it's much more than a promotional tool — here Apatow sincerely engages star Adam Sandler about his return to the stand-up stage after more than a decade away from it. That he's doing it "in character" actually is beside the point, because rust is rust and Sandler is not the first comedian-turned-movie-star who has found the return to the stand-up stage fraught with anxiety. Performing jokes for strangers is a feat in itself. Doing it after a long time away from it, combined with the massive expectations that audiences normally heap upon their stars, can even keep some greats from making a so-called "comeback" to his or her roots. (Remind me sometime to share my thoughts on Eddie Murphy's absence from the stage and his brother, Charlie Murphy, who has filled that stand-up void in recent years) Anyhow. In this clip, we not only get to see Sandler return to stand-up stages and comedy clubs to rehearse his routines for Funny People (they're self-aware enough to focus in on the fact that Sandler was so rusty he hit himself...

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