Day: September 15, 2009

2009 San Francisco Comedy Competition, joined in progress

Would you believe the 2009 San Francisco Comedy Competition is already gearing up for its second week of preliminary stand-up action? Well, if you live in Northern California or are competing in the contest, then you probably already knew this. Anyhow. The first week of preliminaries ended on Sunday, with these five comedians advancing to a week of semifinal competition from Sept. 23-27: Jarrod Harris, Rodger Lizaola, Kortney Shane Williams, Maureen Langan and Tom Simmons. The second group starts up on Wednesday. One funny person will join this illustrious group of past winners of the San Francisco Comedy Competition. Related: 2009 San Francisco Comedy Competition...

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Inside the Actor’s Studio trades sex jokes with the “Family Guy” cast

If Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio wants to be taken seriously, then it needs to stop with some of the silliness (we are looking squarely at you, squirrely James Lipton) and, well, if you want to take a serious look at a comedy, or a comedian, then please do not ask them to reply to your nonsense as their characters, because it's cute for a nanosecond, but not going to add anything to our lives. I knew that this week's episode, featuring the Family Guy cast and its creator, Seth MacFarlane, would only serve to disappoint — not because of the subject matter, but because Lipton had four people onstage and the show would not be longer than one hour. No time for any kind of meaningful discussion (not that Lipton was looking for one). In the first couple of minutes, we got to learn just how ambitious and passionate MacFarlane has been about animation since he was a very young child. Time for a follow-up? Nope. But plenty of time for sex jokes?! Yes, plenty of time for sex jokes, apparently. Although there is a Web-only clip in which MacFarlane talks about how he first came up with Family Guy and pitched it to FOX: In part of the show that did air Monday night, MacFarlane also explained creating the Stewie character. He references The Simpsons, Rex Harrison,...

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CollegeHumor takes another swipe at “Unfunny People”

Comedians love to point out the absurdities in the world around us, and mock celebrities, politicians and other powerful people who deserve to be brought down a notch or two or thirty-seven. But when comedians target other comedians for mockery, it always feels a little weird to me (and that's a little weird, too, isn't it?). Which brings us to CollegeHumor's new original video "Unfunny People," which is a take-off of Judd Apatow's summer movie, Funny People, but with jabs at prop comics instead of stand-ups, putting Gallagher and Carrot Top in their crosshairs (in the roles played in the movie by Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen): Previously, CollegeHumor produced a music video called "Stop Carlos Mencia" featuring a number of working NYC-based...

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Debut review: The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

When a new movie comes out, it's a fully realized vision and product, and therefore easy to be consumed, talked about and critiqued. A nightly TV talk show is different. It takes time to get its legs and figure out what exactly it's going to be — even when all of the people have done this before and merely moved to a new time slot and/or station (See: O'Brien, Conan; Letterman, David). And yet we expect — nay, we demand — an immediate and final judgment on a new TV talk show. Especially when it's taking up valuable primetime TV programming real estate. So. The Jay Leno Show. Meet the new Leno. Same as the old Leno. With a couple of tweaks. Are you ready for this? Ready or not, The Jay Leno Show debuted Monday night, with lots of outside expectations hyped even more by the fact that Leno already had Kanye West booked as a musical guest, and would therefore have our full attention as West could face Leno and address his behavior at Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards. But first. OK. What was with the muted opening theme song? Were Kevin Eubanks and "the Primetime Band" told to take their old Tonight Show theme and dial it all the way down? This theme sounds less exciting than the opening to The Doctors. Is this what we're to...

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