Day: April 9, 2015

A postscript from Baron Vaughn on his essay regarding TV’s “ethnic casting craze”

Baron Vaughn is a stand-up comedian and actor whom I’ve described on this site before as “a quintuple threat” because of his multitude of capabilities onstage and onscreen. Vaughn appeared on the big screen in Black Dynamite and Cloverfield, on the small screen in USA’s Fairly Legal, and now in the new Netflix original series, Grace and Frankie [launching May 8], playing the adopted son of Lily Tomlin’s and Sam Waterston’s characters. Did he get the part because of any so-called “ethnic casting craze” sweeping through Hollywood’s TV studios? Not exactly. But Vaughn acknowledged that times have changed from even a...

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Life lessons in comedy and show business from Stephanie Courtney, aka “Flo” from the Progressive commercials

In 2007, Stephanie Courtney was a regular performer with The Groundlings and booking small parts in TV commercials, but you likely had no idea who the 37-year-old actress was. Then Courtney filmed her first TV spot for Progressive Insurance as a saleswoman named “Flo.” Now you know. But it took 10 years in Los Angeles before her big break. As she recalls: In 1997, my sister and I moved to L.A. One night, we saw a show at the Groundlings and I was blown away. It felt a lot more like acting to me than stand-up because there was...

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Eddie Murphy to receive 2015 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

A couple of months after he came back to Saturday Night Live but only to accept our applause, Eddie Murphy will get another chance to indulge our adoration with a look back at his comedy career — the Kennedy Center announced today that Murphy will receive the 2015 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. “Through his appearances on Saturday Night Live, groundbreaking stand-up comedy, and work as a movie star, Eddie Murphy has shown that like Mark Twain, he was years ahead of his time,” Kennedy Center chief Deborah F. Rutter said today. Added Murphy, via the official announcement: “I...

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