Author: Sean L. McCarthy

Quotes from Jon Stewart, live in concert

More words and wisdom from Jon Stewart, dispensed onstage Friday night at the Wang Theatre in Boston. On the Wang Center…"This is, by far, the nicest Wang I’ve ever seen.""It sounds like a holistic healing center for your d—…we’ll wrap it in kelp." On gays wanting to be in the St. Patrick’s Day parade: "You don’t want anything to take away from the dignity of that parade." On gays wanting to be in the Boy Scouts: "Already the gayest organization ever." On gays being an abomination in the Bible: "You what else is an abomination? Shellfish. Where’s that sign?!" Acknowledging his sex talk onstage: "Wha? You’re not the nice man from the television show. This s— gets weird when it’s live." On science? "They’re working on cloning? We have six billion people…f—ing is working!" "Billions of dollars to make a sheep that looks exactly like another sheep." That’s the whole point of sheep, he said. That’s why you count them to fall asleep. On man ruining the planet: "As far as the Earth is concerned, we’re a mild case of eczema." On how Bush gets away with so much: "He doesn’t care. Clinton cared, but he cared too much. In a creepy way." On Vice President Cheney: "The guy hasn’t done one thing right yet." But Bush still trusts him. Why? The only thing Stewart would trust Cheney with?...

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SNL 32.1: Dane Cook/The Killers

Saving the best for last is not the phrase you want associated with Saturday Night Live. Alas, such was the case on the Sept. 30 32nd season-opener, hosted by Dane Cook. The final sketch of the night was a parody of the current Geico TV ads, with Andy Samberg playing the real-life customer and Maya Rudolph as Whitney Houston, his celebrity helper. It’s not on YouTube yet (despite what Cook said in his monologue) but NBC has featured it online. But back to the recap…Season 32 begins with a "cold open" of an unwanted President Bush at a campaign for comptroller in South Carolina. I couldn’t help but immediately think to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the Aaron Sorkin un-SNL show, and the scene in which Matthew Perry’s character challenges the writers to come up with something fresher than a Bush-mocking "cold open" skit. But there you have it. I’m smelling a theme. That theme smells like stale (fill in the blank with anything you want, including the word stale).Roll opening credits. They look nice and big and pretty.What about your host Dane Cook? Does he look nice and big and pretty?Well, he does jump into a crouching position. Then he grabs a mike to remind himself that he’s a stand-up comic, not a TV host, and begins his monologue by defending himself against negative people. "Don’t you...

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The skinny on Dan Boulger

The online record tells you very little about Dan Boulger. We’re about to correct that, although not by much. Boulger remains an elusive comedy creature. This much is known. He is 20 (turns 21 in December) and still lives in Norwood. And on Sept. 16, he emerged victorious in the annual Boston Comedy Festival stand-up contest, and many of his colleagues and competitors alike rejoiced. Why? Just look at the kid. Forget for a minute that my cameraphone usually offers dark, fuzzy snapshots and focus on the fact that for the biggest gig in his young career, Dan Boulger wore a red hooded sweatshirt. He looked just like he does at any open mike around Boston, or even how he did when he was the Comedy Studio’s comic-in-residence earlier this year. He was unfazed by it all. He just went out there and told his jokes. That’s what made so many other Boston comics happy about his win — that and the fact that he’s a young guy, so awarding him against some veteran stand-ups might signal a changing of the comedy guard, if you enjoy reading too much into things. It did signal a victory for locals over experienced out-of-towners. But let’s get back to Boulger, shall we?When I spoke with him that night, he said he wasn’t sure what he’d do now that he had $7,000 for...

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Todd Phillips on comedy, “scoundrels”

Filmmaker Todd Phillips talked with me the other day (actually, last Friday) about comedy and his latest film, School For Scoundrels, which opens today. What made you laugh as a kid?"For me it was all about Eddie Murphy’s Raw. and it was all about Stripes and Blues Brothers. Those are the kinds of things I grew up on. You’d like to pretend you grew up on Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder but that stuff came later in life. The truth is it was Animal House and Meatballs and Stripes and Eddie Murphy. That is definitely what my younger influences were." But you didn’t start making comedies until you hooked up with Ivan Reitman (on Road Trip), right?"I was also only 26 years old…I started doing documentaries, but if you had seen the documentaries that I had done…they all have a real comedic slant to them. They’re not done like, I never approached documentary like journalism, it was always as a director and a filmmaker. So it wasn’t a big leap to go from a documentary into narrative features, because well, if you do a documentary correctly, and if you actually direct a documentary, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. It has little things about each character that get let out slowly in the story just like in a narrative feature. So it’s all storytelling. It’s all...

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Bobby Slayton on Married Man vs. Entourage

Bobby Slayton admits he doesn’t often perform here, but there’s a couple of good reasons why he’ll be doing stand-up around New England this weekend. “I’m coming to see the (Rolling) Stones, I’m trying to pay for this million-dollar (expletive) house. I’ve got, my old man lives in Mashpee. And then Mike Clarke said, we’ll get you a gig in Giggles, get you a gig in Hyannis…I kinda like to earn my keep.” Some people have said that HBO’s Entourage is the male version of Sex and the City. I always thought that honor should’ve gone to Mind of the Married Man, in which Slayton played a guy named Slayton.“I just started getting into Entourage,” he said. “People are stupid. They always try to label a show…When Binder wrote (Married Man), it’s old news already, but the show itself, it really was like Sex and the City. Horny guys trying to get laid. Entourage, they have that apartment, but it’s more about show-biz.” Slayton had front row seats to the Stones concert at Gillette Stadium, thanks to his friendship with someone who works for the band. “It just defies…it’s amazing to me. I’m 50. But if I run across the comedy club stage, I have to catch my breath,” he said. Not Jagger, who’s past 60. “He runs around like a spidermonkey. I don’t know how he does...

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