Month: February 2006

The Walsh Brothers prepare for Aspen

David and Chris Walsh, The Walsh Brothers Here is what Judi Brown-Marmel, Levity Entertainment Group partner who signed David and Chris Walsh to her management firm, had to say about the Charlestown brothers who are heading to the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen… (and this weekend, at Jimmy Tingle’s place in Davis Square) "They’re exactly what Aspen is looking for — they’ve been able to work out their show off the radar.""They’re not contrived in any way.""They are doing it for the pure comedy.""They don’t sound like anybody else I’ve ever seen or heard.""Their career could ultimately take them a million different ways.""I think it’s refreshing.""It doesn’t feel overproduced." Here is what Rick Jenkins, owner of The Comedy Studio, had to say about the Walshes getting national success… "It’s all a question of them finding the right venue." Here is what Lainey Schulbaum, half of The Steamy Bohemians, had to say about them… "I hate them because they’re that good." Here are three videos the Walshes have uploaded online at vSocial.com…http://www.vsocial.com/video/?d=12589 (Chinatown)http://www.vsocial.com/video/?d=8665 (Skiing)http://www.vsocial.com/video/?d=8662 (Swimming) Make friends with them on...

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Richard Lewis talks to me like I’m his therapist

Ask Richard Lewis how his President’s Day is, and he’ll reply, which president? "It depends," he told me. "If Abe Lincoln was president, I’d be jumping up and down. I was a big fan of Clinton and FDR, although he was a little slow getting rid of the Nazis. I’m not as big a fan of the current president…I don’t think I’ll be invited to the Oval Office. I hope he has a good day. I hope he reads something. I’m thinking of sending him a coloring book, so he can start slow." Yes, Lewis is a Democrat. And yes, he’s still as neurotic as ever. Over the next hour, as I attempt to squeeze in a question or two about current events or his current works, he’ll veer from topic to topic, sometimes in the same beat. As he does just now, trying to show the least bit of compassion for George W. Bush. And also plug his upcoming weekend in Boston. "I’m a tolerant man," Lewis said. "I’m only coming there because I miss Boston. I have friends there. I make no money. It’s the Gandhi tour when I play a nightclub, and I also try to fast. Four shows, no food. Maybe a little rice on the way home." He’d just left a gig in Texas. "I was staring at a concert hall filled with mostly...

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Wright at “Funny Kind of Love”

Steven Wright made a rare live appearance (note: though it’d turn out to be part of his training for his first new CD in decades) on Valentine’s Day in Boston for a benefit show called "A Funny Kind of Love" at the Avalon nightclub. Wright’s 32-minute set — a nonstop barrage of non sequiturs, tongue-twisting mind-benders and premise-based stories — even had fellow performer Lenny Clarke howling from the side of the stage. "I’m even laughing before the punchlines!" Clarke exclaimed about midway through Wright’s set. Here were a few of Wright’s quips that night: "I wish my first word as a baby was ‘quote,’ so when I died, I could’ve said ‘end quote.’" "What did Jesus ever do for Santa Claus on his birthday?" "My problem is I was reincarnated without ever having lived before." "My dog has a Web site. All it has is naked cats." "You know the Earth is bipolar." "Tomorrow I’m going to have an MRI to find out if I’m claustrophobic." "I have two very rare photographs. One is of Harry Houdini getting locked out of his car. The other is of Norman Rockwell beating up a kid." "I have a friend who is in prison for counterfeit pennies. I told him it wasn’t worth it. You know how they caught him? He had heads and tails on the wrong side." "I’m addicted...

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More with Jim Gaffigan

Had a nice long chat with comedian/actor Jim Gaffigan the other day. Our wide-ranging talk lasted more than an hour. Some of it appeared in print today. Much of it did not. And some topics were better left off the record, as they say. Regardless, check out Mr. Gaffigan this weekend at the Comedy Connection in Faneuil Hall Marketplace if you get the chance, and read up on these other gems from our talk below… Comparing sitcom work to movies, ads and stand-up:"I like dry comedy stuff. When you get a role in some comedy TV show, it ends up being sitcommy. Which is funny. But it’s not like, it’s more servicing a joke than a funny situation. When I was on Ed, that was a blast. But That 70s Show, I was just coming in, being the dumb guy, saying my dumb lines, and leaving. When you’re doing a serious drama, it’s a fun challenge, because there’s a greater emphasis on the reality of it." On the Comedy Central Stand-Up Showdown:"You really go into stand-up so you can be elected to higher office. I’ve talked to other comedians. You can’t really compare different styles of comedy. It’s always flattering when someone says I’m like Brian Regan. I do think we’re alike in that we’re silly and we talk about mundane things and don’t curse all the time…but how...

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Jim Gaffigan on gaining respect

Millions of TV viewers have seen Jim Gaffigan this week. He appeared in a Super Bowl ad for Sierra Mist, while Comedy Central has aired his latest special, "Beyond the Pale," several times in the past couple of weeks. A full-length DVD hit stores in early February with 26 minutes not seen on Comedy Central and several hilarious bonus features, including a sketch involving "comedy coach Arty Hittle" explaining the secrets of breaking into stand-up. Which makes watching Gaffigan’s first stand-up gig, from Jan. 27, 1991 (also on the DVD), even more illuminating. "People say, ‘Is that really your first time?’ You could tell I was nervous, though, right?" he asked me. Gaffigan felt out of his element at last month’s Sundance Film Festival, where he appeared in "Stephanie Daley" with Tilda Swinton and Timothy Hutton. "I’d never been there before," he said. "It was an experience in itself. Everyone thought I was (Philip Seymour) Hoffman." We can see the slight resemblance. "This business is about getting too much respect or getting none. I think being confused for Phil Hoffman was getting both," Gaffigan told me. "I’m a married guy, anyway, so it’s not like I was going to capitalize in a creepy way. So it was mostly awkward." Also awkward: Trying to describe his role in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2006 film, Lady in the Water, particularly because months...

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