Month: August 2006

Dave Chappelle, live in concert

Pre-show ticket warnings be darned. Chappelle’s show in Boston would not be foiled! It did take an extra-long time to get into Agganis Arena, though, with two long lines that snaked from either side of the only two ways into the building, forced through a security gauntlet. Fans could keep their phones, just not use them (I did see security approach one young man during the show for apparently taking a cameraphone pic, leading him away for a few minutes, but the fan returned to his seat later). The stage itself, pretty ordinary, a stool with bottled water. A DJ did have a stand near the back of the stage, playing a mix of club dance tracks while fans continued to file in slowly but surely, until the show finally began at 8:07 p.m. (showtime advertised at 7:30 p.m). Opener Joe DeRosa bit the bullet, coming out swinging. DeRosa talked about man drinks vs. girly drinks, birthday presents (funny premise: “How come they always tell you what they almost got you?”), on being adopted, and later finding out at age 12 that he’s half-Egyptian. Lots of frank sexual talk and profanities. DeRosa kept falling back on sex, with his theories on why gay men have it easier than straight men, and why older women are where it’s at. For a guy the crowd didn’t really want to see, he...

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Talking Beerfest with Broken Lizard

Broken Lizard may not be Monty Python, or even Kids in the Hall, but they prove they’re darned funny in their own right with the release of Beerfest. I had the chance to meet Broken Lizard members Steve Lemme and Erik Stolhanske earlier this month when they came through Boston on a special screening/drinking tour. In Beerfest, Stolhanske plays one of the two Wolfhouse brothers (the drunker one!) who discovers the hidden world where drinking games have become an underground Olympics in a German warehouse. Lemme plays the lab tech who the Wolfhouse brothers recruit for their American squad to reclaim the family’s (and with it, the nation’s) honor. Enough with the plot. What matters is that the film really gets going at this point, with madcap antics getting more madcappy until the finale (and even then, to a potential sequel sequence during the end credits). Mo’Nique and Cloris Leachman both turn in funny supporting performances, and it’s by far the funniest Will Forte (SNL) has ever been. It’s silly. It’s sophomoric. But it works on a beer-gut-busting level. While other troupes put silly characters in everyday situations, Broken Lizard tends to go the other route, with its members portraying regular guys who wind up in over-the-top scenarios. Erik: "Our style is more playing in the natural world, it seems."Steve: "We like to have sort of ridiculous situations but...

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Dave Chappelle talks to Anderson Cooper

Dave Chappelle hasn’t been doing much press for his current stand-up tour. Perhaps he doesn’t want to answer the same questions over and over again about Africa and Comedy Central. Or perhaps he figures his appearances on Oprah and Anderson Cooper 360 earlier this year were enough. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how the crowd takes to him. And it’ll also be interesting to see what it’s like at the gates, considering the ticket warning issued by Ticketmaster/Live Nation. Then watch this video to hear Chappelle explain it for...

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Robert Kelly, before taping his CD in Boston

So yes, Robert “Bobby” Kelly has quite the homecoming this weekend, as he’s taping this weekend’s shows at the Comedy Connection in Boston. Kelly is from nearby Medford. Kelly talked to me in the morning, something he finds himself doing a lot more now that 1) he’s hitting another level of success, and 2) spending time talking to radio buddies Opie & Anthony on their morning show. As he told me the other day, “You want success so bad your whole career, but then you finally get it, you have to work? When I was a nobody, I got to sleep, I got to play games. Then I look at Dane (Cook). I remember when Dane used to do what I do now. I loved the fact that I’d be milling around and go to sleep while he was on the phone nonstop…now I’m doing it…oh boy!” Kelly stopped in Vancouver, B.C., earlier this summer to film a cameo in Cook’s upcoming movie, Good Luck Chuck. No, not the weekend that Cook had problems with a guest set at Yuk Yuk’s. Anyhoo. Kelly says of his cameo experience on set, “I got to go to my trailer and just sleep. I’m in my trailer all day, sleeping, eating, then I went in his trailer because his trailer was so much better than mine. I fell asleep eating candy bars....

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Cedric the Entertainer, on TV, onstage

Cedric the Entertainer talked with me upon the arrival of his latest HBO special, Taking You Higher, which he helped promote with a club tour. He had a brief stint on the small screen a few years ago with his 2002 sketch show, Cedric the Entertainer Presents. He has another TV deal in the works. But first, he has to figure out what kind of show he wants it to be. “It does make it very hard to think of how do you approach television in an environment like today, where it’s all reality-oriented, and produced reality at that,” he said. “The sitcom has suffered.” Sketch, too. “Even though Chappelle’s Show is very successful, I don’t know if sketch can succeed outside of cable.” Would there be singing and dancing, staples of his previous big stage productions? “I love those elements, but I’d want to do it uniquely different…I’d probably step to a different format. I’d try to figure out how to naturally integrate it.” He mentions a previous role. “Like Eddie from Barbershop, where it’s a neat fun character with a unique point of view and I can have fun doing it from week to week.” Or…”I see Flavor Flav is having guests this year. Maybe I’ll just do that!” Why are you playing clubs instead of theaters? “Just doing the special, it’s all about developing new material....

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August 2006
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