Month: September 2006

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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Finnegan, the Best Best Week Ever panelist?

Christian Finnegan, of all of the people VH1 has brought onto Best Week Ever, is perhaps the best Best Week Ever commenter. Concise. Right on point. I’ve had the chance to talk to him twice this year, once in January when he appeared at the Comedy Studio (we hung out for a bit afterward and he was as nice in person as he was on the phone) and then again this week, in advance of his headlining gigs tonight and tomorrow at the Comedy Connection. On Wednesday night, he offered some insight into this week’s episode of BWE: – Rachael Ray’s new TV talk-show: "Rachael Ray’s show is great if you like to watch other people eating." – The new Tickle Me Extreme Elmo: "The first toy in the world that can fellate itself, unless you count Bathhouse Teddy Ruxbin." – On Jackie Chan’s disclosure that he appeared in a 1970s porn film: "And to answer the question that’s on your mind, yes, he does his own stunts." Finnegan is a newlywed, and I asked him how he felt about getting media attention for his wedding to Kambri Crews. "By media attention, you mean The Apiary?" he asked. "It’s really uncomfortable, to be honest." He said Crews simply wanted to share photos with relatives of hers, not thinking they’d end up getting blogged about, and blogged about some more....

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I’m judging you, Boston (2006 finale)

Local 20-year-old Dan Boulger — let me repeat that — 20-year-old Dan Boulger took home the top prize and an estimated $7,000 as winner of the 2006 Boston Comedy Festival stand-up comedy contest! Boulger told me afterward that the only gig he has lined up so far is a date in October in Portland, Maine, at the Comedy Connection there opening for Jimmy Dunn. That should change. As an even more surreal moment, last night, Jimmy Dunn was standing outside Remington’s on the sidewalk with Tony V. I told Dunn that he’d be working with Boulger soon. Dunn didn’t even know. Yes, my friends. The Boston comedy scene got a little bit of a healthy shake-up. Methinks this will be a good thing. The final order of finish in last night’s finale: 1) Dan Boulger 2) Darryl Lenox 3) Ryan Hamilton 4) Brad Upton 5) Stewart Huff 6) Floyd J. Phillips 7) Shane Mauss 8) Russell Bell I have no major complaints or quibbles with the judges’ cumulative scorecard here. I had it between Boulger and Lenox, and in my cynical heart of hearts, didn’t think the judges would side with the kid over the comedy vet, but impressed that they did. Hamilton could’ve had a shot, too, but going up first is a hard...

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September 2006
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