Day: November 22, 2008

Dane Cook at The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas

I don't know if you can imagine a calm and controlled stand-up performance from Dane Cook, but you could have seen one last night if you were among the 4,000 in attendance for Cook's headlining slot at The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas. The wordplay and raunchy storytelling was still there. But that physicality wasn't. What gives? Maybe he's getting more mature and confident. Maybe he is more appreciative for his comedy fans after hitting bumps in the road to movie stardom. Well, why don't you let Cook tell you how he feels about his life and career now. He spoke with The Comic's Comic late last night after his Caesars Palace gig (which also featured longtime friends Al Del Bene and Robert Kelly as his opening support acts), and talked about looking back — the deaths of both of his parents combined with the peak of his stand-up career made for "an impossible time" in his life — and "looking forward to looking forward." What's next, Dancing with the Stars?...

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David Alan Grier explains Chocolate News

Fun fact: Do you know where David Alan Grier was last night when his stand-up performance was set to begin at Caesars Palace for The Comedy Festival? Festival staff didn't know. They caught up with him in his hotel room, where he was fast asleep! Good thing the show before his in the Palace Ballroom — a TBS TV taping for the Cheech & Chong roast — went an hour long, eh? That gave Grier just enough time to make his gig. Afterward, Grier talked with me about his new Comedy Central sketch show, Chocolate News. He says the comparisons to Chappelle's Show aren't really valid, though he understands why they'd say that. Grier's initial pitch? Take Bryant Gumbel's Real Sports, add In Living Color, subtract Wayans brothers. Watch and learn: Related: If you're in New York City on Dec. 12-13, you can see Grier perform stand-up at Comix. The weekend before that (Dec. 4-7, 2008), he'll be at the Improv in...

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Kids in the Hall: Their Vegas debut!

At the end of their rousing live performance last night, the Kids in the Hall told the crowd at Caesars Palace for The Comedy Festival that not only had they witnessed the Kids' "first show in about three months," but also their Vegas debut. "You got to see us shake the rust off," they quipped. Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson certainly didn't seem rusty last night, though, hamming their way through more than an hour of new sketches they have shared with North American audiences over the past year. That includes the return of the Chicken Lady, Buddy Cole, and an encore with the head crusher that entertained despite technical difficulties with McKinney's video camera. After two decades, the Kids may have gotten older, but they're still full of energy and comedic chemistry. And as I learned after the show, they get as much of a kick — if not more of one — out of their live gigs as they did with their TV show during the 1990s. You can see that in their live act, too. They're not a sketch troupe attempting to duplicate or reenact their popular TV sketches. They're five guys actively writing new material that works live, and also willing to ad-lib, riff, giggle and make you feel as though you're part of something special. Which you...

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