Day: February 3, 2009

The secrets of Paul Blart’s success

When Kevin James went to bed last night, he knew his reign as king of the box office had ended, with Taken dislodging Paul Blart: Mall Cop from the top of the charts. But the King of Queens star still took a victory lap on his character's signature Segway on Super Bowl Sunday, enjoying the ride as he talked up the movie during NBC's pregame coverage and saw the studio roll out new ads touting Blart as America's first blockbuster of 2009. Ah, Hollywood hyperbole. In two weeks and three weekends, the movie so far has grossed north of $83 million. There are many things funnier than Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but perhaps none funnier than watching critics, journalists and bloggers fall all over themselves trying to make sense of the film's popularity. The Los Angeles Times said the movie "was underestimated"…by whom? EW's PopWatch blog asked if James was ready for meatier roles, so to speak. New York's Vulture blog, meanwhile, tried to coin "Blart" as an adjective for an entire genre of film. And the AP tried dissecting the film's appeal. As if it were all a big secret. Spoiler alert! It's not a secret. Though the film is kind of a mess, particularly the first half, once the action sequences start, it's a broad slapstick take on action heroes, with James nimbly fulfilling the fantasies of...

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Katt Williams talks retirement, Steve Harvey

Not wanting to take this new video out of context, I'm not quite sure what to make of this interview Katt Williams did with "The Humor Mill," which bills itself as a newsletter that's about "the urban comic" — just what we need, another online publication devoted to New Yorkers…am I right? Oh, wait. Urban means something different? Anyhow. Code words! Let's focus on Katt Williams, who said he was retiring from stand-up comedy at the end of what turned out to be a tumultuous 2008 for him, and talks about some beef he got into with Steve Harvey near year's end. Remember, even though Williams may have stopped touring, he still has a TV deal with Comedy Central, and his people have told me he's not done with comedy just yet. So keep that in mind when you watch this: Also, if you call up The Humor Mill Magazine online and turn to page 30-33, you can read the interview, in which Williams says, "Me and stand-up had quite a fling." What's next for Williams? Stay...

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Super Bowl ad: Conan sells Bud Light to Sweden

One more thing from the Super Bowl I want to point out for you before we move on to other funny business. Yes, you probably saw and chuckled at Conan O'Brien's attempt to sell Bud Light to Sweden. But I also want you to keep an eye on the guy who convinces O'Brien to do the ad. That's H. Jon Benjamin, who not only has worked for O'Brien as a "Late Night" writer, but also was a voice for Dr. Katz and is a major player for the new Comedy Central show, Important Things with Demetri Martin. So here's to seeing more of Benjamin on your TV....

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Comedy Central Presents: Jamie Lissow

A friend of mine has been pushing the name Jamie Lissow for years now, so seeing his first Comedy Central Presents certainly caught my attention this past weekend. The two things that stuck out at me most were his affinity for pointing out the mechanics of joketelling to the audience, and a mannerism or two that suggested a super slow-motion version of Brian Regan. Feel free to disagree. We also learned in this set about the perils of renting a studio apartment in New York City, how skateboarders aren't the best athletes, and why Lissow is not a big fan of magicians or ventriloquists. Roll the clips! Jamie Lissow – Apartments More Funny VideosComedians on Tour Get Funny RingtonesStand-Up Comedy Jamie Lissow – Skateboarding More Funny VideosComedians on Tour Get Funny RingtonesStand-Up Comedy Jamie Lissow – College More Funny VideosComedians on Tour Get Funny RingtonesStand-Up...

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Comedy Central Presents: Tommy Johnagin

Fun fact about Tommy Johnagin's half-hour Comedy Central Presents: He entered through the actual curtains from the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, because Carson's former stage manager was working the week of the Comedy Central tapings, so he gave Johnagin the chance to have his moment, as it were. Other things we learn during this set: A successful marriage means you really do have to have death parting the couple, how can you find "the one" if she doesn't live near you, couples that marry after a surprise pregnancy are saying how can we make a bad thing even worse, caring for a baby is more difficult than washing dishes in a franchise restaurant, Kama Sutra positions are static in the book for a reason, you don't want to be an usher at a wedding, Johnagin will never be confused for a fighter, nor for a manly man. Although I do think you could consider him to be a younger version of Tom Papa. Agree or disagree? Roll the clips! Tommy Johnagin – Marriage More Funny VideosComedians on Tour Get Funny RingtonesStand-Up Comedy Tommy Johnagin – Babies More Funny VideosComedians on Tour Get Funny RingtonesStand-Up Comedy Tommy Johnagin – Kama Sutra More Funny VideosComedians on Tour Get Funny RingtonesStand-Up...

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