Month: June 2009

Steve Martin’s lost 1984 parody of Michael Jackson

If you blinked in early 1984, then you may have missed The New Show, which was a primetime comedy oddity that Lorne Michaels produced during his brief stint away from the reins at SNL. And how did this show open its first telecast? With a dance parody of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," performed by Steve Martin (and also Dave Thomas). It's, um, yeah. Filled with laugh track. Kinda cute. But everyone in January 1984 was wanting to be just like Mike (before Michael Jordan made everyone want to be just like Mike again, but that's for another post). As Martin explained over the weekend on The New Yorker's blog: "I’m not sure whose idea it was; it might have been Lorne’s. Pat Birch choreographed it. The hard move was that little leg twist that he did. You really have to throw your leg. I did it a thousand times in about three days. And a couple of weeks later I noticed—er, I have a pain here. The pain lasted about two years, then it went away on its own." So here's that video opening to the series. Stay through the end for the cast intros, which looked as though Michaels rounded up spare parts from SCTV, SNL and added a couple of newcomers (Jeff Goldblum!). Does anyone actually remember this show? (Via...

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Jon Lajoie’s Michael Jackson video: Too soon? Too true?

Jon Lajoie is one of them there musical comedians who came upon the scene in the past couple of years due to the Internets — that fancy thing you're looking at to read this — and he whipped up a very NSFW tune yesterday to respond to all of the hypocrites who joked about Wacko Jacko, only to turn around after Michael Jackson's accidental death at 50 to say how much they loved him. Too soon? Too true? Lajoie doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who cares. Watch it yourselves: Previously: After all, Jon Lajoie has earned millions of views over the past two years for his earlier NSFW raps, such as… Show Me Your Genitals (more than 15 millions views as of this writing) Everyday Normal Guy (10.1 million views and counting) I Kill People (2.7 million views and...

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Ellen’s Bigger, Longer, and Wider audience Q&A

Ellen DeGeneres took questions from the audience at the end of her latest variety special, which taped last week in Chicago at the Just For Laughs fest, and Ellen's Bigger, Longer and Wider Show debuts tonight on TBS. Not all of this footage from the Q&A makes it into the special. So if you'd like to hear Ellen talk about her marriage to Portia de Rossi and more, watch this: I was at the taping, so if you'd like to know what happened, read my behind-the-scenes review of Ellen's Bigger, Longer and Wider Show. The show featured a live performance by Chicago's own Kanye West, a taped routine with David Blaine, stand-up comedy from Boston newcomer Joe Wong, and a variety of amazing acrobatic and just plain silly human...

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Review: “Let Freedom Hum” with Martin Short (TBS)

The TBS broadcasts from the inaugural Just For Laughs Chicago festival kick off tonight with Let Freedom Hum, a stand-up showcase hosted by a Canadian sketch actor, Martin Short, and featuring very little in the way of humming and nothing that we heard about the joys of freedom. But they put the title on the Internet and your TV listings, so let's just get to it. As I mentioned last week, Martin Short certainly did his part to enliven the proceedings — in addition to taped bits that brought back Ed Grimley (without pants!), Jiminy Glick and Lawrence Orbach, Short's opening monologue was both topical and edgy. The audience gasped at a number of his zingers, including one joke in which he called Adam Lambert a fruit, and another in which, in front of several TBS executives, he zinged the network by saying: "Meanwhile, TBS viewers are saying, who knew Tyler Perry was so light-skinned!" But what about the stand-ups? Chicago native John Roy warmed up the crowd beforehand and delivered one of the better sets of the night, joking about how the locals are tougher because of the city's frigid winters and are fatter because of what they eat (though you'll see none of this on TV tonight, Roy did tape a performance at Zanies last weekend for a new stand-up series TBS will debut later this year). Earlier...

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Louis CK films a standup comedy pilot for FX

We have a lot of catching up to do. First, let's share this news with you about Louis CK, who in addition to recording plenty of "Hilarious" stand-up for a new CD in March and following that up by filming his set for a new DVD, has a potential stand-up comedy/sitcom hybrid that he's working on for cable network FX. Here's what Louis CK had to say about it to the AST message board: "I'm doing a pilot for FX. It's autobiographical. I do some standup on the show and some of it is in narrative film form and some of it gets weird. It's kind of hard to describe. It doesn't follow the pattern of any show I've seen. It's not like Seinfeld or Pulp Comics. I really hope it gets picked up because I'm getting to direct in New York again with my little independent film crew that I started with and if I could just keep doing that, and using my standup in this way, I'd be a very happy idiot." The pilot shooting also has included roles for Todd Barry, Nick DiPaolo and Rick Shapiro, and he should know more about whether FX will pick it up in a matter of weeks. Matt Ruby over at Sandpaper Suit (who took the pic here) was at the taping Wednesday at the Comedy Cellar and filed a report,...

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