Day: July 8, 2009

Sacha Baron Cohen takes off the disguise to tell David Letterman how he found a terrorist for “Bruno” to interview

Sacha Baron Cohen so often wants to be interviewed in character (Borat, Bruno) that it's very refreshing to see when he actually speaks as himself. Such was the case last night on CBS when Sacha Baron Cohen visited The Late Show with David Letterman. Here he describes how he wanted "Bruno" to interview a very real terrorist for his movie, and how he went about making that happen....

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Simon & Schuster taps Greg Fitzsimmons to write memoir

Comedian Greg Fitzsimmons has a treasure trove of disciplinary letters sent to him from teachers, school officials, rejection letters, newspaper reviews and more — and he'll be putting them to use again in retelling his life story as a memoir, Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons. Simon & Schuster bought the book idea at auction, negotiated with The Steinberg Agency and United Talent Agency. Publication date: 2010. Fitzsimmons said he realized when he was going through his aunt's basement in the Bronx last summer that his mother had saved every bad report and disciplinary notice from his school years, all the way through college. ‚ÄúA normal parent would hide or destroy any evidence so clearly demonstrating their child‚Äôs failures,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúBut my mom preserves each one in its original envelope like a trophy case to remind me someday of who I really am, lest I forget.‚Äù And now, of course, he'll get to cash in on those archival trophies, such as one note his parents received from his pre-school teacher: ‚ÄúGreg has been in the Center constantly but I cannot interest him in any activity. He only wants to sit and color. He sings along with the group although he wasn‚Äôt familiar with the ABC song. He is not familiar with a lot of things ‚Äì he didn‚Äôt know what a Ferris Wheel was, how to wiggle, what a heel or elbow was,...

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Godfrey’s stand-up comedy tribute to Michael Jackson

When "King of Pop" Michael Jackson died, some people wondered if, when and how comedians would react to the news. After all, plenty of stand-up comics had been telling jokes about the musician and his eclectic and allegedly not-so smooth criminal behavior for long enough that Michael Jackson jokes became a hack category long before he died two weeks ago at the young age of 50. Living in NYC, I was able to visit comedy clubs within hours of Jackson's sudden death and see firsthand how comedians and audiences handled the breaking news. Too soon? Perhaps for some, but most comics I witnessed knew enough then and now to address the veritable chimpanzee in the room without going on a tasteless offensive. And then there was Godfrey. Godfrey, a regular at the Comedy Cellar when he's in NYC, hasn't been able to stop talking about his love for Michael Jackson, whether he has been onstage, upstairs in the Olive Tree Cafe or outside on the sidewalk, showing off his dance moves. Last weekend, he devoted much of his set to MJ. Overnight, he got around to editing and posting some of it online (note: contains NSFW language): "I'm so mad he's dead," Godfrey told me the other night on the sidewalk outside of the Cellar. "He shaped me as a human being. It was like having breakfast with Mike."...

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