Day: January 18, 2010

What makes Louis CK so special? It’s simple

For those of you who already are on board the Louis CK is one of the funniest stand-up comedians working today bandwagon, then perhaps you already know this. For everyone else, please allow me to give you two recent examples of how and why Louis CK is working on another level from many other comedians. When he appeared over the weekend at the winter TCA press tour to promote his upcoming FX sitcom, Louie, he explained why he thinks Conan is silly for ever even wanting to host The Tonight Show. Most people who have re-reported this focus on CK's use of profanity to describe the late-night program and NBC honcho Jeff Zucker, but what's really remarkable is how plainspoken he is in describing the situation. The same thing goes for his explanation of how he handled a heckler, from the upcoming documentary I Am Comic. Roll it. Instead of coming up with something clever or cute or outrageous, which he did throw in at the end of that clip above, CK gets right to the heart of the matter, and just so happens to be really funny in saying so. It's that frame of mind that seems to have informed much of his stand-up over the past few years, and it's what's setting him apart from the pack. Who would have figured that being simple and plainspoken could...

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Quandary: Can you really take the laughs out of The Big Bang Theory?

So, this video circulated over the weekend, in which a scene from popular CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory is removed of its laughter, leaving us with what appears to be a straightforward attempt by one man to hit on another man for the purposes of the man-on-man sexytimes. Ready, set, roll it! Ahem. Now. OK. Pretty much everyone I saw who commented, posted, reblogged and retweeted about this had many chuckles about it and said, ooh, boy, this show really does need a laugh track, doesn't it? Except. Only. That's not exactly the truth. Read the fine print on the YouTube description. This editor removed the "audience laughter." Heck. Don't click there. Click here: This is where you get tickets to be part of the live studio audience to watch a taping of The Big Bang Theory. So what. Actually, what this really means is that the actors were holding for the audience laughs, which were there because people found this exchange to be funny. Although taking the laughs out, you begin to see behind the curtain and can imagine the actors reading these lines in rehearsal, and the writers penning this exchange, and how much confidence they have to have in this one particular actor, Jim Parsons (Sheldon), can sell his lines in a way that the audience knows that he's not quite aware of what he's really...

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The Hangover wins! So does Mo’Nique! Ricky Gervais zingers! 2010 Golden Globes highlights

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association tends to be a bit particular about its tastes, and by lumping the comedy and musical people together, it's usually a chance for them to tell us how much they like singing more than laughing. That was sorta the case at this year's Golden Globes (Glee beat out 30 Rock for best TV comedy/musical), but not for The Hangover, which took home the top comedy/musical movie prize. Here's director Todd Phillips with his acceptance speech (not pictured: Zach Galifianakis). Related: Read my interview with Todd Phillips on the importance of casting comedians in movie comedies. Earlier, Mo'Nique won for her dramatic turn in Precious and delivered a passionate speech. She looks to be a certain Academy Award nominee, if not also its winner. And most everyone was looking forward to Ricky Gervais hosting, not only because the Globes had not had an official host in about 15 years, but mostly because Gervais had delivered so many quips and zingers in the past year or two when he was presenting awards. How'd he do? In the opening, he went after Steve Carell (again). He didn't appear enough, but did keep the proceedings on time. And he did get in this viciously great jab in introducing Mel Gibson. Roll the...

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Laughing Skull Comedy Festival unveils list of inaugural year’s stand-up contestants

The inaugural edition of the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival will take place March 3-7 at the club's intimate Atlanta space, and the festival producers announced their first picks for their contest that gives out $1,000 and passes to other fests in Aspen, Ashville and an APCA showcase as first prize. Contestants are broken up into groups. And here they are: Fresh Faces: Nicole Blizek, Bryan Bruner, Jason Collings, Michael Drucker, Nathan Fridson, Rob Gleeson, Josh Harris, Jason Marcus, Danielle Stewart, Dave Stone, Mike Trainor, Sean Wilkinson, Hampton Yount. Prelim 1: John Betz Jr, Jordan Carlos, Billy Wayne Davis, Jeff Dwoskin, Mia Jackson, Bryan Kellen, Carmen Lynch, Julian McCullough, Mark Ricadonna, Andy Sandford, Jeff Short, Tom Simmons. Prelim 2: Danny Browning, Tony Deyo, Denis Donohue, Pat Dixon, Jena Friedman, Jarrod Harris, Cleveland Jackson, Grant Lyon, Phil Mazo, Kelly Pryce, Sam Tripoli, Lavar Walker. Prelim 3: Rich Aronovich, Brian Bannon, Matt Bergman, Lizzy Cooperman, Leo Flowers, Dan Licoppe, Mark Normand, Michael Palascak, Chris Porter, Ben Roy, Sara Shea, TJ Young. Prelim 4: Dustin Chafin, Matt Conty, Jessie Geller, Josh Gondelman, Shang Forbes, Tanner Inman, Dan Mengini, Steven Kent McFarlin, Ryan Singer, Seaton Smith, Sara Tiana, Prescott Tolk. Half of the ticket proceeds will go toward The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation to help build a drug recovery facility called Lenny's...

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