Day: February 1, 2010

Do you have “Violin Hero” yet? String metal band spoofs “Guitar Hero” with help from comedians

I remember getting a sneak preview of "Guitar Hero" back in the days when I had a full-time job in the old-school world of newspapers. Oh, memories. Sorry about that, kids. I'm back in the present-day now, and ready to show you this new music video that hit the Internet which spoofs "Guitar Hero," thanks to string metal band Judgement Day. I post it so you can see that some of their "Violin Hero" fans include comedians Paul Rust, Matt Braunger and Josh Fadem....

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Joan Rivers documentary, “A Piece of Work,” wows the Sundance Film Festival

Can we talk? Because kudos are in order for comedian Joan Rivers and the documentary team that followed her for the past year and debuted the finished film, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, at the just-finished 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film got overwhelmingly positive reviews from fans and critics alike, and took home a documentary editing prize. You can see all sorts of reviews and interview links from the film's Twitter page @JoanRiversMovie. I cannot wait to see it. In the meantime, here are some of the several videos to get a look behind the scenes. If you need to look back to the beginnings, here is Joan Rivers performing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967. Caught up? First up, filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg: And here are a selection of videos with Rivers herself at Sundance.  Perhaps you've seen this one with Vanity Fair talking about her film, and The Tonight Show fallout: The full Q&A in two parts: Rivers cracks some jokes and sticks up for comedians as...

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“Looking For Fun”? Watch David Letterman’s “forgotten” 1981 HBO special

More than a few actors and comedians have told me that you cannot always trust the IMDB. And true to that, the Internet movie database does not apparently know that David Letterman starred in his own half-hour special for HBO in 1981, the year before he began hosting Late Night for NBC. You'll see some of what Letterman figured out worked in late-night here, including his work with people on the street (or as you know it, "Jaywalking" before Jay Leno called it that), production help from Hal Gurnee (who became the longtime director of Late Night With David Letterman), writing and acting from Merrill Markoe — who was Letterman's love interest between his first wife and his second wife (Regina Lasko, who incidentally also worked for Letterman, and why haven't more media people mentioned that irony). On a comedian level, though, watching this made me realize why Letterman had the late stand-up George Miller on his show (both NBC and CBS) regularly every year until Miller's death. Letterman stuck by his old comedian buddies. Likewise, he continues to book Tom Dreesen for stand-up and panel every year, despite the fact that Dreesen's main credit was opening for the late Frank Sinatra, who died years ago (but Dreesen played on the same Comedy Store hoops team with Letterman in 1978, when they both were struggling, so that counts for...

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