Day: July 15, 2010

Review: First (or second) impressions of Montreal’s New Faces at Just For Laughs 2010

Timing really can be everything. With this year's crop of New Faces at Montreal's Just For Laughs, that was most certainly the case on Wednesday night (aka the second of three nights for the two groups of hopeful stand-ups, but really the first (and maybe only) night to impress the agents, managers and comedy bookers arriving from New York City, Los Angeles and points beyond the Canadian border). It's more than just the timing of your jokes that matter. What time is your show: 7 p.m. or 9:15 p.m? Did your show start on time? Did you time it right to hit the right shuttle, and not get lost and find yourselves looking at the city's skyline from across the bridge? Where are you in the lineup? How far along in your career are you when you're faced with being a New Face? And if you've been riding along with me for this lifetime comedy joyride for more than a New York minute, then you know some of these faces are not exactly new to you or me. So let us take all of this into account when processing what went down Wednesday night for our two groups of New Faces in Montreal's Cabaret Juste Pour Rire. (Pictured at right: Nick Vatterott) They'll all have one more chance tonight at New Faces (some will also be featured in other...

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Lewis Black rails against TV network executives in Just For Laughs Comedy Conference keynote

In a departure from past years, Montreal's Just For Laughs actually is getting two major State of the Industry dressing-downs from comedians. That's because Lewis Black just delivered a blistering critique of the comedy industry, and particularly TV network executives, in his keynote address today to officially kick off JFL's Comedy Conference. Black opened with a bit of misdirect, claiming he was the wrong person for the gig, not only because he thought "it should be someone who knows what the fuck a keynote address is," but also because in giving a speech versus stand-up in front of the industry that has screwed him over for four decades, "I'm just too tired to give a shit" about using his opportunity to gain retribution against said industry." He disproved that theory, however, within seconds and held court for the following forty or so minutes. Black first took issue with the fact that the comedians need to seek the approval of industry people who "haven't worked on sketches or five minutes of stand-up." When he tagged that by saying, "even better, they know how to fail up the ladder," he paused. "The lack of a laugh there fails and disturbs me. You've got to be shitting me….how does a room, half of whom are comdeians, miss the goddamn joke?!?" Black cited one TV project rejected "because it was too funny for...

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Anya Garrett opens photo gallery exhibit on women in NYC comedy, with insight from Dr. Lisa Levy

New York City is blessed to have a few photographers who have dedicated themselves to its comedy scene, not just in taking wonderful headshots and portraits of comedians, but also in providing slice-of-life moments from comedy shows, parties and events from all five boroughs of the city. You've seen Anya Garrett's work on this site and all over traditional media, as well. Garrett won an ECNY Award for outstanding achievement in postcard or flyer design for "JAR FULL OF ROACHES" (Sara Jo Allocco and Brandy Barber) and was nominated for another for her work with "BROWN AMBITION" (Carolyn Castiglia). Tonight, Garrett celebrates the opening of a brand-new photo exhibition — her first gallery show — at HERE Arts, 145 Sixth Ave., in Manhattan. In "The Woman I'm Afraid I'm Turning Into," Garrett photographed Abbi Crutchfield, Amy Schumer, Ann Carr, Becky Yamamoto, Carolyn Castiglia, Leah Dubie, Livia Scott, Mara Herron, Ophira Eisenberg, and Sherri Eldin, as well as herself and her co-producer ‚ÄúDr.‚Äù Lisa Levy. Levy, who ran a monthly show for the past 18 months at Comix called "Stand Up. Lie Down," performed in-depth psychoanalysis on each of the comedians as Garrett observed nearby, and drew upon those sessions for her inspiration in shooting the portraits. The exhibition also includes Levy's opinions in writing and video. ‚ÄúFascination and fear go hand in hand," Garrett explains. "Any idea is incomplete without also considering its complimentary opposite. In...

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Fabrice Fabrice corners Steve Carell in a schmuck-like promotion for “Dinner For Schmucks”

Sometimes events happen at the same time in a way that are coincidental and yet entirely intentional. At this year's Just For Laughs in Montreal, festival-goers can attend with their passes or buy a ticket to a preview screening tonight of the upcoming comedy, Dinner For Schmucks, hosted by director Jay Roach. On Friday, the creative staff from Funny or Die will convene at the JFL Comedy Conference for an afternoon panel on the present and future state of online comedy. These comedy worlds and questions all collide in this new FoD clip uploaded this morning, featuring Nick Kroll as his craft-services character Fabrice Fabrice, cornering Steve Carell at a press junket for Dinner For Schmucks and asking him questions only a schmuck could love. Funny improv here. Carell plays it straight, but does break slightly. Roll the...

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