Day: September 15, 2010

Behind the Pilot, with Chris Hardwick on the set of “Tonight’s Funniest,” coming to Comedy Central?

If Comedy Central passes on the pilot of Tonight's Funniest, it won't be for a lack of jokes. I attended a taping of it last week in Harlem (in the same studios where CC taped the first season of Important Things with Demetri Martin, btw). It's a faux game show. Think Match Game, only without the contestants getting in the way. Or if you're not old enough for that reference, how about thinking of Whose Line Is It Anyway, except with stand-ups sitting down. Chris Hardwick hosted the proceedings, with comedians Joe DeRosa, Jared Logan, Michelle Collins, Sherrod Small and Kurt Metzger writing punchlines on the spot for topical premises provided by Hardwick. The audience then used remote control devices to vote on who delivered the best joke on each premise. Each of their names are on the back with a corresponding number on the keypad. Ooh. Anyhow. Twas loads of fun. Lots of riffing and joke-making. During a break between tapings, Hardwick took me into his green room to talk just a little bit about the process of filming pilots. Fun times! Even if you don't see Hardwick on your Comedy Central in 2011, although you should, you can still see him hosting Web Soup on G4, as well as providing gadget reviews on G4's Attack of the Show, as well as nerding it up on line at...

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“Tere Bin Laden” opens 2010 Friars Club Film Festival, themed ‘In Defense of Comedy’

The Friars Club has released the schedule for its second annual Friars Club Comedy Film Festival, which will run from Sept. 23 through Oct. 1, 2010, with screenings at the club and elsewhere around New York City. This year's theme for the fest is 'In Defense of Comedy.' Present Exhibit A, please. Tere Bin Laden —  a Bollywood tongue-in-cheek look at a Pakistani reporter who wants to migrate to America, only to get mixed up in hijinx by making a tape of himself as Osama Bin Laden — will open the festival with a screening Sept. 23 at the Ziegfield. Here's a clip! Other highlights include the world premiere of Brother‚Äôs Justice from Dax Shepard and David Palmer, screenings of documentaries American: The Bill Hicks Story, Just Like Us, I Am Comic, a Jerry Lewis retrospective and awarding of a Lifetime Achievement Award to him, a children's fable from Bill Plympton called The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger, and short films from Friars Club contest winners The Stepfathers and Harvard Sailing Team, as well as a short film by L.A.'s The Midnight Show. The festival leads up to the Friars Club annual roast, which this year toasts Quentin Tarantino on Oct....

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Tommy Tiernan returns to NYC for a limited engagement, not afraid of long stories or tall tales

Fresh off a successful Edinburgh run of his show, Crooked Man, Tommy Tiernan is set to touch down in New York City for another limited engagement this weekend at Comix. While still in Ireland, Tiernan managed to send out a few answers via email to my questions. Hard-hitting stuff. Not really. Carry on. American comedian Bob Marley is going to do a marathon performance from Sept. 22-24 in Maine, and the PR on that said he was attempting to beat the Guinness World Record held by Lindsay Webb of Australia, 38 hours 6 minutes in April 2009. How did Webb one-up you so quickly? He‚Äôs on Drugs Perhaps more importantly, what did you learn about yourself and your comedy by undertaking your own weekend-long marathon in 2009? Did it prompt you to write material differently? Did it change you, fundamentally or even superficially? I learned that I am endlessly fascinated by the sound of my own voice. It changed me in the sense that I now leave myself messages on my own answering machine. And what do you make of the idea of these longest-ever stand-up shows, having done it yourself? How long can an audience laugh, anyhow? Did you find that out? Any experience where the performer gets to the far side of themselves can be good…length as a wholesome hallucinogen. An audience can laugh to infinity….shhh….can you...

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