Day: November 17, 2010

Conflict of interest: In which I need to add friends on National Unfriend Day. Help me, @jimmykimmel!

Today is Nov. 17, 2010, which Jimmy Kimmel has dubbed "National Unfriend Day." And I don't know how what to do. On the one hand, I have firsthand anecdotal life knowledge that there's no way I have 2,372 friends — with 95 friend requests pending! — despite the fact that that's what my Facebook page clearly tells me. On the other hand, there's a button on my home page at The Comic's Comic telling readers to interact with me by becoming my Facebook friend. And I still haven't gone through the Facebook ritual of asking all of my Facebook friends to "like" The Comic's Comic. Which, for someone who wants to expand his readership to as many comedy fans as possible, seems like a triple-dog-dare of a conflict. I want my Facebook network to reflect my true friends and acquaintances in the worlds of comedy and journalism, but I need my Facebook network to include as many people to spread the good word about The Comic's Comic to their friends, and their friends, and so on and so forth. Hmmm. While I think it over, here's a new video from Jeffrey Ross for Newsweek/The Daily Beast trying to get New Yorkers to shed fake friends.   And here's the original missive from Kimmel that started this effort.   Related: You can find more National Unfriend Day videos on My...

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Sam Kinison biopic closer to big screen; meanwhile, rent/buy “Back From Hell,” the Kinison tribute DVD

We learned today that HBO Films has decided that a biopic of the late Sam Kinison should get the big-screen treatment. Almost two years ago to the day, HBO was planning a made-for-HBO version of Kinison's story with Tom Shadyac directing, and actor Dan Fogler attached to star. The screenplay is based on a memoir written by Kinison's brother, Bill. Bill Kinison also took part in an Epix/Comedy Central film, "Back From Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison," which debuted on Comedy Central over the weekend and became available on DVD on Tuesday. The DVD takes an hourlong look back at Kinison's career, with old clips mixed with commentary from Lewis Black, Chris Rock, Lenny Clarke, Denis Leary, George Lopez, Marc Maron, Kathy Griffin, Norm MacDonald, Jay Leno, Ice-T, Pauly Shore and more. There's also footage from a special showcase filmed last year at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood. DVD extras include 17 minutes of additional stand-up from Kinison, plus stories about Kinison from Maron, Shore, Kinison impersonator Craig Gass, and Bill Kinison. It's a good reminder that Sam Kinison was more than just a screamer in a trench-coat, with hair billowing out the sides of a beret or bandana. The son of a preacher who himself became a preacher, made comedy club audiences his congregation, and the sermons he screamed had powerful messages behind them. In this clip,...

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Roadrunner Records launches comedy imprint, signing Doug Stanhope, and joins increasingly crowded field

Roadrunner Records announced today it's launching a comedy imprint called Roadrunner Comedy, with its first artist signing: Doug Stanhope. They even let Stanhope make a short video about it. Will there be profanities? What do you think? Roll the clip!   Stanhope's first Roadrunner Comedy release is slated for 2011. The label says signing Stanhope fits the spirit of the original record label, representing provocative hard rock and metal acts. "We look forward to welcoming a variety of like-minded comedians to the Roadrunner family‚Äînew artists with dynamic talents‚Äîthat will be making us laugh for years to come," said Roadrunner's CEO, Cees Wessels. Stanhope‚Äôs manager, Brian Henningan, added via press release: ‚ÄúWe needed to find a supportive partner who would let Doug Stanhope be Doug Stanhope. There are millions of people all over the world that Doug hasn't offended and with Roadrunner's help we should be able to reach them all.‚Äù Roadrunner Comedy joins an increasingly crowded field of record labels putting out stand-up comedy albums. Comedy Central Records has increased its output significantly over the past two years, signing many acts and releasing some albums as digital-only downloads, reflecting the global trend toward buying records online. Other labels producing comedy records include Warner Bros., Relapse, Sub-Pop, Stand Up!, Uproar, Rooftop Comedy, A Special Thing, and multiple independent...

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The stand-up comedy stylings of Ben Walker, star of Broadway’s “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”

After performing for 1,100 people on Broadway, the star of new musical "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" did what you might not have expected: Ben Walker headed downtown to perform stand-up for a couple of dozen spectators in the back room of a bar in Alphabet City. Walker (photographed by Mindy Tucker at left) took the stage at Luca Lounge during Thursday night's "Lasers in the Jungle" show hosted by Sean Crespo, and after commenting on what Crespo had just said onstage, he began his 13-minute set by saying: "Yeah, I'm Ben. Hi guys. This is nice! I was just uptown in a beautiful Broadway theater, 1,100 people. I've got to say this is much nicer. (laughs) A, because you guys are awake, and B, because those are some amazing boots you're wearing. Yeah. I don't have a joke about it. It's an issue that I have." Walker then got into his prepared material, earning laughs fairly consistently as he joked about the messages corporate America tells us through advertising, and didn't hold back on the meme regarding Sarah Jessica Parker, showing an ad for her perfume which carries the tagline, "Lovely on the inside." "I'm not saying she's not sexy, she's sexy, just in a very equestrian sort of way," he quipped. "I'm an actor. It's a bullshit job. It's absolute bullshit. I can't believe we get paid for it....

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Relearn your pop-culture trivia: You can say $#*! on TV, if it’s late night, or on cable, including TBS

Some TV viewers were taken aback last night watching Harrison Ford on Conan, not just because people thought he might have been on medication of some sort or another, but because he said the word "shit" on TV, and nobody bleeped it. Conan O'Brien was talking to Ford about Capt. Sully, the commercial airline pilot who landed on the Hudson River a couple of years ago, and asked: "Do you ever think to yourself, because you've spent so much time in the cockpit flying, if you were in a situation like that, what you would do?" Ford: "Shit and die." After prolonged laughter from the audience and Conan, Ford added: "In that order." You can hear the exchange at the 7:30 mark in this video. An hour later, comedian Kyle Kinane played "Chad, the racist stoner from Arizona" in a sketch with George Lopez on Lopez Tonight. In it, "Chad" tells Lopez that during their interview, he's high on some "good shit." You can watch it here. So? So buttons. Perhaps you got curious when TBS bleeped Conan in between those two instances when he plugged Reggie Watts' CD. Although if you look at the CD, it reads "Why $#!+ So Crazy?" So how could you pronounce that word any other way? It got me thinking that perhaps you had forgotten that the FCC said it was OK to...

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