Day: December 2, 2010

Where are all of the comedians at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival? Maybe at Slamdance

Where are all of the comedians at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011? Not exactly at Sundance. Now that the full slate of films is out, there's not quite the bounty of recent years past. In competition, there's a documentary — Being Elmo — about the man behind the popular Muppet. Outside of competition, at midnight, I noticed stand-up comedian Jackie Monahan's name in the lead cast for Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same. Otherwise, a film about famous B-movie producer/director Roger Corman is all you get. In other premieres, Kevin Smith also has a new movie, Red State, but his recent track record doesn't exactly get you excited unless you're a devotee. There may be some funny films to come out of Sundance in January, but if you're a fan of comedians in comedies, you may just want to wait a week to find out what's playing at...

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IFC acquires every critically-acclaimed cult comedy of the ’90s, to air them in 2011 with Comedy Death-Ray!

When you saw TV Guide acquire and rebroadcast episodes of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, did you wish that someone would do something similar with your favorite critically-acclaimed comedy from the 1990s? IFC is doing that next month. Starting in the first week of January 2011, the cable network Independent Film Channel — tagline: "Always On. Slightly Off." — will begin airing episodes of HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David, HBO's The Larry Sanders Show, and FOX's short-lived The Ben Stiller Show. Each of these rebroadcasts will include new interviews and commentary with Comedy Death-Ray's Scott Aukerman, who was a writer and featured player on Mr. Show. Aukerman's first episode will include interviews with Andy Dick and Sarah Silverman. Aukerman told The Comic's Comic this about his new gig: "The dictionary defines 'host' as 'a landlord of an inn.' Not sure how this is applicable to my situation at IFC, but I will strive to become the bestest landlord of their inn that I possibly can be." Late in 2011, IFC also will rebroadcast FOX's short-lived sitcom Action. The acquisitions of Mr. Show and Larry Sanders represents an expansion of the relationship IFC already has with comedy nerd icons David Cross and Judd Apatow. IFC currently airs Arrested Development, Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, and co-presented Cross' new series, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. No announcement came today...

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When a comedy chat goes wrong: Who’s to blame? Examining the 92Y’s “conversation” with Steve Martin

A remarkable thing happened earlier this week on New York City's Upper East Side. An organization, the 92Y, offered a full refund to patrons who attended an event with celebrated comedian Steve Martin. How did this happen? Why did this happen? Let us face facts. The 92Y advertised Steve Martin in conversation with Deborah Solomon on Nov. 29, 2010. It sold out, with tickets selling for $50, plus an additional mixer for $12 that Martin himself wasn't even attending. The description mentions that he has a new novel, "An Object of Beauty," but also mentions his other credits in writing and performing for film, TV and stand-up comedy. Other cities also were selling tickets for $10 for fans of Martin to watch a simulcast and submit questions to him. The BSC Mainstage in Pittsfield, Mass., promised an "interactive experience, as audience members will have the chance, during the live event, to submit questions to the speaker via email." So, obviously, you're expecting an hour completely devoted to art, right? I'm sure there are some Steve Martin fans who would spend $50 just to be near him for an hour, even if he didn't utter a single word. But that's not how this was billed. Billed as an interactive conversation with Martin, I'm certain that everyone who paid money for this expected to learn more about the man they adore....

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And the comedians nominated for the 53rd annual Grammy Awards are…

Grammy nominations came out late Wednesday night, and for comedians, it was business as usual in the Best Comedy Album category, with previous winners Flight of the Conchords, Lewis Black and Robin Williams joined by previous nominees Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin. Sorry, newcomers! Just like some of the other big music categories, it seems like Grammy likes herself a familiar name when it comes to comedy. Note: The eligibility year for all categories began Sept. 1, 2009, and ended Sept. 30, 2010. Best Comedy Album (for comedy recordings, spoken or musical) Cho Dependent Margaret Cho [Clownery Records] I Told You I Was Freaky Flight Of The Conchords [Sub Pop] Kathy Griffin Does The Bible Belt Kathy Griffin [Donut Run, Inc.] Stark Raving Black Lewis Black [Comedy Central Records] Weapons Of Self Destruction Robin Williams [Columbia Records]   In the Best Spoken Word Album category, which as you can see, they've reclassified to include "poetry, audio books and storytelling," comedians and comic actors won out over politicians in 2010. Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling) American On Purpose Craig Ferguson [HarperAudio] The Bedwetter Sarah Silverman [HarperAudio] The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Audiobook) Jon Stewart (With Samantha Bee, Wyatt Cenac, Jason Jones, John Oliver &Sigourney Weaver) [Hachette Audio] A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Future… Michael J. Fox [Hyperion Audio] This Time Together: Laughter And Reflection Carol Burnett [Random House Audio] The Woody Allen Collection: Mere Anarchy, Side...

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December 2010
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