Day: February 24, 2011

Too soon? Not when Jeffrey Ross undertakes his experiment honoring dead celebrities: “Roast in Peace”

The Friars Club and Comedy Central are having a high time roasting the celebrities of today. But who among us can roast the celebrities and historical figures of yesterday and days of yore? The Adam Carolla Show has decided, and many could agree, that only one person, one man, could undertake what he calls an "experiment" in honoring the dead. Ladies and gentlemen, your Roastmaster General, Jeffrey Ross, presents "Roast In Peace." It's a likely sell-out on Friday night at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood. But is it a one-time-only experiment? I asked Jeffrey Ross himself to find out! So how's it going, preparing to roast the dead? "I'm trying to write this show in time for Friday, and then write this (Comedy Central) Roast for (Donald) Trump. When it rains it pours." How'd the idea come about? "Adam's producer, Mike August, thought of it, as a way to honor the deceased, and put the final nail in the coffin of celebrities we care about." Was it a hard sell? "I didn't agree until he booked the date. I thought it was a bad idea. Possibly a lot of bad karma for me. But I thought if I could do it lovingly and with affection, it could come off OK." Is there a formula to combat the element of "too soon?" "I think each celebrity has their own place for it's...

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Michael Showalter’s promotional blitz for his book, “Mr. Funny Pants” (includes Neko Case, Kevin Kline!)

Michael Showalter has a new book out called "Mr. Funny Pants." It's funny! And Showalter is wearing pants! At least he is during the winter, because it's too cold not to. C'mon, people. Think about it for just a second, would you? Back to Showalter now. He's celebrating the release with a couple of events here in New York City, tonight at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square with special musical guest Neko Case (show her some love! no, seriously, show her some love, because she is like me and like you and wants to have some lovin' in her life, and don't make me link to the evidence of such). On Sunday, Feb. 27, Showalter and "Pretty Good Friends" throw a sold-out party at The Bell House in Brooklyn, with Eugene Mirman, Reggie Watts, Kumail Nanjiani, a cappella group"Nonsequitur" and special guests. In between, and afterward, Showalter's book tour and shows will hit Philadelphia, D.C., and several other cities. Check the Mr. Funny Pants tour page for your nearest location and time. But what about the book? Would you like to hear Showalter read the beginning of it? He'll read for you via Vanity Fair. Would you like to hear someone more famous, like, say, Kevin Kline, read from it? Showalter can arrange that for you right now via YouTube:   Further reading: Showalter interviewed about the book and life by...

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IFC renews “Todd Margaret” for David Cross; “Glory Daze” over at TBS; Chris D’Elia + Whitney Cummings

Quick roundabout from the trades… It was much to be expected, but IFC officially has renewed The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret for a second season. Six new episodes starring David Cross will debut in October. TBS, on the other hand, has decided not to give Glory Daze a second chance. The comedy followed college frat boys in the 1980s, and also featured Tim Meadows as a professor and Chris D'Elia as an older stoner student. D'Elia, however, just booked himself a part as half of a couple with Whitney Cummings in the NBC sitcom pilot that she's starring in (as well as writing/executive-producing). Should be interesting to see how they play together on...

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Can you get a job on The Colbert Report by staging your own version of it? This guy hopes so

J.D. Durkin is not unlike many young people who love Stephen Colbert and what he's doing on Comedy Central with The Colbert Report. Well, except for the fact that Durkin has put his love into the form of a live job application called "Stephen Colbert: Hire Me," which he is staging monthly at The PIT in New York City. First developed at iO West in Los Angeles, Durkin's show is a full-fledged tribute/writing-packet come to life. Durkin doesn't have a teleprompter, so he reads his scripts off of a music stand while sitting behind a desk. But he has the cadence, mannerisms and spirit of Colbert as "Colbert" down pretty well. Colbert's show doesn't have correspondents or an understudy, but by putting on a new monthly live show, with fresh topics and jokes each month, this is certainly more dramatic then sending in a writing packet. Last month's show included a bit on updating the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books, a video montage on the "tragedy" of Keith Olbermann leaving MSNBC, and even his own edition of "The Word." His next show — tonight at The PIT — also will feature a live onstage interview with Jimmy McMillan, aka the guy who ran for governor of New York as "The Rent is Too Damn High Party." It's not an impersonation. It's not a tribute. It's a job...

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