Josh Gad to play Sam Kinison in big-screen biopic

After a few years of trying to make an HBO movie happen about the late Sam Kinison with Dan Fogler in the lead role, it appears as though another guy who broke big on Broadway and into onscreen roles will have his chance to scream as only Sam once screamed.

Producer David Permut told Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. that Josh Gad will play Kinison, with Larry Charles directing from a script based on the book, Brother Sam, by Sam’s brother Bill Kinison. Tom Shadyac will executive produce the film along with Permut and Kinison.

“There was nothing conventional about Sam Kinison and neither will be the cinematic interpretation of his life,” Permut told Deadline. “Larry Charles is the perfect director to bring Rich Wilkes’ incredible script to screen, and Josh Gad’s tremendous ability to morph into a role will bring great depth to Kinison’s larger than life persona.”

Sam Kinison turned from a family of Penecostal preachers to stand-up comedy in the early 1980s and screamed his way into our hearts and laughs, thanks in large part to Rodney Dangerfield, who broke him both on his HBO Young Comedians Special and then on the big screen in Back to School. Kinison more than dabbled in sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. He died at 38 from none of those things, however; rather, in a car accident.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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