The masterminds behind Beefsteak, a debauched tribute to the meaty arts that raises thousands for the Los Angeles Food Bank, switch things up each year so that guests are never bored. Organized by comedy players including Eric Wareheim, “The Simpsons” executive producer Matt Selman, and ABC Studios VP of comedy Cort Cass with Redbird chef Neal […]
HOLLYWOOD, California—Larry Charles calls his new Netflix show the “culmination” of his life’s work.
The four-episode documentary series, titled Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy, finds the 62-year-old writer and director on a global mission to figure out what makes people laugh in war-torn countries like Iraq and Somalia.
“Most of my projects are very hard to get off the ground because they’re very radical,” Charles tells me as we wait for our to-go cups of coffee on a cold but sunny February afternoon in Los Angeles. “But I’m also a very tenacious person and I don’t like to compromise. And I’ve had enough success that I can rope people in.”
http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News
Comedian Phoebe Robinson called out comedy clubs for allowing sexual predators to perform in a take-no-prisoners Instagram video
After the #MeToo movement uncovered sexual harassment and abuse allegations against dozens of powerful men, many wondered how these accusations would affect the accused. A little more than a year later, some of these men, like Louis C.K., have already started to return to work. And in a January 23rd Instagram post, comedian Phoebe Robinson called out comedy clubs for allowing alleged rapists and predators to continue to have a platform.
In her video, Robinson revealed that she had recently been scheduled to perform a set at a comedy club, only to discover when she arrived that there was a “surprise, drop-in comedian” who had been accused of rape. The 2 Dope Queens host said she left, and she urged comedy clubs to do better.
“Comedy clubs, there of course is no HR, but we have to do better,” she said. “We can’t have alleged rapists, sexual predators, abusers performing on the show. It’s not safe for the comedians. It’s not safe for the audience. It’s f-cking disrespectful to the victims. And enough is enough. You can’t have those people on these shows, so knock it off, it’s not okay. Have some f-cking respect for the victims. This is disgusting behavior, and it’s gotta stop.”
Robinson’s message comes at a critical time. For all the progress the #MeToo movement has helped to achieve, most accused rapists never face legal repercussions. According to RAINN, only 46 out of every 1,000 rapes lead to arrest, and only 4.6 end with the rapist imprisoned. And in many cases, men like C.K. (who has openly admitted to sexually harassing women) return to work despite their misconduct.
Giving sexual abusers a platform as if literally nothing happened ignores the trauma and experiences of their victims—and there’s simply no excuse. We’re so glad Robinson is speaking out about this. Now, let’s hope comedy clubs actually listen.
Michael Showalter, who directed Nanjiani in the surprise hit The Big Sick, is reteaming with the actor and will be sitting in the helmer’s seat when the fast-tracked project goes into production at the end of January.
Written by Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall as well as Martin Gero, the script centers on a couple (Nanjiani and Rae) on the brink of a breakup. The pair subsequently become embroiled in a bizarre and hijinks-filled murder mystery, and as they get close to clearing their names and solving the case, the twosome need to figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night.
Tom Lassally, Oly Obst, Todd Shulman, Jordana Mollick and Gero are producing the rom-com, which is being co-produced and co-financed by MRC. (MRC is owned by Valence Media, which is the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.)
Nanjiani, Rae and Showalter are serving as executive producers.
Nanjiani, one of the stars of the HBO comedy Silicon Valley, broke out in a big way with The Big Sick, which earned him and his co-writer wife Emily V. Gordon an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay as it became a sleeper hit in the summer of 2017. He will next be seen starring opposite Dave Bautista in Fox’s action-comedy Stuber, which is set to open July 12.
Rae is the co-creator of the HBO comedy Insecure, in which she is a triple-threat as writer, executive producer and actress. Rae, who was recently seen in the drama The Hate U Give, next stars in Little, a body-morphing comedy from Universal set to bow April 12.
This looks like it’ll be super cute! Shoutout to diversity!
American comedy is slowly dying, under assault from two opposing forces. From without, PC scolds seek to silence comics whose edgy material makes them feel “unsafe.” And from within, a growing number of comedians have come to see offensiveness as an end in itself, more important than being funny. In the controversy over comedian Louis… Opinion | New York Post
Laurel and Hardy fans who rewatch the legendary comedians’ 1934 take on Babes in Toyland every Christmas now have the opportunity to see them in another movie: the new biopic Stan & Ollie, starring Steve Coogan as Laurel and John C. Reilly as Hardy, out Friday.
The movie is a fictionalized take on the comedians’ British tour in 1953 and 1954. Their third such tour, it which would end up being their last tour together, due to the declining health of the duo TIME once described as “two of America’s few genuinely creative comedians.”
The funnymen were introduced to the public in the mid-1920s by Hollywood film and TV producer Hal Roach, who thought putting together a skinny Englishman and a rotund American would be comedic gold, says Simon Louvish, author of Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy: The Double Life of Laurel and Hardy and a visiting lecturer at the London Film School. Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Ulverston, England) had been an understudy for Charlie Chaplin and a member of the London Comedians troupe run by Fred Karno, who is credited with having a role in launching Chaplin. Hardy was the son of an Atlanta politician, and studied law at the University of Georgia before he decided to pursue a career in singing.
Together, as TIME put it, they became Laurel — “slim, sad-eyed master mime” and “the brain behind the gags and the on-screen butt of them all” — and Hardy, “the master of mime and the bowler-bouncing doubletake” and “the withering glare.” They made dozens of silent film shorts in the late 1920s, such as Duck Soup, and began doing talkie shorts in 1929 and feature-length talkie films in the mid-’30s. Their seamless transition from silent to sound pictures was notable, winning them recognition as “virtually the only silent comedy stars to repeat their phenomenal success in talkies, probably because their miming spoke louder than words.” And the hard work that Laurel & Hardy put into lugging a piano up a staircase in The Music Box clearly hit the right note with the Academy, as the film won a 1932 Oscar.
And their popularity went even deeper than their talent. They rose to fame at a period in history when Americans needed a good laugh. “During the Great Depression, people are so desperate, and they need comedy,” says Louvish. “Here are two bums wandering about. They come from nowhere. They have no money. They’re always trying to do the right thing, but get into a fine mess. They take failure and make it into something you can laugh about.
Their relatability was a key part of what made them funny. They were “interested more, as Hardy once said, in ‘human appeal’ than in ‘straight clownish antics.’” Describing what made them special in 1965, TIME noted that “they were lovable caricatures of the dolt in Everyman, a bow and fiddle striking delightfully dissonant chords in a mad world. Witless innocence was their hallmark.”
But when their health was failing, they had trouble being funny.
Stan & Ollie is based on that point in their career, during the post-war period.
While filming the movie originally entitled Atoll K in 1950 (later released as Utopia in 1954), Hardy’s general health worsened, exacerbated by his obesity, and Stan Laurel’s pre-existing diabetes was worsened by prostate issues and colitis. And yet they continued to tour.
“They embraced these demanding tours which were quite physically exhausting,” says Louvish. The film depicts the period as one of intense disagreement between the two; when asked whether they had a notable falling out, Louvish, who has not seen the film, says that if they argued in real life it was probably less because they didn’t like each other anymore and more because they were running on fumes. “They were both very ill in their later years,” says Louvish.
Even then, Laurel and Hardy never lost their commitment to self-deprecating humor, as opposed to put-downs. At an appearance in Newcastle, England, in 1952, they “looked down their noses at the modern generation,” TIME reported. “Present-day comedians, particularly those in America, gain laughs at the expense of someone else’s discomfort. Insult gags are a crudity we avoid,” they said.
And yet, they were determined to keep performing. “They had run out of stuff, yet they’re trying to do material and buoyed up by the fact that people love them,” says Louvish. “They can’t make more movies, yet they want to continue until death.”
It wasn’t just for their own benefit, though. Their British tours came during the difficult period of post-war shortages in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and the laughter they provided was able to serve the same purpose it had served during the Great Depression.
And yet the recognition they received was more honorary than monetary. “The two men did not own their films, and thus did not reap any income from reruns,” TIME reported in 1967. “During their last years—Ollie died at 65 in 1957, Stan at 74 in 1965—neither was independently wealthy.” When Laurel received an Honorary Academy Award for “creative pioneering in the field of comedy” in 1961, he was too ill to accept it himself.
“They made us laugh because in them we kind of saw ourselves – ridiculous, frustrated, up to our necks in trouble, but nevertheless ourselves,” Danny Kaye said, accepting the award on his behalf. “Oliver Hardy delicately tipped his derby hat with his pudgy little fingers and left us a little while back. But the thin, sad-faced one, the one from whose fertile mind sprang many of the universally humorous notions that have been borrowed so freely by the comedians who have followed is still with us.”
Indeed, Jonathan Winters, Dick Cavett, Dick Van Dyke and Soupy Sales were all members of Sons of the Desert, a Laurel and Hardy appreciation society founded by fans in 1965. In light of the biopic, it’s recently been fielding an increased number of membership inquiries from young people. Before he died, Laurel had some parting advice to such fans, advising them to “have a hell of a lot of fun,” and avoid taking themselves too seriously — even when things get tough.
“Don’t sit around and tear comedy apart. It is like a fine watch, and you’ll never get it together again,” he said. “And don’t ask me why people laugh—that is the mystery of it all.”
MCC Theater brings back Jocelyn Bioh’s ‘School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play,’ a cutting comedy with an emotional wallop centered around six school girls in Ghana preparing for a beauty pageant. Observer
Writer and comedian Lizz Winstead pens an op-ed about using her anger — and comedy — to fight for reproductive rights through the group Lady Parts Justice. The group is hosting an upcoming event called The Golden Probes on October 20 that will take aim at the politicians destroying abortion rights. Allure