MaxFunPal Kent Haines, who we first met at Project Breakout's comedy contest, has just started a new series for something called CSpot. I dunno what that is, but the series is funny, and Kent's a funny guy with a lot of drive and talent. Here's to young people working hard on making good things.
Regular readers of this blog may remember that Fremantle Media is planning an updated TV version of the Match Game, the minor-celebrity-driven 1970s game show. Friend of MaxFun Mr. Jimmy Pardo has been hosting an amazing live version of the program at the UCB Theater here in Los Angeles, and fans of that show signed a petition en masse to have Jimmy considered to be host of the new TV show.
Well, there's good news and there's bad news.
The bad news is: Jimmy didn't get the job.
Normally, I'd say this is because all television people are idiots. Jimmy is second only to David Letterman as a host in my book. He's fantastically funny, quick, gracious and generous to his guests. Watching him perform is the most fun I've ever had. It's a travesty that he's not on TV these days, and the Match Game is the perfect venue for his talent.
That said, there is good news.
Andy Daly got the job.
Andy Daly is a past TSOYA guest, not to mention star of our version of George Saunders' "Ask the Optimist," and might be my pick for funniest person in the world. I mean that entirely sincerely. He's so funny it hurts my toes. I've never seen him host anything, but I bet he's amazing at it.
Both Jimmy and Andy had classy things to say about it over on AST:
Since the petition was started here on AST, I feel I should let you guys know what has happened. I am sad to report that I did not get the job.
Obviously, I am very disappointed but ASTers can rejoice in knowing that the producers picked a great talent in one Mr. Andy Daly.
Andy is a great friend and will do a super job.
I don't have to tell anyone on this board how funny Andy is and I'm sure the show is going to be a great success.
Thanks for the kind words you guys, and especially Jimmy.
As a friend of Jimmy's and a HUGE fan of his and an eager signer of the petition, this is a weird moment.
Like anyone who's seen Match Game Live, I always alternate between cackling at Jimmy's jokes and staring slack-jawed and dumbfouded by the supernatural quickness of his mind. I don't expect to do this as well as he does. I just hope to do the show justice in my own way.
That's all I'll say for now, except that JP is four and half feet of pure class!
I'm still processing this, but here's the part of the take-home I've figured out so far:
* America deserves Andy Daly.
* America also deserves Jimmy Pardo.
We're 50% there, television industry. Let's make this happen.
I was dead tired the entire weekend. It turns out that Sketchfest NYC runs till like 3AM every night. I usually go to bed at around 10:30. So, even with the time difference, you can see how that'd work out.
I saw a pile of shows over the two nights I was there, and missed a pile more. Los Angeles' Birthday Boys took the "we're goofing around, being silly, don't you love us" model of much LA sketch these days and really knocked it out of the park. Their show, which originated at the UCB, had consistently strong sketches and execution. There weren't any standout performances, but with only a year in existance, they're poised for growth.
Portland's Third Floor put on a really remarkable show full of bizarre twists and turns. They opened with one of the strangest (and best) high school reunion sketches I've ever seen, and closed with one of the best dance numbers I've ever seen in a comedy context.
Troop!, from Los Angeles, performed what amounted to a play in sketches, about a post-apocalyptic world where condiment packets are money and the most valuable commodity of all is toilet paper. I was impressed at how well the show held up over a full 45-minute-or-so runtime, with full characterizations and high production values.
The highlight for me was a consistently hilarious new show from New York's Elephant Larry (above). Every sketch was inventive, hilarious and more than ably played. Geoff Haggerty stood out with compelling performances as a self-conscious, bumbling drill sergeant and a suburban vampire, getting huge laughs while uttering nothing more than what you might call a "vampire noise." (Blurgh? Bloor?) I honestly couldn't tell you why these guys aren't on television.
A bizarre moment: a "sketch" during the closing night "Sketchfest Craptacular" (a collection of the performing groups strangest material) from Kurt Braunolher of Kurt & Kristen. Kurt ran on stage and started to pump the audience up for the greatest experience of his life. He had decided that a great sketch would be a "doing whippets fight," for which he'd purchased $75 worth of whipped cream cannisters. Then he'd decided that that wouldn't be too exciting to watch on stage, so he added a "fighting fight." He cued Andrew W.K. at full volume on the sound system, and several muscled sketch players ran on stage, topless, and started to wrestle (pretty sincerely). He and the lovely New York comic/writer Jane Borden then commenced whippetting at a disturbing rate. Is it possible for pandemonium to be infectious?
All in all, a great weekend. It'll be a couple weeks before the show goes up, but if all goes according to Hoyle, we'll be able to offer some video in addition to the audio on the podcast.
Richard Zoglin talks to us about his book "Comedy on the Edge". Zoglin talks about comedians such as Steve Martin, Albert Brooks, Richard Pryor and the effect they have had on American culture.
Chris Farley burned brightly as a comic actor, rising quickly to enormous fame as a television and movie star. Unfortunately, he also crashed and burned. Writer Tanner Colby and Farley's brother, Tom Farley, have collaborated to tell Chris' story through the words of those who knew him in the book "The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts." We talk with Tom and Tanner about the life of this gifted and troubled comic.
Listen to This Week's Show Online
Please allow our low-bandwidth server a little time after you click "play"
Embeddable Audio Player Code (Copy and Paste)
The Sound of Young America is Live! in New York City on Saturday afternoon as part of Sketchfest NYC.
We're so happy to have Ze Frank, Jay Smooth, Pangea 3000 and Dawn Landes to entertain you.
Tickets are available now, so buy yourself some. And tell a friend!
CONTINUING ACTION ITEMS:
Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.
Hear This Episode Now
Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records
Celebrity field correspondent Mr. Dave Hill can say the meanest things in the world... AND HE ALWAYS SEEMS NICE. This is a superpower I would like to have. It is the perfect superpower for VISITING THE COMIC CONVENTION.
Friend of MaxFun Wyatt Cenac made his debut as a Daily Show correspondent last night, and he did a great job! Not as great as the big closer in his standup act, but that's because nothing could be that great. Except for the genuine article of course.
In other news, he's had a beard for a while now, and that's pretty great, too.
WE SALUTE YOU, WYATT CENAC!
Our pal Andrew Connor from the brilliant sketch duo The Cody Rivers Show is taking over the venerable Sketchfest Seattle -- the longest-running sketch comedy festival in the country. Prank the Dean had an amazing time playing the festival a couple years ago. If you're a Seattleite, keep your eyes peeled. If you're in a sketch group, they're taking applications.
Here's what Andrew has to say for himself (and the fest):
SketchFest Seattle is now accepting applications for 2008!
SketchFest Seattle, the original sketch comedy festival, is ready.
Really ready. Ready for YOU to apply. We've got a cool new venue, a cool new format, and we need your application to make it all happen.
This year, we'll be running September 24th through 27th at the Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle's historic International District. We're getting back to our roots: one full weekend, jam-packed with jury-selected sketch comedy! So much funny, our copy editor won't let us use the words necessary to describe it.
We think you'll like what we've got to offer:
* Two shows in a fully-stocked and tech-staffed theater.
* Free lodging with a local volunteer.
* A $500 artist's fee.
* The opportunity to perform in front of great Seattle audiences at the original sketch comedy festival.
* Artistic Direction led by the one and only Andrew Connor of
The Cody Rivers Show.