Your Highness

YOUR HIGHNESS – Demand It Premiere

Eventful’s “Demand it!” TM service is giving college students the chance to bring a Hollywood premiere to their school with the new R-rated comedy, YOUR HIGHNESS, from the director of Pineapple Express. The campaign marks the first time that the location for a movie premiere has been determined by college audiences.

In addition to hosting the premiere, the winning college will host an exclusive after party, which will be attended by McBride and Franco and director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express). Five runner-up colleges will receive free advance screenings of the movie.

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An Oscar Round-Up

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards were held last night. That’s as good as it got, to quote a previously nominated film. In the year 2011, the continued goal of awards shows is to be hip and relevant, given that there are so many awards shows and so few awards. In order to be hip and relevant, it was decided that the co-hosts needed to be… hip and relevant. They turned out to be stoned and giddy, but that’s another story.

Last year, in an attempt to shake things up, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were tabbed as the co-hosts. The usually drab, long-running, and boring show was funny and amusing to watch. But that’s never good enough, so the Academy decided to go younger and prettier – with James Franco and Anne Hathaway. They are both young, attractive, Hollywood people. Sometimes I wonder if the producers look at the resumes of the people they’ve asked to host. Why don’t they just hire an insult comic to, I don’t know, insult everyone.

So it was Anne and James to start the show. They both had promising hosting gigs on SNL, and clearly that translates to the Oscars, I mean why wouldn’t it? As someone who enjoyed watching Billy Crystal host the Oscars 8 times, I wonder why they can’t just invite him back again. He was great. It seems that each year the Academy tries something they think is new and innovative and they always fail miserably. Chris Rock was too in-yo-face, Jon Stewart was too political. Ellen was too DeGeneres.

This year’s ceremony was a white-out, no pictures with black or minority nominees. In fairness, last year they did nominate ‘Precious’ so the Academy must think that’s it’s good to go until 2016. Hopefully Tyler Perry puts something together by that time.

Needless to say, the show itself was pretty tame. There were no ‘oh-my-god-did-that-just-happen’ moments. Melissa Leo of ‘The Fighter’ won for Best Supporting Actress and said ‘fuck,’ but I think we need that at awards shows, just to say someone did it. The ancient and honorable Kirk Douglas presented the award. I’m glad that he’s doing well, but people recovering from strokes don’t need speaking parts on major television broadcasts. The same reason we don’t need to see Dick Clark drooling on himself on New Year’s Eve. It’s difficult to watch and you don’t know what he’s saying. They might as well roll out (literally) Zsa Zsa Gabor and see what she’s up to.

The rest of the show was highlighted by nothing in particular. The actors and actresses and movies that were expected to win – did. They were no major upsets. There was a Billy Crystal appearance where he introduced the already dead Bob Hope, to remind us how it used to be when the hosts didnt’ suck. Those were the days.

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A Very Brief Chat with Joel McHale

In honor of this weekend’s Independent Spirit Awards, had the privilege of chatting with the event’s host: comedian and star of ‘Community’ Joel McHale. Enjoy

Adam: This is Adam from We’re a comedy Web site.

J. McHale: Yuletidesnapper.

Adam: Yes, indeed.

J. McHale Well, of course.

Adam: My question is Ricky Gervais obviously created a new standard for offending people while hosting. How to you intend to out-do him?

J. McHale How do I intend to out-do him? As I’m going into this, there was no part of me that was there to—the thought never crossed my mind to out-do anyone. It was more just make sure the jokes that I’m doing are hopefully funny and hopefully don’t walk off the edge of the stage and just keep the ball in the air to keep the show moving along. So it’s not really something that I though about.

Adam: Okay. My follow-up is how many awards do you expect Justin Bieber to win?

J. McHale Do I expect Justin Beaver to win?

Adam: Yes.

J. McHale Yes, he will sweep the awards. No, he won the MVP in the NBA Celebrity Games, so how could he not win for—I think he’s going to win for Winter’s Bone or Rabbit Hole.

Be sure to catch the Independent Spirit Awards on the Independent Film Channel on February 26th.

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All Glased Over

Jon Glaser at The Bell House

On Tuesday night at The Bell House it was hipster heaven, as comedian and star of Adult Swim’s Delocated – Jon Glaser – threw a book-reading of sorts to promote his new book ‘My Dead Dad was in ZZ Top.’ It’s a collection of stories and anecdotes from rock and roll history. Let’s rephrase that, it’s a collection of fictitious stories and anecdotes from rock and roll history. For example, the Butthole Surfers did not derive their name from a secret government plan to create actual rectal surfers from shrunken Navy Seals, their mission being to invade the rectums of certain dictators and wreak havoc, similar to Taco Bell. Then again, maybe that was in fact how they got their name. This is not the time for nay-saying.

The showcase included comedians Ira Kaplan, Zoe Lister-Jones, that guy from 30 Rock (Scott Adsit), that guy from all Judd Apatow movies (not Seth Rogen, but Paul Rudd), and lastly Jon Hamm. (Pause) Holy crap, are you serious? Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame at the Bell House in Brooklyn? Yes, yes he was.

The evening began a little late, we’ll call it the official Late Show, but then Ira Kaplan walked onstage and sprung the show into action. He introduced Jon Glaser, who took a seat to stage right with a laptop and a cup of liquid, and proceeded to take the audience on a trip through his latest project. His first reader guest was Mr. John Hodgman, of ‘I’m a Mac and I’m a PC’ and ‘Daily Show’ fame. The bespectacled and be-moustached Mr. Hodgman went on to relay a story about Pablo Picasso being called an asshole, with an emphasis on the hole.

Next up was Mr. Scott Adsit, currently of 30 Rock fame, although before that he was known as the guy in that commercial who got hit in the groin with a bowling ball. Scott went on to read the audience a letter of correspondence between Jack White and his mother/wife/sister Meg, describing what would happen if they formed a band. Mr. Adsit was followed by Zoey Lister-Jones, she also of Delocated fame on Adult Swim. Ms. ZL-J had a copy of a journal that Bob Seger’s therapist recorded during his therapy sessions. It appears as though Bob Seger is obsessed with and believes that he is, in fact, a werewolf.

After Zoey left the stage, the one, the only, the very serious and yet kind of shady and haggard-looking Jon Hamm entered the reading arena to the delight of the standing room audience. If you went to the bar and ordered a ‘Jon Hamm’ and the bartender asked, ‘what’s in that?’ you’d reply ‘one part serious, two parts sexy. With a dash of ice.’ Mr. Mad Men himself began to tell the tale of the group known as The Butthole Surfers. As I stated before, the book suggests that the surfers are a covert team of Navy Seal operatives created to fit into and surf the rectums of unruly dictators. I’m not saying it’s true, but when you hear Jon Hamm read it, you seem pretty convinced – at least the women and gay men did.

The last star of the night was Mr. Paul Rudd. There’s not much you can say about Paul Rudd, except that he’s a funny dude and he does a wicked good Jay Leno impersonation. Mr. Rudd read the tale of Jay Leno looking for a new band leader once Kevin Eubanks retired. We can’t all be Frank Caliendo, but if we could be Paul Rudd, it would be damn close. It was a real crowd pleaser. He probably could have read out of Mein Kampf and received a similar reaction of admiration – or not.

The evening wrapped with Jon Glaser and his musical buddy Chris Anderson singing some re-worked rock classics. Think of what it would sound like if Led Zeppelin had written Kashmir as a jingle for a carpet store. Once you have that song in your head, put on your pants and shoes, head out the door, and buy “My Dead Dad was in ZZ Top.’ It’ll all make sense, trust me.

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Seder Rabbis

Huh? Oh, Cedar Rapids. Sorry, I misheard you.

Cedar Rapids is a bit like ‘Fargo’ meets ‘The Hangover.’ It’s a mid-Western comedy, featuring perpetually nerdy good guy Ed Helms as insurance agent Tim Lippe. Tim is your average, hard-working single male who lives in a nice house in Brown Valley, Wisconsin and takes care of his birds for fun. He’s never been on a plane or done anything… exciting…ever. He’s also sleeping with his former teacher, played by the perpetually sexy Sigourney Weaver (I count that as exciting). When his co-worker, played by Thomas Lennon of ‘Reno 911’ drops dead with a belt around his neck (paging David Carradine), Tim is forced into a trip to the huge metropolis known as Cedar Rapids. His mission: save his company and collect the holy grail of the insurance world – The Two Diamond ASMI Award.

The supporting cast is rounded out by John C.Reilly, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Anne Heche, and Ali Shawkat. Reilly plays the nutty and hyperactive Dean Ziegler. He’s a drunk, he’s annoying, he’s loud, and he knows it. This is a character just as easily played by Will Ferrell, but Reilly brings a bit more seriousness to the role. He’s the guy who always has a bloody mary in his hand – morning, noon, and night.

Lippe and Ziegler are selected to room with the other straight-man, Ronald Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) Wilkes doesn’t play a tremendously strong role, except when his obsession with HBO’s The Wire leads him to impersonate one of the shows characters while saving Lippe from an unfortunate series of events.

The other female love interest is played quite well by Anne Heche. She’s a lot more attractive now that she’s not dating women. She plays the fun-loving, adulterous, and adventurous friend of the group, Joan Ostrowski Fox. She also happens to have some dirt on Tim’s recently deceased co-worker. The plot thickens as Tim and Joan briefly shack up, leading to Tim’s life going into tailspin. He’s cheated on his older girlfriend, ended up on cocaine at a party, and most likely lost his shot at the coveted Two Diamond ASMI Award.

‘Cedar Rapids’ is a folksy comedy that takes over where John Hughes left off. It puts an awkward, geeky guy into a situation that he’s not used to, and he has to use his moral compass as best he can to navigate his way out. That along with the drugs, sex, and booze, makes for an interesting 90-minute adventure.

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