I love comedian Craig Ferguson as the host of CBS’s The Late Late Show, but can rarely stay up late enough to watch it, so I was excited to have the chance to see Craig do Stand up at NYC’s best performance venue, Radio City Music Hall. Ferguson is so off the wall and charming, so I suspected he would put on a pretty good show, and I was not disappointed. Continue reading Craig Ferguson at Radio City Music Hall→
There’s a pivotal scene near the beginning of Get Him to The Greek where main character, A & R Rep Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) sits in a pitch meeting with his fellow record label flacks. His boss, label head Sergio Roma (Sean “P Diddy” Combs) is badgering the staff to come up with any new ideas that will infuse a desperately needed revenue stream into their flailing faction of the troubled music business. Aaron’s idea is to stage a comeback concert at LA’s Greek Theater for Rock musician Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), whose career has taken a nose dive since the release of African Child – an audacious, PC misstep of an album that turns out to be a wildly offensive, commercial and critical bomb. Aaron proposes that a simulcast pay-per-view special, re-release of Snow’s back album catalog and a live DVD of the concert will generate millions of dollars in cash for the label and give disappointed music fans what they’re most hungry for. “There aren’t any Rock Stars anymore,” Aaron argues. “Aldous Snow is a Rock Star!” And, man, is he ever right on about that. Real Rock Stars went the way of the Dinosaur long ago, and watching a movie featuring a handsome and charismatic actor who not only can play a believable decadent Rock Star but also make him hilarious and lovable, and who can fucking sing and perform? That’s almost too much to ask for. That alone is reason enough to see Get Him to The Greek: because Russell Brand is a fucking Rock Star, and this role is going to make him one hot commodity.
When Sergio green lights the Greek Theater concert idea, Aaron is charged with the awesome responsibility of retrieving the very much off the wagon Aldous from London and getting him back to Los Angeles within 72 hours and in time for the concert. What follows is a true comedy of errors, with Aaron navigating Aldous through a dense mind field of every possible licentious temptation, none of which Aldous has the willpower (or desire) to resist. Since the character of Aldous Snow was introduced to audiences in the 2008 hit, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, everyone is going to ask, “Is this movie anything like Forgetting Sarah Marshall?” Let me dash your hopes right now and confess that no, no it isn’t. Sarah Marshall was a basically a romantic comedy with a few fart jokes thrown in. Get Him To The Greek is a completely different type of movie: an all out, hard R-rated raunch-fest that is nevertheless beyond hilarious. It just happens to have one of the same characters as the film it spins off from (here, Jonah Hill plays a different character than the Aldous Snow-worshipping cabana boy he played in Sarah Marshall). Hill, who has proven himself to be a gifted comedic actor, is great as Aaron, Diddy is impressive as Sergio (and he has some of the film’s funniest lines) and if you’ve read his outrageous autobiography, My Booky Wook, you will immediately recognize that Brand is playing his pre-rehab self to perfection. Among the excellent supporting cast are Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss as Aaron’s girlfriend Daphne and Rose Byrne as Snow’s ex-girlfriend and fellow pop star Jackie Q. There are also many very funny cameos by stars like Meredith Viera and Lars Ulrich playing themselves. And the music can go head to head with the greatest hits of Spinal Tap. Rock & Roll!
Get Him to the Greek, Directed by Nicholas Stoller, hits theaters everywhere on Friday June 4, 2010
While it was once the case that people knew British actor and comedian Ricky Gervais mainly from his having created the wildly successful TV series, The Office, these days he’s something of a household name. Few would argue that Gervais has enjoyed an exponential increase in popularity these past few years; not only with commercially successful films like Ghost Town and The Invention of Lying but also via his TV shows such as HBO’sExtras and The Ricky Gervais Show, an animated series based on his hilarious podcasts. I just adore him. Continue reading Ricky Gervais at The Theater at Madison Square Garden→
Comedian George Carlin passed away Sunday of heart failure at the age of 71. It seems like George Carlin’s comedy was a part of my life since I was a tiny lass, and initially got all shocked and horrified at his routine about “The Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say On Television.” Because I was about ten years old at the time and hadn’t yet become the expert at swearing that I am today. I never saw Carlin perform, but I did once meet his nephew, Dennis Carlin, who is a drummer in a punk rock band out in LA. He was pretty funny as well. Rest in “Mother Fucking Cock Sucking” peace, George.
Harvey Korman and Fellow Carol Burnett Show Cast Mate, Tim Conway
Death sure is having a field day just lately. Yesterday, actor and legendary funny man Harvey Korman passed away at the age of 81, following a complication with an aneurysm four months ago. I used to watch Korman on The Carol Burnett Show when I was growing up, and he was beyond hilarious. He also voiced the alien character The Great Gazoo on The Flintstones. He rocked.