Entertainment behind the scenes
Everybody thinks they’re a comedian — or so goes one of the oldest sayings in showbiz. If you are one of those people in the United States — sitting on the couch after a big Thanksgiving Day dinner wondering what to do with yourself in 2010 — and a career in comedy comes to mind, think about this.
The Improv at Harrah’s Las Vegas, which is affiliated with Los Angeles’ Improv comedy club, has begun a contest to find the “next funniest person” in the US. The contest is being held in conjunction with the release of the movie “Funny People” on DVD and Blu-Ray. To win, you must video yourself for at least one minute performing your best jokes, upload the video to the “Funny People” section of comedy website ijoke, and wait for a panel of pros to pick you — with any luck. Budd Friedman, who founded The Improv and has helped the careers of Jay Leno, Sarah Silverman, Adam Sandler and others, is one of the people sponsoring the contest, which runs two weeks from Nov. 24 to Dec. 8.
The panel of judges will pick 5 videos that will be posted on ijoke no later than Dec. 14, and people can then vote. From there, three finalists will be chosen and flown to Las Vegas to perform at The Improv at Harrah’s. One winner will be chosen from the group of three and win a grand prize of a six-night gig at the club in 2010 — not too shabby, as Sandler might say.
So, if you are reading this in the States and the turkey has settled in and you’re wondering what’s next. Look in the mirror at that newly rounded stomach of yours and smile. Then, take out your video camera and make the rest of us laugh. For more info, click here.
“Funny People,” the new Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up”, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”) starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen, failed to perform as strongly at U.S. box offices this past weekend as Apatow’s and Sandler’s most recent movies.
In the Monday morning analysis that always follows weekend box office watching, it would seem that the message about the dark nature of “Funny People” got out — it tells of a standup comedian who learns he is terminally ill – and as audiences have repeatedly shown this past year during the recession, they decided they wanted lighter fare – real laughs, not those that come mixed with tears. “Funny People” took in just $22.7 million, according to final data issued Monday, compared to pre-weekend forecasts that ranged from the low $20 millions to $30 million. You can read our box office story here.
If their comments on Thursday to radio host Howard Stern are any indication, it looks like writer/director/producer Judd Apatow and his protege Seth Rogen are still sore over a comment Katherine Heigl made about their 2007 movie “Knocked Up .” Heigl has said the movie, which she starred-in opposite Rogen, was a “little sexist” because it made women look like “shrews” and men seem “lovable.”
The comment has generated controversy ever since she made it in 2007, with some praising Heigl for taking a feminist stand, and others accusing her of being ungrateful.
Psst! Want to know where Judd Apatow hangs his hat when he’s not on the lot churning out pictures like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up”? Universal Pictures accidentally included his home address in widely distributed press materials produced for his latest movie, “Funny People,” which opens on July 31.
His wife, “Funny People” co-star Leslie Mann, was outraged when told of the snafu at a press gathering for the film on Sunday, saying: “That’s really not cool at all.” Apatow started to answer a reporter’s question on the subject, but was interrupted by a studio publicist.