by Klaus Kinski (of Klaus Kinski's Comedy Canon)
Two films I've been dying to see quickly made their way in and out of our fair city this past June. Being an idiot that cannot seem to prioritize anything, I missed them both. The films I speak of are Big Fan starring Patton Oswalt and Visioneers starring Zach Galifianakis. You may recall from previous articles that Zach and Patton are among my favorite comedians of all time; thus the eagerness to see these films and the anguish at missing them. Big Fan is the directorial debut of Robert Siegel, the man wrote The Wrestler, a film that featured comedian Todd Barry (another favorite). In Big Fan, Patton plays the role of Paul.
Paul is a 35-year-old toll booth operator from Staten Island who lives and dies by his New York Giants. When he has a chance encounter with Giants linebacker Quantrell Bishop, however, things go horribly wrong and a brutal beating at the hands of his idol tests Paul's allegiance to the team. Comedian Patton Oswalt delivers a heartbreaking, layered performance in this pitch-black comedy that reveals the disturbing side of obsessive fandom.Thankfully, word is out that Big Fan will begin showing in theaters in New York and Philadelphia August 28th, Los Angeles, D.C, Dallas and Houston theatres September 11th and then expanding! In the meantime, visit the official website for trailers and whatnot. And definitely check out Patton's diaries from when Big Fan played at Sundance back in January. Trailer below.
Having seen the trailer last year, I feel like Visioneers has been on my radar for a really long time. It definitely looks to be a somber, Orwellian, supremely dark comedy. The film, directed by Jared Drake, stars Galifianakis as George Washington Winsterhammerman.
George lives a comfortable yet completely uneventful life, and when he starts having dreams in which he's the first President of the United States, his doctor informs him that they could be signs of impending explosion. Later, as the dreams become more frequent and his co-workers continue to detonate, George is prompted to reevaluate his mundane existence.It looks like that June 3 screening at the 92Y Tribeca may have been my only opportunity to see it theatrically; it comes out on DVD July 21st (using Zach's role in The Hangover to reach a broader audience) and there only seems to be independently organized screening parties scattered across the US. Trailer below.
Zach did a split 7" with Ted Leo a while back, available only via Chunklet.com and only available if you purchased another item from the Chunklet store. Now you no longer need to buy a second item in order to purchase the record. This extremely limited edition 7" is only $5 and is available on four different types of wax. Get 'em while they're hot!.
In Other News........
'Big Fan' Trailer HD
David Cross is curating a comedy stage at this year's All Tomorrow's Parties festival in September. I have no idea what he's got up his sleeve, but it should be interesting. David also has abook coming out in August. Entitled I Drink For A Reason,
Cross is weaving his media mockery, celebrity denunciation, religious commentary and sheer madness into book form, revealing the true story behind his almost existential distaste of Jim Belushi ("The Belush"), disclosing the up-to-now unpublished minutes to a meeting of Fox television network executives, and offering up a brutally grotesque run-in with Bill O'Reilly. And as if this wasn't enough for your laughing pleasure in these troubled times, some of the pieces splinter off with additional material being created online in exclusive video and animated web content created solely for the book-a historical first (presumably)! With a mix of personal essays, satirical fiction posing as truth, advice for rich people, information from America's least favorite Rabbi and a top-ten list of top-ten lists, I DRINK FOR A REASON is as unique as the comedian himself, and cannot be missed.At one point, David's picture was on the flier for the Tearing the Veil of Maya 3rd Anniversary Show happening at Bell House on Sunday July 19th. That flier is no longer on the website, nor is he part of the announced line-up. Maybe he'll be a special guest?
David's name is definitely on another upcoming NYC comedy event. Bobby Tisdale hosts Comedy Below Canal at 92YTribeca on July 30th. Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal, Wyatt Cenac, David Cross and Jon Glaser are all on the bill. Tickets are on sale.
Speaking of comedy at music festivals, don't forget that there's a big comedy component to this years All Points West Festival. Thrill to the likes of Eugene Mirman, Arj Barker, College Humor Live, Tim and Eric, Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Showalter, and more.
There was comedy at Bonnaroo too!
Speaking of Michael Showalter, were you lucky enough to get a ticket to see Michael Showalter AND Michael Ian Black at the Bell House on Wednesday 7/15? I wasn't. In honor of their new show on Comedy Central Michael & Michael Have Issues, M&M will perform comedy sets leading up to the live broadcast of the show. So great.
This past Saturday (7/11), Michael performed at Le Poisson Rouge's Radio Happy Hour. How was that?
Did you know that the Hot Tub Variety Show with Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal has a new home at the UCB Theater? Holy moly, it's fantastic. I caught an installment a few weeks ago that featured Max Silvestri, Gabe & Jenny, Reggie Watts, Patrick Borelli, and more. It was insanity at bargain prices. Make rezzies for the next coupla shows, fool!
Don't forget that Max Silvestri, Gabe Liedman, and Jenny Slate have a weekly show at Cameo in Williamsburg. It's FREE and has some of the strongest line-ups in the world.
The New York Comedy Festival is slowly approaching. Don't know too much about it but I DO know that Todd Barry is opening for Ricky Gervais at Carnegie Hall on November 5th. I saw Ricky at the Theater at MSG (now WaMU) a year apart and each show was the same. Let's hope he unleashes some new material. I know I can count on Todd for having new stuff in the works.