Monday, July 6, 2009

A Surprisingly Dense Week in Comedy


Bruno – It’s almost impossible to tell if this thing is going to be funny or not. The trailers are kinda weak and Cohen’s in-character promotional appearances have been pretty flat, consisting mostly of him doing the voice, wearing revealing clothing and referring to his balls using various Austrian-sounding words. Not only that, but everyone in America is pretty well aware that there are a lot of ridiculous hateful homophobes who live here and an entire “documentary” (early reviews suggest that big chunks of the movie feel very staged) pointing that out using an obnoxious famewhore as the central character just doesn’t sound so great.

Regardless, expect our full review on Friday.

I Love You, Beth Cooper Heroes’ Hayden Panettiere stars in this “shocking” teen comedy that for some reason they’re opening opposite another “shocking” comedy that has appeal to teenagers. It was directed by Chris Colombus, who you may remember as the director of such classics as Home Alone II: Lost in New York, Harry Potter and the First Two Shitty Adaptations, and Rent: The Unbearable Experience. So yeah.

Humpday – One of the best reviewed film festival movies this year, Humpday is opening on one or two screens this weekend; basically, two dudes at a party get involved in a drunken game of one-upsmanship and wind up agreeing to be in a porn together. Pretty simple premise, and apparently the film is really funny. When it opens wide in a few weeks I’ll check it out.


Todd Glass: Thin Pig – According to iTunes, Todd Glass’s new album comes out on Tuesday, July 7th. Apparently there is no physical release, so if you want it, you’ve gotta get it digitally. Glass is a favorite around here, mostly due to his involvement on the not-to-be-missed Comedy and Everything Else podcast, but his standup is pretty great too, so consider this your Must Purchase of the week.

Here’s a quick sample of Glass’s material (NSFW):


Mystery Science Theater 3000 XV – Nothing in this latest set will set the world on fire; In fact, some of these are downright bad episodes, like The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy, which is one of the worst season one episodes. Also included are The Girl in Lovers Lane, Zombie Nightmare, and the highlight of the set, Racket Girls (with the short Are You Ready for Marriage?). Worth picking up for the last two, but the first two should’ve probably been included in other sets as "the bad one" with three other, better episodes.

Reno 911 Season 6 – The one guy who watches Reno 911 and still finds it hilarious after 7 years or so is fuckin’ thrilled that this is coming out tomorrow. The rest of us will continue the relationship we’ve had with Reno 911 over the years, which consists primarily of remarking on how many used copies there seem to be at every media store in the country.

Grumpy Old Men (Bluray) – Here’s a brilliant idea: let’s release a movie that only appeals to old people on a medium old people do not know exists.

Kath & Kim Season One – Whereas Reno 911 has probably at least one person looking forward to the release of a new season box set tomorrow, it can be said with absolute certainty that the number of people looking forward to the release of the widely hated and generally unwatchable sitcom Kath & Kim Season One is somehow mathematically less than zero.

Young and Handsome: A Night with Jeff Garlin – Shout! Factory is releasing Jeff Garlin’s first hourlong stand-up special on DVD. Based on the clips on Amazon, he’s doing some fairly stale material (sample: “My wife is a hardass! I sure am fat! Man, I hate mowing the lawn!”) but Garlin is a reliably funny guy on Curb Your Enthusiasm and his little-seen movie, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, was decent, so maybe the clips are misleading. Consider it a rental.


The Great Late Night Drought of ’09 is finally over and most everything is back on save for Fallon. Our nights are no longer sad and empty.


7/7: Sacha Baron Cohen, Joel McHale – Sit through Sacha Baron Cohen ripping his pants off and saying “ishm” over and over again while waiting for McHale to come out and promote his new sitcom.

7/10: Rainn Wilson, Larry Miller – Rainn Wilson is promoting a bunch of different projects, and Larry Miller is probably going to talk about his new show on ABC Family, which is an hourlong dramedy based on the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, which I haven’t seen but I guarantee you he plays a prickly teacher of some variety.


7/8 Bob Newhart, Al Madrigal – I’m pretty sure Conan invited Bob Newhart on just to make it all the clearer that Al Madrigal is a hack.


7/8 Michael Ian Black

7/10 Ray Romano

Also, Margaret Cho is on The View on 7/9, if you’re interested in having your penis detach itself from your body and start a protest line outside your apartment.


For Los Angeles area comedy nerds, I Love Movies with Doug Benson is taping tomorrow before Comedy Death Ray at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. CDR has folks like Demetri Martin & Paul Scheer, plus love-him-or-hate-him Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac. Presale tickets are sold out but there is a standby line so there’s still hope.

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