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Tag: comedy

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

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These days, Jerry Seinfeld can basically do anything he pleases. The pressure of staying in the public eye is no longer a worry or a concern for him. This is one of the perks of having one of the most successful sitcoms of all time. He gets to do what he feels like doing, and because he’s Jerry Seinfeld we’ll tag along when we feel so inclined. At the moment, he feels like going for coffee with his friends. The thing is, his friends are some of the funniest people on  the planet and lucky for us we’re invited along for the ride.

Jerry Seinfeld Chris Rock Comedians in Cars with Coffee

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is currently in its third season. The web series always follows the same formula. Jerry starts by introducing the car that will be featured in this week’s episode. Every car is chosen to reflect his guest’s personality. I’m not much of a car guy, but his choices are both exotic and eclectic enough to keep you engaged in this aspect of the show. What’s nice is,you can see the sheer delight on his face as he zips around Manhattan or Los Angeles in one of the automobile hall of fame’s who’s who. You can also see that not all of his guests share his enthusiasm. Next up, the canned phone call to make arrangements to go for coffee. Jerry comes and picks up his guest and then they’re off to get coffee.

louie and jerry

What makes this web series so watchable, is its fly on the wall approach to filming. The audience gets to come along as two comedians get to let their guard down and have a casual conversation. It could be the best interview method on the planet. No studio audience, no desk, no house band and no project to shill or promote; just two guys trying to make each other laugh.

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And laugh you do. Watching Mel Brooks sitting behind a TV tray delivering 40 year old punchlines is funny. Chris Rock has you laughing the minute he steps into the car. Think what you will of Alec Baldwin, but the man can tell a story. My personal favourite would be the episode with David Letterman. Only Jerry Seinfeld could get the notoriously reclusive talk show host to be so candid. I’m a huge Letterman fan and seeing another side to him is just tremendous. And at the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to go to lunch with Don Rickles or Tina Fey? Well now you can – sort of.

Thanks Jerry.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

New episodes are available on Thursdays at noon EDT.

Related: Rochelle Rochelle poster

                  Louis CK

Harold and Maude

Love can change your perspective. This is probably why vegetarians have the numbers they do. If you doubt this, date a vegetarian. When we fall in love, we hope it will be transformative. We hope our partner will not only open our eyes to new experiences but tear off the doors of perception. Only love can break your heart, and lift you up where you belong. Throughout history, a few love stories have made people want to leave red meat behind and embrace the new. Romeo and Juliet get all the attention but they were just shortsighted teenagers with poor decision making skills. If you are looking for a true love story; look no further than Hal Ashby’s Harold and Maude.

Harold ( Bud Cort) is a young man obsessed with death. Maude (Ruth Gordon) is an old woman full of life. Together they are a force to be reckoned with. Harold is living under the thumb of his very controlling mother. To entertain himself he likes to go to funerals. It’s at a funeral where he meets Maude. She catches his eye when she steals the priest’s car. They soon become inseparable and Maude turns Harold’s world upside down.

I’m not going to give too much away about Harold and Maude. It is a movie that many people hold dear to their hearts – myself included. If you’ve seen it, then you may know what I’m talking about. It is the kind of movie that will make you drop everything and watch. If you are flipping through the channels and you hear Cat Steven’s fantastic soundtrack, you look no further. You may be a little tired the next day because you stayed up way too late watching it, but you’ll be reminded that love and art can be transformative.

5/5

Louie C.K.

Louie C.K. is a champ: that’s short for champion. This year has been a big one for the stand-up comedian; between the awkward award show moments, a critically acclaimed 3rd season of his show on FX and the beginning of a brand new stand-up tour, Louie’s been busy. The greatest thing about his success is that he is in complete control of it. He is one of the rare performers who has total creative freedom to do what he wants to do. What we get is exactly what Louie wants us to get. This fact makes his success that much more sweet.

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing the first stop on his new stand-up tour in Toronto. He played 4 sold out shows as part of a new Just for Laughs festival. Louie has taken a page from the late great George Carlin: who would scrap his stand-up routine every year and start from scratch. You would never know that this was the first time that these jokes were being road tested. Mr. C.K. never faltered and had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the moment he stepped on stage. He covered topics ranging from the joys of middle age, the psychology of strangers and the envelope of compassion. My favourite bit involved him inadvertently inheriting an old woman at an airport. Louie has an astounding way of articulating the things that people think way in the back of their minds but would never say. The beautiful thing about these observations is that he is never mean about his subjects. He  only draws attention to the frustrations we all share about the society we live in.

This is a major theme of his television show Louie. He plays himself navigating through life as a single dad of two girls performing stand-up along the way. Although the premise sounds pretty straight forward, it’s like no other show on T.V. Louie is an extended character study with moments of laugh out loud hilarity, unconventional narratives, awkward moments that start to spiral before your eyes, absurdest surrealist vignettes and then in the middle of all that, you’ll get these quiet reflective moments on the small pleasures of life. Sometimes I feel it’s more of a drama with comedic moments thrown in. Whatever it is, it’s completely satisfying.

The outstanding season 3 just finished and I would count it among some the greatest television of the day. He had a long line of guest stars that included: Sarah Silverman, Robin Williams, Jay Leno, Chloe Sevigny, Garry Marshall,  Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld. In all that talent, the two that stole the show were David Lynch as a talk show life coach and Parker Posey as a damaged quirky bookstore clerk that takes Louie on a wondrous first date. Parker Posey’s performance inflates your heart to the point of bursting and then she pops it like a balloon. She is a true champ and that’s short for champion.

Reggie Watts Live in Toronto

Reggie Watts entered the stage of the Queen Elizabeth Theater in Toronto to the sounds of Roam by the B52’s. The song is the perfect precursor for a comedian who rarely stays in the same intellectual place for any extended period of time. Roam was an understatement. As an audience; when Reggie leads -be prepared to follow. Oh, the places you’ll go and the things you’ll hear.

Reggie Watts is a Seattle based performer who is equal parts comedian, equal parts musician and totally engaging. From the minute he stepped on stage, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. He effortlessly weaved music with stand-up without breaking a sweat. While you watch it unfold, you get the impression that no two Reggie Watts’ shows are alike. He moves in mysterious ways.

Reggie is an intellectual comic who knows how to send up bureaucratic double speak, acknowledge the town he is in and dangle one mean participle, but the focal point of his show would have to be the music. When it comes to beat-boxing, Reggie would give Doug E Fresh a run for his money. Using a loop sampler and only his voice he integrates beats and pieces to create lush soundscapes (sometimes he adds a keyboard). If two roads diverged in a wood, Reggie Watts took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.

Seinfeld Movie Poster: Rochelle Rochelle

This is the first in a series of Seinfeld alternative movie posters I’m toying with. The list of fake movies is priceless. Coming Soon: Sack Lunch.