Tag Archives: Funny Or Die

FOD keeps us laughing with The Hungover Games, and Meg Tilly returns to the stage in little ol’ T.O.

FUNNY OR DIE:  On Monday I told you about the new Rob Reiner-Billy Crystal sequel to When Harry Met Sally with Helen Mirren in a key romantic role. The whole thing was a gag dreamed up by Rob and Billy for Will

MIRREN: make-believe with Billy

Ferrell’s startlingly successful comedy website Funny or Die, as you could tell almost immediately after you clicked on the sneak preview. Award-laden actress Mirren, who rarely get the chance to play comedy, was clearly up for her assignment, and watching Rob and Billy’s meetings with young, trend-happy “studio executives” is priceless. If you missed Monday’s column, or by any chance took it seriously, click here for that special sneak preview of When Harry Met 

HUNGOVER GAMES: it all seems so familiar ...

Sally 2, a movie that hopefully will never get made. Nonetheless, most of today’s major movers and shakers love sending up their own careers on FOD, and FOD loves sending up the industry that spawned it. As soon as The Hunger Games was released, and even before it achieved its mammoth box office numbers, FOD was on the case. “Each year, drunk people are selected to participate in torturous games the morning after a big night out. There’s no sunglasses, no water, and no headache medicine.” Yeah, right. To see the trailer for The Hungover Games, click here. And enjoy!

RITTER: taking a flyer

CASTING ABOUT: Ex-time traveller Scott Bakula (he did it before Erin Karpluk) is headlining a new plot, Table For ThreeJimmy Fallon is exec producing a new comedy pilot about three 30-something guys who become parents despite the fact that they haven’t grown up themselves … Frances Conroy and Tovah Feldshuh are among the stars in Beautiful People, a pilot for a series in which families of mechanical human beings exist to service the human population  — until some of the mechanicals begin to “awaken”… Jason Ritter, Michael Imperioli and award-laden Broadway star Norbert Leo Butz spark County, a pilot about 
young doctors, nurses and administrators in an underfunded and morally compromising L.A. County hospital … Phylicia Rashad returns to the small

RASHAD: pilot season

screen in Do No Harm, a pilot about a brilliant neurosurgeon (Steven Pasquale) whose dangerous alter-ego threatens to wreak havoc on his personal and processional life (calling Dr. Hulk?) … and Julia Stiles plays a female FBI cult specialist who investigates the mysterious disappearance of a group commune in Alaska in Midnight Sun, a pilot based on the hit Israeli format.

NO BIZ LIKE SHOWBIZ:  NHL All-Star Theo Fleury and actress Carmen Moore (Arctic Air) host the 19th Annual National Aboriginal Achievement Awards tonight on Global and APTN …  Jimmy Smits has signed on for a season of FX’s celebrated Sons

TILLY: on stage in T.O.

of Anarchy, and not as a cop. He’ll be playing a gang member … Bruce McDonald is set to personally introduce Hard Core Logo II, his long-awaited follow-up to his cult classic mock-doc Hard Care Logo, tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox … Theatre Sheridan’s rave-garnering production of Rent has been held over even before it opens! The TS production, now set to open May 16 at the Panasonic Theatre, was originally booked to close on May 27 but will now run through June 3. To order tickets, click here … and Meg Tilly, so terrific in Global’s Bomb Girls series, returns to the stage this month at the Tarragon in a revival of the Michel Tremblay classic The Real World?  — which originally premiered at Tarragon almost 25 years ago. The stellar cast assembled by director Richard Rose also features Matthew Edison, Cara Gee, Sophie Goulet, Tony Nappo, Cliff Saunders and Jane Spidell, and previews start April 24. Click here for tickets. And have a great weekend.

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Ms Mirren gets to put the bogus bite on Mr. Crystal, but will Mr. Doyle get to play another Endgame?

WHEN BILLY MET HELEN: Great news – Rob Reiner and Billy Crystal have teamed up again to make the long-awaited much-anticipated sequel to When Harry Met Sally, and in addition to casting great supporting players like Maya Rudolph they’ve snagged Helen Mirren for a key romantic role. In keeping with the times, director Reiner promises that When Harry Met Sally 2 will be a comedy with a substantial bite to it.  To see the already-controversial sneak preview, click here – and enjoy!

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Canuck comedy sensation Russell Peters hosts his own Just For Laughs special tomorrow night on CBC with his

COHEN: Gould Prize winner

own handpicked supporting cast of merry men, namely Jeremy Hotz, Jimmy Carr, Sebastian Maniscalco and Nick Thune … jury members who voted the selection of Leonard Cohen as the winner of the ninth Glenn Gould Prize included Atom Egoyan, Stephen Fry, Elaine Overholt and jury chair Paul Hoffert. And I know I said this last week, but details of the gala evening to honour Cohen’s win should be revealed tomorrow … Jaymz Bee is celebrating his birthday this Wednesday by rocking The Old Mill.  For more details click here … and Jian Ghomeshi chats up Slash tomorrow on Q before leaving for Moncton and CBC Radio coverage of the 2012 East Coast Music Awards.

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: This year’s Winnipeg Comedy Festival will include live tapings of Steve Patterson’s hit CBC Radio show The Debaters 

DOY:LE as John A.

this weekend. Sean Cullen and Scott Thompson will go head-to-head about pure bred vs. mongrel dogs. And just to make it even more interesting, Thompson will debate as The Queen, while Cullen portrays Adele. And yes, you read that right … why do I think the late Brian Linehan‘s name should be on our Walk Of Fame? Because of his dedication to celebrating, promoting and building Canadian stars on television (Linehan, City Lights) and radio (CFRB) throughout his career. If you agree, please vote for him here, under ‘Other’
… and Global Television has picked up a hard-won Rockie nomination for its homegrown cop series Rookie Blue. Ironically,

DOYLE as Arkady Balagan

the financially beleaguered CBC  won Rockie nods for no less than seven (7) shows, including Heartland, Michael Tuesday & Thursdays, The Debaters, John A.: Birth Of A Country, and The 2012 Gemini Awards. Is that a new network record? Just askin’ … and good news for Shawn Doyle fans. His excellent Endgame series, in which he played crime-solving world chess champion Arkady Balagan,  played for only one season on Showcase, but yesterday the New York Times reported that the series has been picked up by Hulu, the online streaming service, which is considering the production of a second season.   Let’s keep all fingers  crossed.

BALLET HIGH: Love Lies Bleeding tonight on CBC

LORDS OF THE DANCE: The hit National Ballet of Canada production of The Seagull opens Thursday night in Ottawa. Headliners at the National Arts Centre premiere are Greta Hodgkinson as Arkadina, Guillaume Côté in the role of Kostya, Aleksandar Antonijevic as Trigorin and Sonia Rodriguez as Nina. Which means the entire company can get to see Antonijevec’s exhibit of his ballet photography, Feet and Mirrors, on view at the NAC until April 28 … DanceWorks presents Ottawa urban dance sensation Bboyizm in its Toronto debut with two shows: IZM this Friday April 13 and Saturday April 14 at 8pm, and a matinee performance of the family-friendly show, Evolution Of B-Boying, on Saturday at 1pm, at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre. Word is that choreographer/dancer and Bboyizm founder Yvon Soglo (aka b-boy Crazy Smooth) takes a daring, imaginative approach to street dance tradition without losing its authenticity. Sounds intriguing … and tonight’s Don’t-Miss TV eye-candy is Love Lies Bleeding, the Alberta Ballet’s wildly popular, rave-winning exploration of Elton John’s music, directed by the masterful Moze Mossanen of Nureyev fame. For an intriguing behind-the-scenes look, click here.

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Cynthia lets her hair down, Idina rocks the symphony & Jean Dujardin is smokin’ hot

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: It’s prequel/sequel time again. AnnaSophia Robb will play the young Carrie Bradshaw in the new Sex And The City spin-off The Carrie Diaries. Ah, but will Sarah Jessica Parker narrate? Just askin.’

NIXON: at Wit's end

Speaking of SATC, Cynthia Nixon will start growing her hair again this weekend. The revival she shaved her head for, Wit, closes Saturday at the Manhattan Theatre Club, which seems to be having an unusually strong season. John Lithgow opens there next month in The Columnist, a new play about once-powerful Washington journalist Joseph Alsop from Proof  playwright David Auburn and director Daniel SullivanNick Jonas, currently knocking ‘em dead on Broadway in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, is set to guest with Debra Messing& Co. on the season finale of NBC’s

COURTNEY: son of Die Hard

Smash … Aussie actor Jai Courtney, who attracted Hollywood’s attention in the TV version of Spartacus, plays the son of John McClane (aka Bruce Willis) in the upcoming fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise … …  and new screen Spider-man Andrew Garfield makes his Broadway debut tomorrow night in Mike Nichols’ much-anticipated  revival of Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman. Garfield is playing son Biff to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Willy Loman.

DEFYING GRAVITY: Wondering why Wicked Tony Award winner Idina Menzel’s show-stopping special looked so familiar when it aired on PBS last week? It was shot right here last November at Koerner Hall, with Marvin

MENZEL: at Koerner Hall

Hamlisch conducting the 52-pierce Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. In addition to her rave-winning special, Idina Menzel: Live Barefoot At The Symphony is now a hot-ticket CD, DVD and digital download, and includes a duet with her hubby (and former Rent co-star) Taye Diggs. Ironically, it’s TV that has made Menzel and Diggs household names, on Glee and Private Practice respectively, but their big Broadway voices continue to soar  … Gordon Pinsent is back from Mexico after completing his scenes for the 3D Imax feature Flight Of The Butterflies, which just wrapped after a year of shooting.  Will the big-screen docudrama premiere at TIFF in September? Just askin’ … Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of

DUJARDIN: smoking

Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston are in T.O. today to highlight innovation and education through the arts.  First stop on their schedule is a meet-and-greet with young entrepreneurs at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (aka “the Zone”)and new Oscar owner Jean Dujardin of The Artist has been embraced by America, and he’s clearly returning the hug. He’s now filmed a bogus pro-Smoking commercial for Funny Or Die exalting the virtues of “Dujardin Cigarettes,” sendng up his super-cool French-from-France persona. Clever, funny stuff. To see it, just click here.

NEWS ITEM: “Google is developing a home entertainment device in a move that would bring it more broadly into consumer electronics.The device is the company’s most significant venture into hardware. While the initial

TOMLIN: She's worried too

purpose of the device will be for streaming music, the eventual use could be much wider. Amazon, which began as a retailer, now makes reading devices. Apple, which originally produced only hardware, now sells content.” Uh-huh. All of which reminds me of Lily Tomlin’s great line in her classic one-woman show The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe:  “I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else.”   Me too, Lily. Me too.

Rick’s grand finale, k.d.’s recollections, Zach’s funny ferns & the unsinkable Debbie (she ain’t down yet!)

ALL-SINGING, ALL-DANCING DEBBIE: She may be 77, but like her Oscar-nominated Unsinkable Molly Brown, Debbie Reynolds runs on her own energizing batteries. La

REYNOLDS: over there

Reynolds is about to embark on a 15-city concert tour of England which will climax with ten dates in London, her first performances there in 35 years. “We start in Norwich and we’ll do a show, get on the bus, go to the next theatre, do another show and so on. It’ll be like the old days bus and truck.” She’s been prepping with a daily regimen of swimming in her indoor pool, lifting weights and hanging upside down for 15 minutes. And practicing her notorious impersonations. Her U.K. concerts will include her impressions of Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Jimmy Stewart. “I grew up with these people.” What’s her new show called? “Debbie Reynolds: Alive And Fabulous.” Sounds right to me.

MERCER MADNESS: Canadian TV icon Rick Mercer wraps his seventh season tonight with a mirthful visit with the Canadian competitors who sparked last week’s Paralympic

MERCER & FRIENDS: on tonight's finale

Games in B.C. Mercer, who has consistently showcased these amazing athletes on his weekly show, was one of their chosen torchbearers in Ottawa and tonight provokes huge laughs (his specialty) with some new death-defying feats of daring (also his specialty) with some of our gold medalists including superSkier bro’s Brian & Robin McKeever. Good news is, Mercer has just had his most successful season ever. Better news is, he and his top-rated Rick Mercer Report will be back this fall. And you can catch his season finale tonight at 8 pm on CBC.

THE SINGER, NOT THE SONG: Luscious-voiced k.d. lang has released her first-ever career retrospective. Recollection is on the small Nonesuch label – an offshoot of Warner

LANG: 25th anniversary

Records. This  set contains her greatest hits remastered, and a collection of rare tracks.Released 25 years after the release of her debut album. Recollection features 22 of k.d.’s most beloved recordings, including an all-new interpretation of the Leonard Cohen classic, Hallelujah. Plus — wait for it — Constant Craving, Helpless, Miss Chatelaine, I Dream Of Spring, Crying with Roy Orbison, Calling All Angels with Jane Siberry, and Moonglow with Tony Bennett. My hero Liz Smith says k.d.’s new collection is, quote unquote, “a masterpiece.” Hey, what’s not to like? … also gearing up for record sales: Sarah McLachlan, set to launch  her first album of new songs in seven years, The Laws of Illusion, on  June 15 … and chalk up another biggie for Luminato, because Rufus Wainwright‘s first opera, Prima Donna, will make its North American premiere here in June. Meanwhile, Wainwright’s sixth solo album, All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu, drops today. (And isn’t it funny how we’re all calling CDs ‘albums’ again?)

PORTMAN: she got Zach'd

SEE/HEAR: As a rule I can take Zach Galifianakis or leave him, but Between Two Ferns, his bogus Interview show on Funny Or Die.com (the only website with its own show on HBO) is so outrageously politically incorrect I’m becoming addicted to them. His new ‘session’ with Ben Stiller is a squirmy classic — no wonder so many stars want to play with him. His list of willing victim to date includes Michael Cera, Bradley Cooper, John Hamm, Jimmy Kimmel, Natalie Portman (!!) and Charlize Theron (yes. you read that right — Charlize Theron.) Not since  Martin Short created monster celebrity-swooner Jiminy Glick have we seen anything like this. To check it out, click here. And here. And here. And enjoy!

TOMORROW:

Marion Cotillard, Ryan Reynolds, and more!



About Evan’s new show, Atom’s new movie, Liz’s Elvis recipes, and Moby’s and Lindsay’s new videos

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE:  Erudite interviewer Evan Solomon will take a page out of Reach For The Top host Alex Trebek‘s dictionary next

SPEEDMAN: Atom-ic man

SPEEDMAN: Atom-ic man

season when he hosts  CBC’s new reality game show, Canada’s Super Speller, as 12 young finalists vie for the title. (Okay, kids, can you spell S=t-r-o-u-m-b-o-u-l-o-p-o-u-l-o-s?) … fans of Scott Speedman and Arsinee Khanjian will soon to get to see their much-anticipated work in  Atom Egoyan‘s prize-winning Adoration when the drama opens here next month. For a sneak preview, click here … and you’ve probably heard all about it by now, but Lindsay Lohan‘s send-up of her somewhat battered public persona, created earlier this month for Will Ferrell’s Funny Or Die website, gets smarter and funnier every time I revisit it. If you missed it, click here. And enjoy!

SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE: Dutch-based production company Endemol, creator of the controversial Big Brother reality TV franchise, is tapping into the global recession and struggling businesses with Someone’s Gotta Go, a series

TRUMP: going, going ...

TRUMP: going, going ...

set to air on Fox TV. Workers at struggling firms will be enlisted to choose who will get a pay cut, a raise in salary, or lose his or her job completely — based on information about their colleagues’ pay and reviews of their past performance. One troubled company — and a new layoff — will be featured each week.

According to Endemol, the concept “is the reverse of reality shows like The Apprentice or The Rebel Billionaire, in which a business mogul like Donald Trump, Alan Sugar or Richard Branson progressively whittles down prospective employees in a prolonged survival challenge/job interview.”

True — but Survivor candidates have been voting each other off the island for almost two decades, and Big Brother’s ‘houseguests’ have voted to evict each other for the past 10 seasons. So a new show it may be, but a highly original concept it ain’t.

PRESLEY: secret chef?

PRESLEY: secret chef?

SOMEONE’S IN THE KITCHEN WITH ELVIS:  Who is it? None other than New York gossip girl Liz Smith, still the showbiz columnist of choice. In her book Dishing Liz writes about her collection of Elvis Presley cookbooks. “These actually exist,” she insists. “Are You Hungry Tonight? …The Presley Family & Friends Cookbook  … The I Love Elvis Cookbook, and the one that is my all-time favorite, Life & Cuisine of Elvis Presley.”  Liz claims she often goes to bed hungry and just reads Life & Cuisine with her mouth watering. “Elvis might have lived longer if he’d eaten only fish, tofu and vegetables,” she muses – “but can one call that living? I can’t see Elvis getting off food anymore than he could get off drugs. Linus had his blanket … Proust his Madeleine … Elvis had his (cook) Pauline on duty.”

DAVID IS HIS LYNCH-PIN: Last year film director David Lynch (Twin Peaks) gave a speech about the nature of Creativity that proved inspirational for

MOBY:  Lynch-er

MOBY: Lynch-er

singer-songwriter MobyMoby says Lynch’s remarks led him to focus on making a new album he loved, without really overly concerned about how many CDs he might sell.“As a result,” he says, “it’s a quieter, more melodic, more mournful and more personal record than some of the records I’ve made in the past,”

EMI Music Canada will release Moby’s new album Wait For Me in Canada on June 30th. And the video for the album’s debut track, Shot In The Back Of The Head, is shot by none other than ol’ Blue Velvet-eyes himself, David Lyuch. And you can watch it here.