Posts Tagged ‘Will Ferrell’

Koldcast’s 15 Most Under-Appreciated Comedians

July 26, 2010

Koldcast.tv is a great site for digital content of all sorts, but today I found a simple blog post that I found incredibly interesting.  As a MONSTROUS comedy nerd, I tend to value and follow certain comedians that most people don’t care at all about, if they’ve ever even heard of them.  Which is quite a shame.  Because for every unfunny JB Smoove and Pauly Shore character out there that has struck enormous mainstream success, 30,000,000 other MUCH-funnier, MUCH-more-cerebral, MUCH-more-deserving comics are still struggling with a fan base not much bigger than their immediate friends and family.  That’s why this list of the Under-Appreciated made me so happy!  And while certain people on here have just recently blown up (or are just about to) the list still mostly rings true for these funny people.  First, here’s the actual link to the post itself.  Below I have quickly and succinctly gone down the list and analyzed Koldcast’s suggestions.  If for nothing else, it would be a small victory if just one of these artists received a smidgen of recognition off of this list.  So, without further ado:

1.  Andy Kindler

While Andy Kindler IS great, he just recently landed the VERY cushy, coveted title of being a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing.  Kindler has been doing comedy for YEARS and after all the writing gigs and stand-up, it is extremely refreshing to see him in such a great position.

2. Matt Berry

Berry is actually one of my favorites from this list.  I fully agree that his voice is like a soothing chorus of angels against a light thunderstorm in the background of my mind.  He is absolutely hilarious on Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and exceptional, as well, on my favorite, The Mighty Boosh.  American audiences need to wise up to this man’s incredi-mazing-ness right quick.

3. Peter Serafinowicz

Another incredibly talented Brit who seems to appear all across the board, but still hasn’t achieved that massive name success that so many comedians bank on to further their careers.

4. JB Smoove

This entry I outright disagree with (as referenced above).  His style of EXTREME over-the-top comedy punctuated with random yells and the most trite, predictable comedy I have seen in years, keeps you rolling your eyes and groaning through his entire set.  To add insult to injury, Comedy Central just recently gave Smoove a half-hour special to MC.  While I love Comedy Central dearly, they do have a problem with just handing loud, overbearing, unfunny people money (i.e. Carlos Mencia).

5. Andy Daly

Andy Daly has been plugging away at the comedy scene for years now.  While he’s not quite my brand of ha-ha, he has been at it for years continues to weave in and out of random groups and circuits with relative ease.

6. Aisha Tyler

Tyler is hilarious and represents a demographic with almost zero representation in the comedy world, the demographic of fangirl.  Tyler’s comedy is hilarious and generally tends toward the nerdy side, which usually leaves audiences either scratching their heads or simply disregarding what she says as not true, because the woman looks like an Amazonian.  She’s incredibly tall and gorgeous, to boot, so when she starts on a Slave Leia Cosplay story, many have trouble imagining her going to lengths to perfect the tin bikini.  Content aside, she is INCREDIBLY deserving of greater recognition and more roles in front of larger audiences.

7. Michael Hitchcock

Hitchcock I, myself, have not heard of, yet I have seen Waiting for Guffman.  That being said, an acolyte of Guest’s is usually not right up my alley.  His humor is generally too dry for my tastes (and as an avid fan of Stephen Wright, that’s TRULY saying something).  What I’m trying to say is that I can’t pass judgment, though I would like to.

8. Jessica Walter

Walter is someone I know when I see her, but, once again, I don’t know enough to comment!

9. David Pasquesi

Ditto.

10. Terry Crews

Terry Crews has always been hilarious.  With his Old Spice campaign and his role in the upcoming move The Expendables, I don’t know if this man needs much more exposure.  Mr. Crews may be right where he needs to be.

11. Molly Shannon

While I do dearly love Molly Shannon, I will say this, she has had more than her time to shine.  Shannon was a formidable presence on SNL during its third most popular streak, in which Tina Fey was writing and Will Ferrell was still performing every minute of.  Shannon even had multiple engagements after SNL, with movie and TV deals (remember Kath and Kim, anyone?) yet simply couldn’t capitalize.

12. Kristen Schaal

Schaal is an all-around talent, more-often-than-not actually taking to the stage, rather than the screen.  Her work transcends SO many different formats, however, and it would be lovely to see what she could do on a larger scale.

13. Nick Swardson

Swardson is hilarious.  His illustrious stand-up career has never seen a lull and he has consistently had his hand in Happy Madison’s productions, either writing, performing, or both.  In the Fall, however, Swardson will finally get his own sketch show on Comedy Central!

14. Amy Sedaris

Sedaris seems to have been everywhere and seems to have done it for the last 15 years.  I first came across her on Stranger’s With Candy, but between hawking her book and just making guest appearances, she pervades ALL FORMS OF MEDIA.  She even narrated a PBS special on the history of American comedy.

15. Robert Smigel

Smigel has written for SNL and Conan and is responsible for Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, The Ambiguously Gay Duo, and DAAAAAAAAAAAAA BEARS!  In some form or another, people know Robert Smigel.  They just don’t know…Robert Smigel.  I’d be very interested to see what the man is up to currently, and what he has in store for the future.

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Bitch-Fest Wednesday: Moviefone’s Top 25 Funniest People Working in Hollywood (Right Now)

March 17, 2010

I’ve got problems with this list, BIG problems.  That being said, however, what this list does at least do is compile an overarching docket of comedians who are currently winning at Hollywooding.  I’ll let you follow the link to see the list for yourself, but some of my gripes are:

*Spoilers ahead (if you actually care about spoiling a Top 25 list)*

Mostly they have to do with placement rather than actually being put ON this list.  I understand the rationale behind LISTING all of these actors, but the stack-ranking involved has left me baffled.  For Instance, I have no idea why Elizabeth Banks is #14 on this list, ahead of Russell Brand, Ricky Gervais, and Ken Jeong.  Granted, she was in Role Models and Zack and Miri, and has played a couple of laughs for the Apatow gang in the past, but can ANYONE give me a reason that she should be ahead of the incredibly talented and devoted people behind her who have been creating and performing in comedy for years?  To further bitch, how is Anna Faris even farther up the list at #11?  Funny in the Scary Movies, yes, and pretty good in Observe and Report, but how far have we ACTUALLY seen her stretch?  She has adequately portrayed slapstick-ditzy and train-wreck-of-humanity, to great laughs.  That’s basically it.  And now that I mention it, I think I’m going to copyright both of those…

In addition to ranking wrong, I feel that this list is labelled wrong, as well.  This list is compiled of strictly Film and Television actors, nowhere on this list can producers, stand-ups, or late-night personalities be found, all of which, I would argue, constitute “Funny People Working in Hollywood.”  My notable ommissions would include Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Judd Apatow, Eddie Izzard, Craig Ferguson, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Chelsea Handler, Jo Koy, Loni Love, Josh Wolf, Guy Branum, Whitney Cummings, The It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Gang of writers, producers, and actors, and the list could go ON AND ON AND ON AND ON…

To wrap up, I feel that the most egregious error comes with placing Paul Rudd at #1.  I’m certain that there are some die-hards out there that will greatly take offense to that, but let’s face it, Rudd is our generation’s leading straight-man.  An important position for comedy, sure, but his range is CERTAINLY no greater than that of Bill Murray, Sacha Baron Cohen, Steve Carrell, and Tina Fey, just to name some of the accompanying members of the list.

Moviefone’s Top 25 Funniest People Working in Hollywood (Right Now)

Will Ferrell Owns Media

June 4, 2009

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Will Ferrell has been everywhere lately promoting his new Land of the Lost remake with Danny McBride.  From the first episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien to an arctic episode of Man Vs. Wild, it’s been hard to avoid seeing Ferrell’s curly-haired mug. What few people have noticed, though, is that Ferrell has continued to absolutely clean up with Adam McKay over at FunnyorDie.com.  It had been awhile since I had visited his intraweb shenanigans, but over the last few weeks I was introduced to three absolute classics of absurdity.  First, Bat Fight:

BAT FIGHT with Will Ferrell

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I love watching a well executed sketch go straight to hell at the end.  Next, was a beautiful ensemble piece with some of the biggest stand-up comics on the circuit right now.

It’s The Ass ‘n Balls Show!

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Finally, I saw this little doozy, which takes only a small dip in sanity before running amuck in the next-door neighbor’s absurdity pool. Green Team is what happens when you give Adam McKay, Will Farrell, and John C. Reilly a website and all the time in the world. Oh, btw, NSFW.

Green Team

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American Idol FAIL

May 21, 2009

 

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I am not a fan of American Idol.  I never have been.  And until they start including a post-hardcore category, I probably never will be.  I have no idea who won the other night, causing the intrawebs to go all abuzz, as I have actually never seen an episode in my life.  What I do know, however, is that they recently dropped the ball on synthesizing television and comedy gold.  On Adam McKay’s Funny or Die blog (the man behind such videos as The Landlord and Good Cop Baby Cop with his daughter and Will Ferrell) McKay writes that the producers approached him and Ferrell about possibly producing a song for the season finale that aired the other night.  With a little bit of time to dream up a musical diddy, this is what the dynamic duo of McKay and Ferrell came up with:

 

SEACREST

 

As you all know when tonight’s winner is chosen they will sing an original song written and orchestrated specifically for that magical moment.  However starting next year every winner will sing one song which we will premiere tonight. The song was written by Bob Dylan, Bernia Taupin and poet laureate Maya Angelou and orchestrated by John Williams. Here now to give us a preview of the new American Idol finale song is 12 time Grammy award winner and former bass player for the Doobie Brothers, Will Ferrell!

 

MUSIC: GENTLE PIANO LEADS US BY THE HAND INTO THE SONG

 

(WILL FERRELL walks on stage in a white flowing shirt and pants with white moccasins on. The VT overhead shows clouds against a blue sky.)

 

FERRELL

 

IMAGINE IF YOU WILL A DOLPHIN
WEARING A TINY COWBOY HAT
THEN THAT SAME DOLPHIN GIVES BIRTH
TO A SOLID DIAMOND BABY…

 

THIS IS THE MOST WONDERFUL SONG EVER!!!
MAKES SUSAN BOYLE SEEM LIKE CHER
THIS IS THE MOST WONDERFUL SONG EVER!!
IT CAN MAKE AN EAGLE MAKE LOVE TO A BEAR!!!

 

(Reveal a choir of literally a thousand people. We can use seat filling cardboard cut outs if need be. But it should be absolutely gigantic.)

 

THIS IS THE MOST WONDERFUL SONG EVER
PAULA, THIS AINT LIP SYNCING, IT’S REAL!!
THIS SONG IS BETTER THAN ALL CHRISTMAS CAROLS COMBINED
LIKE FINDING A NAKED LADY, IN YOUR HAPPY MEAL!!!

 

TALK PART: You know when I first read this song I asked “Did Dylan, Taupin and Angelou really write this.” And they said sort of. And I said what does that mean? And then they ran away. But after five bottles of wine I knew who the real writer of this song was….. the big man himself, God Almighty.
A THOUSAND YEARS FROM NOW
THIS SONG WILL BE STILL BE SUNG
EVEN IF PEOPLE NO LONGER HAVE MOUTHS
THIS SONG COST NINE POINT EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS
BUT WE COULD NOT FIND A WORD THAT
RYHMES WITH MOUTH

 

WILL:

 

IF JESUS WERE TO SING THIS SONG
ON A MOUNTAIN OF PUPPIES IN A LAND OF OLD
IT WOULD BE SO BEAUTIFUL
THAT ACCOUNTANTS EVERYWHERE WOULD PISS GOLD!!!

 

THE END!!!!

 

WILL: Between me and you Ryan, this song is terrible.

 

SEACREST: Your mic is on.

 

WILL: Oh…. Good night Burbank!!!!!!

Here’s my take on Will Ferrell. I, myself, am a huge fan. I loved him on SNL, in fact, he’s 65% of why the season 34 finale the other night was so good. And I loved him at the academy awards when he performed with John C. Reilly and Jack Black. And, apparently, Broadway loves him as he has received a Tony nomination for his show parodying Bush. His movies, however, are less than memorable. Short of his stint in Anchorman and Old School (which it can be argued garnered its strength from its ensemble cast) Ferrell’s cinematic endeavors generally fall flat. I’m starting to believe that Ferrell is simply better suited for the stage. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Will someone please just tell HIM that? The onslaught of just-par movies that include Ferrell are staggering, with seemingly more to come in the way of Land of the Lost. So my ultimatum is either someone like McKay or a close friend sits him down and helps him recapture the magic that he attained with Ron Burgundy, or Ferrell sticks to showtunes!

Another Reason to Hate Corporate Hollywood

April 7, 2009

x-men1_wolverine

Yahoo News just broke a story along the lines that a veteran Foxnews.com entertainment reviewer of 10 years has been fired for reviewing a bootleg version of Wolverine: Origins.  According to Yahoo, Fox promised that the source of the film would be prosecuted and has already contacted the FBI and MPAA regarding the leaked film.

My take on the matter is that it is simply ridiculous.  The day when movie studios and record companies alike both look to the future and agree to engage with the internet and it’s potential for profit, instead of condemning it, will be a fine day indeed.  It absolutely blows me away that with all the revenue and manpower that the studios and record companies have behind them that they have not already found a legitimate way to profit off of the filesharing phenomenon the internet has introduced to us.  This major form of everyday life for many people isn’t going away.  In fact, it’s only getting stronger.  So, to fight against it is losing valuable time and energy that you could be using to research how to best profit from it. 

Not all of this letter is rant, however.  Some studios have taken HUGE strides in the right direction as far as experimenting with the online marketplace and trying to work the kinks out of web-based programming.  Crackle.com, for example, is a Sony-administered website offering content and gameplay to the online community.  Many programs are beta-tested on Crackle before Sony gives them the eye for the bigger picture.  Not to mention that the website is ad-revenue supported.  Hulu is NBC’s portal in which it does a wonderful job of including much of its televised canon on the interwebs.  And other websites, such as Funnyordie.com, are not run by studios, buy by independent directors who produce exclusive content for the internet community.  In this case it’s Adam McKay and Will Ferrell.

I’m no socialist.  I understand that entertainers need profits to further entertain us.  But there is simply no arguing the fact that the internet isn’t a blockade that studios should be looking to break through, but a channel to better serve and recieve from the community.  There is absolutely no logic in fighting something like this movie review when you know that in the near future, the internet will provide people with early screeners and sneak peeks the day after post.