Perhaps you have seen a clip or two of Christine O'Donnell, Delware's GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, saying a weird thing or two on the TV. Bill Maher has promised to reach into his vaults and release even more blasts from her past until O'Donnell agrees to face Maher on his HBO show.
Well, here's another clip package, courtesy of fans of comedian Todd Glass, who sat beside O'Donnell in a June 23, 2000, episode of Politically Incorrect. Marion Ross and Eric Braeden occupied the two other guest chairs. In these excerpts, O'Donnell gets Glass going by complaining about how men objectify women, claiming:
"I can walk down the street in a burlap sack with a bag over my head, and someone will yell stuff out the window."
Glass immediately replied: "Oh, c'mon! I don't believe that...That's a little self-fulfilling, I think!"
Or, now also on YouTube:
Some comedians are more than eager to work their well-honed routines into interviews when they go on late-night TV. Chris Rock is a piece of work, though, because he hits the clubs for a solid couple of weeks before he hits the promotional circuit to write and develop new material for his appearances. Such has been the case these past few nights as Rock went on Late Show with David Letterman -- sticking it to Letterman repeatedly about his adultery problem, and also Tiger Woods -- then Real Time with Bill Maher, and last night Lopez Tonight.
The conversations always go back to the project Rock is promoting, in this case the movie Death at a Funeral. But I found it interesting that both Maher and George Lopez preferred to talk comedy shop with Rock first. And in last night's case, Lopez also had Rock judge three "audience members" try to impersonate Rock's bits in an ad-hoc game of "Chris Rock Band." When I heard one of the audience members say his name was Sadiki, my radar ears twitched. Today my friends at SF Stand-Up confirmed that the audience members actually were three San Francisco Bay Area comedians: Julian Vance, Keith Jensen & Sadiki Fuller.
Here's their efforts, complete with leather jackets. Lopez: "Have you ever thought of doing stand-up?" Jensen: "Yeah. All the time."
And here is Rock talking shop and then some with Lopez and Maher. In the Maher segment, there's more talk after this clip about Rock's stint on SNL -- he said he's more than OK with having been in the shadows of the other SNL players, not just because he was on a great cast, but also because his career turned out more than OK. He also said he feels closer to David Spade and Adam Sandler than most other comedians, because they went through it together, and Maher talked about how comedians often have a class of people they feel a kinship with because they came up at the same time. If/when I find that part, I'll add it here. Until then, roll it!
HBO has a new look online, and that includes a home page for the upcoming series of sketches from Funny or Die called Funny or Die Presents, and along with it, a fresh "Buzz" video that offers insider looks at FoD Presents (Brett Gelman dancing in 1,000 Cats! Leo Allen with a snake! Will Ferrell in disguise!). That's not all, though. You also get behind-the-scenes with Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington on animated their popular podcasts, a look at the second season of animated series The Life & Times of Tim (with Nick Kroll talking improv!), and previews of Bill Maher's latest stand-up special and season of Real Time. It all debuts Feb. 19.
Just when I thought we were starting the Just For Laughs comedy fest in Chicago (we are doing this today), the New York Comedy Festival named its headliners and increased partnership with Comedy Central for its sixth annual week of headliners in the Big Apple, this coming Nov. 4-8, 2009. Tickets won't even go on sale until August, but they've announced that Ricky Gervais will play Carnegie Hall. And in his official statement of such, Gervais said: "Headlining one of the most prestigious comedy festivals in the world is an amazing honor for me. The fact that it's at the beautiful and historic Carnegie Hall makes it all the more wonderful. It's just down the road from my apartment. I can walk to work. (I won’t walk obviously. I'll take a limo. But I could walk if I had to)."
Also headlining their own shows at the 2009 NYCF: Bill Maher and Tracy Morgan. More talent will be named later this summer. Produced by Carolines on Broadway and United Entertainment Group, the fest will put on shows at 10 venues around Manhattan with more than 150 comedians. Comedy Central had joined as a partner last year (filming a one-hour special in 2008 at the fest for Jo Koy), and this year appears to be aligning its tapings of the 2010 series of half-hour Comedy Central Presents as part of the fest. Those tapings will happen at John Jay College this year.
If you watch Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO (the new season starts this Friday, Feb. 20), then you know that Maher has two issues that really hit close to home: 1) legalizing the personal use of marijuana, and 2) the silliness of religious beliefs. The latter was the subject of Maher's first documentary film, Religulous, which showed up in cinemas during 2008 and came out on DVD on Tuesday. As he says on one of the extra commentaries on his DVD: "As a comedian, religion always interested me, because comedians are looking for what doesn't make sense. The gap between what somebody tells you and what you know to be true, that's where the jokes are."
Maher's personality can come off as abrasive, certainly. But he worked on this documentary with director Larry Charles, who also helmed Borat, and in this work, Charles allows himself to become a part of the process, too, at times. The duo begin with Maher's own upbringing (he was raised Catholic but had a Jewish mother), head off to Vatican City to take on Catholics, and around the world questioning true believers on what they believe to be true. So, naturally, Maher had an even bigger problem with the eight years of President George W. Bush's so-called "born-again" leadership. Does he feel better now that Barack Obama is president? I asked him whether he had any advice for Obama about presidential politics and religion.
"So many times you see Rev. Wright, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, these are the guys who get you in trouble, and they always seem to have reverend in front of their names. Look, Barack Obama is our president. He's a politician in America, a very religious country, so I see why he has to pretend to be a religious person himself. I say 'pretend' because I can only hope that someone as bright as he is, I have to believe he is smart enough to know you cannot walk on water, that god didn't ride in on a winged horse, that it didn't rain frogs, that we cannot change water into wine."
"But I did think it was pretty interesting that, at the inauguration, for the first time ever, he gave a shout out to non-believers. I think it's great that he gave a shout-out to non-believers. It was only two words, but it was a revolutionary two words. I'm surprised that more people didn’t take note of it, but he did say, in the inauguration speech, something about Christians and Jews and Hindus and non-believers! I almost fell off my chair. I said: 'Yes! Thank you!' So there we go. That's progress. Baby steps, baby steps."*
I did say this was a DVD giveaway, though, didn't I? Yes, I did. You can buy the DVD now. Or. I have FIVE (5) copies of the DVD, and you could have one of those. What do you need to do? Simply e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, put Bill Maher DVD in the subject line, and ask me. I'll "randomly" pick the first five of you and send you a DVD. Like they said growing up, reading is FUN-damental! (UPDATED: Thanks for your emails. Winners will be notified shortly!)
As politically incorrect as he ever was, Bill Maher has gotten a lot of extra airtime, thanks to the 2008 elections, his new mocumentary, Religulous, and his HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher. Amid all of this, you can see a different side of Maher on the new episode of the Sundance Channel's Iconoclasts, in which Maher talks with record label guru Clive Davis. Here's a clip of Maher showing Davis around his "second home" for many years, the Hollywood Improv. Maher goes back to his actual hometown, Montclair, NJ, tonight for his first show there at the newly refurbished 2,500-seat Wellmont Theatre.