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:
If you watched this week's episode of Louie on FX, the first-half called "Travel Day" included a flight experience gone awry, with a cameo by Todd Glass as a chatty passenger! But Louis CK (who also voiced the pilot of his fictional TV flight) has previous experience shouting out obscenities in reaction to flight turbulence. In fact, Ricky Gervais captured it on video when the pair flew together on an even smaller private jet between New York and Massachusetts two summers ago during filming of The Invention of Lying. Even in real life, Louis CK responds to a bumpy flight by randomly forming NSFW phrases and sentences. And fortunately, both reality and TV reality had happy endings. So to speak. Roll the clip!
Todd Glass is doing stand-up tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and when I went searching to see if it's a repeat or not, I saw this short clip of Glass performing at the Acme Comedy Co. in Minneapolis, wherein Glass impersonates the late Rodney Dangerfield doing jokes from the late Mitch Hedberg. Respect, I tell you! Respect!
One of the people I hoped to see at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland but could not see last weekend was Todd Glass, who suffered a heart attack after performing onstage at Largo last week in Los Angeles. He's OK, thanks to Jeffrey Ross and others who looked out for him when he collapsed. And even more to his credit, Glass talked about his experience with Bonnie Hunt, in an appearance which will appear on TVs around the globe today (check your listings: 2 p.m. on NBC in NYC; 3 p.m. in L.A., but earlier perhaps where you live). I cannot tell you how happy I am that he appears to be OK now.
Glass also performed stand-up on Hunt's show, which looks like it aired before the panel session. He didn't hold back much on the energy, despite what he went through last week. Roll that clip here:
Right from the get-go of Thin Pig, comedian Todd Glass shows how he can weave both old jokes, inside jokes and in-the-moment jokes all at once, making every performance of his a magically unique experience. Even if some of the jokes, such as his opening bit, have been in his repertoire for several years now. Glass does his own intro, then announces he's at "the George Carlin room" at the Tempe Improv, asks "how's the balcony doing?" (he's in the side lounge that's much smaller than the Tempe mainstage and lacks a balcony or room for more than 100), then launches into a familiar comedy trope, asking the audience: "Do I look like Fred Flintstone and Mel Gibson had a baby?" Glass acknowledges soon thereafter, "It's the only joke I wish wouldn't work!"
Glass also is such a comic's comic that, when he slips into "the Jim Gaffigan voice" or something that references another stand-up, he'll poke fun at himself for it. "I feel like Brian Regan!" Glass says while talking about how he mangles the pronunciation of words in "Words." Glass does share a bit of the same everyman's perspective to life and society that Regan does, only Glass is more willing to use, say, more colorful language and break from the script at a moment's notice. When some comics mess up a word in their delivery, they turn it into a running routine. When Glass does it, it's natural -- and he also clues audiences in to this stand-up trickery. On Thin Pig, you'll hear Glass mine familiar comedy ground such as relationships and late-night infomercials, and old favorites such as his thoughts on cute puppies and smelly people are also included in the digital-only disc. If you're not already a fan of his, or just curious to know what he's about, I'd suggest dipping your toes into the waters of Todd Glass with tracks 4-5, "Dinner Party" and "Architectural Jokes," in which Glass describes the do's and don'ts of hosting a party in your home, as well as the needs to design a proper bathroom.
Or you could just watch Todd Glass, earlier this week, express his frustration about the marketing efforts for Thin Pig. Either way, you'll get some good laughs out of it:
Todd Glass is a very funny man who is funniest when he speaks his mind and reacts to the situation in front of him. Here is an example this week of just that, with Glass riffing and ranting directly at Daniel Tosh about Tosh's upcoming Comedy Central show.
Infectious laughter, right? Right. Now, here was Todd Glass earlier this month on Jimmy Kimmel Live:
Something about having Glass be calm and restrained for the camera (or is it for the network execs?) is just not quite as special as seeing the Todd Glass we all know and love. Stop putting a leash on our funnyman, TV people! Let Todd Glass roam wild and free, where he can entertain us, and the rest of us, as well.
I'm slowly getting the feeling that Jim Gaffigan is hijacking my site to promote his new DVD and Comedy Central special, King Baby, and that it's working, thanks to his trip out to Los Angeles to enlist the help of Sarah Silverman, Todd Glass and Jimmy Dore. Here they talk about how "edgy" Jim Gaffigan's comedy is compared to everyone else in the stand-up game:
And here Glass and Dore show what it must be like for Gaffigan to interact with fans who only know and love him for saying the words, "Hot Pockets!"
The folks at Montreal's Just For Laughs uploaded videos last week from its 2008 collection of comedians participating in the New Faces and Masters showcases, so you can finally see what I saw this summer. Rather than bombard you with two dozen embedded video clips, I'm going to embed one or two of my faves, then link to the rest.
From the 2008 Masters, here is Todd Glass, and you'll immediately wonder, what's the rest of Larry Miller's funny story introducing him, and who is Glass calling back in his jokes. Jokes, people! Jokes! Todd Glass is a comic's comic, so always welcomed here (language NSFW):
And from the 2008 New Faces, here is Sean Patton's set that got industry people talking (language NSFW):
Everyone else after the jump.
I saw Todd Glass on film at an Improv before I ever saw him onstage. The comedy club chain had employed Glass to deliver the all-important pre-show announcements for audience members to turn off their cell phones and pagers, sit back, "laugh, shut up, laugh, shut up, laugh, shut up." His conversational style and humor would put folks at ease.
Then I saw Todd Glass onstage six years ago. Funny, funny, funny. Jokes upon jokes, jokes about jokes, and Glass had an extra guy on tour with him just to set up all the bells and whistles (and sometimes, seemingly actual bells and whistles) that accompanied his headlining stand-up act.
"I used to sometimes have the middle help me out," Glass (captured in photographic glory by Steve Agee) explains to me in the here and now. "I would go, get 33 ready! Get 22 ready!" A Philadelphia native now based in Southern California, Glass often works the road, but makes a fairly rare New York City appearance this weekend at Comix (Sept. 26-27). You can read part of our interview in today's NYC editions of the Metro paper. Glass said he stopped doing all of the music and sound cues "when I was trying to get a special ready for Comedy Central," and began concentrating more on his stand-up material. "I've had two years where I haven't done any music, and I sometimes listen to an old CD and think, 'Oh, I miss that, and I miss that.' But I've moved on. And it helped me work on more material."
He also appeared on the second and third seasons of NBC's Last Comic Standing. You may remember him as the guy in the house who was always on. Four years later, no regrets. "I was really glad I did it," Glass said. "That kind of exposure you just can't get. You don't get that type of exposure from one appearance on The Tonight Show. It was crazy and it's primetime exposure. As far as the reality bullshit about it, I knew about that going in. (The) it's all fixed, all that. I didn't care. I think once America votes, America votes. And I went out second. I think America votes. So I wasn't going to be one of those guys who whined and complained. I kwew exactly what it was going into it. I think I probably did it the best year you could do it, because it was still hosted by Jay Mohr."
"What makes you successful as a comic is a three-month conversation, but one thing that can make you unsuccessful is success too early…not as an actor, but as a comic…If you want to be a good comic, success too early will f&*$ you."
Comedy Central will air Jimmy Dore's new one-hour special, "Citizen Jimmy," tonight at 11 following Live at Gotham. The full unedited version of "Citizen Jimmy" comes out on DVD on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Here are a couple of clips to whet your appetite. Politics! And a heckler that gets Dore caught in a riddle!
Here Dore takes on gay-haters for their hypocrisy...
If you'd like to pre-order the DVD, click here:
UPDATED: Having watched the full unedited version on DVD/CD, I have a review, plus more from Dore after the jump!
It's time for one last look around the 2008 Montreal Just For Laughs festival, which Variety reports raked in $10 million (which is about the same in Canadian as it is in U.S. dollars these days!) this July. Which means this final recap must begin with the guy who buzzed about the festival...
Doug Stanhope, who set up his Slamdance to their Sundance, aka Just For Spite festival with shows Friday and Saturday at Club Chaos, told me on Saturday night that he'd been offered a paltry $1,100 to perform 10 nights of one-man shows at the fest (or as he added, less than what he earned during his first trip to Montreal's JFL), which prompted his fury. Much of the buzz about Stanhope during the fest itself centered around two incidents, both of which Stanhope wrote about online. He first aired his grievances on Wednesday via 236.com, then on Friday night, after getting kicked out of a JFL venue by fest organizer Bruce Hills, Stanhope went to his MySpace to fill us in on the details.
Most pleasant surprise in a one-man show: Patrice Oneal. Here's a guy who seems so in your face and so not safe for work that, well, that's how his career even began in Boston, challenging another comedian. And he has made his name on the club circuit as that guy who won't take no gruff. But you take him out of the comedy clubs and put him in an intimate theater setting, give him a stool or a chair and just let him speak...wow. As I noted earlier, his one-man show, Positivity, is positively brilliant. He may think he's not getting any smarter. But this show is the smartest thing he has done.
The lucky New Faces bump? Last year, Tom Papa hosted all of the New Faces showcases and handled himself with such professionalism and managed to bring the funny, that I recall singling him out and hoping he'd get a show of his own. This year, Papa got the special one-man showcase named after the late Richard Jeni and earned nightly standing ovations for his show, Only Human. Here's the Montreal Gazette review to chew on. I saw similar magic coming from Greg Giraldo this year in hosting New Faces, and hope he gets a similar promotion in 2009. Giraldo always has mastered the art of topical social commentary, but there also has been so much going on in his world, both professionally and personally, that could be mined for a one-man show. Let's make that happen.
Funniest comic-on-comic impersonation: Greg Behrendt, who introduced himself to the audience as "a 45-year-old alternative comic," doing Russell Brand at the midnight Alternative showcase, slinking his way around the stage and joking about Brand having sex with Kate Moss.
Toughest ticket for a show I wished I'd seen: They say you mock the ones you love (some do), so Behrendt must have been paying tribute to Russell Brand's status as the hot comic of the moment. You had to sweet talk your way into his sold-out performances. Thankfully, I got to see Brand a couple of days later in New York City (my review of Russell Brand).
Toughest ticket for a show I'm not sorry I missed: Apatow For Destruction. Movie producers and movie stars should not always be confused for great stand-up comedians.
How young is he, again? Bo Burnham, at 17, is the new sensation, already signed to Gersh with a Comedy Central EP that zoomed up the iTunes charts. Where did he come from? Outside of Boston, since you asked. He generated some "heat" as they say in the bidness. I saw him the previous weekend open up for Joel McHale at Carolines and deliver an amazingly proficient and efficient 13-minute musical set of songs and rap. How did this tall, scrawny high-school kid making YouTube videos gain so much poise onstage with less than 20 live performances to his credit? He told me. "I'm young, dumb and fearless." Here's a recent fairly NSFW video from Bo fo yo (argh, I just really typed that and didn't backspace backspace delete, didn't I?):
State of the Industry vs. Comedy Person of the Year: Andy Kindler wins in a walk-off, as Kindler filled the room to more than capacity, with people standing in the foyer, then half of them walking out to skip the festival's awarding of "Comedy Person of the Year" to Judd Apatow. Having Apatow did guarantee that all his famous friends and industry associates would show up in Montreal, though, leading to some heartfelt words from Apatow himself, and a funny quip from Seth Rogen: "Look at us. We're a parade of bad fashion...It's like we're at the rehearsal for the award."
Just Comedy? Remember the days when you didn't have to pay $500 to attend a festival thrown on your behalf? Oh, those were days. But Just Comedy's two-day confab proved to be kind of eh. As I joked to Andy Kindler in our short video interview, I only stayed at the Webisode to Episode panel for about five minutes, because that's as long as that panel should have been. Don't they know this already? Because of that, I missed out on perhaps the liveliest panel of the confab, as club owners kvetched at length about the business of live touring.
All-around favorites: You couldn't go anywhere in Montreal without someone reminding you how great John Mulaney and Brent Weinbach were at the festival. I shall sing Mulaney's praises to anyone who asks, and it was great to see him knock it out of the park (that's a baseball term) at JFL, with people especially rapt over his tale of playing a joke on a restaurant at age 11. Mind you, he's only 25 now. He will tape a Comedy Central Presents next month and you will enjoy it. He's also co-headlining at Comix next month (Aug. 22-23) with Nick Kroll. As for Weinbach, he won the Andy Kaufman Award in Vegas last year for a reason, and showed why in Montreal with an over-the-top performance at the alternative showcases.
New Faces recaps: My favorites or yours? Brendon Walsh stood out for me with his cleverness, while Sean Patton surprised me because I had never seen him in a mainstream club before. Harris Wittels delivered the ballsiest set, ending a routine that included misnamed bands and masturbation issues with a joke about racism. Ira Proctor turned it around so much from the first set to the second that veteran Larry Miller couldn't stop complimenting him. Mo Mandel was the singular standout from the other group. Although truth be told, most people I talked to from the industry were relatively underwhelmed by this year's crop of New Faces as a whole. Then again, they were relatively underwhelmed in general.
State of the New Faces Industry: What does it say about the comedy industry and Montreal's New Faces that two of them, Iliza Shlesinger and Jeff Dye, are among the finalists for this season on NBC's Last Comic Standing? A few things. Among them: The NBC producers prefer fresh-faced comedians, even if they're relatively inexperienced, because it allows them to have control (read: earn money) by launching their careers nationally. Also, it means tough luck for industry wanting a piece, as NBC and the producers have them under its contractual spell already. Anyone want to guess whether Shlesinger and Dye already are locked up for the nationwide club/theater tour that follows the season finale?
The Masters: Speaking of Larry Miller, what a class act he proved to be in Montreal, not just for actually watching younger comedians and saying nice things to them, but also for being the consummate host for the Masters showcases. Miller has been one of the more amusing voices of reason on Bill Maher's HBO chat show, Real Time, and it's so nice to be able to see Miller onstage again doing stand-up. As he told audiences, "Almost everyone on the show is someone I've known for years and respect -- and they're all good." Well, I'll be the judge of that. Henry Cho, a Korean raised in Tennesee, "so I'm South Korean." If you didn't enjoy Esther Ku's jokes about getting Koreans confused for each other, what would you make of this master's trip to the homeland with his father: "When we went to Korea, he walked 20 feet away and I lost him!" Hal Sparks continues to sport his Criss Angel hair and magician look, despite how it looks. It looks like Criss Angel. Instead, Sparks ranted against people who miss his short hair, talked about losing his Kentucky accent, and did a big act-out about sexually peaking. Cathy Ladman hates her New York voice, and Montreal audiences weren't exactly thrilled with it, either. Another trip to the therapist and everything will be OK. Henry Phillips and his guitar? Well, here's a little number you may have heard before, "Sweet Little Blossom of Mine." Todd Glass: I hadn't seen him live in four years, and man, how I missed seeing his energetic self. Glass is a guy who's always on, even when he's not on he's on. What a bundle of fun! Remember when Glass was on Last Comic Standing and kept mugging for everyone at everytime...good times. At the Masters, Glass riffed on both Sparks and Phillips and then himself, and destroyed with a bit about how easy recipes are, such as corn pudding! Meantime, here's an oldie but a goodie from Glass. Thea Vidale and I sat next to each other on the "regional jet" up from New York City, and regional jet means really small plane, which means I actually should have and could have used the phrase, "C'mon and sit on Daddy's lap!" And Billy Gardell closed by focusing on how kids have changed and how we've all changed because of anti-depressants, with a presence that shows you what a veteran stand-up headliner's set is all about.
Shuttle buddies: Don't know how it worked out like this, because we didn't see other during the fest and came from different cities, but Kent from Ask A Ninja and I ended up on the same shuttles to and from the airport in Montreal. Serendipity?
But what about next year: What about 2009? As noted or hinted at previously, several industry folks grumbled openly about wondering why they'd come to Montreal again in the first place. The festival certainly didn't dispel stereotypes about the friendliness of French Canadians, as they tried every manner in the book to get industry up to Montreal -- including their annual withholding of the New Faces and Masters names until two days before most would arrive, adding this two-day Just Comedy confab and charging industry $500 to show up -- then giving industry folks multiple hassles once they made it to Montreal. And that's not to mention the outrageous prices in the Hyatt Regency ($3 for a Coca-Cola, $10 for a bottle of beer), the attitude of the Hyatt toward the industry (even though the festival encouraged them to stay in the Hyatt) and the fact that some Hyatt workers were picketing outside made for a big barrel of not-fun. Stanhope wasn't the only one to openly ask if Montreal has become more about making a profit off of comedy fans and less about being a place for discovering and launching comedy careers. So what will happen in 2009 when JFL joins up with TBS to host a comedy festival in Chicago the month before Montreal? Will the industry go to Chicago and skip Montreal entirely? It only served to make me miss the atmosphere in Aspen, a festival run by people who really wanted it to be a home for the comedy industry (even if it proved too expensive and snowy). It also makes me want to start up my own comedy festival, a true showcase to bring industry to the talents worth watching, both new and old. If anyone wants to help me make that come true, please holler my way. Thanks.