Matt Walsh Hosts Charity Auction at Amoeba Hollywood!

Posted by Billy Gil, July 3, 2012 01:30pm | Post a Comment
matt walshComedian/actor Matt Walsh hosts this month’s charity auction at Amoeba Hollywood July 7 at 4 p.m., where the store will be auctioning off concert tickets for upcoming shows by Ariel Pink, Grimes and The Black Keys, as well as gift certificates for Trader Joe’s and Urban Outfitters, signed collectibles and more. Proceeds from the auction benefit Camp Crescent Moon, the nation's first and oldest summer camp for children with sickle cell anemia.
Walsh is one of the founders of the Upright Citizens Brigade, the comedy troupe that started in Chicago in the early ’90s and has seen such alumni as Amy Poehler, Horatio Sanz and Adam McKay, in addition to opening theaters in New York and Los Angeles hosting live shows and improv classes. Walsh also starred in the TV version of “Upright Citizens Brigade” on Comedy Central with Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Besser. Walsh has been in such Todd Phillips films as Old School, was a correspondent on “The Daily Show,” recently released on DVD his directorial debut with High Road, starring Ed Helms and Lizzy Caplan, and now stars in HBO’s “Veep” alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus. His Comedy Central show “Dog Bites Man” hit DVD in June, detailing a hapless local news team’s fruitless attempts to portray hard-hitting issues, co-starring Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Savage and A.D. Miles. I sat down to speak with Walsh a bit about that show and his career thus far.
Me: Are you excited about “Dog Bites Man” coming out on DVD? Have people been asking you when it’s going to come out?
dog bites manWalsh: I’m really excited about because I’m pretty sure a lot of people never saw it. I thought it was a really fun show to make, and it was a great cast, obviously, but I think it was a really interesting experiment in television, and I’m glad it’s out there in some form.
Me: Did you guys watch a lot of local news clips on YouTube or local talk show clips while making the show for inspiration? Did your work on “The Daily Show” factor in when making “Dog Bites Man”?
Walsh: Yeah, I think my experience on “The Daily Show” helped me own like a reporter persona and know what is silly about news. I think a lot of the story ideas came from — I think local news covers the mundane. I think there’s a simple truth to that. So a lot of the stories we came up with were mundane or classic retreads of safety issues or community issues or things like that. There’s one episode where we went to visit the KKK, but I don’t think it ever aired and I don’t think it’s on the DVD.
Me: Can you talk a bit about your role in Ted? I think a lot of “Family Guy” fans are wondering what to expect from the movie.
Walsh: I think it’s Seth’s sensibility in the movie, so I think there are a lot of hard laughs — things go on for too long, a lot of obscure references. It’s a little sweeter, more driven by emotion [than “Family Guy”]. But I’m sure true fans of the show will find similar stylistic choices. In general it feels much more like a movie than an animated half hour. I’m in a few scenes, I play Mark Wahlberg’s boss at a rental car agency. I think I’m hot shit because I’m friend with Tom Skerrit. I basically keep flaunting that in front of him, that he’ll never be friends with Tom Skerrit.
Walsh: How much are you allowed to do improv on “Veep”? Can you talk a bit about how that show comes together?
Walsh: We spent probably three or four weeks rehearsing before we shot anything. We would get scripts and put them on our feet and perform. … I think once they saw our take on the character, they’d take the scripts away and rewrite them and you’d see some of the jokes you heard in the room. … On the day [of filming], we were always doing two or three improv takes where we hit the points, but we were able to have fun and explore.
high roadMe: How did you put High Road together? As the film is based on improvisation, did you rehearse a lot or just keep filming till you found something you liked? And what’s the response been like?
Walsh: High Road came about because I’ve always been a fan of the improv movie. I love Christopher Guess movies like Spinal Tap, so that was my goal at some point, put all the funny improvisers I knew into one movie. We took 70 scenes, spent two weeks at the UCB theater introducing the characters to each other. … By the time we started filming, they didn’t have to make anything up. … Generally we would kind of hit the takes and get pretty tight and hone what we like, and then if there was something new, we’d explore a tangent. We had jokes for certain scenes to make sure there were hard laughs in the movie. And it’s been really well-received. I got an award at the Newport [Beach] Film Festival lat year. … We’ve done like four or five film festivals and did a brief theatrical run in L.A. and New York, and then it came out on DVD.
Me: What else are you working on these days?
Walsh: I have a couple of movies I’m trying to get off the ground. We go back to “Veep” in October, so hopefully in the next couple months I’ll be shooting a small indie comedy. I’m going to New York for the UCB festival this weekend, and enjoying the Valley heat.
Me: What do you think UCB means for L.A. comedy?
Walsh: Hopefully UCB comedy means good comedy. It’s all things funny. We have improv, standup, sketch comedy, musicals, one-person shows … the formats are wide open. It’s not limited to one specific style. I think the quality’s good, it’s really competitive to get in there. … We try to stay in touch with what’s new and what’s out there. … I think people take it real serious and enjoy it. The other benefit is the audience has been trained. It’s not like they have to pay 20 bucks and buy two drinks. I think the audiences are great and are more game, more open to the wonderful expectation of “I’m not sure what’s its going to be, but I know it’s going to be funny.” I think that’s a wonderful environment for a performer to step into. I think that’s the other blessing of L.A. is that on any given night, there are established comedians looking to get on stage, whether it’s Patton Oswalt or Paul F. Tompkins or Sarah Silverman. We’re really fortunate that our theater pool is so great because there are so many great people looking to get on stage every night.

Diamanda Galás Hates The Food Fighters

Posted by Job O Brother, February 28, 2011 01:32pm | Post a Comment
blond girlbuttons
Call it a survival kit.

The boyfriend is out of town this week, enjoying* the chilly dewiness of Portland, Oregon. (I wish I was with him – I get hungry just thinking about Portland, with all its easily accessible, diet-vanquishing, culinary goodness. Plus there’s a lot of hella rad folks who live there, and while I normally loathe good food and great people, something about the air there makes me all for it.)

I love my boyfriend, and I never find myself wishing he was gone; all the same, I cherish these times when it’s just me and the cats. It’s not that the boyfriend keeps me from doing anything, per se, but self-respect  keeps me from behaving certain ways in his presence.

For example, alone, I do nothing with my hair other than washing it. The result is a blond afro which effectively doubles the size of my already-capacious noggin. I wear a wife-beater constantly – something that never fails to get me not laid in this house – and if it’s too cold, I simply toss a hoodie over the wife-beater. That’s fashion, kids.

The cover for my new album, Save Auntie

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Richard Pryor’s Forgotten Masterpiece—Moving

Posted by Chuck, February 8, 2011 02:00pm | Post a Comment

Richard Pryor

I’ve always thought the best comedy ever conceived was Moving, starring Richard Pryor. Actually, that’s a bit of an exaggeration—“ever” goes back further than 1988. But, you know, without getting snagged up on the front end of eternity, I will add that Moving is also the most underrated comedy and could have been a cult classic on par with Dazed and Confused or Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space had the film come out on DVD sooner than 2006 as a sort of b-side throw-in with Greased Lightning. Twenty-one years after its theatrical release, it’s still excruciating, smart, subtle and funny. I think this way because of Dana Carvey’s schizoid character(s), and Randy Quaid's playing the ex-con Crawford brothers/neighbors, Edward and Perry and King Kong Bundy from Hummingbird Movers, and Morris Day . . . eh, I could go on. But mostly because of Pryor’s character Arlo Pear, whose life spirals out of control when he’s fired from his suburban job as a mass transit engineer in New Jersey and is forced to move to the more remote suburbs of Boise “fucking” Idaho.

Hilarity ensues. The best line is a throwaway, when the movers are idly driving around Boise with all of the earthly Pear’s belongings, and Pryor’s Arlo drives up beside them in his ruined Saab dressed like Rambo and tells them to pull over. “Hey, it’s that Arlo Pear man,” says the driver. “What? Ah man, forget about him,” says the other with complete disregard. This makes no sense on so many levels it will never get old.

The movie is made all the better because it’s so unheralded. The many people I’ve talked to who know it (at least half a dozen) either like it as much as me (which is compulsively), or at least like it very much (in which case I tell them to watch it again). Come on, there’s some real irony to the notoriously foul-mouthed Pryor having a “swear jar” for his family to pay into, a quarter for every slip. And you’d have no indication from watching movie the fiction-like qualities of Pryor’s real life.

Cruise to Mexico: Part 7

Posted by Job O Brother, December 6, 2010 11:37am | Post a Comment

Day 5 (Part 2)

Thursday. September 16, 2010


As the boyfriend, his father, Fred, the sweltering heat and I walked home along the quaint, plank-board sidewalks along the coast of Puerto Vallarta, I was all the time keeping a look-out for a keen thank you gift for Smithy, who’s house-sitting for us had caused her such difficulty after the devious plotting of the demon spawn we call “our kitties.”

You’d think that a tourist trap like Puerto Vallarta would be ideal shopping, but I couldn’t imagine Smithy exactly swooning over a miniature beaded palm tree statue or a Hard Rock Café tank-top.

Then, at last, I saw just the sort of boutique that catered to the refined taste of my dear,lady friend: a tequila specialty shop. Hypnotized by the variety of tans, camels, and caramel colors that shone through the many-angled bottles, I floated in and got real thirsty. The vendor – who’s name I never got, so I’ll call Graggenhauserfrauschembaur – practically materialized from out of my shadow, eager to exchange some of his wares for the far-less delicious bills I kept in my wallet.

“This,” I thought to myself, “Is gonna be a great relationship.”

It was. At Graggenhauserfrauschembaur’s insistence we sat at a tiny portable bar and were lined up shots after shots of tequila tasters. It was like being a college freshman girl at her first date rape. Graggenhauserfrauschembaur’s salesmanship was bar-none; how brilliant to get your customers drunk! And the tequila was, truly, lekker. My personal favorites were a coconut-crème tequila and a tamarind liqueur that made me wanna be an alcoholic again for the first time. I purchased some booze for Smithy, and some for myself. I bid Graggenhauserfrauschembaur a bittersweet farewell, and he scolded the boyfriend and I for coming from Los Angeles and not being able to speak Spanish.

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Posted by Billyjam, January 13, 2010 11:38am | Post a Comment
RIngo remembers John Lennon's "Imagine"(from The Peter Serafinowicz Show)

The hilarious The Peter Serafinowicz Show is coming out next month on DVD. The UK TV show was created by Peter Serafinowicz, and the comic has nailed the Beatles on the popular series. Above is the clip "Ringo remembers Imagine" and below is the great Beatles spoof clip from the TV show, titled "RIngo Remembers 1969." Besides expertly channeling Ringo Starr, Serafinowicz can also equally do spot-on interpretations of any one of the other Fab Four members.

Director Robert Zemeckis, who is making the 3D Disney remake of the Beatles classic musical cartoon Yellow Submarine, wisely cast the British comic as Paul McCartney. The currently in production animated remake also features Epic Movie's Adam Campbell as Ringo. Dean Lennox Kelly (who many may know from the UK TV bizarre comedy series Shameless) will be playing John Lennon, while George Harrison is being voiced by Cary Elwes of Princess Bride and Christmas Carol fame. 

For more background information on the Yellow Submarine remake by Zemickis, which will not be completed and released until 2012, read the UK Independent's report here. Meantime, be sure to pick up The Peter Serafinowicz Show at Amoeba Music when it is released on DVD early next month, and check out both the Beatles skit from the show below and the other non-Beatles clip that is equally funny; it's a mock commercial for The Butterfield Karaoke Bar that offers only twenty songs that include Abba, Sinead O'Connor, Queen, and "the chairman of the board himself" (no, not Sinatra) --  "the late great Notorious B.I.G."

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