February 26, 2014 |
LAST WEEK, the United Nations issued a report chronicling North Korea's massive human-rights violations under the rule of Kim Jong-un. It is estimated that there are up to 200,000 political prisoners. The report alleged that many have been executed, tortured and starved. Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has visited North Korea and its idiot leader many times, which has inspired a 20th Century Fox film to be titled "Diplomats. " And get this: It's going to be a comedy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film will be directed by Tim Story, whose past projects include "Ride Along," "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" and "Barbershop.
December 19, 2013 |
IF YOU GO TO the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to check out the wing exclusively devoted to Walter Cronkite, you won't find it, because there isn't one. But there is an exhibit featuring artifacts from the "career" of anchorman Ron Burgundy, who, unlike this exhibit, does not actually exist. Anywhere but in the hearts of moviegoers, who've made Will Ferrell's TV news simpleton one of the more enduring and beloved comedy creations of the new millennium. Quick example of his cultural reach: In the upcoming movie "Lone Survivor," the fact-based account of a doomed Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan, there's a scene of two men pinned down by Taliban fire.
November 15, 2013 |
Saturday Night Live , NBC's long-running comic showcase, sheds its skin every few years, along with cast members. In the most recent shedding, before the current season, SNL lost Fred Armisen, who - with "special musical guest Ian Rubbish" - comes to Underground Arts Thursday night for a solo show. With SNL since 2002, Armisen, 46, created oddball characters such as Venezuelan nightclub host Fericito, unfunny Native American comedian Billy Smith - and Rubbish, a politically perverse '70s/'80s punk guitarist.
October 25, 2013 |
LISA LAMPANELLI is old enough (52, but who's counting?) to remember and respect Philadelphia as a Broadway tryout town. So when the chance came to test the waters here with her New York-bound (she hopes) theatrical production "Skinny Bitch: Not a Stand-Up Comedy Show," in the Kimmel Center's intimate Innovation Studio, she jumped. "It's not about selling a lot of tickets, filling a Radio City Music Hall or Carnegie Hall" - which she's done - "it's about developing the work," Lampanelli reflected, after her opening weekend of SRO shows here.
October 21, 2013 |
CAMDEN Driving through Camden on a rainy day, Mayor Dana L. Redd stops at Camden High School, where volunteers are setting up for their first night game since the installation of a new field and lights. Redd trudges across the rain-soaked ground and steps into a tent filled with gold-and-purple centerpieces and streamers. "Lots of Panthers pride in here," she says, shaking hands with organizers and promising to return - in boots - for her part in the pre-game parade. For Redd, who has led Camden for three years, pride is what she says she's returned to the city.
July 18, 2013
D EAR HARRY : I'm having trouble getting my mortgage rate reduced from its present 5.5 percent. The home is worth about $210,000, and the mortgage is $106,000. I retained a lawyer who has done nothing except send me some application forms, which I filled out. The mortgage company is acting as if it never got my application, and our lawyer told me to stop paying in order to get their attention. I have very good credit (score of 770), and don't want to jeopardize it or see my home come up for foreclosure.
July 14, 2013 |
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) , the ultra-light theatrical romp that compacts the great playwright's lifetime output in ways that make CliffsNotes look expansive, is actually tried-and-true vaudeville. It's the classic clash between high and low art - just add some manic frat-house energy, and laughs are inevitable. But that doesn't mean you automatically have a show. That's why the three-member Commonwealth Classic Theatre cast, starting a run of 11 free performances through July 27 at various regional venues, must have felt shot out of a cannon Thursday at the Morris Arboretum.
June 24, 2013
WITH THE (lackluster) primary behind us, Philadelphia politicians now look ahead to two days - Election Day on Nov. 5, and the 23rd annual Candidates Comedy Night on Wednesday, Aug. 21. (Details below.) This year's show will be small, with candidates for controller and district attorney - two Republican challengers and two Democratic incumbents. In past "off years," I have buttressed the show with Pennsylvania suburban candidates, but there are none of note this year. You know the Democratic candidates, because they are the incumbents: Controller Alan Butkovitz and D.A. Seth Williams.
June 7, 2013 |
LAST TIME we saw Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson making mischief together was "Wedding Crashers" - being, as Vaughn put it then, "young and stupid. " Wilson's response: "We're not that young. " And that was eight years ago, before Wilson entered his Brian Wilson-ish "Drillbit Taylor" period, including "Marley and Me" and a gig as the voice of Marmaduke. That would put visible miles on any man. Now the duo is back, turning their over-the-hill-gang status into a running joke in their reunion comedy "The Internship.
June 6, 2013
D EAR ABBY: I'm a single mother of two boys, 16 and 12. While my older son has been private about coming into puberty, my younger son is very open about it. I'll be honest: The subject makes me uncomfortable. Last night I walked into my 12-year-old's room and interrupted him pleasuring himself. I was shocked, and I started to laugh because I was embarrassed. I did tell him he needed to be more private about his curiosity. But I was laughing and could not stop. Where do I go from here?