Earlier this week, Conan O’Brien’s website commemorated the 20th anniversary of his audition for Late Night by releasing a short clip from it, an abbreviated “mock show” in which he interviewed Mimi Rogers and Jason Alexander in front of a live studio audience. O’Brien is clearly nervous (and can you blame him?), but Lorne Michaels and the Late Night producers saw something in that performance, and gave him a shot. That’s the beauty of the great comic audition — even when a talent is a little rough around the edges, the joy of discovering someone fresh, new, and funny wins out. After the jump, we’ll take a look at that tape and several other killer auditions from very funny folks. … Read More
For our (unconscionably high) rent money, the best thing about living in New York City is its endless supply of fun, odd, and inspired cultural events. But with so many options, it can be hard to know where to even begin planning your week. To help you make sense of it all, Flavorpill has launched a new social discovery engine where users can create and share events with friends, as well as follow Flavorpill editors’ and plugged-in local curators’ picks. Below, you’ll find the very best of what’s on offer this week, recommended by Flavorpill NYC’s very own Managing Editor, Leah Taylor. It’s just a taste of what you can find on the new Flavorpill, so if you like what you see, be sure to sign up. … Read More
Flyers for a highbrow lecture tour that never happened. A scrawled boxing challenge from a 4’8” woman (who also enclosed a photo of herself). A daily mantra card with a quote from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. A photograph of the subject impersonating Elvis. These are the strange and fascinating relics of Andy Kaufman’s life, which will appear as part of Maccarone Gallery‘s exhibition, On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman, which opens January 12 and runs through February 26. But fans won’t just have access to Kaufman’s ephemera at the show; a rotating cast of the comedian’s friends, family, and collaborators will also be on hand to hold “intimate and unscripted conversations about Kaufman” with visitors. Click through to see a selection of Andy Kaufman artifacts that will be on view — and if you’re in New York, make sure you take advantage of the rare opportunity to discuss the man and his myth with the people who knew him. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we learned a few things we didn’t know about holiday songs. We found out why English writer Alan Moore turned his back on Hollywood. We learned that something beautiful happens when you throw boiling water over a balcony in Russia. We read Popular Mechanics’ 110 predictions for the next 110 years. We watched Big Boi read How the Grinch Stole Christmas. … Read More
Last week, we took a look at a few of Hollywood’s stranger casting decisions for previous (and upcoming) biographical films. But with the Oscar-winning Iron Lady out today on DVD and Blu-ray, we thought we might also take a look at some of the more successful actor/biographical subject match-ups—with a particular eye on those that most convincingly embodied the figures they were playing.
Playing a well-known and well-documented actor, musician, or public figure can’t be easy, even for the best of actors — they not only have to assemble a serviceable performance in the conventional sense, but must also work up a convincing impersonation. They’re playing people that we’re used to seeing, whose look and speech have become familiar and distinctive, and must thus be replicated. The great performances in biographical movies must also then transcend the mere imitation, and create a compelling character beyond that. After the jump, we’ve assembled a dozen of the actors who memorably got into someone else’s skin; add your own in the comments. … Read More
Attention and behold: Marcel Duchamp… as a lady! Or, not exactly. This is more than just a giddy Surrealist in a pretty hat and a little rouge. This is Rrose Sélavy, Duchamp’s alter-ego with her own look, her own mind, even her own body of work. Sometimes artists create more than paintings and sculptures — they create people. They form whole other identities, personas. Let’s meet classic alter-egos from art history and contemporary performance practice. Be warned: Gender-bending, age-regression, metamorphosing, and dimension-crossing may occur. … Read More
Naked Gun star Leslie Nielsen died back in November, and now his gravestone has been unveiled. As Vulture points out, the otherwise small, tasteful plaque bears the legend, “Let ‘er rip.” Although we’re rarely taken in by fart jokes, we have to admit, we laughed when we saw it. Nielsen’s witty grave marker also got us thinking — how many other famous comedians have been so committed to humor that even their epitaph is a quip? We round up the (surprisingly sedate) memorials to our favorite dearly departed comedians, from Lucille Ball and Lenny Bruce to Bernie Mac and Bill Hicks after the jump. The best one, as far as we’re concerned, is John Belushi’s. … Read More
There’s a first-season episode of The West Wing called “Take Out the Trash Day,” which explains a notion somewhat common in the news biz: information that is either non-essential or potentially sensitive tends to be all that comes out on Friday, because, as Josh Lyman puts it, “no one reads the paper on Saturday.” As a result, media types tend to check out early on Friday nights, so it’s probably safe to assume that BlackBerries and iPhones all over New York and DC started blowing up just before 9pm last Friday, when MSNBC host Keith Olbermann unexpectedly announced that the current episode of his news and opinion program Countdown was its last.
Television departures tend to be lengthy, protracted affairs, announced months in advance so as to take advantage of the considerable hype and fanfare (and, thus, big ratings) of an extended farewell. Oprah Winfrey’s exit from her eponymous talk show made news nearly a year in advance; Larry King announced his retirement from CNN more than six months before he signed off. Jay Leno tops them all, though; he announced his departure from The Tonight Show a full five years before his 2009 exit. (How’d that go, by the way?) To commemorate Olbermann’s sudden resignation, we’ve rounded up the fascinating stories behind five more of TV’s most unexpected exits. … Read More
Before there was The Bachelor or Dismissed, before Flavor Flav had given out his first clock to a gaggle of adoring scantily-clad ladies, before ____ of Love became a go-to formula, there was The Dating Game. Starting in 1965, The Dating Game and The New Dating Game planted the seeds of what would become the modern reality dating show — there was the sassy bachelorette, the suitors vying for her attention, the winking double entendres, and, of course, the celebrity guest appearance. From a pre-fame Steve Martin to young Michael Jackson, a host of celebrity guests stopped by during its heyday. Alas, many of the show tapes were erased (as was the standard in the day) but some of the hilarity has been preserved via some killer YouTube clips. Check out the best of them after the jump. … Read More
Collecting hundreds of angry letters written to the provocative star of Taxi and SNL, the coffee table-style book Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts! is a suitably ironic love letter to the oft-misunderstood comedian.
Kaufman satirically challenged the women of America to a wrestling match in the late ’70s, assuring that the winner would “get to marry [him],” receive $1,000, and have the apparently added joy of seeing him shave his head.
Dear Andy Kaufman features the most intriguing and odd selections of the impassioned responses that poured in from across the country — many of which include bizarre illustrations, photographs, and added challenges — in a tome that both honors Kaufman’s incendiary style and serves as a hate mail-paved time portal to an age of sensitive and persistent sexism. … Read More