Tag Archives: Craig Ferguson

T.G.I.F. – Ten Globe Guesses

But before we get to the prognostication…and just to keep the teakettle whistling – here are the latest clips from the late night talk show hosts on the Tonight Show debacle, courtesy Gawker. Jimmy Kimmel bitch-slaps Jay Leno on his own show, and if you aren’t a Craig Ferguson fan after his clip…well, you might just be an NBC executive

So here are ten guesses for who will win at Sunday’s award show. I’ve limited this group to films; I always wonder why they even vote on American television programming anyway.

The Globes are always a crapshoot, since the voters are the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who (1) may not have seen all of the nominees, (2) might not get the context of American humor and cultural references and (3) tend to vote for their favorite people – those who play the schmooze game – regardless of merit. But what the hell, it’s only internet money.

Tune in to NBCif it’s still broadcasting – this Sunday night at 8:00pm EST to find out for yourself. (Even if you don’t care about the minor categories, watch or record the program; I wager that Ricky Gervais will make this an evening to remember).

Best Motion Picture – Drama:  There’s a lot of George Clooney love right now, but as much as I liked Up In The Air I think it’s been a wee bit overrated and it won’t hold up. Even those who don’t normally like war films are praising The Hurt Locker and I think it will resonate here as well

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama:  The HFPA loves Sandra Bullock. Lovvvvvvve her. And since this is being hailed as her “greatest performance” they are all but being directed to strike while the iron is hot. I thought she was great in Crash but she makes too many cheesey comedies (not that it stopped the HFPA for nominating her for that also).

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Did I mention how they love George Clooney? Caution spoiler: Morgan Freeman did play Nelson Mandela…

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical – This is a horrible category. Of the films, I liked the flawed The Hangover the best, but the all-star cast suggests It’s Compicated is probably more up their alley.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical: This category tells you all you need to know about the HFPA – Bullock chewing the scenery, Julia Roberts automatic nod and two Meryl Streep roles. The only way Streep loses is if she splits her own votes, but since HFPA also loves people playing real characters, it’s Streep for Julia and Julia.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical: That Sherlock Holmes is a comedy tells you a lot about why I hate the very concept of the movie, but not enough people appreciate that Joesph Gordon-Levitt is the best young actor in Hollywood and not enough people cared about The Informant. So I’ll wager it’s Robert Downey Jr.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: As intense and worthy as Mo’Nique was in Precious, and as revered as Penelope Cruz is in general, I just have a gut feeling that Vera Farmiga will benefit from being in the most likeable film in the group. Not that she isn’t worthy – tough crowd here.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture – This is quite possibly the best group of nominees on the whole show (and they didn’t even nominate Christian McKay for Me and Orson Welles!) Any other year Stanley Tucci walks away with this for his chilling performance in The Lovely Bones, but Christoph Waltz probably gave a performence for the ages in Inglorious Basterds.

Best Director – Motion Picture – It makes no sense that someone could helm the Best Picture and not win as Best Director, but Avatar is a tidal wave and James Cameron gets rewarded for the sheer scope of the film.

Best Screenplay- Motion Picture – I think this is where the HFPA again gets to reward a feel-good picture (even though it was anything but feel-good) by Globing Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for Up in the Air.

The full slate of categories and nominees can be found here. I’ll post links to the results, along with my reactions, on Monday January 18th.

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Chin Music

Frankly, I don’t think Conan needs me to fight his battles – looks like he’s perfectly capable of handling this all by himself.

(As a bonus, the Letterman clips prove once and for all that Paul Shaffer – great bandleader, good storyteller in the proper setting – should have his lips stapled shut whenever Letterman is talking.)

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T.G.I.F. – Ten More Laughs

 This week a little cheating – a couple of the clips feature multiple performers and as usual I can’t count to ten. Sad to think that Sather, Hedberg and Jeni are no longer with us; sadder to realize that two were suicides and the third might have been. Every one of these guys has made me laugh so hard that fluids tried to escape my body against my will. Enjoy!

comedy mask

Dave Chappelle doesn’t like Sesame Street very much.

The late Drake Sather was a great stand-up and comedy writer.

Norm MacDonald is effin brilliant.

So was the late Mitch Hedberg; this from the Just For Laughs Festival.

Another guy I miss, Richard Jeni, riffing on Michael Jackson.

Drew Carey, Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops on Who’s Line is it Anyway?

Banter between Colin Mochrie and Ryan doing the classic “Greatest Hits” ads.

Nick DiPaolo on drinking, driving and smoking.

Gilbert Gottfried can squeeze every last drop out of a funny line.

Craig Ferguson is funny on his show but his stand-up shows are killer.

Bonus tracks:

Eddie Izzard and the Evil Giraffe.

Jim Carrey channels David Caruso.

Life is short. Laugh every day!

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Stand Up Wit… Jeff Caldwell

"Who is accepting bananas from strangers?"

"That's 'cause the sound comes out of this hole on the front of my face..."

It’s pretty rare these days to hear a comedian who is incredibly funny and is family friendly to boot. I’m not one who equates foul language with a weak comic mind. If it’s used for emphasis or in storytelling, it’s not offensive – if anything it’s more realistic and believable. Language is what it is, and if you don’t think people yell fuck when they hit their thumb with a hammer or when something goes horribly wrong, you might want to check that calendar of yours.

Conversely I find that some comics who purposely avoid certain topics and phrases often flounder with tired premises and well-worn subject matter in an effort to be politically correct. And observational humor? That’s taken such a beating post-Seinfeld that it’s almost an insult to attribute the title to a comedian. But there are a few that can offer a fresh take on the everyday subjects and be gut-busting funny while not dropping a bagful of F-bombs. Brian Regan has found great success recently, and I predict that Jeff Caldwell won’t be far behind.

Anyone who names their album I’m No Epidemiologist and actually works that into a punch line is betting that there’s an audience who can appreciate someone with a functioning vocabulary who is not going for the lowest common denominator. And that’s where Jeff’s magic lies; despite looking every bit the ex-engineer that he is, Caldwell exudes smart without being smarmy. (Dick Cavett is smart but he never let you forget that for a moment, and people didn’t like that. Robert Klein is just as smart but always talked to you like you are too…and you warmed up to the guy in a heartbeat. Caldwell is definitely on the Klein side of the fence – you immediately like him).

Caldwell on David Letterman.

A good routine – hell, a great joke – can be shattered by a bad delivery. Nuance, inflection, timing, cadence and vocal pitch are critical, especially on a recorded album where the you cannot rely on the visual gestures or arched eyebrow to drive the point home. Caldwell is so relaxed and smooth that it almost seems effortless, but of course it’s not.  And although each topic he riffs about on Epidemiologist is commonplace – financial woes, sports, bad products (with worse customer service), awkward encounters – he nails it.

Check him out; he’ll be a favorite of yours, too.

Jeff’s MySpace page features a few video clips.

Jeff’s home page – tour dates, more video and infrequent travelogue updates.

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