comedy, film, and music in Los Angeles
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7.17.14 I Origins Screening and Q&A at LACMA. After we watched Mike Cahill’s newest film, I Origins, we got to see Elvis Mitchell do a Q&A with Cahill and the film’s stars: Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Brit Marling, and Michael Pitt. Loved the film, and though the Q&A’s can typically be a bit stuffy, these guys had a lot of fun. 

7.15.14 Doug Loves Movies at UCB LA. Jillian Bell, Phil Lord and Chris Miller all made their first appearances on DLM tonight. Lord & Miller directed both Jump Street films and wrote and directed The Lego Movie, while Bell appeared in 22 Jump Street and is a regular on Workaholics.

The three of them were funny and a pleasure to watch, and it was a really nice change of pace from the more typical comedic guests. The podcast will be worth the listen if only for the Russian title of 22 Jump Street, but I do wish they’d been able to get through more rounds of the game.


My opinion on Don Cheadle has not changed over the past three Emmy nominations. Here’s a video I did for the Hollywood Reporter two years ago stumping for Cheadle to win (uch) that Emmy.

Love this.

7.8.14 Doug Loves Movies at UCB LA. This week on DLM, Doug Benson was joined by Weird Al Yankovic, Eli Roth, Kris Tinkle and Dustin Ybarra. This was the first appearance on DLM for both Weird Al & Eli Roth, and I would love to see them on again. 

7.6.14 Gravid Water at UCB LA. I’ve been going to Gravid Water nearly every month for a couple of years now, and I’ve never seen Ben Schwartz do it before. Happily, there is a first time for everything!

This was a particularly successful edition, with Ben, Neil Casey, Suzi Barrett, Sean Conroy and Ian Roberts improvising, and Kimmy Gatewood, Michael McMillian, Tom Lenk, Timm Sharp and Shelley Slocum doing the acting.  

7.5.14 ASSSSCAT at UCB LA. We’ve been doing some traveling, so this was my first UCB show in almost a month. And it’s definitely that time of year at UCB where the temperature inside is at least 30 degrees warmer than the temperature outside. Luckily, there were many funny people there to make up for the stuffiness of the theater. 

Ben Garant was the guest monologist, with Lauren Lapkus, Sean Conroy, Ben Schwartz, Fran Gillespie, Neil Campbell, Alex Berg and Michael Hanford doing the improvising. The cast was an eclectic one, and the subject matter was varied (jorts, Mariachi Homer, and Willy Weedka were all touched upon), but it all made for a good show. Having just finished watching season two of Comedy Bang Bang, I was especially glad to catch Neil Campbell. And I was surprised & happy to see Ben Schwartz at the theater for the first time in two months - he’s been filming a movie in Canada for what seems like forever.

6.8.14 Tournament of Nerds at UCB with the cast of Veep. This was our first time at Tournament of Nerds, which is usually held on a Saturday night at midnight. But with Hot Sauce out of town for the second month in a row (::tears::) this spot on the schedule was up for grabs.

UCB founder Matt Walsh and his Veep castmates Tim Simons, Kevin Dunn, Reid Scott, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus sat on stage to judge a series of presidential contests in an effort to determine the best president. The whole cast was ridiculously funny, as were the comedians acting as presidents, but I think the highlight was Skeletor dropping in to read some jokes he’d written for the roast of Gwildor. He had the entire room rolling with laughter.

And the winner? President Barbie, who may not have looked much like Barbie, but talked a great game.  

6.3.14 Casey & Woods Neil Casey and Zach Woods got together again this month for their two man show. Both of them are very well-spoken, articulate comedians, so a lot of their improv is witty exchanges.

I would highly recommend seeing their show - either in NYC at UCB’s Del Close Marathon at the end of June, or at UCB LA in the near future. We’ll definitely be at the next one. 

6.2.14 The Improvised Shakespeare Company at the Lillian Theater. We went to see these guys on their last swing through LA in January after Thomas Middleditch tweeted about it, and we were so glad we did. So when I got an email that they were returning, I didn’t hesitate to buy tickets. 

This edition had the same cast as last time - Joey Bland, Ross Bryant, Greg Hess, Thomas Middleditch and Blaine Swen. Based on an audience member’s suggestion of a title, these five gentlemen improvise a one-act play with Shakespearean-esque language and plot. Astonishingly, they are quicker than I could ever hope to be in just plain English. 

If you are in LA, they have another show tonight - check them out!

6.1.14 Gravid Water at UCB. This month, there were only three improvisers (Stephnie Weir, Bob Dassie, and Neil Casey) working with actors Michael McMillian, Shelly Slocum, Bayne Gibby, Jimmy Slonina & Maria Thayer. All of the scenes were funny, but Neil Casey’s rambling thief-turned-musician was the highlight of the show.