My husband and I will travel next Saturday to Austin, Texas, to see one of our favorite comedians, Eddie Izzard, perform live at the Paramount Theatre. I will review and recap the show for you, loyal readers, here on BAM’s Blog.
Izzard, star of the FX series “The Riches,” is a hilarious comic who excels at wild imitations (particularly of James Mason, Sean Connery and his old clarinet teacher, Mrs. Badcrumble), mining history for laughs and bizarre observational humor.
In this week leading up to Izzard’s Austin show, I will be sharing some of his funniest bits. However, before you click on these videos, please keep in mind that Izzard also is known for dressing as a woman and cursing a blue streak in his shows. These clips aren’t for the kids.
In one of my favorite moments from “Eddie Izzard: Definite Article,” the comedian talks about Pavlov’s dog research (but with a Welsh accent) and then imagines what would happen if Pavlov had tried the ring-bell-eat-food experiment with a cat instead of dog:
(This video is from YouTube. I highly recommend that you rent or buy these DVDs. I own several of them, and they never fail to make me laugh.)
Rainn Wilson, the hilarious comic actor who plays Dwight Schrute on NBC’s “The Office,” has been given a big-screen role in a great big blockbuster.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wilson has been cast in Michael Bay’s “Transformers 2.” He will join Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro, who starred in last year’s blockbuster big-screen battle between the Autobots and Decepticons.
Filming recently started in Los Angeles and is moving to Pennsylvania and then overseas, according to the trade magazine.
It will be Wilson’s first time to appear in a big-budget studio franchise; he will play a college professor to LaBeouf’s new undergraduate. It’s just a small part, but Wilson took a bit role in “Juno” and parlayed it into something very funny and memorable.
Wilson next will be seen in the starring role in the musical comedy “The Rocker,” opening Aug. 1, and he is working on the screenplay for “Bonzai Shadowhands” with “Juno” director Jason Reitman.
Discussions with Jonah Hill to take another small role did not pan out, according to HR. I can’t say that I’m disappointed; Hill strikes me as the most overexposed (and underdeserving of the hype) member of the Judd Apatow crowd.
Today’s featured event:
Cheer on the Mark Harmon (TV’s “NCIS”) Bombers and OSSO Outlaws in the annual Mark Harmon “Pitch in for Kids” Celebrity Baseball Game. The game, which benefits The Children’s Center nonprofit hospital, will start at 3 p.m. Saturday in AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S Mickey Mantle Drive. Pre-game events start at 2:30 p.m.
For more information, call 218-1000 or go online to www.oklahomaredhawks.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
The song that has been on my brain the most this week:
- “Move Along,” The All-American Rejects, the title track from their 2005 album.
I always keep this upbeat punk-rock hit from Stillwater’s own All-American Rejects on my iPod. There’s been a few days when the infectious guitar riffs, the catchy beat and the repeated chorus have given me just enough momentum to make it through.
Check out the video from YouTube, and you’ll hear what I mean:
Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor announced this morning two more shows scheduled for this fall at the new BOK Center.
The arena’s first comedy act will be puppeteer/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham on Oct. 3. The venue’s first contemporary Christian concert will be Casting Crowns’ Christmas Celebration Show on Nov. 30.
The as-yet-unfinished arena is set to open at the beginning of September, and several events are already planned. Here’s the slate as of today. For more information, go to www.bokcenter.com.
- Kenny Chesney with LeAnn Rimes
Sep 10, 2008
- American Idol Live
Sep 13, 2008
- Rascal Flatts with Taylor Swift
Sep 25, 2008
- Jeff Dunham
Oct 3, 2008
- Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic
Oct 13, 2008
- Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey OVER THE TOP Circus
Oct 17, 2008
- Neil Diamond
Oct 21, 2008
- Celine Dion
Nov 13, 2008
- Celtic Thunder
Nov 19, 2008
- Casting Crowns
Nov 30, 2008
- TU vs OU
Dec 7, 2008
- Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Dec 22, 2008
If you couldn’t get tickets to one of Jeff Dunham’s sold-out shows set for Saturday at Shawnee’s Firelake Grand Casino, fear not. The comic puppeteer will be making another stop in our state this fall – and in a much larger venue.
Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor announced this morning that Dunham will perform at the city’s new BOK Center at 8 p.m. Oct. 3. The ventriloquist will be the first comedy acto to perform at the as-yet-unfinished arena.
Tickets for the Tulsa stop on Dunham’s “Spark of Insanity” tour will be $40 and $45 and will go on sale at 10 a.m. June 6.
Taylor also announced this morning BOK Center’s first contemporary Christian concert:
Casting Crowns will perform their Christmas Celebration Show on Nov. 30. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. July 19; ticket prices have not yet been confirmed.
For more information, go to www.bokcenter.com.
With his national tour projected to gross $25 million, Dunham – along with his puppet pals – also will be featured in a number of upcoming television specials on NBC and Comedy Central, according to a news release.
Dunham will be among the stars on NBC’s “America United: In Support of Our Troops,” which was taped before Marines at Camp Pendleton. The two-hour primetime event updates the classic Bob Hope USO tour specials and will air this summer. Previous salute the troops specials have drawn some of the largest audiences in TV history, and the show will be broadcast on Armed Forces Television & Radio to millions of active duty troops and their families around the world.
On Comedy Central, where his specials are among the channel’s all-time top-rated shows, Dunham will be featured often in June and July.
On June 6, the channel will air “Comedy Central Presents: Jeff Dunham” in the morning. In the evening, the channel will show ”Jeff Dunham: Arguing With Myself” (his first Comedy Central special that has sold more than 1 million DVDs since 2006 ) as a lead-in for his hosting the third season premiere of “Live at Gotham.”
On June 7, the channel will again air “Arguing With Myself.” Then, the network will twice broadcast his 2007 Comedy Central special, “Spark of Insanity,” which also became his second 1 million-selling DVD and the title of his tour.
Check local listings for the exact times for these programs.
On June 7, Dunham also will be taping his first Christmas special in front of a live audience in Milwaukee at The Pabst Theater.
The final round in RooftopComedy’s first National College Comedy Competition will take place at 7:45 p.m. Saturday at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colo.
The competition will be Web cast live at www.RooftopComedy.com/college. Viewers can vote to determine the funniest college student in the stand-up and short-film competitions.
Among the four finalists in the short-film competition is Enid resident Mark Potts, a senior film/video studies and professional writing major from the Unversity of Oklahoma. You can watch Potts’ short film “Icescraper” by clicking here.
More than 600 stand-up comics and short-filmmakers participated in the RooftopComedy contest through 32 on-campus competitions (including one at OU), 16 regional semifinals and two online voting rounds.
Here are the other finalists:
· Kathleen O’Brien, senior English education major at University of Virginia from Montclair, Va.
· Tim Ball,senior sociology major at Duke University from Dallas, Texas.
· Reid Faylor, sophomore biology major at Xavier University from Fort Wayne, Ind.
· Mary Sasson, junior English major at UNC from Pittsburgh.
· “Icescraper,” Mark Potts
· “Car Phone,” by Dan Perrault, junior acting major at Emerson College from Hingham, Mass.
· “The Breakup,” by Amos Vernon, senior peace and conflict studies major at UC Berkeley from Chapel Hill, N.C.
“Actor Hunters: Ep.1 Pt.1,” by Matthew Schwartz, senior theater/government major at Skidmore College from Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.
New “American Idol” David Cook appeared this morning on CBS “Early Show,” doing an interview with anchor Maggie Rodriguez and performing “The Time of My Life.” Click here to ready the written version of the interview, in which the newly minted music star/sex symbol claims he’s “just a nerd who got lucky.”
Here’s video of his interview and performance, from Popcrunch.com:
Also, MTV and the Associated Press released late Thursday photos of Cook and David Archuleta’s Tuesday appearance on “TRL.”
My favorite of the TRL images: This hilarious shot of Cook holding a phone book so that Archie could finally test “Idol” judge Randy Jackson’s repeated declaration that the teen crooner could sing the phone book and still sound impressive. It’s about time somebody tested that ridiculously overused cliche.
Jason Aldean likens touring with country superstar Tim McGraw as “almost like having a free education.”
As a special guest on McGraw’s “2008 Live Your Voice Tour,” Aldean says he’s observing how McGraw interacts with fans, radio personalities and the people who work for him.
McGraw’s tour, which also includes the duo Halfway to Hazard, stops at the Ford Center at 8 tonight.
Goodness knows McGraw has this country music gig down pat. Along with his string of hit singles and legions of fervent fans, McGraw recently came in at No. 3 on Forbes’ list of the Top-Earning Country Music Stars.
According to Forbes, he made $23 million in the last year and sold 2.4 million copies of his latest album, “Let It Go.” His Soul2Soul II tour with wife Faith Hill (who tied Keith Urban at No. 7 on the list with $12 million) was last year’s second highest-grossing country tour.
Watching McGraw, Aldean might even learn how to become a rock star.
Last month, McGraw scored the 30th No. single of his long career with “Nine Lives” – a song he co-wrote and performed on with Def Leppard.
The lead single from Def Leppard’s “Song from the Sparkle Lounge” album hit No. 1 on the Billboard/RR Classic Rock chart. With the song, McGraw also became the first country artist to make the Billboard/RR Active Rock Singles chart, according to a news release.
McGraw initiated the collaboration three years ago through his long-time tour manager Robert Allen, who is the brother of Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen.
In 2005, McGraw became the first country artist to have a song on the Billboard Hip Hop/Rap Singles chart, according to the release. He did it with “Over and Over,” a collaboration with Nelly.
Clearly, he’s a man of many talents and interests; Aldean should watch closely.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. To hear an audio clip of my interview with Jason Aldean, click here.
‘Hicktown’ and beyond
Jason Aldean cashes in with country music
Jason Aldean is an ideal example of an overnight success nearly 15 years in the making.
When the singer/songwriter/guitarist won the Academy of Country Music’s top new male vocalist award in 2005, he had been working in Nashville, Tenn., for about seven years and playing in bars and clubs since he was a teenager.
“Once ‘Hicktown’ came out, it seemed like I kind of came out of nowhere and all the sudden had a hit,” Aldean said in a phone interview from Indianapolis, where he was preparing for a show. “For me, it didn’t feel like an overnight thing; I was just glad it finally happened.”
Now, Aldean, 31, and the duo Halfway to Hazard are guests on superstar Tim McGraw’s “2008 Live Your Voice Tour.” The tour stops at the Ford Center at 8 tonight.
“I watch what he (McGraw) does on stage and how he interacts with fans and things like that, but also how he takes care of all his people who work for him. Little things like that just make a big difference,” Aldean said. “Being out there, it’s almost like having a free education.”
“Hicktown,” the first single off Aldean’s 2005 self-titled debut album, was the first of five straight top 10 singles for him.
His sophomore album, “Relentless,” entered the country charts at No. 1 a year ago. It has spawned hits with “Johnny Cash” and “Laugh Until We Cried.” The recently released title track is in the Top 40.
Aldean started performing in little clubs around his native Georgia when he was 14 and had a house gig at the Macon nightspot Nashville South within about a year. By the time he graduated high school, he was playing music five nights a week. He decided to forgo college and the chance to play baseball to tour with a band around the South.
In 1998, his producer, Michael Knox, then-vice president of Warner-Chapell Publishing, spotted him playing in an Atlanta club and signed him to a songwriting contract. It took the next six years for Aldean to land a secure record deal.
A native Georgian, Aldean plays country with a solid shot of Southern rock. His biggest musical influences are Alabama, Tracy Lawrence and John Anderson.
While he scored a hit with the song “Johnny Cash,” about hitting the road with a Cash classic blaring, he doesn’t list the Man in Black among his main influences.
“I kind of took some heat over saying this when that song was out, but you know, Johnny Cash, I can’t honestly say he was a big influence for me. The reason being is the time I really started listening to music on the radio was in the ’80s, which Johnny wasn’t really getting played a lot on the radio in the ’80s,” he said. “It’s just one of those things where I didn’t really grow up hearing a lot of his music so … I didn’t have an appreciation for his music until I was older.”
Sounding like himself
Aldean is part of an influx of young talent finding success in Nashville. He said he isn’t making a calculated effort to stand out from the crowd; he just plays the music he loves.
“It’s really weird to me to see sometimes a lot of new artists come out and then try to be like another artist, and that to me doesn’t make a lot of sense. There’s already a Tim McGraw, there’s already a George Strait, like there’s not going to be another one. So you might as well come out and do what it is that you do and not try to do things like these guys do,” he said.
“I never really tried to pay much attention to that, I just kind of came out and did what it is that I do, which I didn’t know if people were going to like it or not. But ultimately, I gotta go out and sing the songs every night, so I want all that stuff to be things that I like.”
Aldean has plenty of experience as a songwriter but doesn’t insist on recording his own work. His first album included three tracks he wrote; “Relentless” doesn’t feature any.
“I’m one of those people that I like to write a song if I have something to say. I don’t necessarily really like sitting in a room for four or five hours a day just writing just for the sake of writing. I guess, because I did that for a while, it’s just not my thing,” he said. “I’m one of those people that when we’re recording an album, I want to find the best songs I can find. If I happen to write those, then that’s great; if not, that’s fine, too.”
Aldean is working on his third album, which he expects to release next year. For now, he is focused on his job on the tour: Getting the crowd warmed up for McGraw.
“Our whole day revolves around that hour that we get to play on stage, and so when we finally get the chance to go out there … we just try to have a good time and kind of cut loose,” he said.
Tim McGraw with Jason Aldean and Halfway to Hazard
When: 8 tonight.
Where: Ford Center, 100 W Reno.
Tickets and information: 235-8288 or www.okfordcenter.com.