Friday, 25 September 2009

American Wildly popular comic hits Capitol on Saturday night

When you ask some of the world's funniest human beings who is their favourite comedian, often the answer is Louis C.K.
C.K. (a replacement of his real last name Szekely) appears at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday night as part of his fall tour of Canada and Europe.
While C.K.'s recentl;y career doing stand up is the stuff dreams are made of, his beginnings sound like that of most comedians: he took advantage of an open-mic night at a bar, stunk the place up and quickly scurried back into the comedic hole out of which he crawled in the first place but only for a couple of weeks before trying it again. And again. And. . . .
Hey, that's how just about everyone in the business got started. Now, with 20 years of experience, C.K. has been nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding writing for a variety, music or comedy special for his second one-hour TV particular Louis C.K.: Chewed Up, alongside the likes of Chris Rock, Will Ferrell and Ricky Gervais.
He'll star in the film The Invention of Lying with Gervais and Jennifer Garner, which opens next month, and has scored a recurring role in the NBC series Parks & Recreation in the role of police officer Dave Sanderson.
At age 41, the Washington born comic, writer and director who also bagged an Emmy for his writing on the renown Chris Rock Gig, is at the pinnacle of his craft.
His own 2006 sitcom Lucky Louie remains a cult favourite, even if it got canned after one season, likely because it went too far with its nudity and language that was at times so rough, it might have made Ricky from The Trailer Park Boys blush.
Next year, C.K. stars in his own series on the American FX network called Louie. He'll executive produce it, write it and direct the series which is based on his own life as a stand up comic and single father of two living in New York City.
In April, C.K. taped his national theatre tour Louis C.K.: Hilarious, his third one-hour particular in as many years. His second one, Shameless, is out on CD and DVD and his first, Louis C.K.: Shameless, is racking up sales on DVD.
He's starred in two HBO One Night Stand particular, a Comedy Central Presents special and on HBO's 25th Anniversary Young Comedians special.
As a film maker, C.K.'s likely best known for his cult classic blaxploitation spoof Pootie Tang, which he wrote and directed.
His first feature film, Tomorrow Night, which he wrote, directed and produced, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998 and his most successful short film Ice Cream screened at Sundance as part of the New Directors, New Films series at MOMA in 1994.
Last year C.K. was seen in Diminished Capacity with Matthew Broderick, Virginia Madsen and Alan Alda, as well as in Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins with Martin Lawrence, Mike Epps and Cedric the Entertainer. Often dirty and usually deranged, Just for Laughs presents Louis C.K. at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available for $35.50 at the Capitol box office, by calling 1-506-856-4379 or 1-800-567-1922 and online at

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

“Whatever they had in their hair, that’s what I had in my hair”, Chris Rock

“I’m not saying anything about that I’m not saying anything about Kanye (West) and end up on some rap album somewhere,” said Chris Rock laughing during an on stage interview at the Toronto International Film Festival yesterday afternoon. And with that, he launched into a mini-rap, “‘I got money, Chris Rock aint funny…’ There are just too many things that rhyme with ‘Rock,’” he snapped. The Kanye topic came up at a packed auditorium in Toronto which turned out to see the comedian who is here supporting his doc, “Good Hair” and an audience member asked him what he thought about rapper Kanye West’s behavior at the MTV Video Music Awards over the weekend.
But Rock didn’t demure over a range of topics spanning politics, Michael Moore, the Obamas and even the Jacksons (who get a bit of a verbal beating) during the hour-long conversation hosted by TIFF documentary programmer Thom Powers as part of the festival’s Maverick series. But it was hair, or specifically, the culture and economics behind black women’s hair, that took center stage. The genesis of his doc, which is screening as a Special Presentation at the festival, began when Rock’s young daughter asked, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” And in a style reminiscent of a Michael Moore film, Rock mixes humor and investigative journalism to explore the topic, from hair salons to laboratories and even the international trade in Indian and Korean hair, which form a cornerstone of a vast industry in which individuals pay thousands of dollars to maintain a perfect coiffe.
“Before the Obamas, the Jacksons were the first black family in America,” said Rock. “Whatever they had in their hair, that’s what I had in my hair growing up.” Chris Rock said he believed it was in the ‘70s when blacks in America were “finally free,” and it was reflected in their hair. Afros bounced proudly as African Americans turned away from the heavy product and relaxers embodied by Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis Junior. Rock laughed, recalling how he was the first black kid in his school growing up. “It was, you know - shitty,” he said of his days at school.
But, turning back to the Jacksons, Chris Rock had no problem tearing in on late pop star Michael Jackson.
“Poor Michael - I wonder if they have hair care products in Heaven, er - or in Hell, or whatever…,” he said, then turning to Powers seated with him on stage, “You know, I think they make him do shows in Heaven, and then they send him back to Hell.”
Though he was a fan of the Jacksons growing up, he clearly has gained their ire now that he’s famous, and with lines like that, it’s probably not surprising. “I met Michael once. He just glared at me… And I’ve met Janet, and she just glared at me… Back when I was a kid, if anyone had told me that one day the Jacksons will want to kick my ass, I would’ve said, ‘You’re crazy!’”
Rock reserved compliments, however, for filmmaker Michael Moore who also was in Toronto promoting his new film “Capitalism: A Love Story.”
“I’ve always been a big fan of Michael Moore ever since I saw ‘Roger & Me’ 20 years ago,” said Rock. “I thought, this is funny and smart.” He said the style of filmmaking prompted him back then to consider “Good Hair,” but docs had not hit their stride yet, so he shelved the idea until his daughter brought up the topic years later and Moore and others’ success in documentary prompted him to reconsider.
“At the time [of the idea] Michael Moore was new, there was no ‘Borat’ and I was barely known, but now I have two daughters and I see their hair issues, so the idea came back. It’s a funny thing about hair. Li’l Kim and Michell Obama have nothing in common, but if you just say ‘hair,’ they’ll talk for two hours.” The comedian, who hosted the 77th Academy Awards in 2005, went on to say that he thinks this is his funniest movie to date even though it’s only PG-13 and mostly void of his typically sexually charged and expletive-laced stand up.
“This isn’t a topic about anything controversial it’s hair!”