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February 21, 2013 | By Philip Brandes
“That's not funny, that's sick!” was once a mission statement for National Lampoon's assaults on propriety and good taste. Some of that is-nothing-sacred irreverence still haunts the theatrical debut of “Sketches from the National Lampoon” at the Hayworth Theatre, though too often as a ghost of former greatness. Authenticity abounds under the auspices of producer Matty Simmons (who ran the business end of National Lampoon's various print, record, stage and film successes during its heyday in the 1970s and '80s)
February 8, 2013 | By Jenn Harris
An exclusive coloring book of fashion sketches by DKNY New York is to be unveiled Friday at the Empire Hotel in New York. The coloring book was designed to benefit the Art of Elysium, an organization dedicated to connecting artists and critically ill children. It was produced in conjunction with Noise 784's #SocialChats, a traveling program that encourages discussions among fashion and entertainment influencers. One hundred copies of the coloring book will be donated to the Art of Elysium.
February 2, 2013 | By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times Invented in Paris in the late 1950s, the mechanical drawing toy that would eventually be marketed as "the world's first laptop" became wildly popular soon after an Ohio company introduced it under a new name: Etch A Sketch. French electrician Andre Cassagnes stumbled upon the concept for what he called the "Telecran" - or telescreen - while peeling a decal from a switch plate and noticing how his pencil marks had transferred from one surface to another. After an Ohio Art Co. executive discovered it at the 1959 Nuremberg Toy Fair, he bought the rights for $25,000 and launched it in time to become the best-selling toy of the 1960 holiday season.
January 17, 2013 | By David Ng
National Lampoon, one of the most recognizable names in comedy, but one that has seen its brand image suffer in recent years, is getting back into the stage business with a brand new production -- "Sketches from the National Lampoon" at the Hayworth Theatre starting Feb. 15.  Judging from the description provided by the company, "Sketches" will capitalize on public nostalgia for National Lampoon's heyday. The show consists of a series of favorite sketches, monologues and musical numbers from the company vault.
December 16, 2012 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
Gorgeous, full-color illustrations of costumes from "My Fair Lady," "Cabaret," "Cleopatra," "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Vertigo" are just a few of the goodies in Deborah Nadoolman Landis' new book, "Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration" (Harper Design, $75), which shines a light on the under-appreciated field of costume illustration. "These are the products of talented individuals who are part of our business. It's truly the art of Hollywood," Landis says. The book features the work of 100 Hollywood artists, including costume designers who did their own sketches and illustrators who sketched for and collaborated with designers.
November 19, 2012 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant may have taken a beating last week in the New York Times - critic Pete Wells review was so scathing it has had folks talking for days now - but at least he got some equal time over the weekend on "Saturday Night Live. " Well, almost . As in, it was almost Fieri on the air, and the sketch almost made it on air. Alas, Bobby Moynihan's take on the celebrity chef will have to live forever in the dress rehearsal where it was performed, and of course, online.
October 16, 2012 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
When President Obama joins Mitt Romney on stage Tuesday for the second of three presidential debates, he no doubt hopes to put to rest the many questions raised by his lackluster performance two weeks ago: Has he completely lost his 2008 media mojo? Is he so addicted to the teleprompter that he can no longer handle a more spontaneous forum? And, perhaps most important: Is Luther anywhere in the house? Luther, for the uninitiated, is Obama's Anger Translator, a creation of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, stars of Comedy Central's "Key & Peele," who have done a series of hilarious skits that are this campaign's answer to Tina Fey's Sarah Palin.
September 16, 2012 | By Claire Zulkey
Sketches about funny voices and the 2012 election dominated the opening of "Saturday Night Live's" 38 th season. Host Seth MacFarlane, creator and voice actor of “Family Guy” and “Ted,” tended to rely upon his vocal characters for most of his starring scenes (a dark sketch about a damaged puppet class attendee was arguably the most successful in terms of both humor and originality), although the host did take a stab at celebrity impression during a fond Weekend Update tweak at the genial dimness of Olympics star Ryan Lochte.
August 27, 2012 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Don't let the retro styling fool you. Although they look like comic extra rejects from a '70s variety show with some heavy metal updating, the magician-trickster-funny-men of "Elephant Room" are goofy originals, very much of our makeshift moment. No point in trying to categorize the show, which opened Sunday at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Created by Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle and Steve Cuiffo, the entire production is a sleight of hand. With a smattering of magic, sketch comedy and cat-and-mouse with the audience, the trio of performers, working under the aliases Daryl Hannah, Dennis Diamond and Louie Magic, foster the illusion of a complete theatrical offering.
August 19, 2012 | By Liesl Bradner
Long known for being genteel and charmingly indifferent to headline news, the New Yorker in recent years has earned a reputation of skewering political and cultural figures with its cover art. Barry Blitt's infamous 2008 Barack and Michelle Obama fist bump cover poking fun at the perception of the then-presidential candidate, for instance, spawned countless satiric imitations. With "Blown Covers: New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant to See" (Abrams), art director Françoise Mouly gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the selection process.
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