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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2010 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Blake Edwards, a writer-director who battled depression in his personal life yet was known as a modern master of slapstick and sophisticated wit with hit films such as the "Pink Panther" comedies, "10" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's," has died. He was 88. Edwards died of complications of pneumonia Wednesday evening at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, said Gene Schwam, Edwards' longtime publicist. His wife, Julie Andrews, and members of the immediate family were at his bedside.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2014 | By Philip Brandes
There are misbegotten plays so bad they're good, and satire so good it's great, but you rarely get both in the same show. Thanks to its intricate farce-within-a-farce construction, Michael Frayn's “Noises Off” efficiently packs a fair number of two-for-one laughs in an appropriately frenetic revival from Ventura's Rubicon Theatre. Slamming doors (11 of them) and double entendres abound as the backstage romantic entanglements of a hapless theater troupe collide with the bedroom antics of a dreadful sex comedy they're attempting to perform.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2010 | By Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune Film Critic
"Jackass 3D," a touching saga about a group of middle-aged pranksters trying to recapture their distant youth, mentions in its end credits that "some" of the stunts were monitored by the American Humane Assn. The bit where the pig eats the apple out of a dark place in the guy's anatomy was monitored, for example. Others were not. Americanhumane.org also notes that in the tetherball-with-a-beehive sequence, most of the bees were computer-generated and that "the actors pretended to be stung ?
ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
Will Forte is the kind of person who's going to find something to be anxious about no matter the circumstances. So when the former "Saturday Night Live" cast member found himself unexpectedly cast in Alexander Payne's new seriocomic road-trip movie, "Nebraska," he felt all the natural emotions - excitement, gratitude, disbelief. But there was also a voice in his brain telling him, "This is nice, but somebody's going to talk some sense into Alexander, so don't get too happy. " "I tend to drive myself crazy like that, overthinking things," Forte said during an anxiety-free interview.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 23, 2009 | Elaine Woo
Soupy Sales, a comic with a gift for slapstick who attained cult-like popularity in the 1960s with a pie-throwing routine that became his signature, has died. He was 83. Sales had numerous ailments and died Thursday at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, said Kathy O'Connell, a longtime friend. As the star of "The Soupy Sales Show," he performed live on television for 13 years in Detroit, Los Angeles and New York before the program went into syndication in the United States and abroad.
NEWS
October 11, 1986 | United Press International
Comedian Chevy Chase, known for his slapstick humor and pratfalls, is addicted to painkillers and has entered a drug rehabilitation program, a spokeswoman said Friday. Chase, who skyrocketed to fame along with the late John Belushi on the television satire series "Saturday Night Live," entered the Betty Ford Center at Eisenhower Medical Center voluntarily several days ago, spokeswoman Pat Kingsley said. "Chevy Chase entered the Betty Ford Center . . .
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By Melissa Kaplan
If you're looking to take your acting work to the next level - or just cruising for a good time - try taking a violent punch to the face and falling down. Thankfully, there are myriad ways you can do this and many other stunts onstage without actually hurting yourself. And after back-to-back 12-hour days at SlapCon, an annual slapstick convention, I may have learned them all. The brainchild of Hollywood entertainer and pancake juggler Scot Nery, SlapCon is in its second year and has more than doubled in size since its inception.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 2011
Dmitri, Pavel, Alexei and Zossima take the onstage antics and off-beat charms of "The Flying Karamazov Brothers" on the road with a handful of Southland performances, including two in Malibu. The successful Broadway variety show moves from slapstick comedy to high-powered juggling and musicianship, making it a great family outing. Pepperdine University Center for the Arts, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. , 2 and 7 p.m. Sun. $40, general; $20, children. http://www.fkb.com .
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 2011
Larry Semon The former newspaper cartoonist headlined countless silent slapstick shorts. He also starred in and directed the 1925 version of "The Wizard of Oz. " Harry Langdon The wide-eyed, childlike comic made three great features including 1926's "The Strong Man," before alienating his audience when he took creative control of his films. Charley Chase Besides directing, Chase headlined two-reel comedies such as the wonderful "Mighty Like Moose" until he died in 1940.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 1986 | CATHY DE MAYO
"The Supporting Cast" at La Habra Depot Playhouse comes up short on character comedy, shorter on slapstick and shortest of all on the kind of performances that might make this uneasy combination work. Playwright George Furth has created an odd mix of goofy slapstick and contemporary character comedy in this tale about a writer whose roman a clef novel borrows from the private lives of her best friends.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Stephen Merchant, the tall fellow sometimes found near Ricky Gervais (he co-wrote and co-directed "The Office" and "Extras," and costarred in the latter), has put himself out front in his own HBO series. Created with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (writers for the American "The Office"), it is called "Hello Ladies," and it is funny and disturbing in exactly the manner and proportions one would expect from his earlier works. Merchant plays Stuart, a Web designer living in Los Angeles in circumstances that suggest this Web design is a career worth investigating.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By Melissa Kaplan
If you're looking to take your acting work to the next level - or just cruising for a good time - try taking a violent punch to the face and falling down. Thankfully, there are myriad ways you can do this and many other stunts onstage without actually hurting yourself. And after back-to-back 12-hour days at SlapCon, an annual slapstick convention, I may have learned them all. The brainchild of Hollywood entertainer and pancake juggler Scot Nery, SlapCon is in its second year and has more than doubled in size since its inception.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2012 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
"The Hunger Games"claimed the No. 1 spot at the box office for the fourth consecutive weekend, becoming the first film since 2009's"Avatar"to remain in the top position for that long. The fantasy epic starring Jennifer Lawrence collected an additional $21.5 million this past weekend, according to an estimate from Lionsgate. In the United States and Canada, the movie has raked in $337.1 million; overseas, it has sold $194-million worth of tickets in 60 foreign countries. Heading into the weekend, a new spin on "The Three Stooges"had the only viable shot at taking down the wildly popular Suzanne Collins adaptation.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 12, 2012 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
A few days into 2012, ABC's cross-dressing disaster "Work It" managed to claim Worst Comedy of the Year, but surely CBS' "Rob," which debuts Thursday, comes in a close second. Created by comedian Rob Schneider and based, apparently and tragically, on his own life, "Rob" takes a classic "Bridget Loves Bernie" setup — Anglo man marries Mexican American woman after whirlwind romance and now must meet her family — and manages to make it weirdly offensive to just about everyone, especially comedy lovers.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 21, 2011 | By Robert Abele, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Like any international spy movie worth its salt, "Johnny English Reborn" boasts helicopter stunts, exotic locations, choreographed fighting and nifty gadgets. But because this is a comedy starring gifted British comic actor Rowan Atkinson, what's more memorable (and hilariously so) is the simplest form of decorum-puncturing mayhem: an adjustable office chair that won't stop adjusting during a meeting with the prime minister. Atkinson's agent acts as if nothing untoward is happening in a sequence that's entirely reminiscent of his forebear Peter Sellers staring at that ever-unrolling toilet paper in "The Party.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 22, 2011 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Whitney Cummings, the stand-up comic, is having a big fall season as a creator of two new situation comedies — CBS' "2 Broke Girls" (a female odd-couple series co-created with Michael Patrick King, which premiered Monday) and her own "Whitney," which premieres Thursday on NBC. Both are multi-camera comedies, of the old-school "Seinfeld" sort — a form that, in a field lately dominated by single-camera comedies of the "30 Rock" sort, seems both familiar and new again, as younger voices make it their own. As if to underscore that point, Cummings announces over the opening title, "'Whitney' is taped in front of a live studio audience — you heard me. " Perhaps it's that as the real world falls apart, the sense of even a second-hand community that such shows afford becomes more attractive.
NEWS
August 17, 1989 | JEFFREY S. KLEIN
The Murphy bed has fallen off the wall into the unprotected legal world of generic words. It landed in the same category as once-protected trademarks such as aspirin, thermos, escalator and nylon. For those of you who don't recognize the name, you may recall seeing a Murphy bed as the focus of slapstick comedians, such as Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers. It is a bed concealed in a wall closet. At the turn of the century, William Lawrence Murphy invented and manufactured the first such bed.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 1991 | CHRIS WILLMAN
Two decades or so later, folkie-with-attitude Loudon Wainwright III still evidences a split personality--half traditionally sensitive and embittered singer/songwriter, half hammy King of the Novelty Song. Either persona by itself would have been enough to warrant a trip to McCabe's on Saturday, where the cult figure kicked off a two-night stand.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 2011
Larry Semon The former newspaper cartoonist headlined countless silent slapstick shorts. He also starred in and directed the 1925 version of "The Wizard of Oz. " Harry Langdon The wide-eyed, childlike comic made three great features including 1926's "The Strong Man," before alienating his audience when he took creative control of his films. Charley Chase Besides directing, Chase headlined two-reel comedies such as the wonderful "Mighty Like Moose" until he died in 1940.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2011 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Filmed in America and made in English, the film "The Last Godfather" features Korean star-director-writer Shim Hyung-rae as the love-child orphan of a 1950s Mafia don called to the States to take over the family business. After one quick joke that the 50-something Shim looks a bit old, the film moves into letting him just do what one might expect from a man-child character based around his high-water, high-waisted pants, bumbling antics and odd predilection for gags involving his shoes.
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