Funny People Disappoints, Dobbs Controversy Continues

cityfile · 08/03/09 11:56AM

Funny People debuted at No. 1 at the box office this weekend, although it was still the worst opening for an Adam Sandler movie in five years. [Reuters]
Mort Zuckerman is selling shares of his real estate company to pump $50 million into the Daily News to pay for new printing presses. [WSJ]
Lou Dobbs has become a PR nightmare for CNN. Presumably the fact that Media Matters is airing an anti-Dobbs commercial won't help matters. [AP, HP]
• Is the peace pact between Olbermann and O'Reilly a sham? [TDB]
• Google CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple's board of directors. [BN]

Did Apatow's Funny Make Any Money?

Foster Kamer · 08/02/09 04:30PM

Hollywood's been waiting for the answer to the question Does Judd Apatow have what it takes to be a "serious film" filmmaker? or at least wants to know about his bankability in drama. Take a guess what happened.

Reed Elsevier Sells, Rodale Chief Exits, More Earnings

cityfile · 07/30/09 01:41PM

• Reed Elsevier is planning to sell a bunch of publications, including Broadcasting & Cable, Publishers Weekly and Multichannel News. [THR]
• Rodale's president and CEO, Steve Murphy, has resigned. [Gawker]
• Disney reports third-quarter profit fell 26 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Sony posted a loss for the quarter, as well. [AP, Reuters]
• Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia reported a loss, but beat estimates. [NYP]
• TLC's been having a pretty good year, in case you haven't heard. [LAT]
Amy Poehler is coming back to SNL. Just part-time, though. [Vulture]
Maria Bartiromo has locked in a new five-year contract with CNBC. [VF]
• Dustin "Screech" Diamond's tell-all memoir will be published, after all! [NYO]

Funny People Doesn't Look Very Funny

Gabriel Snyder · 02/22/09 10:00AM

Is it a big fat spoiler to point out that a trailer is a big fat spoiler? Because that's what this one is. I read the script a while back and except for the very end, everything's in here. The movie stars Adam Sandler as comedy superstar "George Simmons" who befriends up-and-comer Seth Rogen. They play pretty much the same Apatow man-boys that populate all of his movies, except here they're dealing with issues weightier than whether it's worth it to give up their bongs to get a hot girl.

We Didn't Realize Those 'Funny People' Were Funny In That Way

Seth Abramovitch · 11/14/08 05:25PM

Though it won't come out until the end of July, Universal has already released a teaser one-sheet for Judd Apatow's Funny People. A little too Touchy-Feely People for your taste? Well, Apatow told us himself the movie about stand-ups "isn't about stand-up comedy. It's about a few characters who are having a crisis, but what makes it different is that they are people who make comedy." Whether the similarities to another tender poster grouping—that of Threesome's Stephen Baldwin-anchored bisexual love triangle—are more than coincidental remains to be seen, though we suppose Seth Rogen's repeated hogging of the communal comforters could itself constitute the crisis that sends the plot into motion. [Funny People on MySpace]

Judd Apatow, Adam Sandler and Others End Surprisingly Bootleg-Free 'Funny People' Rehearsals

STV · 09/30/08 02:45PM

We're more than a little disappointed to find that nobody has yet uploaded any video, audio or any record whatsoever of Adam Sandler, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen or Kevin James's stand-up sessions last Saturday at UCB. The quartet was concluding rehearsals MC Judd Apatow's forthcoming comedian opus Funny People, insights into which we'd gone all the way to Canada to retrieve as recently as July. Then we miss one night in Franklin Village and it's radio silence. Folks, step it up. We're serious. It's not a Beatles reunion or anything, but if we have to read abstractly about Hill biting it or Rogen defaulting to his imaginative zenith of airplane flatus, there's no reason we shouldn't be able to see or hear it in all its stumbling, meandering glory:

Stalking 'Funny People': A Defamer Chat With Judd Apatow

Seth Abramovitch · 07/25/08 01:45PM

Accosted recently by a Defamer correspondent moments after receiving the first ever Just For Laughs Comedy Person of the Year Award in Montreal, Hollywood comedy baron Judd Apatow somehow agreed to commit to a short interview. Later that night, he'd appear before a rowdy crowd at Club Metropolis, hosting an all-stars comedy event billed as Apatow for Destruction. Judd opened the show by launching into a funny set that explored the not-always-tidy-side of family life and getting older. Soon after came Seth Rogen—basically Judd minus 15-or-so grounding years—with a raunchier act that included a riff on frequent self-pleasuring ("I forgot you could use hand lotion for something other than jerking off..."), and a notable preoccupation with all things gay. (On late-in-life movie star Ian McKellen: "As soon as Magneto lifted those cars, the guys sucking his dick dropped 50 years in age.") Newly announced VMAs host Russell Brand closed out the show. A deeply charismatic stage presence with an indelibly dirty mind, he's as comfortable dropping psychoanalytical insights as he is being a horny goofball (a hilarious bit about the gulping sound that means your oral sex partner really cares) or flippantly self-deprecating ("I use homeless people as scabby wishing wells. Vending machines for good karma..."). We caught up with Apatow shortly after the show, where he talked to us about what it felt like to stand in the live-comedy spotlight after all these years, gave us a little taste of what to expect in his upcoming movie, Funny People, and submitted to a round of Desert Island DVDs that you might find surprising. It's after the jump.DEFAMER: Congratulations on what we'd call a very successful return to your stand-up roots. What spurred this on? Was it research for Funny People, or did Funny People come out of a desire to revisit the world of stand-up? APATOW: I figured if I was going to make a movie about stand-up comedy I, unfortunately, needed to start doing it again. Mainly, because I have to start writing jokes for the stand up sequences in the movie, but also so I can remind myself how it makes you feel great and like crap, almost simultaneously. DEFAMER: Is that how it feels? APATOW: You get a high, but I always feel ashamed afterwards. Embarrassed about what I said. Embarrassed about the ego it takes to think anyone would want to listen to you talk. The instant need to do it again. It's like comic crack. DEFAMER: So Funny People is going to be like Punchline, only with Seth Rogen in the Sally Field role? APATOW: The movie isn't about stand-up comedy. It's about a few characters who are having a crisis, but what makes it different is that they are people who make comedy. DEFAMER: Your willingness to collaborate and promote lesser-known talents is probably one of the first things people think of when they think of the "Apatow" brand: You're not just getting one vision, your getting a bunch of complimentary sensibilities. APATOW: It was an easy show for me because I knew that no matter how well or badly I did, I had Seth Rogen, Charlene Yi, Million Dollar Strong, Craig Robinson, Bill Hader and Russell Brand coming on after me. No matter what the show would be fun. The idea was to put on a show that starred all of the people who have acted in our films. So many of them are great comics so it made for a great, raucous show. DEFAMER: Now onto the hardballs: You're stranded on a desert island with no one but a naked Jason Segel. Miraculously, you happen to have your three favorite L.A. takeout meals, and five favorite movies or TV series on DVD (excluding your own) with you. What are they? APATOW: My five DVDs would be Mad Men, Season Three of The Wire, Broadcast News, Being There, and Punch Drunk Love. My three take-out meals would be PF Changs, Vitorrio’s Pizza, and A Votre Sante chicken and asparagus—so I don’t feel unhealthy. DEFAMER: Seth Rogen did a bit in his act about being considered a bear by the gay community, and how he wished there was a straight equivalent. Have you ever been pegged as a bear? Ever thought about making the first mainstream bear comedy—or, failing that, a movie with a prominent gay character? APATOW: I almost wrote a movie which was about gay characters but I ultimately realized I didn’t know enough about the subject. That may have been the moment when I first realized I had heterosexual tendencies. DEFAMER: And finally, what can you tell us about this mysterious Sacha Baron Cohen project about Sherlock Holmes that you're producing? APATOW: Sherlock Holmes is being written by Etan Cohen, one of the writers of Tropic Thunder. DEFAMER: Hmm. Mysterious. Thanks, Judd!