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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Pollak’

Kevin Pollak Recalls Trying to Teach Gabriel Byrne How to Imitate Carson

The oddest and funniest echo of this week’s gargantuan news trail about the future of The Tonight Show belongs to Kevin Pollak.

During the actor’s appearance on KCRW’s weekly program The Treatment, host Elvis Mitchell noted that Pollak’s new book How I Slept My Way to the Middle does not include the business of how just about everyone on the set of The Usual Suspects got into imitating Carson. Here’s Pollak, from the March 20 radio conversation:

“When you say everyone was doing Johnny Carson, I want to give credit to Kevin Spacey. Kevin and I both do a really good Johnny Carson. Everyone else was just being kind of silly, except for Gabriel Byrne, who was fascinated…”

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Who You Gonna Call for a Ghostbusters Script Read? How About Seth, Rainn and Jack

As per usual, Entertainment Weekly senior writer Anthony Breznican has the exclusive scoop on who will be participating in filmmaker Jason Reitman’s next “Live Read” event at LACMA. For a script indelibly stamped by Reitman’s dad Ivan.

Standing in on Thursday for the Ghostbusters trio of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis will be, respectively, Seth Rogen, Jack Black and Rainn Wilson. The only problem is that a lot of Murray’s best lines as Dr. Peter Venkman were not on the page, so Reitman had to combine the original script with a transcript of the finished film. Per Breznican’s report:

“While almost all of the dialogue in the original screenplay is echoed on screen, the Venkman character is completely improvised,” Reitman tells EW. “It’s as if Bill Murray was given a mumblecore-style essay about each scene and then permitted to say whatever he wanted as long as he got the point across.”

“He slimed me” is in the script, but not the follow-up line: “I feel so funky.”

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Illeana Douglas Assembles Another Season of Her IKEA Indie Hybrid

When the one-hour long-form version of Easy to Assemble’s fourth season red carpet premieres Monday night, there will be literal and figurative synergy on display. The event is being held at the newly opened Sundance Cinemas at Sunset and Crescent Heights Blvd. and comes on the heels of an announced partnership between the show’s creator-producer-star Illeana Douglas and Sundance Productions.

“Sundance Productions are going to try and help me get the show on TV,” Douglas tells FishbowlLA via telephone of the comedy about her life as an IKEA employee. “But there are also other things that we would like to do together, sort of the expansion of things that I have written.”

Joining Douglas for the fourth season is the latest in a long line of name-brand Easy to Assemble co-stars: Broadway vet Roger Bart. He plays the producer of Douglas’ talk show This Side Up and coincidentally also guest starred this week as a sleazy talk show host on Law & Order: SVU, garnering immediate and colorful blog reviews.

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Shira Lazar Blanks Kevin Pollak in Vegas

In a battle involving two of LA’s highest profile online gabfests, Shira Lazar took it to actor Kevin Pollak last night in Las Vegas at the first annual IAWTV Awards. The ceremony is a successor to the Streamy Awards and was indeed live streamed, in conjunction with this week’s CES convention, from The Venetian Hotel.

Lazar (pictured) trumped Pollak in the Best Hosted Live Web Series and Best Host (Live) categories, while her show’s director Brett Register took it away from Pollak’s floor man Mike Rotman in the Best Directing (Non-Fiction) bracket. Ouch.

On the other hand, Lazar was probably much more in need of a pick-me-up at this event than Pollak. As some of you may recall, her show stumbled into a huge controversy last September when one of her program’s staff tweeted out a premature announcement of the death of Steve Jobs, via the official account for What’s Trending with Shira Lazar. Within hours, CBS News severed its affiliation with the show.

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Hollywood YouTube Duo Direct First TV Commercial

Here are some economics that Hollywood can identify with. For one of a hundred-plus YouTube shorts, a Modern Warfare-inspired riff, the tandem of Freddie Wong and Brandon Laatsch tell TheWrap‘s Kurt Orzeck that the total cost was $200 and total views 4.7 million.

Although the pair have no studio deal yet, they confirm they have had discussions with Weinstein Co. and various producers. The USC cinema school grads also just directed their first TV commercial spot, after cranking out Internet ads for the likes of McDonald’s and Toshiba:

In the Electronic Arts [Battlefield 3] ad (pictured), they load up a forklift with explosives, Wong drives it toward a building, and then he bails out before it detonates. “We turned it around in 10 days,” Wong said. “[EA] left it open to us to come up with concepts. They said, ‘Mess around and have fun with your friends.’ “

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When James L. Brooks Interviewed Louis Armstrong

Actor Kevin Pollak recently sat down with writer-director James L. Brooks for Episode #128 of his fantabulous online Chat Show. It was, he noted, the sixth time the program has welcomed an Academy Award winner.

Right off the bat, Pollak wondered if those stories of Brooks having interviewed Louis Armstrong for the Weehawken High School newspaper were Internet hooey. Brooks was happy to confirm a semi-wonderful New Jersey journalism world:

“It was a high school of 300 students. I was fairly resented for it [interviewing famous people for the paper]. I was beaten for it, because my picture was on the front page of the newspaper every single issue.”

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VentureBeat Profiles Innovators of LA’s ‘Silicon Beach’

If you happen to see a guy in LA wearing a hoodie, shorts, and flip-flops, he could very well be one of the new, powerful faces of LA’s resurgent tech scene.

Someone like Paige Craig (pictured, out of uniform), the former Marine who now dispenses cubicle orders at Santa Monica start-up Better Works. At the top of today’s enlightening VentureBeat article, Craig offers an intriguing and succinct explanation as to why, in the past three years, LA has been able to lay a real claim to the nickname “Silicon Beach:”

Beyond the colorful nightlife and perfect weather, Craig defines what is, for him, the crux of Los Angeles’ entrepreneurial community: a connection to average consumers’ needs and the all-important hustle.

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E! Entertainment Founder Invests in Start-Up ThisWeekIn

Jarl Mohn, a.k.a. Lee Masters, has thrown his support behind the ambitious themed online chat show network ThisWeekIn created by Kevin Pollak, Jason Calacanis and Mark Jeffrey. The founder of E! Entertainment and E! Online has made an undisclosed investment in the company and is joining the Board of Directors.

Per today’s press release:

“Jarl’s background reads like a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of the media industry,” said Jeffrey, co-founder and CEO of ThisWeekIn. “He has successfully ushered in multiple new media paradigms, from celebrity entertainment to music videos, digital, and now – live and social. Insights like his can only come from experience, and we’re confident his vision will accelerate ThisWeekIn’s prominence as the go-to Web TV network.”

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Santa Monica Start-Up Showcases This Week in Everything

Yet another sign of the impending 500,000 channel universe is the staggering array of programming being spawned out of the Santa Monica studios of ThisWeekIn.com, the start-up co-founded in 2010 by Jason Calacanis, actor Kevin Pollak and Mark Jeffrey.

Former CineVegas maestro Eric Tinch co-hosts This Week in Movies; stand-up comic Ed Crasnick tees up This Week in Comedy; and for the 11th edition of The Annie Duke Show posted January 4th, the namesake poker playing hostess welcomed actor-Huffington Post contributor Steven Weber and magician Jamy Ian Swiss.

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Sweet Seinfeld Memories

Stand-up comedian and actor Kevin Pollak is quietly closing in on the 100th episode of Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show, his freewheeling online subversion of the Charlie Rose round table model. For an atypical, non-live audience Halloween edition, he sat down with actor Jason Alexander.

The conversation is peppered with all sorts of great Seinfeld reminiscences. Recalled Alexander:

“When we did the 100th episode, NBC printed up the original test group results, which were the worst in the history of network TV… There was actually a thing that said, ‘Too hip, too urban, too Jewish.’ And I said, ‘Was there a Kyke meter? Oh, oh, oh… We’re on the brink. Too much… Too Jew-y.’”

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