Tag Archive | "Neil Patrick Harris"

Just For Laughs Festival Announces Artist Lineup For It’s 33rd Edition!

Just For Laughs Festival Announces Artist Lineup For It’s 33rd Edition!

just-for-laughs-2015

The 33rd edition of the Just For Laughs Festival, presented by Videotron in association with Loto-Québec, is back and bigger than ever! With more names and shows still to come, this year?s festival will be adding 35% more tickets to our inventory and additional venues, including the Bell Centre, which will host JFL?s largest individual indoor show ever. Just For Laughs is excited to bring a myriad range of superstars, who have a combined Twitter following of 60 million, into Montreal for the busiest, buzziest summer ever!

YEAH BABY!!! MIKE MYERS COMES TO JFL FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!

One of Canada?s greatest exports, Mike Myers, comes home to make his Just For Laughs Festival debut on July 24 at Maison Symphonique with An Evening with Mike Myers. This ?in conversation? will showcase his memorable career, from his humble Canadian comedic roots, to his turn as one of the most successful SNL alums in its 40-year history, to becoming one of comedy?s biggest and most memorable movie stars.

THE MAN, THE LEGEND, DAVE CHAPPELLE IS HEADED TO THEATRE MAISONNEUVE

Comedy god and Just For Laughs ticket-selling record holder, Dave Chappelle is back in Montreal for six performances and we couldn?t be more excited. His shows sold out within minutes when he returned to Just For Laughs in 2013 after 13 years, so act fast!  F*ck yo? couch, and don?t miss another chance to see a living legend.

KEVIN HART WILL BE BREAKING HEARTS AND RECORDS THIS SUMMER!

The rock star of the comedy world is performing what is on track to be the biggest individual indoor show in the Festival?s history on July 24. The show is poised to sell out the Bell Centre, and has already surpassed 10,000 tickets sold. Kevin Hart?s career has exploded since his first appearance at the Just For Laughs Festival in 2001 as part of the New Faces series. He has blossomed into bona fide comedy royalty.

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS LEADS THE WAY, HOSTING THE VIDEOTRON JUST FOR LAUGHS GALAS PRESENTED BY AIR CANADA

Neil Patrick Harris, who has hosted 10 televised awards shows in the past few years, is truly the king of hosts. Neil has some tricks up his sleeve as he headlines our unparalleled festival-closing Galas. Feel like a member of the Hollywood/Broadway elite as the host of The Oscars, The Emmys and The Tonys plays ringleader to a score of special guests for a variety show that is going to razzle, dazzle and surprise in a way that only he can!

Heir to The Daily ShowTrevor Noah hosts a Gala July 23 on the Place des Arts stage. This is your chance to see comedy?s hottest new host.

Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award winner Jane Lynch, of Glee and The 40-Year-Old Virgin fame, is hosting a Gala that is sure to wow at Place des Arts on July 22.

These are just the tip of the iceberg ? we?ll be announcing even more Galas leading up to the festival!

A FREE OUTDOOR SHOW IN ENGLISH ? AND IT?S STARRING ?WEIRD AL?!

He?s white and nerdy; he?s the winner of the 2015 Grammy for ?Best Comedy Album,? and now ?Weird Al? Yankovic in taking a break from his ?The Mandatory Tour? to perform a FREE outdoor English show on July 21.

JFL AWARDS SHOW 

The Just For Laughs Awards Show is back, on July 24 at 4:30 pm in the Grand Salon Opera at the Hyatt Regency Montreal honouring some of the world?s most impactful comedy stars! Past winners include Andy Samberg, Seth Rogen and Louis C.K. This year?s winners are:

Lifetime Achievement Award: We are incredibly honoured to present this award to one of our national treasures, Mike Myers, in recognition of his unbelievable success and continued accomplishments in the comedy world. SCHWING!!!

Generation Award: Just For Laughs is proud to present its first-ever GENERATION AWARD to Dave Chappelle. A modern icon, Chappelle has performed some of the most ground-breaking and influential stand-up shows of his era, and has influenced a whole new generation of comedy. #HellofaComedian

Comedy Person of the Year: #ComedicRockstar Kevin Hart has taken over Hollywood, and Netflix, with roles in Get Hard, Wedding Ringer, Think Like a Man Too, Grudge Match and About Last Night, as well as producing and starring credits in BET?s satirical comedy show The Real Husbands of Hollywood. This year also sees Kevin embarking on what is on track to be the biggest comedy tour ever! #EasyChoice

Stand-up Comedian of the Year: In the past year alone, Patton Oswalt released a Grammy-nominated comedy album, Tragedy plus Comedy Equals Time, joined the cast of Veep, and had a seven episode arc on ABC?s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The white knight of Twitter, defender of all things good and comedy, Oswalt has been charming viewers on both big and small screens for the past 20 years.

Comedy Writer of the Year: Creator and showrunner of one of television?s smartest shows, Oscar winner Armando Iannucci wins this award for his brilliant (and four-time Emmy award?winning) work on Veep. 

Breakout Comedy Star of the Year: Ellie Kemper?s been on the scene for a while with roles in The Office and Bridesmaids, but her performance as the most likeable kidnapping victim ever on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has pushed her into the spotlight, and into our hearts.

THESE SOLO SHOWS ARE NOT TO BE MISSED!

Just For Laughs Stand-up Comedian of the Year in 2014, Bill Burr is back for two solo performances this year, on July 22 and 23 at Olympia Theatre.

This year has already seen Patton Oswalt get a Grammy nomination and an arc on TV?s smartest show, Veep, and now festivalgoers can see this staple of great TV and movies performing his first love, stand-up, on July 23.

On the heels of his successful Showtime comedy special ?Aren?t You Embarrassed?? Just For Laughs Festival favourite Sebastian Maniscalco returns to Le Gesù with an 11-show run starting July 20. Aren?t you embarrassed about how excited you are?

Le Gesù will also host world renowned musician and comedian Reggie Watts for two midnight shows on July 24 and 25.

Three-time Grammy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Margaret Cho returns to Montreal for one night only at Olympia Theatre on July 24. On July 25, festival favourite and the funniest Scot around, Danny Bhoy, performs a solo show at Maison Symphonique.

Comedy?s very own host with most, Chris Hardwick, takes time off his shows @Midnight and The Talking Dead and his podcast The Nerdist, to perform a solo show on July 25 at Olympia Theatre.

Maison Theatre plays host to Saturday Night Live alum Rob Schneider on July 24 and 25, if you?re thinking about attending, you can do it!

Another Just For Laughs fave, Omid Djalili, returns to Maison Theatre July 24 and 25 to regale audiences with his experience as a Persian entertainer in the West.

Hot off the Justin Bieber roast, frequent Chelsea Lately panelist Natasha Leggero will perform at L?Astral. Fingers crossed she?s gentler with the crowd there than she was with the Biebs!

L?Astral hosts UK superstar Sarah Millican on July 24 for one night of dry British humour, and You Made it Weird host Pete Holmes is in the house for a solo show on July 25.

DON?T MISS TALK OF THE FEST!

Talk of the Fest is the place to be from July 22 through 25, offering the hottest names in comedy at the lowest prices.

Star of the critically acclaimed Silicon ValleyT.J. Miller is back for the second year in a row to host Talk of the Fest on July 22.

On July 23, star of his own Netflix special Incorrigible and NBC?s Undateable, comedy bad boy Chris D?Elia, most recently seen roasting his biggest fan, Justin Bieber, reminds Club Soda audiences why they love him with his hilarious physicality and observational comedy. Saturday Night Live?s only millennial, Pete Davidson, is following up his scathing roast of Justin Bieber by hosting Talk of the Fest on July 24. He has an HBO special directed by Spike Lee, a Seth Rogen movie under his belt, an NBC pilot in development, and this year Jerrod Carmichael is adding Talk of the Fest host to his ever-growing résumé. Don?t miss your chance to be able to say: ?I saw him when? at Club Soda on July 25.

GET THE INSIDER EXPERIENCE!

ComedyPRO, the unique global gathering of the biggest players in the comedy world, takes Just For Laughs by storm for the eighth year in a row, from July 22 to 25. This year, some really cool stars and comedians will join Jason Reitman (Thank You For SmokingJunoUp in the Air) for Live Read, Directed by Jason Reitman, presented by the Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange in the 5e Salle at Place des Arts. The value is unbeatable.

Just For Laughs ComedyPRO also welcomes Andy Kindler back to deliver his annual State of the Industry Address. Notoriously biting, Andy Kindler?s speech is many insiders? favourite part of the Festival. Just For Laughs ComedyPRO includes the Podcast Series, which lets fans sit in on a live taping of their favourite comedy podcasts including: Your Mom?s House Podcast, I Seem Fun, The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, You Made It Weird With Pete Holmes, Pep Talks with the Bitter Buddha, The Dana Gould Hour, The Comedian’s Comedian Podcast with Stuart Goldsmith, If I Were You Show (by Jake and Amir)Hound Tall with Moshe Kasher, and The Artie Quitter Podcast.

Included in ComedyPRO are keynotes, panels, networking cocktails, podcasts, the Just For Laughs Awards, and the All-Star Midnight Party.  For diehard comedy fans, there is no better place to be. For real. Seriously.

Just For Laughs ComedyPRO runs from July 22 – 25, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Montreal. 

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!

The Off-JFL series is a budgeters dream: the tickets start at only $20 and the venues are the cool kind, with cheap beer. We have tons of great performers including:

Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show), Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show), Colin Jost (Saturday Night Live), Janeane Garofalo (Reality Bites), Ari Shaffir (Comedy Central?s This Is Not Happening), Harland Williams (Half Baked), Tom Segura (Your Mom?s House podcast), Jen Kirkman (Chelsea Lately),Duncan Trussell (The Joe Rogan Experience), Chris Gethard (Broad City), Eric André (Man Seeking Woman), Andy Kindler (Everybody Loves Raymond), Brian Posehn (The Sarah Silverman Program), Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords) Eddie Pepitone (Last Comic Standing), Jake and Amir (CollegeHumor), Sabrina Jalees (The Nightly Show), Kurt Braunohler (Drunk History)Moshe Kasher (John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show), Joel Creasey (It?s a Date) and Kyle Kinane (Drunk History).

And in case you miss them on Date Night, Tom Papa, Brent Morin and Orny Adams are performing solo shows.

Off-JFL also presents a ton of new concept, multi-comic shows including The Goddamn Comedy Jam with Josh Adam Meyers, and Ari Shaffir is back again hosting his festival favourite This Is Not Happening storytelling show at Café Cléopâtre. Curating a multi-comic show and a closing night party, Instagram favorite @fuckjerry will partner with Off-JFL from July 22 to July 25 as the first-ever festival Instagrambassador.

The ever popular Midnight Surprise, presented by Comedy Dynamics, is back for a ten-show run from July 16 to 25, and as the show?s name suggests, the lineup will floor you!

JUST FOR LAUGHS? CLUB SHOWS ARE BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!

Alonzo Bodden hosts The Ethnic Show from July 8 to 19 at Club Sodawhere comics of all ethnicities, including Gina Yashere, Ahmed Ahmed,Frank Spadone, Ronny Chieng, Dan Naturman and Montreal?s own Rachid Badouri, will leave the audience in stitches.

The Nasty Show, hosted for the first time by ?the Celine Dion of dick jokes,? Mike Ward, will be nastier than ever from July 16-18 and 23-25 at Metropolis, with special guests Gilbert Gottfried, Jimmy Carr, Mike Wilmot and Tiffany Haddish. We?re also announcing a new guest: Artie Lange!

Curb Your Enthusiasm?s J.B. Smoove is reconnecting with his Def Jam roots to host Uptown Comics at Olympia Theatre July 25, featuring Ian Edwards and Rod Man.

Brit(ish), with special guest Russell Howard, returns with the best of the Commonwealth?s comedians and for three shows hosted by Omid Djalili at L?Astral, July 21-23.

The Marriage Ref host Tom Papa joins forces with The Undateable?s Brent Morin, Teen Wolf?s Orny Adams and Debra DiGiovanni for Date Night at Metropolis July 21 and 22.

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GONE GIRL: New Trailer For David Fincher’s Upcoming Film Revealed!

GONE GIRL: New Trailer For David Fincher’s Upcoming Film Revealed!

gone-girl-2014-ben-affleck-1

The new trailer for 20th Century Fox’s highly anticipated thriller, GONE GIRL, is here. Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, and Emily Ratajkowski, check out the heart-pounding trailer NOW! The highly anticipated film hits theaters everywhere on OCTOBER 3, 2014!

'Gone Girl'

‘Gone Girl’

GONE GIRL – directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn – unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

The film stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Carrie Coon, David Clennon and Emily Ratajkowski.

GONE GIRL Official Socials 

Official Website: http://www.gonegirlmovie.com/

Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GoneGirlMovie

Official Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/GoneGirlMovie

Official Google + Page: http://bit.ly/GoneGirlGplus

#GoneGirl

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gone-girl-2014-ben-affleck-1

The new trailer for 20th Century Fox’s highly anticipated thriller, GONE GIRL, is here. Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, and Emily Ratajkowski, check out the heart-pounding trailer NOW! The highly anticipated film hits theaters everywhere on OCTOBER 3, 2014!

 

'Gone Girl'

‘Gone Girl’

GONE GIRL – directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn – unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

The film stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Carrie Coon, David Clennon and Emily Ratajkowski.

GONE GIRL Official Socials
Official Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/GoneGirlMovie
Official Google + Page: http://bit.ly/GoneGirlGplus
#GoneGirl

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‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’ Gets The 8-Bit Treatment With New Game

‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’ Gets The 8-Bit Treatment With New Game

million-ways-to-die-2014-game

Get your six-shooter ready before you meet a sticky end in the new 8-bit game, Trail to Old Stump, from Universal Pictures & MRC’s comedy A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST — opening May 30th! But before you take the saddle, make sure you’re ready for the ride by assembling a crew to lead through the Trail to Old Stump. Along the way, you will surely discover that the stories are true – there are literally a million ways to die.

Check out the NEW #AMILLIONWAYS 8-bit Game on Adult Swim.

About A Million Ways To Die In The West:
Seth MacFarlane directs, produces, co-writes and plays the role of the cowardly sheep farmer Albert in A Million Ways to Die in the West. After Albert backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.

Starring alongside MacFarlane are Oscar® winner Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman and Liam Neeson. MacFarlane reunites many of the filmmakers behind Universal and MRC’s hit film Ted including Scott Stuber (Bluegrass Films) and Jason Clark who produce, and Wellesley Wild and Alec Sulkin who co-wrote the script.

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Hilarious NSFW Red Band Trailer For ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’ Unleashed

Hilarious NSFW Red Band Trailer For ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’ Unleashed

'A Million Ways To Die In The West'

‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’

Get your boots dirty with a full load of restricted content and some good ol’ fashioned frontier living courtesy of Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi,  Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman & Liam Neeson, from the new Universal Pictures & MRC comedy A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST — dropping its proverbial chaps into theaters Friday, May 30th!

Check out the NEW #AMILLIONWAYS Restricted Trailer below!

About A Million Ways To Die In The West:
Seth MacFarlane directs, produces, co-writes and plays the role of the cowardly sheep farmer Albert in A Million Ways to Die in the West. After Albert backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.

Starring alongside MacFarlane are Oscar® winner Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman and Liam Neeson. MacFarlane reunites many of the filmmakers behind Universal and MRC’s hit film Ted including Scott Stuber (Bluegrass Films) and Jason Clark who produce, and Wellesley Wild and Alec Sulkin who co-wrote the script.

There are literally A Million Ways To Die. Watch & share the NEW “Ways to Die” Spots here. Share the NEW #AMILLIONWAYS Cactus Poster: http://bit.ly/AMillionWays_CactusPoster Visit #AMILLIONWAYS on the Web –

 

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Janet Varney Talks ‘The Legend Of Korra’, ‘The JV Club’ And More!

Janet Varney Talks ‘The Legend Of Korra’, ‘The JV Club’ And More!

Beauty, brains and razor sharp wit — Janet Varney has it all! If you aren’t familiar with her name, you may very well recognize her face and the laughs she has brought you weekly from her long-running stint as co-host of TBS’ ‘Dinner and a Movie’. Don’t be confused, she is no one trick pony. Actually, she is one of the hardest working people in show business —a gifted actress and improvisational artist. Her years of hard work are paying off as she finds herself gaining a huge following and attention from the industry with her enormous talents as the host of innovative podcast, ‘The JV Club,’ and as the voice of the titular character on Nickelodeon’s wildly popular animated series, ‘Avatar: The Legend of Korra’. Not one to rest on her laurels, Janet is the also co-creator and co-producer of one of the largest and most successful comedy festivals in the country, SF Sketchfest: The San Francisco Comedy Festival, which will hold its 12th annual event in January 2013. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Janet Varney to discuss her journey into the entertainment industry, her influences, her wide range of captivating projects and what the future holds for her in the months to come! 

We want to give everyone a little background on you. Where did you grow up and what got you started on your journey in the entertainment industry?

I grew up in Tucson, Arizona. I guess I had always performed as a kid. I mean, I didn’t do much outside of school but I was in all of the school plays. I was in a shoddy production of “Snow White” when I was in the first grade, which involved me wearing a clothed brown wig from under which my white bangs stuck out. [laughs] So, I had kinda always done stuff but I kinda took a break from acting and performing when i was in my late teens and early 20s in San Francisco. When I first got there, I was really just focused on being in that city, loving the city and finding a way to afford being there — that became my real focus and priority. I was sorta living in the real world for a while and not doing anything like that. Around that time, some buddies of mine cajoled me into being in a comedy group with them and that is when it sorta started edging me back toward that world.

Was there a certain moment or catalyst that made you decide to pursue a job in the entertainment industry as a career?

Truthfully, I was pulled down to Los Angeles, doing a bit of kicking and screaming. Our comedy group was doing sketch shows in San Francisco and somebody heard about us and came up from the Aspen Comedy Festival. They invited us to perform there. When we went, I met a bunch of agents, managers, attorneys and people who go to Aspen to find new talent. They convinced me to come down to LA for pilot season. I was pretty reluctant to do that. I kept saying, “Listen guys. I am never going to want to live in Los Angeles. Never!” Cut to three weeks later, during which I had been couch surfing, and I was like, “I am totally moving down here!” [laughs] I guess once you are presented with the opportunity to do what you love to do for a living, it is very magnetic!

Who are some of the influences, in your early years and even today, who helped shape the performer you have become?

Janet Varney

I guess I didn’t necessarily think of myself as a comedian then. I didn’t do any sort of improv, sketch or anything like that whatsoever until I was in my 20s. I was more doing straight acting but I was a cut up in class. [laughs] What are we in the 1950s? [laughs] I didn’t want to be a standup comedian or anything like that. The people that I was most obsessed with growing up — I definitely love Jodie Foster! I thought she was super cool from all of the Disney movies I had seen her in and then she was in even more cool movies that were strange, wonderful and weird when I was a teenager, as I was into strange, wonderful and weird stuff! Like a lot of people, I guess, I grew up loving her through her career. I mean, I didn’t shoot a president for her! [laughs] Steve Martin, I was also in love with and obsessed with when everybody else was in love with Kirk Cameron and Michael J. Fox. [laughs] Seriously! Everybody was reading “Tiger Beat” and putting pictures of Ricky Schroeder up on their wall and I had an entire wall in my bedroom dedicated to Steve Martin! That is sort of telling, but I didn’t necessarily think about it as something I was into as a profession at the time, I just thought I was going to marry Steve Martin. [laughs] My dad and I were both completely obsessed with watching “The Muppet Show.” He went from watching “Sesame Street” with me and doing all of the voices to us sitting down and watching “The Muppet Show” together. I credit Jim Henson with contributing to a huge part of shaping my imagination and my humor. My dad is also a huge Mel Brooks fan. I can tell you I have probably watched “Young Frankenstein” about 300 times since the time I was a kid because you can keep watching that stuff over and over and over again! Not to say that you can’t do that now but it is taken to the extreme when you are a child.

A lot of people are going to recognize you from being on “Dinner and A Movie” on TBS. How did you get involved with that project originally?

That was one of the first things I got when I moved here. What was cool about the way it was posed to me was, “Hey, the people at TBS are looking for new, funny women!” What I didn’t know at the time was the woman who was hosting the show at the time was leaving. Without being specific about what they were doing, they were discussing who might be someone could fill those shoes. It was cool because I didn’t necessarily have to audition for anything. It was more of a sit down where I got to more organically be myself. That translated, eventually, into a screen test. What was cool about “Dinner and A Movie” was that they shot it at a culinary school, so that Claude and Paul, the pre-existing hosts, could actually be cooking and talking to the camera, just like we do on the show. I showed up and there were a few other girls there and we all took turns going into this cooking facility with the camera on us, making stuff with the chef, making jokes and improvising! It was so much fun and a really fun way to get a job! When I got it, I was completely blown away because I was already a fan, as it had already been on for so many years. I had watched it loyally when I lived in San Francisco. To suddenly be a part of that and to be in the same room with the guys that I already felt like I knew was a total joy! I had that job for seven years and I truly loved every single day of it! Absolutely loved it!

That is really cool. As a fan of the show, I was always curious to know how much came from improvisation. It had a great flow.

Yeah! We would always write jokes in advance about the movies just to make sure we had something. You always want to go in armed and ready, so that you feel you were in a good enough position where you can improvise but that is not the only thing you have. I think some of the best improvisation on shows like that comes out of knowing you have something in your back pocket, if you need it. That kinda gives you the freedom to play around more.

Another super cool project you have been a part of recently is doing great voice work for “Avatar: The Legend of Korra.” How did you land the role and what intrigued you about the project?

‘Avatar: The Legend of Korra’

I have always wanted to do cartoon voices! I think that is just a little piece of magic in show business! I think the idea of getting to see someone else with your voice is one of the coolest things there is! It is definitely something I had wanted to do and I was chasing after, just in the sense that I had a voiceover agent. My poor voiceover agent! They probably got so tired of me asking, “What’s going on! Are there any cartoons out there that I can go audition for?!” [laughs] They would get me auditions and it takes a while. I had done a couple of projects that didn’t go forward into series but this one, when I had auditioned for it, had already been picked up. Obviously, I really wanted the part but as happens a lot in this business, you tell yourself you don’t want it that much because you don’t want to be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. I tried not to care but I desperately cared! [laughs] Again, I went through an odd audition process again. I had gone in and the first time I went in I didn’t audition for the creators and the next couple of times I went in I did. They did kind of a mix and match from those auditions because they were trying to find a vibe for the three main characters — my character, Bolin and Mako. Bolin is played by P.J. Bryne and Mako is played by David Faustino. So yeah, I got the part and the dream began! It has been really, really exciting and is the coolest job I have ever had!

I imagine voiceover is approached somewhat differently than straight acting. What has been the biggest challenge for you on this project?

It is definitely different to not be on camera and know that you still need to do a lot of acting, especially with a cartoon job like that, because it is very physical, the things Korra does with her powers and physicality. It is so important to hang on to that even if you are just standing in front of a microphone. I tend to be really physically active even when I am in a soundbooth because I don’t really know how to get those sounds otherwise. It is a little bit goofy! I guess that is the biggest challenge but it is a challenge that I enjoy! I have said this before but this is the most acting work I have ever done! There are so many episodes, the series is so rich and so much happens! There is emotional stuff, action and Korra can be impatient or warm or thrilled or making fun of something. The show is really well written and she is a well developed character which I have only Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the creators of the show, to thank! They have given me this incredible opportunity to do some really serious acting, which in the comedy world, I don’t always get to do.

How did you take on preparing for this series. Were you familiar with the original series beforehand?

I love the series, both the original one and the one I am lucky to be a part of. They do such a great job of telling great, timeless stories and I love that it appeals to both adults and children. When you can make art and work speak to that wide a range of ages, cultures and genders, I feel like that is really something to be proud of. Again, I am so lucky to be a part of it because there is a lot of great programming out there but, to me with all due respect to everything that is out there, this project feels really special.

I think you are totally right. It has great stories and the artwork is fantastic!

Oh yeah, it is gorgeously rendered! The animation is so beautiful! People are probably tired of hearing me say this, because I always do, but the first time I saw any footage of it at all, I just wept! I thought, “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe I have anything to do with this! It is so gorgeous! Please don’t let me ruin it! Please don’t let me ruin it! Please don’t let me ruin it!” [laughs]

No worries there. You know it is a good sign when you look at footage from Comic Con and people are dressed up as your character, right?!

Yeah! I am going to be at Comic Con in a couple of weeks and I am seriously excited! I can’t wait to see what people are going to be wearing. I have already been sent some pictures of people dressed up as other characters from the series and I cannot wait to see them in person! I love the fans! I also love that it means enough to people that they want to celebrate it in that very specific way!

You have a very cool project called The JV Club on the Nerdist Network.

Yeah! My podcast!

What can you tell us about the podcast and how it came about?

Be sure to check out The JV Club!

I had wanted to do a podcast for a while. A lot of my comedian friends already had podcasts. Sometimes, and I wish this weren’t true about women in comedy, you self doubt yourself and talk yourself into this idea of, “There is so much great stuff out there. What am I going to bring to the table or offer up that is special or unique enough that anyone would want to pay attention to it?” I don’t mean to be negative! It is a really silly, self-poisoning thing that people do to themselves sometimes. I held off doing it for a while because I was talking to myself in that way, like, “Oh, what am I going to do?” It really felt important to me and I held on to the idea. I started shaping a specific idea that, for me, felt like it was something which didn’t already exist. That was really exciting to me. I also tried to pay attention to who I really am and what I am like as a person because it has taken me a long time to learn a lesson that some people learn very quickly. That lesson is that you should just be yourself, play to your strengths, know what makes you happy and what you enjoy doing. If you are going to be generating something that is going to be entirely yours and oversee each aspect, why not make it something you enjoy? I know that sounds like such a no-brainer but we tend to overcomplicate things sometimes! [laughs] You can’t say, “I don’t play video games but people seem to be really into video games. Maybe I should do a thing on video games!” No! If you are not a huge fan of video games, let somebody else do that! For me, I am not someone I would think of as a girl’s girl. In fact, I probably had more guy friends than girlfriends when I was growing up. As I have gotten older and existing in the business of show business, I feel that it is tremendously heartening and tremendously important for women to support each other. Sometimes there is this competition that gets bred out of the business that feels like it is unhealthy and unnecessary. In addition to having all of those feelings, I also realized there are so few podcast hosts that are female that were cool, funny, silly and not afraid to be serious while still being able to live in that comedy, nerdy world. So that is what I decided I was going to do!

Janet Varney

On my podcast, I just interview women. My listenership is 50% men and 50% women, so it’s not like it only appeals to women. I talk to women about what their adolescence was like and it can be taken very literally by young women who want the encouragement to know it gets better and to know that a lot of the people they look up to or watch on television had really tumultuous teenager-hoods. Many were unhappy or bullied or were unhappy, thus were bullying others. I think it puts a really human face on the whole high school experience. Again, you could take it literally in that way but those conversations spin out into so many conversations about other things that it is not just about that by any stretch of the imagination! It has been really wonderful and the timing of the podcast and “The Legend of Korra” launching around the same time was not intentional but has been life changing. I love the podcast! I just want to do the podcast all day long when I am not doing “Korra” because it feels so good! I would encourage anyone reading this interview — it feels really good when you make something that is yours and has your voice. I don’t just mean literally but figuratively! It makes you feel like you have put a piece of yourself out into the world in a very personal way. It is scary and exhilarating! Everybody should try some version of what that means to you. I don’t like just spouting advice but it is a lovely experience!

As listeners, we are spoiled when it comes to podcasts. It is great to be able to just click and download. We don’t think a lot about the hard work that goes into each show. Clearly, it is a labor of love on your part. What can you tell us about what goes into it and how long it takes to bring them to life?

I am very lucky because I am part of the Nerdist Network, so I have a podcast producer. I do all the recording myself and I definitely research the women I am interviewing beforehand. I do all the recording with the gear, so it is just me in a room, I don’t have an audio assistant or anything like that. I do sometimes do edits, if I need to edit for time or if there is a sound issue or anything like that. I would like to make everyone feel guilty like I put all the time in the world into it! [laughs] Certainly, the process of writing the descriptions, booking the guests, setting the time aside and being really thoughtful about who you have and what you will be talking about — all of that does take a lot of time. We are very fortunate that the world of podcasting is a pretty elemental process and computers have made it very easy for us to record something via audio instead of on camera. It is a little more simplistic and easier for guests, who don’t necessarily have to dress up and put on a bunch of makeup and all that kinda stuff! There are some real pluses to what I do, even though it is time consuming and, to your point, is a labor of love.

You have such a diverse career from television to voice acting to podcasting. Is there something else you are still eager to tackle in the future? A bucket list item, so to speak.

I guess the only other thing left is Space Camp! Producing the festival, San Francisco Sketchfest, was an absolute joy. I love music and I wish I played more music. I used to play a lot of music and was in a band where I sang. I miss that piece of my life but I don’t have a lot of time for it right now. I guess, I hope that it comes back around somehow.

What other projects should we be on the lookout for from you in both the short and long term?

Janet Varney: Keepin’ It Real!

Right now, another thing that is airing online is a series called “Burning Love.” It is a spoof on “The Bachelor.” It has been so successful that it is officially the most successful web series in the history of the Internet! It has millions and millions and millions of views. You can watch it on www.burninglove.com. I think we are at episode eight at this point. Obviously, you can go to the site and watch them all whenever you want and the rest of the episodes release once a week. It is produced by Ben Stiller’s company and he is in it and Christine Taylor is in it. It is an extraordinary cast and it was created by Ken Marino and Erica Oyama. Kristen Bell is in it, Michael Ian Black, Malin Akerman, Jennifer Aniston — it is really an extraordinarily wonderful and talented group of people and I have been so incredibly lucky to be a cast member on that show!

There is another project I am working on for the Nerdist Channel, which stars Neil Patrick Harris. We are doing it with Henson Alternative. It is the alternative leg of their company and we are working with puppets! It is a show about Neil and how when he falls asleep he dreams in puppets. That will be coming out in late fall and we can’t wait! We are in the process of writing it right now!

That is awesome, Janet! Especially since you were into the Henson stuff growing up!

Oh yeah! [sings] It is a dreeeeeeaaaaaaaammmm coooooommme trrrruuuuuuueeeee! [laughs] I can’t believe it when I am sitting across a desk from Brian Henson, the child in me, all the way up through the adult in me is silently shrieking with excitement! It’s really, really, really cool!

What is the best piece of advice someone gave you along the way in your career you can share with others?

Janet Varney

I have received really, really great advice from a lot of different people. Certainly, my representatives, who I have been with have been incredibly supportive. They are such good cheerleaders and their wisdom from being in the business way longer than I have has been invaluable. But I think, the best advice I have gotten has been from Chris Hardwick. Very early on, when I had just moved to Los Angeles, he made very sure to tell me not to compare my career to the career of others because it doesn’t do any good. That is true no matter what walk of life you are in. It is really good advice because I think we live in a world where it is really easy for us to look at what someone else has and say, “Why don’t I have that? What am I doing wrong? When can I get that?” I think it is good to have ambitions and like I said, that is not just in show business but in your regular life. it is great to have ambitions but it doesn’t do a lot of good to stay in that place where you are wondering why you don’t have what someone else has. That energy can be spent better someplace else.

The other thing that Chris told me that I was already doing, and something we would tell each other, is, “Make your own stuff!” And, “Make stuff that you can be proud of!” He is way further along in that than I am and he has been in the business a lot longer. It is inspiring, looking at what he has been able to achieve by just being authentic and honest with his voice and what he wants to put out into the world. He has created a huge business out of it. That is evidence right there that if you believe in something and you know your voice is special, and your voice is special because everyones is, you can turn it into your dreams!

Where is the best place for people to catch up with you online, learn more and follow all your adventures?

It is pretty easy to find me at www.janetvarney.com. I try to stay on top of updating everything that is going on! [laughs] You can also find my podcast on iTunes, it’s The JV Club, as you mentioned. You can listen to that and get all sorts of information on The Nerdist Network. There is a Facebook page for it as well, so if you Google “The JV Club” there are a bunch of different options for it!

It has been awesome talking with you today, Janet! I am sure we will be talking again soon and we look forward to spreading the word on all you have going on!

Awesome, Jason! I really appreciate it! Have a great day! Thank you!

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Blu-Ray Review: ‘A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas: Extra Dope Edition’

Blu-Ray Review: ‘A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas: Extra Dope Edition’

'A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas'

Reprising the roles that helped to launch their careers, John Cho and Kal Penn are back as Harold and Kumar in ‘A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas’! How did we get here? Simple! The magic of this duo kicked off in 2004 with the release off ‘Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle’ which would go on to become a cult sensation and a must-see for stoners everywhere. Fans were treated to another round of their hijinks in 2008 with the release of a much anticipated sequel, ‘Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo’ where ridiculousness was taken to new levels! ‘A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas’ does the same and this time it is in glorious 3D!

The latest installment if the series takes place six years after the events of ‘Escape from Guantanamo Bay’ and finds Harold and Kumar at very different places in their lives. Harold has married his long time girlfriend, settled in suburbia and is working his 9 to 5 job. Kumar has settled down as well but it is in front of his bong after learning his girlfriend is pregnant. At the start, it appears that adulthood has finally caught up with the men who were once the life of the party. As luck would have it, the universe forces them back together again and it isn’t long before they are running wild on the streets of New York City in search of a Christmas tree worthy of Harold’s very stern father-in-law, played by the always intimidating Danny Trejo. As you would expect, they find themselves embroiled in one insane situation after another, bumping into some old friends and learning the power of friendship.

The film features several franchise and comedy cameos that fans will certainly recognize. Paula Garcés (TV’s Defying Gravity) as Harold’s beloved wife Maria; Danneel Harris (The Roommate) as Kumar’s estranged girlfriend Vanessa; Bobby Lee (Pineapple Express) as Kenneth Park; and Thomas Lennon (I Love You, Man) as Harold’s new best friend, Todd. Of course, it wouldn’t be a ‘Harold & Kumar’ flick without an outlandish appearance by the legendary NPH! That’s right fans, Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Doogie Howser, M.D.) is back and this time he has brought a musical number with him! You might be thinking “Wait! Didn’t Neil Patrick Harris die in the second film?” Don’t worry, it all gets sorted out and if you are really that concerned about it, you probably aren’t going to enjoy this film in the first place.

In addition to the comedy that fans of the stoner movie genre already know and love, ‘A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas’ offers up a new element that make this film even more fun. The first is the use of retro, gimmicky, object in your face 3D! While it is no “Avatar”, this technology brings marihuana smoke, falling confetti, fast pitched excrement and exploding eggs from Occupy Wall Street types to a level that will surely make your giggle like you have been smoking The Devil’s Lettuce. Speaking of the stickiest of the icky, a fast paced musical number featuring Neil Patrick Harris is certainly a high point of the film, as is the scene where the world of Harold and Kumar becomes claymated! I am not sure what series writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg where smoking when they dreamed this all up but is it showed up magically on my doorstep, I wouldn’t turn it down!

‘A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas’ is a worthy addition to the franchise and is just as fun as the previous films. Fans who have not seen the film yet can rest assured that there is plenty of groundwork laid in this film to spawn another sequel. If you are looking for a light-hearted film with enough laughs to help you escape from your daily grind for an hour or so, this flick definitely fits the bill. Long live Harold and Kumar! — Jason Price

Official Synopsis: Following years of growing apart, Harold Lee (Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) have replaced each other with new friends and are preparing for their respective Yuletide celebrations. But when a mysterious package mistakenly arrives at Kumar’s door on Christmas Eve, his attempt to redirect it to Harold’s house ends with the “high grade” contents – and Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree – going up in smoke. With his in-laws out of the house for the day, Harold decides to cover his tracks, rather than come clean. Reluctantly embarking on another ill-advised journey with Kumar through New York City, their search for the perfect replacement tree takes them through party heaven – and almost blows Christmas Eve sky high.

Blu-ray and DVD Elements

Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack:
Disc 1: Blu-ray 3D Disc
• Theatrical version (Presented in hi-definition, stereoscopic 3D)

Disc 2: Dual-Format Disc
Blu-ray Side
• Extra Dope Edition – Extended Cut Feature (Presented in 2D)
• Theatrical version

Special Features:
• Through the Haze with Thomas Lennon
• Bringing Harold & Kumar Claymation to Life
• Additional Scenes

DVD Side
• Theatrical Cut

UltraViolet Digital Copy
• Theatrical Cut

Blu-ray 2D Combo Pack:
Dual-Format Disc
Blu-ray Side
• Extra Dope Edition – Extended Cut Feature (Presented in 2D)
• Theatrical version

Special Features:
• Through the Haze with Thomas Lennon
• Bringing Harold & Kumar Claymation to Life
• Additional Scenes (RT 3:35)

DVD Side
• Theatrical version

UltraViolet Digital Copy
• Theatrical version

DVD:
• Theatrical version
• Additional Scenes
• UltraViolet Digital Copy (Theatrical version)

Ultraviolet
UltraViolet Digital Copy allows you to collect, watch and share movies in a whole new way. Available for free with specially marked Blu-ray discs and DVDs, UltraViolet lets you access digital copies of movies from a cloud to enjoy on many different devices. UltraViolet Digital Copiescan be downloaded for offline viewing and streamed to computers and compatible Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices. Some devices require Wi-Fi for streaming. Does not include iTunes file. Restrictions and limitations apply. Go to UltraViolet.Flixster.com for details.

‘A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas’ was released November 4th, 2011 and stars Patton Oswalt, Isabella Gielniak, Kal Penn, Austin Bickel, Inga R. Wilson, John Cho, Bobby Lee,Thomas Lennon. The film is directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson.

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Columbia Pictures Unveils A Smurfy New Trailer For ‘The Smurfs’

Columbia Pictures Unveils A Smurfy New Trailer For ‘The Smurfs’

Columbia Pictures has released the trailer for ‘The Smurfs’ movie starring Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, Hank Azaria, Anton Yelchin, Katy Perry, George Lopez, Paul Ruebens and Jonathan Winters. The film is currently slated for an August 3rd, 2011 release.

Synopsis: Audiences everywhere are in for a Smurfy good time as the Smurfs make their first 3D trip to the big screen. When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours – in fact, smack dab in the middle of Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down. The film is set for release August 3, 2011.

Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, and Hank Azaria star on camera opposite an all-star voice cast. Anton Yelchin will play Clumsy Smurf; comedy legend Jonathan Winters, who voiced roles in the “Smurfs” television series, will voice Papa Smurf; Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Katy Perry will play Smurfette; Alan Cumming will play Gutsy Smurf; “SNL’s” Fred Armisen will voice Brainy Smurf; and George Lopez will play Grouchy Smurf.

In the live-action roles, Azaria will play the Smurfs’ nemesis, the evil wizard Gargamel. Harris and Mays star as an expectant couple whose lives are turned upside down when the Smurfs cross over from their magical village to New York City. Vergara plays Odile, Harris’s boss, a cosmetics executive.

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First Official (and Smurfy!) Theatrical Poster For ‘The Smurfs’ Unveiled!

First Official (and Smurfy!) Theatrical Poster For ‘The Smurfs’ Unveiled!

Sony Pictures has unveiled the first official poster for their upcoming live action meets CGI version of the 80s classic cartoon series, The Smurfs. The flick, which is set to hit theaters on August 3, 2011, features the talents Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Jonathan Winters, Hank Azaria, George Lopez, Alan Cumming, Katy Perry, Sofia Vergara, Anton Yelchin, Fred Armisen, Paul Reubens, Kenan Thompson, John Oliver, B.J. Novak, Jeff Foxworthy and Wolfgang Puck.

Now that is some “smurfing” star power! Check out the poster below and weigh in with your thoughts!

Synopsis: Audiences everywhere are in for a Smurfy good time as the Smurfs make their first 3D trip to the big screen. When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours – in fact, smack dab in the middle of Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down. The film is set for release August 3, 2011.

Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, and Hank Azaria star on camera opposite an all-star voice cast. Anton Yelchin will play Clumsy Smurf; comedy legend Jonathan Winters, who voiced roles in the “Smurfs” television series, will voice Papa Smurf; Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Katy Perry will play Smurfette; Alan Cumming will play Gutsy Smurf; “SNL’s” Fred Armisen will voice Brainy Smurf; and George Lopez will play Grouchy Smurf.

In the live-action roles, Azaria will play the Smurfs’ nemesis, the evil wizard Gargamel. Harris and Mays star as an expectant couple whose lives are turned upside down when the Smurfs cross over from their magical village to New York City. Vergara plays Odile, Harris’s boss, a cosmetics executive.

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Get Smurf’d With The ‘The Smurfs’ Teaser Trailer

Get Smurf’d With The ‘The Smurfs’ Teaser Trailer

The first official teaser trailer for the big screen adaption of ‘The Smurfs’ has hit the web. Check it out and weigh in with your thoughts on the first glimpse of the cute lil’ fellas.

Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, and Hank Azaria star on camera opposite an all-star voice cast. Anton Yelchin will play Clumsy Smurf; comedy legend Jonathan Winters, who voiced roles in the “Smurfs” television series, will voice Papa Smurf; Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Katy Perry will play Smurfette; Alan Cumming will play Gutsy Smurf; “SNL’s” Fred Armisen will voice Brainy Smurf; Paul Reubens will play Jokey Smurf and George Lopez will play Grouchy Smurf.

In the live-action roles, Azaria will play the Smurfs’ nemesis, the evil wizard Gargamel. Harris and Mays star as an expectant couple whose lives are turned upside down when the Smurfs cross over from their magical village to New York City. Vergara plays Odile, Harris’s boss, a cosmetics executive.

The film is directed by Raja Gosnell. The screenplay is by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss and Jay Scherick & David Ronn, based on the characters and works of Peyo. The producer is Jordan Kerner and Ezra Swerdlow, Ben Haber, and Paul Neesan are the executive producers.

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