I often complain a lot about this town: too many people, too many cars, too many roosters living next to me, too many creditors with my cell and too many exes trying to get me on Maury. However, one thing Los Angeles has is the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival and we can never have too much of that.
The four day film festival featuring comedy shorts from all around the world dealing with everything from frustrated fertility doctors to zombies concludes today at the Downtown Independent Theater. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching a panel of comedians titled “Famous People Talkin’ about Sh*t”. Panelists included Wayne Brady (The Wayne Brady Show, Whose Line is it Anyway?), Larry Jo Campbell (According to Jim), Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Lynne Stewart (Miss Yvonne from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse), Scott Thompson (Kids in the Hall) and Stephanie Courtney (Flo from Prgressive Insurance, Mad Men).
Courtney surprisingly stated how she was against doing commercials, recalling how she was rejected for a Sylvan Learning commercial. And yet Sylvan expects us to trust them that they’re the smart ones? Jeff Garland may curb enthusiasm, but he left the audience and his other panelists in stitches between pearls of wisdom. When talking about fame, Garland mentioned how fame isn’t as fun as people think. Garland was a dominating force onstage whether it was talking about his lifelong drive to be the best or playfulling hitting on female audience members. If you ever get a chance to see him live, please do so. Garland shouldn’t just have his own show, but his own channel.
The multi-talented Wayne Brady spoke about the pride and frustration that fame has come with being known as “the black guy on that show” to his desire to have all barriers removed about what he can do. Although best known for his improv work, he fell into almost by accident. When the inevitable question about why he doesn’t do more portrayals similar to the one he did on the Chapelle show, Brady was quick to remind the audience that his goals of being an actor is to show that he can play all roles and not just a caricature of himself. Brady’s genuine smile was only matched by his passion when he spoke about his craft.
Billed by Moviemaker magazine as one “25 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee”, L.A. Comedy Shorts also worth more than the price of admission. Audience members vote on the submissions and are awarded cash, prizes and exposure. Co-founded by Boston Legal’s Gary Anthony Williams, L.A. Comedy Shorts will give you a lot to laugh about and one more thing to be grateful for.
For more info on the festival, check out their website here.