By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
The laughter was often just polite at THE COMMIES — should have allowed the audience to take those free drinks in — even if the honorees weren’t always. Comedian ANDY RICHTER hosted COMEDY CENTRAL’s first-ever awards yukfest at SONY STUDIOS. Among the winners was WANDA SYKES, awardee for “Funniest TV Actress,” which prompted one member of the press to ask if her show was even still on. Sykes answered the question during her acceptance speech, finishing with “I’d thank Fox, but they haven’t picked me up yet, so fuck ’em.” KATHY GRIFFIN accepted the Commies’ golden bobble-head award for “Best Plastic Surgery,” telling the crowd thick with agents and network types, “Like most of you here, I fucked my way to the middle.” LUIS GUZMAN tried to give away the “Funniest Female Character (Supporting Actress)” award, running through a list of 44 comedians to MARLA GIBBS, who gladly accepted. Honoree ANDY DICK showed up to present, even though his award, “Funniest Neurotic Character,” was cut from the show. ADAM SANDLER presented the Comedy Idol Award to a carrot-topped RODNEY DANGERFIELD, who thanked his brain surgeon before getting off some signature one-liners, such as, “You know you’re old when your testicles tell you when the lawn needs mowing.” Talk about going balls out.
Music for Nimrods
“I guess the secret’s out,” noted a waitee in the endless line outside the KEY CLUB, where GREEN DAY played their first and supposedly only show ever as masked new wavers THE NETWORK. After an electro-licious opening set by blond beauty THEO KOGANfrom LUNACHICKS and robo-rockin’ beats from DJ JOSEPH BROOKS (which got AFI singer DAVEY HAVOC and THE DONNAS drummer TORRY CASTELLANOgrooving together at a nearby table), the Network hit the stage, faces concealed in an array of Mexican wrestling masks, invisible-man garb, and, on singer “Fink,” what looked like a tube top. As the band played, E.C. STARput on a fashion show in which models with Haysi Fantayzee hair pranced about in punky ’80s getups, flipping off the crowd and bumping into each other. Maybe they were followers of the Devo-esque group’s “Church of Lushotology,” which Network manager JOHN ROECKER explained is all about “less guilt and more booze” (words projected on giant screens during the show and in pamphlets Roecker passed out from the stage). With a crowd that included actress REBECCA ROMIJN-STAMOS, South Park’s MATT STONE, art-flick fellow VINCENT GALLO and all the boys from NO DOUBT, the Network just might have enough celeb followers to rival that other “ology.”
Play That Funky Music
Over 140 films in 11 days and not a Brown Bunny in the bunch. Damn. But at least AFI FEST 2003 offered more than its share of shindigs. The fest’s second Centerpiece Gala came with the world premiere of The Statement, where the rainy night kept things low-key at the pre-party. Director NORMAN JEWISON and his star TILDA SWINTON— along with the festival’s ubiquitous UDO KIER— mixed in among the usual crop of industry types and vintage-clad indie filmmakers polishing off sushi and vodka in the ARCLIGHT’s CINEMA LOUNGE right up until the screening. Things turned hectic for the closing-night premiere of Monster, and got more so when NICOLAS CAGEstrutting down the red carpet got the waiting crowd all abuzz, following the entrances of Monster’s CHARLIZE THERON (with fiancé STUART TOWNSEND in tow), co-stars CHRISTINA RICCI and BRUCE DERN, and ADAM GOLDBERG. Somehow, MARK WAHLBERG managed to slip in unnoticed by the paparazzi. Afterward, cinephiles hiked over to the HENRY FONDA THEATER, where original Real Worlder NORMAN KORPI and Monsterco-star PRUITT TAYLOR VINCE hung out in the rooftop smoking lounge, while others like JEREMY PIVEN stuck to the first floor and listened to the DJs spin white-boy ’80s hits. Didn’t matter though: Those without 7 a.m. production calls danced until the wee hours anyway.
Ham I Am
Actors, comedians, wannabes — and their older, wealthier consorts — packed the RENBERG THEATERfor an encore performance of BEVERLY WINWOOD PRESENTS THE ACTOR’S SHOWCASE. After sold-out runs at both the Groundling and Canon theaters, Beverly Winwoodwas presented by the Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Program as a one-night-only benefit for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s youth-services programs. Much of the original cast regrouped to reprise TONY SEPULVEDA’s hilarious lampoon of local theater productions showcasing actors desperate to be noticed by casting directors. (A series of mock headshots accompanied by equally fake bios listing high school, prison and county-fair acting credits was distributed to patrons by obsequious cast members.) Portraying the riotously inept student actors were, among others, CHERYL HINES, PHIL LAMARR, TIM BAGLEY, BRIAN PALERMO, PATRICK BRISTOW, MICHAEL HITCHCOCKand MINDY STERLING. Legally Blonde’s JENNIFER COOLIDGEdelivered a side-splitting turn as a brassy stage mother who fills in when her offspring is paralyzed by stage fright. Applauding the purposefully fumbled props, intentionally dropped lines and deliberately stilted performances were newlywed lovebirds MEGAN MULLALLYand NICK OFFERMAN(who couldn’t keep their hands off each other), SNL’s WILL FORTEand JEFF RICHARDS, director SUE HAMILTON, M. Butterfly’s ALEC MAPA, and Bruce Almighty’s LISA ANN WALTER. To accompany all the ham on display, cheese was served at the after-party.
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