Lotsa Funny Things (and Student Films)
FRIDAY, March 23
The year was 1973. Two dreamers named Mark Goodson and Bill Todman resurrected a canceled TV game show where contestants and celebrities filled in the blanks. Sample: Did you catch a glimpse of that girl on the corner? She has the worlds biggest _________. The doubles entendreux flew furiously. There was a lot of polyester. Once again, the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center presents its cult hit The MisMatch Game, with Dennis Hendley as host Gene Rayburn, plus various Brett Somerses, Charles Nelson Reillys and Fannie Flaggs portrayed by various local funny people, including Ted Biaselli, Patrick Bristow, Julie Brown, Sam Pancake, Marcia Wallace and Tony Tripoli. L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, The Renberg Theater, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza (will this address never end?), 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., March 23-24, 8 p.m.; $15. (323) 860-7300.
SATURDAY, March 24Damn, Richard Jeni was funny. Case in point, his thoughts on religious wars: Youre basically killing each other to see whos got the better imaginary friend. After Jenis recent death, Jamie Masada, his friend and owner of the Laugh Factory, reflected. Three weeks ago Richard Jeni, who we now know was seriously challenged with depression, walked off of my stage to a standing ovation after providing much joy and many belly laughs. It is that Richard Jeni we all should remember. Not the Richard Jeni that awkwardly and uncharacteristically hugged me and said goodbye a night later. Despite whatever he was struggling with internally, he fought on, writing material, making people laugh. With hindsight, we see now his dedication in a new light: Life itself depended on his bringing joy, making people laugh. For that accomplishment alone, he has my respect and admiration. A memorial service wll take place at the club where Jeni made so many people pee their pants. The Laugh Factory, 8001 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat., March 24, 2 p.m.; seating limited and reservations required: www.laughfactory.com.
The residents of Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging are the beneficiaries of the Guardians Famous Comedy Night! featuring your host Monty Lets Make a Deal With the Devil Hall, Judy Gold, Marc Maron and Roy Zimmerman. Wilshire Theater Beverly Hills, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sat., March 24, 6:30 p.m. reception, 8 p.m. show; $100 general admission; $150 and above includes private reception. (310) 479-2468.
SUNDAY, March 25Dinner and a movie, anyone? How about Our Daily Bread (Unser Taglish Brot)? Superb! The films formal elegance, moral underpinning and intellectually stimulating point of view also make it essential. Takes us inside worlds of wonder and of terror, said Manohla Dargis of The New York Times, in a review of the documentary showing where our food is produced. Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., March 25, 5 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-FILM.
MONDAY, March 26Tonight kicks off the AFI Conservatory Spring Showcase 23 thesis films over four nights. All screenings are free (they better be). ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hlwyd.; Mon.-Thurs., March 26-29, 7:30 p.m.; after-party follows on each night. (323) 856-7722.
TUESDAY, March 27Two for Tuesday. Comedy-wise, youd be smart to pick Morgan Murphys Comedy CD Recording, where the mopey one will pull out all her best bits. Sample: I got an electric car, but it doesnt work. I know it doesnt work because I was in my garage for 10 hours yesterday trying to kill myself. Patton Oswalt and Jonathan Ames will also perform. Largo, 432 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.; Tues., March 27, 9 p.m.; call for dinner reservations, (323) 852-1073.
Then theres the 12th Annual SCOOMIE Awards, an always comically raucous parody of award shows, this year featuring Andy Kindler, Hard N Phirm, Jimmy Dore, Fat Effects (Aaron Lee and Joe Wagner) and Chip Pope, hosted by comedy open-mike Svengali Vance Sanders. The Westwood Brewery, 1097 Glendon Ave., Wstwd.; Tues., March 27, 9 p.m.; free. (310) 824-0820.
WEDNESDAY, March 28Kurt Andersens new novel, Heyday, is a fascinating read, and when I finish all 700 pages by summertime, with any luck Im sure it will be more than worth the effort. Reading and book-signing at Barnes & Noble, 1201 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica; Wed., March 28, 7:30 p.m. (310) 260-9110.
THURSDAY, March 29Nothing beats a press release that begins with We fit in under jazz, opera, world, gypsy and anything else you get after reading it! What? Not blues? Vagabond Opera will sing in 10 languages when they perform their opera, modern and old world! 1920s European cabaret! Balkan bellydance! Yiddish theater! As you might expect, theyre from Portland, Oregon. The Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Thurs., March 29, 9:30 p.m. (213) 413-8200.
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