Monday, September 27, 2010
NICK THUNE IS ON LENO THIS WEDNESDAY AND HE MAY SUCK
Television has become so damn predictable. It has. Now I know that when it's fifty-five minutes into the hour drama, they're just about ready solve the case and wrap things up for the week, or, in the case of the always cool 'Justified,' TIMOTHY OLYPHANT will probably cap a few more bad guys and be done with it, but most shows, especially comedies, are just painting by the numbers. If it's JAKE T. AUSTIN getting the laughs, well, that's fine by me because that kid's an original and the most likeable thing on Disney but most people on television today are as surprising as WILLARD SCOTT'S birthdays. (We get it, Willard, those people are all really fucking old. They fart dust. Their social security numbers are in the single digits. They dated BETTY WHITE'S grandmother. Got it!)
Talk shows, once loaded with lively and sparkling conversation, have become a place for celebrities to come plug their latest thing. Talk show hosts stick to the notes and never ask about that one thing we really wanna know, ya know? But it used to be different.
The Tonight Show starring JOHNNY CARSON was something. Here was the King of Late Night, the TV star who had the country's pulse, a comic with a team of writers, bombing from time-to-time. And it was...GREAT!
JEFF SOTZING, the president of Carson Entertainment (and also Johnny's nephew), has just completed a huge project digitizing all of the Tonight Shows. What a great resource for our American culture. I was reviewing some show recently and was thrilled to watch as some of Johnny's jokes missed. It felt so...alive!
I see that on Wednesday, NICK THUNE will be appearing on JAY LENO's Tonight Show. Now Jay never bombs, or if he does, he's making way too much noise to tell. He paints with a pretty broad brush during his often sloppy monologues, sometimes reminding me of a Gallagher concert. But that's Jay, just too busy working hard to worry about being too funny.
Watching NICK THUNE is every bit as exciting as watching any great performer who is always ready to take a risk. He's like a jazz artist who leaves a familiar-and popular-melody to explore some related themes. Many of Thune's comedy pieces are pre-produced, and you can tell that the comic kept a hand in it all rather than just turning it over to some producer. I mean, the edits, the timing and especially the music are right- on, but every punch line isn't a knock-out because he's not playing the game that way. And he never plays to the back of the house. In fact, he brings his audience in to where he is, and where he is is beautiful, man.
I've seen NICK THUNE perform 'live' and also on television, in motion pictures and in short films made-for-video and I'll tell you, he is so funny that-and I swear this is true- I am laughing out loud as I type this, just thinking of things he's said, done. I once wrote to him about a video short he did where, at the end, he's singing to his beautiful girlfriend. My note was full of typos because as I was typing, I was laughing my ass off!
Years ago, a home run in baseball was a rare thing. It was. Most players didn't hit homers; the game was played unlike it is today. I suspect that if he really wanted to, NICK THUNE could hit most balls out of the park, but he's playing a different game and he's doing it in his own authentic way.
Let's tune-into The Tonight Show with JAY LENO on Wednesday and watch NICK THUNE do his thing. I know it's gonna be beautiful. Oh, they'll be some great shots hit hard and high and plenty others softer and subdued down front. And there's the chance that he'll miss a few here and there and- well, that's gonna be exciting.
"NICK THUNE is subdued, not some dude."
(You may quote me).
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