Hello 2019

Wednesday, 2 January, 2019

Love to learn from others and will keep doing it. Graham Norton is one of my favourite talk show hosts and here you can find a lot of inside insights. “Exclusive: Graham Norton Reveals Secrets From His Show | Studio 10“.

I also watched these three clips of Hillary Clinton: a) Hillary Clinton Wishes She Had Done This During the Debates, b) Hillary Clinton didn’t want to attend Trump’s Inauguration, c) Hillary Clinton Is Worried About Donald Trump’s Tweets.

Q&A with Neil Gaiman (one year after Neil’s great commencement speech!)

C-SPAN: Joe Wong at RTCA Dinner

(Ref: Joe Wong: Building A Wall Didn’t Work For China, clip of .@JoeWongComedy wants to bring Chinese and Americans together – by making them both laugh)


Nora Ephron (1941-2012), Thanks and Goodbye

Tuesday, 26 June, 2012

Nora Ephron (1941-2012), Thanks and Goodbye

Nora, Thanks for all your great films. Goodbye. Rest in peace.

When Harry Met Sally – full ending

Nora Ephron | CONVERSATIONS AT KCTS 9

Nora interview

Great CBC radio Q 2010 interview “Revisiting Nora Ephron on Q“.

Lovely article by Nora’s friend Rita Wilson, “My Friend Nora

Obit from USA Today, NYT, WaPo (make sure you read till the end), NPRCNN, New York MagazineTIME (film clips).

News: LA Times “Nora Ephron: Celebs, Hollywood react to her death“, THR “Nora Ephron’s Death: Hollywood Remembers the Writer-Director

Nora’s Esquire classic “A Few Words About Breasts

Esquire “Nora Ephron Was Better Than One of Them


The Onion’s President & CEO Steve Hannah at 2012 Banff World Media Festival

Wednesday, 20 June, 2012

Steve Hannah, President & CEO of The Onion gave a very different presentation at 2012 Banff World Media Festival.Here is a sample, hope you enjoy it.

Here is his official Banff bio,

“Steve Hannah
President & CEO
The Onion
Had it not been for an incredible stretch of bad luck and an unfortunate series of largely unsubstantiated mishaps that resulted in a half dozen felony convictions, Steve Hannah would most likely be President of the United States today.

Instead, much to the eternal chagrin of his late mother, for the past seven years he has been President & CEO of The Onion: America’s Finest News Source and Relentless Self-Promoter.

Embarassing, really.

Nevertheless, The Onion is a multi-platform (VC’s like people who talk like that, right?) media company that reports the news to a largely gullible public in print (newspapers and magazines), on a strange thing called the Internet (10 million unique visitors), on all manner of mobile devices, by way of exceedingly fancy apps, via web video (its Onion News Network has collected more Webbys than any other legitimate news organization and in 2009 won the prestigious Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting along with Saturday Night Live and Sixty Minutes) and most recently on television, where its Onion Sports Network debuted on Comedy Central and the Onion News Network show (and was renewed) launched on IFC.

Today, the Onion and its subsidiary organizations constitute the biggest, scariest, most powerful, most omniscient, most virulent, most vindictive news gathering organization in the world. For example, if he chose to do so-which he would not because he has learned to use his influence judiciously-he could wreck every single one of your personal and professional lives. Read the rest of this entry »


Commencement Address by Jon Stewart (with a new quote I love)

Wednesday, 20 June, 2012

If you haven’t seen this speech yet, check it out, worth your 15 minutes. Here is a quote,

If there is any real advice I can give you, it is this. College is something you complete. Life is something you experience. So don’t worry about your grade. Or the results. Or success. Success is defined in myriad ways. And you will find it. And people will no longer be grading you but it will come from your own internal sense of decency.

Jon Stewart 2004 Commencement Address at The College of William & Mary


In Conversation with Chuck Lorre (Creator of Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory) at #banff2012

Sunday, 17 June, 2012

Chuck Lorre, King of Comedy (Cybill, Dharma & Greg, Two and a Half Men, and The Big Bang Theory)

Here is a very insightful “in conversation” session with Chuck Lorre (Creator of Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory) at #banff2012.

Here is 2012 Banff’s session description:

“In Conversation With: Ustinov Award for Comedy Winner Chuck Lorre
Join us to celebrate this year’s Ustinov Award winner, Chuck Lorre — award-winning television creator, writer and producer known for such hit comedy series as “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Mike & Molly”. For the past 20 years, Lorre has delivered such hit shows as “Grace Under Fire,” “Dharma & Greg,” “Roseanne” and “Cybill.” He co-created the blockbuster comedy series “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory” – which both rank as the #1 and #2 comedies among total viewers on all of U.S. television. The Ustinov Award recognizes a creative talent that has made an outstanding comedic contribution to the media industry, and Lorre is a natural fit. Past recipients include: John Cleese, Martin Short, Kelsey Grammer, Rick Mercer, Ricky Gervais and James Burrows.”


Carmen Stockton’s performance at Alberta Comedy Spectacular (June 2nd, 2012 – CBC TV and Radio LIVE recording)

Friday, 1 June, 2012

alberta-comedy-spectacular

LIVE comedy recording for CBC TV & Radio in Calgary
7pm Sat June 2nd, 2012

Check out my Comedy Central and Just For Laughs Comedy Festivalfeatured stand-up comedian friend Carmen Stockton’s performance at a LIVE recording for CBC TV and Radio in Calgary 7pm Sat June 2nd! See the poster for more info. Visit Carmen’s website for bio, comedy clips, and more.


Awesome FollowMeFoodie Mijune – Will vlog for a great meal – Vancouver Sun

Sunday, 18 March, 2012

Full half page photo of FollowMeFoodie MiJune

(Photo credit: @CoffeeGeek)

Hello foodies, check out this Vancouver Sun article “Will vlog for a great meal” featuring the awesome Mijune (Twitter/Facebook). Here is an excerpt from  “Will vlog” (emphasis added),

“But when it comes to food vloggers — that is, bloggers who post videos — it’s the new order. Vlogging requires crazy commitment and passion. Sure, cellphones and pocket cameras can easily capture video, but scripting, shooting, editing and uploading is another thing. It takes a sizable bite out of one’s life and exquisite patience. Ouch!

One such local vlogger, Mijune Pak, of Richmond, posts on YouTube and on her blog, Follow Me Foodie. “I know the food blogging community is very saturated right now but vlogging hasn’t been touched,” she says.

Here’s the reason in a nutshell. She and her two-man crew shot for three hours, then edited for six hours to produce a 1.5 minute video. Who’s got that kind of time or expertise?

We’re doing it because we’re passionate and it’s a good way of getting exposure,” says Pak, 25. One video, The Things Foodies Say [note: see below], “went crazy,” she says. “It’s very challenging because most viewers click off after two or three minutes. To lock in a recipe in two or three minutes is very challenging.”

Also check out her FollowMeFoodie YouTube channel and this really funny 90 seconds clip. If you love food, I bet you will laugh at recognizing things you or your friends say! Enjoy.

Shit Foodies Say – Episode 1

Disclosure: I’ve known Mijune personally for years and I think she is doing some great creative work with her FollowMeFoodie site and FollowMeFoodie YouTube channel.


Ricky Gervais’ jokes at Golden Globes 2012

Sunday, 15 January, 2012

Ricky Gervais hosting 2012 Golden Globes

Jan 18, 2012 update: Ricky Gervais on David Letterman 2012.01.17 talking about his Golden Globes performance, etc

Live Blogging/tweeting Golden Globes in reverse order of posting (latest posting first).

* Ricky linked to these two show reviews, New York Post “Irreverent Ricky keeps party zinging” and USA Today “For Globe openers, Gervais is up to his old quips”.

* THR, “TV Ratings: Golden Globes Steady in 2012

“Though most time zone adjusted numbers aren’t yet available, the 2012 Golden Globes look likely to retain much of its audience from last year’s show. Sunday’s Globes were broadcast live across the country, with a 8:00 p.m. encore in the Pacific Time Zone, so current stats on total viewers and adults 18-49 are subject to likely revision and are expected to go up.”

* Post-show comments: Check out, very good show reviews from

– UK Daily Mail, “Golden Globes 2012: He’s back and naughtier than ever! Beer-swilling Ricky Gervais drops the F-word, jokes about the size of his penis and Jodie Foster’s ‘Beaver'”

– The Atlantic, “The Insufferable Self-Seriousness of the Golden Globes”

– Macleans, “Oh, Ricky, You’ll Say Anything

And I think the best review is by THR Chief TV Critic Tim Goodman, “Golden Globes 2012 Review: Ricky Gervais a ‘Letdown,’ ‘Punk’d’ the Awards“. I like Tim’s “‘Punk’d'” theory but I don’t know if it is true and we will find out from Ricky soon. Here is an excerpt from Tim’s Review (emphasis added),

“The trouble with the Golden Globes telecast this year was simple — it was egregiously boring. The Oscars and Emmys can’t get here fast enough to erase this three-hour dud.
Does Gervais deserve some of the blame? Well, in so much that he led a lot of people to believe he was going to be a very naughty boy, then yes. Otherwise, he was funny enough. He did his bit. And let’s remember that the host at the Globes is often absent for vast stretches of time — last year’s running internet joke was that the Globes had fired Gervais mid-show and he’d never return. But it was just how the show has evolved. The host is, essentially, a minimal presence.
No, the Globes were boring all on their own.

“Ah, but there’s something clever afoot when you think about Gervais’ underwhelming performance. Think about it. Think still more. And now consider this: Ricky Gervais just Punk’d the Globes. He exacted revenge for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association making such a stink last year and taking the moral high ground, lambasting him for being cruel and petty, a bitter outcast comic among real actors and stars. It could be that Gervais’ skin really is that thick and he didn’t suffer their angry arrows. Or it could be that when the Globes realized it really did need Gervais because controversy breeds ratings and ratings keep you viable, that Gervais plotted his revenge.
And Sunday night he took it. He wasn’t merciless. He wasn’t outraged. Hell, he didn’t even seem very involved or even committed. It’s as if he said, “You hired me last year knowing what you’d get, then you fired me when you got it. Well, this year you get what you truly wanted. And you definitely get what you deserve.
Cheeky, that. Oh, you clever, clever bastard. Well played, Ricky Gervais. You got the Globes but good.

And some “ok” reviews from LA Times and Reuters, and see THR for “Golden Globes 2012: The Winners List

Golden Globes 2012 – Ricky Gervais Opening Monologue

* In answer to VanityFair’s Tweet question, “Who wants to guess what Ricky Gervais said that required a 4-second bleep at the #goldenglobes?Read the rest of this entry »


Life’s Too Short – Ricky Gervais: ‘It’s not our best, but it’s our funniest’

Thursday, 3 November, 2011

Have a read, “Ricky: ‘It’s not our best, but it’s our funniest’“. Life’s Too Short will air on UK BBC2, Thursday, Nov 10, 2011.

Life’s Too Short’s Celebrity Guests – Life’s Too Short – BBC Two

Campy Johnny Depp – Life’s Too Short

Life’s Too Short – with extra Bacon

Ricky And Warwick The Frog – Life’s Too Short – BBC Two

Warwick Davis talks working with Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant (explains Life’s Too Short a little)


My Favourite Foreign Films of Calgary International Film Festival 2011

Monday, 3 October, 2011

The following are trailers and interviews of some of my favourite foreign films at Calgary International Film Festival 2011.

Starbuck (trailer) A ton of fun watching this Quebec comedy. 2011 People’s Choice Award

The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito) (trailer) Be ready for surprises.

Almanya – (Welcome to Germany) Willkommen in Deutschland (movie site)


Ricky, Steve and Karl

Wednesday, 7 September, 2011

Ricky, Steve and Karl answer BAFTA’s questions

Via Ricky “Week one hundred and eighty-four – September 2011

I’ve had one of my big ideas. (photo)

What do you think of this?

A live 3 hour podcast during The Golden Globes. Me and a few chums (like Louis CK, Chris Rock, Karl Pilkington, John Stewart, Larry David popping in and out) doing our own alternative commentary.

People at home can have the telly on with the sound down listening to us online say things that no broadcaster could get away with.

No one could do a fucking thing.

The biggest live webcast ever? Who knows? Who cares? What’s fun is the shit we might come out with. No money. No sponsor. No guide lines. Fuck me I can’t wait.

Maybe I’ll do a non-broadcast practice with The Emmys to see if it works. I’ll let you know.”


Ricky Gervais Telegraph interview

Monday, 29 August, 2011

Have a read of “Ricky Gervais: Don’t ask me the price of milk – I fly by private jet – With a new comedy series in the offing, Ricky Gervais talks about fame, fortune and fidelity – and a future without laughs.“, highly recommended. Here are some of my favourite excerpts.

* “Gervais tells me that when he wrote The Office, he wanted it to be a million people’s favourite show rather than 10 million people’s 10th favourite show.”

* “… I think you’ve got to assume that as many people are going to hate you as love you. You want a strict door policy on your pub. You want to turn people away. I remember an advert I saw when I was six or seven, where there was a pyramid of tinned salmon. A hand came along and knocked them all over except for one, and the voice-over said ‘it’s the salmon John West rejects that makes John West the best.’ It’s the things you discard that make it.”” Read the rest of this entry »


Life’s Too Short

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

I am a big fan of Ricky Gervais, so I highly recommend you check out his and Stephen Merchant‘s new comedy series Life’s Too Short, starring Warwick Davis, when it is finished and aired later this year. For now, check out the following clips.

Warwick Davis talks Ricky Gervais, Life’s Too Short and Cat Deeley, with Brad Blanks

Life’s Too Short – Ricky introduces Warwick


Happy 10th anniversary The Office (Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant)

Friday, 8 July, 2011

Accounting for time difference and a little bit of cheating, I want to wish The Office a happy 10th anniversary! Thanks Ricky and Stephen for being true to your own sense of what is funny and what is not! For breaking path and redefining what is funny! It will definitely be one of the “classics” that I remember.

Check out this very insightful UK Sun article, “Early audiences hated the fact there were no jokes in The Office but we wouldn’t allow the BBC to change it, Says Ricky Gervais“.

Watch my video interview of Ricky in this 2010 Banff World TV Festival report with his funny award acceptance speech.

Here is an excerpt from “Early audiences“,

“Ricky, 50, is still fond of his iconic comedy creation but admits growing Brent’s trademark goatee for these pictures made him instantly recognisable.
He said: “It feels good to be Brent again – although I left the facial hair to the last minute.
“I get spotted more when I’ve got it – it’s like people need that visual aid to work out where they know me from.

[…] “None of my characters have been as much fun to play as David Brent. People say he was a b****** and the ‘boss from hell’, but he wasn’t. He was just a twit.
“He was a man whose biggest mistake was confusing popularity with respect.”
When The Office first aired on BBC2 on July 9 2001, it was panned by several critics. Read the rest of this entry »


Ricky Gervais Greenscreens and Pre-Records Conan Interview

Sunday, 26 June, 2011

This is some funny stuff from Ricky Gervais. Cool to see Conan and Ricky pushing the boundary of comedy, funny stuff. [HT HuffPost]

P.S. If you don’t “get” the following is comedy, then this type of comedy is not really for you. With no disrespect, some people don’t like abstract art, so no one forces them to go see Voice of Fire.


Happy 50th Birthday Ricky Gervais !!!

Saturday, 25 June, 2011

Ricky Gervais and his wife Jane Fallon with RCMP officiersRicky Gervais & me

It was my pleasure to meet and interview the world famous funny comedian Ricky Gervais and his girl friend Jane last year at Banff. Of course, to us Canadians, he is Ricky Dene Gervais!

Check out my video interview and Ricky’s award acceptance speech video from 2010 Banff World TV Festival!

Happy 50th Birthday Ricky !!!


Heather Allin, President of ACTRA Toronto, interview post Banff World Media Festival 2011

Tuesday, 21 June, 2011

Heather Allin, President of ACTRA Toronto

ACTRA is a union for performers and according to ACTRA Toronto‘s website, it has over 15,000 professional film, video and new media performers. It was my pleasure to meet Heather Allin, President of ACTRA Toronto at Banff World Media Festival 2011. Here is my phone interview with Heather today.

The following are a few highlights of my interview with Heather.

* 0:00 Heather has been attending Banff for many years now, I asked her why she attends Banff.

* 2:30 For this Banff, did Heather get to meet and talk to senior broadcast executives on behalf of the members?

* 3:42 In our pre-interview, Heather mentioned a figure of 27 hours of bought (foreign) programs for one hour of Canadian produced drama. We talked more on this.

* 5:00 Last year (or the year before), Hon. Lindsay Blackett, Minister of Culture and Community Spirit said something like that the reason we have so little Canada content is because the Canadian creative community creates “shitty” programs that no one watches. I asked Heather to comment on this.

* 8:23 With respect to the fees paid to performers for digital/online content, I ask Heather to explain the current situation and whether the ACTRA Toronto members are being fairly treated.

* 9:50 I asked Heather to give some specific examples and detailed explanation of the fee payment structure for digital content.

* 12:00 I asked Heather about “scale“.
***

For all other Banff 2011 related interviews, please see here.


Mike Farah, President of Production, Funny or Die, interview @ Banff World Media Festival 2011

Saturday, 18 June, 2011

Mike Farah, President of Production, Funny or Die

I had a great time and learned a lot from attending Mike Farah, President of Production Funny or Die, and his teammates director Jake Szymanski and producer Chris Bruss’ Banff World Media Festival 2011 panel discussion. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike.

Here is my video interview with Mike.

The following are a few highlights of my video interview with Mike.

* 0:00 In terms of making money, I asked Mike about the “game show idea” with Billy Eichner which the panel talked about and showed a bit of footage. [Kempton’s note: Here are some clips of Billy Eichner doing other things on Funny or Die.]

* 1:04 Mike talks about the television and online opportunities of the Billy Eichner game show.

* 1:31 In the beginning of Funny or Die, how small or big was the creative team?

* 2:15 How many writers did Funny or Die start with in the beginning?

* 2:54 In terms of the branded entertainment (or shows that featured products prominently), how does Funny or Die make money? Revenue sharing? Or more like a traditional advertising campaign?

* 3:52 In terms of big stars (e.g. Oscar winning Marion Cotillard) that appear on the show, do they get “paid”? How do you guys get the stars?

* 4:40 So the stars see Funny or Die as something that gives them additional internet presence?

* 5:00 What is the next big thing for Funny or Die?

***

June 19th update: Following is an official festival chat with Mike Farah,  director Jake Szymanski and producer Chris Bruss.


***

For all other Banff 2011 related interviews, please see here.

***

Aug 10th, 2011 update: Funny bit from Funny or Die with Paul Rudd and Harvey Weinstein.


Mike Farah, President of Production, Funny or Die, interview @ Banff World Media Festival 2011

Wednesday, 15 June, 2011

Mike Farah, President of Production, Funny or Die

I had a great time and learned a lot from attending Mike Farah, President of Production Funny or Die, and his teammates Jake and Chris’ Banff World Media Festival 2011 panel discussion. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike.

It will take me some time to write the article and process & upload the video after Banff. Stay tune.

June 18th update: Done! Check out my article and video interview with Mike here.


Lisa Kudrow at Banff for Web Therapy

Friday, 3 June, 2011

Lisa Kudrow - Web Therapy (Meryl Streep episode)

Lisa Kudrow - Web Therapy (Julia Louis-Dreyfus episode)

Lisa Kudrow will be at Banff World Media Festival 2011 to receive an award of excellence in digital media for Web Therapy. It is a very innovative and funny show. Have a watch of the Meryl Streep episodeJulia Louis-Dreyfus episode, and Molly Shannon episode. It will be quite fun to see Lisa and listen to her interview at Banff.

Update: see a brief report of me meeting and listening to Lisa at Banff.


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