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Film News: Director, Comic Actor Harold Ramis Dead at 69

CHICAGO – He was a Ghostbuster, and Bill Murray’s sidekick in “Stripes.” He co-wrote classic modern comedies like “Animal House” and “Caddyshack.” He directed the legendary absurdist comedy, “Groundhog Day.” He is Harold Ramis, and he died on February 24th, according to his wife Erica Mann Ramis.

Entertainment News: TV Comedy Pioneer Sid Caesar Dies at 91

Sid Caesar

LOS ANGELES – It’s a pioneering TV show practically lost to history. Sid Caesar hosted and performed in “Your Show of Shows,” a 90 minute live 1950s sketch comedy program, and also helped to launch a who’s who of 20th Century comedy. Coming out of his writer’s rooms were such comic greats as Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen. Sid Caesar died February 12th at his home near Los Angeles, according to a newsfeed from Larry King on Twitter.

Interview: Director Adam McKay Stays Classy for ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’

CHICAGO – The comedy juggernaut of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell is about to descend on the holiday movie season with “Anchorman 2,” the sequel to the popular first film. McKay is the behind-the-scenes partner with Ferrell, producing hilarious favorites like “Talladega Nights,” and co-founding the “Funny or Die” website.

Interview: Grace McPhillips, Steve Scholz on Chicago Acting in Film Meetup Holiday Event

CAFM Logo 2013

CHICAGO – One of the Windy City’s best networking resources for local film actors is the Chicago Acting Film Meetup (CFAM) group, and they are having their annual end-of-year “Holiday Hurrah” event at the Hard Rock Hotel on Monday, December 16th, 2013. Organizing that event are two board officers of CAFM, actors Grace McPhillips (President) and Steve Scholz (Vice President).

Interviews: Tim Meadows, Scott Adsit, Kevin Dorff at 2013 ‘Just for Laughs’

CHICAGO – A round-up of comic stars at the TBS “Just for Laughs Chicago” this year included three notable alumni from The Second City stage. Tim Meadows (“Saturday Night Live”), Scott Adsit (“30 Rock”) and Kevin Dorff (writer/performer for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”) all were on The Second City main stage on Wells Street in Chicago during the beginning of their careers.

DVD Review: ‘Steve Martin: The Television Stuff’ Collects Comedy History

Steve Martin: The Television Stuff

CHICAGO – Do young people know of the importance of Steve Martin to the history of comedy? In the ’70s, he helped revolutionize the form through his unique, smart, daring approach on-stage and in his TV comedies and on “Saturday Night Live.” Much of the material that made him a superstar has been collected in a stellar three-disc set from Shout Factory, now available on DVD under the banner “Steve Martin: The Television Stuff.”

TV Review: Talented Ensemble Cleans Up in Pilot For Sketch Comedy Series ‘The Men’s Room’

The Men's Room

CHICAGO – We’re doing something we’ve never done before at HollywoodChicago.com — reviewing a TV show that isn’t on the air…yet. Acclaimed producer Michael Wilson, a veteran of TV comedy from years working on “Saturday Night Live,” “Politically Incorrect,” and “Burn Notice,” is shopping a pilot for a new sketch comedy series called “The Men’s Room” and was kind enough to grant us access to a copy.

Interview: Andy Samberg Talks Up the Funny in ‘That’s My Boy’

CHICAGO – As the chorus of “Goodbye Ruby Tuesday” signaled the recent season finale of “Saturday Night Live,” it was Kristen Wiig that said farewell to the show, but not before a lingering twirl from Andy Samberg, who just announced his own departure. The next phase for Samberg begins with a co-starring role beside Adam Sandler, in the film “That’s My Boy.”

Interviews: 1980s Icons Anthony Michael Hall, Louis Gossett Jr.

Anthony Michael Hall, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Two actors who made a mark in film during the 1980s did it at different points in their lives. Anthony Michael Hall was a teen idol, channeling director John Hughes in “The Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles.” Lou Gossett Jr. won a mid-career Oscar for his role in 1982’s “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

TV News: Ben Stiller, Anna Faris to Host ‘Saturday Night Live’ in Oct. 2011

Ben Stiller

CHICAGONBC announced Monday morning that actor Ben Stiller and actress Anna Faris are slated to host “Saturday Night Live” in October. The announcement also stated that Foster the People would be the musical guest in Stiller’s show, and Drake would perform when Faris hosts.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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