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Old 04/28/2004, 5:56 PM
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And since I guess Paul IS going - put a good word in for me to Paul! Take lots of pictures!! (Oh, I'm sure Paul_Vogt_Luvah would want you to say "hi" to Paul for her, too! Right?)
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Old 04/28/2004, 8:58 AM
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LOL............if you go and get close to Mo............PUT IN A GOOD WORD FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 04/28/2004, 2:32 AM
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Default No diggety, no doubt.

Yeah, he's definitely getting points for that! lol
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Old 04/28/2004, 1:10 AM
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OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! Dude I'd go out with anyone who bought me tickets..............LOL

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Old 04/28/2004, 12:34 AM
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Default Improv jam

My hopefully soon-to-be boyfriend bought the tickets for me as a surprise--I can't wait to go!
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Old 04/26/2004, 1:46 AM
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Hey Cat, if you get a chance to get really close to Mo............

PUT IN A GOOD WORD FOR ME K?!!!!!!!!!!!


LMAO

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Old 04/25/2004, 10:42 PM
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That's awesome Cat! If there's anyone that I would like to trade lives w/ it would be you- if only just to have your MADtv memorabilia and experiences, LOL.

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Old 04/25/2004, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Promise you'll tell us all about it, right?
Of course! I'll try to bring a camera and take some pictures for you guys like I did when I met Alex Borstein. I know that they don't allow people to take photos during the show, but I'll see what I can do.

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Old 04/25/2004, 10:13 PM
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WOO thats so friggin cool

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Old 04/25/2004, 10:10 PM
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Originally posted by Cat_Named_CeCe
Guess what...

...I'm going to the show! I'm so psyched! I'm picking up my tickets tomorrow. Woo hoo!
OMIGOD! You are SOOOO lucky, Congratulations. Promise you'll tell us all about it, right?
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Old 04/25/2004, 10:04 PM
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Guess what...

...I'm going to the show! I'm so psyched! I'm picking up my tickets tomorrow. Woo hoo!

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Old 04/25/2004, 9:22 PM
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....No hahaha what are you talking about

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Old 04/25/2004, 8:14 PM
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Originally posted by ef_7

From what that article said i wouldn't be surprised if all the featureds returned
This is just a hunch, but I have a feeling that most likely Melissa Paul and Gillian Vigman won't be coming back. For the last show of the season, everyone's on stage for the cast good-byes, and the only featured players there were, keegan, Jordan, Nichole and Danielle. Aries told the audience to give a hand to the featured players and only included them. I guess I could be wrong, especially since the article said that Ike and Gillian are "friends" but that's just my personal hunch. (now, let's be honest, who's gonna laugh at me when I;m proven wrong next season? )
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Old 04/25/2004, 2:33 PM
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Originally posted by ef_7

are you thinking that might be a factor as to why she left?
It sure appears to be that way.

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Old 04/25/2004, 2:28 PM
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Originally posted by Scorpiogrrl2003



Does anyone other than me detect a hint of frustration there............
are you thinking that might be a factor as to why she left?

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Old 04/25/2004, 2:25 PM
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Collins, who left the show last season, sees a problem in having "a gazillion" actors on hand. "People get watered down," she said. "The ensemble gets lost because there are too many people for it really to be an ensemble.

Does anyone other than me detect a hint of frustration there............

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Old 04/25/2004, 2:08 PM
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Originally posted by Jim_Cockhurtz
Thanks Mystere. That was a great read. After that, I am positive that Keegan will be back next season. No doubt. And I loved what Dick said about Stephnie. So true.
From what that article said i wouldn't be surprised if all the featureds returned

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Old 04/25/2004, 5:12 AM
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Thanks Mystere. That was a great read. After that, I am positive that Keegan will be back next season. No doubt. And I loved what Dick said about Stephnie. So true.

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Old 04/25/2004, 4:58 AM
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Exclamation You have got to read this!

...the whole review is on MADtv:
Mad moon rising at Improv Festival

April 25, 2004

BY DAREL JEVENS Staff Reporter
Advertisement


There's a lot of good stuff coming up in this year's Chicago Improv Festival, but one of the highlights is likely to be an evening dedicated to that long-running, late-night TV show where all the Second City people keep ending up.

You know, the one the teenagers watch.

With the goofy characters and the hip musical acts.

And the hilarious actors from Chicago, improvising up a storm.

What's it called again?

Oh, yeah. Taped, from Los Angeles, it's Saturday night's other comedy free-for-all, the snotty little upstart called "Mad TV."

CHICAGO IMPROV FESTIVAL

When: Friday through May 9

Where: Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, and other venues

Tickets: $25 for mainstage shows


Phone: (773) 935-9810



While Mom and Dad are chortling at a Dick Cheney impersonation on NBC, chances are the kids are crowded around the basement set watching the comics on Fox mock new movies, jocks and music videos.

In the overall ratings, "Mad TV" is no match for the imposing, 28-year-old "Saturday Night Live," but the balance shifts as the age level drops. Among teens, "Mad TV" is the No. 1 late-night show, outdrawing not just "SNL" but also Jay Leno and David Letterman. Its numbers are inching upward for grown-up viewers as well, prompting Fox this week to order three more seasons of the show.

And as the head count has grown, so has the laugh count. Like "SNL," "Mad" suffers from the consistent inconsistency that is practically a given in sketch comedy. But as it concludes its ninth season, the series seems to be sharpening its edge and hitting the mark more often.

"The show has so rapidly grown and changed under Dick Blasucci's guidance," said Chicago Improv Festival producer Jonathan Pitts. "The writing has gotten stronger, and the actors have grown into an ensemble. It's clear that everyone's having fun."

Blasucci is the three-time Emmy winner who has been a "Mad TV" executive producer and its day-to-day boss since 1997. A former writer for "SCTV" and "The Larry Sanders Show," he will be among the recipients of the festival's Lifetime Achievement Awards in a ceremony May 5.

But the big splash comes the next night, when seven of the series' 10 cast members -- plus all five of its recently hired featured players -- will improvise together at the festival's mainstage, the Athenaeum Theatre. The lineup includes such standouts as Michael McDonald, a six-season "Mad TV" veteran who plays fragile youngster Stuart and sleazeball Marvin Tikvah, and former Second City great Stephnie Weir.

The three no-shows from the "Mad" cast -- Aries Spears, Bobby Lee and Frank Caliendo -- come from backgrounds instand-up comedy, not improv. The others, improvisers all, have the good fortune to appear on a TV show that, unlike "SNL," actually encourages its cast to go off the rails.

Truly spontaneous moments are seldom seen on "SNL," despite the sense of danger afforded by live televison. The actors have to stick to the script if the show is going to stay within its 90-minute window (thus the notoriously overt reading of cue cards). And even if a bit is bombing, they have no choice but to play out every lame, excruciating minute before the appalled nation.

But things are different at "Mad TV." "We have the luxury of editing," said Mo Collins, a six-season cast member who will be part of the festival gig. "If something doesn't work, we can take it out."

They also get to fool around with untested ideas. Every time a "Mad TV" scene is taped before a live audience, the actors perform it twice. The first time, they follow the script. If they ace it, the reward is free rein in Round 2. The comics can vamp to their heart's content, knowing whatever gets laughs will go on TV and whatever flops will go in the trash.

Bottom line: You're much more likely to see genuine improv on "Mad TV."

"We could do a sketch in front of the audience that lasts for 15 minutes because of the improv we're putting in and find all these glorious, magic improvised moments," Collins said. "And we get to restructure the scene in editing. I actually think it makes our show, by appearances, have a more live feel."

The actors call it the "second pass," and for those who love to improvise, it's utter bliss.

"The second pass is the best," said Collins, who trained at Minneapolis' Brave New Workshop improv company. "It's the most fun thing in the world. Some of us -- Michael, Steph, the improvisers in the group -- just live for it."

"Mad TV" has come a long way since its debut in 1995. Gone are most ties to the humor magazine that inspired it; the Spy Vs. Spy animation went away, and Alfred E. Neuman has been ousted from the opening credits.

And the volume has been turned down a bit. Ike Barinholtz, a former Chicago improviser who joined the "Mad" cast two years ago, said he used to watch the show and see "a lot of very big character scenes, with these stock characters. We still do those, but the old show did a lot more."

The emphasis now: characters relating to each other instead of drawing attention to themselves.

While "Mad" will never let go of its core audience of adolescents, teen-oriented material no longer is all you see. Last week's show included a parody of Ashley Judd's R-rated crime thrillers and a bizarre imagining of an '80s rerun of "The Price Is Right" that would scarcely make sense to someone born after, say, 1977.

Credit for that shift usually is given to Blasucci, who arrived in the third season determined both to reach new viewers and to entertain existing ones in different ways.

"I knew that our core audience was what it was, which is not just teenagers but also a very strong African-American and Hispanic audience. So obviously we tried to service that," Blasucci said. "But I thought, based on my past knowledge of sketch [comedy], that if the writers and the actors are all playing to the top of their intelligence, you can still appeal to that audience."

Collins -- whose quiver of characters includes middle-age Midwesterner Lorraine and fluttery, twitchy Trina -- said Blasucci succeeded in bringing balance to both the styles of comedy and the choices of material. Now, she said, "if there's gonna be a fart in the show, then we have to make one political joke."

Not that anyone wants to let go of the teenage audience. There's value in winning them over, Blasucci said: "They stick with the show as they get older."

And on that front, "Mad TV" has an advantage. To teens, "SNL" is the show that their stupid parents watched 100 years ago. "Mad" is theirs alone.

"Even before I came on the show," Blasucci said, "my son used to watch 'Mad TV.' I wasn't that familiar with it, but I used to go into the room and ask him about it, and it was kind of his show. He was 13, 14, 15 years old. I still get that from kids. 'SNL' is, to them, the institution. It's older."

In recent years, "SNL" has seemed to work harder at drawing the Clearisil crowd, spoofing the doings on MTV and "American Idol" and booking such hosts as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson and Justin Timberlake. At Fox, there's some suspicion the moves are a reaction to "Mad TV's" strong teen following.

"I think it has a little bit to do with our show," Blasucci said. "We're competitive across the board in a lot of ways, and certainly teenagers are something they made a concerted effort to go after."

Adds Collins, "I would say they dumbed it up a little bit to try to pick up some of those 16-year-old boys."

But Tina Fey, one of the two head writers at "SNL," rebuts that notion with a dismissive shake of the head. The "Weekend Update" co-anchor notes that her boss, Lorne Michaels, insists on opening the show with political satire -- hardly a grabber for kids halfway through the night's "Mad TV."

She has other explanations for her show's surge in youthful humor. "We might have a little bit younger writing staff than we did [earlier]," Fey said. "And you know what else? Lorne has kids now, and he likes to put on things his kids like."

One area where "Mad TV" is just starting to play catch-up is in the use of Chicago talent. "SNL" has been making stars of locally trained actors since John Belushi keeled over in the show's first bit.

But it took "Mad" until Season 6 to bring in a graduate of Chicago's improv scene. That was Weir. Next came Barinholtz and his buddy Josh Meyers (whose brother Seth is an "SNL" player). They were recommended to Blasucci by "Mad" alum Nicole Sullivan.

The duo proceeded to talk up some of their former colleagues at Boom Chicago, an Amsterdam troupe populated by Illinoisans. Two of them -- Jordan Peele and Nicole Parker -- were hired last year along with Gillian Vigman, a Barinholtz pal from Second City.

The newest arrival by way of Chicago is Keegan-Michael Key, who won two Jeff Awards for his masterful work at Second City e.t.c. (and will spend this summer co-starring with Parker in a Second City "Romeo and Juliet" musical at Chicago Shakespeare Theater). He signed on in January and has only recently started cropping up on the air.

"Our studio audiences took to him immediately, even when he was doing little supporting roles," Blasucci said. "And they didn't even know who he was. They'd never seen him before. I think we're really lucky to have gotten him."

The producer, who went to high school in Wheaton with Belushi, makes a point of coming to Chicago himself to scout for talent. But don't count on any new arrivals for a while; the recent hiring binge has put the total "Mad TV" troupe at 14, an all-time high. "We've kind of fallen in love with a lot of people," Blasucci admitted.

Collins, who left the show last season, sees a problem in having "a gazillion" actors on hand. "People get watered down," she said. "The ensemble gets lost because there are too many people for it really to be an ensemble."

Despite giving "SNL" a run for the ratings, "Mad TV" has yet to create a big star on the level of Bill Murray, Mike Myers or Adam Sandler, all products of its Saturday night rival.

A few "Mad" regulars have gone on to higher-profile gigs: Sullivan was a "King of Queens" regular, Orlando Jones toplined a few minor movies, Artie Lange became Howard Stern's sidekick. But even in the nine years since "Mad" debuted, "SNL" has managed to sign up a guy -- Will Ferrell -- make him leading-man famous and send him off to big-screen stardom.

"It's frustrating," Blasucci says, "because there are just some amazingly talented people in this cast. When Stephnie decides to move on from our show, I think that she's going to have a flourishing career. Somebody like Keegan, I hope that when he's done people will see that he too can have that."

And as a star-making vehicle, "Mad TV" is in a better position than it ever has been before. With Comedy Central now airing reruns up to six times a day, its cast has become practically inescapable.

"When I came on the show," he said, "my feeling was that the industry just did not watch it. And I think that's changing and has changed. There's just more word of mouth about our show than there has ever been."

And after next week in Chicago, the buzz can only get bigger.
http://www.suntimes.com/output/enter...-improv25.html

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Old 04/17/2004, 11:29 PM
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GAWD!!!!!! I soooooo wanna go but I don't Know where it is but I do know that if it is near Chicago I live about 4 hours from there but I have at least 3 problems 1)No way to get there (too young to drive) 2)No Money (no job ) and 3)Parents are too mean to probably take me And I seriously wanna go to see Josh Ike and Ron and if I did go or if i do go i would faint and then have a Kick @$$ time

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