by Ryan Meehan
Perhaps the oldest saying in the entertainment is “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” However in today’s increasingly PC landscape, it’s becoming more and more difficult each day to subscribe to that mentality. No other sector of the entertainment industry has trudged through this epic struggle more than comedy, as we’ve seen entertainers’ careers be affected tremendously by the Twitter and Facebook juries which presume almost every comic guilty until proven innocent.
Love it or hate it, that’s the world we live in. Personally I think when you make the decision to enter the dome that houses all which is being skewered for comedic purposes, you waive your right to be offended by anything unless the joke in question is a personal attack on you. And even then, you’re probably only being called out by the headliner for refusing to shut the hell up when he or she is on stage.
On the other hand, YouTube has provided the entertainment consumer with the opportunity to witness a lot of comedy first hand without leaving their house and/or ever entering a comedy club. With users compiling some of the most random and bizarre playlists, it’s very easy to leave the room to take a phone call or do something else for twenty minutes only to come back to something that had nothing to do with what you were listening to when you left. I cite a recent incident where I put on “Sippin’ on some Syrup” by Three Six Mafia only to return from the grocery store to “Open Arms” by Journey. The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game ain’t got shit on that.
So as you can imagine, there is the possibility that one could post a video they expected no one to see outside of a handful of their friends. This is what happened to New York comedian Brett Eidman when he released a video back in 2012. The blowback which followed was monumental, so much that author and filmmaker Jon Hart decided to make a short film about the events which followed. Here’s the official synopsis:
In The Name Of Comedy is a true story that was inspired by a fake video. Let’s backtrack. Four years ago, Brett Eidman was a struggling, unknown comedian that would do just about anything to change that. When he made a highly controversial, uh, politically-incorrect video, it went viral – to the tune of 10 million hits. Almost immediately, Brett’s dream turned into a nightmare. Because of the video’s controversial content, Brett was threatened and black balled. In The Name Of Comedy pulls down the curtain on one of the most controversial videos ever distributed. Comedians Lisa Lampanelli, Johnny Lampert, and Jeffrey Gurian weigh in with their opinions.
Here’s the trailer for the film:
Veteran comic and roaster extraordinaire Lisa Lampanelli plays an integral part in this short-form flick, and gives Brett some strong advice on what he needs to do from here on out to make his dream become a reality. I won’t give away too much of the subject matter here, but I will say that the individual Eidman is mocking in the fake video is in fact real himself which puts an interesting spin on the way we respond to our responses as a society. Long story short, you just have to see it to understand.
Sometimes in the business of comedy you have to make noise, and sometimes that noise backfires. Regardless, Brett isn’t going to give up his dream of being one of the most popular comedians in the world and this short film is a must see for anyone who is interested in the art and science of comedy and how the general public responds to its inner workings. Everybody in the movie gives a no-bullshit testimonial as to Brett’s journey and although sometimes harsh – much like the world of comedy itself – gives the viewer the insight necessary to see just how difficult this profession can be. The film hits the circuit on September 10th at the Northeast Film Festival in Teaneck, New Jersey, where it is nominated for Best Documentary. Here at FOH, we are wishing Brett, Jon, and the rest of the gang best of luck with this awesome and innovative new project!!!
Brett on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brett.eidman.7
Brett on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrettEidman
Official Website: http://www.inthenameofcomedy.com/
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