The LA Comedy Film Festival took its comedic shorts on the road and stopped at the Mark Twain House this past weekend. Fifty short films ranging from the standard “life in transition is funny” to the bizarre found their way to the screen. To spice things up, the Friday night screenings pitted the east coast against the west coast in a competition of comedy shorts to see which side of the country had the funniest short films! It wasn’t much of a competition… they have way more talent and resources out there.
The comedy shorts from LA showed first. The production value was a little all over the place with some looking professional while some looked a little rushed. But overall they were pretty darn good. The best was a short called “Chris Weisberg is Growing Bald” about a man turning 30 who just noticed that he’s losing his hair. It was funny and had a quick pace to it. Another solid entry was a music video by a group called Ninja Sex Party and a video called “The Decision.”
Another entertaining short was called “The Futer-er” which was a one man show about a loser in present day who meets his future self. This is where it gets hard to explain. Future-self gives present-self pills to get a bigger dong. It was an odd movie, with one actor playing two parts, both with a deadpan delivery — which got a great reaction from the crowd. It’s worth checking out.
On the CT side of filmmaking, there were a few good ones. The night was highlighted by a movie trailer from a troupe called Asylum Attic (located in Hartford) and a work called “Second Wind.” It’s an action packed and funny trailer about a man who discovers he has the power to kill people with his gas. Definitely something Mark Twain would have loved!
Other good showings from CT were two offerings from Jacques Lamarre, one a parody commercial for On Star and another parody of a cooking show featuring the liver of the drunken host vomiting up pills. Good stuff! Another short that got a solid reaction was “A Matter of Perspective” which follows the story of a couple from their first date until they get married.
The biggest highlight of the night was seeing Bristol native and Simpson’s producer/writer/show runner Mike Reiss receive an award for all his work in the comedy world. After saying a few words to the crowd, he was kind enough to talk to the audience members after the screenings and answered all questions. I learned a lot. For example, the three biggest pestss to do guest voices on the Simpson’s have been Jose Canseco, Christopher Guest, and Oprah (big surprise there). I was able to ask if he found it uncomfortable talking with people in settings like this and he said not at all and he somewhat enjoyed it. And who knew he was from Bristol?!* That goes to show that if you work hard enough, maybe you can make it out of a depressing town, too.
* If Ring Nation had read our story about I’m Connecticut he would have known.