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Funny is a matter of taste

It was an amusingly surreal sight. Jamie Kennedy, good sport that he is, agreed to unleash his jive-talking white rapper B-Rad’s signature catchphrase – “Don’t be hatin’!” – in the lobby of Parkside Victoria Resort and Spa.

The posh setting was worlds away from south-central Los Angeles, where phoney gangstas take Kennedy’s character – a wealthy, tin-eared Eminem wannabe – to “scare the black out of him” in his 2003 comedy Malibu’s Most Wanted.

Kennedy’s expression could also be directed at certain critics who slammed his cult hit.

“They’re dumb. They’re uneducated,” he said, before shooting scenes for writer-director Mike Hanus’s Jackhammer.

“I didn’t make the movie for Vincent Canby of the New York Times. I made it for young boys and people who want to laugh and have a good time. There are people who want to hold it up against Silkwood. It’s not Silkwood.”

It was because of another high-concept comedy – 2007′s Kickin’ It Old Skool, where Kennedy plays a young breakdancer who slips into a coma and behaves like a 12-year-old when he awakens 20 years later – that he ended up in Victoria.

In a nightclub scene, Kennedy, 42, and Hanus, playing a bodybuilder, played “frontsies, backsies,” the childhood stunt where a friend lets you cut into a lineup, and you repay the favour by letting him cut in.

Hanus had such a blast, he offered Kennedy the role of Lance Sellmore, an oily casting director, in his offthe-wall indie comedy set in the high-stakes world of male stripping. Kennedy joined Pamela Anderson, Nicole Sullivan and Robb Wells in the film’s growing cast of cameos.

He says he got on board because he liked the premise and creative freedom.

“There’s tons of improv,” he said. “That’s what excited me most, because I get to do what I want.”

The Hollywood funnyman best known for roles such as Randy Meeks, the horror-film geek in Wes Craven’s Scream movies, psychology professor Eli James in Ghost Whisperer and a street hustler in As Good As It Gets is no stranger to anything-goes comedy. His penchant for mimicry and prankishness that inspired his hidden-camera series The Jamie Kennedy Experiment was first apparent when he broke into the business by impersonating Marty Power, a fictitious, raspy-voiced screen agent singing his praises.

Seven years after breaking in as an extra in Dead Poets Society, he played a colourful thug in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet and has since played several serious roles, including a cannibalistic serial killer in Criminal Minds.

But it’s making people laugh in movies like Scream – it’s like “summer camp, but where people get killed” – that he loves most.

Current gigs include roles in Tyler Perry’s latest film, Good Deeds, and as an assistant district attorney who reluctantly teams up with a corrupt New Orleans cop in Bending the Rules opposite Adam Copeland, a.k.a. wrestler Edge.

“If something’s good, you do it,” Kennedy says. “You don’t have to hold out for something that’s with this studio or that actor or whatever. It’s all changing. Walls are being knocked down every day.”

While the Internet is largely responsible for significant changes in Hollywood’s comedy climate, he says the glut of product now available through YouTube has a downside.

“If there’s one million funny videos to pick from instead of 100 and they don’t get to see yours, that can be frustrating. But I do believe creativeness should not have a barrier to entry.

There are a lot of creative people in the world who shouldn’t have to be ‘not heard’ because they don’t know somebody at Warner Bros.”

Comedian Sinbad, whose films include Houseguest, First Kid, Jingle All the Way and Good Burger, echoed Kennedy’s comments while here for the David Foster Foundation’s Miracle Concert.

“You can make anything,” Sinbad said. “It’s not about what Hollywood ‘allows.’ When [Bill] Cosby put his TV thing on the air, they said he was a fool.

They said it was going to fail. They said Magnum P.I. was going to get cancelled.”

If you try to create projects to fit a Hollywood mould, you’re playing with fire, he added.

“I just like watching real stuff, man,” he said. “Not that kind of comedy where you’re trying to figure out what’s hip. It’s like music. If you try to figure out what’s hip, you’re always going to be behind it.”

Sinbad unleashed his own observational humour last Saturday at the David Foster Foundation concert, riffing on everything from doing time in a Canadian prison (“You get maid service and croissants!”) to Victorians in denial about how cool it can be here, even when the temperature rises.

“We must be having an early spring!” he joked, shivering, as he mimicked an optimistic local wearing shorts on a wintry day.

He also had the audience in stitches during a rant about how far away the airport is (“45 minutes!”) from Victoria.

“Mayor, you will be remembered [for moving the airport closer]!” he said, pointing to Lt.-Gov. Steven Point.

“That’s the lieutenant-governor, Sinbad,” said Foster.

Both Sinbad and Kennedy said ensemble comedy is a growing trend now.

“It’s good for the community,” said Kennedy. “You all work. Funny’s funny and you try to make it the best you can and hopefully people will get it.”


This Article came from a Public RSS Feed supplied via Google search. Copyright remains with the original author at all times. Article source: http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/Funny+matter+taste/6713419/story.html

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