Monday, June 27, 2005

Chipmunk Grin

Mildly depressing story in this Sunday's Times about the ever underappreciated Dave Foley.

The Jeoffs and I saw the Kids a few years back when they played up in Toronto. It was a huge theater and our noses were bleeding, but it was still great. The main thing I remember, actually, is how even from hundreds of feet away, Dave would just walk onto the stage and stand there, and it would be hilarious. I don't even know exactly why or how, but his presence and timing were probably the most perfect and natural I've ever seen.

Guess that's why I disagree with the whole "hope-is-lost-for-this-fallen-star" vibe of this article. He's just too funny.

I mean, come on. It doesn't even mention his upcoming cameo.


Chris S. said...

I like the proximity of the Clown Dancing article to the Dave Foley story -- a tandem I like to call "Krumps in the Hall."

Geoffrey said...

"Blah blah blah! Everything is bad! Dave Foley is bad now and NewsRadio was bad and everything is bad! Stephen Root is good, but it's bad that he's remembered for something bad! Bad bad bad!"

Pardon me for embellishing. But Jesus, what a morbid little article.

Dave Foley played the straight man in NewsRadio and the straight man is pretty dang important to many pieces of comedy. Also, NewsRadio is pretty dang good and you should check it on out.

Alex said...

Oh yeah. I read this the other day. WTF, dudes, Dave Foley is fantastic on the show, and totally gets his personality through.

This is the first time I've ever disagreed with anything printed in the New York Times.

Jesse said...

What a bizarre article.

What it gets right:
Dave Foley is a brilliant comic actor.

What it gets wrong:
Everything else.

The author seems to be of the opinion that because Foley's character was a bit trod-upon, it wasn't funny. Like all humor comes from being high status.

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Andrew Missel said...

Ummm, I've never really watched "Newsradio," so I can't comment on most of the article, but I think its morbidity is probably justified. In case you missed the "punchline" of the article, Dave Foley is now HOSTING CELEBRITY POKER ON BRAVO. He may as well have retired from show business. I've seen this show, and watching Dave Foley, a very gifted guy, sucking up to fourth-rate hacks like Kathy Griffin (Chris, I'm so sorry you saw her!) and Colin Quinn is heartbreaking. Given where he is now, I think it would be difficult to write an article about him and not have it be a little sad.

Also, I think the reviewer was less anti-"Newsradio" and more just saying that by taking a sort of straight man part (which is, like Geoff said, really important and, I might add, really hard to do), Foley shot himself in the foot career-wise. I don't think the issue is that he's remembered for something bad; it's that he's not remembered as being uproariously funny by the people who "matter." Which is too bad.

Neal K said...

I too was at that Toronto show, and ever since then Dave has been my favourite Kid in the Hall. And I've been plowing through my newly purchased Newsradio DVD the past few weeks. Part of the beauty of the show was it really got ensemble comedy. That people like Dave Foley could play a straightman (Though I find it a bit of a misnomer, he only seems like a straightman because the whole cast and writing is so good, on most sitcoms his character would be the funniest, wackiest part), Phil Hartman could play a fairly small part and Andy Dick was available for a couple crazy gags er episode (I think Newsradio was the perfect vehicle for Andy Dick's style of humour).
Newsradio was able to take all these diverse comic sensibilities and create a wonderful mix of slapstick, verbal slapstick, wit, character-based humour and all make it flow. But I digress this is supposed to be about Dave Foley.

I read somewhere that the Kids held the straightman to be the most highly esteemed role. Dave Foley is amazing. He alone (well with a little help from Christopher Walken) makes Blast from the Past worth watching. I also just bought The Wrong Guy on DVD starring and written by one Mr. David Foley, I highly recommend everyone check it out if they haven't already done so.

That's all.

baz said...

here's me and dave foley and some friends after the kith show in nyc 2001. he was the only kid who came out to greet the fans after the show; everyone else was drinking it up at the martini reception inside the theatre. i told him i was getting into sketch, and he gave some sage advice which i have since forgotten, and wished me luck. then i saw him do the voice of the character from bug's life for a four-year old who's dad brought him to the show. then he went around and talked to everyone who waited for him. a class act all around.

(i'm still mad i had to wear a burger king crown that night. long story short, i never back down on a bet, and couldn't eat nearly as many chicken tenders as i thought i could)

on the subject of his wasted talent, i'll say he's the greatest straight man of his generation. he's got a kind of subtle genius that is hard to use well, easy to fuck up. that's why he excelled on kith- they knew how to use him.

but he'll land the right project sooner or later. buster keaton churned out some of the greatest comedies of all time, then found himself doing annette funicello beach party movies for paychecks, then samuell beckett's "film" a year later. weird business, no?