James Buckley – Funny people

My Comedy Hero
I watch more television but my comedy hero is Steve Coogan. The last film I saw him in was The Others Guys, which I thought was quite good. Without sounding stupid, obviously, he’s funny, but on top of that he’s just a great actor, he’s absolutely brilliant. Unless I’ve had lines written for me, I don’t consider myself to be that funny, but Steve Coogan’s the best at it.

My Favourite Funny Movie
I guess it would have to be National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I watch it every Christmas. I just think that movie’s perfect, it really is funny. You know, you can watch it by yourself and you’ll still laugh out loud even though there’s no-one around. I love that film. Chevy Chase was in another film with Dan Aykroyd, but I can’t remember what it’s called.

My Favourite One-liners
The one that just sprung into my head is Ace Ventura after he’s been investigating at this swanky party, and he’s been wrestling with a shark. He comes out of the bathroom and he’s ripped to shreds and dripping wet, and he just shouts “Whew! Do not go in there!” That’s a really good moment. That’s a great line to use in everyday life.

My Comedy Present
We’ve just finished The Inbetweeners movie, we’ve got another week of pick-ups in June then it’s done. I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to talk about it. We’re lucky that we all get on and I guess that comes across on screen as well. It would be a really tough job if we all didn’t get along, you spend so much time together. Joe and Simon are shooting a pilot in a couple of weeks but I didn’t get a phone call.

My Comedy Future
I’m looking forward to The Hangover Part II. I think that comes out around the same time as our little film that we’ve made, so bring ‘em all on, we’ll take ‘em. The first film is quite perfect for a comedy, the fact that it’s in Las Vegas just makes it larger than life, even the location was a clown in itself. It has all you need: some people go on an adventure and things go wrong for them.

My Comedy Past
The whole sequence in the season two episode of The Inbetweeners when the boys go on a field trip with the school and then end up in a little boat… I was really confident that that was going to come across well. I think it was funny, even if I do say so myself. I’m really proud of that. It isn’t easy to be funny, but with The Inbetweeners we’re always asking ‘Is this funny?’ because all we want to do is make people laugh.

Via Total Film

The Other Guys – How SNL became a comedy movie goldmine…

“In a weird way, they’re almost the last two guys in the world you’d expect to see together. That’s what made it so fascinating,” muses director Adam McKay. Those “two guys”? Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, paired up for cop chuckler The Other Guys as two wannabe badass officers who make a meal of a meaty case. “The big secret we knew is that Mark’s really, really funny.”

And if anybody knows funny, it’s McKay and Ferrell. Having collaborated together on no less than three previous filmic hoots – Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers – Other Guys marks their fourth cinematic collaboration. But it’s a partnership that could very well have never been – if it weren’t for a seat-of-your-pants sketch show by the name of Saturday Night Live.

Premiering Stateside on 11 October 1975, SNL has been responsible for bashing many a burgeoning comedy genius into shape, while single-handedly launching the careers of Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi all inside of its first year. “It provides an opportunity for comics and artists and filmmakers to get better at their craft,” says former SNL player Tim Meadows. Fortuitously, McKay and Ferrell met there on their very first day.

Now in its 35th season, the sketch show has already established itself as a near bullet-proof mainstay of US television (those 18 accrued Emmys probably helped), but it’s also quietly infiltrated numerous big screen endeavours. The programme’s various movers and shakers have had a continued presence in cinema since 1978, when the very first film directly drawn from one of its skits was released in the form of All You Need Is Cash.

Despite that flick’s lukewarm reception, Wayne’s World, Coneheads and Blues Brothers 2000/ all followed suit – and the current 13 films rooted directly in SNL lore are now responsible for an impressive box office haul of $352m.

“For the first two years I was petrified,” recalls Will Forte, who heads up this month’s MacGyver spoof MacGruber (alongside fellow SNLer Kristen Wiig), and joined SNL’s acting troupe in 2002, tag-teaming Ferrell’s George W. Bush sketch.

Ferrell himself made history by becoming the show’s highest paid actor ever, thanks in part to his portrayal of everybody’s favourite punch bag prez – an impression that remained the show’s most popular skit… until Tina Fey swooped in with her Sarah Palin parody, and bagged herself one of those Emmys.

In a sign of SNL’s ability to pluck prime talent from obscurity, it’s a safe bet that any decent comedy movie from the past few years stars a former cast member or scriptwriter (and if not, the comedy lead will have at least guested in a typically raucous SNL send-up). Jim Carrey? Yep. Tracy Morgan? Uhuh. Chris Rock? Naturally.

And the SNL movie invasion shows no sign of letting up. MacGruber and Other Guys aren’t the only skit graduate flicks hitting screens this year: in 2010 alone there are 14 films starring or scripted by the show’s alumni. Date Night, Greenberg, Grown Ups and Due Date all continue the trend – and considering the constant stream of new talent debuting on the series, we imagine that SNL will be going to the movies for many years to come.

SATURDAY’S HEROES
SNL stars making it big at the movies…

Ben Stiller
Had a brief stint as a writer on five SNL shows in 1989, but left when he realised they didn’t want him to make his own short films. Has since carved a movie niche for himself playing short-fused, tightly wound characters.

Tina Fey
Four years into her spell on SNL, Fey made her film debut with snarky delight Mean Girls, which she wrote and co-starred in. She is currently funnelling her SNL experiences into comedy TV series 30 Rock, and has lent her larynx to the upcoming CGI Megamind.

Will Ferrell
Spent seven years showing fellow SNLers how it’s done before quitting and launching comedy website Funny Or Die with Adam McKay. Opined the lack of awards attention given to comedies with John C Reilly in a musical performance at the 79th Oscars.

Kristen Wiig
“I have moments where I’m like, ‘This is my job?!’” admits Wiig, SNL’s most recent success story. So far she’s been directed by Drew Barrymore in Whip It, pitched up in Apatow’s Knocked Up, and even guested in Fey’s 30 Rock and Date Night.

Adam Sandler
Joined SNL in 1990 as a writer and performer and shared a pad with Judd Apatow during his time on the show. Went on to become the movie poster boy for bad-tempered brats. Was later parodied himself on SNL by Jimmy Fallon.

Via Total Film