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Arts and Entertainment

Comedy Shorts Festival: Panels, Parties and Screenings Continue This Weekend

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The LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival, which continues through Sunday, opened last night at the Downtown Independent with a program that included familiar faces seemingly having a whole lot of fun with the short-form genre. Of course, the usual suspects were found in festival sponsor Funny or Die’s block—from Zach Galifinakis and a few Oscar nominees in Between Two Ferns: Oscar Buzz Edition Part 1 or Drunk History vol. 6 with John C. Reilly & Crispin Glover as Tesla and Edison, respectively, fighting it out for electricity supremacy. (We'd seen those on the Internets, so we were happy that the block didn't go on for too long.)

But among the films in competition, which we (and you) probably haven’t seen, we spotted Missi Pyle in Killing Vivian by Mandy Fabian; Cuba Gooding Jr. in Timmy Muldoon and the Search for the Shadoweyes Bandit by Tony Yacenda; and Ellie Kemper and Zach Woods from The Office in Emily Halpern’sRich Girl Problems. (Timmy Muldoon was our personal fav as well as Greg Sharp's Iron Sheik animation.)

Now in its fifth year, the festival continues throughout the weekend with more animated and live-action shorts screenings, but don’t forget that there are panels and parties, too. We looked over the schedule and here are highlights:

  • The Friday Night Party is on the Kyoto Rooftop Garden at the DoubleTree by Hilton (the old Kyoto Grand). There’s going to be a mashed potato bar under the stars and sponsored cocktails in the first hour. in this 1/2 acre miniature Japanese garden, surrounded by the dynamic LA skyline. Starts at 10 pm. Tickets: $15+ service charge.
  • There’s a panel on Saturday at 11 am called Famous People Talking about S&*%!. It promises to be a freewheeling free-for-all of a conversation with Cheri Oteri (Saturday Night Live), Paul Rodriguez (D.C. Cab, A Million to Juan, Ali, Beverly Hills Chihuahua), Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids, Reno 911!), John DiMaggio (Futurama, Adventure Time) and Billy Gardell (Mike and Molly). $13+ service charge.
  • Saturday night’s featured party Always Bet on The Black Version features a live performance by The Black Version, in which the audience suggests the title of a popular film and a cast of all-black comedy actors improvises the black version of it. The not-potically correct performers include Keegan Michael-Key (Comedy Central's Key & Peele), Gary Anthony Williams (Boston Legal, Boondocks), Jordan Black (Community, SNL), Cedric Yarbrough (Reno911!, Boondocks), Danielle Gaither (MADtv), Phil LaMarr (Family Guy, MADtv) and Karen Maruyama (The Campaign). 10:30 pm at the Downtown Independent. Tickets: $15+ service charge.
  • For writers, there’s a Get Lit: Comedy Writing Panel on Sunday at 11 am with Academy-Award Winner Jim Rash (The Descendants, Community), Rich Talarico (MADtv, SNL, Key & Peele), Jordan Tilzer (Manager, ROAR), Ryan Saul (Literary Agent, APA) and Andrea Savage (writer-producer for ABC, Fox, Comedy Central, & Funny or Die Presents on HBO). The panel takes place at the Thousand Cranes Room @ The DoubleTree by Hilton. Tickets: $13+ service fee.
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