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October 08, 2003 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-08

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October 8, 2003




By Melissa Runstrom
Daily Arts Writer

"Our show is very stupid, but smart;" says C ' ic
Yarbrough, Officer Jones on Comedy Central's new
hit "Reno 911!" The show spoofs reality television in
general, with a definite eye aimed at "Cops." The
series, which had been collecting dust on FOX's
shelves for two years, has just been signed for a sec-
ond season with Comedy Central, a move which cer-
tainly pleases the cast. "They don't hold our hands
like some networks would. They really trust us to do a
quality show,"Yarbrough raved.
Even though the cast typically pulls 10-hour days,
Yarbrough still describes it as his dream job. "I get to
hang out with a whole bunch of people that I like, and
I'm playing cops and robbers like I did when I was a
kid, so it's great."
A 1995 graduate of Minnesota State University,
Yarbrough was active in theater on campus. Afterward
he honed his improvisational skills at Brave New
Workshop, a local club. When asked why he wanted
to become an actor, he replied, "Because I suck at
everything else." Judging by the laughs he garners on
"Reno 911!," there are more than a few fans who are
happy his other ineptitudes have lead him onscreen.
"Reno 911!" originally began as a sketch comedy
called "Ugly Americans" for FOX. The network was-
n't interested, so at the last minute they came up with
the concept of a cop spoof. They were still put on the
back burner for two years and the cast went their sep-
arate ways. Yarbrough guest starred on "Cedric the
Entertainer" and did theater work in Los Angeles until

Comedy Central picked up the show.
"We pretty much are a gorilla style show,"
Yarbrough said describing the non-existent writ-
ing process. The cast of seven improvises the
entire show around loose story lines, a la
Christopher Guest and company, with hilari-
ous results. Since each cast member is
responsible for their character's actions, the
cast has the unique ability to make "Reno
91l!" into whatever they envision. "We'll
brainstorm an idea, all seven of us, and
then away we go,"Yarbrough insists.
The actor also enjoys all of the
resources, like the scores of costumes and
props at his disposal. Though Yarbrough was
quick to state that he wouldn't want to wear the
shorts sported by Lt. Dangle (Tom Lennon of
MTV's "The State" and one of the series' cre-
ators). Lennon is also less than enthusiastic
about donning the skimpy shorts. "I think he
regrets (the) short shorts. He does have to pull
the snuggies on everyday."
Each cast member on the squad has quirky
characteristics. Dangle, wearing the shorts, tries
to seduce the men he pulls over for traffic viola-
tions, and Jones plays the sweet-talking bache-
lor, romantically involved with at least two of
the ladies on the squad. Yarbrough claims he
doesn't share many traits with his character.
"I'm not as cool as Jones. I wish I was," he
admits. "I'm black, tall and good looking. I
guess that's about it. I have sex a lot with white
women and ... I'm kidding."



The Oakland A's - While they have been knocked out of the
running for the World Series, maybe the citizens of the great state of
California can move for a recall. Go Marlins!

"Kill Bill: Vol. 1" - The movie Todd Weiser called "So Cool"
hits the streets this Friday and we are all better people for it. Plus
Uma might actually be good in a movie for a change.


"The Lion King" Special Platinum Edition DVD -
I'm not sure how this is better than a normal
platinum edition or even a special gold edition,
but regardless, this is still one totally sweet

OutKast, Speakerboxxx/The
Love Below - Andre and Big Boi have
done it again, just on their own this time.
How many times can you say "alright" in one
Third Season of "24" - Is there anything
Jack Bauer can't do? With less than a month
remaining before the first episode, you'd be a
fool not to be excited. Make sure you watch
the other two seasons before Oct. 28. You
have plenty of time - they only take a day to
watch each.

. ........ ......




.......... . . ...


Al Pacino stars as the titular char-
acter in Brian De Palma's gangster
classic. The film, originally panned
by critics when it opened in 1983,,
has found a huge cult following,
specifically in the gangsta-rap com-
munity. This new release comes
with a new digital transfer and
audio track, making every expletive
and explosion come alive.
The most entertaining of the sec-
and disc special features focuses on
the difficulty in cutting the violence
and language for the television cut
of the film. Tony Montana's bloody
rise to the top of the Miami under-
world shines on DVD and every

rapper who is missing a copy'can
now have one to flaunt next time
"Cribs" comes to his house.
--Adam Rattenberg
Movie: ****
Picture/Sound: ****!
Features: ***
In his directorial debut, George
Clooney wears his influences on
his sleeve, for the better and worse
of the movie, but for the definite
better of the DVD. Together with
cinematographer Newton Thomas
Sigel, Clooney offers the most

technically interesting of audio
While some filmmakers like
Woody Allen abhor the idea of
revealing behind-die-scenes secrets,
Clooney and Sigel turn a sometimes
all-too-stylish, but suitably enter-
taining, biopic of "Gong Show"
host/secret CIA operative Chuck
Barns (Sam Rockwell, in a "I
deserve to be a star" performance)
into the perfect study tool for
would-be filmmakers. Those
ancient days when the magic of
Hollywood was just that to viewers,
magic,, are over as the "Confes-
sions" DVD basically offers a play-
by-play guide on how to remake the
film (assuming you have the talents
of Drew Barrymore and Julia
Roberts on speed-dial).
- Todd Weiser
Movie: ***
Picture/Video: ****
Features: ***%

By Michelle Kijek
For the Daily

Here's Jonny ... Lang? You would-
n't know it listening to his latest
album, Long Time Coming. This

Blues whiz-kid Jonny Lang offers
eclectic failure on newest release

Fargo, N.D., blues
prodigy, well, lost
his blues.
Lang, who has
played along'side
blues greats B.B.
King, Buddy Guy
and Luther Alli-

singer and guitar
Jonny Lang
Long Time
A&M Records


album. His inexperience is evident.
With the exceptions of "Get What You
Give" and "Livin' For the City," a live
number that is the highlight of the
album, the lyrics sound childish and
are unable to keep up with the aggres-
sive changes from rock to soul to
R&B. More missed are the passionate
growls that have long driven Lang's
vocals in the past. The title track, a
heartfelt acoustic spiritual reminds us
of the quality of guitar playing Lang
caA Orovide, though, and relieves us of
the thought that he hasn't completely
lost his love for the blues.
At the age of only 22, Lang obvi-
ously has the talent to make a huge
impact on the fusion of modern blues
and rock -music. It just didn't happen
with this album.


son and has previously produced the-
matically blues-based albums, chose a
different path for his latest LP. Creat-
ing more of a rock album with soul

and R&B thrown into the mix, Lang
shifted to a new direction; unfortu-
nately he forgot his compass.
For the first time ever, Lang co-pro-
duced and wrote every song on the

Wanna Be on MTV's
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