Yesterday, I had a chat with one of the funniest and well known comedians in today's diverse entertainment arena. Her name is Lauren Palmigiano and she gets to work on a bus — one she's a sole occupant of. Don't believe me?
What? Of course, it's a joke! Tough crowd, people! Betcha Lauren wouldn't have gotten the same response — and this, her very own joke, let me tell you. My delivery's off, isn't?
At least, considering how easily it — and the rest — slipped from her tongue (not to mention such viral hits as Lady Cops, Perry Hilton DUI, and The Spelling Bee), Lauren herself isn't in any danger when browsing her highly rated site, Funny Or Die — currently partnering with the venerable Jim Beam in its promotional contest, "The Remake", aimed at helping a few lucky "Average Jims" laugh their way to a chance at $25K and an all-expenses paid trip for four to Las Vegas. Feeling lucky?
If so, you've got time — until March 21! Once all entries spoofing one of three videos listed on Jim Beam's website are in, the celebrity judge Lauren Palmigiano and cohort Max Silvestri, he of the award-winning variety show Big Terrific, will make their decision.
Still on the fence? Perhaps Lauren herself will help get you convinced Jim Beam bourbon might pack a heck of a bite, but its corporate office or the funnymen — and woman — it got to judge the contest are just looking for a few good jokes.
In answer to my very first question about the reason for her involvement with Beam, the perky, down-to-earth lead writer and producer for Funny Or Die had this to said, "Well, Jim's a funny company. Doesn't take itself too seriously, which, I suppose, lends itself well to this contest."
Considering it's all about spoofing its own ads, "The Girlfriend", "The Tragedy", and "The Party", with 30-90 second amateur video clips exclusive to its site, yes, I can see that take itself seriously it does not.
Not to say that contestants are treating "The Remake" as a joke. "Oh, we have got a few hundred [entries]," she said, adding she wouldn't initiate the judging process until after the deadline. Fair's fair.
At which point, because I couldn't imagine a Funny Or Die interview without Will Ferrell and Judd Apatow somehow worming their way into a conversation, well, I helped them along.
Turns out, as the site's creators and sponsors, they are very hands-on. One of them has offices right across the street from Funny's 15-strong creative LA campus, and just last week, Lauren and Mr. Ferrell released a new "Bedside" video to what I am sure will be acclaim equal to "Landlord"'s, a keystone video of Funny Or Die. Makes sense, Lauren having been a part of his production team before taking the reins of the site.
Which, apparently, proved a sound business decision of Mr. Ferrell's. There are now multiple campuses across the US and a few satellite offices without. In the site's irreverent tone, Funny Or Die's "About Us" page warns of its elite private security force consisting of four hundred soldiers and six attack helicopters, and Lauren herself alleges she would lose face if she took anything to work short of a private bus — while a coworker opts for a tank. "We have an interesting parking lot. You should stop by."
I promise, the moment I hit LA, I mean to.
Being I am not even in the market for airline tickets just yet, I know, by then, the "Remake'"s winner will have been announced, his or her entry featured on the Jim Beam site, perhaps even gone viral — and if Lauren agrees to another, face-to-face interview, I will get to hear just what it was which made THAT particular video stand out.