“Max the Hero” (with MST3K’ers Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett) to Screen at NY Television Pilot Festival

The animated comedy “Max the Hero” stars and was written by Mystery Science Theater 3000‘s and RiffTrax.com’s Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett. It was produced, directed and co-written by Nashville’s Mike Salva.

In the show, Max (voiced by Bill Corbett), is an accidental superhero who is kind of a lazy jerk. He never actually saves anybody. His jealous roommate, Stew (voiced by Michael J. Nelson), becomes his arch-rival. And they both injure their buddy Chip (voiced by Kevin Murphy) a lot.

We’ve seen it! It’s hilarious and well worth your time

Here’s a trailer, narrated by Nashville-based stand-up comedian / sketch performer / writer / heavy metal parody band The Dead Dead front man, Sean Parrott:

Max the Hero‘s 13 minute pilot episode will be screened at the upcoming New York Television Pilot Festival, where it is competing for $25,000 and a a development deal in the Independent Pilot Competition.

2009 Comic-Con International Film Festival (CCIFF) judge / KBPS Film Critic Beth Accomando called Max the Hero, “one of the handful of really outstanding films I saw that year.”

The firm has two screenings:

Wednesday, Sept. 22nd at 9:45 pm (tickets)
Thursday, Sept. 23rd at 7:30 pm (tickets)

Tribeca Cinemas
54 Varick Street

The award-winning short has previously been recognized by the Dragon*Con Film Festival as “Best Animated Comedy – 2008,” and as “Best Animation – 2008” by Rutgers Media Center’s Film and DV Festival. More about “Max The Hero” writer, director, producer Mike Salva can be found at ProjectMeatball.com, and on FaceBook.

Nate Bargatze wins Carolines “Final Four” competition

Nate Bargatze, Vandy fan

The Comic’s Comic reports: “Earlier this week, the dueling 64-comedian “March Madness” (Comix) and “Final Four” (Carolines) competitions came to an end, with Sam Morril earning the $500 prize and gigs from Comix, while Nate Bargatze won the similar prize at Carolines (plus an extra gig during this fall’s New York Comedy Festival).” [read the rest of the story here]

NashvilleStandUp recently spent a few days running all over NYC with Nate – from Kabin to Carolines to the Broadway Comedy Club to EastVille to Bar 4 in Brooklyn. When he’s not out on the road, Mr. Bargatze drives into Manhattan and goes from club to club doing as many spots as he can wherever he can get up. It was fantastic and inspiring. To catch up with what’s going on with Nate, visit his website NateBargatze.com, listen to his podcast “It Could Be Better”, friend him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

The Continuing Story of Carla Rhodes

Sometimes when you’re watching a comedian, you can kind of tell who their influences were.. or at least be able to name another comic as a reference point when describing their act. Occasionally you’ll see a young open mic’er “channeling” somebody famous so closely that you really can’t think of anything else the entire time they’re on stage.

“Rock and Roll ventriloquist” Carla Rhodes, on the other hand, is an act so unique that she’s really in a class all by herself. Here’s the best comparison I can think up: imagine if the lovechild of Shari Lewis and Mick Jagger was raised by David Bowie. Can you even wrap your head around that? Imagine that girl running around Nashville at night jumping onto stages in between bands.. bringing suitcases of puppets and a guitar up on stage at the stand-up open mics.. then driving back to Murfreesboro just in time to get enough sleep to make it thru her classes at MTSU.

If you were a regular at the local Nashville comedy shows from 2000-2004, you can probably remember Carla doing just that.. but since then she has called New York City home. We hear from and about her from time to time – doing shows at alternative performance establishments and rock clubs all over New York City (such as Joe’s Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, Arlene’s Grocery, Highline Ballroom and Issue Project Room to name a few), making videos, getting shout-outs in magazines & on Late Show with David Letterman, plus making appearances on FUSE, The Learning Channel and Canal+..

Even in a city full of very unique people doing extraordinary things, Rhodes stands out as a true original. Trav S.D. from The Villager made note of this when he recently plugged her new show, “The Continuing Story of Carla Rhodes,” which blasts off this Thursday, January 14th at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC:

“I would be remiss in my duty to humanity if I did not send you in the direction of Arlene’s Grocery on January 14, for that is the date one of my favorite neo-vaudevillians, ventriloquist Carla Rhodes is debuting her new full-length show, aptly named “The Continuing Story of Carla Rhodes.” In my view, Rhodes is the Savion Glover of vents, almost single-handedly injecting a notoriously uncool and backward-looking performance branch with a badly-needed kick in the ass. Don’t get me wrong; Carla is PLENTY old school — but she also has at least one of her dainty feet planted firmly in the current century, or at least the tail end of the last one (which is more than you can say about just about any other vent). Carla is, in short, a rock and roll ventriloquist.

The current piece purports to tell her life story, but we won’t be stinted on bits with her favorite “partners”, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and another dirty old Englishman, Cecil Sinclaire. She also promises to unveil her new rock band The Extravaganzas and a new character with the enticing name Herschel Ragbottoms. Unless I have pneumonia or a pulmonary embolism, I will be there.”

The show follows the thread of Carla’s intricate and dysfunctional (emphasis on fun!) life story. How did a lil’ ol’ ventriloquist from Kentucky befriend stuffed effigies of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards? How on earth did she tread through the corn fields to make it to New York City? Why is her hair so fabulous? And why does she hang with a cantankerous 1920’s gentleman named Cecil Sinclaire? Will she go against all odds, throw the naysayers aside and achieve ventriloquial superstardom?

Find out for yourself! If you’re anywhere near NYC, you should go. Maybe you’ll even get some of the FREE PRIZES – “Cecil’s Special Saltwater Taffy” and a limited edition “Enjoy Carla” button!

“The Continuing Story of Carla Rhodes”
January 14th, 2010, 9.00pm
Arlene’s Grocery
95 Stanton Street
New York, NY
Price: $8.00
(here’s the Facebook event)

If you can’t make it, at least you can enjoy the promo video for the event, which features 9-year-old Carla Rhodes singing “I’ll Be Loving You Forever”:

Carla Rhodes named in NY Magazine’s “Ten New Comedians That Funny People Find Funny”

Carla Rhodes & Cecil
Carla Rhodes & Cecil

New York Magazine has dubbed NashvilleStandUp alumni, now New Yorker Carla Rhodes as one of the “Ten New Comedians That Funny People Find Funny.” They asked the city’s comedy tastemakers – club bookers, improv teachers, already-famous comedians, borderline-creepy groupies – to tell them about their favorite up-and-comers. Then they invited the ten nominees to the Gotham Comedy Club to perform a show.. for each other. Later, they assembled the stand-ups for a postmortem at New York’s offices.

Carla says, “This is very exciting! It’s even more exciting that I’m wearing a $3.00 thrift store dress from Kentucky in the photograph. It matches Cecil’s rosy rosacea cheeks, yes?”

Don’t forget to check out “Positively 5th Street,” a new video series documenting Carla’s life with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Visit CarlaRhodes.net for all of your Carla Rhodes needs.