Middle Man

Did you laugh at the Coen brothers' bloody black comedy "Fargo" in 1996? If so, you would enjoy this world premiere of "Middle Man" from the USA. We screened it today for the 2016 Seattle International Film Festival and I thought it was a hoot! (I loved "Fargo," too.)

Writer/director Ned Crowley brings us a black, black comedy of errors as we watch a CPA take early retirement after his mother's death. He sets out in a classic Oldsmobile (with a BIG trunk!) heading from the Midwest for Las Vegas where he will pursue his life-long dream of being a stand-up comic. He has an assortment of tapes that feature Burns & Allen, Martin & Lewis, Abbott & Costello...you know...OLD!

His cast:
  • Jim O'Heir ("Parks & Recreation") Lenny has no idea what today's stand-up comedy looks or sounds like. He can lip sync all the old classics though... This poor loser is a schlub who can be bullied.
  • Andrew J. West (LOTS of TV) Hitch scares us right away, but Lenny is easily bluffed, so against his better judgment Hitch becomes his manager. The resemblance between Andrew West and Ryan Gosling is spooky.
  • Josh McDermitt ("The Walking Dead") T-Bird does raunchy stand-up at the first little hole-in-the-wall place they find. He has a posse of supporters.
  • Brandon Van Vleet (LOTS of TV) T-Bird's friend is the first heckler poor inexperienced Lenny has ever encountered. That could be a problem.
  • Anne Dudek ("Covert Affairs") Grail is a sweet waitress who tries to help Lenny. (Her name was a typo on her birth certificate.)
  • Chad Donella (LOTS of TV) Officer Flick is a friend of show biz. You can tell by his impressions: Al Pacino, John Wayne, Bogie...you know...
The difference between Lenny's first attempt at stand-up and his second one is the heart and soul of this movie. Audience perception is key!

Fatty Arbuckle said: No price is too high to pay for a good laugh. Well, our hero is about to find out.