Comedian-Turned-Musician Ed Helms to Release Bluegrass Album

We weren’t kidding last month when we lauded the musical talents of Jeff Who Lives at Home star Ed Helms. Like Steve Martin (and, uh, Rick Moranis?) before him, the funny guy is branching out into the world of music along with his bluegrass band, The Lonesome Trio.

The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Helms, who will be performing tomorrow evening at Largo during The L.A. Bluegrass Situation (a festival which he co-founded two years ago), has announced his band’s debut album. "We’ve been laying down some demos and kicking them back and forth," he says. "We’ve been been playing together so long, we have so many original tunes. We’ve made recordings for friends and family for years but we’ve never done a proper album."

If you didn’t manage to get ticket to tomorrow night’s sold-out show, take a listen to some of The Lonesome Trio’s tunes below.

Jason Segel and Ed Helms: Notes From an Epic Jam

Had they not become two of Hollywood’s alpha comedy stars, were they not starring in Jeff, Who Lives at Home, the latest comedy from the brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, had their lives not assured each a place in the pantheon of funny man heroes—one for bringing heart to The Office, the other for ensuring that a small felt frog named Kermit and his slightly overbearing fiancée would never be forgotten—Ed Helms and Jason Segel probably would have been this generation’s Hall & Oates. Instead, they might be this generation’s Odd Couple.

In Jeff, Who Lives At Home, Segel plays Jeff, a weed-obsessed, emotionally drifting man-child. The film begins with him perched on a toilet, recording a voice memo to himself on the merits of Signs, M. Night Shyamalan’s paean to fate. Later, Jeff sets out on a Shyamalanian quest for purpose across Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he encounters his blowhard brother Pat (Helms), who is struggling with his own ontological and marital unease. Epiphanies ensue. One such revelation: It would be an abomination if Helms and Segel, both passionate musicians, never jammed together. And so, with a garage, a Gretsch and a prayer, we made it happen. Here now the evidence from the greatest band that never was.

Photos by Dan Monick

Video Exclusive: Jason Segel & Ed Helms Rock Out

For our upcoming Comedy Issue, Jeff, Who Lives at Home costars Jason Segel and Ed Helms got together in a Pasadena garage for an epic jam session, proving that they’re as good at making music as they are at making jokes. Our April/May issue features an awesome photospread of the would-be rockstars, which you can see in the next few weeks. In the meantime, check out our exclusive behind-the-scenes video of the shoot after the jump!

 

Video Exclusive: Jason Segel & Ed Helms Rock Out

For our upcoming Comedy Issue, Jeff, Who Lives at Home costars Jason Segel and Ed Helms got together in a Pasadena garage for an epic jam session, proving that they’re as good at making music as they are at making jokes. Our April/May issue features an awesome photospread of the would-be rockstars, which you can see in the next few weeks. In the meantime, check out our exclusive behind-the-scenes video of the shoot after the jump!

Anna Faris Graces the Cover of Our Comedy Issue

For over a decade the delightfully daffy Anna Faris has been making people laugh in movies like The House Bunny, Observe and Report, and the four films of the Scary Movie franchise. She’s even lightened the mood in heavier Oscar-winning fare like Lost in Translation and Brokeback Mountain. With a role playing opposite international prankster Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator and a rumored return to the cast of Scary Movie 5, Faris continues to prove she’s a comedic force to be reckoned with. In the cover story of our April/May issue, Faris reveals what makes her laugh (it involves the phrase "mammary glands") and reveals that her status as a cinematic comedienne was accidental. 

It wouldn’t be The Comedy Issue without a few more jokesters, which is why we reunited Jeff Who Lives at Home costars Jason Segel and Ed Helms for an epic jam session, proving they’ve got the musical chops to shift careers (not that we want them to quit their day jobs). Community and Mad Men‘s Alison Brie chats about bringing humor to two very different hit TV shows, and she opens up about her role in the upcoming comedy The Five-Year Engagement. Critically beloved writer-director Whit Stillman, whose Damsels in Distress hits theaters in early April, explains his 14-year absence from filmmaking. And we answer the burning question that everyone’s been asking: are gay guys funny? (Spoiler alert: they are!)

You’ll also get a look new restaurants in Chicago, hot night spots in Paris, an illustrated guide to the Tribeca Film Festival, and the long-awaited look at the cinematic history of vibrators. You can find a copy of the issue on newsstands next week, and be sure to check back with BBook.com for full coverage and web exclusives! 

‘The Hangover 3’ Stars Are About to Get Paid Lots of Money

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result, I’m told. With that in mind, the stars of The Hangover are trying to wrangle out a massive payday in order to do a second sequel, says The Hollywood Reporter. They’ve been working on a deal for a long time, but the demands of Bradey Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms are likely to hold: $15 million each, in aims for a Memorial Day 2013 release. If a third movie will be more of the same bro antics, why not try to milk the cow for all its worth?

That’s a whopping increase from their former deals: the first Hangover paid them less than $1 million each, with around $5 million each for the sequel. Obviously, things have changed: Cooper is a bona fide leading man (Did you see Limitless? Surprisingly not bad!), Galifianakis is the hottest comedian around not named Louis C.K., and, well, Helms is their buddy. It wouldn’t be very fair if they got a lot more than him. Put together, the Hangover movies have grossed over a billion dollars worldwide, so a third movie will make all kinds of dough. The world turns, as it always does.

Jason Segel is ‘Jeff, Who Lives at Home’

The Muppets, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You, Man — Jason Segel is kind of the standard bearer for mopey, paunchy dudes who are bad at growing up, isn’t he? The first trailer for Jeff, Who Lives at Home definitely reinforces that: Segel plays Jeff, who lives at home with his mom (Susan Sarandon!) and is having a hard time figuring his life out. After a chance run-in reunites him with his brother (played by Ed Helms), they start hanging out again while trying to deal with their life issues in tandem.  (Sample dialogue: "Why do you want to live like this, drifting through this life with no awareness!?") Arrested Development alum Judy Greer shows up as Helms’ maybe-cheating wife and, you know, hijnks and emotional maturation ensue.

It seems winsome and charming in a cheesy way, pretty much par for the course when it comes to Jason Segel vehicles. I’ll be honest — it’s extremely hard for me to see Helms as anyone else but Andy Dwyer from The Office, and his reasonable attempt at being serious is just so… off. It’s like a bear riding a ferris wheel: cute, but get out of there, silly! (It sure is Friday, y’all.) If you liked the trailer, Jeff, Who Lives at Home comes out on March 2.

Is ‘The Hangover’ the Funniest Film of the Year?

With Bruno coming out later this summer, and then The Road in the fall, probably not. But last night I had the chance to catch an advanced screening of The Hangover, about three groomsmen who lose the groom after a drunken night in Vegas, and it played to an ovation from a delirious crowd. Here are five reasons why The Hangover will be this summer’s sleeper hit:

1. Todd Phillips is back: After hitting it big (and making Will Ferrell a movie star) with the frat-tastic Old School, Phillips tried to mine similar comedy gold with movies like Starsky & Hutch and School for Scoundrels. Hutch was a forgettable effort that rode its stars to decent box office, and Scoundrels was the kind of unfunny misfire that puts careers on ice (right, Jon Heder?). But in The Hangover, Phillips doesn’t hold back, playing 9/11 and the Holocaust for laughs, and coaxing breakout performances from his three leads. It’s no wonder he’s already been signed to a sequel. Which brings us to …

2. Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and Bradley Cooper are awesome: I would like to shake the hand of the person who cast this film. It was probably you, Todd Phillips, but shout-outs go to Melissa Kostenbauder and everyone else IMDb lists in the casting department. The chemistry between these three is potent and a joy to watch — like Clooney, Pitt, and Damon ditching the whole boring suave schtick and wigging out on Vicks inhaler. After stealing all of his scenes as the bad guy in Wedding Crashers, Bradley Cooper unfocused his career path by playing supporting parts on TV shows and ensemble pieces. This should correct course. Ed Helms plays a version of the same character he plays on The Office, except now he gets to say “fuck” a lot. One of the movie’s high points has him behind a piano. But really, this movie belongs to one man …

3. Zach Galifianakis is really, really awesome: Cult comedy aficionados are already aware of Galifianakis’ twisted genius from his disturbing work with Tim and Eric and his amazingly weird web show Between Two Ferns. But with his creepy, lovable, and borderline psychotic performance in the film, he’ll become a household name — Jack Black with demons. During the screening, you could feel a collective “Who is this guy?” and “How have I never heard of him before?” buzzing around the audience. That won’t be happening anymore.

4. Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow: SPOILER ALERT: I will not spoil that much. Only to say that Ken Jeong, the real-life doctor who broke out as the fake doctor in Knocked Up, along with Galifianakis, lifts this movie into realms of the absurd. We see his penis, and that’s the least extreme part about his performance.

5. The closing credits: I can’t spoil these, but you’ll want to stick around after the screen cuts to black. Without a doubt, the cast had much more fun shooting the closing credits sequence than they did the entire film. It includes moments you literally will not believe. So good they are, they give the film new context. You won’t want them to end, and when they finally do, you’ll feel an endless void of despair within. Fill it with alcohol, because that’s another thing — this movie will make you want to party, blackout stylez.