The Man Who Would Be Fred (aka the Almighty Fred) stars my very good friend Jeff Michalski, was written, produced and directed by Bill Kelman and was scored by the incredible, unforgettable, amazing Fred Kaz. There is a free screening tomorrow night, January 24th, in Venice.
In the mid 90s, when I was happily working with Jeff Michalski, and playing softball with his co-star in this film, Jeff Rosenthal, this film was all the buzz around our small theater, UpFront Comedy. Bill was pretty literally breaking him self to produce this film. It was a classic "max out the credit cards and hope for the best" situation, and sadly, after a bit, I never heard of the film again.
Michalski is really one of the greats of improvisation and comedy. A Second City performer, director, and founder of the E.T.C. stage, Stephen Colbert credits Jeff with teaching him to love failing.
This from GQ Magazine:
"“Our first night professionally onstage,” Stephen Colbert said, the longtime Second City director Jeff Michalski told them that the most important lesson he could pass on to them was this: “You have to learn to love the bomb.”“It took me a long time to really understand what that meant,” Colbert said. “It wasn't ‘Don't worry, you'll get it next time.’ It wasn't ‘Laugh it off.’ No, it means what it says. You gotta learn to love when you're failing.… The embracing of that, the discomfort of failing in front of an audience, leads you to penetrate through the fear that blinds you. Fear is the mind killer."
Jeff and Jeff play a down on their luck Venice brothers who create a religion based on donuts. "See the donut, not the hole!" becomes the mantra of a generation, as this cult grows and grows. One brother believes he is a god, the other tries to bring him back to earth! It was a shame that this film disappeared, but if you are in LA there is a free screening this Sunday night, as part of the Venice Film Festival!
See The Man Who Would Be Fred, 7pm Sunday, January 24th at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd. Venice, CA 90291.