22 November 2006

Brian Atene v. 43: For Real!

Hey, look who finally showed up!

After weeks of ridicule (good-natured, on my part) Brian Atene has surfaced as promised--the real Brian Atene this time, and not the corpulent Big Daddy Roth lookalike from the parodies. Brian's aged pretty well I would say, having traded in his Tom Cruise 'do for a George Clooney Caesar cut. Atene-at-43 appears to be addressing us from his personal computer, which is situated in a room that looks like it's got a view of the lava lamp universe of "Barbarella". Check it out here.

The former Julliard freshman who once compared himself to "a young Alec Guinness" appears to have grown into a middle-aged Charlie Callas, evidenced by the spastic histrionics and facial contortions that make up the bulk of his official YouTube response, in which he mocks the audio track of his now-famous early-80s submission reel to Stanley Kubrick. Atene claims that the audition piece leaked was not the one actually sent--there is another (presumably better) version, which he doesn't bother to reveal (either way, he didn't get the gig).

He goes onto parody his drama teacher (painful), indulge in a hammy Professor Moriarity bit from the Sherlock Holmes series (excruciating), impersonate James Gregory as "General Ursus"from "Beneath The Planet Of The Apes" (bewildering) and, yes, indulge us in another Michael Curtiz reference (had to fast-forward through it) but does manage to get to the raison-d'etre behind his emergence: a sweet plug for the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the "Go Forward" dog-tags it sells to raise money to continue the Definitive Superman's fight for stem cell research (he also proudly displays his copy of a Reeve-signed "Superman: The Movie" soundtrack LP). Atene says he'll show up on semi-regular intervals to indulge in more over-acting if viewers will take up the challenge.

Understandably mum on the state of his current career and whereabouts, I gotta say that Atene may only be a slightly better stand-up comedian than Michael Richards (ouch!) but he's shown himself to be a good sport and a class act. So, in honour of the event, here's where you can check out The Christopher Reeve Foundation and what it's all about. Take a bow, Mr. Atene--but please, no more impersonations.