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Josh Gad to play controversial comedian Sam Kinison for director Larry Charles

08.05.2013

There are few memorable sounds as recognizeable as the ear-splitting scream of comedian Sam Kinison. Once you've heard it, you'll instantly recognize his voice no matter where you hear it, be it in old stand up or his many appearances in movies, TV shows, and radio, where he was very prolific until his untimely death in 1992. . Now, the scream will be resurrected by Book of Mormon actor Josh Gad, who will portray the evangelist-turned-comedian in a biopic to be directed by Larry Charles (BORAT, BRUNO, THE DICTATOR) with a script by XXX's Rich Wilkes, based on the book Brother Sam by Bill Kinison.

“There was nothing conventional about Sam Kinison and neither will be the cinematic interpretation of his life,” said producer DavidPermut. “Larry Charles is the perfect director to bring Rich Wilkes’ incredible script to screen, and Josh Gad’s tremendous ability to morph into a role will bring great depth to Kinison’s larger than life persona.”

According to Deadline, "the film picks up the Kinison story in the 80s, as he transitions from the family business of Pentecostal preaching and into stand up comedy in Hollywood." Kinison was a vibrant, loud, hilarious, and controversial comedian, who made a lot of waves talking about his drug and alcohol abuse and the adventurest that followed as a result. He was renowned for his "confessional" like appearances on the Howard Stern show, which always seemed to bring out the "best of the worst" in the comedian. Kinison died in a car accident in 1992.

This is an interesting and provoking project and I'm interested, more than anything, to see and hear Josh Gad's take on the late comedian. Kinison's scream is a tough one for anyone to nail and an enigmatic performance is definitely on order, which could potentially mean Oscar territory for Gad if he can pull it off. Having Charles as the director of this is a smart choice, as he's certainly not one to shy away from the more risque material that will undoubtedly find its way onto the screen.

Gad will next be seen as Steve Wozniak in another biopic, JOBS, which opens on August 16, 2013.

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Source: Deadline

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7:01AM on 08/06/2013

Kinnison wasn't that great

He was interesting the first 2 or 3 times you'd see him. Then, like Gallagher, you began to just see him as a one trick pony. You'd just sit and ask "when is he gonna start screaming?", rather than just enjoying the content of the show.
He was interesting the first 2 or 3 times you'd see him. Then, like Gallagher, you began to just see him as a one trick pony. You'd just sit and ask "when is he gonna start screaming?", rather than just enjoying the content of the show.
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5:34AM on 08/06/2013

Noooo!!!! Josh Gad sucks.

Dan Fogler was supposed to play Kinison. He had it down perfectly. They really need to get Dan Fogler back.
Dan Fogler was supposed to play Kinison. He had it down perfectly. They really need to get Dan Fogler back.
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3:29AM on 08/06/2013

Great Subject!

Kinison was a well respected member of the comedy community. His story is compelling and interesting and has something to say about the conditions of life in the Bible belt and how it provokes rebellion. He was as unique as Andy Kaufman and his story should be just as good when told on film.
Kinison was a well respected member of the comedy community. His story is compelling and interesting and has something to say about the conditions of life in the Bible belt and how it provokes rebellion. He was as unique as Andy Kaufman and his story should be just as good when told on film.
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2:25AM on 08/06/2013

Great Subject!

Kinison was a well respected member of the comedy community. His story is compelling and interesting and has something to say about the conditions of life in the Bible belt and how it provokes rebellion. He was as unique as Andy Kaufman and his story should be just as good when told on film.
Kinison was a well respected member of the comedy community. His story is compelling and interesting and has something to say about the conditions of life in the Bible belt and how it provokes rebellion. He was as unique as Andy Kaufman and his story should be just as good when told on film.
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+0
10:46PM on 08/05/2013

Perfect!

Wow, tough to think of a better director/actor combo for this project. Especially after Thanks For Sharing (saw at a fest; cannot wait for it to be distributed) I think Josh Gad is really on the horizon of greatness.
Wow, tough to think of a better director/actor combo for this project. Especially after Thanks For Sharing (saw at a fest; cannot wait for it to be distributed) I think Josh Gad is really on the horizon of greatness.
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10:23PM on 08/05/2013

Well..

I think Gad is funny, but I would've gone with either Fogler or Dean Norris who I think could nail the voice, of course he is alittle older.
I think Gad is funny, but I would've gone with either Fogler or Dean Norris who I think could nail the voice, of course he is alittle older.
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9:07PM on 08/05/2013
Even though I don't necessarily agree with the casting, I am excited to hear more about this film.
Even though I don't necessarily agree with the casting, I am excited to hear more about this film.
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8:47PM on 08/05/2013

Hurm...

I'm old enough to remember kinison, but I don't think he was that talented a comedian I'd go watch a movie about him. Especially with Gad. I've heard he's great in BoM, which I haven't seen, but literally everything else I've seen him in he's been unfunny and felt like the production couldn't afford "that fat guy from Superbad." I can say a lot of that is not his fault, but even the recent show he was on about the president, which he either produced, or wrote, or both, was terrible.
I'm old enough to remember kinison, but I don't think he was that talented a comedian I'd go watch a movie about him. Especially with Gad. I've heard he's great in BoM, which I haven't seen, but literally everything else I've seen him in he's been unfunny and felt like the production couldn't afford "that fat guy from Superbad." I can say a lot of that is not his fault, but even the recent show he was on about the president, which he either produced, or wrote, or both, was terrible.
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8:30PM on 08/05/2013
I grew up imitating him. Especially seeing him as a teacher in Back to School. While there have been & are funnier people on the planet, Sam had a style all his own. I don't know a lot about Josh Gad & certainly not enough to know whether or not he'll do a good job. I will definitely be looking for more as this project develops.
I grew up imitating him. Especially seeing him as a teacher in Back to School. While there have been & are funnier people on the planet, Sam had a style all his own. I don't know a lot about Josh Gad & certainly not enough to know whether or not he'll do a good job. I will definitely be looking for more as this project develops.
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8:24PM on 08/05/2013
Dan Fogler would seem a better choice
Dan Fogler would seem a better choice
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9:05PM on 08/05/2013
On one hand, Josh Gad is an experienced voice actor and looks a bit like Kinison. He does fit the part well. On the other hand, Dan Fogler is a better actor overall, and he is funnier. Fogler looks a lot like Kinison. And, he has wanted the biopic part for a long time. I agree. Dan Fogler is the better choice.
On one hand, Josh Gad is an experienced voice actor and looks a bit like Kinison. He does fit the part well. On the other hand, Dan Fogler is a better actor overall, and he is funnier. Fogler looks a lot like Kinison. And, he has wanted the biopic part for a long time. I agree. Dan Fogler is the better choice.
7:39PM on 08/05/2013

Looks the part.

Josh Gad certainly looks the part, but I'm unfamiliar with his acting ability.

Truthfully, I was unaware to the existence of Sam Kinison until this article, but from the video clip posted, I'm not a fan. Seems to be the same as Dane Cook, but obviously predating him by a fair many years. But... I mean, he's basically Dane Cook, and I hate Dane Cook. Saying the stupidest and most unfunny stuff, but yelling it to the audience to rile them up and make it SOUND like it's funny... and moving
Josh Gad certainly looks the part, but I'm unfamiliar with his acting ability.

Truthfully, I was unaware to the existence of Sam Kinison until this article, but from the video clip posted, I'm not a fan. Seems to be the same as Dane Cook, but obviously predating him by a fair many years. But... I mean, he's basically Dane Cook, and I hate Dane Cook. Saying the stupidest and most unfunny stuff, but yelling it to the audience to rile them up and make it SOUND like it's funny... and moving around a lot on-stage to rile them up.

Not feeling it. If he is the main influence on Dane Cook, I really wish he were left in the past.
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8:23PM on 08/05/2013
Idiot.
Idiot.
8:51PM on 08/05/2013
Thank you. I am wondering why so many downvotes. Could someone help me out with why Sam Kinison is so great, or at least great enough that so many people disagree with my first impressions of him?
Thank you. I am wondering why so many downvotes. Could someone help me out with why Sam Kinison is so great, or at least great enough that so many people disagree with my first impressions of him?
2:20AM on 08/06/2013
You have to watch the whole special this clip came from. Its fantastic, brilliant, risky, and edgy. And especially, it's nothing like Dane Cook. The secret to licking a girl (edited for content), Jesus at the last supper, and the killer close are what made Kinison so special. He was the first rock star of comedy. Kinisons comedy didn't push people to think like Carlin, and wasn't vulgar for the sake of it like Dice Clay. It was a dramatic response to the conservative, limiting, hypocritical
You have to watch the whole special this clip came from. Its fantastic, brilliant, risky, and edgy. And especially, it's nothing like Dane Cook. The secret to licking a girl (edited for content), Jesus at the last supper, and the killer close are what made Kinison so special. He was the first rock star of comedy. Kinisons comedy didn't push people to think like Carlin, and wasn't vulgar for the sake of it like Dice Clay. It was a dramatic response to the conservative, limiting, hypocritical lifestyle he'd led as a Pentecostal minister in the Bible Belt of the Midwest. I was just thinking the other day about how his life would make an excellent subject for a film
7:04AM on 08/06/2013
MasterChief -- I'm with you. Kinnison wasn't great, but people's memories fade with 20 years. He never was able to just grow away from his crutch, the scream.
MasterChief -- I'm with you. Kinnison wasn't great, but people's memories fade with 20 years. He never was able to just grow away from his crutch, the scream.
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