'Comebacks' clips score at comedy fest


ASPEN, Colo. - Bloggers and the producers of "Wedding Crashers" were in the spotlight at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival here Friday.

Mid-day, a large crowd attended a screening of about 10 minutes of highlights from "The Comebacks," a work-in-progress that Fox Atomic plans to release in August.

Scenes from the spoof of inspirational sports movies were well-received.

Director Tom Brady and lead David Koechner, who plays Coach "Lambeau" Fields in the film, afterwards answered questions from the audience.

Koechner, who stayed in coach character, joked that the producers are already working on a Broadway version of "Comebacks." He also joked about the studio and the name of his director.

"This upstart Fox Atomic said we'll get this quarterback Tom Brady, a three-time SuperBowl winner, to make this movie," Koechner quipped.

Brady said that while football is the focus of the movie, various other sports are also represented.

"One way we got all the sports in there (was that) we used the Fox Sports desk instead of ESPN" in the film, he explained.

A morning panel on "Blogging: Buzz vs Business," in the ballroom of the St. Regis hotel, entertained a crowd of Internet fans and industry folks.

Humorist, author and actor Andy Borowitz, known for the daily fake news column BorowitzReport.com, attracted interest from industry attendees, who lauded his dry wit and engaging personality.

The panel answered various burning questions of celebrity Web news junkies. Among other things, Harvey Levin, managing editor of TMZ.com, answered the question about the celebrity with the biggest Web draw.

"Nobody gets more hits than Britney Spears," he said.

He also told the audience that "yes, we pay for videos," arguing that most successful sites like his do so for controversial content.

As an example, he recounted the story of how he and a TMZ colleague went to withdraw money from ATMs late on a Sunday night to pay for the video of Michael Richards' now infamous comedy club rant.

"They upped the price several times," Levin said, but TMZ finally got the video and put it online in the middle of the night.

Steven Rubenstein, who as president of public relations firm Rubenstein´┐Ż Communications started working with Richards shortly after the incident, said during the panel that he is optimistic the comedian will redeem himself.

"What he said was detestable," Rubenstein said. "He has to prove over time that he is not that person. And I believe he will."

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