Jamie Kennedy looking to get ‘Laughs Unlimited’
Comedian Bob Saget told The Sacramento Press he has a reputation for visiting the California State Railroad Museum while inebriated. Pablo Francisco joked that he would impersonate a Sacramentan by using a heavy Latino accent and calling the Hells Angels to kick someone’s ass.
Jamie Kennedy, on the other hand, said he didn’t know enough about Sacramento to make a joke about it, but he respects the city for having genuine comedy fans.
"The audiences really like to laugh up there," he said. "People go to San Francisco, and they go to Santa Barbara, but Sacramento gets neglected, and I think it’s a good place to see comedy."
Thursday and Friday night, Kennedy will bring his multifaceted approach of humor — and perhaps a few hecklers — to Laughs Unlimited in Old Sacramento.
Kennedy’s willingness to talk about serious issues like the Gulf Coast oil spill is perhaps a sign that he had a humbling past, one that saw him living out of a car before he made it big in Hollywood. The Philadelphia-born actor moved to Los Angeles as a teenager and made it big in the first two "Scream" films before starring in the TV show "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment" from 2002 to 2004 and doing stand-up.
Now 40, Kennedy’s recent television credits include the last two seasons of "The Ghost Whisperer," with former girlfriend and co-star Jennifer Love Hewitt (cancelled last month), and voicing the animated character Federline Jones on "The Cleveland Show." In 2006, he recorded a comedy rap album called "Blowin’ Up," which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Kennedy has a knack for turning negatives into positives. He credited taking something negative and finding humor in it for propelling him to success.
That includes rolling with hecklers and harsh critics. After starring in the 2006 film "Son of the Mask," Kennedy received a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for worst actor in addition to a number of online reviews calling for his death.
As a result, Kennedy released the 2007 documentary "Heckler," which examines the roles of hecklers and critics and their relationship to entertainers. Ironically, it received a number of good reviews in Variety, Inland Empire Weekly and Horror.com along with some unfavorable ones.
After a heckler interrupted the recording of his stand-up for the 2006 film "Unwashed," Kennedy had a humorous dialogue with her about whether to use the word "waitress" or "server." In a recent five-day residency at a comedy club in Tempe, Ariz., Kennedy said a likely-inebriated heckler was kicked out of the audience every night.
"It’s part of comedy, so you’ve basically got to deal with it," he said. "In a perfect world, I’d do my stuff, people laugh and I go home. It’s only fun when it works for the show, when they say something that’s off the mark, not just interrupting (and) commenting on what you’re saying."
Kennedy’s future projects continue to be diverse, including a Showtime special in November and a horror movie, though not the next "Scream" film.
"I guess I’m everything and nothing," he said of his career. "Some days I’ll tell jokes, some days I’ll act or rap. It’s just about creative expression. If I can do it and people accept it, that’s what I am."
Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased at laughsunlimited.com. Kennedy will perform Thursday at 8 p.m. and Friday at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Laughs Unlimited is located at 1207 Front St.