Aspen report: Day 2

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I saw Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines on the street outside the Tent and she looked directly at me—clearly, she's been reading this blog.

Yesterday's round of shows and events featured enough inspiring work to keep the gorgeous views from trumping the talent at the 2007 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.

My morning (ahem, 3pm) began in the St. Regis basement, with a collection of Web comedians showcasing their talents under the rubric Broadband Theater. The Message scored with a particularly funny short film parodying Fantasia's new book. And singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton won the crowd with a hilarious cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back." After crooning, he took time to aggrandize Creative Commons, the copyright law regarding free sharing, which unknown performers exploit to gain attention by going viral on the Internet. Not a bad business plan, considering professional comics perform for only a bit more than free.

Before heading to the screening of a John Landis--directed documentary about him, Don Rickles held court at the annual Hollywood Reporter party: There was one table in the room—and he sat at its head, receiving fans and their doting words throughout the event. To quote more than one audience member exiting the following screening and Q&A, the repartee between Animal House director Landis and Rickles was "adorable."

Cheryl Hines dined at the table next to me at Takah sushi. I know I can be a bit intimidating, Cheryl, but seriously, if you want to talk to me about the blog, just ask.

Later, in the performance tent, Who's the Boss? and Ugly Betty star Judith Light did not at first know how to handle Dave Hill. She was a guest in The Dave Hill Explosion, his popular New York mock talk show. After all, she is a 58-year-old star of stage and screen who somehow found herself onstage with a somewhat confusing, if winsomely diminutive, antihost who, in spite of appearing to run a talk show, did most of the talking—about how much she was coming on to him. But after several "you could be my son" comments, she eventually fell to his charms. After Hill sang a song he'd written about all of her accomplishments, she gave him a hug...which lasted a little too long.

More parties: this time thanks to fest sponsor Sierra Mist, whose bouncers kept a strict invite-only list. I saw two Magnet improvisers (here just to hang out) sneak in by walking around to the hotel's back entrance. Then they played Ping-Pong—in other words, it was definitely worth it. Around this time, I also saw Michael Ian Black approaching the bouncers. One assumes he got in.

By then it was about 1:30am. But there's always time for more free booze and schmoozing. Taking a cue from those Creative Commons copyright laws, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre hosted a booze-fueled shindig. Their parties have been a staple each year I've come here, but never before has one of the fetes been attended by Cheryl Hines. Seriously, Cheryl, stalking is very unattractive.

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