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From the mailbag: Sending to Stiller?

It’s time again for reader’s questions! Today’s comes from “Trowilson” who asks,

i wanna send Ben something smallĀ  (but bigger than a letter) in the mail… Does anybody know what address he is likely to actually get it at?

Like most celebrities, Ben doesn’t give out his direct contact info. However, a good bet to get something to him is to send to his publicist, ID-PR:

Ben Stiller
c/o ID-PR
8409 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood CA 90069

Alternatively, you can try his production company:

Red Hour Films
629 N. La Brea
Los Angeles, CA, CA 90036

Either way, don’t expect a personal response, as unfortunately, Ben has stated previously that he doesn’t reply to fan mail.

The Happy Birthday Ben Stiller Contest – Closed

Notice: The contest is now closed. Check back in later for the posting of the winning entries. Thanks all and Happy New Year’s!

Today, in 1965, Benjamin Edward Stiller was born in New York City to the comedy duo Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. That makes him 43, for those keeping count.

This has been a banner year for Ben, with Tropic Thunder which he co-wrote and directed becoming a box office hit; and the sequel to Madagascar exceeding the success of the first (and guaranteeing a third installment). Earlier this month, Ben was saluted for his work by his home town’s Museum of the Moving Image Black Tie event.

In honor of his many accomplishments– and in celebration of ten years of BenStiller.net– I’m giving away presents for his true fans, in a sort of essay contest:

Continue reading “The Happy Birthday Ben Stiller Contest – Closed” »

Join the forum discussion on this post

Stiller tired of “Frat Pack” label

In an interview with UK’s Heart FM radio station, Ben Stiller declares the term “Frat Pack” as “weird and unnecessary.”

“It’s such a weird thing that people come up with a name that doesn’t really exist,” he says.

“I think the whole thing about the Frat Pack group is completely fabricated anyway. The group doesn’t exist but it rhymes, at least there’s that, so it must be true right?”

Tell that to Wikipedia, which has an article on the subject noting the phrase’s origin in a 2004 USA Today article about The Wedding Crashers, and its accompanying chart.

And it’s surely news to the Frat Pack Tribute Site.

Salon takes on the “r-word”

In a Salon.com editorial, author Lynn Harris examines resurgence of the word “retard” as used in Tropic Thunder and concludes,

Ultimately, anti-”retard” activists are trying to do what I didn’t do while that fellow fixed our ceiling fan: Say something. Or at least to get people, perhaps especially people like me — who found the Simple Jack business hilarious precisely because we’re so offended by “respectful” films like “Rain Man,” and who are deeply aware of the power of words both to pinpoint and to prick — to at least think twice about the insult’s real-life impact.

In my view, the artificially-created controversy by certain individuals in the disabilities rights community sparks of opportunism and mistargeting. Where were the activists when satirical comedies like Southpark and The Family Guy used similar “hate speech?” Maybe it’s more obviously intended to be satire when done in a cartoon. The failed boycott against Tropic Thunder has made the US activists look like humorless, overly-PC word censors. In the UK, a country known for its biting and satirical wit, the movie just premiered with nary a protester in sight– which may be an indication of how much more humor-advanced the Brits are.

Even at Salon.com, there’s not a single opinion on “retard” — last month, a review of the movie by Stephanie Zacharek notes,

A coalition of disability-advocate groups is organizing a boycott of “Tropic Thunder” based on what they see as the offensiveness of the “Simple Jack” gags. Stiller has defended the “Simple Jack” gags as a satire of prestige-seeking actors, not of people with disabilities, and his argument holds water. You could say the gags are offensive, to the extent that they use language we’ve sought to abolish in everyday speech. But comedy needs the right to be offensive, and Stiller at least has the courage of his convictions: When he uses the word “retard,” it’s deliberate, not casual. The “Simple Jack” jokes would be more offensive if Stiller had substituted tasteful, half-assed synonyms for the word we all know we’re not supposed to use.

See: The “retarded” renaissance – Salon.com

Stiller on UK’s Jonathan Ross

Ben just appeared on one of the UK’s leading chat shows, Friday night with Jonathan Ross. He talked about the origins of Tropic Thunder, including his early attempt to audition for Platoon, as well as his appreciation of Tom Cruise.

From the mailbag: Stiller as James Hetfield?

In this new, irregular feature, I’ll be looking at interesting questions from readers of the site– and hopefully be able to answer them.

Erin of Princeton, NJ asks,

I was wondering if you’re familiar with a clip of Ben impersonating James Hetfield, with someone else doing Lars Ulrich?

I’ve seen the “Head Slammer’s Ball” clip, which is GREAT, but I SWEAR there’s another one.

Bob Odenkirk as Lars Ulrich, Ben Stiller as James Hetfield

Bob Odenkirk as Lars Ulrich, Ben Stiller as James Hetfield

Yes, Ben did an impression as Hetfield in episode 11 of The Ben Stiller Show, with Bob Odenkirk playing Lars. That may be the one you’re thinking of.

You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2ETTPWmvhw

I don’t believe that Ben re-visited the character– but perhaps he did on the original MTV version of the show.

Erin replied with,

That clip is the one I’ve seen……it’s GREAT, but I think there’s another!

I’m going to have to do some more digging around….I’ll let you know if I find anything : )

So has anyone seen another clip of Ben Stiller portraying Hetfield?

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