Adam Pally made headlines last week after his hosting of the Shorty Awards fell apart due to his heckling of the very event he was hired to host. Please don’t confuse what I’m saying. This isn’t a scathing piece discussing Pally’s tearing down of the Shorty Awards. I thought it was glorious. Once I saw the video, I wasn’t surprised at all. Of course Adam Pally did this. Anyone who has been a fan of his knows he’s done similar things in the past. Pally used to be on an ABC sitcom, Happy Endings. At the time, the rest of the cast had much more fame to their name than Pally so he would often get the question, “How did you get this part?” And never the one for bullshit and fed up with the consistency of such a dumb question, Pally eventually started responding with “I won a radio contest.” Pally is so effortlessly funny in the roles he finds himself in. He has an impressive string of indie movies that are great because his acting chops allow him to convincingly play the romantic lead, but his comedy background and lack of ego let the jokes fly at his own expense.
I don’t know where to work this in, but I want to share that as a part of an ACLU fundraiser he designed a Chanukah sweatshirt. It had a menorah on the back and in each of the candles’ flames; there was a cartoon wolf, each with its own name. I bought that sweatshirt. It’s awesome. What I’m saying is he’s a talented guy.
Pally has always been hilarious and the most shameful thing is I don’t know how many people know of his work. You’ve certainly seen him before. He has a role in Iron Man 3 as the Tony Stark-obsessed news station cameraman. Remember? The guy who had the Tony Stark tattoo and was awkward and uncomfortable but funny. That’s Adam Pally. I love Adam Pally, enough to write this, and I just wanted to highlight a few things he’s done that I like, and I think you will too.
I want to take the time to introduce everyone to a few things he has done that truly enjoyable, starting with the greatest sitcom ever cancelled. As I mentioned before, Pally worked on a show called Happy Endings, a show set in Chicago that follows a group of six friends as they make their way through life and the relationships that make it up. The show starts as two members of the group are at the altar and about to be wed. Then one leaves the other right there. It’s devastating. The close-knit group has to decide whose side they are taking in this breakup. And that is how the show opens.
The fantastic thing about Happy Endings is how quickly they abandon that premise and really let the interactions between the characters really drive the show. Pally often brings the laughs as Max Blum, a clumsy, messy, gay man, who is more motivated by his next meal than his next relationship. Pally is great in this show, especially in scenes when he is going back and forth with SNL alum, Casey Wilson, and we are treated to A LOT of those. The jokes are relentless. It is punchline after punchline in just about every episode. It is a very smart show and incredibly funny. The cast also brings it with the likes of Casey Wilson, Eliza Coupe, Damon Waynes Jr., and obviously Adam Pally. Unfortunately, Happy Endings was cancelled after three seasons, but lucky for you all three seasons are available on Hulu.
Band Aid is a 2017 motion picture starring Adam Pally and Zoe Lister-Jones, who wrote and directed the movie. She’s fantastic, and worthy of her own post. Anyway, this film follows Anna and Ben, a couple whose incessant fighting seems to be driving a wedge between them and it looks as if the relationship could be over at any moment. Both fed up with the other they have the bright idea to start a band and write songs exclusively about their fights, bringing a new meaning to musical therapy.
They form the cleverly named band, The Dirty Dishes, with their neighbor as the drummer, played expertly by Fred Armisen. The couple begins to heal as their fights take shape in song, and they are communicating their feelings to each other for the first time. The fights that inspire the songs range in variety from lying to each other (“Love and Lies”) to simply, some days the spark just isn’t there (“I Don’t Want to Fuck You”). What makes Pally so great in this more than just the musical abilities he puts on display.
Pally plays one half of a failing relationship and they resolve their struggles by talking about their fights. That being said, we see their fights. And there are a lot of them. Pally so quickly flips from making sarcastic jokes to being in a fight that feels like you’ve been watching a tense seen the whole time. Once they are in the peak of the fight, Pally can seamless slip in jokes. Once one of them shouts the heartbreaking truth at the other, Pally goes from the jokester, turned angry and shouting, to a soft sensitive person. The scenes with the fights move through a whole arc of emotions and both Pally and Lister-Jones act the scenes with a talent that rivals even the most noticeable Hollywood names. Band Aid is available for purchase on Amazon, but you can also check out The Dirty Dishes music free on Spotify.
Another Adam Pally independent film, Slow Learners is about two friends, Jeff and Anne, who are tired of being walked all over. They have come to the realization that they won’t each find their future loved one, and have fun in the meantime, if they keep living life so passively. So they both decide to make themselves over to become cooler people. They buy new clothes; start going to new bars, and sleeping with new people. Well, with people to begin with. Throughout the movie, the very venture they entered together starts to drive them apart. Now, I don’t want to sound repetitive, but again we get Pally and his convincing sarcasm and willingness to be the butt of the joke.
What I like about the roles Pally finds himself in is there is a ton of heart in a guy who seems like he doesn’t care. He does a great job of playing a character flat and slowly and interestingly revealing what’s at that character’s core, all through humor. Many movies, especially in the indie comedy genre, want to make jokes and then, at about the 50-minute mark, make a last second attempt at a dramatic arc to give the film weight. I like these kinds of movies, but I often find myself wondering where this emotional climax came from. The couple gets in a fight, or a guy loses his job, but it seems like it came out of nowhere. What is great about the roles Pally plays, is the seeds are there from the jump. It builds and builds until it has to break. He moves between storyline and jokes so well that when you finally get to the film’s dramatic peak, it feels authentic.
This is Pally’s latest release that came out about a month ago and truthfully, I know nothing about it. I am just a very big fan and I want to support. I think you should I’ll check it out, I know I will. I linked the trailer in the section header for you so you can at least see the trailer.
The film starts Pally and Rachel Bloom as ex-lovers. Pally is trying his best to be cordial until he thinks he witnesses Bloom’s new beau murder his own mother. Now Pally has to run around his hometown trying to prove this man’s guilt all while looking like a jealous mess. Hilarity ensues.
All right folks, that’s fellow millennial Adam Pally. I love everything he’s in. I hope the things he has done get a light shone on them, and I hope he continues to do more. He’s been an influence on my comedy and the kinds of movies I enjoy. I hope you check out his work and I hope you continue to check out mine. Tweet out your favorite bits of Adam Pally or any other actor’s work you love using #MillenialFriday
As always, like, comment, share, suggest getting coffee with someone, and actually follow through. Take care.