Entertainment goes to the dark side of comedy, and threatens too strand its audience there forever in a sweaty torturous Hell. It's an experience only Neil Hamburger could bring to the screen. The alter-ego of actor Gregg Turkington, Hamburger's comedian is never mentioned by name as he suffers his wearisome fate in this wicked expose that delved deep into the pitch black human experience. Will he survive? The first trailer hints that he just may not. And for fans, its an extension of everything they've come to know and love about this anti-celebrity.
In Entertainment, a broken, aging comedian tours the California desert, lost in a cycle of third-rate venues, novelty tourist attractions, and vain attempts to reach his estranged daughter. By day, he slogs through the barren landscape, inadvertently alienating every acquaintance. At night, he seeks solace in the animation of his onstage persona.
Fueled by the promise of a lucrative Hollywood engagement, he trudges through a series of increasingly surreal and volatile encounters. In director Rick Alverson's hallucinatory fugue, Gregg Turkington stars as The Comedian, caught in a struggle between being the center of attention and the object of alienation, occasionally challenged by an unexpected cast of characters played by Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, and Amy Seimetz.
Entertainment is the second big screen collaboration between Gregg Turkington and Rick Alverson. The pair first worked together on The Comedy. That 2012 dramedy served as a showcase for another cult comedian, Tim Heidecker. The Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! star subverted expectations, starring as an aging hipster in Brooklyn who spends his days in aimless recreation with like-minded friends in games of comic irreverence and mock sincerity. As he grows restless of the safety a sheltered life offers him, he tests the limits of acceptable behavior, pushing the envelope in every way he can. Tim Heidecker's deadpan delivery cleverly masks a deep desire for connection and sense in the modern world.
Tim Heidecker also appears in Entertainment, but swaps roles with Gregg Turkington, taking a backseat to the leading man this time out. The pair have collaborated on quite a few projects over the years, and continue to host their own Youtube movie review show called On Cinema at the Cinema. Will they be reviewing Entertainment? Possibly. If you are not familiar with Gregg Turkington's Neil Hamburger persona, wider audiences were introduced to the comedian this summer in his breakout role as Scott Lang's Baskin and Robbins boss in the Marvel blockbuster Ant-Man. This latest endeavor is a 360 degree turn from that superhero adventure.