Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Ben Feigin Dies: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Executive Producer Was 47

 Award-winning producer Ben Feigin, who served as an executive producer on Schitt’s Creek, died Monday of pancreatic cancer. He was 47.

Feigin played a key role in the launch of Schitt’s Creek by crafting its unique business model. He sourced non-traditional financing and sold the series on a non-exclusive basis to multiple licensees worldwide. He also masterminded the show’s top-grossing international tour with LiveNation, as well as the Netflix documentary Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell, its pop-up immersive experience that sold-out in under one minute around the globe, and even turned an entire town in upstate-New York into a permanent Schitt’s Creek.

He won multiple awards for his work on the comedy, including a 2020 Emmy, a 2021 Golden Globe, and a 2021 Producers Guild Award.

Born in Silver Springs, MD, Feigin graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and began his career at Warner Brothers. He then joined William Morris as an agent trainee in the storied mailroom, where he met his wife, Heidi. He later worked at UTA before becoming a Founding Member of The Collective in 2004.

In 2006, Feigin moved to Anonymous Content, where he founded both their comedy and enterprise divisions while representing A-list talent, filmmakers, writers, comedians, authors, and brands, in addition to his work as a producer. He later launched Equation Unlimited LLC, an entertainment company, in 2016.

Early in his career, Feigin made history as a pioneer behind the first ever live-streamed event featuring an line-up of comedians and musicians. The partnership with AOL was a breakthrough in how live content could be consumed on new platforms. Feigin also reunited Cheech & Chong after 25 years by cutting a lucrative deal with LiveNation for international touring and executive producing their theatrically released, first-ever concert film, Cheech & Chong: Hey Watch This.

Note: He didn't reunite C&C. He negotiated the deal.

Feigin led classes at UCLA, NYU, and UC Santa Barbara and also worked closely with non-profits including StandUp2Cancer, Gilda’s Club World-Wide, The Tony Hawk Foundation, The Creative Coalition, and the Laurene Powell Jobbs’ Emerson Collective. Additionally, he served as a Judge for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Internship Program, as well as an Official Juror for the International Emmy Awards. He was a member of The Producers Guild of America, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, and The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Feigin is survived his wife, UTA talent agent Heidi Feigin, and their 11-year-old daughter Ellie. Services will take place this Thursday at 12:30pm at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills. Donations can be made to Stand Up For Cancer, the Ben Feigin Pancreatic Research Fund.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Decadent Ales Cheech and Chong's Holidaze Hazy IPA

 Cheech & Chong may be most notorious for their unique brand of stoner comedy, but today they cross

over into another "budding" industry: Hazy IPA! We are extremely excited to bring you Holidaze Hazy IPA, a beer produced in tandem with the comedy duo themselves. Often have hops and cannabis been compared for the dankness of their aromas but for this special holiday release, Cheech & Chong enlisted the wizards at Decadent Ales to turn the dankess up to 11!

Available for pre-order.

Hot Dog Stand Back Open After City Shuts Them Down Over Cheech and Chong Mural

 CHICAGO (CBS) -- A dispute over a colorful mural on the side of a Pilsen hot dog stand prevented the business from renewing its licenses with the city.

We told you about that story earlier this month. But just a day after our story aired, the owners say the city reversed course and let the stand reopen.

As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported Thursday night, this is the first week back in business for Memo's Hot Dogs, 1447 W. 18th St. – and the owners are glad to have the grills sizzling again.

"We've got our business license and we are back up and running," said Memo's owner Janette Garza.

But the owners still want to know how a mural on the side of the building forced owners Janette and Gerrado Garza to shut down for weeks.

They were unable to renew their license due to unpaid fines over a colorful Cheech and Chong mural on the side of the building.

The mural on the side of Memo's is the work of artist Angel Silva, also known as Debso. It went up in 2019.

The Garzas said the city considers the alley-side mural a public advertisement, which requires a separate permit.  

"For us, it's our sole income - so we did struggle a bit," said Janette Garza. "We did get into some financial debt."

We first told you about this conflict between the small business and the city at the start of the month. A day after our story aired, the Garzas say Kenneth Meyer, Commissioner of the city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, called them personally to clear a path for their license renewal.

"We're grateful," said Janette Garza. "We're grateful to the media."

"After the issue became public, the license was restored," said Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th). "Now, we have to do this more and more often. We have to make these issues public to get a response from the Fifth Floor; from the Mayor's office."

Ald. Sigcho-Lopez calls the city's enforcement of the mural inconsistent and heavy-handed, particularly given that it ultimately forced Memo's to close for weeks.    

"In this case, a mural shutting down a business - we thought it was a disproportionate policy," said Ald. Sigcho-Lopez.

"It was just kind of harsh the way they came down," added Gerardo Garza. "There was no way of going around it."

For more than 60 years, Memo's has been in the neighborhood - and with the city's change of heart, it will be around for a few more.

"We do feel hopeful that we will be able to pass it down another generation - at least one more generation," said Janette Garza.

The city office that regulates business licenses says once the proper paper was submitted and a renewal fee was paid, the license was reinstated.

The alderman has launched an investigation with the Office of the Inspector General. 

Monday, October 10, 2022

Cheech & Chong Have Cameo Role In Disney+ The Muppets Mayhem

Thanks to Disney+, the Muppets are returning with an all-new show called "The Muppets Mayhem." This time, we're following the Muppets' resident rock stars Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem as they embark on an adventure to record their very first album. But just like any other Muppets production, this series from Adam F. Goldberg, Jeff Yorkes, and veteran Muppets performer Bill Barretta will feature a number of cameos from various celebrities and musicians.

Though the producers were extremely tight-lipped about the cameos in the series, Goldberg did let a big one slide during their panel at New York Comic Con. While he and Yorkes explained that the show is more grounded in the real world (meaning there's no talking vegetables or a fork in the road), they mentioned a "surreal side to Zoot," the saxophone player in the band. It would be a fourth-wall-breaking moment that still "plays in the reality within the world."

Then Goldberg said, "We're not allowed to talk about our cameos, I'm going to get into trouble for saying this, but Zoot even freaks out Cheech & Chong."

Sunday, October 09, 2022

Chong to Sue US Government for Destroying his Bongs

 Chong provided TMZ additional details on what happened when FBI agents raided the Chong's Glass warehouse. Agents actually smashed the bongs.  They didn't need to, they just did it to make an example.

They caused millions of dollars in damage and Tommy Chong is going to sue the US government.

Chong Supports Biden Even Though he Wrote the Law that Landed him in Prison

Tommy Chong tells TMZ he supports Joe Biden even though Joe wrote the paraphernalia law that sent Chong to prison.  Chong goes on to say he supports Biden because he is anti-Trump.

Friday, October 07, 2022

Cheech Marin to do Meet and Greet in Massachusetts

 The High Lifestyle Show October 7-9, 2022 We are super stoked to announce, a true renaissance man, our guest Cheech Marin. Cheech will be meeting fans and signing items, art and autographs all weekend long. Limited tickets are available now!

One half of the stoner-hippie comedic duo Cheech and Chong, Richard “Cheech” Marin has become perhaps one of the most well-known and respected Chicano achievers in the world of entertainment. As an actor, director, writer, musician, art collector and humanitarian, Cheech is a man who has proven that he has the intellect and wit to make a simple smile appear in any situation.