HBO's Sam Kinison Biopic from Tom Shadyac to Hit Big Screen

November 17, 2010
Source: Variety

Sam Kinison

No matter how praiseworthy HBO's forays into motion pictures might be, their films like Temple Grandin and You Don't Know Jack are almost always confined to the small screen. However, it looks like the story of the late, great comedian Sam Kinison is big enough to warrant a big screen release. Variety now reports the long-gestating biopic of Kinison not only has Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almight) attached to direct, but will also be given a theatrical release. Based on the 1994 book Brother Sam: The Short, Spectacular Life of Sam Kinison by the comedian's brother Bill Kinison, the film has been in the works for about ten years.

Shadyac and producer David Permut have had the project had been set up at Universal for years until they took the project to HBO Films as a TV movie. That was back in 2008 when Dan Fogler (Fanboys, Balls of Fury) was attached to star in the film as the iconic comedian, but with the film getting a big screen treatment, it's unclear if he'll still remain attached. Since the film will likely get more attention in theaters, a bigger name might be desired. However, Fogler does have the look and energy to bring Kinison to life, so if he's good enough, he might stay in place.

The film will follow Kinison, the son of a preacher on his rise to become one of the most riveting, ground-breaking stand-up comics of his generation. His brilliant comedy would pave the way for and inspire a whole new generation of comedians in the spotlight today. Comedy Central just recently aired a special as a tribute to Kinison featuring commentary and interviews with such comedians as Denis Leary, Chris Rock, Norm MacDonald and many more. That look into the funnyman's life, Back from Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison, is now available on Netflix Instant. As for this biopic, I can't wait to see how it turns out if it finally gets off the ground. How about you?

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LINKFX on Nov 17, 2010


Love stand up comedy!....I'd def be interested!

C.murder on Nov 17, 2010

3 i think dan fogler will nail it.

quilty on Nov 17, 2010


Sam had his moments, but he's overrated by his comedy peers. Frankly, it's doubtful his shtick would age well ... today he might be just another has-been collecting paychecks at the local Chuckle Hut. That sad, there's good material here for a biopic - assuming they include all the naughty bits involving Jessica Hahn.

Christian Toto on Nov 17, 2010


I just watched some of his shit on youtube...this guy was not funny...extremely crass and aggravating...just hard to watch and listen to...i will avoid any movie about this guy's life like the plague. and I saw the demo reel with Fogler...he didn't nail the performance very well and was still just as annoying as Kinison. I hope this project dies a swift death.

LINKFX on Nov 18, 2010


Sam's comedy would have moved with the times. The people who trash him here are the same types who trashed him then. People with agendas and bad, jealous wanna be comics. Chris Rock loves him. So who cares what any of these fools on a site like this think. It was a different world then. No Youtube to watch girls shit in a glass. It took balls to say what he said on television in 1986. As far as a Sam bio movie, the producers need to look beyond Bill Kinison.He really wasn't around in the early days when Sam was starting to break at The Comedy Store on Monday nights at midnight. Bill's connection was more a of manager/baby sitter after he made it big. The film should do more research, and not be limited to Bill's viewpoint. No offense, but Bill missed a lot of early L A stuff. Tom Shadyac and company need to contact some of us comics who went on three day party runs with him before he was a star. Guys like Dennis Leary only knew Sam from his work. There was a lot more to Sam Kinison than the stage.

Larry S. on Aug 11, 2012

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