Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here premiered two nights ago, thrusting Jim Carrey back into the spolight since he’s an executive producer on this series chronicling the trials and tribulations of a bunch of plucky stand-up comedians in 1970s L.A.. Carrey suddenly being in the headlines at this very moment, both due I’m Dying Up Here as well as his defense of Kathy Griffin, seems like kismet since almost 19 years ago to the day his greatest film enjoyed its theatrical release: The Truman Show.
Some journalism teacher out there is probably facepalming right now because I introduced an opinion and pretended as if it was fact in that opener. As a result, you might be discinclined to hear what I have to say and more inclined to merely argue your own pick for Carrey’s greatest film. I sense a Man on the Moon vs Truman Show debate coming on. Somebody somewhere probablly really, really loves The Majestic above all other Carrey films. Or maybe Eternal Suns…
Oh. Crap. I completley forgot about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Correction: The Truman Show is Carrey’s second greatest film.
Wow. Maybe I should just start over.
Anyway, The Truman Show is a masterful film, just as strong today as it was back on its June 5, 1998 release date. To celebrate this anniversary, belatedly of course since I missed it by a day, I thought I’d share this YouTube video of a rare promotional faux documentary which aired around the time of the film’s release. It enlists several of Truman’s actors as well as several random actors playing man or woman-on-the-street types to discuss their relationship with the titular Truman Show. To be clear, this isn’t Laura Linney, Holland Taylor and Noah Emmerich (and others) discussing their roles in the actual Truman Show film. Instead, it’s them staying in character as Hannah Gill, Alanis Montclair and Louis Coltrane and touching on their careers while also explaining how they ended up playing Truman’s wife, mother and best friend. This is the perfect bit of universe extending-promotion for anyone who found the world of The Truman Show endlessly fascinating and could have watched an entire movie or at least TV episode-long version of Cristof’s interview with Harry Shearer.
The world of The Truman Show is, of course, a lie, and the film holds to that lie for nearly half of its running time. That the studio saw fit to keep up the ruse with this promotional faux documentary is impressive since it actually does nothing to inspire you to go out and see the movie, instead offering you more details to understand the backstory of the movie after you’ve seen it. It’s reminscent of when Comedy Central created a Behind the Music parody episode about Dewey Cox to promote Walk Hard and featured scenes of Jenna Fischer and Kristin Wiig in character and bickering over their roles as wives #1 and #2 on Dewey’s hit list, or when The NFL Network created short videos exploring the wildly divergent careers of Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s character) and Frank Cushman (Jerry O’Connell’s character) to promote the Jerry Maguire anniversary Blu-Ray last year.
So, if you were ever curious to hear Laural Linney as Hannah Gill wiggle her way out of questions pertaining to the ethical ramifications of her receiving extra pay every time she has sex with Truman while playing Merlyl Burbank then the above doc is for you, courtesy of YouTube Channel Polloloco51.