Spike TV premieres I Am Sam Kinison Dec. 19, the documentary looking at the life and times of the famed bawdy comic. A former preacher, Kinison’s shrieking barbs made him a notable comedian in the ’80s. He died in a car accident in 1992.
Director Adrian Buitenhuis suggested the film kind of wrote itself. “You couldn’t ask for a more cinematic-story,” he said. “You couldn’t write a script better than Sam’s life.”
Despite his acclaim in the comedy world, Kinison is largely forgotten, or simply never known among younger consumers, Buitenhuis said. He hopes I Am Sam Kinison will turn them on to Kinison’s edgy work. “With millennials, it’s, ‘Who’s that?’ And with others, it’s, ‘the screaming guy,’ ” Buitenhuis said.
Those discussing Kinison in the film include Jay Leno, Bob Saget, Charlie Sheen and Joe Rogan.
Spike will run the “uncensored” cut of the documentary after the ready-for-primetime one runs, with the unexpurgated flick on at midnight, Buitenhuis-noted “the amount of expletives” being high, adding that Kinison used the F-word “as an adjective, a verb and a noun.”
Among the bits the film unearths is that Kinison was hit by a truck when he was just 3, suffering a brain injury that those who knew him said changed his personality. Buitenhuis stressed that was only one of many “stranger than fiction” moments in the doc. “I can’t believe this is someone’s life,” he remarked.
Sticking with the “can’t believe this is someone’s life” theme, season eight of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is on Bravo Dec. 19, with Kyle Richards, Lisa Vanderpump, Camille Grammer and the rest of the gang back on the scene. Vanderpump is rescuing dogs, Grammer is looking to get her “sexy” back and Richards has some TV projects going on.
Drama American Woman, inspired by Richards growing up in the ‘70s, premieres on Paramount Network earlyish in 2018; Alicia Silverstone stars. Richards also has real estate drama Glass Houses in the works at ABC, and a hazy drama about ’80s Los Angeles called The Corridor, the name a nod to the ritzy Wilshire Corridor between Beverly Hills and Brentwood. That one is “sexy, edgy and exciting,” according to Richards.
She’s been on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills since it launched in 2010. “Each season has a very different flavor,” Richards said. Last season, “I never laughed so much.”
This one? “A lot of fun, high on drama,” Richards said. “Not as negative.”
Richards will spend premiere night watching with friends. It’ll be casual. “After eight years,” she said, “it’s all I can muster.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.