I caught Jimmy O. Yang‘s standup special Good Deal on Amazon earlier this summer and even though I think I’m a tough judge when it comes to comedy, I thought it was pretty damn funny. But that’s real life, and in the trailer for the new indie The Opening Act, the Silicon Valley alum plays a struggling comedian who’s having a tough time connecting with audiences.
Written and directed by comedian Steve Byrne, and produced by Vince Vaughn and Peter Billingsley, The Opening Act finds Yang playing Will, a guy with a great job, a beautiful girlfriend, and an unfulfilled dream of becoming a standup comic. When Will finally gets the opportunity he’s been waiting for — the emcee slot opening for his hero Billy G. on the road — the realities of life on the stage come crashing in.
Between relentless hecklers, drunk comedy groupies and hard-to-impress morning radio DJs, things get off to a rough start. Even if Will can take the opportunity to learn from his idols and overcome the myriad challenges, he still needs to decide if he should continue with the life he has, or pursue the one he has always dreamt of – the life of a comedian.
Byrne and Vaughn corralled some comedy heavyweights to fill out the ensemble, which includes SNL‘s Alex Moffat, Cedric the Entertainer, Neal Brennan, Debby Ryan, Ken Jeong, Jermaine Fowler, Russell Peters, Whitney Cummings, Tom Segura, and hot off their respective turns in Spenser Confidential and The King of Staten Island, comics Iliza Shlesinger and Bill Burr.
Best known for playing Jian-Yang on HBO’s Silicon Valley, Yang co-starred alongside Steve Carrell on the Netflix series Space Force, and helped save Boston as real life hero Dun Meng in Peter Berg‘s Patriots Day, for which the actor will have my eternal admiration. He was recently cast as the lead opposite Nina Dobrev in the Netflix rom-com Love Hard, while Vaughn will soon be seen swapping bodies with Kathryn Newton in Blumhouse’s horror comedy Freaky, which looks like a blast itself.
RLJE Films will release The Opening Act in select theaters, as well as on VOD and digital platforms, on Oct.16. It certainly looks a lot better than Yang’s recent horror movie Fantasy Island turned out to be, so watch the trailer below, and then click here to watch a magician blow Yang’s mind in a recent episode of Collider’s Hocus Focus.