Stephen Colbert’s Lost Variety Show Pilot to Be Performed at Montclair Film Festival

If the emphasis on Zoom this year has given us anything, it’s the opportunity to attend festivals and see things we wouldn’t necessarily be able to in the flesh. The Montclair Film Festival, running October 16-25, usually takes place in New Jersey but, like many festivals, it’s gone virtual this year — and they’re bringing the likes of Stephen Colbert to audiences with a very special performance.

“Stephen Colbert’s Lost Pilot Project: Sometimes Live” will be closing out the 2020 festival with a special one-night-only performance.

As Colbert himself says, in 1998 he and a group of “Saturday Night Live” writers were tasked by ABC’s Michael Eisner to create a show that would usher in the return of the variety show. What they came up with was a show that sought to look behind-the-scenes of a sketch show not unlike “Saturday Night Live.”

The finished product, entitled “Sometimes Live,” would have seen the likes of Colbert — playing a character similar to himself — and a fledgling Tina Fey perform alongside celebrity cameos, directed by Barry Levinson. Unfortunately, as Colbert and the crew will tell you, the show never worked out, but it opens the door for a humorous look back at what might have been.

The performance will include Colbert, Scott Adsit, actors Keegan Michael-Key, Jackie Hoffman, and Saul Goodman himself, Bob Odenkirk, as well as special guest Sheryl Crow playing various characters. All proceeds from the performance will benefit the film and education programs of Montclair Film, a year-round film and arts non-profit.

Special reunion events have been popping up all year. A month ago actress Gabrielle Union brought together Uzo Aduba and Sterling K. Brown as part of an all-Black cast performance of “Friends.” The performance was to encourage voting and learn about voting rights. Earlier this month  HBO Max announced a cast reunion and live performance of the “West Wing” episode “Hartsfield’s Landing.” Stars from the series, including Allison Janney, Sterling K. Brown, Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff, Dule Hill, and Janel Moloney will also reprise their roles. The special will be to benefit When We All Vote, a non-profit and non-partisan organization aimed at increasing voter awareness and stressing the importance of voting.

“Stephen Colbert’s Lost Pilot Project: Sometimes Live” will stream October 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can find out more at the Montclair Film Festival website.

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