The Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival knows that it helps to use celebrities when you're trying to get people interested in shorts, so the third annual festival trotted out a hefty helping of familiar names in the films that made up its opening night program on Thursday.
Michael Cera, Tim Daly ("Private Practice"), Rex Lee ("Entourage") and Scott Thompson (The Kids in the Hall) appeared in comic shorts that screened in competition; Cedric Yarbrough ("Reno 911") and Mary Elizabeth Ellis ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") hosted the post-screening "celebrity karaoke" party; and sponsor FunnyOrDie.com showed a batch of its own exclusive shorts featuring the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Zach Galifianakis, Tila Tequila, Christopher Mintz Passe and YouTube sensation Rebecca Black.
But the show was stolen by a couple of the oldest stars to appear onscreen at the Downtown Independent theater in downtown Los Angeles: Billy Crystal and Helen Mirren, who starred (alongside Rob Reiner, Adam Scott, Mike Tyson and many others) in a short that purported to chronicle a sequel to the 1989 hit "When Harry Met Sally."
In the follow-up, sad to say, Sally has passed away and Harry's in a retirement home … where he meets Dame Helen, who's every bit the control freak that Meg Ryan's Sally was, but who has a few secrets of her own – at least after a studio exec tweaks the storyline a bit.
The short, which drew the loudest laughs of the night, is a FunnyOrDie exclusive:
The L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival continues through Sunday at the Downtown Independent, with about 100 more shorts and a few parties and panels that include the LACSFF mainstay, "Famous People Talkin' About S***."