Entertainment Movies

Alan Thicke's final performance

Toronto Sun crime reporter Chris Doucette. (Sun files)

By Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun

When The Clapper premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City next weekend, Todd Thicke will be in the audience applauding his late brother’s final performance.

Ironically, the star-studded romantic comedy — which wrapped a few months before Alan Thicke’s sudden death late last year — is about a man who claps for a living as an infomercial audience member.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the movie,” Todd told the Toronto Sun recently. “We’re all so proud of him.”

Todd, who’ll be in the theatre to represent the Thicke family when The Clapper premieres April 23 as a spotlight film at the festival, said in the brief clip he has seen, his sibling “crushes it” as an informercial host.

It was a role the legendary Canadian actor experienced for real during his career.

“Alan loved to poke fun of himself and let the wind out of his own sails,” Todd said with a laugh. “And even if he only had one line, he’d get the most out of it.”

Alex Lebovici, a Toronto native whose company — Oriah Entertainment — produced the movie, said Alan’s role is more than a cameo.

“The part called for a lot of improvisation and he hit it out of the park,” said Lebovici, who lives in Los Angeles. “I’m just glad we had the chance to work with such a great person, an icon who I grew up watching on TV.”

He said Alan's death came as "a shock" because the actor "seemed to be in great shape."

The Clapper — one of six films Oriah Entertainment has produced in 14 months — is also produced by Dito Montiel, Ed Helms and Mike Falbo. And the executive producers include Mickey Gooch Jr, Ray Bouderau and Michael Bien of Cedarvale Pictures.

The movie stars Ed Helms, of The Hangover trilogy, as Eddie Krumble — who is content working as a professional clapper along with his pal, Chris Plork, played by comedian Tracy Morgan.

But when late night talk show host Jayme Stillerman — played by Canadian comedian Russell Peters — launches a media craze to uncover Krumble’s true identity, the simple man’s life is turned upside down causing him to lose his job and his love interest, played by Amanda Seyfried.

“After his 15 minutes of fame, all Ed Krumble wants is to get his life and the woman he loves back,” Lebovici explains.

He said the story is reminiscent of American Ken Bone, who became an overnight sensation after asking Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump a question during the U.S. presidential election last fall.

“All he did was show up to a debate wearing a weird red sweater with a funny moustache and his whole life was ripped apart,” Lebovici said. “But that’s the way of the world these days with social media and things going viral.

“Sometimes the attention is wanted, sometimes it’s destructive,” he added.

The “chemistry” among the stellar cast, both on and off set, was “great,” Lebovici said. And viewers will be especially surprised by Morgan, whose role is “unlike anything he’s ever played before.”

The Clapper also includes lots of big name cameos.

For an independent comedy, we couldn’t have asked for a better cast,” Lebovici said. “We’re very happy with the final product.”

He said The Clapper's five screenings at Tribeca "all sold out in a matter of minutes."

"It's one of the most anticipated films of the festival," Lebovici added.

cdoucette@postmedia.com