The Opening Act

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The Opening Act
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteve Byrne
Written bySteve Byrne
Produced by
CinematographyEric Edwards
Edited bySandra Torres Granovsky
Music by
Distributed byRLJE Films
Release date
  • October 16, 2020 (2020-10-16)
CountryUnited States

The Opening Act is a 2020 American comedy film written and directed by Steve Byrne, in his directorial debut.[1] It stars Jimmy O. Yang, Alex Moffat, Cedric the Entertainer, Neal Brennan, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Jermaine Fowler, Ken Jeong, Russell Peters, and Debby Ryan.

It was released on October 16, 2020, by RLJE Films.


The film follows Will Chu whose true life passion is to become a stand-up comedian. When he is given the opportunity to emcee a comedy show, opening for his hero, Billy G. he must decide if he wants to continue the life he has set up or pursue his dream, the life of a comedian.[2]



In June 2018, it was announced Jimmy O. Yang, Neal Brennan, Russell Peters, Debby Ryan, Bill Burr, Anjelah Johnson, Tom Segura and Roy Wood Jr. had joined the cast of the film, with Steve Byrne, directing from a screenplay he wrote. Vince Vaughn and Peter Billingsley will serve as producers under their Wild West Picture Show Productions banner.[2] In July 2018, Cedric the Entertainer, Whitney Cummings, Ken Jeong, Jermaine Fowler, Iliza Shlesinger, Alex Moffat, and Felipe Esparza joined the cast of the film.[3][4]


In June 2018, it was reported that principal photography for the film had already begun in Los Angeles.[2]


In September 2020, RLJE Films acquired distribution rights to the film and set it for a October 16, 2020, release.[5]


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 82% based on 22 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "With The Opening Act, writer-director Steve Byrne offers perceptive insights on the struggles faced by budding stand-up comedians -- and creative dreamers in general."[6]


  1. ^ Bahr, Robyn (October 16, 2020). "'The Opening Act': Film Review". Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c N'Duka, Amanda (June 28, 2018). "Jimmy O. Yang To Topline Vince Vaughn-Produced Comedy 'The Opening Act'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  3. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 23, 2018). "Cedric The Entertainer, Whitney Cummings, Ken Jeong, Jermaine Fowler & More Added To 'The Opening Act'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  4. ^ Wright, Megh (June 29, 2018). "Jimmy O. Yang to Play an Aspiring Stand-up Comedian in The Opening Act". Vulture. Archived from the original on July 24, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  5. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (September 1, 2020). "RLJE Films Books Vince Vaughn-Produced Comedy 'The Opening Act' With Jimmy O. Yang, Jermaine Fowler & Ken Jeong". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "The Opening Act". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 30, 2021.

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