Comic will either play himself or be placed in project

Standup Anthony Szpak has inked a talent holding deal with Paramount Network Television.

Par will either develop a comedy around Szpak, 22, or seek to place him in one of its projects in development for 2001-02.

Szpak has also landed a role in the David Spade pic “The Adventures of Joe Dirt,” from producer Adam Sandler.

The standup came to Par’s attention at the Montreal Comedy Festival last summer. His performance at the fest’s “New Faces” showcase led to the holding deal.

Next month, Szpak will tape his first television standup comedy appearance: a seg on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend.” He recently made his small screen debut as a thesp, filming a cameo on the Par-produced CBS actioner “JAG.”

Szpak began performing standup at 16 in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo.; he moved to Los Angeles last year.

Deal was brokered by Szpak’s agent, Craig S. Dorfman, Randi Siegel of Talent Entertainment Group and attorney Michael Gendler.

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