Tuesday, March 30, 2010

'Party Down' on DVD

Good news! Party Down season one comes out on DVD April 6th.

Here's even better news: Party Down season two premieres April 23rd at 10pm ET/PT on the Starz Network. Starring Adam Scott, Ken Marino, and Martin Starr it made some waves among comedy lovers in TV land. New to the cast this season is Megan Mullally who replaces Jane Lynch who left the show to join the cast of Glee last season. Happily, Lynch will return in a guest role. Also showing up this season will be Thomas Lennon and Kristin Bell.

Mayne Street on ESPN.com

Mayne Street on ESPN.com has been streaming it's fourth season for several weeks now. It's a fun and fictional behind-the-scenes look at sports personality Kenny Mayne's life at SportsCenter. The web series also stars comedians Alison Becker and Ben Schwartz - two funny people whose presence in the Stamford, CT offices of ESPN is a welcomed sight. Mayne Street meshes the world of sports with the alternative comedy universe - a virtual Reeses Peanut butter cup of goodness.

Also joining in are some very talented and hilarious improv comedians John Gemberling and Jon Glaser (to name a few), as seen above in episode six.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sarah Silverman

Last week's Sarah Silverman Program, "Songs in the Key of Yuck", was the prettiest, funniest, most fairest Sarah Silverman episode of all.

As funny as this clip is, it doesn't even touch upon the hilarity of Laura's talk show "Laugh Mares" with dream laugher Jay, Brian's cereal crisis and Steve whiffing Doug the dog's breath stating: "That was the worst thing I've ever smelled. And I'm Steve."

Oh, Sarah Silverman Program. I love you so much.

The Sarah Silverman ProgramThursday, 12am / 11c
Kaleidoscope Funk Network
Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games

Download this episode on iTunes, or go crazy and get the whole season pass!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Night of 140 Tweets on DVD and Streaming

On Friday, March 12th 2010, some of the funniest and weirdest stomped upon stage at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles to raise money to help rebuild Haiti. They read tweets, one got naked and all flapped their wings with Yo Gabba Gabba. A 30 minute video has been available on iTunes for $2.99. A longer version of the event will be released soon (Edit: March 30th) for DVD purchase and streaming at Amazon.com.

Please visit these sites and donate to this incredible cause. You'll see Ben Stiller, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Jenny McCarthy, Steve Agee, Michael Ian Black, porn stars, Brian Posehn, Sarah Silverman, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and a naked Mad Men plus so, so, so much more. Look real close, and you can see my head and hands in the front row! Come on, people! What else do you want?

Seriously. Please check it out. Also visit Stillerstrong.org and Artists for Peace and Justice. They organized this amazing event.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Breaking Bad Premieres on Sunday

Looks like I won't be getting much sleep for the next few months of Sundays. Breaking Bad season three premieres on AMC March 21st at 10pm. It's an emotional, topsy turvy, stomach churning, addicting, horrible, insane, beautifully satisfying ride starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. It riles me up. It haunts me. It keeps me tossing and turning. My Mondays will be miserable. It's worth it. Watch it.

Kirstie Alley's Big Life

Our latest billboard neighbor at the New York Times is a big ad of Kirstie Alley's Big Life, a new reality series based on the actress' life and her ever changing waistline. It premieres on A&E on March 21st.

The NYTimes.com site has a cutting review of Alley's new stint on television, claiming that her struggle with weight and her somewhat isolated lifestyle of staying at home and raising lemurs is rather sad. Personally, I long for her 2005 Showtime series Fat Actress. It was an amusing semi-autobiographical comedy. What made it funny were her co-stars: the amazing Rachael Harris as Kevin her hairstylist, and the funny Bryan Callen as Eddie, her personal assistant. Alley herself was, at times, somewhat chuckle-worthy to over- the-top annoying; however, the duo of Callen and Harris made the laughs. They could have splintered off into a series of their own as they bumbled by as Kirstie's lapdogs, trying to placate her woes and join her in various Hollywood bullshit diet fads like eating Kleenex and injesting tape worms. Memorable moments include the episode John Travolta called the police to her house because he thought she was being murdered. Another time she tried to seduce Jeff Zucker into giving her a holding deal so she could pay her bills. I've unsuccessfully tried to find a screenshot of Zucker shamefully running out of Kirstie's house in her bathrobe with bubble bath suds on his head. He must have had all those images burned.

It comes down to this: Big Life, much like Fat Actress, allows Alley to once again utilize her weight problem as a way to stay employed. That, in itself, is rather sad. But in skinny Hollywood, it's survival.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Backstage at "Night of 140 Tweets"

I'm still buzzing over this incredible event from last Friday. I'm still jet lagged too. Here are some behind the scenes shots from "Night of 140 Tweets" backstage at UCBLA and at Birds Restaurant from the eye of photographer Robyn Von Swank.

The DVD and download will be available on Amazon on March 26th. Pre-order now.

Kell on Earth...Be Very Afraid...

Whenever I watch Bravo's reality series Kell on Earth, my heart palpitates, my palms get sweaty, and flashbacks of some of the dysfunctional and difficult former bosses of my past come back in a nightmarish flush. The disorganization, the impossibly hard edged personalities, the ego trips, the insecurity. Work environments so insane that something as simple as printing out labels can be a tragedy waiting to happen. Shutter. Such is the crazy, drama filled world of the glamor biz - whether entertainment or fashion. And so goes Kelly Cutrone, former party girl, single Mom and her difficult cast of hard nosed publicists and frightened, frazzled come-and-go employees of her fashion PR firm Peoples' Revolution.

Cutrone is queen bee of her domain. By her side in her court are Ladies-in-Waiting - Partner Robyn Berkley and Emily Bungert, two difficult women who strive for perfection, but never obtain it from their employees. They shout orders and insult the intelligence of their staff, all the while never making clear what they want and expecting people to read their minds. Junior Executives who don't know how to print labels get ridiculed all day long for their mishaps. The office runs on frazzled nerves, mis-communication, Olympic sized snark, fires that rage and need to be put out. They make the heat so unbearable in their proverbial kitchen, employee turn over is high, making their office constantly understaffed and those chained to their desks impossibly overworked.

Meanwhile,Kell, in between kicking ass at runway shows, and showing her expertise in photo shoots, unwinds with her partners by going out to dinner and hitting on cute waiters who are way out of their league. They enjoy laughing over how busy their calendars are by whipping out Blackberrys to compare the work load. Kell's Assistant, a trust fund goth boy named Andrew, really wants to be in creative and plays it cool, while Junior Executive Stefanie Skinner works her brains out so hard, she barely leaves the office. Her drawn face and the constant dark circles that live beneath her eyes are testament to the brutal hours and the avalanche of work dumped on her. There are times when Kell, Emily and Robyn come down so hard on Skinner, it's hard not to conjure an image of the evil step sisters in Cinderella. One member of a reality show fan forum referred to them as the three witches from Macbeth.

This is the scariest show on television, but it also incredibly fascinating. The drama is so silly and the women, sadly, so disagreeable, Kell on Earth does what most candid reality shows do: Make you feel better about your life...and your job.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Night of 140 Tweets Round Up

The official line up came in from Paul Scheer. This is what we were treated to last night:

Matt Besser
• Brett Gelman
• Rob Delaney
• Jon Daly
• Chad Carter
• Natasha Leggero
• Paul F Tompkins
• BJ Porter
• Nick Thune
• Whitney Cummings
• Michael Ian Black
• Eddie Peppitone
• Harris Wittels
• Paul Rust
• Ben Schwartz
• Alex Blagg
• Neil Campbell
• Katie Dippold
• Josh Fadem
• Brian Huskey (Twit Pic)
• Alec Sulkin
• Scott Aukerman
• Sarah Silverman
• Ronna and Beverly
• Rainn Wilson
• Brendon Walsh
• Joe Wengert
• Jensen Karp
• Chantal Claret
• Freddie Gibbs (Twit Pic)
• Dave Holmes
• Rob Riggle
• John Ross Bowie
• Greg Fitzsimmons
• Samantha Ronson
• Andrew Donnelley
• Dave Foley
• Tom Lennon
• Kerri Kinney
• Mike Schur
• Alan Yang
• Damien Fahey
• Doug Luusonhop
• Michael Hitchcock
• Dragon Boy Suede
• Paul Feig
• David Wain
• Casey Wilson
• Ben Stiller
• Jason Woliner
• Dana Gould
• Jackie Clarke
• Greg Berhandt
• Chelsea Perretti
• Dan Harmon
• Rob Schrab (TWITPIC)
• Demi Moore (TWIT PIC)
• Ashton Kutcher (TWITVIDEO)
• Brian Poeshn
• Wilmer Valderrama
• Diablo Cody
• Liz Meriweather
• Jordan Rubin
• Bob Saget w/ John Stamos
• Jeffrey Ross
• Neil Mahoney
• Jen Kirkman
• Stephanie Pratt
• Kelly Oxford
• June Diane Raphael
• Sasha Grey (TWITPIC)
• Adam Scott
• Martin Star
• Todee
• Will Ferrell
• Owen Burke
• Weird Al Yankovic
• Ilan Hall
• Ethan Suplee
• Damon Lindelof
• Carlton Cuse
• James Gunn
• Mary Lynn Rasjkub
• Steve Agee
• John Cho
• Jarrad Paul
• Justin Long
• Ed Helms
• Mindy Kalling
• Brea Grant
• Brian Greenburg
• Nick Kroll
• Lake Bell
• Ellie Kemper
• Rich Sommer
• Peter Sciettra
• Muno (Yo Gabba Gabba)
• James Urbaniak
• Rob McElhenney (TWITPIC)
• Kaitlin Olsen
• Glenn Howerton
• Charlie Day
• Deanna Russo
• Nia Vardalos
• Ian Gomez
• Neal Brennan (TWITPIC)
• Michael Colton
• John Aboud
• Dane Cook
• Jenny McCarthy
• Janina Gavankar
• Bill Simmons
• Sam Levine
• Shannon Elizabeth
• Matt Walsh
• Morgan Walsh (TWITPIC)
• Chris Romano
• Andy Milonakis
• Ardin Myrin (TWITPIC)
• Will Sasso
• Garfunkel and Oates
• Dan Levy
• Daryl Wright
• Mike Phirman
• Kyle Kinane
• Jordan Morris
• Jesse Thorn
• Kulap Vilaysack (TWITPIC)
• Kevin Seccia
• Ariel Schrag
• Colton Dunn
• Adam Pally
• Curtis Gwinn
• Eric Appel
• Chris Kula
• Gil Ozeri
• Aaron Bleyart (TWITPIC)
• Mike Mitchell
• Eric Filipkowski
• Caprice Crane
• Tricia McAlpin
• Eugene Cordero
• Matt Braugner
• Aziz Ansari
• Nathan Fillion
• Busy Phillips
• Aubrey Plaza
• Emily Maya Mills
• Codi Fisher
• Joanna Angel
• Cameron St. Clair

On video:

Rob Corddry, Joe Mande, Adam Lisagour (@LonelySandwich), Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray, Michael Showalter, Dave Ferguson, Questllove, Jon Lajoie, Andy Cohen (Bravo TV), Abby Elliott, Jake Fogelnest, Tom Scharpling, Eugen Mirman, Hannibal Buress, Olivia Munn, Har Mar Superstar, Kevin Pollack, Caiss St. Onge, Jon Glaser (as Detroit Tiger's Coach Jim Leland) and Kevin Smith

(Edit: Rick Demint's Portroid site has been updated. Rick takes these terrific Polaroid shots of comedians with autographs. His archive hosts many photos of those who participated with links to their Twitter account. It's pretty great.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Night of 140 Tweets

140 Comedians, actors, performers and personalities from stage and screen will gather at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles tonight to read their Tweets to the Twitterverse and beyond. The event is sponsored by Funny or Die and Stillerstrong. All proceeds will go to Artists For Peace and Justice to benefit the Haitian School Initiative. This blogger and Tweeter (with hardly any followers...whatever) will be there.

A DVD of the event will also be produced. Pre-order is available on Amazon. It will be available on iTunes for download on March 22nd.

FunnyorDie put shows us the madness behind the scenes.


Back from this incredible night of celebrities, writers, funny people and Tweets! Just waiting on line outside the UCB Theatre felt like a red carpet (thank GOD it wasn't) of whose who in television and film. I thought my DVR had thrown up on the sidewalk. There were familiar faces galore: Rainn Wilson, Paul Feig, Brian Poeshn, James Urbaniak, Rich Sommers (nice ass, there Harry), UCB familiars such as Chad Carter, Seth Morris and Matt Walsh, Jackie Clarke, add, stir....repeat.

The UCB stage was decorated with birds in cages, honoring the symbolic Tweet bird. Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer hosted with their own famous brand of laid back goofiness, kicking off the show by reading a few of their own crafted tweets, and introducing each guest reader, all the while guiding this overwhelming ship. What felt like a potential logistical nightmare of Tweeters of fame (holy crap! Demi Moore! Ashton! John Stamos?! Uh oh alternative comedy fans...Dane Cook!), turned into a mostly well timed line up of 170 plus. StillerStrong's very own founder Ben Stiller was present to read his Tweet and bust some balls. James Gunn, Michael Ian Black, Dave Foley, Tom Lennon, Sarah Silverman, Steve Agee, one after the other, funny tweet after funny Twitpic, the event flowed with minor technical bumps. For instance, some Twitter people didn't know how to leave the stage. Instead of jumping off stage left or right, some ended up walking aimlessly, or tried to go back to the curtain. This was charming in its confusion. Hell, it's UCB. Everthing is spontaneous and delightfully unpolished.

In order to include some missing well knowns that Tweet, videos of notable Twitterers such as Michael Showalter, Chris Hardwick, Kevin Pollack and Director Kevin Smith were beamed on screen.

UCB is right next door to the favored neighborhood Birds Restaurant, whose name ironically matched the Twitter spirit. The venue closed down their restaurant for the after party, to which all Twitter participants hung out until the early hours.

It was an amazing feat handled in the spirit of technology, fun and charity. Just wait until the DVD comes out!

Check out the Portroids blog, where a list of all the participants with links to their Twitter account is being compiled. (http://www.portroids.com).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Betty White to Co-Host SNL

Nice work Facebook! Betty White will co-host Saturday Night Live on the Mother's Day edition on May 8th. Also co-hosting will be Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon.

Lorne Michaels: "I can't think of a better way to spend Mother's Day weekend than with Betty White."

Not to be a bummer, but this is the first Mother's Day without my Mom who passed away in November. It's a small consolation, but it will brighten a somewhat somber weekend. Betty White is a great surrogate TV mom.

Conan Tour Dates Announced!

Conan O'Brien is going on tour! Tickets went on sale today. Go to TeamCoco.com for details. Radio City Music Hall NYC, June 1st...here I come!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Andy Richter Speaks About the Tonight Show

...and it's amazing. He was guest host on Live with Regis and Kelly this morning, and had a few things to say about the Tonight Show debacle.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Community Picked Up for Second Season

It's a nice feeling to see a underdog television show like Community get the green light for season two. It's fresh. It's funny. The cast is solid. Joe McHale rules and Chevy Chase seems to be back to his old wry self. Series showrunner Dan Harmon video taped the cast in Makeup as he broke the good news. I think Chevy Chase was still alive. You can't really tell. (You can see it here).

Also wisely picked up by the bizarro peacock network was 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation. Good news for all comedy fans. However, The Office will be groaning and thumping it's way into a seventh season since they've been renewed as well. How much more blood can they mine out of this stone?

Betty White to Appear on SNL

Betty White has confirmed that she will be appearing on SNL sometime this season. It's hard to say if she will actually host. Sage minds would suggest that the 88 year old actress and comedian might not be strong enough to carry on the weighty and stressful job of hosting. Nevertheless, it's nice to see Betty fans on Facebook have swayed Lorne Michaels into action. Look out for Betty soon.

Source: MSNBC

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Life and Times of Tim

I've never been a big fan of animated comedy. Despite the long term success of shows such as The Simpsons and Family Guy, my taste usually runs toward watching human beings say funny things rather than color drawn forms channeling voices, even with an hilarious script. But, I will say that The Life and Times of Tim, which up until today I was calling 'The Adventures of Tim', has caught my attention. Created and voiced by David Dildarian, Tim is a 20-something guy who lives in New York City and has all kinds of bizarre things happen to him. Whether it's hookers, drug dealers and mishaps in Atlantic City, his life becomes a plethora of one strange incident after another and it makes me laugh.

The Life and Times of Tim airs tonight (and every Friday until they run out of episodes) at 9:30pm on HBO.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Damn the embedded commercial, but this kills me.

Zach Galifiankis will be hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow night with musical guest Vampire Weekend. Peacock. 11:30pm Eastern.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Somebody...Please Give This Guy and His Staff a Job

Halpert Baby

My previous post on Tuesday was a bit contradicting. On one hand I lamented how the lack of good new comedy shows thrust me into a malaise; however, the fact is - there are current comedies on air and in production that definitely float my boat such as Funny or Die Presents, Players, The Life and Times of Tim, and Children's Hospital. Perhaps the whine was due to two weeks of endless boring Olympics, no more Conan and the indifference I've held over my own beloved The Office - the show that really got me started on this here blog.

After watching Dunder Mifflin get sold to Sabre, and Michael and Jim playing musical chairs with their management positions, tonight will bring us back to the land of adorable. Jim and Pam will finally give birth to six years of flirting, hurt feelings, does-she-or-doesn't-he angst, beach confessionals, brutal tears and buttery sweetness all gestated into a little baby Halpert. We'll be getting plenty of laughs in the process. Since their insurance won't cover more than two nights of medical expenses, Pam tries to hold in the baby until midnight while the rest of the office distracts her so she can check into the hospital for precisely 48 hours of sweaty pain, cursing Jim for ruining her body, and epidurals galore.

Funny. I didn't know that giving birth was like pooping - you could hold it until you find a bathroom. But in the Office microcosm you go with the flow. It's also fun to know Pam can go to work with contractions and eight pounds of baby crushing her junk just so the entire roster of office colleagues can spread their brand of crazy into the proceedings. Mild snarking aside, I am looking forward to this episode. I just wish they hadn't made it seem, via promos and episode synopsis, so zany.

The Office: The Delivery Parts I and II airs tonight on the network that shall not be named until Conan comes back on TV somewhere- at 9:00pm Eastern/8:00pm Central.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Speaking of UCB People...

If you happen to stumble across this blog from time to time, you'll notice that I'm rather the Upright Citizens Brigade follower these days. I've been a fan for years. Many an alumni can be found on the writing staff of Parks and Recreation, The Daily Show, SNL, Colbert, 30 Rock and the former Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Quite a few can be seen in front of the camera as well.

Despite some of the funny stuff that has been covered on this site, television has a sparse offering of interesting and alternative comedy fare lately. The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien debacle dust has settled into a malaise. Thankfully Jimmy Fallon promises to continue fresh funny humor, but I haven't become addicted to him yet. My heart races with happiness at the thought that season two of Children's Hospital is currently in production for new installments on Adult Swim. Funny or Die Presents is happening on HBO. Sarah Silverman's Show on Comedy Central is broadcasting probably their best season yet. However, I'm a bit disillusioned by the various comedy sadness out there. After twelve years off the air, Seinfeld returned with... The Ref? No thanks. Jay Leno took the Tonight Show away from Conan and is back on at 11:35pm? A pox on NBC! More reality TV? Brain deadness. At least Conan joined Twitter, giving him internet presence to keep his name and humor alive, not to mention giving me a little joy in my life, while he works on his next step.

I've been looking at TV, and in some cases film, through the looking glass of the UCB Theatre. So bear with me as I write a bit obsessively about them. They have some cool stuff coming down the pike and infuse some fresh ideas into a tired entertainment landscape.

In addition to Spike TV's Players (see blog entry below) created and starring UCB the long awaited Wild Girls Gone, created by the UCB founding fathers and mother Besser, Walsh, Roberts and Poehler, will be available for download on iTunes on March 8th.

This ever elusive movie was made a few years back and never found footing for distribution. It's a spring break romp about a fictional town in Florida called White Sands that is host to a popular Ass Contest. Thanks to the town's politically ambitious Sheriff Terry Moran, played by Matt Walsh, it faces extinction. Amy Poehler plays a former Ass Contest winner and bored housewife to Moran who musters up her wild side by keeping the competition in ass town. Ian Roberts plays a video store employee who films the antics, and Matt Besser plays his stoner friend.

Lets face it. This isn't a tidy, cute comedy. The beauty of UCB's style is that they are not afraid to shatter some windows and bulldoze walls. It looks like a lot of stupid fun. So, buckle up.

Check out a preview on the Wild Girls Gone website.

UCB People Come to Your Airwaves TONIGHT!

Don't forget to watch Players tonight at 10:30pm on Spike TV. It stars Upright Citizen Brigade's Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, June Diane Raphael and Danielle Schneider. They are extremely funny people, and this sneek peak only proves it.