Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jon Hamm Hosts SNL This Weekend..

...and the promos are up!

'Sherlock' on Masterpiece Mystery!

Back in 1984, Britian's Granada Television spawned The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It starred Jeremy Brett as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Victorian detective and David Burke as Dr. Watson (soon to be replaced by Edward Hardwicke) as his steadfast friend. Co-produced by WGBH Boston, it ran in the UK and the US until 1993 as the health of its star waned and the stories dried up. In this series, the world of Holmes was captured perfectly through religious devotion to Doyle's Canon thanks to Producer Michael Cox. The incredibly frenetic and manic depressive portrayal of the Baker Street sleuth by Jeremy Brett also conjured many fans - including myself. Even his overly histrionic tendencies lent a nice touch. (Brett was a protege of Lawrence Olivier, and had the touch of the ham about him.)

Turn the clocks ahead to today. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the writers on Dr. Who, have re-captured the Sherlock tales by shedding the gas lit streets of London for a 21st Century version of this legendary literary icon. Sherlock is filled with iPhones, Wifi and all the technological wonders that you know would have amazed and enhanced the Victorian Holmes' powers of deduction. Viewing all the everyday technology we've grown to rely upon, structured around the remnants of a Victorian character, is quite thrilling.

Last Sunday's premiere episode on PBS' Masterpiece Mystery!, 'A Study in Pink', was an incredible dose of high intensity and electric chemistry between Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who both take on the mantel of these two fictional characters with terrific ease. You can feel the Dr. Who pacing, the magical story beats as they move along through darkened London streets. Cumberbatch almost has that seething, quick witted intensity that made Brett's Holmes so enticing to me. Freeman, best known as Tim from the UK's The Office, is as calm, curious and as pleasing as Dr. Watson as Burke/Hardwicke were during the Granada days.

Sherlock airs on your local PBS station on Sundays at 9pm. (Check your local listings.) Seriously watch this. It might just make you a Conan Doyle fan. And getting an eyeful of this amazing new take on Holmes might actually make you read some mystery books on your Kindle - or a real book with paper a library. Your choice. Either way - that's a good thing.

Have a look:

Fear and Sanity in D.C.

Colbert and Stewart take over Washington DC this Saturday. Have you bought your Amtrak ticket? Found a Hotel? Packed your tent? Started bumming rides from creepy truck drivers on the NJ Turnpike? If not, you better get started. The 'Rally to Restore Sanity' and the 'March to Keep Fear Alive'will be swarming the National Mall in Washington this Saturday. If you can't be there, just fire up your TV to Comedy Central from 12noon - 3pm and make the choice to find sanity or be afraid of the world. It's your choice, people.

On another note, President Barack O'Bama was on the The Daily Show last night. At last, on the (sort of) eve of the big rally in Washington, the President took time out of his busy schedule while Stewart was in town to discuss what's been happening and why people are mad. It was an amazing moment. However, I fell asleep in the middle of the interview, so here's how it went down.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 1
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stiller and Meara

The comedy partnership of Stiller and Meara is an important touchstone in the American comedy landscape, spanning over 40 years and a section of two centuries. Successful as actors individually today, they were a ubiquitous husband and wife comedy duo in the 60's and 70's, performing on television variety shows like The Ed Sullivan Show, touring the club circuit and guesting in some very entertaining game shows.

Adorable and hilarious, they bring their comedy to the internet in their own web series. They're like your Mom and Dad - kvetching with love. I imagine Ben Stiller (Producer on this series) growing up with this banter at home.

Go to and view more comedy shorts by Stiller and Meara.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Babelgum Commissions UCBComedy for Original Content

This week brought some great news for original content comedy on the internet. Earlier this week, Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films announced their deal with Paramount Digital Entertainment to produce two new web series. Now, Babelgum, the multichannel platform, has announced their alliance with UCB Comedy, commissing the Upright Citizens Brigade's online comedy team to produce unique programming to run monthly on Babelgum's Comedy Channel. The benefits of streaming on Babelgum's site are huge. Not only will it provide more exposure for UCB Comedy, it will supply an ad team to sell spots against content.

Source: Tubefiller News

Friday, October 22, 2010

Funny Stars Came out for Autism Education and Awareness

If you missed Comedy Central's broadcast of Night of Too Many Stars, it's never too late to check out some of the funny mess that went down - and to donate.

This moment killed me.

Night of Too Many StarsThursday, October 21, 2010
Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan - "Scarborough Fair"
Ugly Americans New EpisodesNick Swardson's Pretend TimeNight of Too Many Stars

The Defenders

I've been charmed by some shows this fall season (See Mike and Molly), and since my brain is a barren desert of stress, unicorns and daydreams, I'm inspired by some new shows that appear conventional on the surface, but enjoyable when digging in to view.

CBS unveiled their new law drama The Defenders a few weeks back, starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell as best pals and defense lawyers bending the rules to find justice in the Las Vegas court system. I'll admit, I wasn't expecting much from another law firm drama. Furthermore, although I like the guy, I was never a fan of Belushi's Life According to Jim. Yet, this show reeled me in.

Belushi plays Nick Morelli, a hard working soon-to-be single father who picks impossible lost cause cases to the bone by going beyond the usual legal methods. Alongside him is O'Connell as Pete Kaczmarek, a man with a hot woman in every corner, and is as relentless as his partner in the pursuit of justice at all costs.

Both Belushi and O'Connell have tight, comedic chemistry. The pace is fast, humorous, but dark when it's needs to be. Vegas is the setting, with big time corruption, crime and sex illuminated by the bright lights of the strip. The Defenders is entertaining. Contrived at times? Yes. It's hard not to roll your eyes when the first scene of the first few shows has Kaczmarek with yet another airline stewardess or babe undressing before or getting dressed after a night of humping. Yet, the show is still fun to watch. And I still can't believe the fit, handsome O'Connell was that chubby kid from Stand By Me.

The Defenders on CBS - Wednesdays at 10pm.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Night of Too Many Star on Comedy Central Tonight

Don't forget to watch Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education at 9pm on Comedy Central tonight. Taped at the Beacon Theater in New York City earlier this month, there will be a live Los Angeles broadcast with a star studded telephone crew taking donations.

Conan's First Guests Announced

Conan's first guests have been announced. Seth Rogan, Tom Hanks, Jack McBrayer and Jon Hamm to name only a few. It's all getting pretty exciting up around here.

Source: Hollywood Reporter. See full lists of guests here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Red Hour Films to Produce Two Web Series for Paramount

Thanks to the Twitterverse, I just caught this feed in the middle of wrapping up the work day: Paramount Digital Entertainment announced today that Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films has signed on to do two digital shorts for the four year old venture. One web series will be an animated version of the 2001 movie Zoolander, where Stiller will reprise the character of the fashion model, and the other will be Billy Glimmer: Entertainer of the Century, starring himself and Human Giant's Rob Huebel.

Nobody provides this source better than Dave Itzoff, who interviewed Stiller on this new venture over at

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Conan O'Brien Countdown: Vivino New Band Leader

As the countdown to Conan's new show ticks away day by day, the news keeps coming. The biggest non-surprise of the year was made official last week when it was confirmed that Andy Ritcher would join O'Brien as co-host. Today brings another bit of news in the music area. Jimmy Vivino, music associate for Conan's previous show, has been made band leader of 'The Basic Cable Band', formerly the 'Max Weinberg Seven', replacing Weinberg who looked like he took a hike from the Conan bandwagon back in January.

Conan premieres on TBS on November 8th at 11pm.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mad Men Season 4 Finale Tonight

Season four of Mad Men is coming to a close tonight. What a topsy turvy season it's been. Don Draper struggled to rise from the ashes of disappointment in career, personal life, morality and mortality. Roger Sterling woke up to the reality that his suave, smooth, boozy devil-may-care attitude on life ran its course somewhere in 1960. Betty Draper found a decent man in Henry Francis, but she's still the Westchester housewife with a brood of children cramping her style. Peggy Olsen is blossoming as a strong, open minded woman of her generation, not only struggling to break down barriers in the boys club, but managing to fall in love, have lots of beach bunny sex and enjoy the revolution ahead of her. It was a heady feast of character growth and toil, satisfying with every episode.

As all fans of Mad Men know, Executive Producer Matthew Weiner puts on a pretty damn incredible and unforgettable finale. Although this season flew by in a flurry of fantastic storyline and performance, tonight's show will have high expectations on my part. I'm sure it won't disappoint.

Mad Men
season finale tonight on AMC. (10pm ET/7pm PT)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Childrens Hospital: Best End Credits....EVER!

If you saw last Sunday's Childrens Hospital, you were treated to a hot, sticky episode filled with high tension in the middle of a steamy summer afternoon. Think Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing. Hell broke loose and rose to a pounding climax ending with the best closing titles ever.

Live From New York...It's 30 Rock!

It's a super exciting night for 30 Rock fans. Tina Fey and her crew will be taking the show live tonight. The episode will broadcast from 30 Rockefeller Plaza's SNL studio (Studio 8H), and will offer up a cast of very nervous but capable funny people who will not only be doing the show as live as can be at 8:30pm New York time, but will be doing it all over again for the Mountain and Pacific time zones.

Check out an interview with Executive Producer Robert Carlock at to get the full behind the scenes vibe on this cool feat. (

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nick Swardson's 'Pretend Time'

Nick Swardson's Pretend TimeTuesdays 10pm / 9c
This Is Nick Swardson

Nick Swardson on

Nick Swardson has been everywhere in comedy. He's appeared on Reno 911 and Human Giant. He's been in films like Blades of Glory and You Don't Mess with the Zohan (I know...). He now has his own sketch show. Nick Swardson's Pretend Time premieres tonight on Comedy Central with Robot Cats and comedy spewed through the brain of Swardson. Gird your loins for this - or else Nick will do it for you. Seriously. Nick will actually come to your house and gird your loins.

Mike and Molly

If there was one thing I was concerned about CBS' Mike and Molly, is that the fat jokes were going to fly at the expense of the two lead characters. In fact, there was a moment during the pilot that annoyed me: When Molly's skinny mom (played by Swoozie Kurtz) and her voluptuous sister (played by Katy Mixon) eat up a freshly baked chocolate cake while Molly is sweating it up on an elliptical machine beside them. Here we go, I thought. Skinny people indulging in something the key character of the show cannot have - dessert. But as the pilot continued, and as the past few weeks of Mike and Molly evolved with character development, I've grown to love this show.

Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy play Mike and Molly respectively - and respectfully. They both bring an honesty to their characters, are very likable, and you root for them. The writing is funny and the ensemble cast really gels. It's also refreshing to see two key romantic characters look like real people - not impossibly gorgeous, cookie cutter blonds with muscle and perfection to which most people cannot relate.

Watch Mike and Molly on Monday nights 9:30 pm et/8:30pm ct.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Mothers In-Law

It's retro-TV time. Desi Arnaz produced The Mothers In-Laws back in 1967. Syndicated in the 1970's, a generation may remember this show during sick days home from school (like me). It starred Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard as, well, mother in-laws who sometimes love each other, but also love to get on each other's nerves. It's sort of like a different version of I Love Lucy, if Ethel was an hilarious Italian and Lucy was a blond. The show is the usual 60's version of farce, but it's super fun. Ballard is a scream as Kaye Buell, filled with Italian curses and gestures, her timing is incredible, and Arden is crisp and funny.

The Mothers In-Laws complete series is now on DVD, available at Amazon and available for rent on Netflix.

Friday, October 8, 2010

New York Comic Con

So, I move to LA to for dry weather, temperate climes and the entertainment industry, and so far I've dodged torrential rains, been hit with a massive heat wave, and am now missing New York Comic Con. Fine. Be that way, Universe.

I'm not complaining. There is always San Diego next year. But listen up New York comedy fans. I love me some Childrens Hospital, as you know. If you're on this blog, it's likely you love the show too. As of the writing of this post, you have about 40 minutes to get down to the Javits Center and meet the cast of Adult Swims latest hit about sexy doctors. The panel starts at 4:30pm in room 1A06, and autographs are at 5:45pm in "Autograph Alley", whatever that is. But you'll find it.

Then check out the makers of Robot Chicken at 6:45pm in the Special Events Hall - room 1C02. Maybe Seth Green will sign your girlfriend's boob.

You don't need me to tell you what to do. Here's a list of exhibits for the weekend. There are comic book panels and talks galore, not to mention screenings. Have fun New York!

Conan's Coming.

I can't resist posting more Conan. Here's a promo.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Eastbound and Down

Kenny Powers is probably the most intriguing figure in baseball today - even if he is ficitional. He's a coke filled, philandering, filthy disgusting hard partying former Major League pitcher spending season two of Eastbound and Down as an American in Mexico running away from his horrible and hilarious self. After losing out on the high flying world of cock fighting, he's returned to the pitchers mound on a local Mexican league team to start back on his road to stardom, and to try and win back the love of his life. But...she's moved on. (True. Katy Mixon who played his ex Rachel Buchanon is now on CBS' Mike and Molly). Kenny is one sad ass, but he's pretty bad ass. If you haven't been watching him on HBO after Bored to Death on Sunday nights - you should start. It took me a while to get into his speed, but Danny McBride is pretty spot on funny as Powers.

Eastbound and Down airs Sunday nights at 10:30pm on HBO. Also catch him on the nearest billboard and bus stop bench near you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mad Men: Chinese Wall

"In business, a Chinese wall or firewall is an information barrier implemented within a firm to separate and isolate persons who make investment decisions from persons who are privy to undisclosed material information which may influence those decisions. This is a way of avoiding conflict of interest problems." Wikipedia

"This has nothing to do with the office" says sexy Megan, the wanting secretary who jumps like a puppy when Draper struts down the hall, carrying a billion thoughts on his mind. Her seducing him was a disappointment - as if Don, trying to stay on the straight and narrow, fighting clients who are dropping like flies, succumbed to his old rascal ways. There he goes again, cheating on another blond with a brunette. One can speculate that this "conflict" will create havoc down the road. From Roger and his embarrassing failure to not only lose the Lucky Strike account, but keep it a secret from his partners, to Pete being lured by his own father in law to jump from his "folly" of an ad agency and join a more solid firm, to Don using his dreamy bedroom eyes to get Faye to fess up on confidential client reviews, shows why code of conduct is beaten into the brains of corporate America. This lose way of handling affairs will burn them. Or at least I hope it does - not because I want them to fail, but imagine the drama. Will Megan's aggressive tactics to shag Don bring his trouble? Will Faye hate herself for facilitating a meeting with Heinz, like a roasted pig on a platter for a hungry SCDP? Will Roger jump off the Brooklyn Bridge? We'll see. I just hope Sally did get to see the Beatles at Shea last week with her dad, rather sit there alone while Don boinked an Usherette behind the beer stands in the Upper Mezzanine of that old place.

Conan Countdown

November can't come soon enough. Billboard in Times Square posted by Brian Stelter of

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Wish It Were The 70's Again...

...just for a day.

Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Event for Austism Education

Last night, New York's Beacon Theatre was filled to the gills with so many famous funny people raising money for Autism education that it's amazing the whole country didn't hear the walls shake from the rumble of laughter. Hosted by Jon Stewart, a Night of Too Many Stars was chock full of comedy, with the likes of Sarah Silverman, Stephen Colbert, Chris Rock, Joel McHale, Steve Carell, Ricky Gervais and Tiny Fey (to name only the tip of the iceberg) helping to raise money for families and individuals touched by Autism in need of assistance and educational outlets. For those lucky to nab tickets for the sold out show, many a sides were sore today, but it's all for a good cause.

Special shout out to Upright Citizens Brigade folk Anthony King, Andrew Secunda and Craig Rowan for being part of the writing team.

Night of Too Many Stars An Overbooked Even for Austism Education will air on Comedy Central October 21st at 9pm ET/8pm CT.

For more information and donations, please go to New York Center for Autism site.

For a look into the show, go over to Comedy Central's site.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Adult Swim renews Childrens Hospital

Has it really been almost a month since I last posted? So much has happened. Season premieres such as $hi! My Dad Says, Blue Bloods, My Generation...wait that last one was already canceled. So what's the opposite of canceled? Renewed. Childrens Hospital has just been picked up for 14 more episodes of hospital fun. Production begins in December for season 3 (or season 2, depending how you're counting them.)

Updated: Forgot to add that the season finale will be aired live on November 7th - just like in olden days.