Wednesday, June 30, 2010

'Louie' on FX

Louie CK's last stint in television sitcom land was in 2007 on HBO's Lucky Louie . It was a three camera, studio staged comedy that only saw one season and was quickly canceled, never to be seen again.

Everyone says that comedy is subjective. That might explain the fierce disagreements between two Lucky Louie camps: the viewers who loved the show, and those who didn't. I didn't. It wasn't the low budget set that resembled the Kramden's Brooklyn apartment on The Honeymooners. It wasn't because co-star Jim Norton bugged me. It was because it tried too hard to be different. It was as if the creators saw HBO as a candy store of anything goes and tried to fit all the penis and buttocks and sex and anger and hatred into 30 minutes of script. I can take vulgarity. But over doing it is an easy way out in my opinion.

Cut to today. Louie CK is back on FX with a new show, simply titled Louie. This one charmed me. Filmed in New York, it shows a surreal, funny and dark look at Louie's semi-autobiographical life as a newly divorced father of two. The first two episodes look promising. The very funny Chelsea Peretti appears in show one as a potential love interest, and a host of comedian friends team up in episode two for a poker game that turns into a well paced, dark and funny discussion about homosexuality. Louie is intriguing, and one of those twisted, interesting comedies that could define him on the TV map. Watch it on Tuesdays at 11pm.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Children's Hospital: On Adult Swim July 11th

Here's a interview from Children's Hospital's creator/star Rob Corddry. Keeping clicking to watch Rob Huebel talk about kid's brains. Children's Hospital premieres on Adult Swim July 11th. Watch it, or your head will spontaneously combust.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Party Down Season Finale

There's no doubt about Party Down's buzz among comedy television nerds. This show is pretty sensational. Season two has already passed by in a flash, and here we are - on the cusp of the season finale. The beauty of this is that Constance is back! She was the kooky, crazy actress whose time with the Party Down catering crew was cut way too short when the marvelous actress Jane Lynch took up with the cast of Glee. Seeing her is a sight for sore eyes - sore, happy eyes because despite her leaving, she was replaced by Jennifer Coolidge and Megan Mullally who proved that the transient nature of the members of a catering crew can continue on in fictional way and still be hilarious. Nevertheless, seeing Lynch return is a lovely site.

Watch Party Down on Friday night on Starz at 10am or view it on Netflix.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mad Men: Season 4

The season four poster for Mad Men says so much: Empty new office, new possibilities, new horizons. As Don leaves the old school ad world behind, he's facing up to bright, cool modern days ahead. Goodbye smoke filled, yellow tainted curtains...hello clean floor to ceiling windows, light and opportunity. I cannot wait.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zach Woods Gets Regular Job on The Office

This promotion is near and dear to my comedy heart. Upright Citizens Brigade's very own Zach Woods is being kept on NBC's The Office as a cast regular. Zach, who has been portraying the geeky string bean-like Gabe from Sabre, infuses new geeky blood into a cast that has grown slightly weary over the last six seasons.

It feels like The Office is well past its sell by date; however, seeing a familiar face from my Saturday nights watching "Lets Have A Ball" at the UCB Theatre in New York makes me a bit happier to watch the Dunder drones and how they perceive him. Dwight shaking a Star Wars cyber sword in Zach's direction alone can cause gales of laughter. Nice to see Zach make the move. Congratulations!

Source: EW's Michael Ausiello

Breaking Bad Just Got a Little Funnier...

..thanks to its new home on ABC.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bored To Death: Season 2

Here's a teaser! Coming to HBO in September.

Breaking Bad Blows Your Mind and Gets Renewed

Riveting, jaw dropping, exhilarating, Breaking Bad has proven time and time again, especially in season three, that it's probably the best drama on television today. That includes pushing the wonderful Mad Men aside.

It's a psychological roller coaster ride into the darkness of drug dealing and morality. Breaking Bad startles viewers at every turn. Yet each and every time the devil incarnate appears in Walt's life and holds his head under its thumb - whether it be Tucco or Gus - Walt is one bloody step ahead of their game, wiggling his way out of traps and certain death like a rat.

His father-son bond with Jesse plays a sinister role in his moral make up. Walt has a two faced way of protecting him, while at the same time, throwing Jesse under the bus, making him road kill. All the while, Walt makes Jesse a killer, a meth cook, and a criminal despite the kid wanting out.

The good news came after the last scene aired on Sunday night: AMC is renewing Breaking Bad for a fourth season. And the sky is blue. Of course it's renewed. It's too good to to have it end as it did last night. There is more story to tell, more blood to be shed, more souls to be corrupted. AMC is building a brand of original programming that is paving new roads in scripted television, and Breaking Bad is one of the jewels in the crown.

So, we'll have about another year to wait until Walter returns to cook again. It'll be a long haul, but worth the wait.

Read Joel Keller's take on Breaking Bad over at TV Squad. My views are pretty similar to his. His discussion on the series hits all buttons.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Night Viewing: A Night Full of "Pauls"

If comedy is your bag, and Paul is your favorite male name, it's your lucky night. Two Pauls - one Scheer and one Tompkins are lighting up the small screen tonight.

Have you been watching Party Down on Starz on Fridays at 10pm or any other time it repeats on the channel? No? Try Netflix, because tonight the hilarious Mr. Paul Scheer will be guesting in a role of supreme douchebaggery. You won't want to miss it.

Check out Paul F. Tompkins' comedy special
You Should Have Told Me on Comedy Central tonight at 11pm. He's hilarious and the fact we are lucky to see him on television tonight makes us all lucky bastards.

Summer Drama

As the mind blowing current series of Breaking Bad winds down to its season finale this Sunday (10pm - AMC), there is still much to look forward to in cable viewing as we get into the dog days. AMC specifically. Their original series have, so far, been stellar, beautifully written, produced and performed morsels of drama delight.

As Walter White's moral code crumbles further into darkness in the New Mexico desert, Madison Avenue of the sixties returns on July 25th (10pm) with the season premiere of Mad Men.

When we last left Don Draper, he went rogue on his British bosses and took the best and brightest of Sterling Cooper with him to begin his own agency. As he paves new ground in his professional life, his personal world will take a turn. Betty has left him for a new man, beating a retreat to Vegas for a quickie divorce, searching for something she'll probably never find. Don is now a single man living in New York City - free to boink any broad with a Dippity Do hairdo and pumps.

Since AMC is two for two in the groundbreaking department, their newest series, Rubicon, looks interesting and could round out the stats. Starring James Badge Dole as an intelligence code specialist, the program delves into paranoia and mind bending scenarios. (Special shout out to Miranda Richardson who also stars.) It premieres on Sunday, August 1stat 8pm and will continue to air in that timeslot.

Here's a sneak peek from AMC.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Paul F. Tompkins on Comedy Central

If you've ever gone to Largo at the Coronet Theatre or UCB in LA, or any club in the country, you're more than familiar with the fabulously dapper Paul F. Tompkins. He's an MC, a smart jokester an impressionist and a dashing, genuine comedic talent who can win you over with the most subtle story while sporting a bespoke suit and an old timesy twinkle in the eye.

Comedy Central has finally done something I can be happy about by giving PFT his own special Paul F. Tompkins: You Should Have Told Me. It airs on Friday, June 11th at 11pm, and it should be a joyous event.

You can also find Tompkins vocally disguised at Ice Tee, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber or Cake Boss on the hilarious Comedy Death Ray Podcast on Friday's at 12noon PT/3pm ET on Indie (Also available for download on iTunes).

In addition to seeing him on this Friday night telly, Tompkins will also be performing stand up earlier that evening at UCBLA. Check the theatre's schedule for tickets.

If you are in the New York area, Paul will be performing at The Bell House in Brooklyn on Sunday, June 13th.
Paul F. Tompkins - Buying a House
Futurama New EpisodesUgly AmericansFunny TV Comedy Blog

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Del Close Marathon Year 12 On the Horizon!

Come the weekend of July 30th through August 1st, the mighty wizards of the Upright Citizens Brigade will hold their annual weekend marathon of Improv in honor of the late Del Close. Close was the mastermind behind long form Improv known as "The Harold". Comedy teams from around the country (and even the world) are chosen to trod on the black (and sometimes soggy) stage at UCB in New York for around the clock shows. It's sweaty, it's hilarious, and if you get in, it can be like being part of a secret society of comedy geeks who don't see the light of day (if one so chooses) until every awesome and amazing moment of comedy is played out in some kind of beer soaked frenzy. It has to be seen to be believed. And having said that - I almost don't want to spread the word for fear of over crowding. As comedy becomes more prevelent on the internet, fans of UCB and the alternative comedy scene grows, making the DCM marathon a crazy crowded experience.

However, the UCB stage is not the only venue the theatre takes over during this event. Shows are also spread across three locations: Urban Stages, The Hudson Guild Theatre and FIT. A pass gets you in for UCB, Urban Stages and Hudson Guild for the weekend, but tickets for FIT are sold separately. The schedule can be found here.

I'll be covering the DCM12 with pictures and interviews and fun stuff for those who cannot make this incredibly fun event.

Thanks to Sean McCarthy over at The Comic's Comic for dropping the word!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

MTV Movie Awards

The MTV Movie Awards are on Sunday night at 9pm/8pm Central. Aziz Ansari will be hosting.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Birthday Time...

Today's Rob Huebel's birthday. He's a ball busting, kick ass comedian who makes me laugh when I don't think I have a laugh left in me. Member of the comedy team Human Giant, you can also find him in the upcoming Children's Hospital and the animated feature film Despicable Me, where he lends his voice as a news anchorman. He makes a mean anchorman too.

From Human Giant...

Happy Birthday, Rob.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BBC Earth: 'Life'

I love comedy and I love the Earth. You can't have comedy and television if there isn't a planet to stand on. BBC's Natural History Unit collaborated with the producers of Planet Earth and The Blue Planet to create the incredible, stunning high def documentary entitled Life. This remarkable ten part series embarks on 130 stories about this big blue beautiful world and it's teeming wildlife. The DVD was released on June 1st. I'll be delving more into this program in weeks to come. Here's a taste of this incredible nature series.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Conan at Radio City

Photo courtesy of Getty Images via WireImage

New York City welcomed back Conan O'Brien last night at a sold out Radio City Music Hall. Surprise guests were a comedy wet dream come true: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert fighting it out in a dance off against the gangly one. Texas Walker Ranger's lever was pulled by John Krasinski, Paul Rudd, Bill Hader . Vampire Weekend stopped by for a number with Conan sharing guitar credits. Andy Ritcher played the buddy side kick like the good friend he is. The band rocked as LaBamba came on stage singing a Curtis Mayfield number, holding notes in long lung combusting time. Musical weirdo funny man Reggie Watts opened up the show with self created boom boxed songs with lyrics singing of his girlfriend's big ass pocketbook.

It was an amazing homecoming for O'Brien, who was humble, a bit angry, self deprecating and hilarious. Next stop for Conan is Boston where the real welcome home will be regaled upon him. However, last night felt like an old friend was back in town. An old beleaguered friend who had a dream crushed publicly and is showing how his resilience will get him through.

I couldn't get a good read on my Flip from where I was sitting, so thanks to all the tech savvy people with steady hands who shot these clips:




Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Conan Comes Home!

Tonight is the night. Conan O'Brien, New York's prodigal son (by way of Brookline, MA) returns to Rockefeller Plaza's Radio City Music Hall to spread the COCO love to the tired comedy masses of the Big Apple. We turn to his red whipped locks as a beacon, a burning flame of affirmation that life can be funny again. Fart jokes will live on. Hemorrhoid salesmen will always get their say. Tonight, we hearken back to a simpler time. A sane moment in our lives. A place where we turned on our television sets or fired up Hulu, and he was there. Every night. Tonight, on that big, beautiful stage, we can all be friends again...and then kick the fuck out of comedy as we know it!

I'll be three. Waiting for the Self Pleasuring Panda and a host of strangely twisted concoctions based on characters he is no longer legally allowed to use. We're ready. He's ready. Let's bring the roof down.

Welcome back Conan.