Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Real Housewives of Late Night Returns!

If 2011 could end right now, I'd be fine. My biggest television wish for the new year has come true. The Real Housewives of Late Night premieres tonight on Fallon, and I can hardly wait to see what is going to go down. Will Yvonne and Denise make up? Or will they come to blows in the biggest wig fight television has ever seen? This is going to be better than "Dinner from Hell" from Bravo's Beverly Hills show. The only thing that could put this over the top is if the fabulous Lisa Vanderpump made a cameo with the Gig-ster. just twitted their exclusive sneak peek at tonight's "episode" which is so new, I can't embed it . Check it out here!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saturday Night Live: Remembering Rosanne Rosanna Danna

Her voice just came back into my head:

"Mr. Richard Feder of Fort Lee New Jersey writes in and says, 'Dear Rosanne Rosanna Danna,

Have you ever seen a UFO?

Do you believe we are not alone?

Did you see 'Star Wars'?'

Well, Mr. Feder, you ask a lot of stupid questions from someone from New Jersey..."

When I was in the 7th Grade, I'd make my friends at the cafeteria lunch table laugh at my impression of the frizzy haired, painfully frank and funny Rosanne Rosanna Danna. She was a creation of my hero Gilda Radner, whose ability to conjure that sweet wonder of a child in her characters captivated the child I was at the time, as well as millions of comedy fans around the world.

Back during the original cast of SNL, before a VCR entered my house, I'd use a tape recorder to audio record sketches off our old television set. (The TV looked like furniture. My father refused hung on to it for years, claiming, "I saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon on that tube!") On Sunday mornings after a live SNL broadcast, I'd listen to those comedy gems and memorize them, much in the same way one memorizes a song. The sketches that still resonate in my brain are the Gilda's characters: Rosanne, Judy Miller, Lisa Loopner.

I can still recite 80% of the Weekend Update bit paraphrased started above. It continues. Rosanne goes on to talk about seeing what she thought was a UFO, but it was really a drive in movie theater screen off the side of the road showing a french porn film called "Le Sex Shack":

"Off to the side of the road, I saw he worlds biggest buttocks!

Two big cheeks dancing all over the expressway!

There it was! In living color...a rectal eclipse!

I thought I was gonna die!"

In 1979, when Gilda was riding high from her popularity on SNL, she took her bag of funny creations to the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway in her show, Gilda Live!. Produced by Lorne Michaels and cast with familiar SNL faces such as musical director Paul Schaffer and comedian Don Novello, it had a successful run, and was filmed as an HBO special that aired the following year.

Here's a clip from the Broadway show:

Gilda's fight against Ovarian Cancer is well documented, especially in her book, It's Always Something. In her incredibly brave fight against the disease, she helped launch Gilda's Club, a place for people fighting the illness to congregate, find solace and to live life. (Visit

'Gilda Live' is immortalized on DVD for everyone to love today on Netflix., or to purchase on Amazon.

We lost Gilda in 1989. The world is all the more funny for having her in it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pee Wee Back on HBO

Mecca-lecca-high-mecca heiny ho! And so it shall be! Pee Wee Herman's Broadway Show has been taped for broadcast and ready for air on HBO March 19th.

If you're old enough to remember Paul Rueben's amazing Groundlings creation's original HBO special from 1981, then you'll understand - Pee Wee and his bevvy of friends (Miss Yvonne, Hammy, Jambi the Genie) can be a tad naughtier than what we've seen on the childrens' show that ensued. I hope the Broadway show gives us a little of that adult kind of fun, because The Pee Wee Herman Show is terrific with the vibe of a live audience being part of the experience.

Pee Wee Herman on Broadway! Here's a teaser:

Here's a taste of the original HBO show with a tribute to Sly and the Family Stone, plus a visit from the sorely missed pre-SNL Phil Hartman as the cantankerous Captain Karl:

Cinema Verite

Back in the early 1970's, PBS broke ground on a new form of documentary making that would become the precursor to reality television today. An American Family featured the daily lives of the Loud family. It was the first time a film crew followed a family or anyone on a day to day basis, allowing for drama to unfold naturally. It was especially interesting since the aesthetically "perfect" family from Santa Barbara, California were in the midst of facing the divorce of the parents, Bill and Pat Loud, and the revelation that their eldest son/sibling Lance was gay. (The show candidly revealed the first openly gay person on television.) It was controversial back in the day due to such mature themes and profound topics that tested the concept of family on the cusp of a new decade as the cultural, feminist and sexual revolution churned.

HBO Films has produced a fictionalized behind-the-scenes dramatization entitled Cinema Verite, starring James Gandofini, Diane Laine and Tim Robbins. It might not be an actual telling of what happened when the cameras weren't rolling, but it will show a new generation who were either too young or not yet born, how the concept of fly-on-the-wall documentary became MTV's The Real World or The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Cinema Verite will air in April.

Cinema Verite on HBO.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Opening Tonight: 'Threat Level Midnight'

Several years in the making, writer/director/actor/improv master Michael Scott's long awaited film Threat Level Midnight premieres on The Office tonight on NBC 9pm.

Although my interest in the show has waned, this looks fun.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Reality shows are rarely covered on this blog. However, there is a mushy spot open for the Housewives franchise on Bravo. The Housewives of New Jersey was a favorite. With hilarity culled from garish classlessness and dumb drama from the land of Soprano. But never has a Housewives series captivated me more than the sparkling, Restlin and Botox'd wonder that is the ladies of Beverly Hills. These wives are the real deal. They are the ground zero of extravagance, with the air of nothing better to do than participate in charity work and let petty arguments fester without breaking a nail or missing a facial appointment.

Housewives of Orange County? Camille Grammer has your "Housewives of the O.C". right here, baby, with her creepy famous husband and the evil psychic "side kick" Alison Dubois sucking her electronic cigarette, predicting when you're going to die. Taylor Armstrong's lantern jaw and trout pout quivering under the weight of her bad marriage will creep you out, while child stars/sisters Kyle and Kim Richards cry, hug, hate and let their family issues fester in fist fights in the backs of limos. It doesn't get better than that.

The show has already ended, but Bravo, in all their wisdom, has kept a few juicy clips off to the side for primetime specials, such as last week's "Lost Footage" episode, where we saw more into the troubles of horrible Camille Grammer, got more background from Lisa Vanderpump and her husband Ken on their acrimonious split with long time house guest Cedric aka The Human Tick, and sisters Kim and Kyle tried to make up from a devastating fight with subtext hinting at more family troubles than we'll ever know.

Last night, Bravo gave us extra footage of the aforementioned episode "Dinner Party from Hell". Camille spews her scorpion venom all over her dinner table as the poisonous Dubois drinks martinis fixed in a glass big enough to house a D-cup boob. This episode had everyone - viewers, bloggers, Gawker commenters - up in arms the day after it originally aired. It was insanity, definite fodder to feed into the guilty pleasure mill.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chuck Lorre Vanity Card, #329

Let's face it. Sheen will out live us all.

Check out Two and a Half Men Executive Producer Chuck Lorre's vanity cards over a Read card #330. It's not hard to figure out who he's talking about. Pretty sad.

Comedy Central Announces First Annual 'Comedy Awards'

Comedy Central announced today their first annual Comedy Awards to be broadcast from the Hammersmith Ballroom in New York City on Saturday, March 26th.

Among the nominees are the usual suspects currently lauded on today's comedy television landscape. Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, The Office, Modern Family...blah blah blah. Not shabby, but nothing earth shattering. Where's Parks and Recreation? Community? How about Adult Swim's Delocated?

One refreshing turn is Childrens Hospital - nominated for Best Sketch/Alternative Comedy Series. If they're going to nominate Corddry's brilliant hospital drama spoof, I'm good.

Also, naughty Ricky Gervais, much maligned by the HFPA, but beloved by us, even got a nod.

See the nominees over at Comedy Central Insider.

LCD Soundsystem on 'Colbert'

One of my favorite bands hit the air last night.

'Mad Love'

When I first clapped eyes on a screener of Mad Love a few weeks back, one thought popped into my head: CBS already has How I Met Your Mother. Mad Love has all the familiar components on the check list. 1) New York? Check. 2) Horny young professionals? Check. 3) Love at first sight? Yup. 4) Narration? Yes. So, why are they giving us the same boilerplate concept, especially, at least for now, on Monday nights? (And note that this show was created and ready for mid-season long before Sheen's troubles put Two and a Half Men in a tailspin.)

Mad Love feels like the kind of show a network puts on when they've run out of ideas. However, the cast is fine. Sarah Chalke looks great in this role, playing Kate, the love interest of Ben, portrayed by Jason Biggs. Judy Greer and Tyler Labine are pretty cute as a bickering duo who will undoubtedly fall in love with each other. The pilot felt mired by contrivances: boy meets girl, love at first sight, tired Empire State Building romantic meet up, men are jerks, or no they're not. Also, I don't see any real chemistry between Chalke and Biggs. Yes, she looks at him longingly with the sparkle in her eyes, but the undertow of attraction just isn't there. I don't feel it, nor do I believe they are characters in love.

I don't like being hard on a pilot episode. They are usually sketchy. They introduce us to the characters and the situation of their lives. The storyline is an idea that needs to grow on the viewer so we care and come back for more.

I'll give Mad Love a chance. Besides, with Two and a Half Men down four episodes due to Sheen's absence, CBS will need all the shows they can get their hands on right now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

'Eagleheart' on Adult Swim

On a television night filled with The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec and Big Bang Theory, it might be hard to stay up late to squeeze in a 15 minute comedy over on Adult Swim. However, it might be worth it, even if your DVR explodes while trying.

From the comedy laboratory of Executive Producer Conan O'Brien and his team of comedy brainiacs at Conaco Productions (Jason Woliner and Eric Appel both of 'Human Giant' in the mix), comes a brand new show whose praise should have been sung on this blog about a week ago when it premiered on February 3rd.

Chris Elliot is Marshal Chris Monsanto, a gun slinging man of the law. A few moments in, and you get a whiff of the Texas Walker Ranger parody that is Eagleheart. As Conan fans know, the Chuck Norris action adventure series was a favorite on his 'Late Night' show, so for alternative comedy connoisseurs, it's familiar ground.

Co-Starring as his law abiding pals are Brett Gelman (One Thousand Cats), Marsha Thayer (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Michael Gladis (Mad Men), who looks more like Orson Wells in this role than ever before.

Eagleheart airs on AdultSwim on Thursdays at midnight. Watch the hell out of it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

'Childrens Hospital' on DVD - May 24th!

DVD players all over the land are shivering with anticipation over the May 24th release of Adult Swim's comedy hit Childrens Hospital. Well, mine is. The DVD will be a compilation of both seasons one (the original web series on and two (the big, fancy and wondrous production made for TV). Apparently an hour long "never before seen" special feature will be included. There's no word on what it includes, but here's hoping there's more Rob Huebel nudity, more Nick Kroll breast feeding, more Jewy McJewJew, and more THIS!


Parks and Recreation on Cover of 'Entertainment Weekly'

Question: Why is Adam Scott NOT on the cover of this issue?

Answer: Adam explains: (From Entertainment Weekly)

"Being a lifelong New Yorker (I grew up in Northern California and live in Los Angeles), when Entertainment Weekly called and begged me to be on the cover of their magazine (the show I’m on, Parks and Rec, was going to be on the cover, and thus I would ride its coattails) and that the shoot would be anywhere but Manhattan, I, of course, said no (yes).

To even consider leaving my fair city (I’ve never lived here) makes me literally vomit (not literally, actually not at all). So the decision was easy: I’d triumphantly stay in New York (I’m working on a movie here, and due to a giant storm, all flights were cancelled) while my fellow castmates mug it up in EW (I’m a subscriber). Victory (devastation)!!!

Mine (yours),

Nick Offerman (Adam Scott)"

If you hate (love!!!) Parks and Recreation as much as I do, and are truly pissed (thrilled!) that Adam Scott joined the cast (Best Casting Ever! I miss 'Party Down'!), then don't (DO!) read more over at (not 'People').