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August 28th, 2014

Today's Funniest Tweets

Johnny Knoxville Is Developing an Autobiographical Comedy for ABC

Rivers Cuomo isn't the only star to get the autobiographical sitcom treatment this week. Deadline reports that Johnny Knoxville has signed a two-year first-look deal with ABC Studios to develop new projects under his company Hello Junior! Knoxville has sold one project to ABC under the deal already with an untitled Southern family comedy inspired my his own "unconventional childhood," with Knoxville attached to serve as narrator. Knoxville signed a similar two-year deal with Paramount Pictures back in May, so his upcoming projects will be for both the big and small screens.

Jack Black, John Oliver, Gillian Jacobs, and More Show Up in the Trailer for 'Harmontown'

Last year it was announced that Community creator Dan Harmon would be touring his live show/podcast Harmontown around the country then turning it into a documentary by director Neil Berkeley, and a new trailer was just released. This sneak peek features stars like Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Gillian Jacobs, Chris Hardwick, and John Oliver attempting to explain who exactly Harmon is and includes some special appearances by Chevy Chase (in the form of blog screen caps and footage of the now infamous voicemail message). Harmontown debuts in select theaters as well as VOD on October 3rd.

"Well, he's got that Southern charm. He's genuinely interested. He's engaging. He's a very positive person. He can see the good in everything. I think he'll go to that other character that he plays on that show because that's part of him, too. He'll mix it. But once you're out there and there's a live audience, everyone's playing a different version of themselves. You know? There's a camera in front of you. There's an audience. You automatically are different. I just think people will see this other side to him, because he has this whole bag of tricks people haven't even seen yet."

- Amy Sedaris — current star of Netflix's BoJack Horseman and longtime friend and collaborator of Stephen Colbert — talks about Colbert's upcoming takeover of Late Show in a new interview with The Daily Beast.

The Trailer for Jon Stewart's Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Is Here

While John Oliver was hosting The Daily Show last summer, Jon Stewart was hard at work on his first movie Rosewater based on the book Then They Came for Me by Maziar Bahari. The first trailer was released today, and the film stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Golshifteh Farahani, Kim Bodnia, Nasser Faris, Haluk Bilginer, Jason Jones, and Dimitri Leonidas and is set for a limited release on November 7th.

This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Natasha Lyonne Does 'How Was Your Week?'

The comedy podcast universe is ever expanding, not unlike the universe universe. We're here to make it a bit smaller, a bit more manageable. There are a lot of great shows and each has a lot of great episodes, so we want to highlight the exceptional, the noteworthy. Each week our crack team of podcast enthusiasts and specialists and especially enthusiastic people will pick their favorites. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.

How Was Your Week? - Natasha Lyonne 

julieLEIGH: If you are over bonobos as a monkey group, then you're in for a treat with this week's How Was Your Week. Spoiler alert: both host Julie Klausner and guest Natasha Lyonne are also over bonobos. Now that that's settled, we can go full Holocaust, which is how Lyonne prefaces the conversation between her and Klausner about growing up religious where everything was always about Hitler. And if you blame a lot of stuff on him, you're in good company. If you don't, think of this as an opportunity to learn about all the things you can blame him for. And yes, you can relax. They do cover Orange is the New Black. Lyonne talks about what overlap between her own past and her character's backstory, even veering into territory she categorizes as "Things I'd rather not talk about." Also, if you've got an opinion on the Ice Bucket Challenge, which, of course you do, we all do, be sure to listen to the monologue upfront to hear Klausner articulate so wonderfully exactly what's going on with that. So, as we learn in the episode, we can blame Hitler for a lot of things. But not listening to this episode? That one's on you. READ MORE

Watch Amazon's Three New Comedy Pilots

Amazon has released its next batch of pilots up for consideration on Amazon Instant Video today, including three comedies from Whit Stillman, Jay Chandrasekhar, and Steven Soderberg. Here's a description of each show:

  • The Cosmopolitans: Written, directed, and produced by Whit Stillman, The Cosmopolitans follows "a group of young American expatriates in Paris searching for love and friendship in a foreign city." The pilot stars Adam Brody, Chloë Sevigny, Carrie MacLemore, Dree Hemingway, Freddy Åsblom, Shaun Evans, and Adriano Giannini.
  • Really: Written, directed, and starring Broken Lizard's Jay Chandrasekhar, Really follows a group of thirtysomething friends in Chicago led by Chandrasekhar as a "happily, messily married neurologist Jed" and Sarah Chalke as "lawyer/mom Lori." Cast also includes Selma Blair, Luka Jones, Travis Schuldt, Lindsay Sloane, Hayes Macarthur, and Collette Wolfe.
  • Red Oaks: Directed by Pineapple Express and Eastbound and Down's David Gordon Green and produced by Steven Soderbergh, Red Oaks is an '80s-set coming-of-age comedy starring Craig Roberts as a college student who lands a summer job as an assistant tennis pro at a suburban New Jersey country club. Paul Reiser, Richard Kind, Jennifer Grey, and Oliver Cooper also star.

Click through to watch a sizzle reel of the new pilots up for consideration, then head over to Amazon to watch each pilot here, here, and here. READ MORE

Is 'Modern Family' Really the Best-Directed Comedy on TV?

modern-family-vegasOn Monday night, Gail Mancuso took home the Emmy for “Outstanding Direction for a Comedy Series” for her work the Modern Family season five episode “Las Vegas.” This was Mancuso’s second win in a row and the show’s fourth win in a row in this category. This year, Mancuso beat out Comedy Film School favorites Louis C.K. and Lena Dunham as well as seasoned film directors Jodie Foster (for Orange is the New Black) and Mike Judge (for Silicon Valley). Looking even further back, the last time a network show director, in which directing is historically more like house-painting than Picasso, lost to a cable director is in 2004, when Curb Your Enthusiasm took home the prize for HBO (however I will not besmirch the Emmy voters’ 2004 selection of Barry Sonnenfeld's Pushing Daisies pilot for ABC, which is one of the most visually inventive and exciting pieces of television I have ever seen). This all begs the question of what are Emmy voters looking for in comedy directing, and why, year after year, as television directing gets more and more interesting and “filmic”, are the voters rewarding merely proficient directing over shows with more artful or at least with the most directing? READ MORE

Help Chris O'Dowd Make a Hot Air Balloon Shaped Like Peter Griffin's Testicles

It's for cancer awareness, not that you needed a reason. The Daily Dot reports that Chris O'Dowd has teamed up with British charity Male Cancer Awareness Campaign for their new Indiegogo campaign called "Skyballs" to "build, launch and tour the world in a hot-air balloon shaped like a giant pair of testicles." More specifically, the testicles will take on the shape of that of Family Guy's Peter Griffin, and they will tour around the world next year to celebrate MCAC's 10th anniversary and also serve as an obvious reminder to the men down below to "act on the early warning signs of male cancers."

The Indiegogo campaign still has 48 days left, and there are tons of goodies for backers from a "tea-bagger mug" to a "Peter Griffin chinballs t-shirt" to a VIP flight in the "Skyballs" balloon. Click through to watch the campaign video starring O'Dowd. READ MORE

How to Succeed at Edinburgh Fringe with Alex Edelman

Alex Edelman. Please Credit....Idil Sukan idilwebAlex Edelman has had an excellent August. The American comic headed to the Edinburgh Fringe with his debut show, Millennial, and on Saturday, he walked away with the coveted Best Newcomer Award at the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Past winners include stars like The Mighty Boosh, Tim Minchin, and Sarah Millican, and it means the eye of the British comedy industry has turned to the 25-year-old New Yorker. I caught up with him after his win in Edinburgh to talk about previewing his show in London, his American style, and being transatlantic.

So why did you decide to come to Edinburgh this year?

I had sort of been invited by accident in 2012. I got cast in a play here, and so I was sort of revealed to this world of thousands of comedy shows. In New York, there's lot of stage time but it's hard to get on, and here, I was getting on seven or eight times a day for 15 minutes and making some money from it, and so why wouldn't you come to this thing? And so I came back last year and ran one of those shows, where you can get 15 minutes, and I did 25 minutes at the end of it, and around the end of the run, I started to realize that I had the makings of a show. And this producer for the BBC spotted me last year, and they put me on one of their showcases, and after that I had a bunch of offers for management, and so I signed with someone who I really liked and who was gonna bring me back the next year, and pay for the run, because the run can be quite expensive. They were tremendous producers, and the show was in good shape, and so the Pleasance was on board, and I guess everyone sort of lined up — venue, PR, producer, performer — and so it seemed sort of like the perfect storm of being able to do an hour of standup every day.

And I ran that compilation show again, and so I've been able to do a couple of shows a day at least. I haven't had a single day where I've done less than five shows, and they're different kinds of comedic muscles that you can't really flex at home. Like, there's “Set List”, which is something that I love doing here, and there's different kinds of improv games than you'd find at even the most wild of indie improv nights, like there's a show called “Voices in Your Head”, where someone directs your improv from the back. All these different octaves of the comedy piano seem like irresistible to me, and so I really wanted to come back. And also, there are a lot of comedians here, and it's sort of a chance to test your mettle. So that's why. READ MORE

SNL

Alison Rich Hired as a Writer at 'SNL'

The debut of Saturday Night Live's 40th season is just around the corner, and the show has hired a new writer to its staff with the addition of Alison Rich. Rich got her start at UCB in New York, won the UCB NBC Diversity Showcase in 2012, and recently moved to Los Angeles to perform in the CBS Diversity Showcase as well as on the UCBLA Maude Team Tut. She also won the IFC "Out of the Box" development deal at the New York Television Festival last year for her web series Incognito co-created with current Late Night writer Andrew Law, and she appears in the upcoming Elizabeth Banks-produced web series Resident Advisors as well as Peaked, an MTV web series she co-created and wrote with Nicole Byer. Her credits include writing for Billy on the Street and appearing on Best Week Ever, Bunk, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Click through to check out some of Rich's work. READ MORE

Fox Is Developing a Comedy Based on Weezer Frontman Rivers Cuomo's Life

Weezer's frontman Rivers Cuomo might be getting the Fox sitcom treatment. THR reports that the network has given a put-pilot commitment to DeTour, a single-cam comedy from Psych creator Steve Franks that will focus on "a 30-something rock star who, unable to rationalize his success and worried that he may not have the tools to repeat it, walks away from the spotlight at the height of his fame in an effort to rediscover the parts of his life he missed while he was busy becoming a massive success." The series will be loosely based on Cuomo's life but star a fictional character "and the small band of misfit friends that make it possible." Weezer's new album Everything Will be Alright in the End is set for an October 7th release.

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow Act Out 'Friends' Fan Fiction with Jimmy Kimmel

On last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel told guest Jennifer Aniston that he had written some Friends fan fiction and asked if she'd be willing to act it out with him. What resulted was a live reading in an impressive replica of Rachel's kitchen starring Aniston, Courtney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow, with Kimmel starring as Ross in a world where all the other men on Friends have been killed off.

Today's Funniest Tweets