Splitsider

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Splitsider's Power List: The 50 Top Writer/Directors in Comedy (and Their Next Projects)

There are more people working professionally in comedy now than ever before, and with so many talented funny folks running around, it can be a little hard to keep track of your favorite writer or director and what their next project is/when it's coming out. We've gone through and compiled all the known info on what 50 leading comedy writers/directors are working on right now, and when you can expect to see their new project hit the screen. It's a mix of the comedy industry's current top dogs (like Judd Apatow, Greg Daniels, and Tina Fey), the old guard (Woody Allen, Larry David, Chris Guest), cult favorites (Charlie Kaufman, Dan Harmon, Bob Odenkirk), UK imports (Armando Iannucci, Richard Ayoade, Stephen Merchant), and fast-rising up-and-comers (Lena Dunham, James Bobin, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash). Here's a rundown of the most influential people behind the scenes in comedy today and the movies and shows you can expect to see from them tomorrow.

Woody Allen

Known for: Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters
Frequently casts: Himself, Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow

Woody Allen's been cranking out a movie a year since 1982, and he shot his 2013 release this summer, which is currently untitled. He filmed the movie in San Francisco, with a cast that includes Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Emerson, Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., and Andrew Dice Clay.

Wes Anderson

Known for: Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom
Frequently casts: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman

After the critical and commercial success of , Moonrise Kingdom, Anderson is charging right into his next movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which will start filming in Germany in January. Hotel stars Ralph Fiennes as a high-strung hotel concierge, with Bill Murray, Jude Law, Jeff Golblum, and Owen Wilson also in the cast and offers out to Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, and Willem Dafoe. The film is set for release in December of 2014.

Judd Apatow

Known for: Freaks and Geeks, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up
Frequently casts: Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen

Currently vying with Todd Phillips for the title of Reigning King of Hollywood Comedy, Judd Apatow produced his biggest hit ever, Bridesmaids, last year. Directing-wise, his next release is This is 40, a Knocked Up spin-off centered on Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann's characters, which comes out this Christmas. After that, he's producing a new season of Lena Dunham's HBO series Girls, which airs in January, and Can a Song Save Your Life?, a music-themed drama from Once writer/director John Carney that stars Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley, and Hailee Steinfeld.

Richard Ayoade

Known for: Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Man to Man with Dean Learner, Submarine
Frequently casts: Himself, Matthew Holness, Matt Berry

The British star of The IT Crowd and The Watch has been directing amazing television for over a decade now. He crossed over into feature two years ago with the critically-acclaimed film Submarine and is following it up with The Double. It's a dark comedy adaptation of a Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel that stars Jesse Eisenberg as a guy whose world is turned upside-down by a guy that looks just like him (also played by Eisenberg) who is better at everything than he is. No word yet on when the movie's being released.

James Bobin

Known for: Da Ali G Show, Flight of the Conchords, The Muppets
Frequently casts: Kristen Schaal

Coming off the wild commercial and critical success of directing the latest Muppets movie, James Bobin has his pick of the litter when it comes to his second film. Bobin has a slew of projects in development, including the Muppets sequel, the serious WWII spy movie Agent Zigzag, and an adaptation of John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, starring Zach Galifianakis, although that movie's cursed and has been in development for 30 years with various actors and directors dropping in and out (and occasionally dying).

Albert Brooks

Known for: Modern Romance, Lost in America, Defending Your Life
Frequently casts: Himself, James L. Brooks

Albert Brooks hasn't directed a movie since 2006's Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, but he's been keeping busy with high-profile acting roles (in Drive and This is 40), a Twitter feed, and his debut novel 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America. Brooks doesn't have a return to the directors' chair planned right now, but discussions about adapting 2030 into a movie have taken place. Brooks has said, however, that he would likely just write the script and not direct the movie version.

Louis C.K.

Known for: Pootie Tang, Lucky Louie, Louie
Frequently casts: Himself, Pamela Adlon, Chris Rock

It was announced a couple weeks back that Louis C.K. is taking a hiatus from his FX series Louie to spend more time crafting the fourth season. He'll also probably be releasing another stand-up special in the next year. When asked if he'll make a third film on a Reddit AMA last year, Louis C.K. responded lengthily but summed himself up saying, "If I can get a deal to make a movie the way I do my show, I'll do it. Otherwise… no."  So, it looks like Season 4 of Louie in spring of 2014 is the next we'll see from him, writing/directing-wise.

Diablo Cody

Known for: Juno, The United States of Tara, Young Adult
Frequently casts: Patton Oswalt, J.K. Simmons

Oscar-winning writer Diablo Cody is making her directorial debut with a new untitled comedy that's already been shot and is due out next year. It stars Julianne Hough as a conservative woman who has a crisis of faith after surviving a plane crash, with Russell Brand, Holly Hunter, Nick Offerman, and Octavia Spencer rounding out the cast. Cody also wrote a draft of Fede Alvarez's upcoming Evil Dead remake, which should also hit theaters in 2013. She also just sold a romantic comedy pilot script called Alex + Amy to ABC.

Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles

Known for: Borat, Bruno, The Dictator
Frequently casts: Cohen

Seinfeld/Curb writer Larry Charles has directed all of Sacha Baron Cohen's last three movies, and the two are teaming up again for a movie called The Lesbian, which is based on the true story of a Hong Kong billionaire who offers a bounty to any man who can marry his lesbian daughter. Apart from each other, Baron Cohen is working on a spy comedy with writer Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids) and Charles is developing Pierre, Pierre, which would star Russell Brand as a French art thief.

Greg Daniels

Known for: King of the Hill, The Office, Parks and Recreation
Frequently casts: Rashida Jones, Craig Robinson, Brian Baumgartner

Original US Office showrunner Greg Daniels just returned to oversee the show's final season, which is airing now. After that, he has three shows in development at NBC for fall of 2013, all of which he would produce and not write, one with Craig Robinson as a musician-turned-music teacher, one with Brian Baumgartner as an airline exec,  and another about a father-son relationship by Parks and Rec writer Alan Yang.

Larry David

Known for: Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Frequently casts: Himself, JB Smoove, Phillip Baker Hall

Taking a break from Curb Your Enthusiasm, which may or may not come back for a ninth season, Larry David wrote a full-length movie for HBO called Clear History, which he's also starring in. The all-star cast also includes Jon Hamm, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton, Bill Hader, Curb's JB Smoove, Danny McBride, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan, and Phillip Baker Hall, with Greg Mottola directing. David will star as a guy who flees to an island after giving up stock in an electric car company right before it becomes huge.

Lena Dunham

Known for: Tiny Furniture, Girls
Frequently casts: Herself, Jemima Kirke, Alex Karpovsky

Triple-threat Lena Dunham's acclaimed HBO series Girls is coming back for a second season in January, and she's also working on an advice book called Not That Kind of Girl, which she's getting paid upwards of $3 million to write.

The Duplass Brothers

Known for: The Puffy Chair, Cyrus, Jeff Who Lives at Home
Frequently casts: Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton, Steve Zissis

In addition to Mark Duplass's busy acting schedule, he and brother Jay have a ton of writing/directing projects in the works. They're scripting a movie version of Mule, Tony D'Souza's novel about a young couple that starts trafficking pot to make ends meet. The Duplasses are also remaking the 1978 Alan Alda/Ellen Burstyn rom-com Same Time, Next Year, about two married people who have a one-night stand and decide to reunite once a year to see each other.

The Farrelly Brothers

Known for: Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary, The Three Stooges
Frequently casts: Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, Chris Elliott

Peter and Bobby Farrelly are currently writing a Dumb & Dumber sequel, entitled Dumb & Dumber To. The movie's been in development for years now, with Jim Carrey dropping out at one point, but the Farrellys insist that it's still happening, they're almost done with the script, and that Carrey and Jeff Daniels are still onboard. No production/release date has been set.

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

Known for: The Descendants

You might know Oscar-winning writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash better for their roles on Ben and Kate and Community, respectively, than their words. The team is making their directorial debut with The Way, Way Back, a movie they wrote and filmed this summer and stars Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Allison Janney, and Rob Corddry, with Faxon and Rash playing supporting roles. Jim Rash is also writing an episode of the upcoming season of Community, which will make him the first Oscar winner to write for the show.

Paul Feig

Known for: Freaks and Geeks, Bridesmaids
Frequently casts: Melissa McCarthy, Steve Bannos, Tony Hale

Feig is reteaming with Bridesmaids breakout star Melissa McCarthy for his next project. The Heat stars McCarthy and Sandra Bullock as an FBI agent and a Boston cop who team up to catch a mobster. Paul Feig directed from a script by Parks and Rec writer Katie Dippold. Kaitlin Olson, Taran Killam, Tony Hale, and Bill Burr also star. The movie shot this summer and comes out in April 2013.

Tina Fey

Known for: Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock
Frequently casts: Herself, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch

30 Rock is winding down this winter, with only eight episodes from its truncated 13-episode final season remaining. But don't expect Tina Fey to leave her longtime home, NBC, anytime soon. Fey recently inked a deal that'll keep her at the Peacock Network for four more years and see her forming her own production company to develop her own shows and shows for other writers, as well. Plus, she's hosting the Golden Globes with Amy Poehler!

Ruben Fleischer

Known for: Funny or Die Presents, Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less
Frequently casts: Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Peña

Director Ruben Fleischer's background is entirely in comedy, but his latest film is a serious gangster movie that was supposed to come out this year but was pushed back to January 2013 because of the Aurora tragedy. The movie, Gangster Squad, follows the LAPD's battle to keep the mob off the west coast in the 1940s, and it stars Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, and Michael Peña.

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant

Known for: The Office, Extras
Frequently casts: Themselves, Karl Pilkington, Matthew Holness

The longtime writing team of Gervais and Merchant have two current shows together and a solo project each in development. Together, they produce the Karl Pilkington-centric travelogue An Idiot Abroad, which returns for a Christmas special with Warwick Davis this December, and Davis's series, Life's Too Short, which might be following up its first season with a Christmas special, presumably next year. Apart from each other, Stephen Merchant is starring in and creating an HBO series called Hello Ladies with help from US Office writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. The show was just picked up for an 8-episode first season and stars Merchant as a British man searching for a lady in America. Gervais's solo project, Derek, stars him as the titular mentally-handicapped character who works in an old folks home. The pilot aired this year and was picked up to series by Channel 4, where it will debut in early 2013.

Christopher Guest

Known for: This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show
Frequently casts: Michael McKean, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara

Guest's last film was 2006's For Your Consideration, but he's making a big comeback next year, however, with Family Tree, a new HBO/BBC2 series he created. It'll run eight episodes for its first season and stars Bridesmaids' Chris O'Dowd, with Guest regulars Michael McKean, Ed Begley Jr., and Fred Willard set for recurring roles.

Dan Harmon

Known for: Channel 101, The Sarah Silverman Program, Community
Frequently casts: Dino Stamatopoulos, Jack Black, Sarah Silverman

Recently-ousted Community creator Dan Harmon has been keeping really, really, really busy since being kicked off of his show. He's developing multi-camera sitcoms for CBS and Fox (he's said, "I've got one more time at bat in the bigs and I want to swing for the bleachers" and hinted the Fox show is about his old job washing dishes in a rehab center), making an animated show called Rick and Morty with Justin Roiland for Adult Swim that starts airing in 2014, hosting the live-recorded podcast Harmontown, cameoing in Arrested Development, producing Charlie Kaufman's stop motion film Anomalisa, and probably not getting a ton of sleep.

Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

Known for: Tom Goes to the Mayor, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
Frequently casts: Themselves, John C. Reilly, David Lieb Hart

Tim & Eric's first film, Billion Dollar Movie, didn't do so well at the box office, but the duo is keeping busy with a variety of projects. Heidecker said in a recent interview, "We’re not in a big rush to make another movie, that’s for sure. At this point, we’re just going to do some more TV shows next year and see what happens." Despite this quote, Wareheim has expressed interest in making a sequel called Trillion Dollar Movie. Heidecker and Wareheim produce several cable series through their company, Abso Lutely Productions, including Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule (which they also co-write), The Eric Andre Show, and Comedy Bang! Bang! In addition to this, Heidecker co-hosts podcasts On Cinema (with Gregg Turkington) and #230PST (with Jon Daly). Tim & Eric can currently be seen onscreen in the new drama The Comedy (in theaters on VOD now), and they're creating content for the new YouTube comedy channel Jash, which launches in January.

Jody Hill and Danny McBride

Known for: The Foot Fist Way, Eastbound & Down, Observe and Report
Frequently casts: McBride, Seth Rogen, Michael Peña

Jody Hill and Danny McBride say their HBO series Eastbound & Down was always meant to run just three seasons, but they surprised everyone by signing on for a fourth after the season three finale put a nice little bow on the Kenny Powers Saga. McBride has cited the fact that actress Katy Mixon wasn't available to appear in much of Season 3 as the reason for the additional season, saying:

"In the back of our heads, we had so much material and so many thoughts of what that would be like when those two were together, and you only really got to see a glimpse of it in that first episode of the third season. So that was the one story arc we felt like we were unable to finish the way we imagined, and so that's what this epilogue does for us."

No word yet on when the fourth season is coming. Production has not yet begun, so it'll be a while. McBride has also signed on to write and star in a U.S. remake of the Danish movie Klovn for director Todd Phillips.

Mitch Hurwitz

Known for: The Golden Girls, Arrested Development, Running Wilde
Frequently casts: Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, David Cross

Mitch Hurwitz is working on the much-talked about new season of Arrested Development, which is coming back for 10-ish episodes in April. For what to expect from the fourth season, check out our extremely obsessive guide.

Armando Iannucci

Known for: I'm Alan Partridge, The Thick of It, Veep
Frequently casts: Steve Coogan, Rebecca Front, Peter Capaldi

UK satirist Armando Iannucci's brilliant BBC political series The Thick of It just ended its run this fall, but he's already a season into its US counterpart, HBO's Veep, which was renewed for a second season of 10 episodes, due out in 2013. He's also writing his first novel, Tongue International, which has been called "a satirical fantasy about a privatized language." On top of all that, Iannucci is writing and producing the TV version of Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge and the oft-delayed Alan Partridge movie.

Charlie Kaufman

Known for: Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Frequently casts: Catherine Keener

The most recent movie Charlie Kaufman was working on was Frank or Francis, a satirical Hollywood musical about an Oscar-winning director (Steve Carell) who gets in a feud with a blogger (Jack Black), but the project fell apart just before filming began because of a lack of funding. His next project is writing Anomalisa, a Kickstarter-funded stop-motion film about a motivational speaker, produced by Dan Harmon and Dino Stamatopoulos. As if that weren't enough Kaufman nuttiness to look forward to, the man is also writing a novel and creating an HBO comedy series starring Catherine Keener.

Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant

Known for: The State, Reno 911!, Balls of Fury
Frequently casts: Rob Huebel, Members of The State

Since Lennon and Garant's Reno 911! ended its Comedy Central run in 2009, the writing team has had pilots rejected at NBC and FX and authored an awesome screenwriting book. They recently finished filming their latest movie, Hell Baby, a horror-comedy about a young couple (Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb) whose infant is possessed. They co-wrote and co-directed the movie, which stars Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, Keegan Michael Key, Michael Ian Black, and Lennon and Garant themselves. Expect it out sometime next year. Lennon and Garant are currently prepping their next film, a comedic version of cheesy 90s soap Baywatch, which theyre co-writing and co-directing once again. Also, acting-wise, Thomas Lennon is in everything.

The Lonely Island

Known for: "The 'Bu," Saturday Night Live, Hot Rod
Frequently casts: Themselves, Chris Parnell, Bill Hader

Lonely Island member Jorma Taccone signed on to direct Spy Guys, his second movie (his first was MacGruber), with Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer also producing. Spy Guys follows a CIA operative at a friend's wedding in Europe who gets framed and becomes an enemy of the state, forcing him to go on the run with his regular dude friends. Hopefully, Samberg will get a good role in the movie, but he has his hands full starring in Parks and Rec co-creator Michael Schur's new cop show pilot over at NBC right now.

Mike Judge

Known for: Beavis and Butt-head, King of the Hill, Office Space
Frequently casts: Himself, David Herman, Stephen Root

Mike Judge resurrected his seminal MTV series Beavis and Butt-head last year, but news still hasn't come in about another season, and it seems like MTV has pulled the plug on the series once again. Just last week, Judge released a series of Funny or Die shorts he wrote and directed that star Idiocracy's President Camacho (Terry Crews). Plus, he directed a short film to be featured in the comedy anthology film Movie 43, which has been sitting on the shelf for years. Despite all this, there's been no announcement as to what Mike Judge's next big project is.

Mindy Kaling

Known for: The Office, The Mindy Project
Frequently casts: Herself, Ed Helms

It's an exciting year for writer/actress Mindy Kaling. She left The Office full-time in the spring to work on her own Fox show, The Mindy Project, which was just picked up for a full season. She's also seeing her first feature screenplay, The Low Self-Esteem of Lizzie Gillespie, gearing up for production. Kaling wrote the rom-com script with Office colleague Brent Forrester, and Anne Hathaway will play the lead role with Kaling expected to take a supporting part.

Jake Kasdan

Known for: Orange County, Walk Hard, Bad Teacher
Frequently casts: Jason Segel, Jack Black, John Michael Higgins

Most of Jake Kasdan's movies and TV shows have been critically-acclaimed commercial failures (Zero Effect, Walk Hard, Freaks and Geeks, The TV Set), but he turned it all around last year with a hit on TV (New Girl, which he produces) and in the theaters (Bad Teacher, which he directed). Kasdan is developing a dizzying array of projects, including Sex Tape, starring Jason Segel as a guy who makes a sex tape with his wife, My Spy, a teen action comedy, Man Made, about an expectant father trying to discover his masculine side, an untitled comedy about a hairdresser from the Bad Teacher writers, and Wentworth Hall, an animated Fox college sitcom.

Seth MacFarlane

Known for: Family Guy, American Dad!, Ted
Frequently casts: Himself, Mike Henry, Patrick Warburton

The King of Talking Animal Comedy, Seth MacFarlane, made a seamless transition from movies to TV this year with his debut film Ted becoming the year's highest-grossing comedy. Next, he's producing a reboot of Carl Sagan's space-doc series Cosmos for Fox, presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It's due out in the spring of 2014. MacFarlane's also producing a live-action pilot for Fox written by frequent collaborators Alec Sulkin and Wellesly Wild, with whom he wrote Ted, which the trio are considering sequelizing. On top of all this, Seth MacFarlane's hosting next year's Oscars and doing the whole "three TV shows at once" thing.

Adam McKay

Known for: Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers
Frequently casts: Will Ferrell, Rob Riggle, John C. Reilly

Adam McKay's next movie as director will be the long-awaited Anchorman 2, which takes place in 1978, is being written by McKay and Will Ferrell now, and is expected to start filming in February for a 2014 release. McKay's also co-writing an HBO pilot that stars Rob Riggle as an 80s Wall Street jerk, prepping to direct a remake of Uptown Saturday Night that the studio wants Denzel Washington and Will Smith to star in, and has been kicking around ideas for Step Brothers 2.

Christopher Morris

Known for: Brass Eye, Nathan Barley, Four Lions

Christopher Morris spent three years just researching his last movie, Four Lions, so you can expect him to take his time making a follow-up. There's no word yet on what his next big movie/TV project is, but he's co-writing an episode of Charlie Brooker's Twilight Zone-esque Channel 4 drama Black Mirror and working on a radio show with Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade. The audio program consists of six ten minute programs and has been in the works since 2006. He also recently directed an episode of Armando Iannucci's Veep this season and could very well end up returning to the show to do it again for Season Two.

Greg Mottola

Known for: Superbad, Adventureland, Paul
Frequently casts: Seth Rogen, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio

Longtime comedy director Greg Mottola helmed the pilot and two other episodes of Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom last year. He'll be staying in business with HBO for his next project, Clear History, a TV movie for the pay-cable network written by and starring Larry David. Mottola is also developing an adaptation of Jeffrey Eugendies' novel The Marriage Plot, which is about a love triangle of Brown graduates in the '80s, for Hollywood super-producer Scott Rudin.

Bob Odenkirk

Known for: Saturday Night Live, The Ben Stiller Show, Mr. Show
Frequently casts: Himself, David Cross, Will Arnett

In addition to playing sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad, Bob Odenkirk has several behind-the-camera projects in development, as well. He's producing an IFC show for L.A.-based sketch group The Birthday Boys, publishing a book of unproduced scripts he wrote with David Cross, and potentially making a Claymation movie from one of those scripts. He also directed a segment for the comedy anthology Movie 43, which has been on the shelf for two years but is finally coming out in January.

Todd Phillips

Known for: Road Trip, Old School, The Hangover
Frequently casts: Zach Galifianakis, Matt Walsh, Will Ferrell

The long-awaited final chapter to Todd Phillips's Hangover trilogy is in production now and expected to hit theaters next summer. The whole gang is back along with John Goodman and a cameo from Melissa McCarthy. Phillips is also producing a Project X sequel, an adaptation of Tony D'Souza's marijuana-trafficking novel Mule to be written by the Duplass Brothers, and a U.S. remake of the Danish comedy Klovn written by and starring Danny McBride. Luckily, it seems like his John Belushi biopic has stalled.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Known for: South Park, Team America, The Book of Mormon
Frequently casts: Themselves

Parker and Stone's long-running series South Park has been renewed through Season 20, which will see the show airing into 2016, at least. Their Grammy-winning stage musical, The Book of Mormon, is currently on tour. They've expressed interest in turning Mormon into a movie but are hesitant, with Stone explaining, "We want to do a movie of it someday but, right now, we're just trying to get our head around this version." Parker added, "We wouldn't want to just do this on film. We'd have to really rethink it. But I think we could redo it.”

Jason Reitman

Known for: Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air
Frequently casts: Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Sam Elliott

Writer/director Jason Reitman has helmed plenty of comedies and comedy-dramas in the past, but he began filming Labor Day, his first straight-up drama, this summer. Reitman wrote the script, which is based on a Joyce Maynard novel and follows a 13-year-old-boy and his mother who take in a drifter over Labor Day weekend, only to learn he's an escaped convict. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin play the mother and the con, respectively, with Tobey Maguire, James Van Der Beek, and Clark Gregg in supporting roles.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

Known for: Superbad, Pineapple Express, The Green Hornet
Frequently casts: Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill

Childhood friends Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been writing together since they were 13. The pair is directing their first movie, The End of the World, which comes out next summer. The story involves Rogen and buddies James Franco, Jason Segel, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, and more all playing fictionalized versions of themselves, dealing with the apocalypse, which begins at a party at Franco's house. Rogen and Goldberg are also producing a buddy cop movie starring Rogen and Kevin Hart as the first-ever interracial police partners in the 1940s, busting up a marijuana ring in the jazz scene.

Tom Scharpling

Known for: The Best Show on WFMU, Monk, music videos
Frequently casts: Jon Wurster, Ted Leo, John Hodgman

Fans of the long-running radio show/podcast The Best Show on WFMU know host Tom Scharpling is one of the funniest guys going. Earlier this year, his pilot with the Gregory Brothers didn't get picked up by Comedy Central, but he's continued to churn out great work on the radio show and in a series of acclaimed music videos. He's also working on a new album of original material with comedy partner Jon Wurster. It's only a matter of time before somebody hands this guy a TV show and he knocks it out of the park.

Rob Schrab

Known for: Heat Vision and Jack, Channel 101, The Sarah Silverman Program
Frequently casts: Sarah Silverman, Steve Agee, Jack Black

Rob Schrab just signed on to create a coming-of-age comedy for FX, co-written by his Sarah Silverman Program cohort Steve Agee. Jack Black is producing the series, which has a script (not a pilot) commitment at the network and will be based on Agee's actual childhood experiences in military school.

Michael Schur

Known for: Saturday Night Live, The Office, Parks and Recreation
Frequently casts: Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler, Andy Samberg

Parks and Recreation mastermind Michael Schur is hard at work as the showrunner for that series, but he's also developing a new NBC show, a cop sitcom starring Andy Samberg that could end up on your screens in fall of 2013 should the Peacock Network elect to pick it up.

Sarah Silverman

Known for: Saturday Night Live, The Sarah Silverman Program

NBC made a mistake (crazy, right?) last year by not picking up Sarah Silverman's pilot Susan 313, which was produced by Ron Howard and starred Silverman, Jeff Goldblum, Harris Wittels, and Tig Notaro. Since then, Silverman has been the spokesperson for a profane voter registration campaign and is currently creating content for the upcoming YouTube comedy channel Jash, which launches in January.

Jonathan Stern

Known for: Childrens HospitalNTSF:SD:SUV

Jonathan Stern is the king of live-action Adult Swim 11-minute series. He currently writes and produces both Childrens Hospital and NTSF:SD:SUV, and he's got a third on the way, the Childrens Hospital spin-off Newsreaders, starring Mather Zickel. No word yet on when Newsreaders is to air, but Childrens and NTSF have both been renewed for new seasons, which you can expect to see late next year. Stern is also producing Michael Ian Black's faux-paid programming Adult Swim miniseries You're Whole.

Ben Stiller

Known for: The Ben Stiller Show, Zoolander, Tropic Thunder
Frequently casts: Himself, Jack Black, Owen Wilson

Ben Stiller only directs movies sporadically, usually waiting about five years between projects because of his busy acting and producing schedule. His next directorial project, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, based on the James Thurber stories, is due out next Christmas. The movie stars Stiller as a dude with an out-of-control imagination, with Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, and Patton Oswalt rounding out the cast. After that, he's starring in/producing the long-delayed Zoolander 2 for writer/director Justin Theroux, which will see him reunite with co-star Owen Wilson should it ever get off the ground.

Nicholas Stoller

Known for: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, The Five-Year Engagement
Frequently casts: Jason Segel, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand

Next up for writer/director Nick Stoller is penning the script to the new Muppet movie with director James Bobin. After that, he'll be directing Townies, a comedy about a regular guy (Seth Rogen) who gets into conflict with the wild member of a neighboring frat house (Zac Efron), and writing Aloha, an island-set comedy starring Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill and to be directed by Shawn Levy.


David Wain

Known for: The State, Wet Hot American Summer, Role Models
Frequently casts: Paul Rudd, Members of The State

Wain's next movie is They Came Together, which he calls "a spoof/homage/deconstruction/love letter to romantic comedies."  Wain and Michael Showalter originally wrote the script in 2003. Filming took place earlier this year, with an eclectic cast that includes Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Max Greenfield, Michael Shannon, Christopher Meloni, Ed Helms, and Jason Mantzoukas. The plot is a takeoff of You've Got Mail/Shop Around the Corner, following a small business owner who is about to lose her shop to a big corporate developer. Additionally, Wain is still writing/producing episodes of Childrens Hospital, and he has his web series Wainy Days in his back pocket for when he's between projects.

Mike White

Known for: Chuck and Buck, School of Rock, Enlightened
Frequently casts: Himself, Molly Shannon, Jack Black

White's dark TV comedy Enlightened, starring Laura Dern, returns for a second season of 10 episodes on HBO in January, where it'll have much more visibility when paired with Girls. Via his production company RipCord, White is also producing The Boring Life of Jacqueline, an HBO GO series that launched in August and was created by Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Silva, and Silva's psychological thriller Magic Magic, which stars Michael Cera and Juno Temple and is due out sometime next year. White is also developing Unicorn Store, a vehicle for Rebel Wilson that'll be directed by Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl, Cedar Rapids).

Edgar Wright

Known for: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Frequently casts: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, Martin Freeman

The World's End (not to be confused with Seth Rogen's The End of the World) is the third movie Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright have written together. Wright is directing the story about a group of friends who try to recreate a pub crawl from their youth, only to find the apocalypse getting in the way. Of course, Nick Frost is along for the ride too. After that, he'll direct the big-screen adaptation of the Marvel superhero comic Ant-Man, which is about a scientist who can change his size and is set to film next year for a 2015 release.

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  • crazygemini12

    Wow. I guess POC aren't funny O.o

    • http://twitter.com/justicetosay ThisIsJustice ToSay

      For real :( I'm not a fan of Tyler Perry mainly because I'm not a comedy buff and spend more time watching horror movies, but isn't he the most top paid entertainment dynamo? Just going off the 'Power Writer/Director' headline… seems like this one's a good submission for Andrew Ti's website :(

      • http://twitter.com/fictionalsleep Colin Fisher

        Here's the entry for Tyler Perry: Perry is busy being laughed out of the box office as Alex Cross, and beating a dead horse named Medea.

  • Miller and Dennis

    How the hell is mel brooks not on this list

  • juggles

    Not one of these people are funny hollywood blows