Katie Rich Hired to Write for 'SNL'

Saturday Night Live has added another writer to its ever-growing staff. Katie Rich, a performer at Chicago's Second City and iO theaters, has been hired to write for the show, Chicago Tribune reports. Rich is an alumni of Northwestern University who spent three and a half years in Second City's touring company before moving to the mainstage cast.

Katie Rich is the fifth new addition to SNL's writing staff this year following Michael Che, Mikey Day, Claire Mulaney, and Tim Robinson, who was a featured player last year. With the show's co-head writer Seth Meyers set to leave sometime in the next couple months to start hosting NBC's Late Night in February, he may be taking some SNL writers with him, so there may be more midseason writer hires in the near future.


Nancy Drew and the Case of the Cooperstown Slut, by Liz Arcury

“Fifteen dollars? Come on, Nance, there are dozens of other stores in the mall that sell candles. Don’t settle on this one just yet,” Bess Marvin assured Nancy Drew, as they, along with George Fayne, Bess’s cousin, strolled through the River Heights Mall. The three teenage friends were out for a shopping day to relieve some stress. Their academic and work lives were fine, but Nancy insisted that they take a day to decompress after a run-in with that outright whore from Cooperstown at Ned Nickerson’s party last Friday night.

The girl, Carmen, was around their age and also a total slut. Nancy had learned from past cases to not jump at an investigation too quickly. The Secret of Shadow Ranch had taught her that in spades. She had also learned, however, to listen to her instincts, and her instincts were telling her that this Carmen thinks-she’s-so-hot needed to be taken care of. READ MORE


Conan Dropped By 'The Pete Holmes Show' to Check Up on Things

Conan O'Brien made his first appearance on The Pete Holmes Show on Thanksgiving, the talk show following his on TBS that he also executive produces. Of course, he proceeded to spend the episode making fun of Pete Holmes's family and threatening to fire him.

Check out the rest of Conan's appearance below: READ MORE


Talking to Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland About Their New Adult Swim Show, 'Rick and Morty'

During Dan Harmon's Community exodus last year, he went and created another TV show, this one for Adult Swim. Called Rick and Morty, the new animated series was co-created by Harmon and Justin Roiland, and it premieres tonight at 10:30.

Based on a rejected pilot Roiland made for Harmon's monthly video competition Channel 101 in 2006 called "The Real Adventures of Doc and Mharti," Rick and Morty is a Back to the Future-inspired sci-fi comedy about a sociopathic scientist and his grandson going on wild adventures. I recently had the chance to talk to Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland about how the new show came to be, how they run their writers' room, and the Rick and Morty episode that unintentionally copied South Park. READ MORE


Kyle Kinane Got Pace Salsa to Suspend Their Twitter Account (UPDATE)

Standup Kyle Kinane got into a Twitter war with the account for salsa company Pace Foods over the weekend, and it looks like he won.

After finding that Pace Salsa had favorited a 10-month old tweet of his insulting their product and responded to it with "GRAB THE SOUTHWEST BY THE BOTTLE," Kinane found that Pace's account is set up to automatically fav and have that response to any tweet that mentions their product. Kinane then proceeded to get Pace Salsa to automatically endorse a series of wildly offensive tweets about their product, causing the company to issue an apology over Twitter and beg him to delete the tweets over a private message.

Check out the whole exchange below, which spiraled into a beautiful mess involving employees being sent home and Pace suspending their Twitter account. It's pretty amazing.

UPDATE: Campbell's Soup Company, which owns Pace Foods, wrote on Twitter that the Pace Foods Twitter account was "not authorized." Kinane has confirmed that the whole thing was a hoax by comedian Randy Liedtke. READ MORE


The Complete Guide to Everything: Open Letters

This week Tim discusses having to find a new chiropractor who isn’t a racist, and his extensive collection of swords and letter openers. The idea of the Joker surrounding himself with henchmen with heart conditions is dissected before moving onto the main topic: Open Letters.

We discuss a man’s open letter to a restaurant demanding an employee be fired for not letting him wear his $1,500 creep toy as well as Sinead O’Connor’s open letter to Miley Cyrus. We also solve a listener problem concerning being on the other end of unrequited love while trying not to ruin Christmas for everyone.

This week's episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a free audiobook download and 30-day trial by signing up at tcgte.com/audible.


'Better Call Saul' Should Be On the Air Within a Year, Will Spend a Lot of Time in Court

This weekend, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan said that he expects the show's spinoff Better Call Saul, starring Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, to be on the air "before next year is done." And showrunner Peter Gould talked a bit about what to expect from the show and how it'll be different from Breaking Bad: Saul will be spending a lot more time in courtrooms. Seeing that the character is a lawyer, that makes sense, although he was never once seen in a courtroom setting in Breaking Bad. He was more of an expert at keeping his clients out of court rather than helping them through the process once in court. But it'll be fun to see how Odenkirk's character behaves in these new settings.


Will Ferrell Did a North Dakota Local Newscast, Called Some Women's Curling as Ron Burgundy

The Anchorman 2 marketing blitz continued this weekend, with Will Ferrell appearing in character as Ron Burgundy for both an entire North Dakota local news broadcast as well as at a Canadian curling tournament. Ferrell played it pretty straight in ND, reading actual news stories with that silky baritone alongside one of the actual anchors. He showed up wearing a kilt to the curling tournament, so he played that one a little less straight. Check that out below.

Ferrell will also be hosting SportsCenter this Thursday at 6pm on ESPN, and will presumably show up in character in a few dozen more places before the movie is actually released in three weeks. READ MORE


Neal Brennan Doesn't Care for Pete Holmes's Dave Chappelle Impression

Neal Brennan stopped by The Pete Holmes Show, and Pete took the opportunity to do his best David Chappelle/Aziz Ansari impression for the Chappelle Show co-creator, just because he knows he hates it. The rest of the interviews, the guys discussed the stresses of running a television show, what it takes to make it in Hollywood, and did some gossiping about Jerry O'Connell and Ryan Gosling. READ MORE


This Week In Web Videos: 'The Truth About the Tooth (Fairy)'

While Thanksgiving is just hours away, we gather here on this Eve of Forced Familial Interactions to discuss a holiday much more solitary: The Night The Tooth Fairy Visits. It’s an event that comes at different times of year for every child (or adult with severe dental decay) who believes in the majestic molar monger (does the tooth fairy even take molars?). That said, tooth fairy interactions rarely happen the way writer/stars Matt Dennie and Josh Sharp depict in their The Truth About the Tooth (Fairy). For one, the winged wonder doesn’t wake you up. Because you’re asleep it’s hard to say if she looks like a transvestite hooker, is a thief, or talks to you with the sassy, seen-it-all know-how of a Puerto Rican elementary school nurse, but I’m pretty sure Dennie and Sharp took some license here. Inaccurate as it may be, this sketch is a brilliantly executed, rich character piece brought to the next level by joke specificity. In a pitch meeting, this concept probably would’ve sounded stale, met with cold stares and passive aggressive responses like “Is there anything more Thanksgivingy we can do?” but thanks to Dennie and Sharp’s commitment to making this idea so textured, it beats the STUFFING out of most of the GOBBLE-DAMN T-Day sketches I’ve seen thus far!!! Ugh, sorry about that. Have a nice holiday.


'Alpha House' Is TV's Newest, Not Its Best, Political Comedy

The bar for political comedy on TV has been set pretty high by The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Veep, so it has to be an intimidating subgenre for any new show to tackle. Amazon's new sitcom Alpha House, one of the first ever original programs from the company alongside Silicon Valley comedy Betas, launched earlier this month and joined those aforementioned Emmy-dominating, politician-skewering shows in taking on Washington, DC. Political comedies are expected to walk a fine line between subtlety and scoring big laughs. In its first few episodes, Alpha House has yet to find that balance, and it's unfair to expect it to be up to par with those other series right off the bat. Veep took a few episodes to find its footing, and it's possible that Alpha House will too and avoid continued comparisons to TV's better satirical shows.

Alpha House follows four Republican Senators living together in a house in Washington, DC, and Amazon has made the first three episodes of the show's 11-episode first season available for free online. The show comes from Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, who writes the bulk of the episodes. It's the first TV show he's created since HBO's Tanner '88 in, um, 1988, and although he hasn't worked in TV in a while, Alpha House finds Trudeau returning to subject matter he knows well and his writing doesn't seem as rusty as you might expect. John Goodman is the lead as a no-nonsense southern senator named Gil John Biggs, with the supporting cast consists of Clark Johnson (Homicide: Life on the Street) as Pennsylvania Senator Robert Bettencourt, Mark Consuelos (American Horror Story) as oversexed presidential hopeful Andy Guzman, and Matt Molloy (Six Feet Under) as Louis Laffer, who's constantly trying to prove he's not a wimp while facing off against an alpha male competitor for re-election. READ MORE


Monty Python Adds Another Five Reunion Shows

Monty Python's reunion next year has already been expanded from one to five shows, and now the group has announced they'll be doing an additional five shows at London's O2 Arena next summer. The five living members of the group –  John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones – will now be performing on July 15, 16, 18, 19, and 20 of next year, as well as July 1-5.

Tickets to the first show reportedly sold out in 43.5 seconds, and the next four shows at the 20,000-seat venue went quickly as well. Ticket prices for ranged from £26.50 ($43) to £95 ($154). The show is entitled "Monty Python Live (mostly): One down, five to go," a reference to the group's deceased member Graham Chapman, who passed away in 1989. Tickets to the shows are on sale here.


Paul Feig, 'Bridesmaids', and Comedy with a "Feminine Sensibility"

Starting with the creation of his breakout sitcom, Freaks and Geeks, and the lead character of Lindsay Weir, Paul Feig has said publicly and shown in his work that he prefers a “feminine sensibility” in his comedy. His role as the auteur for the female comedic actress has been cemented in recent years with his back-to-back critical and box office successes, Bridesmaids and The Heat, and has helped to launch the careers of his stars and supporting players, particularly Melissa McCarthy. So then what is it about Feig’s storytelling and directing style that is so suitable for women performers? Primarily, the answer is that Feig is actively rebelling against the notion that comedy with women equals comedy for women and instead is pursuing the specific strengths of his performers in the goal of servicing some good old non-gendered laughs.

With Bridesmaids, Feig gave the Judd Apatow family of comedies its most needed entry in years. By 2011, after producing/directing a string of successful-but-similar comedies about immature men, what felt fresh and exciting about Apatow’s sensibilities was beginning to feel rote and tired. The most oft-lobbed criticism was the treatment of women in the world of those films, particularly in the riskier, more purely comedic roles. Bridesmaids was a stark departure from all that, and Feig was the right choice to take that project on.

Smartly, Paul Feig chose not to heavily depart from the familiarity of the romantic comedy genre, and on the surface, the film checks many of the boxes that signify that genre. It is about a female friendship stunted by a romantic relationship, starring mostly women, it is about finding love, and it prominently features a wedding. What Feig is trying to do is remove those as signifiers as genre specific comedy. Why should that film only appeal to women, and even that, to a specific type of woman? Thus, by working within that genre, Feig is able to subvert expectations by having his characters play against type, and the charge towards a comedy based around playing against type begins with casting. READ MORE


A Very Comic Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday gives us an opportunity to step back, relax, and give thanks for all the good things in life. Things like renaissance-fair-style turkey drumsticks, mulled wine, and the unconditional love of family and friends. Not to mention obnoxious second cousins, manic holiday travel, drunk uncles and recipes gone horrible awry.

So to get you ready for the adventures ahead this Thanksgiving week, we went out and spoke with 7 of the most hilarious comedians out there about their most memorable, embarrassing and wild tales from Thanksgivings past. Many thanks to our presenting sponsor Samsung.

Get excited. Happy Thanksgiving y'all!!

Michael Somerville

Last year my girlfriend and I were supposed to spend our first Thanksgiving together with her family in Virginia. Only I booked a job doing interviews at the Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC so couldn't make the trip. She was disappointed but understood.

On Thanksgiving, I finished the job around 2pm and headed to my parent's house in N.J.— they were out of town but I figured being alone for the day would be more comfortable on their couch than in my tiny apartment. Upon arriving, I decided to Skype my girlfriend and wish her family a Happy Thanksgiving. After all, I had a nice outfit on— heck, I was even wearing TV makeup— might as well capitalize.

The call scored major points. I complimented their lovely dinner table and promised to make up for my absence the following year. My girlfriend said I looked adorable. I closed the computer, turned on football and opened a beer.

Normally I love traditional holidays but I quickly saw the benefits of a Thanksgiving with no obligation. Not making small talk or eating food just to be polite– this wasn’t bad at all. Just a man, a beer and some football. READ MORE