Splitsider

July 25th, 2014

Conan O'Brien and Brian Stack Want to Make "Anon" a Cool Word Again

Here's a short and sweet clip from last night's Conan, in which O'Brien and writer Brian Stack state their case for why the word "anon" deserves a glorious comeback. It does sound a lot classier than "turducken."

Seinfeld Roasts Tommy Chong, and Other Weird Things That Happened on the Playboy Channel

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

A warning before we get into this: this installment is going to feel a little bit like a trip to an alternate dimension. A dimension in which the Playboy Channel aired things without boobs. Where Tommy Chong is a name big enough to be on a televised roast. Where Richard Belzer isn't a network TV detective. Where Jerry Seinfeld is big, but not Seinfeld big, and yes, he has to stand at the dais and say mean things about a fellow comedian. Welcome to the world of 1986's Playboy Comedy Roast of Tommy Chong, which aired exclusively on the Playboy Channel, and was a really weird time for everybody, including the audience.

To begin, let's run through the lineup. First and foremost, there's Tommy Chong, the guest of honor, best known as half of the original stoner comedy duo Cheech and Chong. Our MC for the evening is David Steinberg, currently the host of Inside Comedy on Showtime, and frequent guest of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. In addition to Seinfeld and The Belz, our roasters include Slappy White, a comedian of the old school, who came up on the so called Chitlin' circuit of standup in the 50s and 60s, working with Redd Foxx before becoming a Friar's Club roast superstar. Also at the head table are Mack and Jamie, a comedy team who at the time were the stars of their own syndicated comedy show Comedy Break with Mack & Jamie. Dick Shawn, who played the actor who played Hitler in the original film version of The Producers is there, breaking out of his traditional stuffy demeanor. And finally there's Marsha Warfield, who is probably best known as the bailiff from Night Court, who David Steinberg touts as the very first woman on the dais of a roast. "Because of the presence of a woman, we'll be a little more contained than usual tonight," he says, beginning his joke. "Fuckin' well better be," she interrupts, ending it for him. READ MORE

Jordan Peele Plays Stan Lee in This Sneak Peek of 'Key and Peele' Season 4

At Comic-Con yesterday, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele revealed one of their sketches from the upcoming fourth season of Key and Peele premiering on September 24th, which — fittingly for Comic-Con — shows Peele as Marvel's Stan Lee. They duo also revealed that they're developing a movie (aside from their project with Judd Apatow) called Keanu, and Peele gave only one hint about what it's about: "Keanu is a kitten."

What It's Like Getting Hired – and Fired – by 'SNL'

gary_kroeger_needlemanIt was late summer, 1982, and I was driving down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I turned to her and said, “This must be what winning the lottery feels like.” We had just been asked to join the cast of Saturday Night Live along with Brad Hall (and Paul Barrosse, who would become a writer) and were on our way to our last performance of “The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee.”

The show was a collection of our best Practical Theatre sketches over a three-year period and it was a local hit that caught the attention of Tim Kazurinsky. Tim brought in Dick Ebersol and Bob Tischler who decided on the spot to make us the new cast. We were so excited we couldn’t contain ourselves. I even did something stupid like announce “Live from the Practical Theatre it’s Saturday Night!” before our finale started.

That’s the good part of the story. The less good part is…we were hired to light a fire under Eddie Murphy, who was already emerging as a superstar. We were introduced to the existing cast and writers, not as an addition, per se, but as competition. We’d do our thing, they’d do their thing.

Problem was, our thing had no credibility yet and we were more or less left by Dick and Bob to fend for ourselves. Perhaps they thought that was the best environment to bring out our best.

It wasn’t. READ MORE

Check Out Weird Al’s Incredible Attention to Detail in This Comparison Video

As if you needed any further proof that Weird Al is the best, here's a new video that compares eight of his parody videos side-by-side with the original, which clearly shows that Yankovic's just as good at skewering artists' music videos as he is good at skewering their songs.

Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, and Clark Duke Travel to the Future in the 'Hot Tub Time Machine 2' Trailer

It's been four years since Hot Tub Time Machine hit theaters, and the first red band trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2 made its debut at Comic-Con yesterday with Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, and Clark Duke traveling to the future so they can fix a few problems in the present. Like the first Hot Tub, Hot Tub 2 is packed with comedy people — this trailer alone features Chevy Chase, Adam Scott, Jason Jones, and Kumail Nanjiani getting punched in the face.

TV

The New Season of 'Community' Won't Be on Yahoo Until After Christmas

At yesterday's Community Comic-Con panel, Dan Harmon and crew gave a few hints as to what we can expect from the show's in-the-works sixth season on Yahoo. Aside from telling the audience that the new episodes won't be available until "probably sometime after Christmas," Harmon also revealed that Community won't be binge-friendly and is slated to premiere a new episode each week instead of premiering the entire season at once.

Harmon also addressed a fan's question about the state of Donald Glover's character Troy, and he responded with this tease: "Troy's out there somewhere. He may be in peril. That's what movies are made of." When pressed further about the movie, Harmon said that he has "no plans of that, but it could be good. A Search for Spock kind of thing. Not that I'm rejecting the idea of him coming back for season 6. Donald, if you're listening."

Fred Armisen Plays the Weirdest Johns Hopkins Surgeon Ever on 'Late Night'

So far in his remote-from-Portland segment "FredEx," Fred Armisen has portrayed an American building designer who questions the existence of angels and a Peruvian Beatles cover band member who discusses global warming, and last night he returned with the weirdest character yet with the help of a wig, tacky hoodie, and pair of headphones. Naturally he turns it into an unorthodox surgeon who is in love with everyone he knows.

Today's Funniest Tweets

Edgar Wright Has His Next Film Project Lined Up with 'Baby Driver'

It's been just over two months since Edgar Wright made the unfortunate announcement that he was no longer directing Marvel's Ant-Man, but thankfully the Scott Pilgrim/The World's End director has already bounced back with a new project. According to Variety, Wright is currently in talks to direct Baby Driver for Working Title Films. While no plot details have been released, Baby Driver will reportedly be in the vein of his Cornetto Trilogy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Wright will also write the script along with Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, who both worked as producers on Wright's Cornetto Trilogy films.

Thailand's Military Government Is Not a Fan of 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver'

Thailand's military government apparently caught wind of a segment Last Week Tonight with John Oliver did on their Crown Prince last month, and they're not taking his satire lightly. VICE News recently got ahold of a "highly confidential" official document from Thailand's National Council of Peace and Order responding to, among other things, Oliver's June 22 segment on Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in which he mocked the coup leader and his ridiculous "happiness campaign" and called him "buffoonish" and "an idiot." From the document, which focuses on Oliver and other "overseas activities that the junta regards as 'undermining the royal institution'":

Mr. John William Oliver, a comedy actor known for parodying English politics, discussed the issue of Crown Prince Felipe of Spain’s inauguration, criticizing it and referring/connecting it to other countries with monarchs, such as Queen Elizabeth II, by means of showing sections of and criticizing ‘the poolside clip’ on HBO.

Oliver played the "poolside clip" — which features the Crown Prince, his topless wife, and their poodle Foo Foo (who also ranks as Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Thai Air Force) lounging by a pool with a birthday cake — when covering Thailand's lèse majestè law, which calls for 3-15 years in jail for anyone who mocks the royal family: "And you're telling me they're not supposed to make fun of that? That’s entrapment!" Click here to watch a clip from the original segment.

This Week In Web Videos: 'Compliments'


Banter is such a polarizing comedic art. To appreciate the humor in unremarkable conversation is to know the nuances of human interaction, both in their audible forms — rich, often conflict-ridden dialogue — and in those manifestations which must be seen to be truly appreciated — the facial ticks, the pregnant pauses that adorn acted words with that special kind of hyper-realism that makes one half of the population crack up, and the other squirm out of its skin. As readers of this column know, I fall squarely in the camp of "Banter Lovers" and the reason why I go out of my goddamned gourd for a well-executed banter piece is this: it demands active and intimate audience engagement. People have to pay close attention to really bathe in its cool waters of subtle brilliance. Those who don't have the interest (or ability) to do so instantly identify themselves as people with whom Banter Lovers could never be stuck on a desert island. And isn't identifying those kinds of people what self preservation and, really, life is all about? Yes, and "Take Care, Brush Your Hair" comedy duo Max Azulay and Alex Mullen and guest actress Sammi Cains are folks with whom I wouldn't mind sharing a (very plush) desert island (where we all had our own rooms so we could get away from each other for "me" time, because you need "me" time, even when united in Banter Love). Compliments is just one example of why.

Luke is a writer for CollegeHumor and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.

This Week in Comedy Podcasts: The One Year Anniversary of 'Terrified' with Dave Ross and the 300th Episode of 'Comedy Bang! Bang!'

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.

Terrified - Dave Ross

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LEIGH: To mark the one year anniversary of Terrified, host Dave Ross moves over to the guest spot and has his friend Jake Weisman take over as host. (It's also worth mentioning that Weisman's turn as guest on Terrified is one of my favorite episodes.) If you're not familiar with the format of the podcast, it starts with two questions: "What are you afraid of?" and "What do you not like about yourself?" Maybe it's because they're friends, or because Ross has listened to so many others answer these questions before, but it gets pretty deep and honest right off the bat. Weaving naturally and seamlessly between lighthearted jokes and more serious stuff like self-worth, self-esteem, and "being a piece of shit," the conversation is both funny and therapeutic. It's pretty heavy stuff but don't kid yourself — if you have any kind of feelings at all, you can relate. Above all, listen to this episode for the new Dave Ross sound effect. READ MORE

Andy Samberg and Kit Harington to Star as Rivals in a Tennis Mockumentary for HBO

Andy Samberg is about to play a tennis bad boy in an original HBO movie. According to Deadline, HBO is currently assembling the cast for 7 Days in Hell, a tennis-centric mockumentary written by Girls and American Dad! writer Murray Miller based on a concept by Miller and Samberg, who will star opposite Game of Thrones' Kit Harington. The mockumentary will tell the tale of rivaling tennis players during their legendary seven-day match at Wimbledon, with Samberg as "tennis' superstar bad boy" Aaron Williams and Harington as Charles Poole, "a tennis prodigy and certified truck driver." Rounding out the cast will be Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, Will Forte (playing a tennis historian), Karen Gillan (as supermodel and Charles's childhood best friend), Howie Mandel, Soledad O'Brien (as herself), Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen (as Charles's psycho mother), and June Squibb. SNL and Funny or Die's Jake Szymanski will direct.

7 Days in Hell is not the first TV mockumentary project starring SNL grads to be announced this year; in March, IFC announced that they ordered six episodes of American Documentary, a half-hour series of fake documentaries and biopics, from Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers, to air next year.