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October 1st, 2014

Hans Beinholtz Visits 'The Colbert Report' to Ponder the Pointlessness of Life

People who prefer a bleak and pessimistic outlook on life were validated by the news this week that they live longer, healthier lives than their more positive friends, which turned into the perfect opportunity for The Colbert Report to welcome another visit from its favorite German, the Honorable Hans Beinholtz. Beinholtz takes a few moments to reflect on life, death, and the time's slowly tightening grip on the soul, but he seems pleased to hear that his pessimistic perspective has moved him further away from the eternal relief that is death rather than closer to it.

Doctors Aren't Sure Whether Tracy Morgan Will Perform Again

Since suffering multiple injuries in the June car crash that killed his friend and mentor James McNair, former 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan has been undergoing extensive rehab that includes, according to his lawyer Benedict Morelli, "daily speech, cognitive, vocational and physical therapies." Speaking to Page Six, Morelli went on to say that Morgan's career may be in jeopardy due to the brain injury he sustained, and when asked whether the SNL alum will ever perform again he gave a not very reassuring answer: "The jury's still out. The doctors don't know the answer. I don't know the answer."

Earlier this week, Walmart delivered its response to Morgan and the other passengers' lawsuit by shifting the blame from the Walmart truck driver that caused the accident to the fact that Morgan wasn't wearing a seatbelt, and Morgan responded to the news yesterday with the following statement:

After I heard what Walmart said in court I felt I had to speak out. I can't believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused. My friends and I were doing nothing wrong. I want to thank my fans for sticking with me during this difficult time. I love you all. I'm fighting hard every day to get back.

Morelli took this even further with Page Six, calling them "despicable" and "good blame shifters" — "They knew that they changed these people's lives forever and killed somebody … I guess that's how they make $783 billion a year, shifting the blame." While Walmart initially said that they were "committed to doing the right thing for all involved," this new update paints an entirely different picture of not just their stance on the lawsuit, but sadly the certainty of Morgan's future as a performer as well.

SNL

Check Out Sarah Silverman's 'SNL' Promos with Taran Killam

Former SNL writer and featured player Sarah Silverman is returning to the show to host for the first time this weekend, and here's the very first promo, in which she promises to bring back some of her many classic characters like Captain Irishhands and everyone's favorite, Table Girl.

Today's Funniest Tweets

Abbi and Ilana Smoke Joints and Give Birth on 'Hack Into Broad City'

Here's a brand new installment of Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer's web series Hack Into Broad City, in which the ladies toke on joints, have a baby together, and engage in a very brief discussion about basic bitches.

Bill Lawrence and Brett Ratner Are Developing a 'Rush Hour' TV Series

Yet another big-screen comedy is currently in development as a TV series. Deadline reports that an hourlong action comedy based on the hit Rush Hour film franchise is currently in the works at Warner Bros. TV. The series will be written and executive produced by Bill Lawrence, with original Rush Hour director Brett Ratner and producer Arthur Sarkissian on board as executive producers. The series will reportedly be similar to the original film "with a stoic, by-the-book Hong Kong police officer, played in the features by Jackie Chan, assigned to a case in Los Angeles, where he’s forced to work with a cocky black LAPD officer, originally played by Chris Tucker, who has no interest in a partner." Other TV projects Lawrence has in the works includes an autobiographical comedy from standup Tommy Johnagin and possible new show with Zach Braff.

Watch B.J. Novak Read 'The Book with No Pictures' to a Bunch of Little Kids

Here's an adorable preview of B.J. Novak's new children's book The Book with No Pictures, in which the former Office writer/star reads aloud to a group of rambunctious kids from Queens who take great pleasure from hearing him say stuff like "BLORK!", "I am a robot monkey," and "Boo Boo Butt." The book is out today via Amazon in case you have kids of your own or just like reading picture-less kids' books for fun in your spare time.

TV

Yvette Nicole Brown Has Left 'Community'

Shirley sadly won't be returning to Community next season. TV Guide reports that Yvette Nicole Brown — who has played Shirley Bennett since the show's 2009 premiere — has officially left the cast prior to the filming of its sixth season on Yahoo. According to the report, Brown asked to be released from her contract for personal reasons, and both Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna honored her request.

Brown told TV Guide she decided to leave to take care of her ailing father: "My dad needs daily care and he needs me. The idea of being away 16 hours a day for five months, I couldn't do it. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I had to choose my dad." She also went on to say that Harmon "has been so wonderful about it all. He told me, 'Yvette, I'm praying for your dad'" and that she's "totally open to whatever Dan decides" regarding how Community will address Shirley's absence: "I'm glad it won't be hard for them to explain where she is. She has three kids, a degree and a business. There are a lot of ways to explain her [departure]."

Community is reportedly casting two new characters following the departure of Brown and Jonathan Banks; one is "a woman who's brought in as a consultant to help shape up the school," while the other is described as "a retired salesman who comes to Greendale to reinvent himself."

Fox Is Developing a TV Adaptation of the 1988 Movie 'Big'

Proving that the future of television comedy will contain no more original ideas, Fox has gone and added yet another movie-to-TV remake to its lineup. Deadline reports that the network has given a script commitment to an adaptation of the 1988 comedy classic Big starring Tom Hanks from Enlisted executive producers Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce. The adaptation will be "an event series based on the movie that explores what it means to be an adult and what it means to be a kid — and how in today's world, those two things are more confused than ever." No cast has been announced yet for the project; Biegel and Royce will write the script and also serve as co-executive producers.

Other movie-to-TV adaptations currently in development include Real Genius at NBC and Problem Child at Fox, not to mention Sony's Married… with Children spin-off and a ton of semi-autobiographical sitcoms across the board.

FX Renews 'You're the Worst' and 'Married,' Moves 'You're the Worst' to FXX

FX just handed out season renewals to two of its new comedy series. The network announced today that both Stephen Falk's You're the Worst and the Judy Greer/Nat Faxon-starring Married have both been renewed for second 13-episode seasons. Married will remain at FX, while You're the Worst will move over to FXX next season.

For more on the breakout debut season of You're the Worst, check out our review here.

Michael Ian Black, Brett Gelman, David Wain, and More Join Comedy Central's 'Another Period'

Back in January, Comedy Central ordered a new show from Ben Stiller's company Red Hour created by and starring Natasha Leggero, and its cast has been revealed. Called Another Period, the series will star Leggero and Garfunkel and Oates' Riki Lindhome in a Victorian-era reality show spoof, and the announced series regulars include Michael Ian Black, Brett Gelman, David Wain, Paget Brewster, Brian Huskey, Beth Dover, David Koechner, Jason Ritter, Lauren Ash, and Armen Weitzman. Comedy Central hasn't announced an official premiere date yet for Another Period, but it's set to debut its 10-episode first season on the network sometime next year. (photo via)

The First-Ever Maui Comedy Festival to Feature Reggie Watts, Tig Notaro, James Adomian, and More

The very first Maui Comedy Festival takes place in Lahaina from October 30th through November 2nd, and a bunch of great comedy names are set to show up during the three-day event. The festival, which will donate a portion of its proceeds to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, recently posted their lineup of comedians slated to perform, including the following:

Aisha Tyler, Tig Notaro, Reggie Watts, Kyle Kinane, James Adomian, Morgan Murphy, Eddie Pepitone, Todd Glass, Nate Bargatze, Ahmed Bharoocha, Chris Porter, Aparna Nancherla, Ron Funches, Michelle Buteau, Mark Normand, Greg Proops, Hari Kondabolu, Beth Stelling, Kurt Braunohler, Jonah Ray, Ari Shaffir, Carmen Lynch, Mike Lawrence, Sheng Wang, Paul Provenza, Andy Woodhull, Kevin Shea, Byron Bowers, Kate Berlant, Chino LaForge, James Mane.

Head over to the Maui Comedy Festival's website to check out the full schedule and purchase tickets if you're lucky enough to have plans to be in Hawaii next month.

Jeff Goldblum Stars in the Best Lightbulb Infomercial Ever Directed by Tim and Eric

It's not often that a mega corporation like GE can pull off an ad that's funnier than it is shameless, but this new spot directed by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim has got to be the most worthwhile lightbulb commercial ever made. It stars Jeff Goldblum as super successful and well-lit celebrity Terry Quattro, and if the thought of Goldblum playing the piano from the comfort of his hot tub excites you, the above spot will not let you down.

Let's Do Something Different with Comedy Crowdfunding

nophoneBy this point you’ve read a billion think-pieces on crowdfunding. Is it saving art? Is it the worst thing to happen to art? You’ve seen Veronica Mars and Reading Rainbow come back through it. And whether you like it or hate it, there’s no denying that crowdfunding is a major force in the creative world today and it’s going to be a tool that artists of all mediums utilize for the foreseeable future. Here’s the thing: there are so many weird and cool and thought-provoking ideas out there, but somehow the vast majority of the comedy projects out there have been the variations on the same theme: “Help me make my webseries.” “Help me make a short film.”

Hold up. I’m not saying webseries are bad. (Hey! Check out my author blurb at the end of this article to go watch mine!) They’re not. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what can be done with crowdfunding. So, to highlight some of the amazing stuff that can be done in this medium I’ve selected some really creative projects to inspire you. And, great news! They’re all still active so if you like it, put a ring on it! READ MORE