January 26th, 2015

Jeff Goldblum, Garry Shandling, and Judd Apatow Trade Therapist Stories

Here's a clip from Judd Apatow's second Late Late Show episode as guest host last week featuring guests Jeff Goldblum and Garry Shandling, where it's revealed that Shandling has had the same therapist as both of the other guys in the past — one who doubled as Goldblum's wedding officiant, and another who Shandling ditched without giving Apatow a heads up.

John Oliver Auditions for the '50 Shades of Grey' Sequel

Ahead of the season 2 Last Week Tonight premiere on February 8th, here's a brand new web exclusive featuring John Oliver giving a "condescending half-hearted apology" for his recent #NotMyChristian Twitter campaign after it was announced that Jamie Dornan was cast as Christian Grey in the 50 Shades of Grey movie. Despite the fact that the movie has already been filmed and Oliver has never read the book, he records an on-the-spot audition to prove that he's the "epitome of male beauty" and deserves the lead role in the inevitable sequel.

This Week in Comedy: The Winter TV Season Gets Into Full Swing

manseekingwoman-The Birthday Boys was canceled by IFC.

-We talked to Simon Rich about his new sitcom, Man Seeking Woman.

-We delved into the newly minted sitcom archetype of the Zoidberg.

-Iliza Shlesinger talked to us about her new Netflix standup special.

-J.K. Simmons will host SNL on January 31st.

-The Interview will debut on Netflix tomorrow.

-SNL kicked off the back half of its 40th season with host Kevin Hart.

-We talked to Simon Amstell about his new standup showTo Be Free.

-We're helpful: how to tell a gay joke.

-Daria is great, and you should rewatch it. READ MORE

The Duplass Brothers Sign a Four-Movie Deal with Netflix

Netflix has given the Duplass brothers a home for their next four films. Not long after reaching a similar deal with Adam Sandler, the streaming network signed a deal today with Mark and Jay Duplass to finance and release their next four movies. "This is just the latest step in our very long relationship with the Duplass Brothers," Netflix exec Ted Sarandos told Deadline. "We've been working with them almost since the very beginning, when we were red envelope delivery. Independent film has always been a big part of Netflix, and the reason we do things like the Adam Sandler deal is so we can do things like this as well.” The Duplass brothers are behind three projects at Sundance this year including dramatic film The Bronze, comedy The Overnight, and animated series Animals.


Chris Rock Guest Stars on Tonight's 'Eric Andre Show'

The latest season of Adult Swim's The Eric Andre Show has so far featured stars like Seth Rogen and Jimmy Kimmel and an episode takeover by Hannibal Buress, and tonight's new episode should be just as entertaining when guest Chris Rock joins Andre on the street for a new installment of "Bird Up!" The episode airs on Adult Swim tonight at 12:15am. Check out a preview clip via The Howard Stern Show below: READ MORE

TruTV Orders a Workplace Comedy Pilot Starring Shaquille O'Neal

Shaq might star in his own TruTV comedy series. Deadline reports that the network has handed a pilot order to Shaq Inq., a workplace comedy "in the tone of Veep." Shaq Inq. will follow O'Neal and his "offbeat, yet capable" business team who take on "the mayhem of managing Shaq’s existing products and endorsements while implementing his latest batch of eccentric and oftentimes brilliant business ideas. While they’re all working towards the same goal, each employee is constantly jockeying for the power and recognition to make the big guy proud." The pilot is written by The Wedding Ringer's Jeremy Garelick, directed by Galavant's John Fortenberry, and co-executive produced by Jon Weinbach and Trophy Wife's Dan Kaplow.

@NickCiarelli on Twitter's Uselessness and Its Effect on His Sense of Humor

nickciarelliNick Ciarelli is a writer living in Los Angeles. He writes and performs at the UCB Theatre in LA, where he's a writer for the Maude team Nephew and co-creator of the currently running sketch show "Death Valley Tween Fest." Ciarelli is also a contributor to ClickHole, and together with Bradford Evans (formerly of Splitsider) he “found” the pilot script to Denis Leary’s upcoming FX show Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, which he swears "is real and not a thing we wrote ourselves." Recently, I asked Ciarelli to share three of his favorite tweets and he talked to me about Elvis Presley, Wario, and penne pasta.

Ciarelli: This display I saw inside a Rite Aid just perfectly sums up what makes my generation the best. We won’t follow in anyone's footsteps but our own, tradition and family be damned. We just want to be DJs and drink brown water. #JackLive READ MORE

'The Birthday Boys' Is Done on IFC After Two Seasons

After two seasons on IFC, The Birthday Boys is no longer. IFC has confirmed that the Bob Odenkirk-produced sketch show starring Jefferson Dutton, David Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell, and Chris VanArtsdalen will not return for a third season. "IFC was proud to be the home of The Birthday Boys and their unique and inventive comedy for two seasons," the network said in a statement. "We thank these talented creators and wish them nothing but the best. We will miss the laughs, the farce and the pixilated male nudity." The group also posted a goodbye message of their own on YouTube today, which you can watch below: READ MORE

The "NBC Playground" Contest Couldn't Find Any Ideas Outside of New York, LA, or Chicago

Remember when NBC announced its new "grassroots" talent initiative NBC Playground last year in hopes to — in the words of the network — find talented comedy writers by "reaching beyond the traditional talent labs of film schools and NY/LA comedy clubs"? Well, NBC announced the round of finalists last week, and guess where they live? Take a look at the list of finalists below:

Jeff Galante (Los Angeles, CA) – teacher at The Groundlings
Tyler Hall (Brooklyn, NY) – UCB writer
Melissa Hunter (Los Angeles, CA) – iO and Above Average performer
Avery Lee & Bobby Richards (Chicago, IL) – iO performers
Kassia Miller (New York, NY) – UCB, CollegeHumor performer
Daniel Poliner (Brooklyn, NY) – award-winning filmmaker (Austin Film Festival, Sundance, New Orleans Film Festival, Filmfest New Haven)
Jameel Saleem (Los Angeles, CA)Manhattan Love Story writer; film/television actor
Adriano Valentini & Aaron Colom (Los Angeles, CA) – SAG actor/writers/producers

Not only is every finalist from one of the major cities that NBC claimed it would avoid, but they're also writers, performers, and filmmakers who already have their foot in the entertainment industry in one way or another. I don't mean to knock the talent and hard work of these finalists — Melissa Hunter's hit web series Adult Wednesday Addams is a particular standout — but this group includes performers and teachers from UCB, iO, The Groundlings, CollegeHumor, and Above Average, SAG-AFTRA members, writers with major network TV credits, and even finalists of similar contests (filmmaker Adriano Valentini was a finalist on HBO's Project Greenlight in December). Apparently NBC's idea of including comedy concepts from "across the country" means sticking with established writers/performers from the country's three biggest comedy hubs while overlooking aspiring TV show creators from the 47 other states who would've benefitted most from a "grassroots" talent initiative. Better luck next time, rest of America.

David Steinberg Introduces the World to the Cast of 'SCTV'

134 - SteinbergThe 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.)

Canada’s David Steinberg is probably best known today as the host of Showtime’s Inside Comedy. As you no doubt gathered from the title, in it Steinberg sits down with a number of popular comedians and speaks to them about their craft. However, if that’s the only place you know Steinberg from, you may not realize that he was once one of those popular comedians. Over the years, David has been the host of two comedy shows bearing the name The David Steinberg Show, released a number of comedy albums, and his satirical sermons that he delivered on The Smothers Brothers Show has been cited as one of the contributing controversial elements that led to CBS’ eventual cancellation of the program (Steinberg’s father was a rabbi, so religion was never too far away). Today we examine the second show called The David Steinberg Show, which aired on CTV in 1976 and gave birth to a number of comedy’s brightest stars.

The first David Steinberg Show was an hour-long sketch show that aired on CBS for five weeks in 1972. Steinberg himself was the only constant, and featured guest actors who would jump into the fray. But let’s jump forward four years, and across the America/Canada border to examine the second David Steinberg Show. This iteration followed the model of The Jack Benny Program or The Muppet Show, in which the show mostly followed the behind-the-scenes adventures of David as he prepared to make “The David Steinberg Show.” For example, in the episode I viewed, the majority of the program, David is attempting to woo Robert Vaughn (he played one of The Magnificent Seven) to be on his show but makes some promises that he’s unable to keep. While we do see some of the show-within-the-show, the majority of the episode is focused on the backstage shenanigans that occur while trying to keep his guest happy. READ MORE

Alan Menken Says a 'Mrs. Doubtfire' Musical Is in the Works

The rumored Mrs. Doubtfire sequel might not be moving forward, but now it looks like the 1993 film is getting the stage musical treatment. Entertainment Weekly confirmed with Alan Menken — who wrote music for Disney classics like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin — that he's composing music for an upcoming Doubtfire musical, David Zippel (Hercules) is writing the lyrics, and Harvey Fierstein is writing the book. "It's going very well, it's in its early stages, and that's probably all I can say," Menken told EW. "We're really enjoying working on it."

Iliza Shlesinger and the Contradictions of 'Freezing Hot'

netflix-iliza-shlesinger-freezing-hotIliza Shlesinger is about as confident, bold and honest of any comedian as they come. She knows who she is and what she wants to talk about. Oh and did I mention she’s hilarious? No surprise, then, that after her first huge hit special War Paint, Netflix asked her to do a follow up. Freezing Hot comes out today and is definitely one you’ll want to put on your list.

I think I can guess based on watching it, but how did you come up with the name, Freezing Hot?

You know it was kind of a last minute name. Basically, what I found was a lot of the material I was that I was commenting on girls’ thought processes. I’ve come up with something called “Girl Logic” which is basically sort of wanting what you can’t have or wanting the one thing that you want, but not wanting whatever makes that thing a thing. I want cold weather, but I don’t want to be cold. I’m hungry, but I don’t feel like eating. Everything in our brain is a contradiction and this is just the way our minds are beautifully wired, so Freezing Hot just comes from the idea that everything in our brain is a contradiction of ourselves. It’s a commentary on women’s thought process. READ MORE

Fred Armisen Announces the Charlie Chaplin Photo Awareness Festival on 'Late Night'

During last night's Late Night, Seth Meyers checked in with band leader Fred Armisen to ask about his latest project "Charlie Fest," an all-day music festival that hopes to raise awareness of pictures of Charlie Chaplin, particularly for younger people who might not be aware that there are Chaplin photos out there. It's tough work, but Armisen seems up to the task.

Ricky Velez and Larry Wilmore Explain the History of US/Cuba Relations on 'The Nightly Show'

Last night's Nightly Show took on the recent diplomatic talks between the US and Cuba, so Larry Wilmore invited correspondent and "Cuba expert" Ricky Velez to the desk to provide some historical context to the two countries' evolving relationship. Wilmore breaks it down even better: "You know who Cuba is to us? You know that uncle that your parents had a falling out with like 50 years ago? Nobody knows what really happened, rumors are my dad tried to kill him a couple times, but he's got this real cool beach house right down the street and you see those little pictures of the crazy parties he used to have with Sinatra and Hemingway hanging out. Got all those '59 Chevys and you're just dying to visit him — your dad's like 'No!' Well now he's saying, 'We'll see.'"