Splitsider

February 25th, 2015

Conan O'Brien and Howard Stern Talk Depression, Late Night, and 'SNL'

To promote his upcoming Conan special from Cuba, Conan O'Brien stopped by The Howard Stern Show this morning, and the result is a lengthy and fantastic interview that covers O'Brien's entire career, from his first days in college to writing for SNL and The Simpsons all the way to his choice to rebuild his new TBS show Conan rather than continue the bits he made famous during his NBC years. O'Brien also opened up about his struggles with depression — here's a particularly great quote about his early days on NBC late night:

This is an absolute true story: It was the first couple weeks of the Late Night show and I was seeing a new therapist here in New York because I had moved back to New York to do the Late Night show, and I went in and I'm lying there and I said "You know, man…I really think no one likes me, I think people hate me, I think people think I'm not good at what I do, and I think people want me to go away." And my therapist said "Listen, these are voices in your head, okay? We all have those negative feelings, but they're just feelings — they're not real." And I said "Fuck you, it's the cover of USA Today!" [laughs] And I held up the magazine. That's the greatest thing you can do to a therapist. I said "Oh no no no no — it's right here."

Listen to some excerpts from interview below: READ MORE

Tig Notaro Wants to Be Next Year's Oscars Host

This year's Oscars ceremony was…well, not so good, so before the Academy starts planning next year's big comeback, standup Tig Notaro has offered her services as 2016's potential Oscars host. Notaro posted an open letter to the Academy on her website this week titled "Tig Notaro To Host 2016 Oscars," in which she outlines 11 reasons why she'd make a great Oscars host. Here are some highlights:

  • I’ve been known to perform topless just like Mr. NPH did.
  • I live relatively close to the theater and wouldn’t be late.
  • I’m drop-dead cute in a suit.
  • Several years back I was hired by comedian Aziz Ansari for an entire day to write for The MTV Movie Awards when he was host and then -BAM!- the next year writer/executive producer Jill Soloway hired me for an entire half day to write for the Emmy’s when Jane Lynch hosted, so I really know the ins and outs of the whole process basically.
  • Might as well hire me now before the Latin Grammy’s catch wind of my availability and scoop me up.

Notaro makes some pretty solid points, and she's asking fans to get the word out with the hashtag #HashTigOscars. Read the rest over at Notaro's website.

Amy Schumer Plays a Hipster Drug Ring Leader in Colin Quinn's 'Cop Show'

Colin Quinn's fantastic new web series Cop Show premiered last week, and the second episode featuring special guest Amy Schumer was released this afternoon. Schumer plays herself, who is in turn playing the leader of a "female hipster drug gang," albeit a little reluctantly. Hopefully Quinn appreciates the favor.

SNL

Taran Killam Is a Big Fan of Dakota Johnson's Dad

Dakota Johnson makes her SNL hosting debut this weekend, and NBC just released the first promo reel featuring Johnson and Taran Killam, who is a big fan of Johnson's father Don from his groundbreaking work on Miami Vice.

This 20-Year-Old Amy Poehler Pilot Is the Stuff of Comedy Nerd Dreams

Welcome to The Second City Archives, in which we post an exclusive clip each week of some of comedy's biggest superstars performing early in their careers on the legendary Chicago stage. Second City has generously given us a glimpse into their extensive archive of live performances, and over the coming weeks we'll be sharing some rare and retro comedy never before seen on the web.

If you're mourning the end of Parks and Recreation today, Second City dug up an extra special clip for us this week that will help ease your sadness — a compilation of Amy Poehler scenes from a never-before-seen pilot from 1995 she starred in with Matt Dwyer and legendary Second City improv guru Del Close called RVTV. Not a whole lot is known about RVTV, so we reached out to Dwyer for some details:

I honestly do not recall where the concept came from. I know it was written by Adam McKay and Tom Gianas, who both went on to write for SNL and of course film and TV. Tom co-directed it. We shot it for a week up in Toronto.

Also, Del improvised constantly and was throwing in tributes to old greats like his Ken Nordine. I think Amy and I may have improvised less, but as with any group of improvisors working together, improvisation is going to happen. Del was constantly throwing in references to Lenny Bruce and the others of that era. The target audience for that show probably would have no idea who he was talking about, but I personally loved it. It was a a great deal of fun and I remember both Amy and I were thrilled to be working with Del. Del was an icon to all of us.

Dwyer says that despite not knowing why the pilot didn't move forward, "the one thing that was great and important to Adam, Tom, Amy, and myself was that we all got to work closely with Del, who shaped everything we did and everything to follow." This particular RVTV compilation includes some trademark Poehler freestyling, spot-on YouTube and Internet Age prophecies, and perhaps most importantly, a scene of Poehler getting Close to admit that he masturbates to Janet Reno whenever she's on television. Enjoy.

Will Ferrell to Star in 'The House' by 'Neighbors' Writers

Will Ferrell just landed another big-screen role. Deadline reports that Ferrell will star in an upcoming film called The House by Neighbors writing team Brendan O'Brien and Andrew J. Cohen. Ferrell will play "a guy, who, with his wife, blows their daughter’s college fund. Desperate for cash, they team with some neighbors to open an illegal casino in the suburbs." The film is currently slated for a summer 2016 release. O'Brien and Cohen are also behind the upcoming film Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates starring Adam DeVine and Zac Efron.

The Gospel According to Barley

nathanbarleyNathan Barley is like treasure. It’s a British sitcom that aired ten years ago, with six sweet episodes eviscerating urban tech-chic culture. I’m talking diamond-hard satire, the kind that makes you laugh with the bitter taste of bile in the back of your throat, and re-shapes your view of the world in the process. Before we had the word “hipster,” before YouTube existed, before smartphones and Facebook and Twitter, Nathan Barley drove a hot iron spike into the heart of our narcissistic, trivia obsessed, self-promotional, media-laden times.

But nobody seems to have heard of it.

On the North American side of the pond, anyway, the show never took off. I’m not saying that it’s as popular as One Direction over yonder, but Barley is respected enough that its tenth anniversary prompted an insightful and in-depth essay in The Guardian arguing for its continued cultural relevance and downright spooky prescience. Despite being a decade old, the show is just as cutting today. If you replaced the flip-phones with iPhones and tightened everyone’s trousers the show could’ve been shot in 2015 instead of 2005. READ MORE

Watch a Short Film Based on DC Pierson's 'The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To'

DC Pierson recently teamed up with Community and Mystery Team director Dan Eckman and producer Meggie McFadden to turn his 2010 novel The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To into a movie. In the meantime, they posted a proof-of-concept short today to give an idea of what a feature-length film might look like starring The Grand Budapest Hotel's Tony Revolori and The Hunger Games's Jack Quaid. It's equal parts trippy, funny, scary, and nerdy and proves that, in Revolori's words, "when there's something special about you, bad people always show up to take you away."

Killing It with Adam Newman

adam-newmanAdam Newman's newest album, Killed, was just released on Rooftop Records. He's come a long way since the last record nearly five years ago, not only in comedy but also to distinguish himself from a certain viral video where he finds cocaine in a heckler's coat.

Having performed on the Late Show with David Letterman, released an album, Not for Horses in 2011 and with a Comedy Central Half Hour under his belt, he was itching to release the latest album. I spoke to Adam about the latest album and the downfalls of live tweeting. We agreed that material can sometimes fall in your lap, if people buy albums anymore but more importantly — we didn't forget to discuss the regionalism of certain fecal jokes.

How did you decide to record the new album in Minneapolis?

The last year or two I have been on the road a lot doing most comedy clubs around the country. My two most fun, hottest rooms in the country that I have performed in were Comedy on State in Madison, Wisconsin and Acme in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I basically just figured if I could book one of those two clubs in the next few months that is where I'd record, and Acme came up. It is one of the hottest clubs in the country and the most fun.

I think it was a good choice, the audience was laughing so hard. 

I know! The year before, I was there and taped my Comedy Central Half Hour submission. I have to give the audience half the credit for me getting it because they are laughing so hard it almost feels like they are laughing at me. I know these jokes, I've thought these jokes were funny, which is why I'm telling them but come on they aren't that funny. I mean, people were falling out of their chairs. I think at one of the shows someone laughed so hard they threw up in the back of the room –definitely good laughs in Minneapolis. READ MORE

Will Forte Is Very Proud of His Beard-Growing Skills

Ahead of the premiere of his new Fox show this Sunday, Will Forte stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live yesterday to talk about the impressive beard he grew for the role in six months. Watch another clip from Forte's interview below, in which he gets to meet one of his current TV idols: READ MORE

Billy Eichner Introduces Conan O'Brien to the World of Grindr

Having already mastered the world of Tinder, last night Conan O'Brien decided to give Grindr a try with the invaluable help of Billy Eichner, who helps O'Brien set up the best Grindr profile possible ("Frecklefucker" is a pretty catchy name) and connect Conan with his very first man date.

The 'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talk the Series Finale on 'Late Night'

Last night's Late Night was an extra special episode for two reasons — not only was it dedicated to the end of Parks and Recreation with the cast, but it was also Late Night's one-year anniversary on NBC. Watch the Parks and Rec cast talk about the finale above, then check out more clips from their appearance below: READ MORE

'Community's Rob Schrab Is Directing the 'Lego Movie' Sequel

Variety reports that the sequel to the wonderful, Oscar-snubbed Lego Movie has its director: Community's Rob Schrab. Seeing as the previous directors, Chris Miller and Phil Lord (who are returning to write the script), also came from an excellent TV background with Clone High, and with the level of meta-ness that both The Lego Movie and Community share, it's an inspired choice. It'll be Schrab's first feature, but he's directed tons of comedic television, including episodes of Parks and Rec, The Mindy Project, Workaholics, and Childrens Hospital. All very exciting! But there's gonna be a bit of a wait — the sequel isn't due until 2018.

'Sound Advice' Is Back with Vanessa Bayer and Weird Al Yankovic

Above Average's web series Sound Advice now has a new home on IFC's Comedy Crib, and its latest season premiered today with Janessa Slater (Vanessa Bayer) offering some expert music tips to Weird Al Yankovic. More stars set to meet up with Janessa this season include Chromeo, HAIM, Nick Jonas, Jenny Lewis, Leighton Meester, Sleater-Kinney, The Vamps and more.