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July 24th, 2014

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.

Sketch Anatomy: Andy Cowan Explains the Origins of 'Seinfeld's "The Opposite"

Welcome to our column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite television writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.

For this week's Sketch Anatomy, we're breaking the rules a little to go behind the scenes of a classic '90s sitcom episode with Andy Cowan, former writer for Cheers and 3rd Rock from the Sun and the mind behind the acclaimed 1994 Seinfeld episode "The Opposite." Ranked at #1 in our own list of every Seinfeld episode, "The Opposite" was a freelance submission by Cowan that went on to become Seinfeld's fifth season finale. I recently chatted with Cowan about how he broke into television writing, what it was like to have his script accepted by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, and his thoughts on the future of the traditional sitcom format. READ MORE

Ricky Gervais Tells Seth Meyers Why He's Angry with "Big Sweaty Slob" Louis C.K.

Here's a clip from Ricky Gervais's interview on last night's Late Night, in which he and Meyers talk about the differences between US and UK awards shows. This leads to Gervais realizing mid-interview that he's unhappy with "that big sweaty slob" Louis C.K. for never giving him the thank you he deserves.

Harnessing Absurdity to Help Others with Kurt Braunohler

kurt-braunohlerYou can catch Kurt Braunohler’s new episode of The Half Hour this Friday, July 25, but he’s been focused on a lot more than just standup lately. In June, the comedian jet skied the Mississippi River from Chicago to New Orleans as part of his Indiegogo campaign to raise $50,000 to provide 500 goats and 1000 chickens to African families in need. The quest is documented in his Comedy Central web series Roustabout, coming out this fall.

On top of that, Kurt is starring in the upcoming film B Roll, has plans to release a compilation album from his standup/variety show Hot Tub with Kristen Schaal, and continues to work on his podcast The K Ohle on the Nerdist network, which rotates between formats including The Boat Show, Get Lost!, and PETophilia.

I got to talk to Kurt about standup, acting, and the challenges of jet skiing for charity. READ MORE

Netflix Is Using Chelsea Handler to Reinvent the Way We Watch Late Night Shows

Last month it was announced that Chelsea Handler had signed on to star in a new talk show for Netflix. Right now, all we know about Handler's show is that it's slated to premiere in October 2016 and will be the first series to be released at a specific time block on the streaming service. According to Business Insider, Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos recently addressed the company's intentions with Handler's show, which will be heavily influenced by the changing ways people watch late night shows today:

"People are not watching scripted programming the way they used to. They're also not watching these late-night talk shows the way they used to, meaning they're not watching them at 11:30. They're watching them days, weeks, sometimes months later online or on stacked episodes on DVR. So what we are hoping to do with Chelsea and her team is create a show that's built closer to the way people are going to watch it, the way we had done with serialized dramas where we to took out the commercial breaks and the cliffhangers and really produce it for the way people watch. And we've got a lot of time between now and then to work through all the format details. Chelsea is incredibly excited and we're really excited about her brand and we think it's going to be great for us."

Chelsea Handler's show will be Netflix's first original talk show, so if the approach works it could lead to some interesting late night competition. Similarly, HBO has also been very next-day-viewing-friendly with Last Week Tonight with John Oliver — an unusual move for the pay network — so hopefully this commercial-free, YouTube-friendly late night trend is here to stay.

Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch's Old Second City Show 'Dratch & Fey' Is Now Online

Before they broke into SNL stardom, Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch starred in a two-woman show together called Dratch & Fey that ran at Second City and New York's UCB from 1999-2000, and a couple days ago an old VHS copy of the entire show showed up on YouTube. The quality isn't the best, but considering it's nearly an hour of vintage Dratch and Fey in their element, a few VHS bugs shouldn't hold you back. (via)

Watch Conan's Incredibly Violent Scene from 'Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda'


While Conan recently announced that he'd be "starring" in the upcoming Syfy movie Sharktopus VS. Pteracuda, it looks like this ridiculous and insanely violent scene is the only one he's actually in. Which is probably for the best — I'm not sure anyone could take a full 90 minutes of that character. I'm sure all of the other characters are more fleshed out and well rounded. We'll find out when it airs on Syfy at 9pm on August 2nd.

Today's Funniest Tweets

Preview Next Week's Dumb Starbucks Episode of 'Nathan for You'

After much anticipation, Nathan Fielder's epic Dumb Starbucks prank from earlier this year will finally be featured in next week's Nathan for You, and Comedy Central just released the above sneak peek. It turns out that Dumb Starbucks wasn't a prank at all but an "artistic experience."

Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' Will Remain at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater

Stephen Colbert is staying in New York. According to an announcement by CBS's Les Moonves and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Colbert will host Late Show from David Letterman's current spot at the Ed Sullivan Theater when he takes over sometime next year. No official date for Letterman's departure or Colbert's takeover has been announced, but Bill Carter at The New York Times writes that "there will need to be a hiatus between the two — most likely for several months — as Mr. Colbert installs a new set to the theater and his staff moves in to old Letterman offices. The most likely plan is a farewell to Mr. Letterman at the end of May, with a September premiere for Mr. Colbert." That's potentially a whole eight months without Colbert's weeknight television presence, so start watching The Colbert Report religiously while you still can.