Fortune Feimster might be getting her own semi-autobiographical sitcom. THR reports that Feimster has teamed up with Tina Fey, Matt Hubbard, and Robert Carlock for a multi-cam comedy based on Feimster's life with a script commitment from ABC. The untitled series is set in Feimster's home state of North Carolina "and is based on her family life and standup comedy." Hubbard will write the script with Carlock, Fey, and David Miner onboard as producers. Feimster last teamed up with Fey, Carlock, and Hubbard for the Fox pilot Cabot College, which ultimately didn't get picked up by the network.
Here's a sneak peek from this Friday's episode of IFC's The Birthday Boys featuring executive producer Bob Odenkirk. It's the age-old classic tale — a loving Polish father named Stolof raises his seven sons to be successful hipster DJs, only to watch them all abandon his dream to pursue their own paths.
Back in January, Showtime ordered a new comedy pilot starring Philip Seymour Hoffman called Happyish centered on a man named Thom Payne who "is struggling with his new bosses being half his age and is having to choose between his antidepressants and his ED pills." While the pilot's future had been uncertain following Hoffman's death a month later, the network revealed today that Steve Coogan has been officially cast in the role. Here's the updated description for the pilot:
Coogan will star in the lead role of Thom Payne, a 44 year-old man whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25 year-old “wunderkind” boss arrives, saying things like “digital,” “social” and “viral.” Is he in need of a “rebranding,” as his mentor insists, or does he just have a “low joy ceiling,” as his corporate headhunter suggests? Maybe pursuing happiness is a fool’s errand? Maybe, after 44 years on this ludicrous planet, settling for happyish is the best one can expect.
"Steve’s range is astounding – he is a comedy legend, a gifted satirist, and he possesses the unique combination of talents this role demands," said Happyish creator/writer Shalom Auslander, who will executive produce the pilot alongside Ken Kwapis and Alexandra Beattie. The Happyish pilot will film in New York this December.
Nick Frost might be ABC's next comedy star. Deadline reports that the network has bought a single-cam comedy from Modern Family co-executive producer and Colbert Report co-creator Ben Karlin called The Finger, which will center on Frost as "Nick Ferguson aka The Finger, the world’s most famous jewel thief who wants to quit his life of crime, open up a humble sandwich shop and do right by his 9-year-old son — and all of that that is really hard to do." Karlin will executive produce the project with David Miner, who has also worked as an executive producer on 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
To promote his brand new book A Load of Hooey, Bob Odenkirk is going on a nationwide tour that will be split between readings/book signings and live comedy shows featuring opening act Brandon Wardell. Stops in Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and New York will feature readings from the book as well as guest readings, sketches not included in the book, and "special yammerings." Click through for the full list of tour dates and information: READ MORE
I made my first comedy video just over three years ago. Watching it again just now, a few things are apparent. Thing one: The script holds up. I wrote it in a UCB sketch 101 class and it still makes me laugh. Thing two (shitty sound) and three (my bad acting) make me cringe but I'm still really glad I did it and I'm really glad it's forever online. It started me down a path that's led to doing something I love: making more, gradually better videos, and watching it every once in a while reminds me of the transformative power of filming something you created.
This week's selection is an ode to that power and a celebration of new, talented filmmakers like Chelsea Catalanotto and Jesse Brenneman. In three years, they'll likely look back on Middle Ages, viewed just 172 times, and think "The sound's a little shoddy" and "The color's kind of blown out." Then they'll watch it again for the great idea, for the writing, for how fun it was to just do something they really wanted to do and they'll think "That was one of the ones that started it" and they'll be as proud as they should be.
Luke is a writer for CollegeHumor and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.
The To Do List writer/director Maggie Carey just landed a script commitment from ABC. THR reports that Carey is developing a single-cam comedy for the network called The Big Hole, which will explore "the generational clash between an entitled millennial and her baby boomer boss at a failing PBS station in Big Hole, Montana." Carey will also serve as an executive producer on the project. For more on Carey, check out our interview with her from last year.
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.
This week we're taking a break from highlighting comedic legends to unearth an old Second City clip you never knew you wanted — a 41-year-old Mel Gibson giving live improv a shot back in 1997. According to Second City, this performance took place during a later version of Paradigm Lost and included ensemble performers Rachel Dratch, Scott Adsit, Rachel Hamilton, Kevin Dorff, Stephnie Weir, and Jim Zulevic. Braveheart hit theaters two years before this performance, so get ready for lots of Scottish accents and pretend drinking.
Photo: Corey Melton
What are my qualifications to write this book? None, really. So why should you read it? Here’s why: I’m a little fat. Okay, to some I might not be considered that fat, but the point is, I’m not thin. If a thin guy were to write about a love of food and eating, I’d highly recommend that you do not read his book. I’m not talking about someone who is merely in good shape. I’m talking thin. Skinny. I wouldn’t trust them skinnies with food advice. First of all, how do you know they really feel passionately about food? Well, obviously they are not passionate enough to overdo it. That’s not very passionate. Anyway, I’m overweight.
I’ll admit it. I consciously try not to take food advice from thin people. I know this may not be fair, but when Mario Batali talks, I always think, Well, this is a guy who knows what he’s talking about. He actually has experience eating food. This is why some sportscasters wonder what’s going on in a player’s head during a tense moment in a game, but the sportscaster who was once a player knows what’s going on in a player’s head. When I talk about food, I like to think I’m like one of those sportscasters who used to play professionally. I’m like the Ray Lewis or Terry Bradshaw of eating. I’m like the Tony Siragusa of eating. Well, that’s a little redundant. READ MORE
Not long after FX ordered a comedy pilot starring Bill Burr, the standup already has another series in the works over at Netflix. Deadline reports that the streaming network has greenlit a six-episode animated series created by Burr and Simpsons writer/producer Michael Price called F is for Family, which will center on "the Murphy family in the 1970’s, a time when you could smack your kid, smoke inside and bring a gun to the airport." Burr will voice the father role of Frank Murphy with Laura Dern and Justin Long voicing his wife and son. Burr will also serve as an executive producer on the series alongside Vince Vaughn, whose production company Wild West Television is behind the show. "F is for Family is the show I’ve always wanted to do," Burr said in a statement. "It captures all the characters of my childhood the way I remember it to be. Fortunately Mike Price and everyone at Wild West seem to know the same people I knew growing up. It’s going to be a lot of fun to tell these stories."
Live Wire! is a radio variety show recorded weekly in Portland, Oregon and broadcast on public radio stations across the country. “Radio Variety That’s Like a Chew Toy for Your Brain,” the show features interviews, music, stand up comedy, sketch comedy, poetry, essays. The show is currently in its eleventh season and now hosted by Luke Burbank (host of the daily podcast Too Beautiful To Live and occasional Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me panelist) and distributed by PRI, it’s making an impression outside the Pacific Northwest. Courtenay Hameister has been with the show from the beginning as a writer, sketch comedy performer, and for many years, the host.
Currently the head writer and producer, Hameister’s sensibility is all over the show. She has been contributing essays to the show for many years. At a time when collections of funny essays have become more common, it’s a surprise that Hameister isn’t better known. Not as dry as Ian Frazier, and wilder than Nora Ephron, Hameister has a voice that is uniquely her own. She writes a weekly column, “The Reluctant Adventurer” for the website golocalpdx.com and is currently finishing a book of essays, I Got Drunk and Joined a Gym: Lessons I Learned the Hard Way So You Don’t Have To, which is coming out next year from Audible. READ MORE
Here's a clip from last night's Conan with guest Dana Carvey, who improvises a song about band member LaBamba's weird new horn Neil Young-style. Watch Carvey impersonate Scarface, Liam Neeson, George W. Bush, Michael Caine, and more below: READ MORE
Bill Murray was a guest on last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he talked about everything from his spontaneous reputation to working at Little Caesars to his most valuable parenting advice for Kimmel. Watch more of Murray's interview below: READ MORE
Here's the promo reel for this week's SNL hosted by Jim Carrey, which is full of spooky Halloween references, attempts to start trending online, and Carrey's spot-on impersonation of cast member Aidy Bryant.