Sketch comedy group Whale Thief pulled off an impressive feat over the weekend that might get them in the Guinness Book of World Records. The group — which consists of former Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writer Benjamin Apple, Two Guys Named Josh's Brandon Gulya, Take Me to Your Mother's Matt Mayer, and Funny or Die/The Onion writers Matt Klinman and Zack Poitras — managed to put together a feature-length film in just over 24 hours, beating out the previous Guinness record of the fastest made feature. Titled Consti2tion, the film is the result over 150 writers, directors, producers, actors, artists, and musicians' efforts on this past Saturday, November 15th and imagines a world where the Constitution expires and the one woman who is destined to make a new one.
SNL released two sketches today that were cut for time from last weekend's episode hosted by Woody Harrelson, and they're a delightful mix of fun and weird. Check out the above sketch "Tweet" starring Aidy Bryant as a woman celebrating her 10,000th tweet (with cameos by Edward Norton and God) above, then click through to watch "Pentagon Presentation" featuring Cecily Strong as a dancing robot. READ MORE
Back in April, Xbox decided to get into the comedy game by ordering a variety show pilot from web video collective JASH hosted by Sarah Silverman. Over the summer, however, Microsoft shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios, leaving the JASH pilot and several other series with nowhere to go. Thankfully, Vimeo has come to the rescue and debuted the first episode of the series — titled JASH Presents Rubberhead — via their on-demand streaming service yesterday. Silverman will host each episode, and performers set to show up include Key and Peele, Tim and Eric, Nathan Fielder, John C. Reilly, Seth Rogen, Todd Glass, Natasha Leggero, and more. The first 45-minute episode is currently available for $4.99 at Vimeo's website.
Click through for a sneak peek of a sketch with Silverman and Seth Rogen called "Cops Cum Dicks and Flying" if you can stomach it: READ MORE
"The joke I used to do is I'd say 'You know, there will be a time when I realize that it can't be as good as it used to be, and that I don't have the focus or the passion to do it in the same way, and that the quality will suffer, and then three years after that I'll leave.'"
- Lorne Michaels comments on his SNL departure plans in an in-depth podcast interview with Bill Simmons, which covers everything from the creation of SNL to the early '80s years to Michaels's thoughts on recaps and reviews in the internet age.
Bill Cosby has been at the center of an increasing number of rape and sexual assault allegations over the past few weeks (you can find detailed timelines here and here), and the story keeps getting uglier. While these claims are far from breaking news — some go back to a 2006 lawsuit involving 14 women (13 anonymously agreed to testify, but the case settled out of court) — more women have come forward since a Hannibal Buress joke calling Cosby a rapist went viral last month and Barbara Bowman, one of the anonymous women from the 2006 case, wrote an article for The Washington Post called "Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?" Since then, more women including supermodel Janice Dickinson have come forward publicly with allegations against Cosby (a total of 16 women overall), and while Cosby has refused to comment, he has been dumped from his appearances on The Queen Latifah Show and Late Show, and Netflix has decided to indefinitely postpone the release of his standup special Bill Cosby 77.
Cosby also had an NBC sitcom in the works that had been in development since last summer, and today the network confirmed that it's scrapped the project entirely. Cosby has not been convicted and statutes of limitation prevent these women from getting anything out of their accusations other than throwing Cosby to the court of public shaming, but all allegations considered, the evidence (and public opinion) is definitely not on Cosby's side. Plus, between his #CosbyMeme attempt gone wrong last week, radio silence when asked about the allegations during a recent NPR interview, and a resurfaced YouTube clip of his 1969 routine called "Spanish Fly" about drugging girls' drinks making the rounds this week, it looks like no one is doing a better job of shaming Cosby these days than the man himself.
The first time I spoke with UCB Creative Director Todd Bieber was three and a half years ago and I had no idea what I was talking about. I was thinking of leaving my post-college job at Morgan Stanley and accepting a position at a small production company in New York. After completing UCB's Sketch 101 program, I figured I knew enough about digital comedy to call Todd and ask if he'd be interested in doing some web series collaborations. He was polite and he didn't want to. Flash forward to now. Years of working with UCB and its talent — including Todd — have passed and I get to speak to Mr. Bieber again about a fantastic series he created with the help of so many others I know and love. This time I felt like I knew what I was talking about, and a lot of that is due to the UCB community's tutelage, their acute understanding of comedy not just as a craft but as a commitment that takes a lot more than a phone call. READ MORE
SNL's Cecily Strong just set a fancy gig for next year. USA Today reports that Strong has signed on to headline as the guest comedian at next year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 25th. Strong will make the fourth woman to headline the event in its 82-year history following Paula Poundstone, Elayne Boosler, and Wanda Sykes.
When Jan Hooks — SNL cast member from 1986-1991 — died at the age of 57 last month, the show truly lost one of its stealthy greats. Like frequent sketch costar Phil Hartman, Hooks's incredible talent didn't need to call attention to itself, so it's only now, in hindsight and reruns, that the full measure of her brilliance is beginning to be calculated. Since SNL debuted in 1975, over 140 players have been in the cast, and nine have passed away from illness, drugs, or violence. Whether they leave us as beloved superstars with promising careers ahead of them or underappreciated and semi-forgotten talents with few recent onscreen credits, all nine of SNL's deceased alums have produced groundbreaking work that can make for some very bittersweet viewing. Before this column comes to an end, here's a look at those nine performers whose many comedy contributions continue to entertain and inspire fans both old and new. READ MORE
Cameron Diaz is hosting SNL this week for the first time in nearly ten years with musical guests Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. NBC just released the first round of promos today featuring Diaz and Bobby Moynihan, who may or may not have rewritten some of the cue cards in crayon.
Earlier this week Stephen Colbert ended his nine-year feud with bears, and during last night's show another longtime signature Colbert Report character made his final appearance on the show: Colbert's Mexican doppelganger and host of Colberto Reporto Gigante Esteban Colberto, who — like bears — wasn't who Stephen thought he was this whole time.
Conan O'Brien recently made a trip to Intelligentsia Coffee in Los Angeles to learn more about the world of coffee, and he decided to bring self-proclaimed coffee expert, Conan producer, and emotionless robot in disguise Jordan Schlansky along for the ride. Schlansky doesn't hold back about expressing his lack of respect for the American coffee scene, but that doesn't stop O'Brien from enjoying what is otherwise a wonderful learning experience.
Above Average premiered a brand new web series today, and the concept is simple enough: Alec Baldwin's Love Ride follows "internationally recognized relationship expert" Alec Baldwin as he surprises couples with relationship advice in a NYC cab. Thankfully Baldwin gets some help from his "behind the scenes love advisor" Paula Pell for some of his more creative questions. Watch the second episode below: READ MORE