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March 25th, 2015

Jim Norton Plays a Rat in the Latest Episode of 'Cop Show'

Here's the newest installment of Colin Quinn's web series Cop Show featuring special guest Jim Norton, who plays a rat under interrogation by Quinn and his crew. The interns/writers behind Cop Show are clearly still relying on obvious metaphors to get their point across, but at least the metaphors Michael Che had to deal with were a little less insulting.

Bill Murray Finally Comes Home in This Rare Second City Clip from 1980

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.

Now that there's officially a Bill Murray Christmas TV special in the works featuring stars like Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and George Clooney, here's a look back at a rare Murray special from 1980 called Bill Murray Live from the Second City. In this clip from the special, Murray finally returns home to his parents after six months in Denver only to be overwhelmed with questions by his father (played by Bruce Jarchow). Check out another clip from Bill Murray Live here.

Kristen Schaal Explains the Future of Gender Wage Equality on 'Daily Show'

Senior Women's Issues Correspondent Kristen Schaal made an appearance during last night's Daily Show to talk equal pay for women, and it turns out that America might figure out how to create human hearts from 3D printers before women are paid the same amount as men: "At this point, we'd be better off printing a 3D penis, slapping it on the bank counter and saying 'Hey society, fuck you. Pay me.'"

Inside the Secret Technology that Makes 'The Daily Show' and 'Last Week Tonight' Work

snapstreamWhen you’re watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, or Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, you often see these comedians contextualize their commentary with short, specific news clips, like John Oliver’s use of a 5-second clip from a Bloomberg TV news show — just long enough to catch a newscaster saying “March Madness now brings in over a billion dollars in TV ad revenue” — in his recent NCAA segment.

Have you ever wondered where these clips come from? Does one Last Week Tonight employee watch hours of TV in the hopes that someone will drop a reference to the annual March Madness ad revenue to fit in with what they're writing? What about the recent Daily Show Vine featuring “50 Fox News Lies in 60 seconds:” did somebody watch Fox News for days to get all of these clips?

The way these shows compile montages and search through the vast wastelands of cable news every day has changed over the years, with a new technology making the process exponentially easier and more streamlined. It's a tool that neither HBO nor Comedy Central were willing to talk about, not wanting to pull the curtain back on the magic behind what they do. It allows comedy shows to pull out the tastiest, most hilarious news and political clips for their nightly or weekly broadcasts like they never were able to before, and we’ve got an inside look at exactly how it works. READ MORE

Ben Stiller Plays Beastie Boys Lyrics Trivia on 'Late Night'

Having performed live with the Beastie Boys before, Ben Stiller considers himself a pretty big fan, so during last night's Late Night Seth Meyers put Stiller's fandom to the test with some on-the-spot Beastie Boys lyrics trivia. Check out another clip from Stiller's Late Night visit below: READ MORE

Kevin Hart Looks Back on His Failed 'SNL' Audition on 'Conan'

Here's a clip from Kevin Hart's visit to last night's Conan, where he looks back on auditioning for SNL with an impression of someone even Lorne Michaels didn't know. Watch more from Hart's interview below: READ MORE

'Late Night' Writers Michelle Wolf and Amber Ruffin Ask New Yorkers Awkward Questions

Late Night debuted a new segment last night called "Three Questions with Amber and Michelle," in which writers Amber Ruffin and Michelle Wolf venture out into New York City to ask people on the street three questions. The first two questions are innocent enough, but then things get super weird. Hang in there, ladies: You'll both have it all one day.

Help Broken Lizard Turn 'Super Troopers 2' Into a Reality

Broken Lizard is turning to fans to get Super Troopers 2 on the big screen. The comedy group launched an Indiegogo campaign today to raise at least $2 million to self-fund the project by April 24th. "We finally have the chance to make Super Troopers 2," Jay Chandrasekhar said on the news. "But since we refused to write a sequel where the highway cops have morphed into super hero-vampires, Fox Searchlight proposed the following deal: they’ll release the film, but we have to raise all of the money. So we’ve turned to Indiegogo and our fans to prove that it’s finally time for Super Troopers 2 to get made." There are some fun perks for backers like participation in a Beerfest Tournament with the cast ($2,500), the chance to name a character in the movie ($4,000), and the patrol car used in the movie ($35,000). Head over to the Indiegogo page for more information.

'Sealab 2021's Super Stripped-Down Bottle Episode Is a Masterclass in Minimalist TV

sealabfusebox‘Genie in a Bottle’ is a recurring feature where each week a different bottle episode (an episode set entirely in one location, often designed to save money) from a comedy series is examined

“The power’s out, Debbie.”
“I know!”

Adam Reed is a very talented comedy writer. He’s currently doing standout work on Archer, but before that, he was slowly refining his voice and building a style on cruder programs, like his first effort, Sealab 2021.The series was basically a re-appropriation of the outlandish series from the ‘70s with a crew stationed underwater.

The episode features the simplest of plots: the power has gone out and the fusebox must be found. This is the sort of thing that works perfectly in a ten-minute slot and almost can’t be done with a full 22-minute show. It’d be too much. It’d start to anger you, even, and this is the perfect in between.

“Fusebox” is absolutely an instance where the bottle episode was being used out of necessity and time crunch limitations. The conceit of this episode wasn’t some brilliant inspiration that Adam Reed and Matt Thompson had wanted to do for years, but merely a quick way to burn out an episode. The fact that it is an impressive achievement is a testament to their ability and evidence of how they could move on to something like Archer down the road. READ MORE

Celebrate 'The Office's 10th Anniversary with an Oral History of "Diversity Day"

Today marks ten years since the American Office debuted on NBC, and to celebrate Uproxx put together a thorough oral history of the show's second (and arguably best ever) episode "Diversity Day" written by B.J. Novak and featuring consulting producer Larry Wilmore as Mr. Brown. Here's an excerpt from Angela Kinsey, who looks back on filming Michael Scott's "sensitivity training" scene in the conference room:

When we were filming it, there was this moment where we were all in the conference room with all these things on our foreheads. Mine was Jamaica. Jenna was Jewish. I’m sitting next to her and I look at her and Steve Carell was, as Michael Scott, giving his speech about diversity, and I just lost it laughing. I just bust out laughing. He was sitting right in front of us, he had turned his chair backward and was leaning forward to us, and I had the hardest time keeping a straight face. I thought, “This is really cool. This feels like lightning in a bottle. This chemistry. This group of people. I think we have something here.” And it was so exciting. I’ll never forget that moment in a conference room when I looked around at everyone and thought, these people are hilarious and the writing is so smart, and, “Oh my God, I think I just won the lottery, as far as my career.” This was a dream job.

Read the rest over at Uproxx.

Inside the Big-Time Ambitions of 'Big Time in Hollywood, FL'

bigtimeinhollywoodflAt first blush, Comedy Central's newest scripted series, Big Time in Hollywood, FL, may seem like another entry into the category of Young Slackers Getting into Wacky Daily Misadventures. But the show's creators, Alex Anfanger and Dan Schimpf, have a much grander scheme in play. With the successful web series Next Time on Lonny under their collective belt, Anfanger and Schimpf set out to finally create a show six years in the making. Big Time is a serialized comedy about two wannabe filmmaker brothers who get caught up in multi-layered plot that forces them into adulthood for the first time in their lives. The show boasts a heavy dose of action and drama, backed by a season full of notable actors including Ben Stiller, Michael Madsen, Cuba Gooding Jr., Kathy Baker and Steven Tobolowsky. I talked to the series' creators about the new show, their writing process and how comedy is finally catching up to drama on television. READ MORE

'The Nightly Show' Responds to Starbucks' Canceled "Race Together" Campaign

Last night's Nightly Show took a closer look at Starbucks' recent attempt to start a conversation about race through their "Race Together" campaign, which the company canceled after one week. Going off Starbucks' misguided idea that coffee and awkward conversations always go well together, Nightly Show correspondents Ricky Velez and Mike Yard were sent out to a bunch of New York coffee shops to start up some awkward conversations of their own.

Nick Kroll Runs Through His Favorite 'Kroll Show' Characters on 'Conan'

Here's a clip from Nick Kroll's visit to last night's Conan, where he runs through some of his favorite characters from Kroll Show and O'Brien accurately notes that Kroll does many characters where "you just wanna punch their face." Watch Kroll share his one and only celebrity impression below: READ MORE

Check Out Some Clips from the 'Late Late Show with James Corden' Premiere

The Late Late Show with James Corden premiered on CBS last night, and a bunch of stars appeared during the opening "Golden Ticket" segment to introduce Corden to his new American viewers. Check out the full segment above, then watch some more clips below, including Corden's chat with guests Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis and an eight-minute trip through every Hanks film with tons of quick changes: READ MORE