The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)
It's summer, and for many that means travel. With that in mind, at various points throughout the season, I will be providing you, the [...]
Fear not, you will not be without the Gervs until then. He has helped launch an app called Just Sayin'. It is like Twitter but audio. As Gervais explained it: “Just Sayin’ is to radio what Twitter is to newsprint." It is essentially the same as Eardrop, the app Earwolf created awhile back. The difference is the access to Gervais, so… that's something. If Gervais isn't your cup of tea, there are supes cool celebs, like: [...]
High concept experimental episode time! This week Tom spends 20 minutes trying to explain 50 years of Doctor Who lore to Tim, someone who does not know or care about Doctor Who in the least.
After Tim's insistence that Doctor Who is really just Quantum Leap with an attractive redhead, Tom bets Tim that if he watches three hand selected episodes of Doctor Who ("Blink," "The 11th Hour," and "Victory of the Daleks") he'd be bound to like it. We then hop in the TARDIS and travel 4 days into the future to see if it worked. Will he succumb? Well we're certainly not going to tell you here, [...]
Spy is a British show about a single father who quits his mundane job and is accidentally recruited to become a spy. You know, the classic way spies are found. Now picture him as American. ("OOOOooooOOOO," says you.) ABC is working to develop an adaption of the popular Sky 1 comedy with the original creator Simeon Goulden writing the pilot. It's expected the series will be given a put pilot, which means it will have to be aired. There has a been a lot of proposed British sitcom adaptions recently; however, truthfully, ever since The Office, it has been a pretty constant flow. It's probably all the execs [...]
Letters of Note has a exchange from 1982 between John Cleese and the editor of The Sun, which stemmed from a report in that paper claiming that on the set of The Monty Python's Meaning of Life, Cleese got frustrated at the weather and chastised a bunch of extras dressed as Zulu warriors by asking "Which one of you bastards did a rain dance?" Cleese, however, did not agree that he said that so he wrote a strongly worded letter. That ended with:
"I know what happened. I am a zany madcap comic, and your writer thought of the joke and decided to attribute it to [...]
British comedian Mel Smith passed away Friday in his London home after having a heart attack. He was 60 years old. Smith rose to prominence when was cast in the influential series Not the Nine O'Clock News in 1979 at age 26. There, he was part of a cast that included Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, and beginning in the second season, Griff Rhys Jones. Smith and Jones formed a creative partnership that lasted for decades.
After the team behind Not the Nine O'Clock News decided to end the show in 1982, Smith and Jones joined forces for the sketch show Alas Smith and Jones, which ran for ten seasons [...]
"So, his name is Cuckoo? Really?" asks everyone. Apparently, in England that is a plausible name an American hippie would give himself. There are two clips from the premiere below. The show debuts in England on BBC Three next Tuesday, September 25, at 10 PM or 22:00 in British time. You think it's worth flying out there for?
NBC beat out the other networks to win the rights to Gates, a single-cam sitcom from Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith ('Til Death), which is based on a British show of the same name. The show, like its British counterpart, will focus on parents and teachers during the emotionally fraught daily chore of dropping kids off at school. The show marks the latest of a fewrecent British TV adaptations. There's much debate about the actual economic benefits of hosting an Olympics. I think we found one.
HBO has ordered a pilot from the creators of Big Love, Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer. The show will be a remake of the award-winning BBC Four comedy Getting On. The show focuses on a hospital's women's geriatric extended care ward and the doctors, nurses, old people, and sad stuff that happens therein. The British version debuted in July 2009 and quickly became BBC Four's biggest comedy. Adding this to Stephen Merchant's pilot and the renewal of Veep, it appears that HBO got into the Olympic spirit with all this British love.
Season 2 of oddly dark British comedy Misfits is now on DVD. The show follows five young delinquents who get strange super powers while doing community service. It has four seasons so far ("series", if you will) which have until now been available on European DVDs as well as Hulu and other parts of the internet, but now you can own it on a tangible DVD which you can touch and feel with your hands and then play using your American DVD player.
The fourth season of Armando Iannucci's The Thick Of Itwill debut in the states on Hulu this Saturday, September 9, immediately following their UK airing on BBC Two. If you want to wait until October 21, you can watch all seven episodes back-to-back. You'd really be in the thick of The Thick Of It.
In the immortal words of Alan Partridge: "Alright, I'll rephrase the question. Can I… no, actually, I'll just repeat the question: have I got a second series?" Yes Alan, you do. Two months back, we told you that an Alan Partridge movie was in the works for 2013 and we all rejoiced. Well, before that, Alan Partridge will do his thing again in another season of Mid Morning Matters. The show, which debuted in 2010 on the beer company Foster's comedy website, has just finished its first season on Sky Atlantic. The Sky Atlantic has ordered another season (or "series") of the show. It's shooting already, so [...]
If you liked the above video, you are in luck because the BBC is going to be airing a new Jim Henson Company produced puppet program (or programme, to put it Britishly). English comedian Danny Baker will be running the show with the Henson team. Entitled No Strings Attached, the puppets apparently won't be able to move their likely string-based appendages or maybe they will. Considering that British people and Muppets are the two most adorably voiced things in the world, I think the kids are going to be all over this thing like kids watching a television show they like.
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