Posts tagged as checking in

'Go On' Midseason Report: From Sad Keanu to Dancing Chandler In 15 Steps

It was definitely unwise of NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt to admit last summer that the network was going for "broad" comedies. Television is a business, and all of the really good, intelligent, critically acclaimed, New York and L.A. loving, genre defining/remixing/bending/ mocking/creating comedies that were/are on the channel had and continue to at times draw fewer eyeballs than — ugh — cable, so trying something different makes some sense. But "broad" is an awful word next to "comedy", and in 2013, when we are closer than ever to discovering that the medium's creativity is in fact limitless, the word immediately evokes images of clowns honking horns and the sounds [...]

When Did Great Sitcoms Have Their First Great Episode?

Yesterday, not long after Splitsider published an article by Samer Kalaf about the long-term health of network sitcoms with long-term arcs, Hallie Cantor followed up with a post, via The Hollywood Reporter, on how viewers and networks are giving up on shows if they’re not immediately great sooner than ever. That’s a terrifying thought, because unless your show has a pilot as strong as Cheers’ or Freaks and Geeks’, both of which Bradford and I covered in our list of the Ten Best Comedy Pilots in TV History, it means that you have less time than ever to make a strong impression on your audience, before [...]

Checking In…with the Voice Cast of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

"A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality."

If you don't like It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, featuring the gang from Peanuts, then, I'm sorry, you're a monster. It's a heartwarming tale about childhood belief, dogs fighting in World War I, getting dissapointed by well-meaning, yet idiotic adults, and not being able to stay awake through the night. In other words, it's perfect.

Great Pumpkin first aired on October 27, 1966 on CBS, and it's been re-aired on that network and, beginning in 2001, on ABC every year since. Like the comic strips themselves, it was written by brilliant [...]

Checking In…with the Recurring Characters of Arrested Development

You’re probably all sick of this by now, but what the heck? ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT IS (probably) COMING BACK. YAYYY. Almost nothing is known about the plot, when it will shoot, how it will be released, or even who’s involved, but as long as they don’t bring back Rita, I think we’re in for a mighty fine fourth season/movie. (Uncle Trevor can come back, though.)

One of the greatest things about AD (and there are many) was the show’s wide array of recurring characters, second only to The Simpsons in my mind. There’s, of course, Gene Parmesan, Ted, Office Taylor, Sally Sitwell, Larry Middleman, Lucille Austero…the list goes on [...]

Checking In…with the Cast of Clerks

Next week, on September 23, the world will at long last see Kevin Smith’s 10th feature film, Red State. Smith announced the horror-extremely-dark-comedy back in 2007, and over the next four years, the self-distributed film has screened at Sundance and had an entire speaking tour based around it. But that’s a horror movie, and we’re not exactly Ripsider (sorry, everyone), are we? No, we are not. We cover comedy, which brings us to a vastly influential film that has shaped the humor of millions of high school students since it was first released on October 19, 1994. No, not Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale. That came out October 28. I [...]

Checking In with 'Bob's Burgers' Halfway Through Season 3

2012 was a big year for Bob's Burgers, as slowly but surely people found it on the air, on Hulu, and streaming on Netflix until, almost incredibly, the show emerged from hiatus as a rare and prized television commodity: a returning new hit comedy.

It’s really been quite a nice run for Fox development in recent years. Thanks to shows like the grower-favorite Raising Hope, the unqualified smash New Girl, and the inexplicably indomitable Seth MacFarlane Ratings Juggernaut, Fox has quietly positioned itself as perhaps the new network standard for high-quality comedies (especially given NBC’s ongoing long, slow fade to black). And perhaps no network sitcom has been so [...]

Checking In…with the Writers of South Park Not Named Matt or Trey

When we think of South Park, which concludes its 15th season next Wednesday (please catch up on Lindsey Bahr's excellent recaps if you're behind), we think of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They do nearly all of the voices, direct almost every episode (Trey, in particular), and write virtually every episode. Or do they? *Record scratch* Well, yes, they do, but they DO have help, from "staff writers" or "staff consultants," something that's not often mentioned. Below are only but a few of the fantastic writers who have helped shape South Park's vision over the years, and what they're up to these days.

Checking In…with the Creators of MTV's Animated Comedies

In t-minus six days, the guys who once called Pavement out on not trying hard enough will be back cornholio’ing our hearts all over again. I am, of course, talking about Beavis and Butt-head, the fire-and-boob loving stars of Beavis and Butt-head Do America. Oh yeah, and they also had that TV show, which ran on MTV from 1993-1997. It’ll be a welcome return not only for fans of the show, but also those who loved MTV’s slate of animated programming in the 1990s and 2000s. Let’s take a look at what the creators of Beavis and Butt-head, Daria, Celebrity Deathmatch, and 3 South are up to today.

Checking In…with the Cast of 3rd Rock from the Sun

Following in the long line of American Splendor and Funny People, the "cancer comedy" 50/50 is released in theaters today. It's written by Will Reiser, who was diagnosed with cancer in his 20s, and stars Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or JGL for short. JGL's been in the public eye since the late 1980s, when he appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies and in two episodes of Family Ties. But his biggest break-out moment came when he was cast on 3rd Rock from the Sun, about a family of aliens living on Earth. The show ran for six seasons and was nominated for a plethora of Emmy Awards. [...]

Looking Back at the Edits Made in TV Comedies After 9/11

Usually with “Checking In,” I look back at a show or movie or Off-Broadway musical and tell you know what the cast and creators (and wonder hamsters) are doing today. Not this week, though. This Friday, let’s go with “Looking Back.” As you might have heard, Sunday is September 11, 2011, and that means not only has it been a decade since “Love and Theft,” The Blueprint, and Nickelback’s debut were released, it’s also been 10 years since this. In the aftermath of that terrible day, many TV comedies either revised soon-to-air scenes featuring the Towers, or took previous episodes and clips showing the buildings out of syndication. [...]

Checking In…with the Mix CDs I Made for Myself as a Teen, Which Included Jimmy Fallon’s “Idiot Boyfriend”

Back in the summer of 2002, when Jimmy Fallon released his first and only album The Bathroom Wall, I was at the peak of mix CD-making phase. The albums weren’t for my friends or girlfriend (ha), but rather, for me, myself, and Josh. Mp3 players were still a few years away from becoming ubiquitous, so if I wanted to listen to multiple songs by a variety of artists, and not carry around my cumbersome, carefully alphabetized booklet of CDs, I had to make a mix for the 20-minute bus ride to school, and for the 40 it took to get back. (Don’t ask.) Rather than include anything cool, like [...]

Checking In…with the Breakout Stars of Eddie Murphy Films

Eddie Murphy was once the biggest name in comedy. In the 1980s, because of his four-season stint on Saturday Night Live and films like 48 Hrs., Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, and Coming to America, he was the householdiest of household names, the man with the Golden Laugh (I want it as my ringtone) and the quickest wit. He made an all-red leather suit cool and brought Buckwheat back to the public lexicon, 40 years after he made his last Little Rascals appearance.

Now, however, and to a whole new generation, Murphy is known as Donkey, or Pluto Nash, or Norbit, or Dr. Doolittle, or Meet Dave, or [...]

Checking In…with the Singers of Billboard-Charting Funny Novelty Songs

In 1978, America had King Tut fever. The Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit, which had previously visited Washington DC, Chicago, and Seattle, among other major American cities, made its way to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Over 1.3 million people paid to see artifacts from the Boy King, and over 30 years later, it’s still the Met’s most popular exhibition in its 141-year history. Elsewhere, “King Tut,” a song written by Steve Martin (“Buried with a donkey, he’s my favorite honky”) and first performed on Saturday Night Live, hit #17 on the Billboard charts, a rather remarkable feat for a novelty song. But “King Tut” wasn’t the first [...]

Checking In…with the Stars of Fox’s Lesser-Known Sunday Night Shows

When you think of post-NFL Sunday nights on Fox, you think of The Simpsons and Family Guy first, then Malcolm in the Middle, Married…with Children, The Critic, King of the Hill, Futurama, Arrested Development, and American Dad in some order. (You might also think of The X-Files, but for the sake of this article, don't, and please, never think of The Cleveland Show.) But in the 17 years since The Simpsons moved into its 8 p.m. timeslot, many lesser sitcoms have come and quickly gone. Below are six such examples, with some faces you might just recognize. Heyyy, Casey Klein.