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Posts tagged as Fast Company

Bill Hader Explains Why He Turned Down a Stefon Movie

"There had been talk about a Stefon movie. It was a very cordial thing of Lorne Michaels coming to me and [then-SNL writer] John Mulaney and saying 'Paramount is asking about this. What do you guys think?' He pretty much just left it up to us. 'You are the guys who are gonna have to write it, so you decide.' John and I pretty quickly said no. Because in our mind, it never worked as a sketch. It was a nice thing that lived on Weekend Update, and it should probably only live on SNL and that's that."

- Bill Hader explains why he and John Mulaney turned down a [...]

Nathan Fielder Reveals a Rejected 'Nathan for You' Idea Involving Raisins

"Basically all raisins are the same, you know. I thought it could be a really interesting high-end grocery item if you could make a raisin that was perfectly smooth, rather than being wrinkly, and had more raisin inside. I thought it could be one of those products where you create a divide in the raisin market so that there's now a low-end raisin and a high-end raisin. If you want a raisin that's aesthetically pleasing, that's perfectly smooth but also tastes better because it has more raisin on the inside, now there would be one."

- Nathan Fielder reveals the Nathan for You idea that never made it to fruition [...]

Ricky Gervais on How He Learned to Write Real Things

Those clever people over at Fast Company have launched a new web series, "Creation Stories," where interesting people tell stories about their creative process. In this inaugural episode, Ricky Gervais recounts how an English teacher taught him the value of writing honestly and also not ripping off TV shows about maverick detectives that play by their own rules. There's an important reminder for all writers in there, accompanied by plenty of Gervais giggling.

Here's All the Fake TV Shows from '30 Rock'

Fast Company has compiled a list of all the fake TV shows from the past seven seasons of 30 Rock, from Queen of Jordan to Bitch Hunter. Check out the list here, which is a pretty great trip through 30 Rock memory lane, even if they forgot to include the fake hit BET series Black Frasier.

Dick Cavett Drops Some Hot Interview Tips

"I didn't always remember everything we'd been talking about. I was forever thinking 'Oh shit–what was it I thought of a minute ago while this other person was talking?' Eventually, I developed a memory technique… of creating an outrageous image. Like if they were caught stealing an apple as a kid, but then they start talking about something else, you picture picking up an apple and throwing it in the face of, I don't know, Mitt Romney or some prominent person. And that sort of startling image will trigger 'apple' for you later on. But I wouldn't throw an apple at Romney. Or a vote."

- King of the Interview [...]

Ben Schwartz Explains How His Haircut Led to a Role on 'Parks and Rec'

"Prior to that, my hair was crazy. I'd been working with Mitch Hurwitz on a pilot, and I mentioned needing to get a haircut. But he's like, 'No, no, no, you will not touch that hair.' So because that went well and I thought it made me stand out more, I was like, 'Fuck it, I'm gonna keep it for auditions.' So I go to Parks and we're about to film my one-and-a-half pages of trying to be Ron [Swanson]'s assistant. Mike Schur comes down, wanting to see how I'm gonna play it, and he just fell in love with my hair. I did Jean-Ralphio once and Mike goes, 'We're [...]

'Broad City's Ilana Glazer on the Importance of Viewer Quality Over Quantity

"During the web series we were never viral. It was always just the quality of viewers. We just started to get a response from our community — the comedy community in New York — and that was enough to make us feel like it was something good and relatable and that we should keep making them."

- Ilana Glazer in a new interview with Fast Company, in which she and Abbi Jacobson explain how Broad City evolved from a small web series to a fully fledged Comedy Central show.

Emily Heller Says Her High School Debate Team Trained Her to Do Comedy

"One of the things I learned in debate that helped me not just with comedy but with everything is, learning how to make analogies. One of the most common ways of making a point is also a really common device for making a joke. If you’re doing observational stuff, you’re kind of making a point. And the harder you can make that point hit, the funnier it can be–and I learned that from debate for sure. Making analogies to make something sound ridiculous works for both winning a debate round and making people laugh."

-Standup Emily Heller talking to Fast Company about the many ways her high school debate [...]

Check Out a Field Guide for the Residents of 'Portlandia'

Fast Company just put out a field guide for Portlandia's recurring characters, showing the ins and outs of everyone in town from feminist bookstore owners Toni and Candice to entertainment-obsessed to Doug and Claire to Fred and Carrie, themselves. Flipping through the guide really show's how amazing Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's abilities as character chameleons are and a reminder of how many different types of frustrating people they've managed to capture in a funny way.

Conan Is Fast Magazine's 100 Most Creative People

Steve Jobs does wear a lot of black mock turtle necks, doesn't he? Got him! This month Conan channels Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People In Business, which apparently include Moses, Frieda Kahlo and, I don't know, I'm going to guess Teddy Roosevelt? The photo shoot video is Conan at his manic best; the cover is making me hallucinate that beautiful beard on the faces of every historical figure even more so than usual.

Matt Mira on Transitioning from Apple Employee to '@midnight' Writer

"I feel like a lot of people are afraid to take that step, and I was afraid too, but it just came to a point where I realized I have to do this. I can't keep going home with no brain power because I'm dealing with shitty people with broken iPads. You can't let a day job stop you from doing the thing you're most passionate about. For me it was, 'I'm gonna keep doing this podcast, doing standup at night. If I'm tired at work, I'll work fewer hours, but I've got to do this.'"

- Fast Company talks with @midnight writer and Nerdist cohost Matt Mira about [...]

Jeff Schaffer, Writer for 'Seinfeld', 'Curb', and More Explains How He Writes Comedy

"I learned how to write comedy from Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld and it was all about structure. Structure, structure, structure. A Seinfeld episode and a Curb episode and a League episode are all written the exact same way."

-The League co-creator Jeff Schaffer, who's previously written for Seinfeld, Curb, and Sacha Baron Cohen's movies, in a detailed interview with Fast Company about his writing process.

Fred Armisen and Other Comedy/Music People Discuss the Intersection of Comedy and Music

"Comedy has run alongside rock and indie rock for a long time. John Lennon was funny, so were David Bowie, Ween, Lou Reed, and Devo. The Clash even wrote hilarious liner notes for Sandinista. I have found that even the most serious of bands have had their own inside jokes."

- Fred Armisen to Fast Company in an excellent piece on the intersection of comedy and rock that features quotes from Marc Maron, Tom Scharpling, Aimee Mann, Ben Gibbard, and, best of all, an awesome infographic.

Does Twitter Make Writing TV Comedy Harder?

Do TV writers ever have to scrap jokes because people on Twitter beat them to it? "All. The. Time," says Weekend Update head writer Alex Baze in a new Fast Company piece containing interviews with several top TV comedy writers about how Twitter affects their jobs. Baze continues, "We were doing a run that scolded global warming deniers that used the line 'If you’re still denying global warming, you’re the mayor from Jaws.' I was pretty happy about that joke, written by Pete Schultz, and then about an hour before show time, Gary Janetti tweeted that exact joke, pretty much word for word. We ended up having to cut the whole [...]