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Posts tagged as lost roles

The Lost Roles Interview with Tom Lennon

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring "what might have been" in movie and TV comedy as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn’t get, and the projects that fell apart altogether. This week, I interviewed Tom Lennon, star and writer of beloved comedy shows like Reno 911! and The State and an accomplished screenwriter and author (with Ben Garant) of the hilarious, no-bullshit screenwriting how-to book Writing Movies for Fun and Profit. Every actor has their fair share of close casting calls, and Tom Lennon is no exception. He was nice enough to chat [...]

The Lost Roles of 'The Graduate'

"Lost Roles" is a weekly column looking at "what might have been" in movie and TV comedy, exploring alternate casting possibilities that almost happened but didn't, for one reason or another. This week, we turn our attention to The Graduate, director Mike Nichols's revered comedy-drama, which celebrates its 45th anniversary tomorrow.

As with any movie, casting was the key to The Graduate's success. Obviously, Mike Nichols's superb direction, and the tight, well-executed screenplay by Buck Henry, were a big part of that too, but with another cast, Nichols and Henry's vision wouldn't have been anywhere near as effective. Nichols and his team went through an arduous casting process to [...]

The Lost Roles Interview with Eddie Pepitone

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring “what might have been” in movie and TV comedy as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn't get, and the projects that fell apart altogether.

This week, I interviewed Eddie Pepitone, a much-loved stand-up comedian who's been performing for decades but has only recently seen his star starting to rise in the entertainment industry — an industry that he's awfully fond of lambasting in his act. A regular on Conan (where he plays a heckler), The Sarah Silverman Program (where he played a cook named "Eddie Pepitone"), and Marc [...]

The Lost Roles of Steve Martin

One of the most revered comedians of his generation, both as an actor and writer, Steve Martin is 45 years deep into an eclectic career that's seen him starring in goofy big-budget comedies, critically-acclaimed dramas, and everything in between. Not to mention his work as an author, musician, stand-up, playwright, and Twitterer. Every actor has their fair share of parts they were almost cast in and movies that were never made, given how hard it is to get a project past Hollywood's development gauntlet and into production. Here's a collection of movie roles Steve Martin almost played but didn't. It's a wide range of movies that would have [...]

The Lost Roles of Dana Carvey

One of the most popular SNL cast members of all time, Dana Carvey became one of only three people to win an Emmy for his tenure on the show in 1993 (joining Chevy Chase and Gilda Radner, who received the award in 1976 and 1978, respectively). Carvey was at the forefront of an eclectic group of cast members and writers (including Phil Hartman, Mike Myers, Conan O’Brien, Greg Daniels, Bob Odenkirk, and Sen. Al Franken, amongst others) who saved the show from its most tumultuous decade ever – the 1980s – and rang in what was then the most fertile period in SNL’s history since its 70s Glory Era. [...]

The Lost Roles of Rodney Dangerfield

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring “what might have been” in movie and TV comedy, as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn't get, and the projects that fell apart altogether. This week, we're looking at Rodney Dangerfield, one of the most revered stand-up comedians of all-time and someone who was good about sending the elevator back down to help younger comedy types – many of whom are household names today. Dangerfield got a late start in the movie world, taking his first starring role at the age of 59, but he managed to have [...]

The Lost Roles Interview with Stephen Tobolowsky

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring “what might have been” in movie and TV comedy as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn't get, and the projects that fell apart altogether. This week, I interviewed Stephen Tobolowksy, beloved character actor, author, and podcaster. Tobolowsky has played hundreds of parts in movies and TV over the years, but you may know him best as Bill Murray's irritating high school acquaintance Ned Ryerson from Groundhog Day, amnesiac Sammy Jankis from Memento, or from his recent TV work in recurring roles on Glee, Heroes, [...]

A 'Crocodile Dundee' Crossover and Two Other Rejected Ideas for 'Beverly Hills Cop III'

The original Beverly Hills Cop movie was one of the most successful movies ever at the time of its release, and it had the potential to give birth to a franchise that was equally as popular and long-lasting. Unfortunately, the second movie didn't fare as well with audiences or critics and the third film, released in 1994, a whopping seven years after the previous installment, was near-disaster. Despite this, the version of Beverly Hills Cop III we got, in which Eddie Murphy's Axel Foley busts up a counterfeit ring at a Southern California theme park, was far superior to a lot of the ideas that were thrown around by [...]

The Richard Pryor Biopic’s 17 Years in Development Hell

Regarded by his peers as the greatest stand-up comedian of all-time, Richard Pryor also lived a fascinating life to match his larger-than-life reputation as a comic. Pryor’s tumultuous personal experiences are what fed his comedy, and it’s no wonder that Hollywood executives, filmmakers, Pryor’s family, and Pryor himself have tried many times to make a biopic about his life. There’s enough stuff in Richard Pryor’s life to fill two or three movies (he grew up in a brothel, rose to the top of his field by breaking boundaries and fighting numerous censorship battles, had some run-ins with the mob, lit himself on fire while freebasing cocaine, and was diagnosed [...]

The Lost 'SNL' Reality Show: Will Sketch Comedy Ever Have Its Own 'American Idol'?

American Idol has been the #1 show on TV for the better part of the last decade, and given its raging popularity, it’s pretty surprising that no one has ever aped it with a sketch comedy competition show. Sure, there was Last Comic Standing, NBC’s underwhelming riff on American Idol with stand-ups battling for a sitcom deal instead of musicians for a record contract, or Acceptable.TV, Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab’s short-lived VH1 adaptation of their democratic video sketch fest Channel 101, but sketch comedians have never had a cheesy, performer-based TV competition to call their own. Just because there hasn’t been a show like that, though, doesn’t mean [...]

A Year of Lost Roles: Looking Back at 12 Awesome, Weird, and Terrible Movies and Shows that Never Happened

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring “what might have been” in movie and TV comedy, as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn’t get, and the projects that fell apart altogether. To close out 2012, we've put together a list of 12 of the most interesting movies, shows, or alternate casting choices that almost happened but didn't – some good, some bad, some just super weird. Read on for the best abandoned projects we've covered in 2012, including an SNL reality show in which comedians would have competed to be cast members on the [...]

The Lost Roles of Chris Farley

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring “what might have been” in movie and TV comedy as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn't get, and the projects that fell apart altogether. This week, we turn our attention to Chris Farley, the beloved comedy actor who took Second City, Saturday Night Live, and the movie industry by storm before dying a tragic death at the hands of drugs at the age of 33 in 1997. Throughout his career, Farley was tied to some pretty big movie projects that he didn't get to follow through [...]

'The Farm' and 10 Other Spin-offs that Almost Happened But Didn't

News came in this week that NBC isn't picking up The Farm, the spin-off of the network's departing show The Office based around Rainn Wilson's character Dwight Schrute and his wacky family's wacky beet farm. While it seems odd that NBC cast and filmed a pilot for The Farm (that'll be airing as a standalone episode of The Office later this season) and made it so into the process only to get cold feet, this is a fairly common occurrence in the comedy world. Some of the most successful shows of all-time have been spin-offs, but for every Frasier, there's a show about Dr. Crane's bar bros Norm [...]

The Lost Roles Interview with T.J. Miller

"Lost Roles" is a weekly column exploring “what might have been” in movie and TV comedy, as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn’t get, and the projects that fell apart altogether. This week, I interviewed T.J. Miller, star of She’s Out of My League, Cloverfield, Yogi Bear, and the upcoming Fox sitcom The Goodwin Games. Miller's inventive new show, the Comedy Central standup/video hybrid Mash Up, premiered earlier this week and airs Tuesday nights at 12:30am. Miller was nice enough to chat about some of the parts he’s missed out on, including the epic tale [...]