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Posts tagged as oral histories

Check Out 'The A.V. Club's Oral History of 'Airplane!'

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Airplane! this year, The A.V. Club has a new oral history out today on the film's origins, casting, production, and impact with writers/directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker as well as a bunch of the cast. Here's what Jerry Zucker had to say on the film's unexpected cult popularity:

I think we’d spent so much time—years—convincing other people that it was going to be a hit that we started to believe it. [Laughs.] But we had our ups and downs, and we had moments of “Oh, my God, it’s never going to work.” We were certainly bullish on the movie [...]

Read a New Oral History About the Birth of 'South Park'

Entertainment Weekly has a new South Park oral history out today, and it's a great look into how Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "The Spirit of Christmas" shorts evolved into a smash hit Comedy Central series. Here's an excerpt from former Comedy Central president Doug Herzog:

Anybody that tells you they knew it was going to be a hit—and the only people I would believe if they said that would be Matt and Trey—that’s just bullshit. Nobody knows, right? What we did know was it was really funny. We thought it was clever. And for a network that was still struggling to reach 50 million homes, we went, [...]

'Vanity Fair' Talks to Groundlings Alums to Celebrate the Theatre's 40th Anniversary

Vanity Fair has a new oral history out today of The Groundlings, LA's legendary improv theatre that has spawned countless comedic talents on SNL, movies, and beyond like Paul Reubens, Lisa Kudrow, Phil Hartman, Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, and Melissa McCarthy. Here's Reubens recalling the first time he tried performing as Pee-wee onstage:

I probably had eight or 10 pretty solid characters and maybe four or five of those were very popular and featured in the show. But when I [debuted Pee-wee Herman onstage], that got a completely different reaction. This was a reaction that made me think, Wow, this means something. And very quickly, I decided, "Yeah I [...]

Read an Oral History of LA's Wildly Influential Groundlings Theater

THR has a new oral history of The Groundlings Theater, the LA-based comedy institution where Phil Hartman, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, and also people not on SNL, like Paul Reubens, Lisa Kudrow, and Jim Rash, honed their chops before breaking into movies and TV. The piece contains the story of Reubens creating his character Pee-Wee Herman for a Groundlings workshop, a big fight between the creative heads of the theater, and a story about Lorne Michaels responding to a Groundling asking him how it feels to have Phil Hartman on SNL with, "I don't even have to go into work."

Read an Exhaustive Oral History of "Weird Twitter"

"I met a guy named @fart on the Internet and I let him into my apartment and it was actually really great."

-Comedian Jake Fogelnest to Buzzfeed in an exhaustive oral history of "Weird Twitter," a name given to a subset of Twitter comedians who specialize in absurdist humor. The article itself is a weirder read than even the weirdest tweet ever.

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 [...]

Read a New Oral History of 'Parks and Recreation'

Not long after posting a comprehensive oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Uproxx has a brand new oral history out today on the history and evolution of Amy Poehler's other famous role on NBC's Parks and Recreation, and it's a great read for fans of the show who are looking to ease the pain before tonight's hourlong series finale. Here's an excerpt from Jim O'Heir:

Sadly, pictures have hit the internet of me crying. So I can’t deny. It was rough. We all knew it was coming. But in a way, I’m glad it was because it means that it meant so much to us. It [...]

Updated Edition of 'Live from New York' Book Will Be Available This September

Since its publication in 2003, Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller's oral history book Live from New York has served as the quintessential SNL bible for fans and students of TV history alike, and according to Miller, the book is currently being updated to include all the post-2003 SNL history the original edition missed out on. To put it into perspective, Live from New York ends with the 2002-2003 cast when Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, and Will Forte were mere featured players — years before the explosion of The Lonely Island's viral-friendly Digital Shorts — so the updated book will include 11 more years of interviews, anecdotes, and [...]

"It Was a Fighter's Comedy Show": The Oral History of 'Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn'

2013 has brought an unprecedented wave of new late night shows. Most stick to the tried and true late night format of scripted segments and celebrity guests, or the faux news style of Comedy Central's late night lineup. But years before The Colbert Report became a staple of that network, another topical show occupied its coveted post-Daily Show spot. A mix of the roundtable debates of Politically Incorrect and the unpredictability of live standup, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn was possibly the purest form of comedy ever on television: a bunch of comedians in a room, having it out over politics, current events, and [...]

The Oral History of 'Freaks and Geeks' Is Wonderful

If you're reading this website, you probably don't need me to say much to convince you to go read Vanity Fair's amazing oral history of Freaks and Geeks. They even reunited the entire cast for a class photo! Seriously, set aside some time to read this one. It's worth it.

Read a New Oral History of Weird Al Yankovic's 'UHF'

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Weird Al Yankovic's 1989 film UHF, The A.V. Club has a new oral history out today on the film that includes interview excerpts with Yankovic, director/co-writer Jay Levey, Michael Richards, Emo Phillips, and more that's a detailed behind-the-scenes look at how the movie went from a box office bomb to smash cult hit. Here's an excerpt from Yankovic:

It’s been extremely gratifying for me. I’m not sure exactly why I was lucky enough to have this become a cult classic, because for years it was just… you know, a failed movie, a big box-office bomb. But somehow, it’s really found its audience. [...]

Read a New Oral History of the Upright Citizens Brigade

Uproxx has a brand new oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade out today, and it's a fantastic in-depth look at the theatre founded by Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts that's grown into the ultimate comedy institution and home of countless successful film and television writers and performers. The piece features quotes from the UCB Four as well as alums and current performers and is well worth the read for anyone interested in the UCB's roots and lasting influence. Here's a fun excerpt from Horatio Sanz talking about UCB's future:

I'm kind of waiting for someone to go crazy. I don't know if its [...]

Read an Oral History of The Kids in the Hall

“When the five of us are together, we become the Kids in the Hall. It becomes something that is apart from any one of us. That’s why we keep doing it. It’s fun and exciting when we’re together. It can also become pretty horrible and mean, but we end up laughing more together than we do at any other time in our lives."

-Dave Foley in Toronto newspaper Now's in-depth oral history of The Kids in the Hall. It's definitely worth reading, going into the group's early days playing for 15 people a week to their cult sketch show to their breakup while making the movie Brain Candy.

There's a New Oral History of the UCB Out Today in E-Book Form

Writer Brian Raftery has a new, exhaustive oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade that was just released today, exclusively through Barnes & Noble's Nook program. Chronicling the UCB's rise from a small theater in the mid-'90s to a bicoastal behemoth now, the e-book is an expanded version of the excellent oral history of the UCB Raftery put together for New York magazine two years ago featuring interviews with Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, Conan O'Brien, Ed Helms, Andy Richter, and many more. The e-book version, called High-Status Characters: How The Upright Citizens Brigade Stormed A City, Started A Scene, And Changed Comedy Forever, is [...]