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 [...]
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 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 [...]
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."
"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.