Watch a Clip from TruTV's First Ever Sketch Show, 'Friends of the People'

Reality-focused cable network TruTV is expanding into scripted programming, and here's a sketch about Steve Urkel from their first-ever sketch show, Friends of the People. The 10-episode first season debuts later this year and features a cast that includes Kevin Barnett, Jennifer Bartels, Jermaine Fowler, Lil Rel Howery, Keith Lucas, Kenny Lucas, and Josh Rabinowitz, having grown out of Fox's failed 2011 In Living Color reboot.


Due to a Clerical Error, There's Now a Catholic Church on George Carlin Way

george carlin wayIt's been three years in the making, but a bill was finally signed into law today to name part of a Manhattan street after late comedian George Carlin. Only a one-block portion of the street was supposed to be named George Carlin Way, but, because of a clerical error, a two-block stretch will be given the name and that second block includes both Carlin's childhood home and Corpus Christi Church. Priests at the church have opposed the plan to rename the street for years and that's why the decision was made to not name Corpus Christi's block after Carlin, a proud atheist who often goofed on religion in his act.

The mistake will be fixed in the fall when city council votes on another batch of street names, and city council has assured the church that street signs for George Carlin Way won't be placed on the block.

(via NY Times) Photo credit: Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times


"We all went to college at Florida State University together. Well, some of us went to the community college, some lied about going to school at all, and one was our weed dealer."

-Henry Zebrowski in Paste magazines's oral history of the NYC-based sketch group Murderfist.


Kramer's Original First Name Was "Conrad," and More from 'Seinfeld's Lost Episode

michael-richards-kramer-1Screen Crush has a piece out today diving deep into a lost 1990 episode of Seinfeld, titled "The Bet," that was canceled during the rehearsal process due to being too controversial. The existence of the dark season two episode, in which Elaine buys a gun to defend herself, has been public knowledge for years, but Screen Crush's feature includes some new details and an interview with the episode's writer Larry Charles and director Tom Cherones.

Charles reveals that he had written Kramer's first name into the script for the first time and that it was Conrad, not Cosmo as it was later revealed in a season six episode. Here's Charles explaining:

"And that might have been my biggest disappointment [with the episode being canceled] actually. I had given him a first name in that episode and because the episode fell by the wayside, that also fell by the wayside at that time and didn’t come up again until later … It was Conrad. Because I was kind of thinking of Conrad Birdie from Bye Bye Birdie. So, it was Conrad, actually. And then eventually it became Cosmo. I remember feeling mixed feelings because I had named him Conrad. Although, Cosmo is a great name. But Conrad was good, too."



'Homestar Runner' Is Coming Back, Maybe This Fall

homestar runnerHomestar Runner may be making a comeback. Matt Chapman, co-creator of the early 2000s flash animated web series, revealed this week on the podcast The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show, that he has plans to revive the series. Chapman did a new Homestar cartoon on April Fool's Day, the first since the series stopped in 2010. Here's what he had to say on Jeff Rubin's podcast:

Our goal — we did that [April Fool's] thing as sort of a test to get back into doing it. We'd love to start making things again … It depends on how whole-hog we go, if we give Strong Bad a Twitter or Strong Sad a Tumblr.

Chapman says that he and his brother/collaborator Mike have been talking about working on new stuff and that they're considering relaunching the site in the fall.


Here's a Preview for Next Week's 'Nathan For You,' in Which Nathan Fielder Desecrates Pet Cemeteries

Comedy Central's Nathan For You is currently in the midst of its second season, and here's an exclusive preview clip for next Tuesday's episode, in which Nathan Fielder helps a woman attract more customers to her pet store by advertising on a grave in a pet cemetery and she's reluctant to do that for some reason.


"My father, in 1925, 1926, in the Reserve of the Air Corps, worked as Aviation Fuel Manager for Standard Oil of New Jersey, that's where I lived at that time, and he would go into NYC and work at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. So when I was asked to consider participating, I jumped for joy, and I can't remember a more pleasant episode of discussions with Tina Fey as we talked about her fictitious mother's (I think it was) love affair that she had with me, Buzz Aldrin. And then we looked at the moon, and we both sort of cursed at it for various reasons and said – I'll never forget the line – 'I walked on your FACE!'"

-Buzz Aldrin reminiscing about his guest spot as himself on 30 Rock in a Reddit AMA.


Lewis Black Will Take Your Suggestions for What to Rant About This Weekend

Lewis_Black__In_God_We_Rust_stills_65955Comedian Lewis Black will be yelling about whatever topics his audience want him to this weekend. Variety reports that for his show, Lewis Black: The Rant is Due, in Napa Valley this Friday and Saturday, he'll take suggestions for what to rant about from the live audience and from people watching the video stream (which costs $10). Standup Kathleen Madigan will be on-hand to moderate the suggestions and to probably weed out a bunch of obnoxious ones from internet people. If the stunt proves to be a success, Lewis Black will continue to incorporate this element into future shows.


The Russian Knockoff of 'Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Is Much Tamer

always sunny moscowPhiladelphia's City Paper has a piece out this week looking at It's Always Sunny in Moscow, the Russian adaptation of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia that premiered in May. Here's the official plot description from the Russian network the series airs on, turned into English via Google Translate:

Four young heroes: Sergei Kovalev and Alain, Maxim Borisenko and Roman Makarov. They went to school together. They have their own business – a pub "Philadelphia." But revenue it almost does not work. All their hopes and plans – love and money – are crumbling, when confronted with reality.The reason for this – their selfishness, laziness and stupidity.

It was only natural cheerfulness with already marked stupidity help them to remain optimistic and not to indulge in melancholy. In addition, parents Sergey and Alena, played Dmitri Astrakhan and Irina Apeksimova convincingly show that not only the young can be bad man.

From left to right on the above promo image are Waitress (called "girl with whom Max love" in Moscow), Dee (Alain), Dennis (Sergei), Charlie (Max), Mac (Roman), Frank (Anatoly Kovalev) and his wife (Alena). Basically, the Russian version of the show is, in many ways, a shot-for-shot remake of the original but with most of the raunchy/crazy stuff cut out. Check out a side-by-side comparison of the US and Russian episodes "Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom" (via City Paper) below. (via AV Club) READ MORE


Here's Joel McHale's 'Comedians in Cars Getting Cocaine'

From The Soup last week, here's a parody of Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee called "Comedians in Cars Getting Cocaine," with Tony Hale serving as Joel McHale's guest as they talk about their careers and steal some coke.


Watch Paul F. Tompkins and John Hodgman Have a Delightful Chat

Here's a 20-minute conversation between Paul F. Tompkins and John Hodgman, two of the classiest gentlemen in comedy, who are chatting as a part of Tompkins's web interview show Speakeasy. Tompkins and Hodgman's insightful conversation dives deep into Hodgman's early days as a literary agent and how he transitioned into being an author himself.


Here's the Cast for NBC's New Sketch Comedy Pilot

nbc sketch pilot castIt was reported over a year ago that former Comedy Central VP Lou Wallach was developing a new primetime sketch show for NBC, and the pilot for it was just shot this summer. Like Saturday Night Live, the pilot for the untitled sketch show features a large group of performers culled from all over the country, and The Comic's Comic has a list of its writing staff and cast. The pilot was directed by Bruce Leddy, who directed the bulk of Fox's MADtv, and it's being produced by Mick Napier (Annoyance Theater, Exit 57) and Wallach, who, during his stint at Comedy Central, oversaw the development of Chappelle's Show, The Colbert Report, Crank Yankers, and more.

Here's the cast and writer list for the sketch pilot:

CAST: Laura Cilevitz (Canadian sketch group The Sketchersons, Canada's Match Game), Jet Eveleth (iO), Emma Hunter (Canadian series Spun Out, Match Game), Mark Little (from the Toronto sketch group Picnicface), Derek Miller (Secret Girlfriend, iO West), Alex Moffat (iO), Diona Reasonover (UCB LA, TBS's Buzzy's), Chris Redd (Second City etc., standup), Blaine Swen (creator and director of Chicago's Improvised Shakespeare Company)

WRITERS: Tim Baltz (Drunk History, iO), Colton Dunn (Key and Peele, UCB), Ed Furman (Second City Chicago, Annoyance), Brian Jack (iO West), Mark Raterman (Chicago's Cook County Social Club, My Mans), Brad Morris (Playing House, Cougar Town), Emily Wilson (Cougar Town)


This Week in Comedy: Yahoo Saves 'Community'; 'Drunk History' and 'Nathan For You' Return


In case you missed it, here's all the big comedy stuff that happened this week:

-Yahoo! resurrected Community at the last minute, ordering a 10-episode sixth season expected to premiere next year. Executives are insisting that a Community movie will happen, as well.

-Nathan For You and Drunk History returned to Comedy Central with the premieres of each of their second seasons. We ranked Nathan Fielder's best works from season 1 and interviewed Derek Waters about what to expect this year on Drunk History.

-We examined George Carlin and three other standups who completely reinvented their acts in the middle of their careers.

-Oscar-nominated writer/director Paul Mazursky passed away at 84.

-We interviewed Mike Sacks about his new book of interviews with comedians, Poking a Dead Frog, and excerpted his interview with Adam McKay.

-Nick Cannon is dropping some serious hints that he's been cast as Richard Pryor in the upcoming biopic. READ MORE


Vulture had improviser and Silicon Valley star Thomas Middleditch keep a journal of his comings and goings during the UCB Theatre NYC's 72-hour improv festival, The Del Close Marathon, last weekend, and it's definitely worth the read if you want to hear about and Improvised Shakespeare, weird cab drivers, and a rude Korean barbecue restaurant.