Following the death of SNL's longtime announcer Don Pardo last month, former cast member (and occasional Pardo fill-in) Darrell Hammond said he'd be "honored and thrilled" to take over Pardo's duties on the show going forward, and now that change has officially been made. The New York Times confirms that Lorne Michaels has chosen Hammond to become the show's new announcer going forward. It's not yet clear whether Hammond will imitate Pardo like he's done in the past or make the job his own, but a quote from Michaels seems to hint it will be the latter: "There were a lot of sweet ideas about carrying on with Don somehow," Michaels said. "Because everyone has a Pardo impression. But he had the greatest run and he's a completely beloved figure. So I thought: Don't turn this into something else. That period ended." Michaels later added that he's "really happy" to have given Hammond the gig and that he thinks "it will be good to have Darrell doing his own separate thing."
Former MADtv cast member Stephnie Weir has landed a new show at ABC. Deadline reports that the network has put in development a half-hour comedy from Weir and CBS TV Studios. The untitled project follows "a Branch Manager in a Credit Union who believes he can finally shake their Podunk image and compete with the newly arrived UberBank with his new style of management." While no casting has been announced yet for the series, Weir can be next seen onscreen in FX's upcoming comedy The Comedians starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad.
The most recent update on the long-rumored Ghostbusters sequel was the news of a possible all-female reboot directed by Paul Feig, but according to Dan Aykroyd, the future of Ghostbusters – or as he calls it, the Ghostbusters "brand" — is now much more than just a movie. According to THR, Aykroyd was asked at an event in London for an update on the movie and said he's shifted his focus from a sequel to a Marvel-style universe: "It’s beyond just another sequel, a prequel, another TV show. I'm thinking what does the whole brand mean to Sony? What does Pixar and Star Wars mean to Disney? What does Marvel mean to Fox?"
Aykroyd went on to say that the Ghostbusters "executives, the creatives, Ivan [Reitman] and myself" are now considering the next 10 years for the Ghostbusters franchise, which will be "not just another movie or another TV show, but what’s the totality of it? The whole mythology from the beginning of their lives, the end of their lives. Ghostbusters at nine years old, Ghostbusters in high school." As for the current status of any Ghostbusters-related project, Aykroyd insisted that it's "up on blocks, it needs new electronics, new everything. That’s what we have to do. The whole vehicle of Ghostbusters has to be rebuilt. That’s the ambitious thinking that’s going on now. Taking on the model of Marvel where we take all of the elements that are in this movie and we put them out there as different ideas." When asked about the idea of the female-led Ghostbusters, Aykroyd said it's a possibility for the third or fourth film and that "we'd need to write it." Any fans who were worried that the female-led reboot could've tarnished the Ghostbusters franchise now have a whole lot more to worry about — will there be Ghostbusters High? Animated children's show Ghostbusters Babies? And most importantly, when can we buy a Ghostbusters III lunch box?
If you're a fan of watching old clips of standups honing their craft live onstage, the new Just For Laughs YouTube channel is for you. The Montreal comedy festival recently teamed up with Maker Studios to launch the channel this afternoon, which so far features standup clips from Bill Hicks, Louis C.K., Tracy Morgan, Bill Burr, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Dave Chappelle, and Mitch Hedberg. According to Variety, a total of "over 500 hours of JFL content" will be released in increments of three each week and eventually include content from current festivals. Check out a 1998 performance from Mitch Hedberg above, then click through to watch the rest: READ MORE
After years of being nothing more than a "near-mythical pilot" from the great Simpsons writer John Swartzwelder, the 1996 pilot episode of his unsold show Pistol Pete has been recently uploaded to YouTube. Starring Brian Doyle-Murray and Steve Kearney, Pistol Pete is set in an Old West town and is worth the view for the opening alone. For more on Pistol Pete, check out a great in-depth analysis over on Antenna Free TV. (via The A.V. Club)
"Yes, she was an international star, but she was, first and foremost, a New Yorker. I'm not sure anyone embodied New York City more than Joan. The glamour, the ruthlessness, the persistence, the resilience, the lust for life, the tireless energy, the confidence, the loneliness, the hustle, the love of fashion, of money, of theater, of gay culture, the love of the game. Joan loved New York. Joan was New York."
- Bill Eichner remembers his "greatest champion" Joan Rivers in a new piece for Entertainment Weekly.
Welcome to The Second City Archives, in which we post an exclusive clip each week of some of comedy's biggest superstars performing early in their careers on the legendary Chicago stage. Second City has generously given us a glimpse into their extensive archive of live performances, and over the coming weeks we'll be sharing some rare and retro comedy never before seen on the web.
This week's clip comes from Second City's 82nd revue called Paradigm Lost, which took place in February 1997 and starred ensemble performers Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Scott Adsit, Kevin Dorff, Jenna Jolovitz, and Jim Zulevic. In the sketch "Grandma's Records," Adsit goes through some of the recently deceased Mother Superior's records to play at her memorial, only to discover that she had a secret stash of some very sinful music. Costarring Dratch and Jolovitz as a pair of nuns and Fey, Dorff, and Zulevic providing the tunes, "Grandma's Records" is a close call-filled look at these Second City stars before they hit it big; Tina Fey joined the writing staff of SNL the same year. For more vintage Dratch and Fey, check out the full video of their Second City show Dratch & Fey from two years later.
Another SNL alum is now set to host an episode this season. TV by the Numbers reports that Bill Hader is scheduled to host SNL on October 11th with musical guest Hozier, following Chris Pratt on September 27th and Sarah Silverman on October 4th. This makes Hader's first time hosting the show since leaving back in 2013.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele were guests on last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, where they told Kimmel about how they first "fell in comedy love" through Second City, Boom Chicago, and Peele's performance as a female Danish supermodel named Ute. Check out more from their interview below: READ MORE
Outgoing CBS late night host Craig Ferguson was a guest on last night's Late Night and offered up some priceless talk show hosting advice in the process: Stay with it, dance for nickels, and accept the certainty that you're going to go crazy. Watch another clip from the interview below: READ MORE
While you're waiting for Broad City's season 2 premiere to get here, Glazer and Jacobson have started a brand new web series on Comedy Central called Hack Into Broad City, and the first episode dropped today. It's a serious look at the technological and cultural ideas and exchanges the world shares in all thanks to the power of cereal.
Comedian Chris Gethard is experimenting with a new way to develop his material that might involve him performing at your house if you're up for it. In a new post on his website, Gethard has reached out to fans who live within four hours of his home base of New York City to try to get some new and interesting non-NYC venues to work on his act. From the post:
I really want to have a whole month where I do low key house shows, where I bring comedy to places that maybe don’t have it as readily available as New York, and in environments that can be really intimate for both the audience and for me as a performer.
I’ve also been talking to some of my favorite comics in NYC, and there are a whole bunch of experimental oddballs who want in. For each of these shows, my plan is to grab two or three other comics I really like, get in my car, drive somewhere and have us put on a one to two hour show in your house.
There are a couple rules to Gethard's experiment, including driving distance from New York, a promise you won't charge others to see the show, and a willingness to let a bunch of fans you don't know into your home, but it certainly seems like an interesting idea. For more information, head over to Gethard's website.
Hit 1990 film Problem Child is getting the sitcom treatment at NBC. Deadline reports that the network has put a single-cam comedy adaptation in development based off the film starring John Ritter and Amy Yasbeck as a couple tricked into adopting a seven-year-old boy who wreaks havoc wherever he goes. Problem Child grossed $72 million when it was released in theaters in 1990 on a $10 million budget and went on to return with two sequels in 1991 and 1995. The TV adaptation comes from writer Scot Armstrong, who penned Old School, The Hangover: Part II, and the 2004 TV-to-movie adaptation Starsky & Hutch and will also serve as an executive producer. Hopefully the television series will have less vomit scenes than Problem Child 2.