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.
Considering the amount of commercial tie-ins Saturday Night Live used last season (Remember those Jeep commercials with Cecily Strong and Michael Che? Synergy!), it looks like the show has made the next logical step in brand partnership by teaming up with MasterCard to create the Saturday Night Live MasterCard, the credit card all SNL fans have been clamoring for. News of the new MasterCard surfaced yesterday when SNL's Twitter account tweeted out a link for their #SNL40 Kickoff Sweepstakes, in which fans can enter to win tickets and airfare to a taping of the show this season.
Fans who bothered to read the fine print might have noticed a second check box underneath the sweepstakes information page that allows a site called Comenity Bank to send news "about the new Saturday Night Live MasterCard and its perks, rewards and other benefits," which include a "cardholder exclusive SNL™ leather wallet" when you spend $500 or more on the card within 180 days of opening, although be warned — that offer is subject to credit approval, sent within 4-6 weeks after qualification, and "may be replaced with items of similar value." The card boasts some other benefits and apparently can up your chances for tickets and "exclusive content," but selling points aside, this has got to be the most cringeworthy corporate thing SNL has ever done. Check out a screen grab of the Saturday Night Live MasterCard information breakdown below, then watch the 2010 sketch "A Message from MasterCard" to feel better about not being able to afford the $500+ cardholder exclusive SNL™ leather wallet. READ MORE
San Diego State's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film recently released the results of their 17th annual "Boxed In" study, which analyzes how many women are working behind and in front of the camera in the entertainment world. In the primetime television sphere, women saw more decline than progress during the 2013-2014 season, falling 3.5% from last year in the number of women working as creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography. Also down this season are the number of women working onscreen with a 2.3% slip (from 43% last season to 42% this season) as well as the number of programs that employ four or fewer women — a whopping 44% of all the primetime shows included in the study. Conversely, only 1% of the shows studied employed four or fewer men. On the upside, sitcoms came out on top with the highest percentage of female characters at 46%, compared to 44% on reality shows and 39% on dramas.
"For many years, women have experienced slow but incremental growth both as characters on screen and working in key positions behind the scenes,” said San Diego State's Dr. Martha Lauzen. "However, that progress, small though it was, now appears to have stalled. However, when women are employed behind the scenes, they make a difference." While the onscreen decline of women is clear, there was some progress in the number of women working 13% more producer jobs (43% total), 7.7% more director jobs (13% total), and 5.9% more editing jobs (17% total) compared to last year. But in all other behind-the-scenes fields — show creators (down 17%), executive producers (down 15%), directors of photography (down 50%), and most notably writers (down 26%) — the study found that this season is far from a progressive one for women. Add on the fact that every current major network late night host is a man, and it looks like women still have a long road until they reach true equality in the television world. Check out the full study here.
In addition to the recent hiring of standup Michael Che as co-anchor of Weekend Update, yesterday SNL revealed some surprising hiring news with the announcement that young standup Pete Davidson has been added to the cast as a featured player. SNL has an unpredictable history with hiring standup comedians, and while many seamlessly stepped into the impersonation, sketch acting, and recurring character mold — see Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, and Darrell Hammond, to name a few — most of the show's standups-turned-players stayed true to their roots, often appearing on Weekend Update and finding ways to make sketch characters take on their own standup sensibilities to varying degrees of success. Here's a look at 11 of them: READ MORE
Marc Maron is returning to IFC next year. The network announced today that they've renewed his series Maron for a 13-episode third season slated to begin production this fall. The third season will premiere sometime in spring 2015, but no exact premiere date has been announced. "I am very proud of both seasons of the show and thrilled we're doing another one," Maron said in a statement. "Through all the episodes I can see the growth and evolution of the character, writing and comedy. I'm excited about getting back to the process. The character of Maron needs some work on and off screen and fortunately that's what drives the show." For more on Maron the character and the real-life person, check out our interview with him from May.