So far in his remote-from-Portland segment "FredEx," Fred Armisen has portrayed an American building designer who questions the existence of angels and a Peruvian Beatles cover band member who discusses global warming, and last night he returned with the weirdest character yet with the help of a wig, tacky hoodie, and pair of headphones. Naturally he turns it into an unorthodox surgeon who is in love with everyone he knows.
It's been just over two months since Edgar Wright made the unfortunate announcement that he was no longer directing Marvel's Ant-Man, but thankfully the Scott Pilgrim/The World's End director has already bounced back with a new project. According to Variety, Wright is currently in talks to direct Baby Driver for Working Title Films. While no plot details have been released, Baby Driver will reportedly be in the vein of his Cornetto Trilogy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Wright will also write the script along with Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, who both worked as producers on Wright's Cornetto Trilogy films.
Thailand's military government apparently caught wind of a segment Last Week Tonight with John Oliver did on their Crown Prince last month, and they're not taking his satire lightly. VICE News recently got ahold of a "highly confidential" official document from Thailand's National Council of Peace and Order responding to, among other things, Oliver's June 22 segment on Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in which he mocked the coup leader and his ridiculous "happiness campaign" and called him "buffoonish" and "an idiot." From the document, which focuses on Oliver and other "overseas activities that the junta regards as 'undermining the royal institution'":
Mr. John William Oliver, a comedy actor known for parodying English politics, discussed the issue of Crown Prince Felipe of Spain’s inauguration, criticizing it and referring/connecting it to other countries with monarchs, such as Queen Elizabeth II, by means of showing sections of and criticizing ‘the poolside clip’ on HBO.
Oliver played the "poolside clip" — which features the Crown Prince, his topless wife, and their poodle Foo Foo (who also ranks as Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Thai Air Force) lounging by a pool with a birthday cake — when covering Thailand's lèse majestè law, which calls for 3-15 years in jail for anyone who mocks the royal family: "And you're telling me they're not supposed to make fun of that? That’s entrapment!" Click here to watch a clip from the original segment.
Andy Samberg is about to play a tennis bad boy in an original HBO movie. According to Deadline, HBO is currently assembling the cast for 7 Days in Hell, a tennis-centric mockumentary written by Girls and American Dad! writer Murray Miller based on a concept by Miller and Samberg, who will star opposite Game of Thrones' Kit Harington. The mockumentary will tell the tale of rivaling tennis players during their legendary seven-day match at Wimbledon, with Samberg as "tennis' superstar bad boy" Aaron Williams and Harington as Charles Poole, "a tennis prodigy and certified truck driver." Rounding out the cast will be Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, Will Forte (playing a tennis historian), Karen Gillan (as supermodel and Charles's childhood best friend), Howie Mandel, Soledad O'Brien (as herself), Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen (as Charles's psycho mother), and June Squibb. SNL and Funny or Die's Jake Szymanski will direct.
7 Days in Hell is not the first TV mockumentary project starring SNL grads to be announced this year; in March, IFC announced that they ordered six episodes of American Documentary, a half-hour series of fake documentaries and biopics, from Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers, to air next year.
Welcome to our column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite television writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.
For this week's Sketch Anatomy, we're breaking the rules a little to go behind the scenes of a classic '90s sitcom episode with Andy Cowan, former writer for Cheers and 3rd Rock from the Sun and the mind behind the acclaimed 1994 Seinfeld episode "The Opposite." Ranked at #1 in our own list of every Seinfeld episode, "The Opposite" was a freelance submission by Cowan that went on to become Seinfeld's fifth season finale. I recently chatted with Cowan about how he broke into television writing, what it was like to have his script accepted by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, and his thoughts on the future of the traditional sitcom format. READ MORE
Here's a clip from Ricky Gervais's interview on last night's Late Night, in which he and Meyers talk about the differences between US and UK awards shows. This leads to Gervais realizing mid-interview that he's unhappy with "that big sweaty slob" Louis C.K. for never giving him the thank you he deserves.
Last month it was announced that Chelsea Handler had signed on to star in a new talk show for Netflix. Right now, all we know about Handler's show is that it's slated to premiere in October 2016 and will be the first series to be released at a specific time block on the streaming service. According to Business Insider, Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos recently addressed the company's intentions with Handler's show, which will be heavily influenced by the changing ways people watch late night shows today:
"People are not watching scripted programming the way they used to. They're also not watching these late-night talk shows the way they used to, meaning they're not watching them at 11:30. They're watching them days, weeks, sometimes months later online or on stacked episodes on DVR. So what we are hoping to do with Chelsea and her team is create a show that's built closer to the way people are going to watch it, the way we had done with serialized dramas where we to took out the commercial breaks and the cliffhangers and really produce it for the way people watch. And we've got a lot of time between now and then to work through all the format details. Chelsea is incredibly excited and we're really excited about her brand and we think it's going to be great for us."
Chelsea Handler's show will be Netflix's first original talk show, so if the approach works it could lead to some interesting late night competition. Similarly, HBO has also been very next-day-viewing-friendly with Last Week Tonight with John Oliver — an unusual move for the pay network — so hopefully this commercial-free, YouTube-friendly late night trend is here to stay.
Before they broke into SNL stardom, Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch starred in a two-woman show together called Dratch & Fey that ran at Second City and New York's UCB from 1999-2000, and a couple days ago an old VHS copy of the entire show showed up on YouTube. The quality isn't the best, but considering it's nearly an hour of vintage Dratch and Fey in their element, a few VHS bugs shouldn't hold you back. (via)
After much anticipation, Nathan Fielder's epic Dumb Starbucks prank from earlier this year will finally be featured in next week's Nathan for You, and Comedy Central just released the above sneak peek. It turns out that Dumb Starbucks wasn't a prank at all but an "artistic experience."
Stephen Colbert is staying in New York. According to an announcement by CBS's Les Moonves and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Colbert will host Late Show from David Letterman's current spot at the Ed Sullivan Theater when he takes over sometime next year. No official date for Letterman's departure or Colbert's takeover has been announced, but Bill Carter at The New York Times writes that "there will need to be a hiatus between the two — most likely for several months — as Mr. Colbert installs a new set to the theater and his staff moves in to old Letterman offices. The most likely plan is a farewell to Mr. Letterman at the end of May, with a September premiere for Mr. Colbert." That's potentially a whole eight months without Colbert's weeknight television presence, so start watching The Colbert Report religiously while you still can.
Last year it was announced that Seth MacFarlane was creating yet another animated Fox series called Bordertown, and it's now signed on a Simpsons favorite to lead the voice cast. Deadline reports that Hank Azaria — the voice behind Simpsons characters like Moe Szyslak, Apu, and Chief Wiggum — has signed on to voice the lead role in the series as Bud Buckwald, "a married father of three and a Border Patrol agent who is just a tad behind the times and feels slightly threatened by the cultural changes transforming his neighborhood." Nicholas Gonzalez, Alex Borstein, Missi Pyle, Efron Ramirez, and 30 Rock's Judah Friedlander are also signed on to voice roles in Bordertown, which has yet to get an official premiere date on Fox.
After making waves at Sundance, getting funded through Indiegogo, and releasing a teaser trailer last month, filmmaker newcomer Justin Simien's Dear White People dropped its first official trailer yesterday. Not only does the trailer make Dear White People look even more promising than before, but it features 100% more Dennis Haysbert AKA the Allstate Insurance guy.
VICE.com's new talk show The Jim Norton Show premiered today with guests Mike Tyson and Dana White, and you can catch the first part of the episode above. "I want this to feel different than other talk shows feel. I'm not going to out-Fallon Jimmy Fallon," Norton says early in the episode. "I'm not going to be able to get celebrities to do fun things with me and get seven million views. My idea of a fun viral celebrity video would be to fill a bag with shit and smash Nancy Grace in the face with it."
Maude Apatow is set to make her TV comedy debut. TVLine reports that Maude will appear in the next season of Lena Dunham's hit HBO series Girls, which her dad Judd Apatow executive produces. Few details about Maude's character have been released, but she'll reportedly play a girl named Cleo "who could potentially appear in several episodes." Maude has shown up in her father's films Knocked Up, Funny People, and This Is 40, but Girls will make her first time on the small screen. Zachary Quinto, Gillian Jacobs, Jason Ritter, and Natasha Lyonne are also set to show up next season, which is slated to premiere early next year.