Here's the latest installment of Paul F. Tompkins's web series Speakeasy featuring Dan Harmon, who chats with Tompkins all about dropping out of college, when he was a "cocoon of dandruff and long sweater sleeves" starting out in standup, the birth of Channel 101, working on The Sarah Silverman Program, and of course his work as the "mad scientist" behind Community.
While FX revealed some good news today about Louie's future, along with that came some bad news for the fate of the Charlie Kaufman comedy pilot they ordered back in January. According to THR, How and Why – Kaufman's single-cam pilot and potential return to television that stars Michael Cera and John Hawkes and also had Catherine Keener and Sally Hawkins attached to appear — has been officially passed on by FX. Producers are now searching for a new outlet for the show; Netflix reportedly passed on it as well, but IFC is now being seen as its "potential home."
"There’s a moment early in someone's career where they will kill and die for what they're writing about. That's why sometimes these first movies are the best ones. Because people never have this level of commitment again."
- Judd Apatow in a New York Times article on his upcoming film collaboration with Amy Schumer, Trainwreck.
Back in April it was announced that a comprehensive digital Simpsons app called "Simpsons World" was in the works at FXX to coincide with the network's 12-day marathon next month, and at TCA today the network revealed more details. Here are just some of the features that Simpsons World will offer, via HitFix:
- Every episode ever, in an order that's easy to browse, but also easy to search.
- A search function that allows you to quickly find — and share across social media — your favorite Simpsons joke or scene.
- Ability to curate your own playlists of episodes and/or scenes, and a learning function that will then recommend similar ones for you to try or revisit.
- An exhaustive episode guide that can be opened up to run parallel to the episode, featuring historical references, behind-the-scenes info, quotes, etc. You can also have each episode's script scrolling along as you watch it, and you can excerpt and share parts of the script, as well.
In short, Simpsons World will pretty much be the perfect, dream-come-true app for Simpsons fans, and according to FXX all features are set to be available to cable subscribers in October.
Since news broke last week that SNL had fired three featured players, none of them have responded and bounced back from the bad news quite like standup Brooks Wheelan. In addition to his string of hilarious tweets following the big announcement ("Whats the protocol on length of departure from SNL and your 'Best Of' DVD coming out. So stoked to see mine. Bet it's super long…"), Wheelan is making the best out of an unfortunate situation by going back to his standup roots in the form of an international tour, as announced via his Tumblr. Wheelan will make stops in New York, Canada, Europe, Seattle, St. Louis, and more on the tour, which he's calling "The Brooks Wheelan Falls Back on Stand Up Comedy (sorta) Tour." Click through for all of the tour dates Wheelan has announced so far. READ MORE
More Louie episodes are on the way, and thankfully this time the wait won't be a long one. According to THR, FX announced today that they've renewed Louis C.K.'s series for an abbreviated seven-episode season to air sometime in spring 2015. The most recent season had 14 connected episodes that aired mostly back-to-back and earned the show five Emmy nominations for writing, acting, directing, casting, and Outstanding Comedy. "Louie’s fourth season was once again groundbreaking," said FX CEO John Landgraf in a statement. "Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking – always thought provoking. The show went to narrative and cinematic places no comedy has gone before and we look forward to seeing what Louis comes up with next."
From Friday night, here's SNL alum and blues pro Dan Aykroyd making a grand entrance for his Tonight Show interview, complete with his own rendition of James Brown's "I'll Go Crazy" with the accompaniment of The Roots and Chicago blues legend Bobby Rush. Click through for some clips from Aykroyd's interview with Fallon. READ MORE
At TCA over the weekend, former SNLers John Mulaney and Nasim Pedrad got the opportunity to talk about leaving the long-running NBC sketch show to work on the upcoming Fox sitcom Mulaney, which is set to premiere on Sunday, October 5th. Aside from making a joke about how he directly copied Seinfeld, Mulaney went on to describe his intentions behind choosing the more traditional multi-cam format for his show: "I just remember thinking to myself, the type of show I want to do is the type of show that I grew up on. [I thought] it would be really cool to try to do one with my sense of humor. Just an updated version of that old-school sitcom with maybe a weirder bent to it, and I hope I accomplished that." As for leaving his job as an SNL writer, Mulaney said he "loved it at SNL" but "wanted to make a move to do something else."
Nasim Pedrad had a slightly different response when asked about her recent SNL departure. "Obviously there's nothing like that show and I was lucky to be there for five years. At some point you have to leave, and I can't think of a better reason to leave than for this particular show and this particular cast." When asked whether she would've stuck around at SNL had Mulaney not been in the cards, Pedrad said:
Yeah, had it not been for this show. Look, at the end of the day, these are two shows filming at the same time on opposite coasts. It wouldn't have been practical to stay there. I don't think it's that common to get this kind of group together, and having experienced working with John at SNL, I couldn't be more confident in his ability to write and star in a sitcom like this, truly.
Over the course of last year, several big events slated for the 26th season of The Simpsons were revealed including a Futurama crossover episode, a Family Guy crossover episode, and the death of a character who has appeared on the show at least twice. At TCA over the weekend, a few more details were revealed about all three events, including that the Family Guy/Simpsons crossover episode — which will air as Family Guy's season premiere on September 28th — will also cross over into Bob's Burgers territory. From EW:
In addition to featuring Homer, his family, and various Springfield residents, Family Guy will include a cameo by Bob from Bob's Burgers, according to Family Guy executive producer Rich Appel. While the episode was written solely by the Family Guy team, the Simpsons producers and writers were invited to the table read of the script and offered a chance to give input. "We sent them the script, and I think between Jim [Brooks], Matt [Groening] and Al [Jean], they had one or two lines in the hourlong episode they asked to tweak," said Appel. "They gave us free rein."
Also airing on September 28th will be the season 26 premiere of The Simpsons called "Clown in the Dumps," which will feature the killing off of a character who longtime Simpsons showrunner Al Jean told EW last year would be someone who has appeared in at least two episodes and earned an Emmy for the role. (He also revealed over the weekend that the character might return in flashback or ghost form after dying.) On November 9th, The Simpsons will do yet another crossover episode with Futurama called "Simpsorama" featuring the voice talents of Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, Maurice LaMarche, and Simpsons voice regular Tress MacNeille. According to EW, the episode follows Bender as he "travels back in time to kill Bart because Bart does something in the present that has terrible consequences for the future."
Here's a clip from last night's Last Week Tonight, in which John Oliver breaks down the many problems behind America's broken prison system and takes a page out of the Sesame Street playbook by singing a catchy prison-themed tune with a group of puppets.
The revived Whose Line Is It Anyway? is getting another season on CW. According to THR, the network recently announced that they've renewed the improv game series — with original performers Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Ryan Stiles and host Aisha Tyler — for another 24-episode season to premiere sometime in summer 2015. This makes the third season of the revamped Whose Line and the eleventh season overall, counting its runs on ABC and ABC Family from 1998-2007.
It's a new day, which means there's a new Weird Al Mandatory Fun music video for your enjoyment. After "Tacky," "Word Crimes," "Foil," and yesterday's "Handy," today Yankovic dropped the video for the above original ditty "Sports Song" via Funny or Die, which is a pretty good summation of sports fans for those of us who find the whole thing pointless.
The Simpsons will be celebrating the premiere of its 26th season this September, and to coincide with the event there will be a live Simpsons show at Hollywood Bowl on September 12th, 13th, and 14th, Rolling Stone reports. The event will be hosted by Simpsons voice regular Hank Azaria and feature Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Jon Lovitz, Beverly D'Angelo, Weird Al Yankovic, series creator Matt Groening, and many more yet-to-be-announced special guests, and Hollywood Bowl will be transformed into an immersive real-life Springfield for the occasion. The show is set to include live performances, selected scenes from all 25 seasons, and never-before-seen clips all set to the classy musical accompaniment of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. For ticket info, head over to the Hollywood Bowl website.
Fred Armisen's ongoing remote "FredEx" segment continued last night, and this time he used the props to turn himself into an "American building designer" who not only questions the existence of angels, but the existence of existence itself.