Craig Ferguson's final Late Late Show airs tomorrow night and James Corden takes over in March, so during last night's show Ferguson brought Corden on for a symbolic passing of the torch, brief hazing, and warning to Late Late Show viewers to be nice to the new guy, who is apparently made out of 90% biscuits.
"Comedians shouldn't be held accountable for acts of violence – and those we satirize shouldn't be silenced. Sarah Palin is hilarious, and I would never want her silenced. It informs the debate. The problem is the people who make the threats. If Iran made a comedy titled Eat Shit and Die, America, I’d be the first guy in line – but then again I have a Pollyanna view. If all countries made satirical movies about each other, and that was the only way we all fought – what a great world we'd live in."
- Former Daily Show co-executive producer and The Interview screenwriter Dan Sterling comments on the recent events surrounding Sony's decision to cancel the film's theatrical release in an interview with Creative Screenwriting.
Here's the latest installment of Comedy Bang! Bang!'s web series Reggie Makes Music featuring Friday's guests The Lonely Island, who all seem a little reluctant to take their turn on the mic but make the best of their very awkward situation. Bonus points to Reggie Watts for wearing the most adorable Christmas sweater of all time.
Sarah Silverman might be HBO's next big comedy star. THR reports that the pay network has ordered an untitled pilot starring Silverman described as "a comedic look at a pathologically honest woman having a modern midlife crisis." Silverman will co-write the script and serve as a co-executive producer alongside Secret Diary of a Call Girl creator Lucy Prebble. Silverman previously developed a Lorne Michaels-produced pilot for HBO last year called People in New Jersey, which was ultimately not picked up by the network. Silverman hasn't starred in her own comedy series since The Sarah Silverman Program ended its run in 2010, so hopefully this pilot has better luck.
Comedy Central might have passed on The Chris Gethard Show pilot earlier this year, but hope is never lost for the TCGS gang. During last night's show, Gethard announced that his longtime public access show has now found a home on cable, though the network has yet to be revealed. Here's a statement from Gethard on the news:
I'm super excited to say that it looks like TCGS has found a home on cable. Nothing is 100% set in stone just yet, but things are close enough to being finalized that people on all sides were down with letting me give a goodbye to our public access supporters in case we go into production in January and don't get to come back and have a farewell episode on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network. On my end I can say that I am so beyond excited about our future home – I walked away from my meeting with them feeling like they were progressive, looking to innovate, and down to help us really rattle the chains and see what we can do with this thing we've built. They really feel like kindred spirits in so many ways, and if you know anything about our show you know that to say that about development executives is kind of a miracle, because our show is bonkers magoo. My plan is to make these people look like geniuses for taking a chance on us and to turn many heads. For a few years all I've been saying is that I can't give up on TCGS, because we've managed to do something that feels unique with tons of limitations. I always felt like if I gave up before finding someone who could give us a small budget and a real chance at doing it right, I'd kick myself forever. We finally get a chance to do it right, so now we just have to put up or shut up. We plan on bringing you the same balls out idiotic comedy with real honesty and emo heart and dedication to its fans we've always brought, just now we can do it with a set that doesn't have to fit in the trunk of my car and also I assume the lights won't turn off halfway through an episode and we won't have to deal with a situation where we show up and someone has stolen all the microphones. It's going to be so rad.
Also, I am someone who always works best while chasing an unrealistic dream. Now that it looks like we're going to accomplish the unrealistic dream of leaping from public access over to cable, I'm calling it now – TCGS will win an Emmy within two years. Quote me on that.
Let this be a lesson to aspiring comedy performers everywhere: Never, ever give up on your dreams, people! And look out Emmys, because TCGS is headed your way.
Correspondent Jessica Williams appeared on The Daily Show last night to set the record straight after Sean Hannity referred to Jay-Z as a "former crack dealer" on Fox News, prompting her to turn the tables on the "news" network that's constantly telling the black community to "stay out of trouble" and "pull up their pants" by labeling them the same way they label Jay-Z — through the worst thing they've ever done. Turns out crack dealing isn't so awful when compared with the rap sheets of some of Fox News' finest.
If you're out of money, time, or creativity for holiday ideas, don't worry: Conan's no-nonsense prop master Bill Tull returned last night with a brand new collection of frugal tips that are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit without breaking the bank.
Last night was the second-to-last episode of The Colbert Report, so Stephen decided to get rid of nine years' worth of Colbert Report memorabilia crowding up the offices by putting on his very own yard sale. You know the end is near when even Michael Stipe is for sale for 25 cents.
"The Americans are more enthusiastic and more likely to engage in hyperbole. The British fans are liable to suddenly be talking to you about something that you don't know how you got into the conversation. I think it's something to do with the fact that they've been watching you for so many years, sort of you telling your story; they want to tell you their story … So the Americans I'd say are much more positive, they're much more in love with success. In Britain they're a fairly envious bunch and they love it if you fail."
- John Cleese talks American vs. British comedy fans, Fawlty Towers, and working as a comedy writer in an interview with NPR.
The Discovery Channel's hit series MythBusters returns for a 13th season next month, and hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the premiere will be dedicated to busting some myths from the world of Springfield. "Several people were like, 'This is a cartoon! What can you do with this?'" Savage said. "We looked through many, many, many different bits on The Simpsons, but I think that we found stuff that really is entertaining and not totally outside the realm of physics — unlike, say, Wile E Coyote stuff might be. We reached out [to The Simpsons producers], and they were totally into it."
So which Simpsons myths will the guys tackle? One comes from the 1990 episode "The Crepes of Wrath," according to Savage: "We set out to test Bart throwing a cherry bomb into the toilet that makes all toilets in the school act like geysers. And then there’s one [from season 5’s "Sideshow Bob Roberts"] in which Homer’s house is about to be destroyed by a wrecking ball and Homer places his body between the wrecking ball and the house to keep it from being destroyed." The second stunt involved the team creating two Simpsons house replicas as well as a life-size Homer:
This was the first time we made a non-human crash-test dummy because Homer is human, but he’s also a cartoon character, which means his proportions are totally not human. It’s a very elaborate process that we went through using three or four different technologies that we’ve used over the years in special effects. But there’s a weirdness to standing next to a 5’11” tall Homer Simpson proportioned correctly to the cartoon in real life, it’s really peculiar. I can’t describe it any other way than that.
It's a sad day for comedy, free speech, and people who hate losing against terrorists. According to THR, all five major movie theater chains — Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas, and Cineplex Entertainment — have announced that they've decided to not release Seth Rogen and James Franco's new film The Interview, which was scheduled to premiere in theaters on Christmas Day. "Due to the wavering support of the film The Interview by Sony Pictures, as well as the ambiguous nature of any real or perceived security threats, Regal Entertainment Group has decided to delay the opening of the film in our theatres," Regal said to THR in a statement.
This decision comes after the most menacing threat to Sony yet when the anonymous hackers warned theaters and moviegoers yesterday of a potential 9/11-type attack at locations that choose to screen the movie: "Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment." North Korea has denied any involvement in the hack, stating earlier this month that they "do not know where in America the Sony Pictures is situated and for what wrongdoings it became the target of the attack nor [do] we feel the need to know about it," though they did call it a "righteous deed." Variety reports that Sony is currently considering a premium VOD release of the film, though they have yet to make an official announcement.
UPDATE: Sony has now decided to cancel the December 25th release of The Interview entirely. Read their full statement below: READ MORE
FXX is adding a weekly late night animation block to the mix. The network announced today that the hourlong animation block will premiere on Thursday January 22nd at midnight, with a special sneak preview set to air after the New Year's Simpsons marathon on January 1st at 12:00am. Both Lucas Bros. Moving Co. and Ben Jones's Stone Quackers are set to air brand new episodes as part of the animation block every Thursday night at midnight.
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.
For our final Second City Archives post of 2014, we're going out with a bang: a full 15 minutes of expert improvised goodness from 1997's revue Paradigm Lost featuring Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Scott Adsit, Kevin Dorff, Jenna Jolovitz, and Jim Zulevic staging a fake Chicago NPR show called Urban Wind. Fey plays the host of the banana-themed Urban Wind episode with Jolovitz as a sociology professor, Dratch as a pretentious creative writing professor, Dorff and Zulevic as folk musicians, and Adsit as a deceased German composer. Check out another clip from Paradigm Lost here.
Parks and Recreation returns to NBC for its seventh and final season on January 13th, and the network released the first trailer today featuring the Pawnee gang in the year 2017. Apparently in only two years we'll be overtaken by drones and the undeniable charm of Johnny Karate.