Scott Moran released a new episode of his documentary series Modern Comedian today focusing on standup Maria Bamford, who opens up at length about her struggles with bipolar disorder and the time she had to check herself into a psychiatric ward. It's a powerful, fantastic episode that's well worth the watch, from Bamford's walkthrough of her favorite website CrazyMeds.us to several mentions of her love for Diet Coke. (via The Comedy Bureau)
Parks and Recreation's next season will be its last, and the show is lining up some special guest stars. Entertainment Weekly reports that Amy Poehler's fellow SNL alum Rachel Dratch has signed on to appear in at least one episode "with a potential to return," but details on her role are being kept under wraps. This news follows EW's earlier update that Natalie Morales and Megan Mullally are set to return for the final season as well; Mullally will return as Tammy 2 during the season's second episode, while Morales will return as Tom's ex-girlfriend Lucy in multiple episodes. While you're waiting for Parks and Rec to make its glorious return to TV, you can check in with the cast by watching the action-packed season 6 gag reel.
In the wake of iconic SNL announcer Don Pardo's passing, the show now has the tall order of hiring a replacement to announce the cast's names at the start of each episode. While Pardo's timeless voice and presence can't be replicated, longtime cast member Darrell Hammond has come pretty close while filling in for him on several occasions and recently spoke to Grantland all about working with Pardo over the years and whether he'd consider taking over the job. Here's what he had to say about developing his Pardo impression:
I had a couple problems with it: The first is the strength of his voice. I remember one time I tried to do James Earl Jones and I coughed my way to apoplexy because his voice was so powerful. I could hit the notes properly, but I couldn't assimilate the tones. The same with Don: His voice is so powerful it really wore my cords out. I remember seeing him the following week and I remember saying, "I don't ever want to do that again because I almost blew my cords out, and I don't want you to think that there's anyone like you or a way to replace you."
When asked whether he'd consider coming back to SNL to take over Pardo's announcing duties, Hammond responded: "I would be honored and thrilled. That would be lovely."
Click through to watch Darrell Hammond fill in for Pardo for James Van Der Beek's episode in 1999: READ MORE
The fourth season of Girls has gone into production, and HBO released the above teaser today that shows Lena Dunham — or someone who looks like Lena Dunham — falling off her bike at the University of Iowa — or a campus that looks like the University of Iowa, considering the real college turned down Girls' request to film the new season there.
Everything in the news lately has been a downer, but The Tonight Show decided that the best way to combat an overload of negative news is to make up some fake good news. The result is "I've Got Good News and Good News," which enlists a bunch of local NBC news anchors to warm your heart with stories about friendly ghosts, dance parties, turtles, and happy balloon rides into the sunset.
Conan aired a special "Scraps" episode last night consisting only of rehearsal clips from the show. Check out the intro above, then click through to watch a failed bit Conan really doesn't want to do called "Before Photoshop" ("Please don't make me do this bit…I've got children!") and another involving a baby-headed Conan singing "Creep."
UPDATE: You can now watch the full "Scrapisode" below: READ MORE
The new season of SNL is just around the corner, but that hasn't stopped Lorne Michaels from making another movie this summer. Variety reports that Michaels is producing Brothers in Law written by Cameron Fay with rewrites from SNL's Mikey Day and Taran Killam. Killam also stars in the film alongside Bill Pullman, Rachael Harris, Rita Wilson, David Wain, and Bobby Moynihan. Production started in Oregon this week, and the film is described as "having elements of Meet the Parents and What About Bob?" Funny or Die, Newsreaders, and SNL segment directors Matt Villines and Oz Rodriguez AKA Matt and Oz are co-directing the film together.
Greenpeace recently teamed up with musical genius Reggie Watts to create a series of ads promoting more websites to go green, and the result is the kind of musical comedy beauty we've come to expect from Watts. Above he spreads some awareness for solar power through some sun-themed freestyling; click through for the other three videos in the series. READ MORE
Production has begun on the seventh and final season of Parks and Recreation, but before you get too sad to see the last survivor of the once-great NBC Thursday night comedy lineup fade into TV history, here's a nearly ten-minute season 6 gag reel starring Pawnee's beloved mini-horse Li'l Sebastian.
"I feel like a lot of people are afraid to take that step, and I was afraid too, but it just came to a point where I realized I have to do this. I can't keep going home with no brain power because I'm dealing with shitty people with broken iPads. You can't let a day job stop you from doing the thing you're most passionate about. For me it was, 'I'm gonna keep doing this podcast, doing standup at night. If I'm tired at work, I'll work fewer hours, but I've got to do this.'"
- Fast Company talks with @midnight writer and Nerdist cohost Matt Mira about how he went from an Apple employee who sold Chris Hardwick an iPod case to a podcaster and working comedy writer.
On last night's Conan, Pierce Brosnan looked back on his time working with Robin Williams in 1993's Mrs. Doubtfire and told a story about the "beautiful" shrimp choking scene that made the Heimlich maneuver famous. Brosnan is too classy to get into the dirty details, but his attempt at impersonating Williams's off-camera wisecracks is certainly admirable.
Back in 2011 it was reported that The Office's Greg Daniels was adapting the British comedy series Friday Night Dinner for NBC that was not ordered to series, but today the show is getting a second shot on another network. Deadline reports that CBS has given a put-pilot commitment to a new adaptation of the Channel 4 series, which "focuses on the regular dinner experience of a family each Friday night." Original Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper will write the US version, though it's not yet known whether it will be single-cam like the original or take on CBS's more common multi-cam format.
Click through to watch a trailer for the original series. READ MORE
Last night, David Letterman decided to show viewers what a typical Late Show pitch meeting looks like by inviting writer Joe Grossman to present him with some bit ideas right at the desk. Hopefully Letterman reconsiders "Fat Granny Dave" because it sounds like a potentially career-defining moment.
"But those who thought a severe housecleaning was in store this summer for the upcoming 40th season have been surprised; there was no bloodbath, no mass firings, none of the seismic upheavals of the past. Only four cast members were voted off the island once the 39th season ended, and some insiders believe this departure from precedent can be traced to changes in Michaels's demeanor, a mellowing evident since, roughly, the late 1990s."
- Live from New York co-writer James Andrew Miller examines the past, present, and future of the Lorne Michaels empire in a new feature for Grantland.