THR reports that Above Average has teamed up with entertainment/lifestyle news site PopSugar to produce a brand new web series with Amy Sedaris set to star. Titled Seriously Distracted, the series follows Sedaris as JD LeGrand, "the head of New York publicity firm LeGrand PR. Although the firm is one celebrity client away from making it big, LeGrand's employees are constantly distracted by their pop culture obsessions, which range from Tinder and Scandal to James Franco and SoulCycle." The project makes PopSugar's first attempt at scripted comedy — a move inspired by the company's discussions with Above Average about potentially collaborating on a "female-driven comedy" together. Seriously Distracted premieres on PopSugar and Above Average on October 21st with new episodes every week.
Last year SNL director of photography Alex Buono posted a lengthy blog entry about the making of the Wes Anderson parody "The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders," and this week he's back with a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at SNL's season 40 title sequence. To capture the 40th anniversary feel, Buono explains why the team landed on the mantra of a "Love-letter to New York" and why they used light-writing and other technical tricks as inspiration: "Not just light-writing, but an overall simple, clean concept: as an homage to the 40-year history of SNL, we would approach the sequence using in-camera techniques that would be at home just as well in 1975 as 2014. Nothing that relies on modern post production techniques or other digital trickery (sorry, hyperlapse’ers). It would be low-fi, analog, optical, vintage, classic." The entire article covers both the artistic and technical techiques used to create the opening titles — you'll learn a lot about anamorphic lenses and lens-whacking — and is well worth the read over on Buono's blog. Watch a clip of SNL's current opening title sequence below: READ MORE
NBC is attempting to remake the Channel 4 workplace comedy The IT Crowd again. Deadline reports that the network has teamed up with Bill Lawrence — who is also developing a Rush Hour TV adaptation for CBS — to adapt the Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson-starring series into a multi-cam show with Community's Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan signed on as writers. This makes NBC's second attempt to remake the British series following the 2006-2007 season version starring Joel McHale, which you can read more about here.
It's tough to introduce a standup like Dane Cook. He's explosively popular, famously polarizing, and his many comedy accomplishments — including a double platinum album and sold out Madison Square Garden show — only fuel the flames of disdain he's received from critics and the comedy nerd/cool kids' club. It's been over a decade since his debut album Harmful If Swallowed, and during that time Cook has experienced everything from record-breaking success to personal tragedy and very public feuds with other comedians. Cook's mixed bag of life experience gets put to work in his latest standup special Troublemaker (which he also directed and produced), and I recently got the chance to ask him how his standup has evolved over the years, his thoughts on joke theft allegations, and what he thinks of the "comedy purists" who love to hate him. READ MORE
Jenny Slate has a brand new Marcel the Shell book coming out next week, and during last night's Late Show she explained Marcel's origins to Letterman and even sang a sad little song in character called "My Mother Got Lost in the Rug."
Jon Lovitz was a guest on Conan last night, where he remembered his days working as a hospital orderly and the time he learned firsthand what a "low-slung vagina" is. Watch more from his interview below: READ MORE
Here's the trailer for Chris Rock's new film Top Five, which centers on Rock as a comedian who attempts to abandon comedy for drama. The film also stars Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Anders Holm, Romany Malco, Leslie Jones, Michael Che, and Jay Pharoah with cameos from Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, and Kevin Hart. Top Five opens in select theaters December 5th and nationwide on December 12th.
Semi-autobiographical comedy pilots are so hot right now, and The Lone Ranger's Armie Hammer is the latest celebrity to put one into development. Deadline reports that Hammer has teamed up with About a Boy writer/producer David Israel for an untitled comedy about "a guy whose world is rocked when he finds out that his parents have been secretly 'seeing' his ex-girlfriend for three years since he broke up with her, and the highly unlikely friendship he forms with his ex’s fiancé." The series is inspired by Hammer's life, just like the pilots based on the lives of Will Packer, Johnny Knoxville, Adam Levine, Tommy Johnagin, Jermaine Fowler, Rivers Cuomo, and Carson Daly.
Billy Eichner just landed a very Billy Eichner-esque guest role on New Girl. THR reports that the Billy on the Street host and recurring Parks and Recreation star will appear on the holiday-themed December 9th episode of New Girl, where he'll play "a beleaguered airline representative" named Barry: "The gang encounters Barry … while trying to get out of Los Angeles for Christmas. Having to deal with holiday travelers, Barry is not pleased to see them." Considering that Eichner has tons of experience screaming at people on the streets of New York City, the role of a grumpy airline rep sounds just about perfect.
Not long after announcing the return of his long-running music/comedy radio show The Best Show, Tom Scharpling has revealed another secret project today — a boxed set with over 20 hours of his calls with Jon Wurster from 2000-2013. Called Scharpling & Wurster: The Best of The Best Show, the boxed set includes over 75 calls between Scharpling and Wurster (including over 50 unreleased calls) on both USB and 16 CDs and a hardcover book with essays by Patton Oswalt, Julie Klausner, Damian Abraham, Best Show associate producer Michael Lisk, and a definitive Best Show interview with Scharpling and Wurster conducted by Jake Fogelnest. The set — which includes even more goodies described in the video above — will be available on March 17th and is now available for pre-order at Numero Group.
Back in January, NBC ordered a new comedy pilot called The Pro starring Rob Lowe with Larry Sanders Show/King of the Hill writers Pete Huyck and Alex Gregory attached, and now they're teaming up for another new NBC comedy. While The Pro didn't make it to series, Deadline reports that Lowe, Huyck, and Gregory are now developing a single-cam family comedy for NBC that follows "a worldly, adventurous, and newly sober narcissist — a role written for Lowe — whose decision to become a devoted father happens when his son and daughter are already teenagers. He’s back in his hometown making amends to his kids, his ex-wife, her second ex-husband and their younger son, all of whom have mixed feelings about his newfound parental enthusiasm."
During last night's Colbert Report, Stephen called out Google CEO Larry Page in a new "Who's Attacking Me Now?" segment for having the gall to say he's 5'10 instead of his true height of 5'11. Google has yet to correct their mistake, so hopefully Page fixes this injustice before Colbert takes him to court.
Brad Pitt made a special appearance during last night's Tonight Show in the above sketch called "Breakdance Conversation," which reveals Pitt and Fallon's love for sneaking to the basement of 30 Rock and having casual conversations through the power of dance.
Bill Murray paid a visit to the Late Show desk last night, where he decided mid-interview that he needed to get a run in. Watch more from Murray's interview below, which covers everything from his thoughts on the all-women Ghostbusters reboot to Murray's recent appearance at George Clooney's wedding. READ MORE