Back in July, Tommy Wiseau released a teaser for his long in-the-works sitcom The Neighbors, and he recently added the first full length trailer as well as a list of screenings in November and December. This trailer alone is full of carefully crafted lines we will no doubt quote for centuries to come, such as "Hi Monica, how're ya doin'?" "Whoaaa!" and "Aaaggghh!" Head over to the official Neighbors website to see if Wiseau's latest masterpiece will be screened in a theater near you.
Jason Bateman has another film lined up. Deadline reports that Bateman will both direct and star in a film adaptation of the 2013 Wired magazine article by Joshua Davis called "Meet The Man Who Sold His Fate To Investors At $1 A Share." Bateman will play the lead character based on the real-life story of Mike Merrill, whose decision to sell stock in himself "created a host of problems … when shareholders demanded control over life decisions like whether to have a vasectomy or even whether he should move in with his longtime girlfriend (and minority shareholder)." Transparent writers Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster co-wrote the script. IPO Man will make Bateman's third directing gig following 2013's Bad Words and upcoming film The Family Fang starring Nicole Kidman.
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.
With Election Day right around the corner and Bob Odenkirk now on a nationwide book tour, there's no better time to unearth this clip from Second City's 1990 revue Flag Smoking Permitted in Lobby Only or Censorama featuring ensemble performers Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, Bob Odenkirk, Jill Talley, Tim O'Malley, David Pasquesi, and Holly Wortell. In the above sketch "Debate," Odenkirk and Pasquesi face off as two political candidates who try to one-up each other with public confessions. Odenkirk went on to create and star in Mr. Show with David Cross just a few years later, where they aired a "Debate" sketch of their own starring Odenkirk, Jerry Minor, and Paul F. Tompkins.
"Making a comedy about Islamic State is like trying to defuse a bomb. One mistake and you die. Somehow, we've managed to avoid blowing ourselves up, thanks to God."
- The Los Angeles Times has a fascinating interview out today with Thair Chiad, creator and writer for new Iraqi half-hour sketch comedy show State of Superstition, which has aired multiple sketches mocking ISIS despite receiving death threats in the process.
It's been nearly five years since Max Weinberg left his post as Conan O'Brien's late night drummer, but thanks to a mishap with current Conan drummer James Wormworth falling down an abandoned mine shaft, last night Weinberg got the perfect opportunity reunite with his old friend.
Ahead of the premiere of his new film Top Five, Chris Rock returns to host SNL this week for the first time since 1996 with musical guest Prince, and NBC just released the first promo reel featuring Rock and Bobby Moynihan wandering outside 30 Rock at night and talking all things Prince. It all makes sense considering that Prince has an eight-minute jam session planned for Saturday night.
Amy Poehler visited her old friend Seth Meyers last night, and the two looked back on the week Meyers had to anchor Weekend Update solo due to Poehler's completely inconsiderate decision to give birth to her first son. Watch more from Poehler's interview — where she claims to have no memory of meeting Meyers for the first and second times — below: READ MORE
Election Day is right around the corner, and Comedy Central announced today that they'll be celebrating with live episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Both episodes will air during their usual time slots and have equally amazing names for their special election coverage — The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's "Democalypse 2014: America Remembers It Forgot to Vote" and The Colbert Report's "Midterms '014: Detour to Gridlock: An Exciting Thing That I Am Totally Interested In– Wait! Don't Change the Channel. Look at This Video of a Duckling Following a Cat Dressed Like a Shark Riding a Roomba! '014!" Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus will make a guest appearance on The Daily Show while The Daily Dish's Andrew Sullivan will appear on Colbert.
LogoTV just added a new comedy series that will cover news and pop culture from the perspectives of both a gay and straight host. Called The Straight Out Report, the series stars Stephen Guarino (Happy Endings, Marry Me) and Mike E. Winfield (Late Show with David Letterman, The Office) and was created by Adam de la Peña, who wrote for The Man Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Crank Yankers and co-starred in the 2003 Comedy Central cult hit I'm with Busey. The Straight Out Report will debut on LogoTV on November 7th at 9:00pm. Check out the series teaser below: READ MORE
Another former 30 Rock writer just landed a new comedy on a major network. Following last week's report that former 30 Rock writers/co-executive producers Josh Siegal and Dylan are developing a witch-themed comedy for NBC, today The Wrap reports that Fox has ordered a script for a half-hour comedy from Colleen McGuinness, who wrote for 30 Rock's sixth and seventh seasons. The untitled show will focus on "a 25-year-old woman who works at a frozen yogurt shop and whose life is going nowhere – until she discovers she is telekinetic." The series has some superstar backing from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who will serve as co-executive producers.
When TBS ordered a new comedy called Wrecked last week, reports also mentioned that the network had teamed up with Daily Show correspondents and married couple Jason Jones and Samantha Bee for a "family vacation anthology series." Today, THR confirms that the untitled project has been given a pilot order and will star Jones with Bee onboard as a writer. The show is inspired by Jones and Bee's own experiences and will center on a family as they embark on a road trip to Key West, Florida. Jones will play "hopeful dad Nate, who hops in the car with his wife and two young kids for a 24-hour adventure to the Keys. This comedy will prove that close proximity can lead a family to get on each other's nerves but precarious situations and interactions with strangers can bring them together again." If the pilot gets picked up to series, each episode will center on a different family trip.
AMC's Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul premieres on the network in February, and in a recent interview with THR, star Bob Odenkirk cleared up any confusion about where on the series will tilt on the comedy/drama scale. The original concept for Better Call Saul was a half-hour comedy, but Odenkirk says it quickly turned into an hourlong drama: "It's a total drama, man. It's 85 percent drama, 15 percent comedy." Head over to THR to read the rest of the interview, which includes Odenkirk's thoughts on writing for SNL, Get a Life, and the one network note Mr. Show got from HBO during its run in the late '90s.
Back in August, the web series Modern Comedian debuted an episode featuring standup Maria Bamford wherein she candidly breaks down her struggles with bipolar disorder and delivers a hilarious walkthrough of her favorite website Crazymeds.us. Lit by nothing but the glow of her computer screen, Bamford reads a panic attack-inducing list of side effects for one of her meds — including "instant old age," inability to drink alcohol, tooth loss, confusion, baldness, and dry skin — before bursting into laughter then telling the camera: "I don't mind losing a little hair. And, again, the tradeoff is pretty awesome."
In this little moment lies the true magic of Bamford. Whether she's starring in her own standup special or bringing her uniquely lovable oddball brand to shows like The Comedians of Comedy, Louie, Arrested Development, or her newest role on USA's Benched, Bamford has mastered the art of remaining a fearless yet vulnerable performer who knows how to draw the funny out of life's bitter side effects. Ahead of the premiere of Benched tonight, I asked Bamford about her latest television role, the emotional pain of Bridezillas, the difference between sitcom work and standup, and what her own ultimate dream TV show would look like. READ MORE
The New York Times debuted a new web series today called Off Color featuring "several artists of color who use humor to make social statements about the sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious ways that race plays out in America today." Check out the first episode starring standup Hari Kondabolu above, which includes an appearance by W. Kamau Bell and a look at how, in Kondalu's words, he's learned to "recycle pain."