Steve Carell is set to lead an in-the-works Looney Tunes movie. THR reports that Carell — who stars alongside Channing Tatum in the upcoming drama Foxcatcher — has signed on to star in an untitled film centered on the fictional Acme Corporation from the Looney Tunes cartoons from X-Men: First Class writing team Ashley Miller and Zach Stentz. The Lego Movie producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee are also behind the project, with Glenn Ficarra and John Requa — who also directed Carell in Crazy Stupid Love — in negotiations to co-direct. Plot details on the Acme movie are being kept under wraps, but it will "not center on the Looney Tunes characters and is being planned as a CG/live-action hybrid."
Earlier this year it was reported that Zach Galifianakis had teamed up with Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel to co-write and star in a new FX pilot, and today Variety reports that the project has now been given a series order. Titled Baskets, the series will follow Galifianakis as a man named Chip Baskets "who leaves his job in the corporate world to pursue his dreams of becoming a respected clown."
Baskets is part of C.K.'s multi-year development deal with FX to create and produce new shows. While this is awesome news, don't get too excited yet — production on the 10-episode debut season will begin sometime next year, and the season isn't slated to premiere on FX until sometime in 2016.
Rookie released a new installment of its ongoing web series Ask a Grown Woman yesterday featuring SNL's Sasheer Zamata, who fields a few questions from teenage girls about sex, relationships, racism, and how to deal with sexual harassment on the street: "Harassment shouldn't hinder your progress 'cause you have things to do — you gotta go learn, you gotta go work, you gotta go take care of yourself and keep being fabulous — and if you keep thinking about the people who are harassing you, then they win."
Above Average released a new episode of Sound Advice today with Sara Bareilles, and it looks like Janessa Slater has finally found her match. Usually the guests on Sound Advice take her constant insults in stride, but Bareilles is not afraid to get edgy with some swear words if she has to.
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.
This week we're debuting a newly unearthed clip from Second City's 1993 revue Take Me Out to the Balkans featuring ensemble performers Fran Adams, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, David Razowsky, Ruth Rudnick, and Amy Sedaris. In the above clip, Carell, Colbert (who doubled as Carell's understudy), Dinello, and Razowsky perform a catchy tune called "The Obvious Song" that's as funny as it is harmonious. This took place less than ten years before both Carell and Colbert hit it big on television with The Dana Carvey Show, The Daily Show, and in the case of Colbert, Dinello, and Sedaris, Exit 57 and Strangers with Candy. Little did they know that 20 years later Carell would be crossing over into big-screen drama while Colbert would be chosen as the heir to the Late Show throne.
"Here's why it’s difficult to properly appreciate Phil Hartman. Because his characters were 20 percent droid. Because he reminded you more of your dad than your best pal. Because Hartman’s biggest gift was a kind of comedic graciousness, which he used to hide the show's seams and to make other funny people look good. As the writer Steve Lookner put it, 'How many people can you say that about on Saturday Night Live?'"
- Grantland examines the life, talent, and career of SNL legend Phil Hartman in a new feature out today called "The Glue."
Earlier this year Amazon ordered two of its new comedy pilots to series, and Variety reports that Jill Soloway's Transparent starring Jeffrey Tambor will debut its entire 10-episode season on Amazon Prime Instant Video on September 26th. The series also stars Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker, and Jay Duplass with supporting roles throughout the season from Bradley Whitford, Alexandra Billings, Melora Hardin, Kathryn Hahn, and Carrie Brownstein.
The Transparent pilot is still available to view for Amazon Prime members; for more on the pilot, check out our review from February, then watch the first trailer for the series below: READ MORE
Chelsea Handler hosted her final episode of Chelsea Lately last night after seven years on the air, and a bunch of Handler's favorite celebrity pals appeared to help her say goodbye to her E! era before she moves on to her new life at Netflix. Click through to watch Handler and friends close out the episode with a "We Are the World"-style song called "Goodbye to E!" READ MORE
The Daily Show returned with a new episode last night, and during a segment on the recent shooting in Ferguson, correspondent Michael Che attempted to report on the event from a safe location for an unarmed black man — which, it turns out, doesn't exist at all.
Netflix's new animated series starring Will Arnett BoJack Horseman premiered on the streaming network this past Friday and already has a second season locked in. THR reports that the series has been officially renewed for a second 12-episode season. Aaron Paul, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, and Paul F. Tompkins round out the voice cast on BoJack, which follows Arnett as a horse who is a famous '90s sitcom star-turned-washed up celebrity. This is another item of good news for Arnett, who recently launched his own production company Electric Avenue, struck a development deal with CBS, and confirmed on The Tonight Show that more Arrested Development is on the way.
"Once we started making the show, and we saw what we were actually doing, I sort of thought, Well, this show is not going to make you feel good. And we shouldn’t be feeling good! We’re shit people. We’re a shit culture. This is like punishment for being horrible. There’s so much feel-good stuff that comes out, especially in comedy now, where things are very cute and very clever and sort of like everybody’s in on the joke and winking. I feel like our show tends to try to be like a little more reminding of how awful things really are in the world."
- In a new interview with Vice, Tim Heidecker explains his approach to Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories, which debuts on Thursday, September 18th on Adult Swim.
Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.
There are many paths to getting hired on Saturday Night Live, but Alan Zweibel — who served as an original writer in 1975 and spent a portion of the fifth season credited as a featured player — had one all his own. Zweibel struggled as a young joke-seller before finding the perfect comedy collaborators on SNL, giving way to some of the most memorable characters of the show's early years, from the absurd physical comedy of John Belushi's Samurai to the fragile brilliance of Gilda Radner's Weekend Update regulars Emily Litella and Roseanne Roseannadanna. Zweibel went on to enjoy a steady career as a writer and producer of the stage, screen, and page, but it all began with his contributions to SNL and "platonic love affair" with the great Gilda "Bunny Bunny" Radner. READ MORE
@midnight host Chris Hardwick had the honor of fielding some questions for Tonight Show's "Unqualified Advice" segment, which resulted in some timeless advice on hard-hitting topics like going to school, curing a cold, getting a promotion, not murdering your boss, and dealing with a grandmother who has a hoarding problem.