What do Ted Leo and the Pharmacists need to do to get their music noticed by the people? In the official music video for their song, "Bottled in Cork," Paul F. Tompkins plays Reginald Van Voorst, who thinks what the band needs to do is to turn their album into a Broadway musical. To help them, they'll get tips from Julie Klausner, and need a good review from the theater critic, played by John Hodgman. What, was this music video written by Tom Scharpling? Why, yes. Yes it was.
Roll the video!
Hey, Internet. Here's something fun to look at. It's outtakes from a film that will never happen called Masterminds, but that's not important right now, because really, it's the new short from Front Page Films, with Oren Brimer directing John Hodgman, Matt McCarthy and "Huge Pacino" (the last-minute replacement for Al Pacino, played by Pete Holmes), as they do their own version of good-cop, bad-cop on Hodgman.
Where did they ever find a basement like that to film this? Oh, wait. Everybody knows. Also: Wait for it, and there's a nice moment where Hodgman zings "Huge" and Holmes at the same time. Roll the clip!
I noted that legendary comedy producer Lorne Michaels had plenty to smile about last weekend during the Creative Arts Emmy awards ceremony, and during Sunday night, multiple Primetime Emmy winners showed Michaels love on the live TV.
Two of those winners, in fact, were brought back from last weekend's ceremony to deliver additional acceptance speeches. But when those people are Tina Fey and Justin Timberlake, I suppose that's a nod to TV viewers? Fey and Timberlake had won the guest actress and actor awards in a comedy series for their turns on last season's Saturday Night Live. Timberlake pulled the predictable parody of Kanye West (twas ok), whereas Fey trumped him with this thanks to Michaels: "I wouldn't be here tonight if it wasn't for Lorne Michaels. Justin still would be very famous and very rich. But I would not be here. So thank you, Lorne Michaels." Timberlake followed up, saying: "You guys at SNL are the best. Thank you for letting me come and make a fool of myself as much as I am willing to do. So thank you for this. This was a huge surprise." Fey later got in a dig at her network's decision to put Jay Leno in primetime; while accepting another trophy for 30 Rock as repeat winner of best comedy series, she said NBC was kind enough to keep 30 Rock on even though it costs more to produce than a talk show.
Alec Baldwin, in his repeat win for best actor for 30 Rock, made a joke about wanting to trade his Emmy to look like presenter Rob Lowe, then decidated his trophy "Lorne Michaels, who is the greatest boss you could ever have, and who has believed in me for all these years, and I love you, Lorne."
In the supporting categories for comedy acting, wins went to Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) and Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies). Cryer got ribbed about his win during the broadcast by host Neil Patrick Harris, who also was nominated in the category. NPH, for his part, did a bang-up job as host, as multiple others (Jon Stewart among them) stopped to point out in their acceptance speeches. Not everything worked (we're looking at you, best seat in the house recurring bit). The opening number was bright and punchy. Here's the official video of it!TwitPic here).
While I decompress and get my notes and videos in order from my weekend in Chicago, let me catch up on the funny that happened in the rest of the world. Which means we have to mention John Hodgman's performance over the weekend at the 2009 Radio and TV Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., where he publicly confronted and quizzed President Barack Obama on his "nerd" credentials and spoke of the nation's true culture war between jocks and nerds. It's not quite as daring nor as audacious as what Stephen Colbert pulled off a few years ago in front of George W. Bush and the White House press corps, but for people who say you cannot joke about Obama, it's at least a start. And Obama shows he not only can take the jokes, but also is cool with showing off his Vulcan salute. Yes. That's right. He was OK with doing that, knowing we would see it. Nerds!
In case you missed it, John Hodgman moderated a highly amusing panel and performance last night at the 92YTribeca by the folks at VH1's newly revamped Best Week Ever with Paul F. Tompkins, including not only PFT but also Doug Benson, Chuck Nice, executive producer Sean Johnson and writer/producer Caissie St. Onge.
Hodgman and Tompkins have begun an equally compelling comedy sideshow in 2009 on Twitter, where the two comedians carry on a continuous conversation as @Hodgman and @Twitterkins -- in between moments of online oneupsmanship, they managed to pose for a photo, which they naturally posted last night on TwitPic. PFT told me after the show that Hodgman turned him onto the 140-characters-or-less mode of communication with friends and fans, and that he realizes that their "private" dialogue is, in essence, another type of performance. But you clicked on this post looking for details, details, details about Best Week Ever, didn't you? Alrighty then. Let's do this thing.
Before that, actually, this side note of news for PFT fans. Mr. Tompkins said he'll be recording his next comedy disc on March 14 at the Lakeshore Theatre in Chicago, so if you'd like to bear witness to that, you shall plan your Ides of March Eve accordingly. Tompkins and Janeane Garofalo also will host a monthly comedy showcase at the 92YTribeca in NYC. OK. Now to matters concerning the network formerly known as Video Hits One.
Hodgman and Tompkins had a running joke last night in which they continued to introduce each other onstage. Cute. Acknowledging his look (as seen in the above photo), Tompkins said at one point, " I thought it'd be appropriate tonight to dress up as Indiana Jones's dad." Before the panel began in earnest silliness, Tompkins, Nice and Benson each did about 10-15 minutes of stand-up, and then they showed a highlight reel of moments that had gotten cut from VH1, as Tompkins said, "because it was too hot to handle...or it was too long!" Among the unaired clips, a bizarre Outside the Actors Studio sketch filmed on the street between PFT and Andy Richter, a recap of the CSI: Miami episode that revolved around a "Doug Benson" (though that did air, as I recall), and PFT's "Yes We Can" music video set to Lindsay Lohan's ill-fitting leggings.